Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Better but unmotivated


My son with schizophrenia is doing so much better. I just wish that he would get out the house more. Sometimes he will hangout with his cousin but that’s about it. I really want him work a part time job. I believe he. Can do it. He gets SSI and tthinks that’s enough.
Any suggestions?


Has he shown any interests in anything? The reason I ask is that my son will work hard to try to do things that he wants to do. Is there anything that he has mentioned wanting to do that maybe you dismissed as not possible? The reason I ask is that my son would want to do things that I thought were clearly NOT doable. The problem was that I underestimated how much he would try to do something he wanted to do. Are there volunteer opportunities where you live? A lot of families at support group said that was how they got their child back to work. They started by doing volunteer work just a few hours each week.


Hi @Believing, I really understand the problem. My daughter should be able to do some work, has had many part time jobs and likes having money, but she is not interested in finding another job since losing her last one in July. I wish she got SSI, I am going to have to face the music and apply for her. I have tried to hire two attorneys to do it, but they say since she is unmedicated that she won’t be approved and didn’t take her case. Oh gosh. But, my daughter and I are getting along much better than last year.


Not sure how you can apply to SSI for her unless you have guardianship.
to have Guardianship, you must prove to the court hat she is a danger to herself and others OR Gravely disabled. the family lawyer would help you on this.
I think gravely disabled means that she can’t take of her basis needs but if someone is caring for, then she cannot be gravely disabled.

well, since you are getting along with her, she may listen to you and try to continue applying for jobs or take a course to improve her skills…


I understand. No lawyer has yet wanted to help with either guardianship or disability. She is in that funny stage of not being a danger to herself or others, not gravely disabled, but not functional or sensible about life beyond her personal food, clothing, entertainment… I am trying to get her to agree to apply online and at least start the application with me. Then she will hopefully meet with someone if/when the time comes. If I threw her out of the house, maybe she would sink into gravely disabled, but I believe she would end up one of the homeless in the woods around me being raped/getting pregnant, abused, etc. There is a terrible fear when the MI person is a young, pretty woman.

She never applies for a job, I find it for her by explaining that she is “special needs” and talks to invisible people all of the time. Some have been willing to hire her, but she has an angry episode or two, and that ends things after a few months or as short as a week. I wish she would take a course…


you are a good mother and god bless you for taking care of her. keep doing what you are doing. never throw her out on streets…
Look into clozarine/Clozapine. it may be the answer for her. it is an effective medicine for MI.
Also Invega-sustena monthly shots may help her with the appropriate dose.
is she a med-complaint?


It took about two and a half years of stability and a push from my family member’s treatment team for some motivation to return.

This is one part that we can’t really help with. As parents, motivating adult children who have these illnesses is simply not up to us. There are many other ways to be supportive and someday motivation might return.


Some people on medication can return to work and some people on medication still cannot. It isn’t because they are not physically capable of working but it is usually because work entails a certain level of stress that most of us can deal with on a day to day basis, but for those dealing with sz and other illnesses the meds aren’t always enough to handle the stress that the ill person feels day to day outside of their normal comfort zone, which is usually home. Lack of motivation in and of itself is one of sz negative symptoms and the one that usually gets more so with age.


Similar situation with my brother.
He lives on his own.
He talks about wanting to have a good job, be in better shape, start a relationship, but he is hesitant to commit to a plan to get himself there.
I think that a lot of Sz/SzA can be seen or heard. There are a lot of “negative symptoms” or those that aren’t observable and hard to identify, like feeling anxiety and ect…
Rather than push the “get a job” mantra (which I know you are doing your best not to be overbearing), maybe there is a chance he might benefit more from one-on-one therapy, or group activities that take place outside the home.


Thank you so much @CAAR2016 for your reply to my post.

No, she is not compliant to meds. She was actually that way pre-psychosis: never saw doctors for most of her life, she is 34 now, and never took drugs legal or illegal. I cannot get her to see any doctor of any type unless Baker Acted, which I have done 4 times.


Baker Acted means involuntarily commitment… Correct?
if you did Involuntarily committed her then she must had taking Antiphyscotic med?
I mean if she was in Hospital setting, then would they had given her an injection or oral meds?


Yes, Baker Act means involuntarily commitment. 3 times they put her on drugs, but each time she was released from the hospital, she didn’t continue them. She is 34 years old and she cannot be forced to take drugs outside of the hospital if she chooses not to take them because she is not dangerous to self or others nor gravely disabled. That is the law in my state.


