Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Destroys TV computer laptop. ROKU modem because of voices

Somehow it’s my fault he destroyed all my electronics because I was stressing him out.

I am beyond tired and wish I had not let him come back at age 40 yo

I still work FT but just replacing this stuff would cost thousands.

I stress him out by asking him to smoke outside and carry out garbage

I pay for everything

He is convinced this latest round of destruction is my fault and blames me. His executive reasoning faculties are so limited that a discussion is fairly futile.

I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.

God bless and help each one of us through this Hades of living


I know it is hard and yes, our loved ones have an illness that is hard to manage. However, it is OK and right to establish boundaries, especially in your own home. You live there, too, and have rights. I have experienced first hand and read numerous stories of persons with SMI who changed their behavior when confronted with an option they didn’t desire (such as loss or reduction of money or other resources, or eviction), or when offered an incentive for the desired behavior. You have to pick your battles…some things actually affect us personally, other things are just things we dislike. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is what will end up helping the person the most. Persons with SZ can be very resourceful.


I find myself wondering how I would respond to this kind of behavior myself.
Generally, I don’t tolerate destructive or self-destructive behavior in anyone for any reason. But, when it is a loved one with a disorder, there is a moral uncertainty.

First, we know that the DX’d can be completely irrational due to their disorder.
At the same time, we also know that a person is capable of making their own decisions and that having a disorder does not preclude one from also being childish, hurtful, malicious, or selfish; just like anyone else.
The difficulty comes in determining the line that separates irrational behavior due to the disorder and behavior which is a result of malicious intentions.
This can prove to be impossible to differentiate in some circumstances.

It might help to explore the following:

  1. What isn’t working well for you in this living situation?
  2. What isn’t working well for the DX’d?
  3. What would be best for you, personally?
  4. What would the DX’d consider ideal?
  5. Are 3 and 4 the same or different?
  6. What alternatives or changes are not feasible at all?
  7. What alternatives or changes are feasible?
  8. Do you have the ability to reach an ideal change for yourself?
  9. Do you have the ability to reach an ideal change for the DX’d?
  10. If not, is there any degree of acceptable compromise?
  11. Do you have the ability to reach a more desireable circumstance at all?
  12. What does the DX’d feel they need to aquire or do in order for peace and contentment to be a realistic option for both of you?
  13. Is that a feasible scenario?
  14. Can you actually provide the DX’d with the kind of environment they would want and also one that is conducive to their own peace and contentment?

I ran through an exercise similar to this when my SzA brother lived with me. I realized that living with me was harming him, more than helping him. While I was disappointed with myself, and felt like more cooperation on my brother’s part would have solved all of our struggles, the fact was that living with me was bad for him. I eventually decided he needed more independence (something he had explicitly stated he wanted), and that my direct involvement on a daily basis was harmful to his own peace and contentment.
It felt like a big risk to help him move into his own apartment about 15 minutes’ drive away from me, but he specific circumstances made it a feasible and rational option. The fact that he is non-violent and respectful of the law helped support the arguement that he might do better on his own.
I’m not saying this is the answer you should arrive at. But, that I would not have been able to help my brother if he had continued to live with me, and that I would not have realized it if I had not thought about it strategically.
Sure, my brother still needs a hand with some daily tasks sometimes. He even needs occasional rescuing from the confines of his own apartment. But talking through the points I listed with family and getting honest input from my brother directly helped us to all achieve greater independence, better quality of life overall, and still maintain a strong support system.

Currently, we lean heavily on my brother’s pdoc, group therapy, and solid lines of communication between family.


Sori to hear this terry times are hard but don’t give up hope tomorrow is a new day and things will get better with your support and ours ,stay positive :smile:

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I think ultimately we both would be better off living separately or a duplex situation

I like your listing of thought processes in thinking through this issue.

I appreciate you taking the time to share it and will try to see if we can answer it separately and compare. If this is a transition to a better setting then one can be patient and endure.

It is defeating to the spirit to think that while I am working he is destroying more than I can replace in a weeks salary. I just don’t understand the behavior. Yes. I totally agree part of it is illness but there is a part that is bad intentions towards me

What I expect of him apparently is TOO much and creates stress which flips him out. Like don’t smoke in house, put away food you take out or put dish in dishwasher.

I think a 5 yo could comply but at 40 yo it is too stressful for him. I don’t yell and have a cleaning lady come in couple times a month to restore the house.
That is such a good feeling even if short lived.

Today is a new day and I will not ask anything of him during this not great time. He thinks he needs pot to mellow out but I see it creates upset in any kind of routine life habits.

It’s not the best but could be worse.

God help us daily as we face life’s difficulties and realize we are not alone.



