Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

40 yo son smokes in my house despite my objections

Anyone have to deal with a willful selfish adult child who won’t clean up after themselves at all and smokes 1ppd in bedroom despite my objections ?
If he wasn’t my son I would kick him out 3 years ago but I feel stuck w him until I can get SS income for him

His little bit of money earned from a hobby goes to pot ( “his medicine”) and beer.

Needless to say I feel abused used and wonder where is my solution ?

Even when he is more congenial he still is a selfish person ignoring my repeated requests for him to smoke outside and clean up after self.

I just think he has a bad conduct issue in addition to SA. His excuse is “ your harassing me and I am crazy”

I have basically retreated because approaching him in a kind manner doesn’t work nor an authoritarian manner

He is on probation for some misbehavior that occurred when he was actively psychotic.

I end up having to drive him to those probation appointments when I am tired after working night shift.
I am almost 69 and strong.
But I think I will not Live with you the rest of my life.
I live in a nice rental and plan on buying a home in a year and think maybe a mobile home for him elsewhere.

I think he was better behaved 3 years ago than now because it’s his one source of power in our relationship.
I have 3 other adult kids who don’t visit anymore because of his behavior.

Anyway God bless you all and I appreciate your kindness.



That’s a really tough situation.
Realistically, you are stuck with two terrible choices:
Let your son damage your home, or put him out on the street.
And I’m fairly sure that, if push came to shove in a definitive conversation, your son would stubbornly force you to put him on the street.

There is no moral right in that kind of situation.
There is only the choice between letting him do as he pleases either in your home or outside.

Sorry I can’t offer any real insight.


Well I appreciate your response. It is hard to tell what is illness VS being just willfully rude and selfish.

All I can do is take care of me and not let his poor choices push me into the ground.

It’s just kind of pathetic to have a nice place to live in and not be able to enjoy it.

I end up spending money regularly on an angel house cleaner who comes about weekly.

But I wouldn’t have her as often if it weren’t for the fact I don’t want to keep up with this extra work

I bet there are others who have some variation of this type of abuse going on in their lives. As a single woman it’s more difficult because he’s bigger and stronger.

It is a rather pathetic way to live and I know it’s temporary.

God bless all as we try to live our best selves through Gods grace.


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You said he had power over you but what power do you have over him? Even in illness, persons often will behave as they need to to receive something desired or to avoid bring homeless. This is your home and you can establish boundaries and consequences. You can do this in a simple, matter of fact way. With love. Your health is just as important as his. I know, it’s easier said than done. A NAMI Family Support Group should be able to help you with this.

I need to find a NAMI group locally. I have called but need to do it again

The problem w consequences is I would have to evict him because he knows how to work societies rules of what constitutes ones abode.

I have the power to buy him a car but will not as I think one has to be willing to work towards a goal and he has had DUIs requiring the alcohol ignition lock

I don’t think it’s good to create more problems in the world if it can be avoided.

I think he can do better and I expect him to try to do better instead of blaming me because I “ obsess over cigarette smell.”

I think he acted more mature at 18 then he does now at 40.
Daily good choices produced right living and right thinking.

Maybe I expect too much

My quandary.



I encourage you to work toward a more creative solution. Trust me, I can relate in that cigarette smoke would not be tolerable in my house, either! Can he smoke outside? What things do you give him or do for him that could be withheld? Or maybe there could be a special reward for the good behavior that you desire? Or maybe your doctor said you cannot be around allergens like smoke. (I did say creative.) Have you ever read the book “I Am Not Sick; I Don’t Need Help”? That book teaches strategy to get someone to do what YOU want for reasons that the other person wants. I want to give you hope. There ARE things you could try.

An example: When my son was discharged from hospital, I would not let him come home because I knew he would not take meds. I was literally in my vehicle to drive off without him. But he didn’t want to be homeless and it started a different trajectory that eventually got him to take meds for the last 10 months so far. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t a straight path but it worked.

It was really difficult when my brother lived with me.
I often did all of the cleaning and all of the maintenance alone.
We failed to see eye-to-eye often, but even when we did agree on certain housekeeping and “being a good roommate” standards, he would rarely keep up his end of the deal.
I realized after about 6 months that living with me was actually harmful to him. Fortunately, as a family, we were able to move him into his own place.
It’s not a permanent solution, obviously.
But he is working toward getting his disorder under control and regaining his independence. It’s a process that feels like it can’t happen fast enough.

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I like the mobile home idea. Could you possibly do that sooner for him? I may have to go this route as well. I’m sorry about the smoking in the house. Mine goes outside but his room is a mess. He works and my goal at the moment is to get him to shower more.

Is it just too much to expect someone w schizophrenia to clean up after themselves at all ?
I guess I am just tired of working FT and having the additional work load

I guess I need to get back into counseling to plan my way out of this situation.

Thanks for listening



in my experience the substance misuse is the selfish and rude
while the schiz would be all the incapacity to do basically anything very much
cleaning can be learned over time and living independently might help with that but he likely would still need help even with this - even then

my mum has coped with 22 full blown psychosis years (think 22 pack years) in her children
she has always helped and had living with her 3 very unwell children
she is broken
i feel i have lost her along with my 2 sisters
i clean and keep house with my husband but i do need help cleaning sometimes and it is a struggle to do anything but homemake and even with no kids
i assume it is more difficult with a male child, in some ways

I’ve been able to get my son to keep his mess in his room. It’s a big day when I get him to bring his dishes consistently and put in the dishwasher without being asked. Every week or so I check with him on the dishes and every few weeks I go in his room and pick up all the trash. I have house rules that I pin up and one of them is to keep his room clean. I’m going to tell him if he doesn’t want me in his room he needs to keep it picked up - at least free of trash and dirty dishes. I think just gently make rules and gently enforce them.

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My daughter hoards cups and mugs in her room… and maybe if we are lucky, she will bring them out to be washed once a week.

I guess we pick our battles! Or offer rewards!

I’m considering getting a plastic tub so at least the dishes will be in one location instead of stacked on his side table and floor. I got him a garbage can and recycle bin which kinda seemed to help but there were like 20 empty packs of cigarettes on the floor and more empty bottles (some health drink). My next big project. I think he will come around.