First off, I am very thankful to have found this website. I truly have felt there is no help anywhere and hope this will be what I have been looking for. Our son is 36 years old and has progressively gotten worse within the last year. We have not seen him since last Thanksgiving. He is very angry with us because we gently approached him that he may need some help. He is in complete denial that anything is wrong, but he is very, very bad. He is accusing us of child abuse, calling us horrible names, using foul language, accusations of deviant sexual behavior (orgies, etc), telling us to to tie a millstone around our neck and drown ourselves, hoping we suffer and burn in hell and on and on. It is very frightening. He does not ever say he will hurt us directly or hurt himself (and we know these are the key words to get help), but we are still frightened he may hurt us because the level of hate is so high and escalating. He says we adopted him, he says we killed his sister and had her cloned and her current self is not really her. He says he can do astral projections and something called “heglian dilectial” something or other which I have no idea what is is. He is very obsessed with religiosity (we are believers, but he takes it to another level entirely). He is very much into condemning everyone else to hell and giving himself a pass. He and I were very close and it is so shocking to hear him call me the awful names he does, including a f****** c***.
In the past, there were strange behaviors. He had been married, but became too controlling and it ended in divorce. He was, however, up until a year ago able to maintain relationships with us and be in control. I mentioned we hadn’t seen him since last Thanksgiving and did not know what changed. We saw a counselor and she asked if he had been “dabbing” which I had never heard of but I asked him and he admitted it. (A very high concentration of marijuana). I think this might have sent him over the edge, but I don’t know which came first, the mental illness or the drug use. Marijuana and alcohol are the only substances he has ever used and it began around age 14/15.
He has been to rehab as in inpatient and an outpatient on two different occasions. I have read the book “I’m not sick, I don’t need help”, have been in touch with NAMI and have seen a counselor. In the past, I have called the police. It seems there is no help. I do not know where to go from here. I am very concerned he may hurt others or his family. I don’t think he will hurt himself. He seems to have a very strong sense of self preservation. He does not live with us but in a condo that we provide for him. He is clearly unable to work and we fully support him. One of the counselors we saw suggested we cut him off and let him live on the street, but I do not think this is a good option.
I apologize for the length of this post. There is, of course, much, much more to the story but I would so appreciate any advise or any suggestion on where we go from here. He sends hateful, foul nasty texts for 1-4 hours per day or any time of night. Should we ignore him entirely or watch to see if the threats escalate? He has threatened to go to places that we frequent (social and business) and hold up signs saying what bad evil people we are. I don’t care too much about this, because the people that know us know it isn’t true, but I do worry about him.
Hi @Trixie12 — There isn’t anything you can say or do that will make a difference in terms of how your son is behaving, however, it is important to set boundaries. Keep trying to speak to him and connect with him, but disengage when he is rude & offensive. Tell him that is not appropriate and that you are going to hang up, and then do so. Do not respond to hate filled texts or emails, other than to say that it is hurtful and you will not engage on this level. Stear towards something neutral and real if you can, when he is going on about a delusion. Feel free to say “that’s nonsense”. As for trying to convince him to get help, I’m not sure that will be effective but I will let others respond that have more experience here. You can try asking him how he feels and whether he felt better before, and whether he might consider speaking to someone — but most likely he doesn’t realize he is ill and needs treatment, so he will continue to believe the problems lie with everyone else. You could also offer to drop off a meal. Depending on how it goes, you might be able to do that more often and build up some trust. Best wishes and good luck.
I once told my daughter she could write a best selling book with all the stories that she comes up with, I was told I was a clone and so was our cat. And all she wanted was her family back, Very interesting stories and been called the bad names also at first I would cry then I would get angry, then I would want to give up. After a while I just started ignoring the her comments like that and would not react to her behavior and it seems like it ended sooner. If she could not get me riled up to fight or cry it seems she would just give up also. Maybe talk to a lawyer to find out what you can do. He would be homeless and not be able to support himself if it were not for you taking care of him.
So wouldn’t that make you his guardians. Keep his texts he sends you and or messages and play them. Tell him if he does not get treatment he will not be allowed to live there anymore. I tell you this but I know I would have a hard time doing it myself but unless something drastic is done he may only continue to get more delusional and who knows what could happen. So sorry all of you are going through this. I like reading so if you need to do a few pages I have not problem. I just don’t have the best spelling or punctuations my self though.
Thank you so much for your comments. Any advice feels so helpful as I have had nowhere to go or anyone to offer anything. It was very reassuring to hear your advise that telling him certain words are inappropriate and to not respond as that is what we have been doing. I do still try and reach out but the conversation deteriorates very, very quickly (less than 2 minutes) into accusations and name calling. I used to try reasoning but it does not work. It is a very hard habit to break because he used to be able to see it. It is a good reminder to steer to something neutral (i.e., his cats, cooking, music). This also used to work and not so much anymore, but I will keep trying. He absolutely does not realize he is ill, at least so he says. I find it hard to believe because it seems he surely must know since he has no friends, no contacts, no job and is so hateful and angry, but apparently this is a common theme I am reading. Also, it is interesting how you mentioned, “ttt1” that your daughter called you a clone as well. Our son also says “where is my family”. It is so strange that they have the same theme. And it does seem he wants to get me worked up or cry and as soon as I do he mocks me for it. The attorney is a good idea. Our daughter suggested it as well and I think is our next step. I am not sure how we will even approach him as I do not think he will come to his door, but I guess we cross that bridge when we get there.
