Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Daughter of paranoid SZ, surviving college w/mentally ill parent


I’m in my last year of college getting my bachelors in nursing (I’m 21). My dad with paranoid schizophrenia had a severe stroke a month ago. I have been struggling in my studies knowing his health status is so low. I live 3 hours away from him and work/go to school full time. I have been reminiscing about him and missing him so much. I live on my own and haven’t seen him since I went to college at 18 yrs. He’s afraid of technology and does not know how to use computers/cellphones (he’s 65 also). He and I have been through rough spots, but he’s the only family member I have. I’m so worried about my dad. I love him so much. This is my finals week and I’m planning on seeing him at the end of the month. Any ideas about how to cope?


Hello. It sounds as if you have alot on your plate…school, independent living, work, lack of support, and an ill parent. The stress of any of those can be overwhelming. Going to school full time and working is hard enough and without parental support is much more challenging. I do hope you have some older adult friends or mentors in your life who can help. If not, I would recommend you talk to someone, maybe campus counseling or a favorite instructor. I found during times of intense stress that having a mantra like “this til shall pass” or “let go and let god” helps to calm me along with slow deep breathing. There are phone apps like Calm and others that can help you in 2-3 minutes with mindfulness training. If your father has a caregiver or nurse, I would reach out to them and see if you can get permission to speak with them about your fathers health. There is not much that you can do to change your fathers situation but you can get help for yourself so that your mental health doesn’t suffer. Certain supplements and vitamins may be helpful in calming your nervous system and protecting your brain too. My 23 year old has sz and is in college too. He and his younger brother both take Omega 3 supplements for brain health and I used to give them Magnesium for calming the nervous system…they didn’t really like the taste and stopped using them and I didn’t fight them on it cuz they both have prescription medication too and as long as they take that…Im good☺. Please let us know how you’re doing. Wishing you well.


Focus on yourself, complete your education, secure stable employment, then worry about him…


Hello, I hope you are doing well. As a parent, I can tell you 100% for sure that I would want my child to succeed in his or her chosen field. Everything you do to make a good life for yourself, you are basically doing for your father. He will be proud and happy to know all you have accomplished.

It’s hard to do what you are doing even in the best circumstances. I hope you will take excellent care of yourself and seek counseling or other support if you feel you need to.

You will be with your father very soon and the time with him will be better when you know you have done your work and can really focus on spending time with him.

I would send a little care package with a pretty card and a note saying “I love you. See you soon.”


College can be so stressful as a “typical” brained person. I cannot even imagine having to stress about college while also battling with SZ everyday. Even though I do not know him, I am so proud of him. His degree means so much. He can do this! You must be so proud as a mom. Thank you for your kind words and suggestions on supplements. I read up on a lot of neuro anti-inflammatory and pro-neurotransmission supplements/Foods. The National Institute of Health (NIH) dissmenitates the latest medical research in supplements through The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Most of the non regulated websites reccomending supplements to the public (i.e. this site) get their information from the research done by the NIH. The best way to get the latest research in supplementation and many other medical concerns is to keep up with the primary research. (If you google NIH or NCBI you can get to their website). I personally take krill oil w/astazanthin (gel capsules), vit D (capsules), and fermented cod liver oil (a/d vit) (liquid form) in the morning. At night I take magnesium capsules (no taste). Everyone is an individual when it comes to supplementation . A nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory diet w/ individualized supplementation can make a big difference in lives of people with inflammation/chemical imbalances of the brain and the body. It is a long journey to discover what your body and brain needs. Everyone is different. I’m glad you’re bieng so proactive!


If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been told this, I’d be a millionaire :wink:


Thank you so much! I think the care package/little gift is a great idea!


Your dad must be so proud of you! As a parent, I assure you, he wants you to finish school and to be your very best. Yes, it may be hard to see the changes that have taken place, but as I always tell the students I work with - try to trust the path. Many times it seems painful or to make no sense, but try to trust the path. Do what you do with great love and I believe things do work out. Best wishes to you and to your dad. Happy Holidays!


I want to trust in the journey. Thank you!