Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Tips on How to Talk to My Paranoid Delusional Son?

Just wondering if other family members have any tips or tricks to share on talking to their loved ones. My son is extremely delusional and it seems everything I say, no matter how innocuous, triggers him. He is currently an inpatient being treated involuntarily.

I try to reassure my son if he thinks something bad is going to happen.

If it’s other kinds of delusions, I just kind of go with it without outright agreeing to it for the most part.

If he’s really, really sick and feels an urgency to talk about his delusions, I just kind of listen and say as little as possible. I don’t engage him in conversation then unless he makes the first move to talk.

Someone else today had awesome advice - I’ll see if I can find it & give you the link.

EDIT: – Just found out that my BF has Sz..So many questions!
Hatty’s post on this thread was so good - I think it’s post 10.

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This is a very good point. It is really hard sometimes when the delusions are working overtime! Hope he turns a corner soon.

I found with my husband when talking to me about his delusions that the bad thing to do is disagree. You become the enemy and they won’t trust you. After about the 3rd time of psychosis, I figured this out for myself and I listened and said very little. I made a mental note of what he was saying and when I called the mobile psychiatric team to come to our house to evaluate him, I knew exactly what to tell them. It’s hard to listen to his delusions on so many levels but the heart break is the worst level of all. Your son will come around eventually just please make sure the doctors know what he is saying to you on the phone and/or visit. Sometimes they put on one face for the doctor and another for us and you definitely don’t want him coming out before he is ready. Good Luck!


I found the book “I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help!” by Xavier Amador to provide some helpful ideas.


I always remember that the delusions are their reality so I make it my reality too in away that way he knows I’m beside him. With different thoughts/delusions I am there to reassure, correct things if I can or not say a lot because what can I say sometimes “not a lot”, otherwise support him as much as I can. It is tiring sometimes and I can’t always do it. It is complicated as well like being in a mind huricane and I love rest periods when he is not delusional.
My son always knows when he is about to slide into delusional controls, he has his description of what’s starting to happen in his mind just as he is starting to go into them, he cries and feels helpless. This is a frightening stage, I try to be very close by and I try to have empathy as well say that it will get better and I’m with him. I stay as close by during these periods and observe what’s happening so to try and keep him out of trouble if I can and support where I can.