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Hi Terry,
I feel your frustration. I hope you know that none of this is your fault. Your situation reminds me of my ex’s He has paranoid sz and now lives with his mom.

I’ve been at her house when she’d ask my ex to take out the garbage or collect the mail, and my ex always was stressed about it “I’ll do it later.” Really? To me it always seemed like some minor task.

So maybe your son’s behavior is typical of someone who has sz? It’s still frustrating, though. The destruction of property is beyond.

I like the idea of his having a separate apt. I hope you can make it happen!

My son doesn’t pick up after himself or do any chores. He also leaves food out. He will tell me he’s going to start doing the dishes but then he doesn’t follow through. I have been trying to get him to wash his bedding and remove trash from his room recently to no avail. I have given up on requiring him to do much and I save the battles for his medication/supplements. It does not take much for him to be stressed. Rearranging my furniture, changing my kitchen curtains, etc., so many things that I wouldn’t think would be stressors are for my son. I am the only smoker in my house (since his psychosis) and I occasionally get up if I can’t sleep to have a little wine and a cigarette. I don’t smoke in my house but I have when it’s really late. Anyways, my son “caught” me and then gave me a lecture. :grinning:I do think it is the illness that is behind these symptoms. He has destroyed his own property when he was angry at me. He would never have done that in the past.

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Hi hdd I say a little is a lot,baby steps that’s what I’m doing just baby steps . Like I ask my son to have a shower and then a few days later have a shave , as he can’t do it in one go it’s too much for him ,now I know .i know not to push him too much and give him litttle rewards like a burger and energy drink which he loves ! But it’s not allways plain sailing as we all know

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Destroying things that are so expensive is heartbreaking I know , I can’t count how many phones my son has had , I now buy him a very cheap one so I can contact him when out. And have to keep an eye on His tv and tablet . He’s also had numerous laptops ,I don’t buy him them anymore as can’t afford it.having said that I promised him one for Christmas :roll_eyes:

I didn’t intend to diminish your situation but to let you know how similar my son is. I don’t work so it is easier to keep up with his mess. Coming home after work to a mess would bother me a lot more. Years ago when I was working part time and my daughter lived at home, my son and daughter would get into it over the messes he made in the kitchen. This became a huge stress for him that led to him smoking pot and seeking out other substances. He had not been diagnosed at that time so we had no idea why things were so difficult for him.

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I feel for you so much ,don’t worry I’m here for you and we all are ,god bless you ,you hang on there now :+1:

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I can totally understand.
When my brother lived with me, he struggled with very similar problems.
He (unintentionally) broke a new phone I had bought for him, refused to get repairs done (to be paid by me); refused my help to maintain his car, then expected me to pay for repairs that wouldn’t have been necessary; smoked weed in the apartment, risking getting me evicted and piling on stress for me; failed to take meds as prescribed, complained that it wasn’t working and refused to let me track dosing; the list goes on.
All excused by him as things being too stressful, or being too tired to care at the time.
It was frustrating for myself and for him.
And these things didn’t fix themselves when we made plans for him to move out. He did make a superficial effort to correct his behavior when I did insist that he get his own place, presumably to underline that he wanted to stay and would make those changes permanent.
But after about a year of consistent negative and self-destructive behavior, I knew he needed a change and that I wasn’t helping him.
Even after he moved out, he struggled with normal tasks for a long time.
Like many people with SzA, he felt like weed and video games (or similar distraction) were a solution. While it would be apparent to anyone else that locking himself away from society and hoping his problems would fade away with time would be foolish, he tried anyway.
Living on his own, he was devoid of excuses that relied upon family, or external sources of stress and dismay.
Thankfully, he took a critical look at his lifestyle and how it effected his disorder and his overall quality of life. He eventually realized that his method of distracting himself from his emotions and needs was not healthy, nor sustainable. That his disorder would continue to undermine his happiness until he addressed it directly.

Currently, it seems likely to me (given statistics) that he will eventually stop taking his meds as prescribed and that he will suffer delusions and paychosis again. Likely in the coming 6 months or so.
But for now, he talks about reality rather than philosophy. He leans on his doctors and his group therapy, trusting that they are the platform to reach his goals of independence and happiness.
I talk to him like I do anyone else. Encouraging the daily grind, offer help with things he complains about, and also encouraging him to trust that the path he is on is a good one.
I’m certain that he will struggle again in the future. Even now, every day is filled with challenges and uncertainty.
But I have a mantra:
“All you have to do is give a shit and honestly try. As long as you do that, I’m with you 100%.”
Meaning, It’s easy to tell when you give a shit and try because what is important to you starts becoming easy to figure out. You start being able to ask for a hand with things and actually seeing results. You notice that you start feeling better about the future and days start becoming a meaningful series of events, rather than a muddled blur of time.

