How to Help Someone Who is Hallucinating

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Hallucinations are a common symptom of schizophrenia; they involve false perceptions of things that are not really there. Hallucinations can occur in all five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch.

It can be frightening when someone you know starts hallucinating. They may act irrationally, impulsively or dangerously. Remain calm and remember these tips:

  1. Approach them gently and call their name
  2. Ask them what is happening
  3. Tell them that they are having a hallucination and that you do not see or hear what they do. However, don’t argue with them if they can’t understand or believe you.
  4. Talk with them about the experience and ask if you can help
  5. Suggest that they tell the voices to go away
  6. Try to involve them in distracting activities
  7. Help them find ways to handle the hallucinations
  8. Most importantly, be patient with them

Do you or someone you care for have schizophrenia? See if you qualify for Segal Institute’s clinical research study on schizophrenia today!


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