Please help, advise anything… I’m really feeling so helpless sometimes, crying everyday while I’m far away from my unwell family members who are alone (living with family) but not interacting for the past two years. Two whole years they have not spoken to anyone or even left the house! It’s so complicated all our circumstances but about four years ago when they were a bit better they informed me that they were diagnosed with having hallucinations which we didn’t understand at the time then when they got worse and started to isolate themselves completely, I went to three psychiatrists who were absolutely useless (they told me about involuntary admission/medication), but I did not let this happen because the unwell family members were not a threat and are harmless. I feel so sad and crying everyday I burst into tears when I have a joyful moment I turn it into sadness or guilt because they are not where I am and not enjoying life… no one I talked to gave me answers on how I should deal with family members who not only maybe schizophrenic but also who are absolutely non-functioning and isolating themselves completely…
Have you looked into attending NAMI"s Family to Family classes? They are a really good starting point.
One of things that NAMI frequently suggests is that we family members need therapy to help us deal with the struggles of our family members. Its a really excellent suggestion, struggling with the grief of having a family member with scz can frequently be what we need help with the most.
Hi @Love_Hope Well, you have landed at the right place. This forum can help you a ton. My son isolated on and off for about 6 years and then for a solid 3/4 of a year before I had him involuntarily put in the hospital and then on meds and after a few months he was working and is almost “normal” now. He still doesn’t socialize with people out of work yet. How old is your sister? Is there any evidence of her harming herself or others?
Also as suggested by Hope read Dr. Amador’s book. This will help you learn how to talk to her if you can get her to talk to you. It’s called the LEAP method. It’s a good thing she told you that she was diagnosed - so maybe she has insight that she isn’t well.
You are not alone, there are many of us here who have a loved one who isolates. There are other alternatives to meds as well that your sister can take. One thing the nurse told me was not to give up on my son. So - don’t give up and keep trying different angles to get her on meds or alternative supplements like sarcosine.
I/We understand your sadness. Your sister may be content however even if we/you may think - how can someone be ok isolating. Hang in there - and keep trying different doors. Are you able to visit her?
Thank you so much @DianeR if I may ask you, what specifically made you decide for your son to be taken and medicated involuntarily? Where my sister is, the hospital is very bad and don’t treat patients right, I visited there to speak to doctor and I was extremely sad and frightened by how they deal with humans inhumanly there. I mean my sister didn’t show signs of harming herself or others, so that’s why I keep convincing my family for my sister not to be taken to that traumatizing place… she just want to be left alone in her space talking to no one except for laughing quietly at the voices she hears… yes I can visit my sister twice a year for up to a month each time (never feels enough). I have a home and a loving husband to be with but it’s far from where my sister lives…
I understand as we all do, nobody prepares us for this type of situation and then it hits us in the face. All the guilt!
It’s not your fault we all feel like we could have done something to intervene. Thank God she is receiving help.
It’s so hard, and you probably are not allowed much information. Wish I could hug you!
Sending you my caring thoughts, AnnieNorCal
Edit; as far as getting some info, start by asking to talk to the facilities nurses station or the social worker about a release of information form.
Isolation is a very common characteristic. As is not being able to see in themselves that they even HAVE an illness. That lack of insight is called anosognosia. I didn’t know of that term for over 7 months, and when I found out, I realized WHY my daughter won’t see a doctor, won’t medicate herself, and won’t talk to anyone about her “problems” (as she doesn’t see at all that she even HAS any problems). If an ill person can attain some sort of insight, it is much, much easier for them to stay on meds, but over 55% of those with sz never gain insight. Or if a person is under 18 and parents can force them into treatment and meds, the meds often give insight after a few months. Once over 18 though, it is hard to get through to someone who doesn’t think they are ill.
My daughter thinks she is gifted with the ability to talk to spiritual beings who watch over the city or the country and are needing her mental powers too, to help the city or the country. She is busy almost 24/7 of her waking hours “helping” the city by talking to them. She has no friends, wants no friends and stays in her room. She has a phone she never uses. Tonight she woke me at 4a.m. screaming and pounding on the walls in the bathroom. Now she is quietly talking in her room, but it travels down the hall to where I sleep. I am awake most nights because of this type of thing for several hours. It used to make me cry that she doesn’t come out of her room to talk to me (or anyone). She hardly ever talks to me more than a few sentences a day, if that. She is not and never has been truly dangerous to self or others. If she WAS truly dangerous, the “system” (jail/courts/involuntary hospitalization for long enough to get the meds to work and give the person insight enough to want to stay medicated) might come into play. We’ve tried 4 hospitalizations, they failed to give her insight or to keep her on meds.
Educate yourself by reading on this site, and by learning of sz. Try to get those who live with your sister to do the same. Once a concerned family member or friend understands the illness the loved one is suffering from, it gets easier to forgive yourself for not being able to help your loved one as much as you think you should be able to help. Breathe, try to relax, and be kind to yourself and your family.
@Love_Hope My son had isolated for almost a year. His first psychotic break was a few years ago. After I came back from a vacation he thought I was an intruder and barricaded me out of my house. I had the cops come but they said they could not break in and that I needed an emergency medical hold. I got that through the county attorney. They cops could then break in. We did that all in 24 hours. Of course, my son was just inside having a good time with the Playstation and smoking pot and eating. So off he went to the hospital, then a Behavioral Heath unit (3 weeks) and then a transition home (3 weeks).
I was at the hospital every day, twice a day. He would not see me nor would he sign a roi. I got in by having the nurses tell him I brought something of his. He was very into “his stuff”. He would allow me to come in and hand things off to him. I stayed sometimes and talked to the security guard, the nurses and some other patients to find out how he was doing. One nurse I knew personally. They are very kind at this hospital. I was fortunate that the meds kicked in and he didn’t have to go to the Big hospital in Denver where they don’t get as much attention. If your sister does go, you can advocate for her. My son is now working two jobs and actually went to a hockey game and has started to text his old friends.
I hope you are able to get your sister some help. Don’t forget there are also alternatives to medications. If you could give her tea or smoothies daily with something like profrontal or sarcosine (see brainvitaminz) that may help. I couldn’t get those in my son daily - hence the psych meds. (monthly shot).