Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Difficult behavior -moving bricks & rocks

Ten years into illness, and my son has been engaging in a challenging behavior which impacts his ability to live in the community. He moves landscaping rocks and bricks, because he believes they might be used by others to cause harm. My son lives in trailer parks, in his RV. Neighbors and managers don’t understand, and he is asked to move frequently. It is really hard to find housing for him. Any ideas?

The only way to avoid this is to put his RV on his own land
Are there any parks where you own your own land? That way no one could make him move.

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RVs are tricky, because believe it or not, many communities place restrictions on living in RVs on your own land. There are less restrictions out west, but it can be tough in the East and Midwest. There are similar issues for tiny homes most of which are technically travel trailers.

You are better off zoning wise with a conventional mobile home, much easier to place on your own land.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on living on the land in an RV. We have considered this, although land is super expensive and remote… his one joy in life is shopping for himself each week, and he is a pedestrian.

I am wondering if there might be a way to help my son understand that moving bricks and rocks is getting him kicked out of trailer parks. We had some reprieve when an officer talked with him about not wanting to lose his liberties.

Any thoughts on this aspect of our challenge?

Thanks!

This sounds like an extension of Anosognosia, I would think the LEAP method may apply here. This can take a significant amount of time, and it may not solve your problem soon enough, or that time might be better spent getting him to seek medication. That’s likely why you are getting this response.

You’ve started the process by listening to why he moves the rocks and bricks. Can you expand on how this makes him think and feel? That might lead to building empathy, and coming up with a way to agree and partner with him.

You mention shopping being a motivator for him, is there any way you can tie this to your desired behavior for him? Some sort of deal where he only gets shopping money if he doesn’t move rocks and bricks, or something similar?

That is true. My son does live in an older mobile home where we do own the land. Though if he started moving landscape around I’m sure there would be complaints. No one sees the holes in walls, smashed TVs etc.

Unfortunately, encouraging medication and natural/logically consequences have been epic fails in the past. Regretfully, trying to reason with someone with a brain disorder hasn’t worked for us.

I like the idea of trying to understand and having empathy. I read the LEAP material years ago… good idea to revisit this. :blush:

Thanks!