Dealing with a mom with paranoid schizophrenia


Maybe listen to her, but don’t listen to her, if that makes sense.

You know she’s sick, and you know it’s the illness talking. So, maybe it would help you to treat her like people treat Alzheimer’s patients (because it really is a lot like that). Just go along with what she says, say a lot of things like “yes, I know”, “I’ll work on that”, “I’m sorry you feel that way”, “that’s too bad”, etc and just let it roll over you, in one ear and out the other, and don’t take it to heart.

After all, you can’t talk her out of her thoughts. Maybe, at some point, they’ll get her some medication that works, her mind will clear and you guys can enjoy your time together again.

I would, however, guard my son closely from having to hear anything like you hear. He doesn’t need that at all.


Thank you so much for your replies. I completely agree with guarding my son. I have the guilt that I want them to have a relationship but I’m going to get him to write to her instead, I just cannot risk him hearing the nastiness. I’ve had to change my home phone number because of the constant phone calls Day and night. She’s got my mobile number but I can choose when to answer it and it doesn’t disturb us at night. The hospital has my home number so can always get in touch with me. I think one of the hardest parts is that there’s no good times. When I go out to see her and to talk to her doctors she just tells me to clear off and that I’m a waste of space which hurts like hell but I am trying to let it wash over me and I think I am actually getting there.
Thank you so much for letting me rant, I’ve needed a good rant for a long time. I am very lucky knowing that she is safe in hospital. Thank you for ‘listening’.


I know I’m late replying to this post, but I just made an account on this website for the sole purpose of replying to this.

My mom suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and has damaged many people in her life (my father committed suicide), although she’s always had a lot of affection for me, although as I’ve gotten older I’ve had to disconnect from her several times. I’m 19, a college freshman and Psychology major, and was put into foster care when I was 14 but have tried my best to have some sort of relationship with my mom ever since.

I don’t know what to tell you or what to say except that I understand and I’m so relieved that someone else understands, too. Thank you and know that you’re in my thoughts.


My foster mom made me swear to her that I would never allow my mother to be alone with my children whenever I have them - don’t feel guilty if you have to guard your child from a toxic relationship.


Thank you so much for this I thought I had protected my little boy quite well but, after my last trip over to see my mum, he became very clingy with me and didn’t want to see his friends outside of school or be anywhere without me. (He didn’t come with me, I had a phone call saying she’d gone downhill and I got the first plane I could, I’m a single mum so he stayed with his grandad) I’ve really cut down on his phone conversations with my mum and the change in him is amazing. I hadn’t realised the impact on him and thought I was doing the right thing keeping contact. I wasn’t. He needs stability and, through no fault of her own, my mum confuses him and scares him. He writes her letters and is happy with that. Schizophrenia is hard for adults to understand, for children it’s impossible. Thinking of you.


Hello paper. My mom was paranoid sc. My father told me about her illness when I was 11. She was on meds and went to a physiatrist every month. The meds only calmed her. She was always paranoid. She was always telling me she heard people and to keep the drapes closed. It was very sad to see as she was a very loving mother. I am sorry yours is angry. Does she go to cornicing or to a physiatrist or get help? I found in my own way of dealing with my mom when she was paranoid was to just either ignore her or just say ok mom and then go about my business. I learned to get a very hard outer core around her. Back in the day mental illness was taboo. I was told not to tell anyone about her. At least you have this support group to talk to and might I add, why don’t you talk to your doctor as well? I am not sure where you live? If in Canada, doctos can help you find support for you and her.


I am in my early 40’s and have a mother who has had schizophrenia since she was 17. My mom lived with her mother most of her life but when my gram (mom’s mom) passed several years ago, my mom moved in with me and my husband. It’s been such a difficult journey and she is consistently non-compliant with her meds. We’re having issues finding a medication that works well with her. She’s tried Clorazil numerous times but even that (known as the last resort medicine) does not seem to be effective. My mom is just over 65 and we’re searching for something that will work and keep her stable. She’s in a facility right now and they are going to try Thorazine. Does anyone have elderly parents who is or has tried this particular medication?

I also tend to blame myself for her illness - not sure why, but anytime I express my anger or frustration about her non-compliance with meds, I feel terrible after the fact.


Hi Kenna
Never never blame yourself! My mom was paronoid sz. I found out when my dad told me at the age of 11. My mom passed away when she was 64, due to heart and emphasima. It was a long hard life to be living with her. Meds didn’t always work. The mental education has come along way since then. We are talking 19 years ago when she passed. As long as your mom has a doctor I am sure with her willingness to get meds and your help things will work out. I wish you the best. It is hard to watch any love one suffer. My son is 22 and is showing signs of it now. :frowning: One day at a time!


Thanks, Treema, I greatly appreciate your support! One day at a time is indeed important. I just recently come to the conclusion that my mother’s condition does not need to take over my entire life. Every time that she would go into the hospital, I would become a bit compulsive about getting answers when in reality, there may not be any answers. Over the past few weeks, I’ve made an informed decision to not talk about her condition during the work hours unless absolutely needed, and I let it roll off of me every time she hangs up on me, which is often because she does not understand why I want her to take her meds.

Hang in there about your son. Offering him all of your love and keeping him safe is the most important. Take care and happy to listen anytime you want to talk.


It is very hard when we have to deal with mental illness and we are the healthy ones and we know what we can do for our loved ones and they just don’t want to listen :frowning: Anytime you want to post to me you are more than welcome. I am very very happy that you have come to the conclusion that your moms life can’t take over your life. It is very important to have a good life for yourself and enjoy it. Oh there will be a point when she will blame you for everything too I am sure if she hasn’t done any of that yet. My mom was on meds and she took everything out she could on me. She would tell me things like my boyfriends or husbands hated me and she has seen them fooling around on me. “All part of the mental illness” it hurt when I was young but when I got older I knew it was just her mental illness she never would have hurt me intentionally. Try and put a stone wall in a sense when it comes to your mom. It helps live with it all. I find it was easier to deal with my mom with sz than with my son. My son has many things happening. Depression/anxiety/we have seen the sz, maybe bipolar. BUt now it is alcohol addiction as wll. He has been working, which is great but he is drinking daily after work til he passes out. So so sad.My mom had a period of 10 years she drank as well. I hate to say it but when she passed away life was easier. But now I don’t ever wish thison my son. He has so many years to do he is 22. Support and love.One day at a time. :slight_smile: .


Dear Jcar you are not alone. Tears run down my eyes reading your Message. Exactly your very experience i am going through. I am mentally drained. For 30years now, i have suffered from my mum’s illness. Things gut worse 3years ago as her mum died.


I’m so sorry you’re going through the same. I wish I could say things are better now but it’s the same rollercoaster. Thankfully my mum is in a lovely care home now, it’s a very small place with 10 residents and the most lovely and caring team who work there. In that way we’re very lucky. I’ve stopped dreaming of our happy ending. Instead I’m thinking of ways to cope and cherishing the good times which is so hard as there are so few of them.
I hope today is a good day for you. Thinking of you❤️