Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Dishonesty and Money

Hi all… Ive posted once before here and now I am back. I would really like to have feedback from caregivers who have experienced this before. My SIL is living with us who was recently released from the hospital after a temporary hold of(what we know of) to be her first psychotic break. She has no job, evicted from her apartment, and has bad habits of blowing away any money she has. I understand this is part and partial to the disorder. She is borderline Schizophrenic but has been diagnosed with Paranoid Personality Disorder, a sleeping disorder, and something else dealing with depression. It is a bad mix.

So far she has had a man in her life giving her money whenever she asked. She has been manipulative and lied to him for a good portion of the ways telling him she needed 500$ here fro rent or 600$ for her car note, when in turn she spent it on clothing, getting her nails done, hair appointments and other things that dealt with her delusions at the moment. He has been told to stop giving her money or if she asks for some to tel us. He is a bad road to turn down due to his disbelief she was ever ill to begin with. He neglected all the red flags she threw up in the past year that led to her breakdown. Her constant talk of stalkers, one wanting to rape her, and the FBI looking for her. He is a moron in my book. (so angry with this person right now) However i know she would tell him truths about her delusions and let him know what was happening in her head on a daily basis… so we allowed him to be a part of the treatment process in the hopes that by us educating him on what to look for we could have a back door into her head if she slipped again.

Well that went to sh*t real fast. Unfortunately he lied to us and continued to give her money and she manipulated him by lying to him and telling him we were not helping her do anything. I had my fill of lies and dishonesty in my house.

We shut the man down. Told him if he wanted to continue to give her money than he needed to drive from his state to ours to pick her up and take care of her like he should. We also confronted my SIL. It did not go well but i did not expect it to. She threw up all the walls and misleading she could. I gave her rule to live in my house… one my mother taught us as teenagers and adults… to live here you must have a job. I did not plan on giving her gas money every time she decided to drive to east tn to just get away from us. You have to start saving for a place to live… we can not financially afford it. We barely can afford her living in our house now, but better than her on the street/jail/hospital/or dead.

How can i help her find financial assistance if she does not believe she has a disorder? Her credit is wrecked… too many outstanding bills and I’m sure she hasn’t paid for much of anything over the last year. There is no talk of seeing a clinician for assistance. she either wants someone else to pay for it or let it go.

I’m getting close to my wits end. I’m a complete and total btch when needed, which she is vocally harsh to me and my relationship with her brother. Fearing she will begin to drive a wedge between us. He has been manipulated by her before as well. So I’ve been a btch, i don’t let people walk on me. But I’m not soulless to kick her out my house completely.

It sounds like you are very frustrated and your heart is in the right place.

The following are specific ideas I think might help you, not knowing what your SIL would benefit from. My family member never asks for money or anything beyond the most basic needs, so I don’t have to cope with this. But I think they don’t ask because it has never been available.

Step 1: provide for her basic needs of safety, belonging, love, shelter, and food, some thrift store clothing if affordable

Steo 2: never give her any money. Never cosign anything for her. Don’t loan her your car, etc.

Step 3: don’t concern yourself with her finances past, present, and future.

Step 4: find assistance for her to apply for SSDI or SSI and immediately request a “representative payee” since she cannot handle money. Applying is all about medical records and she needs to sign one piece of paper to obtain these. Maybe a third party from a community mental health agency or her brother does this, but not you

Step 5: if that guy gives her money, whatever she spends it on is up to her, even if she’s lying about it to anyone. That type of financial support does not cause mental illness

I understand that her behaviors are difficult for you to tolerate. Keep your own space and don’t worry about what she does as long as she is not a danger to herself or others or “gravely disabled.” At that point, her brother and you might try to get her back into the hospital.

Every person with one or many of the illnesses she has been dx’d with is different. Whatever unique behavioral problems you SIL has, your number one concern is to take good, kind care of yourself. When relating with her, imagine how you would like to be treated if a serious illness caused distressing symptoms and behavioral differences in you. If she is just a difficult person who happens to have mental illness, your own boundaries become really important.

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I just wanted to remind you, that if she is truly psychotic or delusional, she believes that to be the absolute truth, and she might not be able to help talking about it constantly.

I agree with the Hereandhere, if he wants to shower her with money and she wastes it, I wouldn’t worry about it too much - unless she’s using it to buy drugs or something else that makes her worse. If it’s clothes, getting her nails done, whatever - I’d just figure that when he’s broke, he’ll wise up.

I most likely have made grave mistakes over the past few weeks then… but i cant focus on that.
I have to be concerned with finances because she is EXPECTING everything to be paid for. I tell her no, she has to be in a job to have money and be in my house. Otherwise she will sit in my house running up my electricity and water and do nothing. She has had a job for 3 weeks with which she has showed up 2x for. If i just ignore this she will continue to not be able to save money for her essentials. Ultimately…I can only provide shelter free of charge for a very limited amount of time.

