A hallucination, which is a symptom of schizophrenia, is a perception of something that is not really there. It can involve any one of the senses, sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. For example, someone who has schizophrenia might hear voices that nobody else hears or see something that nobody else sees. Chances are that you will know if a person is having a hallucination. It may scare you, because you can’t see why he or she is behaving as such. He or she might even be frightened as well. When this happens, you should remain calm, and try to offer to help. Here’s how:
- Approach the person quietly while calling his or her name.
- Ask him or her to tell you what is happening and ask whether he or she is afraid or confused.
- Tell the person that he or she is hallucinating and that you do not see or hear what he or she does. However, don’t argue with him or her. He or she needs to feel comfortable talking to you about his or her symptoms.
- Talk with the person about the experience, and ask whether there is anything you can do to help.
- Suggest to him or her to tell the voices to go away.
- Involving the person in other activities.
- Help him or her find ways to handle the hallucinations, such as listening to music.
- Most importantly, don’t rush him or her.