Social relationships play an influential role in promoting recovery from psychosis and maintaining health and well-being. Unfortunately, individuals affected by psychosis can feel as though they are alone in their experience and may withdraw and become socially isolated. It is also not uncommon for the family to become socially isolated as well for similar reasons.
Psychosis may affect certain skills. For example, people may have difficulty in understanding social situations, engaging in social behaviour and planning and carrying out everyday activities. These skills can be relearned (or learned) by using specific techniques and practising.
Because of these difficulties, socializing can become highly stressful and the person may become more isolated.
Meeting and talking with other people who have experienced psychosis can be very helpful. Peer groups for both clients and family members can be immensely supportive. Groups provide a safe environment to meet with others who have been through similar experiences. Groups offer education about psychosis through videos, presentations, written material and discussion. They are also a great way to learn and be positive about recovery.
We can all benefit from this. Assertiveness training is a way to help people communicate to others in a positive and constructive way that respects everyone’s rights in a situation. Families can learn to use clear, direct, ‘low-key’ communication strategies, which may help to reduce stress for everyone in the home.