What if they believe things that seem very unusual or scary to me?
If someone is experiencing reality in a very different way from people around them, they may not realise or agree that seeking help could be useful for them. They may be experiencing psychosis, mania, hearing voices or feeling very paranoid. In this case, it can also be helpful to:
- Focus on how their beliefs are making them feel (for example anxious, scared, threatened or confused), as these feelings are very real
- Avoid confirming or denying their beliefs. Instead it can help to say something like “I understand that you see things that way, but it’s not like that for me.”
There are a lot of misunderstandings about what it means to experience psychosis. Lots of people wrongly think that the word ‘psychotic’ means ‘dangerous’. But it’s important to remember that in reality, very few people who experience psychosis ever hurt anyone else. (See Mind HK’s website for information on stigma and misconceptions.)