Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Bad Decision Making/Victimized Due to MI?

Hi all. My teen daughter was recently dx with sz. Her counselor mentioned several weeks ago that he is worried about her being victimized because of her mental illness. The voices are constantly telling her how worthless she is, that she should not be alive, everyone hates her, etc. On a side note, she is on meds that have quieted the voices, but the auditory and visual hallucinations aren’t completely gone. Kids at school also constantly tell her how weird she is due to her negative symptoms.

Over this past year, she has had two abusive boyfriends. Some bad things have happened to her and she now also has PTSD. Other “friends” use her to get things paid for.

I guess my question is this: does this illness impact their decision making? She cries that she has no friends and feels so alone, so I feel like she is letting people use and hurt her in an effort to have people in her life. Do others see this vulnerability and use it to their advantage? Do the meds impact decision making?

I hope all that made sense. Something terrible happened to her this past week. I just want to be informed when I go to the school about whether or not decision making is altered by this illness. I feel as though it is, but I was curious if any others see this with their loved ones. Thank you.

Not sure what the implications of your questions about decision making are.
Assuming she is under 18, legally she doesn’t have the capacity to held accountable for her decisions unless they are violently criminal. EDIT: That doesn’t mean she can can’t suffer the fallout of poor choices and naivety.

I think it’s worth pointing out that having a diagnosis does not preclude one from suffering all the other issues and problems anyone else can be victim to (or bring upon them self).
Is there inherently an extra degree of vulnerability?
Yes.
Is this disorder the root cause of her issues with dating and friends?
Maybe.

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My son is not medicated so I can’t weigh in on whether or not the meds affect his decision making.

His scz does affect his decision making.
He used to be very good at reading people. Now he will sometimes be trustful in a situation where he is clearly being manipulated. He will also mistrust people who are not manipulating him or meaning any harm.

A friend (whose ex-husband suffered from mental impairment) often visited her ex in his section 8 apartment. She said there were people who lived there and befriended him intentionally to borrow money, food and his things. He told her they were his friends. They were always very nice to him.

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As @hope said, not sure if meds are part of the issue as we too are unmedicated.

Definitely the illness affects decision making and healthy friendships. In my son’s late teens he was making all sorts of bad decisions and picking friends among those who were really not good for him. Lately he has been commenting on some of the things they encouraged him to do and then they would laugh at the trouble he got into.

I am not sure if all his stories are real, but as his mom I also know of my misgivings about his “friends”. There are mean people out there and they have no qualms about using and abusing the venerable for their amusement or gain.

And yes these bad experiences can cause PTSD.

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Yes. the illness can make you a victim or also makes you victimized others.

Before my son get diagnosed and started taking his medication, he would tell me things like " you are responsible to make my life as comfortable as possible because you brought me to Life under hard circumstances". he was also abusing me verbally and cursing me a lot. I bought into all his delusions and ended up in debt and bought him a Condo where he was going to college in Virginia.
He traveled across state line and he ended up in Kentucky ( traveled from Virginia) with his car and his car was impounded and and he hid his laptop and his cell phone behind bushes and started calling me and calling my brothers and telling us some people are after him and asking us for money to go to California. my brother and I believed that he was in danger and send him money and later discovered he was ill when he get to California. My cousin took him to Hospital and he was diagnosed with Paranoid Scz. he travel more later and costing many a lot of resources and anxiety. I have been working 2 jobs in the past 5 years because of the debt from his travels and eating out at restaurant often.

I was a victim in this scenario and was bought into his delusions. I went through a lots of roll coaster with my son and he has in and out of hospitals numerous times in 2 different states and at times I would not know where he is. Finally, I was able to get him Conserved in California

He is now taking Clozapine in Facility and he is a lot better than before but sometimes he gets paranoid at times and not trusting the family friend and accusing him that he doing things to to poison him , etc… this family friend has been supporting my Son for almost 2 years and bringing him food to the facility like 2 to 3 times a week.
My son also still refusing my visits when i go to California because he thinks he is not ill and I am locking him against his will.
This Illness is one of most difficult illness to tackle.

Good luck with your daughter and keep a good eye on her wherever she goes…

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Most teens have difficulty making good decisions at times depending on what is going on in their life. I think we can all agree that decision making is most definitely impacted by this disease, with or without medication. Looking back, I sensed that my son, as a teen, had a MI, but I couldn’t get a hold on it because he was such a good actor and didn’t have any violent outbursts outside of home. He wasn’t diagnosed until he was well into his twenties and sadly he continues to refuse help. You are fortunate that you and your daughter have insight into her sz at such a young age. I believe there is a lot more hope for improvement as you build a support team. In the videos above… some individuals can eventually come to a point where they can make sound decisions that help them to maintain a life that brings them happiness and self worth. I’m sorry to hear that something terrible has happened at school. I’m not clear about your situation, but there may be an alternative schooling situation like a charter school that would better protect her from harm. If you have a chance to connect with NAMI and their family-to-family education program that helped me tons. I’m sure you’re doing the best you can to help your daughter, my heart goes out to you.

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Yes, sz impacts everything. How you feel, what you think, what you do. It is an overwhelming disorder if the symptoms are not managed by a medication that works and then it can become more tolerable but still terribly disabling.

I can’t guess what kind of relationships she has with her friends but sz puts you on the outside of the social spectrum.

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