Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Going "cold turkey"

My daughter was diagnosed with schizophrenia last year at age 18. She has already been hospitalized twice. I feel more safer when she’s hospitalized but recently I let her come back to live with me because I felt guilty that it was weeks before christmas. She has no job and only has Medi-cal insurance. I thought the Medi-cal would cover her meds when she got out but to my horror and surprise when I went to the local pharmacy to pick up her meds they said she wasn’t covered for them and that a 30 day supply would cost me $800! So basically my daughter was forced to go “cold turkey” because I’m not rich unfortunately. Can I get some much needed advice how to deal with this? I am so scared! I have literally been sleeping with one eye open afraid for my life and my two toddler boys that live with me. I already hid all the knives in my house but I’m still afraid that the “voices” will tell her to kill me or my boys. I’ve heard her have a few “freak outs” in the bathroom but she hasn’t got violent…yet.
I’m so stressed out just waiting for her to relapse! It’s like waiting for a big horrible storm.

if it gets bad. take her to the hospital. hope it will be ok.

I’m not an expert but it seems logical to do one or both of the options:
Get her back to hospital
Get her back to ( alternative) therapy

You have toddlers there.

Yeah that’s what I thought.
Basically I’m screwed.

Have you called the pdoc and asked if there is some type of cheaper alternative that your daughter can go on? It’s possible he could have free samples to give your daughter while waiting to be put on something else. Also, many pharmaceutical companies have credits that can greatly reduce the price of ordering medication for patient without insurance.

I’d talk to the pdoc ASAP and stress that it’s an emergency.

I didn’t know that. Thank you so much for your reply I will look into it right away.

Hi Rarity,

I hope you find a way to get your daughter the medications she needs to be healthy. Going “cold turkey” has negative effects on most people.

Just letting you know that the vast majority of people who have schizophrenia never become violent.

Try to find a NAMI support group in your area: The family support group will have some ideas for your self care.

Along with the above forum members’ good advice, for your daughter, maybe try to reconnect with a social worker from the hospital in order to learn about and connect to the resources she requires for medical treatment. Her doctor might be able to refer to a social worker or case manager once you let him or her know the situation.

Our state’s health and welfare department provides medication for people who cannot afford it and do not have insurance; I don’t know whether CA has a similar program.

All best wishes to you and your family.

Hi, Hereandhere
Thank you for your advice.
The reason I feel so frustrated is because my daughter is still in denial that she has a mental illness. When I try to get her help she thinks I’m plotting against her.
Also I’m not sure if this is the case with all schizophrenics but she lies a lot.
When she gets put in the hospital she claims that the staff molests her at night.
the whole time she’s hospitalized she demands to file a police report and demands charges be pressed. She even claims to have been raped by ex boyfriends.
So this is all she rambles on about when we are around any doctor. The week she had her last crisis she was walking around my house completely naked holding a butcher knife smiling like an evil clown.
I can’t believe I let that slide but I did!
That week I begged her not to make me call 911 because I love her very much.
The only reason I’m afraid of her now is because the recent time she was hospitalized is because she threatened me and my husband with a sharp piece of wood she broke off her bed and she pushed my 3 year old son on the floor in a violent rage.
I feel like her illness is making me crazy because the doctors keep saying she has rights and could refuse treatment.
Well guess what happens when they tell her that? Yep she refuses treatment.
we have missed every single appointment she had with her Dr. Since she’s been home because she refuses to get in my car at the last minute. I was really counting on those meds but again I was failed.
It’s so frustrating but I will never give up.
So glad I found this forum.

Find a social worker and have her apply for medicaid and disability for your daughter. Your daughter is ill and the government doesn’t want people with this illness to be on the streets or in jail which is why they have these programs.If you love your daughter do this immediately, you will see that one day she may even thank you for saving her life.

Dear Rarity,

I am really sorry to hear that your daughter has been violent. I did not understand the severity when I read your first post.

As 2ndLife mentioned, there are programs and resources. It’s difficult to find and access these without the help of social workers.

Many people do refuse treatment, including my family member. Like you, I am not giving up.

An assaultive threat is reason enough to call for help from a mental health crisis team if there is one in your area.

This forum has helped me alot.

Thank you Hereandhere and 2ndlife.
I really appreciate your input.
I am using all my resources that we’re given to me when my daughter was discharged.
I belong to one local support group and heard about this forum through them.
I was already told it is very hard to receive SSI for my daughters condition ,two doctors and a social worker told me this.
I asked them to give me forms and help me fill out but all I hear is "it’s very hard go online and look for the forms to print out"
They look at me like good luck with that.
I guess it’s a matter of finding a social worker & Dr. That really cares.
My thoughts race late at night with worry that’s why I’m so thankful for this forum.
I pray that one day my daughter will be a success story and not a tragedy.
I would love to be able to help other families dealing with the same problems but for now I’m still the new kid on the block.
Thanks again everyone!

I had to go cold turkey off of Geodon for 2 weeks because of bad psychiatric care at the time. I did weird things like unwittingly put a loaf of bread in the kitchen sink when I was done with it and it wasn’t pleasant by far for me. I would suggest trying the stuff the other people suggested because I have insane amounts of being able to endure shit so I was OK in the end I guess.

