Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Dealing with a mom with paranoid schizophrenia

My mom has paranoid schizophrenia. She seems to be very angry with me for keeping silence at home and keep to myself. She thinks I am hostile towards her. But when I try to be friendly and talk to her, she respond coldly.
Very fearful of her anger, fearful that she might be provoked and get worse, at the same time, can’t do anything about it. Has tried to be friendly, but in vain.Always living in fear, or trying to earn love, or trying to calm her. Had live like this for 26 years


My mom’s a psychopath, I can’t say I completely relate, but I do know what it’s like to have parents with extreme conditions that separate them from you. One of my cousins’ mom has paranoid schizophrenia as well, since it runs in the side of my family. You can never really change them. They’ll always be like that and controlling or overprotective. The distaste for social relationships is common with those who have it. The best thing I can suggest is to maybe get her to seek help in order to mend your relationship. I can tell you really love her and are upset about the way she has treated you all this time.

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So sorry that your mom has this illness. My humble suggestion is to get help for yourself with a professional, not because you are not coping well enough but because with an unbiased, professional perspective you can not only get support for yourself , but you can get help deciding how to move forward, how to care for yourself and still decide how to set healthy boundaries with your mom and have a relationship with her in some way that does not leave you feeling fearful and depleted. I only recommend this because it is working for me, with my son and my sister, Everyone is very different in how they cope, it’s up to you. I wish you the best and I hope your mom gets or is getting professional help as well.


Thank you so much Doctor for spending time to reply to me. It is a relief to know that someone truly understand what is it like to have a schizophrenic mom, for I can’t share with my friends, they have not been through it, they don’t understand.
The fear, the guilt feeling that whether I have been the bad child to cause her to treat me in this way, the scolding and hostility showed towards me openly in front of all my relatives(my father gets it too ) that cause those relatives to believe her and have a negative opinion of me, the effort of trying to earn love, of trying to understand her and to support her but fail, exhaustion, despair,depression, continue to try , etc…
She is under medication, sadly the medication and keep the disease under control, but it can’t cure her. Hallucination comes occasionally but not serious. Delusion remains there unchanged.
So grateful for your reply. Thank you!

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Thank you so much Catherine for spending time to reply. I feel relief to get advice from someone who have truly been through it and understand exactly how I feel. Glad to know that there is a method that works.
She is under medication, but that can’t cure her. Hallucination comes occasionally and delusion remaind unchanged.
Thank you so much for your advice and reply . Really grateful for it.

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I know what you mean and I’m very sorry to hear that. I hope that perhaps one day she will have a change of heart and sees what’s she’s been doing to you and to herself. hugs

Thanks Doctor. I hope one day she will agree to go for counselling or psychoterapy, and be aware and understand her illness.

Anytime and me too. :slight_smile:

I’m very open about my son’s health issues - because I truly believe it shouldn’t be treated any different than if he had diabetes or cancer or anything else.

And, I find that many people have a story and do understand.

I don’t always pop out the SZ word at first, and he’s not officially diagnosed with that anyway, but I’ll say he has health problems, then if they ask more, I’ll explain. People are usually more comfortable with psychotic depression (he does get diagnosed with that now & then) or severe bipolar (what I think he might really have), but if someone else says SZ, then I’ll say that too (because that could be it too - people have mentioned it, but no pdoc will write it down.)

The story I have that relates most to you is with my hairdresser. I recently saw my old hairdresser (she had quit to have kids) in a salon we go to and she asked about my son - she cut his hair when he was a pre-schooler, early elementary.

I started to explain, and she said, I know just what you mean. My mom had really bad bipolar and when we went to the mall as kids, we never knew if she was going to buy something or start to strip off all her clothes.

Same with a nurse practitioner we’re very friendly with at my husband’s orthopedic doctor’s office. She was practically crying one day and said she knew us so well she felt she could talk about it. Her mother had just died and she went into how hard life had been with her because of untreated bipolar. She didn’t know about our son at the time, but we went into it a little bit so she’d be more comfortable.

Just wanted to say you’re not alone, but people don’t know who they can talk about it with. I’m betting you come across people everyday with family members with severe mental illness & you just don’t know it.

The PC word now is brain disorder, but I almost feel like I’m lying when I say it, but I’m trying.


Thank you slw for replying and letting me know that I am no alone. It’s very helpful

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I can relate to your anguish. My daughter is 33 years old and was diagnosed at 19. She has two small children aged 5 and 9. Lately her illness has gotten worse and I see how she relates to her 9 year old son. She’s angry at everyone but seeing her emotionally attack her son breaks my heart. I see how he’s hurt by her anger and words.

My daughter and her children live with me and I’m doing 90% of the child rearing. I’ve talked with my grandson about his mother’s illness and explained that her outburst has nothing to do with him but rather her illness. He comes to me for almost everything and sees his mother as incapable of caring for him and his sister. I am aggressively seeking more intervention for my daughter. My grandson, granddaughter and me are always on pins and needles knowing that my daughter is just one breath away from her emotional assaults on all of us. All three of us are coping with just staying silent and trying to stay out of her way. I am cautiously optimistic that her doctor will be able to help her. We are discussing monthly shots as part of her treatment.

I know how heartbroken you are but hang in there. I can’t say for sure that things will get better but never lose hope that things can turn around for your child. Also, this site has been a God sent for parents who see their children suffer so much from this devastating illness so keep posting and seeking support and give support to others as well. We understand.


