High and low functioning SZ/SZA

How do you react or feel when dealing with lower functioning Sz/Sza people if you are higher functioning?

Do you try to argue with them? Make them see their illness?

Do you get annoyed at their behavior? If so, do you then feel bad afterward?

Do you just feel bad and wonder if that will be or has been you?

Or do you just avoid them in general?

I asked this on the Say Anything thread but I wanted to know and made a thread. I’m interested in how we react to people in our own illness bracket.



There was once a woman on here that was really struggling,

She thought her arms were not hers and would try to cut them off then smear filth into them in order to get them infected so they’d have to be amputated.

It was horrible.

I frequently asked myself if that could be me one day,

Very scary.


Oh my god. That is horrific.

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I wish I could heal them like I healed myself, but I’d have to be an actual pdoc to do that.

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There was a lady the last time I was in the hospital with the was so sweet but talked absolute word salad. She looks just like my mother in law, and also like an older version of my autistic daughter so it hit me hard.

I kept thinking it could be me or even my daughter during a rough time.

I remember that woman. She kept on escaping the ward and damaging her arms. I thought just before she stopped posting she might have been gaining some insight.

But it was scary how she just stopped posting

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Supposedly she straightened up on meds and just didn’t need the support of the forum anymore.

I really hope that’s the case,

She was very unwell for a long time.


I have this unending, nagging fear that I’m not supposed to be where I am now in life. That I’ll be discovered and shipped back to the psych ward and heavily medicated and basically lose my sh&t. Every time I have to deal with someone who is floridly ill here it really ramps this up for me. Makes it hard for me to interact here frequently.

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I get frustrated and annoyed a lot. But I also will then feel bad because I know that I have things I believe no matter how often I have told myself the things are not true.

I probably look like a bad person by saying I get annoyed but the major reason is that I get feelings that the people acting odd or saying weird things are playing or trolling me. To make fun of me or the people here. It is MY problem and probably could be called a delusion because I know logically every person saying weird things can’t be a troll.


I feel bad for them and wonder if i’ll end up like them some day. Once I was sitting on a bench and this homeless-looking guy who was talking to himself came and sat down. I tried to talk to him but he was making very little sense. I did manage to ask if he drank coffee and if he wanted some. So I went in the coffee shop next door and got us both a coffee. He sat there and drank it and when he was finished he said “thank you”, got up and walked off, talking to himself. I feel bad for people like that and wish I could do something to help them.


Never to me, not once. You’re on the list of people here I admire and I read as many of your posts as I can.


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I know it sounds selfish but I just feel more grateful for the functioning I have. I also feel rather unable to help them. I think the best term is unreachable… the ones who are completely unreachable. It’s a really sad thing.


I’m full of compassion. I want to help. I want to do whatever I can to make their lives more meaningful for them.

However, I still struggle with my own issues and that limits how much I can help.

In the psych ward, there was a man severely ill. He had been there a long time. Most people couldn’t understand him, but I spent a lot of time listening to him and I learned to say certain things to him that he would respond to. He tried to hand me a letter. But I knew his hands were dirty because I saw him picking up a used sanitary pad and not was his hands. Here I am, moved by him, broken for him, connecting to him, and I wouldn’t take the letter from his hand. He never let me listen to him again. I still think about it. I’m so sorry.


Wow. Thank you @ozymandias . You have no idea what that means to me. Been in a dark place lately. Thanks. I mean it.


High functioning and low functioning are tricky terms. Few people are high or low functioning across the board. Having said that who struggle across the board should be treated with compassion,kindness and respect.

Directly helping them though as a fellow mentally ill person doesn’t necessarily follow from that. In order to help others you need to stay as healthy as possible yourself. Some people can do that within being mentally ill themselves and others can’t. Helping others is not a stress free endeavour and as most of us know stress is a well known red flag.

I think the take home message is help if you can , but make sure you safeguard your own health and well being while doing so.


I can relate and most times I want to help my brothers and sisters. But I shortly realize I can’t do much right now

Im talking of people in real life. On the board it’s easier to be supportive even if most of my suggestion are looked skeptical by people or ignored.

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You can’t do much. The gods help us by helping us helping us, they don’t usually help us unless we help us.

You understand?

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I have a brother with sz but he is a lot worse off than me. I don’t agree with the way he lives his life, he has drug problems often becoming homeless and I hear stories of him like how he burns his curtains and throws them in the street outside. If he did not have sz I would not associate with him because of his heavy drug use, but I know it can affect the way you make decisions, so I am just polite to him and treat him like anyone else. I have never tried to talk reason with him because I know it just would not work.

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I only had to deal with someone iller in hospital. He was delusional about religion and I just humoured him as it wasn’t my place to challenge his beliefs at all. He was obsessed with converting people, which I found hard not to react too. He even made sure I left the ward with a bible in my hand. I still have it somewhere.

I think he must have OCD as well.

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Sometimes I think I’m the most screwed up person on this forum. Or close to it.

But then I put out all my G.I. Joes and Slinky’s on my coach in the living room and have a tea party and I feel normal again and I’m ready to face the day.