Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

What do I write in a card?

My son checked himself into a hospital last week and has recently been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Since he lives so far away, I want to send him cards while he is in the hospital as I know he will enjoy getting them. I have been talking to him on the phone daily, and he is incredibly delusional, scared and confused…with a touch of paranoia.

I’m sitting here with cards for him and I have no idea what to write in them. But I don’t want to just sign them “Love mom” either. I don’t want to make the situation worse by saying something wrong or upsetting.

If anyone has any suggestions, I would really love to hear them. I read here somewhere that cards and letters could mean the world to someone when they are hospitalized…


Hi again Nancy,

From what I understand, you don’t need to write much, necessarily. Simply stating you are thinking about him is good. Telling him positive things that are going on with you without making it sound like he’s missing out on them, maybe if you saw something that made you happy during the day like a rainbow or sunset or natural beauty. If your family is religious, perhaps quoting an inspirational saying would be inspiring to him as well. Or if not, perhaps a general inspirational saying, something he could focus on for the day.

Things to avoid would be anything you might be aware of for him that is a trigger, such as people he doesn’t get along with or is afraid of, politics, anything in the past you might be aware of that is unpleasant to him.

Let him know you are looking forward to having him get back into his routine with goals for the future.

You’re right: it is not easy to think of things to say. Give one a try and see what his response is and that will give you a better idea of what he would like in the future.

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Hi Nancy, my son liked the family photos I gave to him while he was hospitalized. They were recent photos of a pet, a family BBQ, etc. Nobody in the photos who has caused anxiety, etc.

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