I just joined this site because I am in need of some help for myself dealing with a mother with schizophrenia. She is not the only one in her family that has it. I have an uncle that has been in and out of hospitals since he was a young adult. My mother is 70 by the way. She has been sick her whole adult life, as long as I can remember it. As far as I know she has never taken any medication. She acknowledges that she has voices in her head and that they tell her bad things about me, my sister and brother. Other than that she thinks there is nothing wrong with her. She has moment of lucidity but they are few and far between.
I recently moved back from Seattle to live with her because I was worried that she was getting worse. Well I was right. I just had no idea how bad it s. She is constantly talking to the voices in her head, even if I’m in the same room. I also notice that she is projecting things on to me. She is a hoarder and has stuff everywhere. When I moved in, I put everything neatly where she told me to put it. Everything else is in my room. She is constantly telling me that I’m disorganized. Also she is very overweight and is constantly telling me that I’m fat. Is this a part of the sickness??
I knew that moving home it wouldn’t be easy and I try to do my best to be accommodating to her to avoid a blow up, but sometimes it’s hard. She sometimes has no sense of reality and switches from one delusion to another. It is hard to have a conversation with her because I can’t follow her train of thought. The other thing is she mixes up details and people and puts them in situations that are impossible. Like she recently told he she was speaking to two men in jail. I know for a fact that she has been no where near a jail. She mixes up timelines of things and is convinced that me, my sister and my brother hate her, and are trying to hurt her. She gets mad a flies into a rage at the drop of hat. She is verbally abusive to me and has been physically abusive in the past. ’
She constantly says no one will help her, but when we do we are trying to pull something over on her. Trying to hurt her, steal her money, working with “them”. It’s just gotten to be a lot to take today.
Sometimes I feel guilty because I feel that her mind is so “Swiss cheese” and she will never get meds or help that the only way she can find peace is to not be in this life anymore. I just want her to have some peace in life. She is so full of anger I just don’t know what to do. No one in my family will help. They just call her crazy and ignore her. I feel that if my grandmother and grandfather or someone in my family had tried to help her years ago, she might not be in the condition she is in right now.
I just feel that I am at the end of my rope. I know once I get working it will be better because I won’t have to be around her all day, but until that I just need help and I don’t know where to turn. When will I have peace??
Is there anything I can do to help her see she’s ill and needs help? Can I talk to her doctor?? I don’t want to put her in the hospital or anything like that, but I know I can’t do it by myself. Any advice is very much appreciated.
I appreciate this venue to vent. I feel better knowing that I’m not alone. Thank you for reading.
Hi that is a symptom of the illness. I agree in that if someone is given helpful treatment sooner it prevents heartache and sickness. I’m sorry this is going on, and I’m in a sort of similar situation where I have to help out but I’m able to move out if I need to. I feel almost as if the system has disregarded us, as more people with this illness are getting either over-medicated, mistreated or fall through the cracks and never recover. Medication has prevented my symptoms from getting worse, yet many claim in the “activist” communities that medication doesn’t necessarily create mental recovery. I’m not sure if that’s accurate, but I also wonder how schizophrenia can steal so much will from people. The medication I took probably took the edge off things, but also created more insight for me.
Thank you for response. I don’t think medication is the whole answer but it would be nice if it helped take the edge off. Now if i could just get her to take some!! For now i will just keep on keeping on.
My dad has sz. He will rant and rave, talk to voices, blame everything and anything on other people ALL the time and he refuses to take therapy.
You are not alone, it’s an ongoing battle.
Thank you for response. I’ve felt so alone most of my life. I know that other people are going through what i am, but no one wants to talk or acknowledge it. I know when i was a kid i felt ashamed to tell anyone what was going on in my house. Thank you for the support.
Some of these links may help:
http://www.leapinstitute.org/ - under resources are free videos on using LEAP
LEAP is a way of communicating to build trust. Listen-Empathize-Agree-Partner.
http://dramador.com/ - Dr. Xavier Amador is a clinical psychologist whose brother had schizophrenia. He is the founder of the LEAP Institute. Wrote the book: I’m Not Sick I Don’t Need Help! Can buy from his website.
Search Xavier Amador and LEAP on youtube.com and you should find some long videos
Treatment Advocacy Center - under problems you will see anosognosia
Anosognosia looks like denial but is different.