I don’t know what country you’re from, but in the US a person can be hospitalized involuntarily if they are a danger to themselves or others. Also, just because your daughter probably hasn’t been molested yet doesn’t mean she can’t be. There are creeps in this world who would take advantage of her situation. Disgusting, but true. If she levels accusations it can come down to her word against his.

Hi crimby
Yes the molestation accusations are why I allow her to come home early. I become drained visiting her everyday while she is crying begging me to let her come home. I can’t stand seeing her hospitalized.
I’m in California (U.S) I’m telling you trying to talk to these Doctors here about my daughters condition is bizarre.
I feel like I’m going nuts because they act like unemotional robots. I had a really good psychiatrist in the beginning when I had good health care but all that changed since the Obama care crap. Now I can’t afford to take my daughter to that same psychiatrist and she really liked going to her.
It all comes down to not having money for good care.
Sad really.

Hi schizofriendia
Can I ask you if you like to be left alone?
Do you get annoyed when a family member questions your behavior?
Right now my daughter sleeps all day & stays up all night watching movies & listening to music.
No structure at all.
Do you suggest I let her be?
Or is letting her be a bad idea?
Would love to know your opinion.

There is a way to force her into treatment if she has a history of violent behavior. You can get her declared mentally incompetent in court, and the court will make you responsible for her care. They can court order therapy and drug injections.

Medicaid told me they wouldn’t cover my Geodon unless I tried a whole host of other medications first, but my doctor was able to call and argue my case for me. Eventually it got covered. It sounds like what you need is an advocate. Applying for Medicaid and disability is not as hard as the doctors make it sound. Probably half of us on the forums are receiving disability pay. It is easy to fill everything out online. Maybe the extra pay will cover the cost of her meds.

I used to work in a residential treatment facility, and the first thing they told us was that kids in these settings are 80% more likely to be abused than the general population. So, while it may be a delusion or a lie, it could very well be true. You should report those accusations to the hospital so they can run an investigation. They can also stop all interactions between that staff member and your daughter when she goes back.

You should take her claims of rape and molestation very seriously. If she is lying/delusional, you won’t cause any harm. If she is telling the truth, it could be devastating for her if you don’t believe her. This stuff happens literally all the time in care facilities.

Hi cj9556
I do take the molesting accusations seriously that’s why I pulled her out of hospitalization. She just has a history of saying people raped her. Like for example she claimed a ex boyfriend she only knew for 4 months raped her but then when she was hospitalized he was the first person she called. She actually wanted to live with him instead of me upon her hospital release but I steped in and questioned why would she want to live with someone that raped her?She also claimed her boyfriend of 2 years raped her in her sleep a few times. I really want to take these accusations seriously but you also have to think of the other person, false accusations can ruin an innocent persons life.
Did I also mention she claims to have been raped by ghost?

My answers might not necessarily be because of my mental illness because I also have extensive psychological damage compared to someone who has a psychological state conducive for dealing with reality.

Depends on various factors and isn’t really a black and white issue. Depends on the people, how I’m doing, probably the alignment of the planets for all I know. lol

I get annoyed when anyone questions my behavior because the things I do are what I’ve learned to do to survive life.

I couldn’t say because I don’t know her at all as a person.

Facilities have a very black and white approach to molestation charges. Just report it. It will then be their job to determine if it is legitimate. You can tell them she has a history of saying she has been raped, and they will take that into account during their investigation. It sounds like your daughter has probably actually been raped at least once, and it might have been the triggering event for her psychosis. It makes total sense that she would reach out to an old boyfriend even if he abused her. Abusive relationships can be addictive, because of the intense highs and lows the brain experiences. You don’t have to pursue legal prosecution, but at least let her know you believe her. One of the hardest things about being raped is having to deal with everyone who doesn’t believe it happened.

I was molested as a teenager in my sleep routinely. I was also raped as an adult, and that is what triggered my psychosis. I frequently hallucinate that I have been raped by people/ghosts because I have PTSD. Maybe that would be a good way to get her foot in the door of treatment. Tell her you believe she has been raped, and you want her to go to therapy for PTSD so she can start to heal and regain control over her life after it was taken away from her. Don’t mention schizophrenia if she isn’t ready to admit she has it yet. Just say you’re trying to help her heal from her trauma.

After reading all the posts, I am wondering if she is actually sz. (Of course, I have not actually seen and heard her.) The descriptions sound an awful lot like classic hysteric borderlinism (see below), which may or may not actually be uniformly psychotic.

I bring this up because her described behavior fits that diagnosis, and that behavior may be categorizing her among treatment providers who are still human enough to act robotic in response. I know about this because I have seen many treatment providers act “robotic” when they encounter this type of patient and hear relentless accusations of sexual abuse from them. They often get very uncomfortable and guarded, for what I think are quite understandable reasons.

Have you been to your county’s DPSS office? I would strongly suggest doing so to open up a case file if there isn’t one already. In most CA counties, the social workers try as much as possible to be proactive about these types of cases so as to prevent induction of further abuse. Because, statistically, the girl who yells “rape” is the most likely to be raped and then ignored.