Social skills training

Have you ever had it? Did it make a difference? I wonder how often help with social skills is offered to those with severe mental illness. Despite being described as having very poor social skills it has never been offered to me in 40 years of receiving psychiatric treatment.
I wonder how you are supposed to improve such skills without help. Maybe they think time makes a difference but in my opinion if it does it’s only minimal.


Perductive wording that what the class dose. Toke it 5 years dose it help made me think I would have wasted my time

I don’t think you can improve those skills without help. It’s sort of like giving a non-reader a book on how to read. If they don’t know how to read… they can’t read the book right?

I had a bit of social skill training in therapy and it was Ok I guess. Basic and loose.
Got more from the outpatient day hospital when they were trying to teach me how to get a job. (smile, eye contact, hand shake, wait for the question, don’t babble)
Got the bulk of it in Rehab. How to act in public without drugs or alcohol.

I still go to a therapist and ask questions about social situations. This site has helped me get over my intolerance of small talk. I’m starting to sort of understand how conversation goes. There are some times I’ve posted stuff here and later I think… “Oh, I should have stayed on topic” “Oh, I should have addressed that question” But everyone here seems forgiving about those missed cues.

I’m beginning to think I need to just get in public more to understand public more. Sort of like language immersion. I’m getting better one on one, but group stuff still hits me in the face as mass confusing.

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Perhaps recommend this book to doctors / social workers/ people you work with:


I am slowly rebuilding my social skills. I am able to introduce myself to new people and have gotten over a fear of strangers that schizophrenia gave me. For a long while I thought everyone was against me…it made me distrustful and even one time aggressive towards my friends (although I was undiagnosed, psychotic, on antidepressants and incredibly drunk that night).

I mainly focus on my own health and my grades, but I did date a girl last semester a few times. It takes alot of willpower to get out of one’s shell while schizophrenic, and sometimes I feel like normal people don’t have a chance at understanding me, but I have old friends that I spend time and keep in touch with, and they completely understand my condition.

I have never been suggested social skills training, it’s something I used to excel at, in high school I was “funniest guy” in the yearbook and I was very extroverted. Now I am rather introverted because of what I have experienced, but I still have social skills, I just need to exercise them. I have no problem with old friends, and I think they are glad to see that I am well, but I do need to make new friends, which is something I try to do but don’t stress over. I joined the anime club at school and we meet for the first time tomorrow night, so maybe I will make some new friends there. I talk to people who look interesting, it’s gotten me as far as cig break buddy or even dating the person, it’s all about just giving friendship a shot and being open to whatever.

But I don’t invest my happiness in other people…it’s dangerous to feel needy, I find. Being “dependent” is something I try to avoid…I’m dependent on Geodon, Xanax, Propanalol, caffeine and nicotine. That’s literally tow handfuls of dependence already, LOL


I like this idea, it’s like atrophy. If you don’t use it, you loose it. So you can build it and make it strong again through use…
My social immersion idea might be on the right track…
Hummmm… another something to ponder.


I agree, many doctors/therapists are too busy telling me to do things - but they are not showing me through therapy HOW to do certain things socially. I honestly think many of them are lacking in this area. They need to be trained to incorporate this into their sessions if they are to be working with schizophrenic patients. I never had this type of training in all of my years working with mental health professionals. Not that I can remember at least. CBT helps, but not completely, and my therapist now expects me to read books on CBT, she is pulling away from this kind of therapy from our sessions. :frowning:


He/she was referring to me. I was 57 last Wednesday.

so im no mathematician, yet you was like 17 when starting on you medication?

No, no social skills.

Ill be social when things work right.

For instance, a lawyer in training has to kiss ass, they call that a social skill.

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I started on antidepressants just before i was 17. Then at 18.333 was put on antipsychotics(oral and depot). I then spent the next 7 years on them before a pdoc took me off them and put me on lithium. For the next 15.75 years i was just on lithium and then antipsychotics were reintroduced. Since 2006(had a years break off meds 2005-6) i have just been on antipsychotics(depot since 2009)

sjees, and you never stopped taking it, since?
sorry i havesome questions when it comes too taking medication

I had a year’s break off meds in 2005(pdoc’s decision) but my pdoc thought i should go back on them.

ok, i cant really say what i think of that here,.
yet not saying is already saying something.

or is it?


Did you feel that things were better after you re-started your medications after that year break?

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Only marginally in terms of emotional reactivity/paranoia and weird thoughts(did nothing for lack of drive/motivation/goals) but due to problems remembering to take daily oral meds i was only taking them 40-50% of the time.
Eventually got put on depot in 2009. Not missed an injection in nearly 5 years. Emotional reactiveness and weird thoughts/urges toned right down and paranoia’s not as bad as it used to be. Not made much difference to social anxiety/interaction/drive/motivation.
Prior to the depot i had a regular disgusting urge which i impulsively did (too ashamed to go into details) It was done in private and didn’t involve anyone else but was definitely abnormal.
Can’t say meds have been a miracle cure but definitely some improvement since being on meds. I’m not so likely to get into heated disagreements resulting in forum bans.


I can tell you a few social skills I’ve figured out. For example, as my sister in law says to her boys when they get heated up, “Use your words not your hands.”

When I was in kindergarten, I used to push someone when I disagreed with him or her As I went through grammar school, I learned other ways of communicating.

They put me on meds when I was 19 and in a prodomal stage. Because they didn’t know how sick I was, they took me off meds when I was 25; I seemed to regress back to the pushing stage. That is, when I was psychotic and twenty-five yeas old, I figured out that in the spiritual war that was going on around me, water was good, and earth was bad, and electricity was bad. Therefore, I threw off all the circuit breakers in the house and turned on all the faucets and threw Mom’s plants out in the yard. These actions were vitally important, I believed. When my young brother tried to interfere with me by bringing Mom’s plants back into the house, I pushed him aggressively and he skinned his knee on the concrete porch.

Since that time in 1975, I been almost continually on meds. I have to say my social skills are better when I’m on the right meds than when I’m not on meds or on the wrong ones.



I agree with you Jayster, being on the right meds makes a diference


Everyday is a new social lesson in my shoes. I’m all into being more social everyday. Some humans don’t talk all they do is read. I do that a lot at times. My best social atmosphere is with my dogs. I can communicate to them well, but with a human it is different. Humans have reason and logic, but they also hold deeper emotion, sometimes pent in on themselves. Its a rule to me if someone is walking past I say hi or something but in moderation. Social skills can be a body feeling or language. People will notice what face expression you have before the words you say hit their intellect. I’ve gotten hella better at it. Not to the point where I’m back in the club drinking type socializing never that. For SZ it takes learning everyday. Composure, tone of voice. We pay attention to all those cues and we often ourselves do not realize we are sending them. Mimic how nature socializes. In the wild, it is primitive but then so are we. Not many people may understand what I am saying and I have been told I have issues. That is alright for me at least I’m getting to the bottom of mine.


in my sz world i think i have social skills, but in reality i do not.
take care

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