Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Family troubles


#1

My son has a tough history with this disease. Looking back we now realize that he had a form of it for years but we never knew it until it exploded . He threatened me at one incident ( I was just sitting at my computer ). I calmly told him that he should move out if he felt that much anger towards me. The next day he told me that he had hated me for years. I was floored. I asked one of his friends about this and was told that my son had a serious cocaine problem and that every time I asked him to help out around the house he hated me for it.We did many activities together throughout his childhood. He was a very loved and spoiled child. I have cards from his youth stating how lucky he was to have me as his father. I purchased a new car for him on his 18th birthday and covered his insurance until he was 25.We were completely oblivious to his problems and issues. So were our other family members. Another incident was flying back east and breaking into a famous persons house thinking that their daughter would marry him and protect him. He spent six weeks in a mental hospital with that one. They did not tell me that he had schizophrenia. My wife and I being nieve had no idea. He came home and seemed fine but as time went on his symptoms worsened. One night I approached him about being more responsible and pursueing a fuller life. He proceeded to push me down when my back was turned. I just curled up thinking that he would stop. If my wife hadn’t jumped on him (he even hit her) I believe he would have killed me. I was knocked out by him pounding my head into our wooden floor. I had a broken nose, two black eyes, fractured eye socket, bruised ribs, and abrasions. Thank God he didn’t seriously hurt his mother who has shown him nothing but love and support his whole life.There has never been violence in my house; I was picked on as a kid and discouraged any meaness in my son towards his playmates.He then disappeared for a year and came back; I refused to see him. My wife paid him for a hotel for a couple of months without telling me. Another year went by and he came home looking like he was about to die; so I took him in. He had more delusions resulting in us calling the police and him being hospitalized. My wife kept a file and on the first attempt got him full social security disability.Coming home on medication , he was doing much better; not normal but at least not violent or angry. He then refused to medicate stating that he was physically ill from it. One day he came home stating that someone was out to kill him; he asked me if I knew anything about this. This raised my fears and I told him that either he goes back to the doctor or he will have to leave. He left and after a few months he ran out of money and called me because he had lost his bank card. I drove to pick him up and take him to the nearest bank to get another card. He asked if he could come home. I told him only if he goes back to the doctor will he ever be allowed to come home. I said that we could try a different doctor and medications. He refused. He called me the next day and asked to meet him for lunch. Upon further conversation he asked if he could stay in our RV that is on our property. I said no. The last time we tried that one; he trashed it. There are many other incidents that I could ramble on about, but you get the picture. I feel terrible; there is a part of me that never wants to see him again. However I would do almost anything if I could to make him well. On top of all this; my wife and I are retired and have a healthy estate that we want to leave him. I know for a fact that he could not even manage to pay the water bill much less handle all of the money and other household responsibilities. . He looks terribly unhealthy in his current condition. It tore me up to drive away leaving him homeless. I just know that we cannot risk our well being having him at the house unmedicated. We are so sad and confused.I appreciate all of your responses and suggestions


#2

I will first say that I am so sorry for your plight with your schizophrenic son. I am wondering if you could have him commited involuntarily? He won’t go back on meds unless he is forced to. If you can do that, he could start having injections of antipsychotics monthly so that he will have to stay on meds. good luck. I feel sad that all this has happened. Your son still loves you, he’s just not well right now.


#3

Needs to be on medication. Our son had to be ordered through the courts to put him on meds. He got a shot every two weeks so you know he is medicated. Due to health insurance he was switched to pills, which he now stopped using due to side effects. It is only a matter of time until he relapses again and is hospitalized…sad situation.


#4

Dear soconfused,

I agree with your decision to protect yourself and your wife from physical harm.

I don’t know how your son will receive treatment, but I hope he does.

At the support group I attend, a lawyer came and spoke about trusts for people who are receiving disability and medicaid. There is a way to set up your estate that will provide for him. He will not have any control of the money, so it can be used as long as it lasts to care for him. I think they were called Special Needs Trusts, but I can’t remember exactly. Anyway, it would be a lawyer who sets it up.

I don’t really know what you can do to actually help him into treatment. Just keep in touch with him? Wait until he’s ready to get treatment? Try to have him involuntarily commited? If he is still using lots of street drugs, there are now dual diagnosis treatment centers. You might want to research these along with regular inpatient programs to be ready with some resources if he does ask for your help to go into treatment.

You and your wife may be able to find a support group in your area for family and friends of people with mental illness. The one I attend is through NAMI.


#5

I really feel for you. How old is he now? Are you in the US?
Are you attending any support groups? This is very important as they can give you guidance through their own experiences. I can’t believe that something court ordered hasn’t already happened with him. He’s slipped through the cracks, so his next hospitalization, and he will have one, is when you need to get in there and make yourself heard. If the hospitals don’t think patients have much support when they leave, they tend to just let them go. If they know there is a support system, they may go the extra mile to get them the help they need.

The addiction with the illness is not uncommon. What was his passion when he was young? There must have been something he loved to do or was good at doing. We all have something.

Sounds like you’ve been through so much and that you love him. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t. Don’t give up. You are all he has, but your safety and well being are just as important. Balance needs to be found.

We’re here for you.

~hugs


#6

Thank you Holly67 for bringing up that key point: where we live in the USA, if someone winds up in the hospital and that person does not have family members or friends advocating for treatment, they will just bounce out of the hospital with no treatment (drugged heavily during stay and will leave with either a prescription or week’s worth of samples and no treatment team, follow up appointment, or housing, nothing).


#7

Its a horrid, horrible, life-wrecking illness. I’m happy, ELATED, for those for whom an effective medication has been identified, and empathize with you and others who are in this struggle without a good solution.


#8

I understand. My son also directed a lot of aggression towards my husband as his sz developed. I sent him far away, though I kept helping him financially. He was finally detained under the Mental Health Act and had to agree to depot injections to get out. He is now in his second month and is doing well. The shot does really knock him out for the first week, but after that he is really fine. His only symptom is some social withdrawal, though that’s better than it was. I am planning to stay with him until he gets his third shot. The further he gets from his unmedicated state, the more rational and reflective he becomes. I think you need to try to get your son a court order for treatment, and then engage with his treatment team.
we’ve discussed that a lot on this board. You can’t ask them for information without consent, but you can give it. To get a court order, you need to state that he is capable of/had used violence.