Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Grasping for help


#1

Hi I’m new to this forum and I’ve been wanting to post something but didnt have the courage until now. My boyfriend has schizophrenia and he isnt doing so well right now…it tears my heart because I dont want him to be in pain! The medication he is taking isnt working for him and his psychiatrist in my opinion isnt much help. What’s so sad is that he does want to get better! We talk on the phone daily so I can hear the almost silent cries from his voice…I cant do anything for him since I live two counties away. I wish more then anything for someone to help him…anyone!


#2

Hello.

Im so sorry to hear that your boyfriend isn’t doing well right now. Do you think he would be willing to check himself into the hospital? It’s a little easier to trial a new medication in a medically supervised setting. You said he wants help…maybe he’d be willing💛


#3

My daughter checking herself in the hospital was the best thing for her… she is finally getting the help she needs…looking forward to bringing her home today!


#4

Why isn’t he doing well right now?
How long has he been on them for?


#5

Yeah he has admitted himself a few times but I kid you not…they didnt hospitalized him. Kaiser actually told him that he didnt meet the requirements!!! This was the first time he actually said that he needs to go and that wasnt easy for him to even verbalize because my boyfriend used to be against getting hospitalized. Now I think he is slowly realizing that it’s not bad!

The medication he is taking is an injection and its given once a month.

What also doesnt help is the dynamic between him and his mom because she’ll tell him to wait a few days! I feel like I’m the only one hears him or believes him.


#6

My daughter did well in the hospital in Dec 18, and after a few months home on the monthly injection I’ve noticed she does very well for 3 weeks on the med, but the 4th week is worrisome as the voices come back. She got her shot today, but is in her room quietly talking about herself to her “people” and has been having these mild conversations for a week now when alone. Based on last month, the voices should go away in about 3 days.

She didn’t do well at all on the other 3 meds tried in the hospital (5 hospitalizations so far with 4 different meds or med combos) as nothing stopped the hallucinations before.

Meds seems to be trial and error to find the right one. I’ve been told that finding the right psychiatrist is also trial and error. I’m shocked that Kaiser wouldn’t take him in-patient when he tried. Perhaps your boyfriend should go in on a different day and try again. Different intake staff have different responses from my esperience. A few days ago my daughter went back to visit one of the hospitals she was in for 30 days, and the intake person said she could voluntarily admit herself if she wanted to (all prior visits were involuntary).

Welcome to the forum @Blackbird23 . Come often, read a lot, post when you want to. Everyone here understands the constant worry of having a loved one with sz.


#7

On Sunday I’m going to see him so maybe we will go in the morning because we’ve gone late in the night. Hopefully they’ll be much better…I can only hope.

Thanks @oldladyblue it’s been hard talking to my family about this because they dont understand and its frustrating. Luckily I have a therapist so I’m able to do some self care.

I hope and pray that everyone’s loved one with sz is doing okay.


#8

It is unfortunate @Blackbird23 that most people with no direct experience with schizophrenia don’t understand it at all, and have little empathy for caregivers or loved ones. It was a hard lesson for me to learn. I just cannot talk about this to most “outsiders”. I’m glad you have a therapist and can do self care.

Good luck at the hospital on Sunday. I hope help occurs.


#9

You can continue to be encouraging to this man and to listen. I recommend encouraging him to stay in touch with his doctor and to see if he can get counseling, which can help a person learn how to cope with and better manage the effects of the illness. Counseling may be offered confidentially through his employer (contact HR) if nothing else.

Anti-psychotics typically take some time to reach maximum effectiveness and for certain side effects to diminish (not all side effects may go away). So he needs to give the med time to work but if there are major problems during that time, the doctor should be willing to increase the dosage, add another med, or change med altogether.

If he is willing and one is available in your area, he could go to a NAMI Peer Support Group (NAMI.org) National Alliance on Mental Illness. The Peer group is for persons living with mental illness and is led by trained peers.


#10

Oh, yes, NAMI is great. I really got a lot from their support groups and the 12 week family-to-family course. I found NAMI before I found this forum, and both together are great.


#11

Hello everyone. Yes I’ve heard of NAMI and I’m in the process of finding one in my city.