As far as the representative payee… she denies having a disorder. Her belief is that the doctor and other patients thought she was STAFF in the hospital instead of a patient. She has a degree in social work and thinks her job skills lie there… but as with her supposed job interviews she has had… she is not able to function in social work jobs. She tends to be fired or has an issue at the job that makes her leave. So there is no discussion of illness or treatment or help. She also thinks we got her evicted from her apartment, when all we did was help her clean it out after the eviction.

As far as i know she has yet to seek treatment. She does not believe in what she has. However her meds will be running out very soon… and I fear the outcome. We already have had other family members tell us her delusions are still there. She still believes there are people miles from us that actually exist and that are her stalkers. They have yet to materialize in our neighborhood…yet.

She does not make it easy to live with. She actually pops off at the mouth alot, and I have held my tongue only to this point. I couldn’t do it anymore and broke last night. I cant have someone treating me like sh*t in my own home. She says she doesn’t have an illness… well i treated as such.

There is a great book that people here recommend called “I’m not sick, I don’t need help” by dr xaviar amador - and there are videos on this site about it too.

I’ve seen then posted here lots of times, but of course I couldn’t find them when I remembered to search this time. I’m sure our very nice admin or someone else will be along shortly to do it for me - this time, I’m bookmarking it.

It explains how to talk to people who lack insight, like your SIL. The belief about being Staff is and not a patient is talked about in the book - they go into how patients without insight will explain their hospitalizations away like that. However, it’s not done on purpose - it’s because they’ve can’t see that they’re ill due to a brain condition. Not that they won’t - that they can’t.

The videos are good, but the book is only 250 pages. If nothing else, it might end some of your frustration and make it easier to deal with her.

I know exactly how you feel - I’ve felt the same with my son. It’s very frustrating, and it’s hard to not take it all very personally. That’s my new mantra - “It’s nothing personal - so quit acting like it is.” It works until we get into some heated argument or he “pops off at the mouth”.


I found Dr Armador’s video searching LEAP. I hope it helps. I too found the book insightful.

Tell her to go live with her sugar daddy.

I don’t think you made any mistakes. I was trying to think of ways I might cope with that situation, just suggestions.

Thank you for the suggestion… I am looking into the book now. Looks like there is a “slightly” updated version available via Amazon. It may be helpful for all of us to read up on, so I will be letting them know about it to see if it truly is helpful or not. I really hope it does, our frustration level is so completely high right now that we all are ending up getting sick because our stress level. :frowning:

In the book, the author (a psychologist who had a brother with SZ & no insight) says that he can’t promise it will make your loved one accept treatment, but that it will reduce the stress levels for everyone & help create a better relationship.

I think that’s very true. It helped me a little just to read it.

That book helped me.

Well it has happened again. It’s been almost 2 years since we had my SIL involuntarily committed. She was still paranoid of us, and we became the devils and enemy #1. She has moved around alot. She has had too many jobs. She stopped talking to the her Ex who believed she was never I’ll but just wanted to throw money at the problem.
Well…I just found out tonight that 3 months ago she started seeing/hearing “sychopaths” around her. In January she moved back to east tn where all this began and stopped taking her meds. I saw her 6 days ago and she was skinny, sunken eyes due to no sleep, but they started to bulge as well. She was very paranoid and picked at her lunch asking us about things on her plate. Then last night I find an odd charge on my bank statement that prompted me to call the place oF origin. TurnS out she called my cell phone insurance provider posing as me to place a claim on her phone that she broke 3 different times and I finally got shut off to another crappie phone. She committed fraud. We asked her thru text bc she won’t answer her phone and she denied. My fiance worded it a bit differently sent her the image of the tracking code and she said that she may have done it but she doesn’t know bc too much stuff going on.
I’m livid… beyond it. All I wanted was to get my 2 phones back so no more charges accrue. She will not release them. She thinks they are hers and that she is an adult and can do what she wants. Jesus… I am driving 4 hours to go get them tom… we will see how that turns out.
However further prodding shows us that the ex is back in the picture bc it is the only one she trusts. She no longer trusts any of her family. He communicated to us today of the delusions she is seeing but strongly refuses that any of this come back on him. I don’t understand him. He needs some help as well. Move on.
So I feel like this next week is gon a be pretty explosive. Is it time to call a crisis center again? We are 4 hours away…
Do we have a convo with her friend/roommate that doesn’t know her illness exists?
Who do I contact to get her help? I feel like in the state of TN I’m screwed and can only call crisis and that’s it.
Painfully tired, lost, my fiance went to bed crying bc he was so hurt at the filth that spilled from SIL mouth directed at us. He’s ready to back off completely, ignore the fact she exists. He is massively hurt.
Lost so lost at the right path…