Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Family member in crisis-how to find correct course of action

This is my first post. It is also my first experience with schizophrenia. I am 73 and my wife is 65. Object is to find a care facility or person who is competent to govern my cousin’s affairs.
My cousin is in his 40s. His mother, who was a nurse, filed a restraining order against him and called the police to have him removed. I will not judge her. My wife who was his friend, because he was my son’s good friend, and kind of caregiver for years picked him up from jail, got him cleaned up and brought him home to stay in our trailer, that is not appropriate for living. My wife is in the process of finding him an apartment, which will be ready in another 30 days. Robert is an alcoholic and also has just undergone medication adjustments, (not effective). My son took him to the local crisis center a week ago because he was talking suicide again. He was just released, and I brought him home today. He is still almost incoherent and is, I think, visually delusional as well as just not in control of his voices. We have told him no alcohol, but I don’t expect him to be able to comply. I do not think Rob will survive in an apartment alone. He will drink and he will drive as he forgets that it is wrong. He generally is not violent except when he is deprived of cigarettes’ or alcohol. He has not been a physical threat to either of us yet. He will be a ward of the justice system if we cannot get help for him and they will, as they have before, hurt him I am afraid.

I am so sorry for this family situation that you describe. Such illnesses are SO challenging! Dual diagnosis (mental illness combined with alcohol/drugs) situations are even harder. You are very observant and caring for your relative’s condition and needs. Here are some thoughts…

I’m not sure what you mean by “care facility”. Treatment programs are either voluntary or if involuntary, typically require the person of danger to himself. Involuntary treatment laws vary by state (See Group homes typically require that a person be med-compliant. If the person can get stabilized for even a short period of time, you might find a group home that would accept him. Group homes are typically very expensive but there may be other options in your area.

To find local resources, I suggest attending a free NAMI Family Support Group in your area. then find the state-specific NAMI support groups in your state.

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Be aware that hallucinations, delusions and psychosis can result from side effects from alcohol withdrawal and cirrhosis. It can be challenging to sort out which symptom comes from which part of a dual diagnosis.

I usually attribute the transient hallucinations, delusions and angry rants to the alcohol, but occasionally the long standing themes of my brother’s delusions are present as well. As alcoholism advances, the liver begins to fail to process ammonia and it interferes with brain function, thiamine deficiencies also develop further impairing brain function, retrograde amnesia, seizures, blackouts and nosebleeds are symptoms as well.