Thank you Molly for replying. I feel comforted, having known that others suffered the emotional attack from a schizophrenic mother just like me. I used to feel that was because I was so bad and unworthy that my own mother verbally attack me in front of all my relatives, her sisters especially. And her relatives, believing her, join in to assist her in scolding me. Besides my mother’s scolding, I have to endure so many scolding and verbal assault from my relatives(mother’s side). And I felt that I have no value at all and started to think of suicide, and I fell into depression.
Only recently have I recovered partly from depression after years of therapy. But sometimes I need to talk to people who have really went through it, because they really understand. Thank you so much for your sharing.
But I still wander why schizophrenic patient like to make verbal abuse to their own child, as if he or she hate the child so much and find them disgusting? Is there a reason? I try to search in the internet but can’t find much literature or article that explain it. Is it because of delusion, that the mother sees her child as her persecutor?

Where are the kids’ father? Why isn’t he being involved?

HI paper,

I meant to write your mother and not your child. I don’t believe that your mother hates you. Your mother has an illness and one of many symptoms is rage. I feel my daughter is mad at the entire world and feel the unfairness of her illness. It isn’t fair when a person is diagnosed with schizophrenia. It does change their lives and I see my daughter looking at her friends and family members who do not have the illness and can see that they have moved on from graduating from a good college to a profession, meeting a life partner, buying a home and live the so called American dream.

Please don’t hurt yourself and be sure to seek help when those thoughts come up. You are a worthy human being – we all are and can lead a happy and productive life, just don’t give up. All of us whether we have a mental illness or not have life struggles – no one escapes hurts and hardships. Be good to yourself and surround yourself with positive people. You can do it.

The children’s father is a very sweet man but has many challenges. He’s a very high functioning schizophrenic but is addicted to drugs and lived on the streets for over a year. Just recently he was able to obtain housing. The kids see him once a week but he’s not equipped emotionally and financially to care for the children.

Oh, I’m very sorry to hear that. :sweat:

I think my mum has paranoid schizophrenia. She has always talked to herself for as long as I remember. When I was a child, she had issues with alcohol and would go to sleep around 11.30-12.00 and wake at 3 am and begin pacing up and down the hallway speaking to herself and coming into my bedroom to yell at me. She was an abusive parent at times and was extremely abusive to my father there was barely a moment where she wasn’t yelling or being aggressive. She always acted paranoid for as long as I knew her everyone was after hurting her. She once asked me if I would help murder my father and bury him in the backyard so he couldn’t “hurt” us. She always hated me for some reason I think she thought that my father and I were plotting against her so she did whatever she could to hurt me. There were instances where she was loving toward me in a way that mothers are supposed to be, but she seemed to become worse as the years went by. I now live on the other side of Australia, and I think she has become worse I feel like I have lost her completely. She messages me constantly sometimes the messages are nice, but usually, she is messaging me about how evil and sadistic I am and how I have formed a group where she lives to rape, torture, stalk and kill her and the neighbourhood children. She said if she ever saw me again that she would find people to rape and kill me. She has made many threats and expressed many bad wishes to my child as well. Its hard I don’t know what to do I love her she’s my mother but she is mentally exhausting me, and I don’t know how much longer I can take it. I was going to go and visit her, but I feel like it would be too dangerous for my family and me. I really want her to get some help, but I don’t know what to do.

Can you call the authorities and report it? You can show them the messages as evidence to get her committed. Say you feel threatened and that’s she’s a danger to society and to herself.

Hello. I hope no one minds me joining in on this. My mum is paranoid schizophrenic and the past year especially has been awful. She lives in Ireland and I’m in England and it’s been that way for about 30 years now since I was very little. She has been in and out of hospitals for a lot of that time but did get to a point where she had her own house in an assisted living community and she managed well. During that time we got as close as we’ve ever been which was good. Last August she really went downhill and short story she was detained into hospital and has been there ever since. This year has been the most emotional rollercoaster. I feel like I’ve completely lost my mother as she was and im still coming to terms with that. I’ve had abusive phone calls accusing me of everything under the sun and there’s been periods where I’ve avoided her phone calls and felt like such an evil person for doing it but I didn’t know how to deal with it. I’ve been over to see her a few times this year and come away each time feeling battered and bruised (I don’t mean physically but mentally) I’ve had to very closely monitor phone conversations with her and my 7 year old as I literally don’t know what she’s going to say next. Luckily she has a very strong northern Irish accent so if she’s started to say anything it’s not been understood by my son thankfully and I’ve been able to take the phone back. My last trip over was last week so I’m so tired at the minute after being told to die, that I’m useless and should get off my fat arse and actually do something plus plenty more that I won’t write. I love my mum but I hate schizophrenia and I’m trying so hard to separate the two. I’ve been told she’ll always be up and down like this and I need a way of coping, maybe this it, writing down everything and knowing that if anyone reads it they’ll understand. My friends try to but I don’t think it’s possible to completely get it unless you’re living with it.


Welcome to the forum. You’ll find there are plenty of people here that understand what you’re going through each day. The important thing in my opinion is to keep a sense of self and to be able to not lose yourself through all of this dealing with your mother’s illness.

I wish I could say something that would make a difference but mostly taking care of yourself I finding healthy ways to handle stress, and relating to the other loved ones in your life. My mom had a village delusional behavior at the end of her life and I can no longer talk to her about anything that would make her worry. I change the expectations that I had and I do that with my son now. Some days are better than others and just like most people he has good days and bad days. What I try to do is not put my moods or feelings onto him because he can’t deal with that very well. You are right to love your mom and and separate her from the illness.

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