Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Family Member w symptoms, doesn't want help

Hey guys, this may be long so please just bare with me. I am 21, with 2 kids in college and living outside of home. This post is for my father, he lives alone and has a past with mental health issues. I should say that I am also a psychology major (BS) and I also struggle with mental health issues. He is unemployed (lost his really good job about 5 years ago), and is struggling to make ends meet.

My uncle (father’s brother) has been diagnosed with sz for quite a while now. My father was diagnosed with partial sz but before taking my psychology classes, I had no clue that it wasn’t a thing. Recently, he’s been acting out in ways that are frightening. He believes that his neighbors are watching him and has found out crucial information about my dad and are passing it around to people that he knows. He works out of the capital of our state (about 2 hrs from where he lives) and truly believes his neighbors have informed his boss and co-workers about him. We went swimming this summer at a relatives friends house and sworn that people were looking at him funny. He also believes that the government is conspiring against him and covers everything with a camera in his house (phone camera, tv’s, etc)

He has become obsessed with feeling sick. In 2011, he got into a car accident (where his mental illness also went downhill) and he should have died. He shattered the whole left side of his body and had to get a metal rod put down his leg. For the past 5 years, his symptoms of sickness have just increasingly gotten worse. Buzzing ears, sinus problems, stomach problems, his leg is still broken, random cysts, eye issues. I’m not saying that there isn’t anything wrong, but that he has become obsessed with thinking there are things wrong.

He is an adamant pot smoker- he has been for the past 5 years. He has a past of being addicted to pain pills but has been weening himself off of them. No other drug additions or alcohol addiction.

He is aware that he has some mental issues, but he refuses to talk to anyone but his past psychiatrist that he had a crush on. About 5 years ago, she uprooted her business and left. We haven’t been able to find her or get a hold of her. He quit taking any medication approximately a year-6 months ago and doesn’t believe in taking anything that isn’t natural anymore.

I have a 17 year old sister who is also as worried as I am. She also sees the episodes that he goes through. We are worried sick that we are going to find our father dead. I have no clue what to do except call a mental hospital to pick him up but I am worried he will feel betrayed. What do I do? Advice? Please

You can’t worry if they will be mad at you or not. My husband used to use that word “betrayal” every time I questioned his delusions and/or actions and especially when I called the county psychiatric team to come to the house and evaluate him. I’ve had to make that call many, many times and it was never easy, but it had to be done. You can’t let them live in psychosis for too long…it takes longer for them to come back. It’s been my experience that once my husband was medicated and came back to reality, the phone call never came up. I would occasionally hear that he wasn’t sick and “why did I call” and that would be the end of it. When someone needs help, it doesn’t matter how angry they are, they will always get over it. Good Luck!

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Try to get him to go with you to see a psychiatrist - find something that he can agree with you to see him about - it might be sleep issues, or stress, or anxiety or depression or not feeling good… just get him in there, prewarn the psychiatrist and share a much as you can with the psychiatrist before hand - the key issue is (sadly) is he a danger to himself or others.

Here are some resources - do you have other family members that can help you. Educate everyone, and keep a journal about your father’s behaviors and beliefs so that you can share it with the mental health professionals.

Study this document:

FIRST Aid for Psychosis

How to get help:

Here is a good place to get your father to, if you can:

I recommend you watch these videos:

I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help! - Dr. Xavier Amador - Pt. 1


I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help! - Dr. Xavier Amador - Pt. 2

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