Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Guardianship - should I do it

My son will be returning home in the next few days after being hospitalized for 5 weeks. After talking with the doctor, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. He said "your son has a serious illness. He will never be able to function on his own. "

I always tried to maintain hope since my son worked 4 years before his sz symptoms made their appearance. However, he seems to be getting worse than any better at all. The doctor suggested that I get guardianship. Its seems like I am taking the last thing that my son has left. His ability to be his own person.

Should I get guardianship over him? He is going to hate me. However, this will allow me to make medical decisions on his behalf since I don’t think he is capable of doing that now. What are the pros and cons of getting guardianship? Has anyone done this yet to their loved one? Do they forgive you once they are finally stable enough?

Sharing your experiences with me would be very helpful.
Thank you.

Hi ohioflash,
I’m really not sure what is best but right now I have lps conservatorship when my son was in and out of hospitals and I asked the doctor if we can get him on conservatorship while he was in hospital because he kept stopping his meds and becomes gravely disabled . The pros are you will be able to make medical decisions on the medications, take him out of hospital and put him into a long term facility. I live in ca. that is how it works here but not sure in other states. My son does get mad at me and says I am controlling his life but it was either public guardian or me and he chose me to be his conservator. If it gets too much to handle than I could write the courts and let public guardian take over. I hope this help you a little ,

If he cannot handle taking care of himself then someone has to step in and keep him healthy.
I was hospitalized 25 times in 11 years, and was considered “gravely disabled” over half those times. Maybe I didn’t appreciate all the help I was given at the time because I wasn’t well enough to accept it gracefully. It has been 7 years since my last hospitalization, and looking back, I’m very thankful for as much help as I received.
If your son resists help but isn’t doing well, don’t allow him to do more damage by not stepping in, it may take awhile, but he will get over it (the hate).


Due to posts like this I have thought about and wonder if I would get guardianship if I thought it was needed. I think I would. I tell my son when we butt heads that his stability and future is more important to me then him being mad at me. Sometimes he will talk about moving in with his Dad when things get tough here. I would try to get custody/guardianship to stop this from happening as his Dad’s life is too full for the day to day needed.

I’m thinking that just because this would give you certain rights that doesn’t mean that you have to take or make them. Could you not make these decisions on an as needed bases as they come up?

At first my son was upset about me getting guardianship, but now I think he kind of relies on it - he asks me to communicate with people when he is not comfortable with it.

The last question the judge asked me before assigning guardianship was," If you son became able to manage his life again, would you be prepared to give over guardianship to him?" My answer was, “You betcha! That’s the goal!”

I am contemplating guardianship myself right now. I have been advised by two different sources that I need to do that. Especially in light of the fact that we are in the appeal process of SSDI and I know at this point in his life, there is no way he would be a good steward of that money. He would go blow the large back-payment sum on a motor scooter or something like that. He has mentioned that he wants a motor scooter and I just cringe thinking about him out there on one of those in this Atlanta traffic. It would be a death sentence for sure. [quote=“BarbieBF, post:4, topic:7054”]
I’m thinking that just because this would give you certain rights that doesn’t mean that you have to take or make them
And very good point Barbie - just because you can doesn’t mean you must. We would have that authority if needed.

Finding a lawyer to handle this is my next “son” project.

I went through this decision so many times. I didnt do it because I felt like his choice was all he had left. He has been through hell and back. I also thought that it wouldnt matter if I took guardianship, he would end up doing anything he wanted anyway–and he did.
however, I know there are instances where it is very much needed. I completely agree with Barbie on this–as needed. Wish I would have thought of that a long time ago!
This thing is such an idividual and personal choice.

Thank You Pattywagon1. It really does help being able to talk to others that are going through the same thing.

Thank you csummers. It means a lot to me to hear your opinion especially coming from someone suffering from this illness. Everything I do for him is out of love and I hope he eventually will see that.

no words of wisdom…just some flowers for you to brighten your day and to let you know you are being thought about…

As long as you don’t abuse the authority…guardianship is the best thing that you can do to ensure your child gets someone to help make decisions when they can’t. My son did resent it in the beginning, but when he realized I would let him make decisions when he was capable, he no longer really cared if I talked to the doctors…then he went full circle and started telling me to tell the doctors,xyz. He was relieved that I was in his corner. I recommend that you do get guardianship so you can be fully informed and help him through the horribly deficient maze of getting appropriate care/treatment. Best wishes!

Thanks everyone. I am still on the fence with this decision. My son comes home tomorrow after being in the hospital for 5 weeks. To say I am a little nervous is an understatement. Even now he states he is not ill and doesn’t need to take his meds but will comply since I said I will not pick him up if he doesn’t.

It means so much to have a forum like this to talk to others that are walking this difficult path both as a care giver and sufferer of this illness. Good wishes and thoughts to all of you.

it was always my biggest fear that somebody was going to force guardianship on me when I was ill, because I’m not ill now. People around me still treat me like I’m nuts, but I am not. If I had to fight to get my rights and freedom back from my ‘guardian’ I’d be really pissed off. I felt like I had to do that when I got out of the hospital.

I took care of my now exhusband for years, and I didn’t want to do it anymore. After he finally went to the doctor, they just toild me stuff I already knew, he’s sick, but I also found out his pornography and masturbation problem had nothing to do with his OCD and psychosis problems, here I’d been putting up with this garbage forever.

so, I see you mothers posting how you want to be the kids guardian. I personally don’t think it’s a good idea to put yourself in that position, it’s not healthy for you, nor for your child. but thats my opinion.

my cousin has a payee, and that payee is a friend of hers, not her parent. I think that’s a better idea , let your child decide who their payee is going to be, it should not be a parent. just when are you going to give up being the ‘parent’?

I know you parents are on here looking for answers, but I believe that is the answer. you are overstepping your bounds, @BarbieBF included. Your son, if he’s an adult, needs to take responsibility, even if that responsibility is to find themselves a guardian, and that shouldn’t be their parent.

My Aunt, took her child, my cousin and my cousin found herself a payee/guardian. and that person was not my aunt. I see how they operate, and it’s beautiful. Leave your child be, and let them find their own way. You sound like a bunch of codependent people who need to be told this to me.

At what point does a person with this disease need a guardian? I believe my son is not at the point. If I need to see his records, all I do is write up a request and explain it to him. He signs it and all is well. I feel greatfull he is not needing a guardian.

I would not want or need a guardian right now. If I had a guardian, how would I get rid of the guardian and get my life back? perhaps I’ll never have a psychosis again, if I do, so what? I would not want somebody watching over me like that. I suppose it’s comfy to have your mom and dad continue to put a roof over your head and feed you, but then that individual never learns to take care of themselves.

I had a friend who I had placed on my power of attorney forms should something happen to me. when I had my psychotic episode, she took over, without asking me. they took my mail, opened it, paid bills without asking me, moved money around without asking me. did alot of things with my belongings without asking me or telling me. they didnt have guardianship, nor did i want them to have it. we no longer speak to one another, she had no right to take my mail, open it, or move my money around. period.

because of this none of my family speak to me, I’m so angry with them. they all think i’m nuts all the time and wanted to take my house and my money, that’s what they were after, my money.

I’ve found that abstaining from masturbation and pornography greatly helps my schizophrenia!