Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Cockroaches ! What would you do?

Has anyone had a loved one that actually encouraged bugs in their living space? My son is very isolated, and I think the bugs have become his buddies. Any ideas on how to gently convince him they are not pets, and actually a health hazard?


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I would try to clean everything really well and then, no clue…

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Yes delusions can take ALL forms, my son collected a shoe box of all assorted creepy crawlies that he wanted to keep, I got rid of them FAST! I let things slide with my son if what he was doing was harmless but in a case that involves disease carrying bugs (that can also spread to neighbors and visitors) my approach would be just make things right (whether he likes it or not) and get rid of the bugs, it’s a health and safety concern so non negotiable.


Maybe, get him a pet? Like a cat or dog ( not bugs😀).


We have been cleaning the old RV for the past three days… thousands of critters! I do think they were companions for him.

Fresh start in a new location, and he has already left out food and water for them. Have preventative measures in place. Will require greater accountability this time, with regular checks of his living environment.

Trying to join with him and will try to encourage a relationship with a stray kitty that hangs around his new home. Bringing kitty treats with us on our next visit.

Thanks for your responses! We are eight years into this journey and still feel like there are so many challenges we have never faced before. Appreciate your help.


YES! Cat or dog.
This is a serious health hazard.


The pet option is probably a good idea for companionship. However, my son found a stray puppy two years ago, and not only have I become my son’s caregiver, but I’m also the primary caretaker for his puppy. The love the puppy shows him, and the love and affection he shows back to the puppy are WORTH it!! When he is holding his dog, I see glimpses of what my son was like prior to the illness taking over. My son does not like to be alone, so when I do have to leave him, his dog is there as his companion. I definitely think the puppy came into our lives for a reason because he has been such a blessing.


I have a cat and she has been very good for me, and she’s very easy to take care of. I take care of her myself. She loves tuna and milk the most, and I feed her some dry cat food, too, to keep her teeth healthy and strong. She’s great.


This. is. Incredible. Thanks for sharing your heart-warming story.

Awesome, Wes! Thanks for sharing your experience! Bless you and your kitty.

Kind of random, but this reminded me of Joe’s Apartment - it’s a movie.

It’s a comedy & Joe doesn’t have a mental illness, but maybe if you watch it, it’ll add some humor to the situation, in your mind if nowhere else.

I second the idea of a pet. We have lots of animals.
Cats are probably the easiest to take care of. Dogs probably take the most effort.
Caring for the local stray is a great idea because he wouldn’t have to bother with the litter box. That’s really the only thing about a cat that takes much effort.

Our latest project is fish - lots to learn there, but we’re figuring it all out on small tank & have only had one casualty so far.

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Thanks for your thoughtful reply! Appreciate your kindness.

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@coco - Did you have your son select the dog or just bring one home for him? I’ve been curious if this will work with my son, however, I won’t be able to get one for a few years due to living in a condo.

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My son was driving down a country road late one night, and the puppy just ran out in front of him. He stopped his truck (thankfully without hitting the poor dog), and decided to take him back to his apartment with him. The puppy had obviously been living on his own for quite some time. At first I was totally against adopting him, but when I saw the connection he was able to make with my son, I knew he needed to be part of our family. I definitely think it was not a coincidence that his path crossed my son’s. :slight_smile:


@coco That is quite the story! A good one! Does your son walk the dog? Or do you do most of the care?


I would recommend a dog versus a cat. Dogs are very loyal and can be trained to recognize or alert in certain situations. I would swear our chow retriever mix Max knows when Libby is having an episode. It’s the only time he doesn’t wake me in the middle of the night scratching to get out. Just be very careful the type of dog (no aggressive types like pitbulls etc). Certain breeds require more than others. Labradors and retrievers make excellent pets. My son has a Westie he adores.

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