Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

What do others do or how do you manage loved ones delusional conversations?

Everyday my son has a delusional conversation with me and they are not always the same content, there are so many and I find it difficult to give an answer. It is so tiring!
What do others do?


Often, the DX’d person is looking for a “reality check” (even when it seems like they might just be ranting).
Personally, I have used the following method with really solid results:

  1. Don’t get upset or offended. These are irrational ideas, but the emotions are real.
  2. Identify the underlying theme. They might feel like they are being watched (no privacy), or that others are taunting them (poor self-image), or that life has no meaning (depression). There are tons of different delusions, they seem to stem from emotions.
  3. Address the emotional impact and empathize. “Does it feel like you can’t get any privacy?” “Seems like you might be feeling down lately.” Or “Sounds like you’re feeling really anxious/angry.”
  4. Dismiss the delusional reasoning. “That doesn’t sound likely at all to me.” Or “I trust my doctor, he’s always helped me when I need him and I’d be absolutely shocked to find out a doctor would do something like that.” Or “Even if aliens were sending coded messages, I’ve never seen it and it has never had any impact on my life at all. Maybe what they say doesn’t matter because all of your friends and family agree your own quality of life is the most important thing, not what happens in some far away galaxy.”
  5. Steer the conversation toward the DX’d person’s quality of life, peace of mind and comfort. If you can’t and they insist on talking about conspiracy theories or delusions, tell them “I don’t like the way this conversation is going. It’s upsetting to me and it’s irrational.” End the conversation if they refuse to talk about real life events, feelings and emotions.
  6. Keep your voice and your temper calm as much as possible. Being a consistent source of trust and rationality will encourage the DX’d person to want to come to you for help when they are ready to make positive changes.

You didn’t mention if your son was on medication or not. If he is then I would make sure his doctor knows about his ongoing delusions so maybe adjustments can be made. In the meantime, just continue being there for him as you are doing and make sure you have an outlet for yourself (maybe in addition to this forum-perhaps counseling or just a good friend to lean on)

You can empathize without agreeing. It sounds like he trusts you enough to share with you and that is not always the case for everyone. I found an interesting article on the topic that made sense to me. I hope it helps: I have posted others- this one is a new one I found.


Whats wrong with conspiracy theories?

So if you believe in conspiracies, you’re schizophrenic?

I think she only meant that conspiracy theories are common among those with schizophrenia.

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