Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Facebook has become a problem

#1

So its been about 2 weeks since my daughters hospitalization and Abilify shot and getting on anxiety meds. Her hallucinations and extreme paranoia stopped almost immediately. However her delusions have persisted. In addition to speaking about her delusions, she is also posting them on Facebook. We live in a small rural town of 3900 people and most everyone is FB friends with each other. My daughter claims she has cancer. She even shaved her head to look like a cancer patient. Then she will post that she doesnt have it. Then she does. Some people in town are furious with her and post that she is playing a game. There is a very beloved young father in town who has brain cancer and there are fundraisers etc for him. People feel her pretend posts are disrespectful. She also claims she is 5 months pregnant with twins. She even got our realtor looking for houses for her and her babies. She also has a whole conspiracy theory going on about her birth father who lives across the country who she has not seen or heard from in over 22 years. She is under the delusion that he is a sheriff in our town etc. Many people in town know of my daughter’s illness. But many do not. They will post angry responses to her saying she is crazy or on drugs. These people then start to play into her paranoia starting up again. My daughter is not receiving therapy as she feels she doesnt need it. She is med compliant. But her delusions are strong and getting worse. But again, she is not aware of this and thinks she is fine. Will her meds eventually lessen the delusion? Of course when she goes in to her caseworker she acts completely fine and does not talk about her delusions. I tell the caseworker about the delusions but I am not sure what good it does. The psych is via video conference and i am not allowed to speak with her. I guess my questions to the group are - will meds eventually lessen the delusions? And are delusions alone a cause for me to take some sort of action e.g. hospitalization? Thank God for this group. Also, what can i do about the FB issue or should i even worry about it?

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#2

Hi Katee, I am sorry the delusions are persisting, they can cause complications such as you are describing when our family members have a presence in the community. Have you faxed or emailed your concerns about the delusions to the prescribing psychiatrist? Even if you are not allowed to speak with them, faxing or emailing your daughter’s doctor is important.

I have heard members on the forum say that “delusions are often the last thing to leave” after meds are started. Long held delusions often stay in place even after years on meds. Such delusions tend to be milder and a CBT professional can help your daughter handle her delusions. I am sorry she is resistant to therapy, as a long time Peer to Peer rep always said “at first meds are 90% of the solution, later, therapy to deal with the residual symptoms is equally important.”

My son began calling relatives to tell them we were abusing him (delusions) and begging them to help him. He made several reports to the local sheriff and to national hotlines. We did tell our relatives about his schizophrenia at that time as most did not know. We live a distance from our relatives and it seemed unnecessary for them to know and unfair to him as he suffers from anosognosia and does not even realize he is ill. We also had to speak to our neighbors about his struggles as he was yelling the accusations at our house.

I am hoping other forum members will have suggestions for meds that help with delusions and whether or not a hospitalization is required- my med experience is quite limited.

I am so sorry your daughter is being tormented by these delusions and that your community and you are being affected.

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#3

Thank you for the info. This is very helpful. I am going to try to get some info to the psych. And i am very sorry about your son making allegations. My daughter called the sheriff on me the other night after i set a boundary with her. She told him i hit her. Thankfully the sheriff knows our situation. But it shook me. She had never done that before. It is scary.

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#4

Hello Katee,
This is a great forum to share your feelings. Glad you have made contact with us. So sorry to hear about your daughter.
People do not understand mental illness and FB is just a place for gossip and to pick on those less fortunate.
I had an experience similar to this with my mom, she suffers from MI and dimentia, she is med compliant. My mom lives in a retirement community, all the ladies gather by the mail boxes and gossip. They were making fun of my mom and saying mean things. I walked in and expressed my mom’s illness to them. Maybe they can feel more compassionate with her, and the mental illness.
Take care, AnnieNorCal

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#5

Our son began calling the sheriff so frequently that the sheriff called us at 1am one night to ask us to tell our son to quit calling 911. The sheriff’s department was very kind in that regard. Our son was happy that the sheriff had called us, I believe he felt he had been heard by someone and they had done something. Other people with scz have mentioned that being ignored is very isolating.

As @AnnieNorCal mentioned, we did find that people were quite understanding when we explained the situation. We suggested that they listen to him and simply empathize with how such events must make him feel.

I am glad you plan to take steps to communicate to the psych. Our son’s delusions about us became so distressing to him that he now lives several hours away from us in order to feel safe.

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#6

I reached out to some of my son’s FB friends using Messenger - you don’t need to be FB friends to use it. It helped to put an explanation out there. Since then a few have contacted me when they felt concerned about something.

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#7

Shocking !, my son is on Abilify and also has told me he has cancer , he called me one day and said , mum i have really bad news and my heart dropped( as im so mentally drained with all his problems) then he told me he has cancer and when i said don’t be silly he stated cursing and calling me stupid . he also believes he has extremely low testosterone and that he will become impotent and has been to over 12 urologist whom has told him he is fine and he gets mad calls them liars , he also believes his hair is falling out and trust me my son has extremely thick hair , he blames that on testosterone too . He’s been to another 4 doctors in the last week in another country to try and seek help . I am waiting for his delusions to dissolve as his meds has been put higher but it seems like forever .

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#8

Ay yi yi. Sounds all too familiar. :frowning:

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#9

I think facebook is fantastic and a great tool in terms of social media but I also think it is very abused and not necessarily a benefit to folks who suffer from this illness. The level of voyeuristic behavior that is afforded can reach extremely unhealthy levels. Plus, the amount of exposure a person’s life has on there no matter the “privacy levels” is very tempting to trolls who like to tease and disparage which is a huge danger for someone with schizophrenia.

I think FB can be a huge problem for everybody even if you don’t have schizophrenia. Great tool but quite possibly the biggest waste of time as well.

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#10

My daughter had decided on her own not to be involved in social media because it had created anxiety for her… in many ways… she has posted her art but often felt anxiety and insecurity from comparing her art to others.(“every one is better then me”) or she had got into dm’s with people who appeared to be “encouraging” but it would end up making her feel worse.

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#11

Possibly she knows something is wrong but cannot figure out what it is. This frequently is my sons question…something is going on and if I know please tell him.

She may decide she has cancer or pregnancy not to garner sympathy but because that is what she concluded after examining what she feels to be facts.

CBT is a great tool to help them learn to test out what is real and what the response should be.

Social media can be brutal. It is heartbreaking what her “friends” are doing. I really don’t have any suggestions how to get her to consider staying away from it as my sons paranoia causes him to shun technology. Probably the only bright side to his paranoia.

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