Bayes for Schizophrenics: Reasoning in Delusional Disorders - LessWrong - helped my understand delusions
http://www.nami.org/ - National Alliance on Mental Illness.
http://www.schizophrenia.ca/ - Schizophrenia Society of Canada
Can also find some very useful information here:
I found with my son that he would transfer his own feelings, moods etc onto me. I call this transference. I think that part of his brain recognized that there was an issue however he could not see that it was originating from himself so for him it was logical to assume that it was originating from me. There were times that he would walk into a perfectly calm room and complain that it was full of negativity. Negativity that wasn’t there until he walked into the room. Lots of times he would tell me that I was in need of psychiatric help, delusional or even that I was the one who should be hospitalized when he is unstable. I don’t know if it’s part of schizophrenia or not but it seems to happen a lot.
It sounds like your mom may have some OCD issues as well which probably isn’t helping.
Using LEAP may help you deal with some of the delusions that your mom is experiencing so that they don’t become things to argue about. I had to walk away from my son a lot when it came to delusional conversations and other emotional outbursts. Sometimes there is no right thing to say and since we can’t argue with a delusion than walking away or not participating in the conversation can be the best option. It’s hard to enforce boundaries and I’m guessing that at this point with your mom’s age it may be even more difficult for you.
You can talk to her doctor. They may not be able to share or tell you information about her due to privacy laws however they are able to listen to you. You could try getting her to sign a release so that the doctor is able to talk to you. Depending on how high her paranoia is I don’t know if this will work or not. My son doesn’t sign releases when he is unstable. You could try the approach of trying a medication for anxiety reasons.
Honestly, it sounds like all of that is symptoms. As if the illness has taken over completely. I think you need to detach completely and have NO expectations, like with someone with Alzheimer’s. I doubt she’s going to gain any insight after all these years. It’s impossible really. I don’t mean abandon her because I think that would be like abandoning your own sense of compassion, but protect yourself emotionally by expecting nothing in return. I wonder if you can get any help from outside, like a respite carer sometimes?
thought i would say hi.
I’m sorry you’re Mom has gone so long with no real help. It sounds like you need some help and some more ideas on how to help her and keep your own self intact. Venting is welcome and I can only imagine how hard it is for you being on the outside looking in.
Many of the problems you describe are a lot of what I did to my poor family too. The paranoia that the family was out to get me, not paying attention to the people in my life but only dealing with the people in my head, the word salad…
My parents were drug through a lot of pain due to my illness. I’m very lucky that they never gave up hope on me.
Seattle has some vast services… Swedish Medical Center in Ballard.
Seattle also has a NAMI branch as well.
King County Services
If there is no way to get her to help… there is a way to bring the help to her… A place to start maybe getting help from a visiting nurse through Evergreen health.
Another good place for extra info might be Harborview Medical Center.
I hope this starts the ball rolling for some peace in your family. You don’t have to do this alone.
I want to point out that their might be some dementia mixed in now too. So the voices and swiss cheese brain might not be SZ related. My grandma was a hoarder too and it was a constant battle to keep her place liveable so she could stay at home. When it finally got bad enough we, my mom and I, insisted on bringing her to dr appointments and going into the room with her so we could listen and air our concerns. We kind of bullied our way in, grandma objected at first but then let us in because she realized we were there to help and she liked the company. Then when she got worse my mom got power of attorney so she could pay the bills and stuff. Grandma was relieved to not have to do that anymore although she liked to supervise it.
I agree with @skims that it sounds like she has dementia as well. My father passed away from dementia, at age 82 last year, and prior to that never was sick a day in his life.
Dementia will bring on the paranoia, sudden mood changes and anger too.
I watched the rapid decline of him, and with just my mother and me caring daily for him (I live only 10 minutes away from them) and the constant stress of his unpredictable emotions almost took my mom with him. She aged 20 years in the 10 months since he finally got Dx’d with dementia to the time he died.
Although I miss him very much, the quality of his life (and my mom’s) had deteriorated to the point that understanding he was never going to improve enough to be his old self, death was actually a relief that he was finally free from his misery.
The quality of life is far more important than the quantity.
Sometimes you just have to let go of something if it is going to drag you down and take you with it.
I’am diagnosed with SZ, and when I get unmanageable, I refuse to go to the hospital and will get chased down and dragged in kicking and screaming, but after a few days, it really is okay to be there. I won’t admit it to my pdoc or family, but when I’m that far gone, that is exactly where I need to be.