My hope is to explain to him that therapy or counseling can benefit him and even our relationship. He doesnt trust therapists so it’s difficult to changed his mind on going. With that being said, I wouldn’t pressure him to do anything he doesnt want but I can share with him my experiences with therapy.

So an update. I decided to see him Saturday because he wanted my company and when I saw him guys I wanted to cry because I could see him in pain. The whole day he had a blank look. Those voices bombarded him all day and I could only watch. At one point I told him we could go to the hospital but he felt like they would turn him away! Well now I’m on my way to the hospital because he couldn’t bear it anymore. My family is coming with me and I’m grateful for them because they’re familiar with the 72 hour hold process. I had to be put on a hold and sent to a mental hospital against my will. Thank god I’m better now but my dear boyfriend hasn’t been. I can only pray.


#12

So far my daughter is doing well at home with her haldol and cogentin… I am concerned about when she starts school again… the np things she should be ok to go back, but school is one of her sources of anxiety… maybe since the medication is helping her control the voices, it won’t be so bad… we will see…
we have a follow up appointment in the middle of the day tomorrow at the outpatient center. We will see who the regular psychiatrist will be…


#13

I really hope things continue to go well for you and your family. I think it is great that the hospital worked out, and the meds are helping a lot.


#14

Maybe your daughter could go for half days of school. I wish I had requested that earlier in the year. Sometimes they need a lot of sleep on these medications.


#15

The therapist’s role is to help your daughter move forward now that she is on meds. At first meds are 90% of the answer. After they stabilize on
meds, the progress back to “normal” needs a lot of support from a good therapist.

Nick who taught Peer to Peer always said that at first meds are 90% of the answer, later therapy and effort take a larger role.


#16

Have you discussed with the psychiatrist that your daughter is having breakthru symptoms before the next dose? I would request that they consider increasing the dose or moving the injections closer together. You are allowed to speak with the care team even if your daughter has not signed a release.


#17

“Different intake staff have different responses” - so very true. Our experience with intake was so varied it was hard to believe that we were dealing with the same patient, same disorder and at times the same facility.

One hospital…the intake person was patient, helpful and got our daughter to sign herself in (this was all before our guardianship). Same hospital 5 months later (oral meds had been discontinued)…intake called Dr. on call and he/they REFUSED to admit her even though I was there showing my physical injuries (mostly scratches and raised welts) from her attacking me and she was in full paranoia/delusions. She was worse and they refused care…their patient they had just seen not that long ago and was still seeing a Dr. there for follow-up appointments.

Shortly thereafter we had to have her arrested.

This time a judge ordered her to go straight from jail to hospital. We took her to a different hospital and it took us 3 hours of arguing with the intake person to admit her. Two weeks later she escaped from the locked ward (in late fall -wearing only pants and short sleeve shirt-no shoes/jacket-a week later and she would have died from the cold) and the hospital did NOTHING to find her. We found her, physically restrained her and hauled her back to the hospital.

There is no rhyme or reason to the quality of care you might receive by the same facility. Even now with our success I still feel the “other shoe could drop” at a moments notice. Will the medication stop working, will there be more serious side effects, will medication become even more costly…will there be a disruption in medication production, will she lose her job, will insurance coverage become an issue…EVEN with success I still worry every day.

I’ve concluded that when it comes to dealing with someone who suffers from a mental illness…as family members we too suffer a form of PTSD and need our own support system in place.


#18

“Blank Look” is called “FLAT AFFECT”…it can go away after being on medication for a period of time. Our daughter had it severely during her “breaks” and other times she didn’t respond emotionally appropriate to situations.

After 2+ years on medication…she jokes, laughs, and most importantly is empathetic. She can now show concern and worry for others and their situation which is huge.


#19

I agree with the statement that “Different intake staff have different responses.” Which is why I hoped it would be different if he and I went in the morning instead of 12 am but we ended up going around that time on Sunday. In the end they prescribed him anxiety medication to help him until Wednesday. I hope on Wednesday they’ll be able to do something. Anything.


#20

@NeverTooLate It is maddening, isn’t It? We have more than enough to figure out and can’t get help when needed most. Was your daughter compliant once hospitalized and getting treatment or how did she come to take medication?