Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

@Caregivers of Schizophrenics: Do you ever feel like you are negatively affecting a schizophrenic's voices?


#1

I usually don’t feel like they are unless they are doing something I really don’t like…

What is your experience?

thanks


#2

No, I don’t think that I do. When my son is experiencing voices then he is experiencing voices.


#3

Sometimes if someone is giving me a heard time then my voices act up… but it is probably because my anger excites it somehow


#4

Sorry my previous answer was a little short sounding :blush:

I can see why someone upsetting you could cause the voices to act up. Sometimes it is hard for a caregiver to not cause stress when they think they are doing what is best. Usually with my son the anger is just beneath the service anyways so I don’t think that I directly caused it.


#5

whats this quote mean?


#6

I typo’d… service should have said surface.

The anger is just beneath the surface.


#7

My kid sister is my care taker and she doesn’t affect my voices. Stress does. Now if your care taker is negative and not supportive and that causes you stress and anger, that could really amp up your voices.

But my care taker, Aka My kid sis doesn’t cause my voices to increase or decrease. I’m sort of learning that I do that. I control my voices. Not my care takers.


#8

oh, okay. thanks for the clarification. my mom made me a punching bag (lol) if I use it enough I might upgrade to a nicer one (buy one from a store) lol


#9

sounds pretty sweet… I have people looking after me too.

I also like returning the favors


#10

Very cool :smile: I would love to get my son a punching bag but we live in a apartment so no room and neighbors would probably hate it lol


#11

its cool I am usually nice to my punching bag lol


#12

I paused at what you said about your son -the anger is just beneath the surface…I was married to the love of my life until this problem of his anger being always just beneath the surface destroyed our relationship. He always talked about the pain he was always in emotionally. He drank constantly or was passed out from it. I know it sounds ridiculous to be in love with someone who has extreme addictions, but I did not know about them until we married after dating for nine months -(he drank a beer every once in a while, but was never drunk in that time around me).

Everything I am reading about on this support sight rings so true with him. The out of control rages, the drugs and drinking, the paranoia. The violence that came so easily. There were so many “normal” and good times in the beginning. But after he got comfortable and the reality of supporting a family sinked in, I noticed his personality change over time. It was like he was slipping down a slippery slope a little at a time, which he desperately wanted to not do, but the power over him was unmistakable. He got really bad with stressful situations and became a different person lost in himself when the violence took over. After years of this behavior, i finally packed up the kids and left and did not leave a forwarding address. The last time I saw him I was running for my life with our two little ones. But I can’t forget the way he looked and that what was coming out of his mouth did not make any sense to me. He talked like I wasn’t a person at all and I had to be destroyed. This all makes sense to me now. In his quieter moments he was calm, but sort of withdrawn and in a weird world of his own. I just thought it was a genetic personality quirk like his dad had. Does anyone know why such a sickness manifests in a person?


#13

I think my mom could probably have related to your story very well. My father is passed now so can’t diagnose but I see the similarities. I don’t think my father had schizophrenia but certainly some type of psychosis/mood disorder. Although paranoia coming out with alcohol could be the alcohol. It sounds like he may have become an alcoholic. My father was. I always say that anger is a safe emotion. Which is sad because it hurts so many people.

No one knows for sure what causes this disorder. A lot of hypothesis or unproved theories. Not enough is known about the brain, yet. Why some succumb and some don’t? I don’t know. Why my son has it but my daughter or I don’t? I don’t know.

Welcome to the forum :smile:


#14

I agree with you BarbieBF. The anger is already there. I hear my sign other at night talking to himself or the voices and you should hear the derragatory things coming out of his mouth. Mostly about me as if he hates my guts. I often lay there in wonderment and eventually I will question him about the things he mentioned and he blatently denies them. He has a lot of anger inside and it has always been there.


#15

My son does not hear voices. I have asked him several times and I’m pretty sure he’s telling me the truth when he says no.


#16

if that’s true, you and your son are lucky. I hope it remains that way for your son.


#17

My daughter doesn’t hear voices but my daughter’s partner does, however he is very high functioning – is able to work and do a lot things on his own without being told. He has a high degree of self initiative. Sometimes my son-in-law doesn’t take his medication and I can always tell when he hasn’t – he becomes very quiet and stops taking showers and wears dirty clothes days on end. When my daughter notices it she asks him if he is hearing voices and he tells her yes. She then gets out his medicine and asks him to please take it. His voices are always present but without medication they become loud, mean and demanding and it scares him because the voices tell him to kill himself. With medication his voices are just murmurs and he doesn’t really know what they are saying. I asked him if he would ever harm himself and he tells me no. He told me he’s heard voices since he was around 5 years old and at first they were entertaining and he thought everybody heard voices. Also, his voices have grown up with him. As a boy there was one voice who was a little boy like him and now the little boy is his age and he also has a voice that is old and it’s the old voice who makes demands on him.


#18

Yes i do because they r telling him bad things about me now. My son an i used to be close an now he says im not his mom an im doing bad things to him. Which is not true at all. I’m trying to help him.


#19

EXACTLY.

I’m a dad of a sz 24-year old. Stress has an effect on the voices regardless of where – or who the stress comes from.

This site has helped me understand:

My son is MUCH more stressed out by everything. That’s normal for his condition. His responses are often ‘over the top’. Ok. Getting meds right takes time. Meanwhile, I have to LISTEN closely to what he is saying and FILTER OUT his tone of voice – and never make him wrong about his feelings.

How I try to reduce stress

If he is upset and uses profanity over the phone, I will say, “When you can talk to me without cussing, call me back.” I hang up. He then calls back in a minute and apologizes: “I’m sorry. I was angry.”

KEY:
I say (in a nice tone of voice), “I understand completely. I know you feel things more intensely. Just keep practicing to keep a lid on it.”

It takes repetition for both of us to adjust

He may slip again. But often he will say he’s sorry during the conversation so I say, “No worries. Keep practicing! I’m right there with you.”

I truly forgive

Then I HOLD NO GRUDGE whatsoever. I start over with a clean slate. He learns that he is safe and forgiven when I come back to discussing what he wants to discuss.


#20

Society hasn’t helped us with our situations.

Negative talk is the “go-to” usual reaction we caregivers often have. It’s a bad habit that society hands us. That’s our mistake. Every cell in my body wants to say, “Take your meds so you don’t go manic! You need these meds so you aren’t a jerk.” :frowning:

Instead, I have to keep a lid on my own anger and frustration. I have to release my own cynicism.

I try to say “the perfect end result.”

“These medications will keep you out of the hospital. I appreciate it when you take them.”

I have to “reframe” his dialog as words, not tone. Ramping up the anger doesn’t help.

I try to say what I want, not what I DON’T want.

I want him to stay out of the hospital.
I want a calm conversation.
I want us to be happy.
I want him to feel safe to talk to me.
I want him to know I’m on his side, not judging him.
I want him to know I know he has fears and challenges.

“I appreciate it when you …”
“I think that’s pretty cool that you …”
“You have talent, and being balanced is great so you can …”
“I am happy when you …”

I state my boundary, and then I state what I want:

“I don’t tolerate cussing. I’ll be happy when you call back and talk calmly.”
“You seem off-balance today. I appreciate it when you take your meds.”
“Please clean up your tobacco. It will stain the couch. Thank you for helping.”
“Please turn off your speakers. I need my sleep. I feel better with good rest.”

Caregivers learn a new language, and that’s a good thing.

We have to adapt – and look below the surface and hear the truth you are saying. If you are going through a time of being impaired, we caregivers must “keep a lid” ON OUR OWN IMPAIRMENT of over-reacting! :sunny: