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schizophrenia - how to tell parents and siblings

Hi,

 

I am a 22 year old who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia about three months ago. My family know I have anxiety issues but I am finding it hard to tell my dad and my brother about the new diagnosis. I feel like I need to tell them because my illness is disrupting my work and studies, and they put it down to me being 'lazy', which is not the case, I just have a serious mental illness.

 

I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions about how I could tell my dad and my brother?

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Re: schizophrenia - how to tell parents and siblings

This can be pretty hard sometimes… they may seem pretty uncool about it now because they don't know how serious it is right now but you might be surprised with how supportive your family can be when they know the reality of the situation. 

 

My suggestion would be to plan ahead for some questions they might have, so you're ready with answers. Tell them the truth as to why you haven't told them until now.

Maybe also suggest some ways that they can help you to get through it, day-to-day.

 

Also, one thing I've come across a lot is that you may not get a positive reaction straight away — if so, this isn't your fault. Most people don't know how to handle news like this and can often react a little defensively at first, so try to be patient and try hard to help them understand.

 

The fact that you want to tell them is a great start, though. Better to get it done sooner rather than later. Good luck! Let us know how you go. 

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Re: schizophrenia - how to tell parents and siblings

Hey @annedert 

 

It sounds like alot to deal with and you seem like you know you should tell them and I think that's great. I find it so difficult telling my dad serious things because I just hate what he has to say sometimes so when I feel like I can physically say this, I feel its better to write it, because writing gives people the time and space to process what they are reading before they respond. Have you thought about writing them a letter at all? 

 

Maybe you would feel comfortable telling them if you had support from other people like maybe having a family member or a friend there when you tell them will help you feel a bit better? 

 

I hope these help and you are so strong for coming on here and sharing your experience. 

 

Hope it all works out Smiley Happy 

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**Believe in the power of you because you are your own hero**
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Re: schizophrenia - how to tell parents and siblings

Hey, @annedert . Thanks for posting. You're so brave to have shared what you have! If there's anybody who can meet the challenge of a diagnosis like the one you got three months ago, it's you. That you've gone on doing your study and work through it all just proves the point! Big respect for your resilience and tenacity, buddy.

 

I think you'd be surprised at how your father and brother respond to your telling them about your schizophrenia. I think you'll find that they really step up. I would just sit down with them - maybe separately? - and come out with it. If they have half as much respect for you as you have for them by the consideration and sensitivity with which you're handling this, you'll be fine.

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Re: schizophrenia - how to tell parents and siblings

Hi annedert, 

 

Hmm~this is tricky but definitely achievable! 

Schizophrenia is not synonymous with 'lazy' Smiley Frustrated 

Telling them separately and then giving them some time to think about or to try and understand would be a good way to go. I believe that when they don't fully understand something or different parts of an explanation, people tend to jump to conclusions/make assumptions or they try and break it down to understand it in their own context (schema). 

Give it a go in explaining that you have schizophrenia, what it is and how this affects you. If they don't understand, you can approach it in various ways (i.e. taking it into their context - but not "dumbing it down" that it downplays the condition or becomes unrecognisable as an explanation) or ask them why/what they don't get about it. It's also important for you to tell them how much their support would mean to you as well. 

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Stay excellent
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Re: schizophrenia - how to tell parents and siblings

Thanks for all the replies!

 

Thanks for all the advice, I really appreciate it.

 

I am thinking maybe I will get them to come with me to my psychiatrist and have him there so I feel supported and if they have questions he can answer them as well.

 

Still nervous though :/

 

 

Cheers,

 

annedert

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Re: schizophrenia - how to tell parents and siblings

Sounds like a solid plan @annedert — let us know how it goes; your experience can really help others here who might be going through the same thing. Smiley Happy

Good luck!