Sure as heck, you’ve personally been doing all of that. It’s easy to tell because you know what’s eating you up, what the causes of your frustrations are, and what you want to do about it.
But your DX’d needs to do the same.
They might foolishly believe that weed (as a distraction fron emotions) and TV or videogames (as a distraction from reality) help. But they only delay the inevitable. The inevitable being their happiness and peace of mind.
They are going to gain some feeling of contentment and positivity toward the future. They by all rights deserve to. But they are absolutely capable of delaying and undermining it, too.
It’s hard to watch someone do that to themself. Especially when they have all the tools and resources they need.
No doubt, their feelings of frustration and stress are totally legitimate. They know all of these things, just like we do. But they need help realizing that they deserve a better lifestyle than just coping and dealing.
Sometimes convincing themself that they are valuable, worthy people who deserve good things is the most challenging thing. They don’t realize that they’ve sacrificed their own self-respect and are putting themself in quarantine voluntarily at home.
Funny, for all their fear of involuntary commitment, if we let them live however they want, that’s the lifestyle they choose first…

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I was patient, caring, loving, and understanding until my son nearly killed me with a vicious beating that put me in the hospital. Even then, we tried to help him but with tremendous caution. Once he went off the meds; we had to force him to leave. We knew it was only a matter of time that his violent behavior would destroy us. We just couldn’t live in constant fear. He receives $1350/month on SSDI which helps him survive. He’s been on the streets now for a few years. He calls for clothes and money and I used to provide it. However, that only prolongs the problem. Local authorities and outreach groups that I contacted have agreed to help him with shelter, food, and clothes., but he refuses. So, when he calls I offer to SEND help to him. We can only pray that in the future he accepts their help. He is our only son that we love dearly, but his level of paranoid schizophrenia is beyond our capabilities to handle.

We’ve has similar with our 30 year old, so it’s good to vent sometimes.

I like the Naranon’s serenity prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the people I can not change. The strength to change person I can. And the wisdom to know it’s me.

I’m not saying we don’t help them change themselves when we can, but we need to change the way we are to keep our sanity and well being first, before we can be any help to others.

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My son is 37 years old with schizophrenia and he lives on his own about 3 blocks from my house.
He used to lived with me, but it took me some time to realize that this was not healthy for me, neither for him. When he used to lived with me, he’ll get more defensive, not complying with the agreement we had made for him going to therapy, he went 3 times to therapy and that’s it. He wanted to spend all his SSI money in clothes, cigarretes, books, beers, without any obligation or responsibility. So, now he’s been on his own for the last 4 years and he knows his money goes to his rent and cigarretes, It breaks my heart seen him so lonely, so isolated; but still I know he’s better off there than with me, and now he likes to be on his own apartment, I do see him almost every single day and I cooked for him, even though he cooks some times, but besides not been healthy, makes a big mess, so I rather cook for him. In the last 2 years, he had throw to the garbage 3 tv’s and 2 computers, so now I know he doesn’t need that,and he said,he doesn’t want them.So, to me it is very hard to comprehend how he spend his day without a tv or computer,he does read a lot.
It is very very hard ,I’m with you in prayers and God bless them and God bless us, take care of us, so we could continue support our loves ones.


“It is very, very hard.” The truth and bond of everyone here. And we share the prayers of everyone here to continue helping our loved ones heal.


We went through a terrible round of destruction about 18 months ago. No matter why he reasoned it was ok, we stood our ground it is unacceptable. We didn’t provide any “reason” other than it is unacceptable. And he probably wont do that again as it landed him in the hospital. Mentally ill or not there are boundaries. Painful to enforce, but they are there for their own good as well as ours.

But when all is said and done if the living situation becomes intolerable for you, it is ok for you to ask him to leave.

I believe you did your best, and that yes, this is beyond your ability to help. I’m sorry that it turned out this way. Although he is on the streets, this seems to be where he belongs, although not the way you would like it to be. How hard for you.

I am so sorry. How difficult this must be. Can you use the SSDI money as leverage for anything that he wants? I understand there are people with this illness who just don’t want help, in spite of what we view as highly undesirable and daunting living conditions. I also maintain hope that the illness will change…that the person will gain some clarity. But I also understand that you have to let go, doing what you can, but knowing you can’t fix everything or make this illness go away, because it will destroy you if you don’t.

I know its beyond awful. Last year he grabbed my new phone out of my hand and did a faxtory reset. I lost all of my contacts…appointments for myself and my dad. This past Christmas i purchased myself a small laptop. It was only a few days old and he wanted to use it but i would not leave it with him overnight. He got very upset and threw it in the snow. Never again. He had not 1 but 2 very fast computers…took them all apart and they are in boxes all over the place. Ugh. His loss.