A psychotic episode is frightening. For loved ones, caretakers, and especially for the person experiencing the episode.
Patients who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia can at times experience psychotic episodes where they are unable to distinguish between reality and hallucinations.
It's important for loved ones and caretakers to take note of the symptoms during a psychotic episode. And to be there to support and care for those living with schizophrenia.
There is no right thing to say or do during these episodes, but there are a few things to be mindful of.
In the most severe cases, when you think the person is a physical threat to themselves or others, call emergency services. It's vital to make the medical team assisting the person aware of their potential harmful thoughts and actions. This would help the medical team to be extra vigilant of the person in their care.
This isn't a situation you can solve on your own, and it's important not to let the person out of your sight. If you need to step away to call emergency services, do so knowing that you've asked someone else to keep an eye on the person.
You may even need to consider committing the person involuntarily to a hospital or a mental institution. The complexity in this course of action is that an examination by a medical professional and the authorisation by a law official is needed to ensure the person is admitted, or alternatively, that the person be treated as an outpatient.
Remember, schizophrenia is treatable. By using the right medication as prescribed by a medical practitioner, the illness can be managed and the person can live a meaningful life.