Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Do you trust your afflicted loved ones?

Do you trust them? How? With what? How far do you trust them? What wouldn’t you trust them with?

I personally trust my afflicted siblings with everything because they didn’t show me so far something to make me not to trust!!! I know they love me and want me to be happy even if they don’t verbalize it anymore (due to illness & isolation). However, sadly, brother and mother (with instructions from a what I call a bad psychiatrist) since three years ago keep the house door locked and hide key after a bad psychotic episode with afflicted sibling and they led her to believe she can go out only accompanied by them anywhere she wants (until she agrees to getting treatment!) and took her mobile from her because they feared she runs away and get into trouble after another psychotic episode (I know it may make no sense to you, it STILL doesn’t make sense to me and they would never do this if I was there but I wasn’t). They think they are doing this for her own good and to protect her but it only made her go worse. They lock their own rooms too whenever they leave the house because they worry she’d steal from them!

I do not do that whenever I visit/stay with her, I’m not the best human!!! but I think it’s common sense to me that if I trust her she’d trust me back and we can build from there which we are tiny bit at a time!!! because she doesn’t like other members of the family, she doesn’t sit with them, she runs away when they cross her path, but she doesn’t do that with me, she’s calm around me, if I’m in the kitchen washing dishes, she has no issue preparing herself a meal next to me. Last week she even sat with me to watch tv for first time in 3 years while others weren’t at home! I think it has to do with empathy and trust!!!

My afflicted loved one after all what she went through and the (ignorant?) reactions of family, reached a point where she doesn’t want to go out of the house and hasn’t seen outdoors AT ALL in 3 years and doesn’t respond to my suggestions of going out for walks. I also tried to give her a mobile phone and she refuse it. I believe all this is her way of protecting herself from disappointment of things being taken away from her… but I don’t know what she thinks because she doesn’t talk. I believe that whatever they did was totally unacceptable but the damage is done the moment they did it (it didn’t cause her illness, she was ill since teenager but I believe it made it worse), if the house entry is now wide open, she wouldn’t go out and would still lock her self in room. Many of you talk about how isolation and lack of communication are common symptoms of scz especially if unmedicated and I am reading about it but I also think it could’ve been better situation if they trusted her? Isn’t things better with kindness and understanding?

I am new to educating myself about what’s happening, I’m reading and going to CBT doctor to help me on how to communicate with my afflicted loved ones, but I have little experience, can you share your experience with trusting your afflicted loved ones please?

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When my son when not medicated, no I did not trust him. He had not been violent with me. I trusted that he would not, but I did’t trust him for not taking my car, which he never did. He had lost his license but did not realize it and there was no way I wanted him driving or taking my car. When at home, I carried a bag around with me with my keys and cell phone. At night, I would put a chair against my door. Another Mom on here (no longer on) told me she locked her doors every night.

I hope you are able to reach your sister.

My son eventually thought I was an imposter. Perhaps your sister is scared and doesn’t think her/your siblings are real. My son also thought the cops were fake. This is not uncommon when the ill person hasn’t seen someone for even as short as a few days, so they told me when he was in the hospital.


When my son was ill and not yet medicated I could not trust him in anyway whatsoever. He stole everything he could get his hands on from my money to my car. Besides schizophrenia he was also an addict so he was constantly lying to me and stealing from me to get whatever he wanted. He was not responsible even a little bit. He was easily coerced by others, and easily victimized. All of this was and is the exact opposite of who my son really is and was before he was ill. Except for the easily victimized part which I still see that as a potential issue that may never go away,

Today with him having been successfully treated for so many years and having been sober for almost a decade, I trust him very much. I no longer have to hide my wallet or my car keys or set up secret ways to detect if he left the house in the middle of the night. I no longer fear that every policeman I see is looking for my son. He is calm and mild mannered and respectful and if he says he will do something he will definitely do it so long as he doesn’t forget…lol…forgetfulness happens.


I don’t trust the illness. When my son was very sick, I would not go into his house without keeping my keys and phone with me.


Even when I think I know my son with a brain disorder well enough to predict what he will and won’t do, I have had to learn that this illness can turn things around and cause him to do bizarre things he would never do if healthy. I can’t rely on how well the medication will work, although currently things are looking good with Clozapine, and there certainly is no assurance for how long our son will take the med. I trust him as a person, but I do not trust the illness. One day at a time.


When my daughter became ill, I was scared of her and her bizarre actions and communications. Because of my fears of her, I had her hospitalized 4 times, but she won’t stay on medicine. However, she has never stolen from me, borrowed my car, or done any damage. I do trust her enough for me to leave the house daily for my job. I have left her for 8 hours a day for her entire illness. I leave her home alone and the rest of my home open. Sometimes my husband is there, but they have little interaction as she is paranoid of him and most men.

There was a time when she wanted to clean up my house and yard by throwing things (valuable things) away. After the third time with me losing it and yelling at her, she stopped throwing my things away although she often throws out lots of stuff from her room like clothing and food. I stopped letting her drive my car after she kept losing jobs: I told her with no job she couldn’t afford to drive my car, and I couldn’t afford to let her use it. After a few months of upset, she no longer brings it up, but lets me drive her occasionally somewhere. She leaves the house daily for walks on her own. Sometimes (4 times) the police called me as she is out yelling at some building downtown, but she has never been violent, just weird. The police know us from my daughter calling 911 on me or my husband for a year or so (about 40 times). She still has a cell phone but rarely uses it anymore. So, yes, I trust her with the current arrangement in our home.

Personally, it sounds like your mother and brother are scared of her more than she has caused any reason for it. Is that perhaps true? If they are holding her hostage in her room or in the apartment feeding her paranoia, then she is unlikely to EVER want to leave her room. Do they offer to take her out? Are they kind?

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Honestly, it is a different worry with a young woman who has sz than a young man. My daughter went missing for 30 days early on, she existed on her credit cards until she ran up their limits and got kicked out of a hotel. She came home. We had posted “missing person” reports and posters, but didn’t find her until one day her brother happened upon her walking the street one day. She was safe, had not been molested or anything I assume, just isolated in a hotel room for about 4.5 weeks. Then she came home. She hasn’t left since. I would rather pay to keep her home than worry about some man taking advantage of her sexually, which would probably happen. This area has a booming human trafficking business in it’s seedier areas. Thank goodness she came home. That was 2 years ago, before we Baker Acted her the first time. She came home after each Baker Act too, voluntarily. I trust she will live with me until I die, and does respect some boundaries.

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I trust my son to communicate honestly and clearly with me when he is stable, but not during a psychotic episode. When he is stable, he prefers being in a calm environment versus a hectic environment. That includes being in the company of a calm person versus an intense person. A hectic environment or an intense person would be too much stimulation which would cause my son stress and poor concentration. Do you know about NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness)? This is a wonderful organization which offers free meetings and education for family with members who suffer from mental illness as well as meetings and education for people who suffer from mental illness. The people who work and volunteer at NAMI are wonderful, knowledgeable and supportive. Take care of yourself and wishing you and your family the best.