Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

First contact in 8 months, request for money

My 37 son stopped talking to me at the beginning of February 2017. He told me he was suffering from anxiety and depression, he doesn’t have a diagnosis but he is definitely also suffering from delusions. He lives in his own apartment but stopped working in August 2016 (unclear exactly what happened). I think he has probably had a couple of rough times in the past but always “righted” himself after a few weeks and has never cut me off before.

So he emailed yesterday to say he hasn’t been working but is now ready to look for work but … he hasn’t been paying his rent so he needs $ 6K to keep his apartment. In the same email he says that he still isn’t going to talk to me and he may or may not pay the money back.

My thought is to tell him that of course I will help him but we have to talk first. If he will talk to me I’ll then try to get him to a psychiatrist. I could borrow the money but I can’t afford to keep him in his own apartment. (In a large city about a hour away from me.)

I’m afraid if I insist that he speak to me he will not, will lose his apartment, will become homeless.

Any suggestions?

If it were me, NO WAY… Once the $6K is gone he will want more…


So if you pay, most likely you will keep on paying because he isn’t working and could be having a tough time. You called for a wellness check one time (I looked at your post). Can you do that again? They may see something that might determine that he is not well - as it sounds like his functioning is declining.

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This is a hard one though. I understand your wish to re-establish some contact with him.

My response is, you shouldn’t over-extend yourself financially for your son, especially at this point, when he is not getting treatment. If $6K is too much for you to afford, consider other options. I would definitely not pay him any money directly, but rather make payments to the landlord, assist in finding a less expensive place, or do other things that will help him meet his needs without giving him money directly. If he rejects that kind of assistance, you will know he is really after the money, not the real help.


That’s a tough one. Can you go visit him and assess the situation in person? It might give you a better sense of how he’s really doing.
You can’t afford to take on his rent. So something else will need to be work out. A move? Come home with you?

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There are homeless shelters and most have social workers to help people get back on their feet.

I am not trying to sound cold, but I want you to be able to help him in a way that is sustainable for both of you.

As in, get him to a doctor for a diagnosis. Maybe he will qualify for some housing assistance or other assistance. I like @Jan’s idea to visit him and see what is happening.

Let him know you will help him, but that you can’t pay his rent. I have paid the rent before for someone struggling who was not my family member with sz and it did not work out well for them until they became homeless and then got a job and a new apartment when they had no other choice. When my family member with sz was kicked out, there was zero capacity to get a job or place to live and I took care of them while they were living outside.

If you do decide to pay the rent, pay landlord directly as @Vallpen wrote.


Yeah, I expect that he also has credit card debits so I don’t see it stopping at $6k.

Thanks for the idea Holly67. I have a contact with a friend in the local PS. She (the officer) said that they are ALWAYS happy to do a wellness check. Just please let them know in advance if there is a possibility of violence. I’m going to do that tomorrow (during the day, rather than at night.)


That’s a really good point. I’m going to see about talking to his landlord and see if I can work out something temporary. I’m not going to be able to continue to pay his rent for him so …

One of the problems right now is that he is refusing to talk to me at all so I can’t discuss moving or coming home with him. When this started (February 2016) one of the first things the crisis centre told me was that they would help with disability funding so he could keep his apartment if he was able to stay alone but he refused to talk to them or me.

This does give me a reason to talk to the landlord though. I hate the idea of letting him become homeless but even if I paid his back rent that would only put it off temporarily.

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I would check with the landlord too. If he is 6k behind in rent, how do you know he has not been evicted yet? Especially since he admitted to not working and may or may not pay the money back. I know it is tough to think about our children being homeless, but on the other hand, they have to be accountable to some degree. Hope it works out.

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I have also provided my son with gift cards from grocery stores - most places have them available now. Tho I couldn’t be 100% sure they were being used only for food items, there was a better chance of it than just providing cash.


So nothing good to report. I called the crisis centre. They attempted contact but he didn’t respond. Called the Police Service for a wellness check, they said he said he was OK. Emailed him that I would pay his back rent if he contacted the crisis centre.

He send back a really, really nasty email saying that he won’t do anything I demand, that he has no interest in talking to me, giving me the name of his landlord for the cheque and the due date, and asking for another $600 for a kind pharmacist who has given him credit (no further details).

I’m now trying to decide whether he will get help more quickly if I let him become homeless. Winter is coming and I’m terrified for him. On the other hand I’m afraid that if I just pay his rent he’ll stay sick longer.

I’m taking a two day cognitive behavioural therapy course at the end of the month but I think that will only help if he’ll talk to me.

Any suggestions?

Hi Liz,

Your situation is so difficult. No matter what any of us choose to do to help our loved family members with sz, something can go wrong. That said, my opinion is that I do not think you should give him $6,600.00 directly.

I feel you have correctly identified the crux of the problem: homeless in autumn/ winter or the possibility of illness lasting longer. I hate to write this third possibility: if he received the money, are you sure he would use it for what he says it would be used for? If there is any chance he is using illicit substances to self medicate, you don’t want to hand him the money for more.

If you don’t give his current landlord that money, maybe he gets kicked out of that place, but you could help him with a different place? One that is found through services at a homeless shelter might be less expensive and more supportive?

I think the course will help you in the short and long run.

I’m really glad your son is okay. Sounds like he has enough coping mechanisms and inner resources to get through this, even if he is evicted.

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I’d offer him the opportunity to come home and live with you (if you are amenable) or you could offer to find a place near you for less. That’s it. He’s counting on you feeling guilty if you don’t meet his demands. Plus, he’s nasty and won’t talk to you! He’s not playing fair.
Yes, I know it’s the illness talking, but still he should respect you. You don’t know for a fact he’ll be homeless. Maybe he has other options he is not sharing with you. A friend with a room to rent, perhaps?
I don’t know the answer, just putting in my 2cents. Good luck!


Liz, were you able to speak with his landlord?

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Sure he is in trouble and playing you too, if you cant pay this landlord direct, I would not do anything until he hits the streets then direct him to the nearest hospital for help…

If you can pay this landlord direct, work a deal with him monthly with no lease, dont feed illegal drug use…

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Lots of great comments…See if there is a NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Family-to-Family class in your area, and consider going to a NAMI Support group. Both my spouse and I have found the class very helpful (spouse was doubtful prior to attending) and I’m very impressed with what this organization offers.

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