I understand what you are saying. I have been in a similar situation with my son. I force him at least twice and he would come back home and not take his medicine. I got the guardianship in my State and still not able to force him on medicine. I was able to take him to ER but they would not keep him longer than a day then release him since he took medicine with them.
he is now under Conservatorship and in a Rehabilitation Facility in CA… he is little better and still trying to land on the right medicine to get him more stable…


He keeps calling me to get him out of the rehabilitation but I am too far away and I do not think I can do anything now
He must get stable on the right meds. and attend consistently group therapy and take a blood test so they can release him to lower level of care like residential treatment center.
I tell you it is hard seeing him uncomfortable where he is. I visited him last month.
but it is a lot better than last year where I was desperately looking for him and didn’t to know where he was.

Praying’s for God’s grace for all of us during this holiday season…


Yes, you are correct. Although anti-psychotics are not foolproof and have side effects, I believe that it is better than living life psychotic. You are right to leave him in the home, although I do understand it is very hard to know he is not happy. Try to imagine yourself looking back at today from a year in the future, where perhaps he is a functional adult on the right medication, taking part in therapy, with a job, a life and a family.

Many state laws are NOT supportive of a family member trying to help their loved one, but once in “the System” sometimes the MI person can be helped.


You are right my friend.
they say psychotic episode gets better with age.
I am hoping your daughter will do better as time goes and possibly take herbal supplements.
they say music can help. does she like to listen to music?


Yes, she listens to music. Her room is pretty set up for her, TV, stereo, cell phone, desk, chair, art supplies, fridge, microwave, hot plate, heater (she gets cold easy). She has her own back door, and pretty much exclusive use of the hallway bathroom next door to her room. We are building a hallway wall to block her end of the hallway off for either her to cut our noise out or us to cut her noise out. It’s not a bad arrangement.

We went to the thrift store today, she found two sweaters she liked, rather quickly. She did sort of verbally assault a couple sets of customers with her strange conversation directed at them, but pretty much they just walked away. I informed the cashier that she is a bit “disturbed” so if anyone complains to just find me. The cashier was fine and the other customers just avoided her. Worked out OK, but of course I would prefer if there was no psycho babble as my husband calls it. She actually talked to me in the car about her past job and how the security guards were wrong to fire her (that was almost 3 years ago now). I asked her if she wanted me to help her find another job and she just said, “I’ll just go to a homeless shelter when you pass away.” Wow, that was a first statement of that kind. She called herself autistic a few times, and I asked if she wanted to see a lawyer to maybe get government help for her, and she said no. But that was more conversation about real problems than she’s had with me in months.


good setup. you and your husband did a good job. I am sure he is Comfortable.
Good that she opening up her heart and sharing her thoughts with you. Shel is already thinking long term what will happens with her after long long time… she is really thinking!!
As I understand for her to get Governmental help, she must be on medicine to qualify…


Thank you for your compliment @CAAR2016 It was my husband’s idea to remodel the house as needed to give her a good set up. He is very supportive of her, but the unmedicated psychosis is draining on him. He is her step-father and when we married, neither of us expected to be caring for a MI adult child in our home. We were together only 5 years when she became ill and came to our home (which home I wouldn’t have if it weren’t for my marriage to him, I’d be in a tiny apartment).

Yes, I was very surprised to hear her thoughts today. But yes, she is thinking!! And expressing some heavy thoughts. That is quite a change for the better. Thanks for pointing that out to me.

As far as government help goes, I am afraid to apply for her if she doesn’t want the help and if she isn’t medicated… It would help me for her to get money monthly, as our family is actually at poverty level, and we qualify for Obamacare. Our only asset is this house, and the rental income we get from the back apartment, without that, even my job wouldn’t support us. It would be great if she got social security and I didn’t have to buy everything for her. But, it is what it is. I’ve become an expert thrift store shopper and I even go to food pantries monthly. There are sooooo many pantries in this metro area.


I think you should focus on getting her SS benefits. I understand that she needs to see a doctor, and won’t. But maybe you can pitch it to her as a way to get money. Is there anything she needs/wants that you can use as an incentive?

Or you can put it to her this way: if she got SS benefits she could contribute much needed income to the household.

And tell your daughter that once established w SS, she can go back to work and continue to get benefits. You can earn a certain amount per month, and still get SS payments.

Keep dropping hints. Hopefully, your daughter will eventually agree.