Module 4 - Schizophrenia and Other Psychoses

How should I talk to someone who is not making sense, delusional or


As long as the person is calm there is no reason why you can’t talk to them as you would anyone else. Many people with psychotic illnesses are quite happy to talk about their psychotic experiences and this may help you understand why someone is behaving in a certain manner. In these circumstances it is possible to challenge the experiences and to disagree,  although this should not be done in a confrontational or threatening manner. For example if someone believes the police want to kill them it can be quite helpful to reconsider this by looking at why they believe this and what the evidence is for this. Sometimes the psychotic experiences can be more intense and the person gets annoyed and upset if their beliefs are challenged and in these circumstances it is better to just to let the person talk about these without necessarily agreeing with them. Although this is not usually an urgent situation, a mental health review should be organised as soon as possible. If the psychosis becomes acute a person can become very aroused and agitated and completely pre- occupied with their psychotic experiences to the extent it is not possible to have a conversation with them. They may even start to act on these experiences, running away because they think they are in danger or responding to hearing voices as though these were commands that have to be obeyed. Their behaviour and thinking can get so disorganised so they are unable to look after themselves properly. When like this urgent help from the mental health service and sometimes the police are needed.  
Home Home Select Module Select Module About VDDS About VDDS Provide Feedback Provide Feedback Continue Learning