It is helpful and discouraging at the same time to read so many stories. Sadly, there seem to be very few good endings. My husband and I were just talking this morning about how it looks like this will be our life until we die. It is just brutal. I so feel for every person here living this.
At some point, may be you are or your are not, at that point yet, we have to come to accept that we have done a lot and there is nothing else we can do. That there is nothing else that you can say to him that would make him change. Support him from distance. Do not engage in the same arguments or conversations over and over again. Ask him how he is doing, if is there is anything he needs, and walk out. It is very good that he has his own place. Keep it like that. May be at some point he would get in trouble with the law and he would get treatment that way. But you have to take care of yourself and not self-destroy. This is a long journey.
Hi @Trixie12 - You can’t change his behavior. I am also dealing with a similar situation. Unfortunately, my son is still in my home. We are trying to find him another place to live as the home situation is too hard with him there. Is your son working on taking his medications? My son for the first time in what feels like forever has not exploded on my husband and I for 1 whole week. He also hasn’t come out of his room except to eat. He answers a question with a grunt so not sure if he still has a voice! Part of the disease is the paranoia and the awful things that he accuses us of are what your son is doing to you. I also don’t feel homelessness is the right option. He starts acting that way on the street, he will be arrested and I don’t believe that prison is the answer. Medication will be the thing that will help the most, if only you can get him to take it. It is a very long road to find out what works and I hope that you can get him to agree. This disease sucks!
Hi Tippy, Unfortunately our son takes no medication and is raging at us because we have tried to encourage him to do so. He accuses us being evil for daring to suggest he needs any help. He also has the horrible paranoia which I think is also fueled by the marijuana. Its so odd to me how they will refuse any medication, but think drugs are A-OK. I am also very afraid that prison could be in the future. The behavior is so volatile. Yes, the disease sucks. I hope you are able to get him somewhere where it will better for him and for you.
I posted this recently to someone else here:
“Allowing my son to become homeless was the only way we were able to convince him to stay on medication. Everytime other family members tried to intervene and allow him to stay with them when we wouldn’t allow him home the longer he was able to avoid getting help. Once he had no one else to turn to and was on the streets he agreed to medication and has been home ever since.”
This was the solution for our son but we did know going in there was the risk that he would continue to spiral and be living on the streets forever. It was painful beyond belief to know he was out there but I also know that had we not went that route he would still be suffering to this day. In our case it was the only choice we had for any hope of recovery. Or son was hospitalized 4 or 5 times within a year with no success whatsoever but during the last hospitalization we convinced him to go on a monthly injection of haldol. After receiving that first injection he was released and on the streets again. Literally about 5 days after that shot it cleared him enough to realize he didn’t want to be out there anymore. When he was in psychosis it was like he didn’t see anything wrong with being homeless. The first injection usually works really fast. (It has to be the long acting injection that lasts a month, not one that will wear off in a day or two) Once he was home it was still rocky for a few weeks but the more injections he got the better he got. He’s still has some struggles from the illness but for the most part is pleasant to be around and definitely happy to be home.
Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. That is something to ponder. The thought of him on the streets is just so awful, but I understand what you are saying about it being the catalyst for the turn around. He is so strongly anti-medication, I dont know if he will ever agree and it is so upsetting because we know it could be life changing for him. It is just so heartbreaking to see a life unfulfilled and and the potential he had for a wonderful, productive life just gone. We miss him so much at holidays and really, everyday. It is like the person we knew no longer exists and we have an hostile, angry, delusional person instead.
I am glad that you had a good outcome and hope that it continues and really do appreciate your input.
I understand completely, and your experience mirrors that of our son a lot. He had been telling people we weren’t his real parents and he actually believed he was Jesus. Even though our son is much better he is not able to live the life he should be living and it breaks our hearts everyday. The problem with this illness is that the phases of grief never stop, you just continue to cycle through them. I pray that your son is able to accept help at some point. Often times the road to it isn’t what we imagined.
He is still there, the person you knew, buried under the hallucinations/delusions.
I could deal with my daughter well ONLY after a NAMI meeting where I realized that the ONLY way she could reach out to me was through hostile remarks. She ONLY made the hostile remarks because somewhere deep down, she wanted me to talk to. Twisted communication was ALL she was capable of. Thus the hostile remarks.
If you can do the NAMI family to family class, it will help you. Somehow, somewhere, there are ways to reach your son under the delusions, but he is still there, the kind person you used to know.
I am very lucky that almost 3 years of psychosis, and my fight against it, enabled me to help my daughter onto the RIGHT medicine, and she is doing well for almost 3 years now. Dec 18, 2018 was the beginning of the end of her psychosis.
But if you change nothing in your handling of your son, his behavior is unlikely to change.
I had police to my home over 40 times one year. I called at every opportunity whether it was an outright threat made or a sort-of threat. It all depends on what the loved one in psychosis SAYS when the police are talking to him. 5 Baker Acts and 2 police arrests were needed for my daughter. Finding the right drug (even though she stopped taking it) in earlier Baker Acts, was the key. In the last Baker Act, I knew what drug to tell the doctor would work.
Since you are happy to pay for him to live in his condo, maybe that IS the best solution until somehow someday he is forced onto medication. But remember that even an involuntary hold (or 4) will not guarantee a medicine that works is used. It is just the beginning of trying to find a medicine that works.
I wish you the best.
Very glad for your success here. Stay strong.