Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Advice for mother with paranoid SZ.... alone and helpless

I’m pretty sure my mother has been suffering from SZ since before I was born (and I’m 22 now). I remember things when I was younger, my parents would fight a lot about issues and my mother would rant about certain topics. She used to think my dad’s staff was involved in criminal activities, she was distrustful of almost everyone and she HATED my dad’s side of the family for reasons she created. Again, she thought and used to say they were involved in illegal activities and often she would rant about how they would use me and abuse me if I ever met them. My dad didn’t handle her situation well, he would beat her badly because they would argue and he had a temper and I saw a lot of it growing up. Thankfully, he left and moved out when I was 8/9 years old (my older brother was 11/12). But besides the ranting occasionally, she was like any other mom and I loved her so much. But as my brother and I grew older, it became difficult and even unbearable to live with her. She disliked my friends, and would yet at me when I would come home from school for no reason whatsoever. Eventually my brother moved in with my dad when he was 15 and I was 12. And 3 years later I had to move in too. I felt guilty for many years afterward for leaving her alone because I knew her mental state wasn’t well but at that age, I didn’t know what I could do. I was also angry at her even though now I know it isn’t her fault. But the guilt never left me and I did my best to try to forget things and move on. Basically I wouldn’t visit her because of my guilt and now I fear that so many years of neglect and her being alone has made her condition unmanageable. Before I could hold a conversation with her. Now it’s almost completely impossible. She has other mental health issues too like depression. I don’t know what to do. I know the only way to help her is to get a referral from an MD to a psychiatrist for a diagnosis. But she doesn’t realize anything is wrong with her. Her house is slowly deteriorating and her finances are limited but she can still grocery shop and cook for herself. I’m only one person and I have no help or support from anyone. I can’t just sit there for the rest of my life and watch her slowly die. How can I help her get diagnosed without saying she’s harmful to herself or to others and how can I get financial support for her?

Some people who are psychotic sometimes are treated badly by other psychotic people. Some of these greet people in rude manner and it doesn’t stop at that…can result in vandalisms, theft, screwed in business transactions, discrimination in housing, employment or education. All of this is denied and called delusional. Your mom may have legitimate grips about your Dad’s family or coworkers that you cannot understand due to this…

If your Mom is able to work, she is keeping up her appearance/health, can provide food for herself/cook, I think she is doing well. She may avoid some people or situations to feel better. I know it is hard listening to a rant and tough on a person to take it, but some handle stress with venting. Some people have just been pushed so far, they complain a lot while sadly fewer people just keep quiet and let the problems get bored.

You could investigate financial aid to keep up her home. If she lives in the country, USDA rural housing has affordable loans and even free grants to help someone repair a house. Economic Development Districts oversee repair grants. Salvation Army Emergency services workers know most the aid available in the community too. The sliding fee apartments that are income based can be good choice when you cannot keep up the house or is too much work to do housework on big house or maintain yard. However, I’ve witnessed disturbing trend in some younger people to REALLY harass some people in apartment building with loud noise, cooking fires, fights, damaged belongings or car vandalisms, your mom would have healthier situation in detached housing. Keeping her home would probably be best idea unless you want her to live with you, or you return to her house.

People were more hostile in years past and females were subjected to more mistreatment/harassment. Older folks are screwed up, defensive, mouthy…None of us is really entitled to anything until age 18 except food, shelter, education and clothing.

There is no way to get anyone into mental care unless they get psych evaluation for acting wrong around police or try to harm self/others…You could ask your Mom if she wanted access to more financial resources, maybe disability check because you think she is suffering from mental problems. Then ask her to use the county mental clinic. She has to keep regular pdoc visits. Disability always denies claims at least once, so the application process can take 2-3 years. It is best to use services of a disability attorney to ensure the disability claim is handled as quickly as possible.

Your Mom may be able to file for social security retirement pay at 62 years old but checks are smaller than if she waited until older…Maybe she would only need to work part-time if she files at 62. I don’t know the situation…

  1. to get some perspective on dealing with your own possible PTSD and boundary-setting issues, because you will not be able to help her if you slip under the waves.

  2. to get the SS questions answered.

  3. Get a copy of this book and read it. Have your family read it, too.

It is awful the standards for hospital admittance. I have Sz, so I would advise claiming that she is a threat to herself, because she cannot take care of herself. Believe me, she is suffering. So what you do is tell the doctors that she is a threat to herself, and don’t tell why.