Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Getting my mother the help she needs


#1

Things started unraveling fast about a 6 weeks ago with my mother.

My mother alleged abuse against my father. When we dug deeper and asked what kind of abuse was taking place, she said that he was hurling microscopic particles at her and that he was poisoning the air in their house. She said he left “a sample” of the particles on the table and she sent them to a lab for testing (it was table salt, but that didn’t stop her at all). She is also accusing my father of having multiple affairs, including an affair with my aunt that lives across the country. She believes my father flies across the country and has sex with my aunt, then flies back later that day and makes it home for dinner.

She took her “sample” to the police and they dismissed her. I persuaded her to go to the doctor under the guise that I was concerned for her respiratory health (because of the particles). She went and gave the doctors permission to talk to me - they agreed she was having delusions and paranoia. They suggested to her that she see a psychiatrist and she freaked out on them and told them that nothing was wrong with her.

She went through a period of time (last week) where she didn’t sleep for 48 hours which just made things worse. She accused my father of sneaking in through the window (when he was supposed to be at work) while she was out shopping and poisoning every room in the house. My mom is living with her mother now (who is being treated for dementia related psychosis), but she is still very paranoid.

My mother also believes that my father is poisoning their dog, so she has been feeding the dog liquid colloidal silver. She may or may not be killing the dog by doing this. It takes her a long time to go anywhere or leave the house because she has to take all her food with her - she believes that my dad poisons her food when she leaves the house.

My father is sad and exhausted by this. So am I. So is our entire family. My mother has not made any direct threats against herself or others, but I fear that her increasing instability will make it head in this direction. She has permitted me to talk to her doctors, but she is so unpredictable that she could rescind this at any time. How bad does she have to get before we can get her involuntarily taken in? I also live out of state with my husband and we are not in a position to take her in, as I am in school full time and my husband works full time. We don’t have the money to support a third person right now.


#2

Welcome to the forum @rangoon45

Some of these links may help to get a grasp on what is happening with your mom.
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
http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/index.php - under problems you will see anosognosia
Anosognosia looks like denial but is different.
http://lesswrong.com/lw/e25/bayes_for_schizophrenics_reasoning_in_delusional/ - 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:
http://www.schizophrenia.com/

Getting help for someone that doesn’t know or believe that they need help is not easy. It seems the person really does have to be in immediate danger of hurting themselves or someone else to get involuntarily admitted to hospital. Maybe try talking to your mom about seeing a psychiatrist because they can help her to deal with her anxiety. Sometimes we have to try to find something that both can agree on, needs help with. What she is having to do every time she leaves they house must be causing her a lot of anxiety so maybe this can be a start to getting her in for treatment.


#3

I don’t have any advice really but I know what you are going through is difficult. My mother also believes that my dad is trying to hurt her and has affairs and everything else you could possibly think of. All I can say is just listen to your dad. Maybe spend time with just him even if it’s just lunch or dinner to get his stress levels down. My siblings and I try to do that with my dad to just help him escape the situation even if it’s just an hour.


#4

its so sad your mom has to go through this. your dad too. its hard to empathize with someone who has mental illness if you havent been there before in your own mind. unfortunately only way to fix it is meds, and meds are basically poisons that one needs to take for mental health. only reason i always add that last bit in there is i had it and its literally torture to get out of bed with some of the meds on the market, so please understand its not as easy as “take your meds.” i developed a serious dyskinesia disorder from one so switch around meds til you find the right one.

please never forget she has a true disease and doesnt mean to hurt you two. i used to rhink my dad was in the cia and stuff trying to train me from afar using nanotechnology. i didnt mean to think these things just the portion of your brain that controls what you believe has gone haywire.

just remember the empathy. i still get pressure from my family to clean house and stuff when im still recovering my brain from the medicines, and a little empathy and understanding goes a long way if you can. its four hundred times harder for me to get out of bed than it is for a normal person. so patience and understanding of your mom once she gets on these horrible things will help.

more than just one med might not suffice, and she mignt need meds to counteract side effects so ask the doctor. and check hormone levels too risperdal caused me serious issues with prolactin.


#5

THank you for your reply. I will not lie - it can be so hard to have empathy when she is being so incredibly hurtful. It’s something I have to work at. That being said, the terror and paranoia she is experiencing is horrible as well. I know logically she is not causing us pain on purpose, but it feels so personal and close 24/7 and it’s just hard to bear.

I am not angry with her because I know she can’t help it. But I am angry - so angry - at everything right now. It’s directionless anger because it is no one’s fault. It all just seems so unfair. No one wins. She’s tearing herself apart and causing everyone who loves her deep sadness.

I know the medication has terrible side effects. But there’s nothing that any of us can do unless she is patient with medication and finds a combination that works well for her. There’s no other way out.


#6

I am so sorry for what you and your family are going through. I wish there was an easy solution, but there isn’t. Mental illness is the most cruel illness that no one should have to suffer. She has no insight it looks like, which is why she accuses your Dad for everything. She doesn’t mean to hurt anyone by what she is saying but she is helpless. Not all medications work for everyone. My son had 4 different medications and none of them worked for him. He remains delusional and hears voices plus stopped taking medications. Wishing you and your family the very best. I know you all are trying to do all you can. Hang in there.


#7

So sorry for all of you! It is not good that your dad is doing this alone. Are there any support groups in his area? NAMI is a good one.
If you have been able to talk with her doctor, thats great but, is he able to see that she is unstable? Would it be possible to take her to the ER and let them evaluate her? maybe get that doctors opinion on paper? She needs to be in the hospital. Wondering if it would be a good idea for your dad to stay with you-or any of your siblings once in awhile-he can`t do this alone…


#8

He doctor has seen she is unstable, he has noted that she is in psychosis, so we do have it on paper which is good. He did a psych eval in office - but she’s not unstable enough to be involuntarily committed (as of her last visit 2 weeks ago).

I have suggested my dad go to his local NAMI or see a therapist to help deal with this. He’s not big on the idea of therapy but this has been devastating so he’s willing to give it a shot. I am out of state and he still has to go to work, so staying with me is out, although he’s welcome to if he wanted to do that. I am calling him every one or two days and seeing how he’s doing. Being long distance and trying to help out is hard.


#9

Nami is not therapy exactly-just a way of talking things out with others who are going through the same thing. He may get some valuable resource info. and someone to talk to.
I hope this helps your father!


#10

Rangoon 45…so sorry you are going through all this. My father has lived with this disease for 40 years…actually relapsing terribly since June…1st time in 38 years or so. I’ve realized that it doesn’t pay to take anything personal. It isn’t our mother or father…it’s the disease doing all the talking etc. I know it is still hurtful…probably more because it sucks to see them like this.
I am actually going to look into NAMI myself for me and my parents.
I think support from people who actually understand what you go through helps.
This site also helps. I’ve only joined a few days ago and everyone here has helped.


#11

The key is not to go through it alone…and it seems your dad would benefit from some sort of group.
I really hope your mom is able to get the help she needs and deserves!