Hello. I'm Philip. Best friend suffering from sz.. (long)


#1

I’m really exhausted. My friend, S, had his first (I think his first) psychotic episode over the past couple months. Being 35, this was unexpected. He is paranoid, believing everyone is trying to kill him. What he has expressed is more complicated than that, of course, but that’s the short of it. He’s fled the state and is living out of his car. Lots of people have pressed charges against him for harassment and stalking, and violating protective orders. He believes no one on Earth is on his side, so he has no one to assist him. As it stands, there is no way to find him, unless he gets picked up on a stalking warrant at some point. If he does, I don’t want him lost in the system somewhere people don’t understand how ill he is, and just thrown in prison.

He’s never been diagnosed; he fears psychiatrists most of all, even before his episode began. But talking to crisis centers, and my own psychiatrist, they all think he definitely suffers from schizophrenia or schizo-effective disorder.

I’m writing here because reading some of you talk to each other has helped my heart.

It is hard to know there is no way you can help someone you really love. It is hard to think that there is no one that can help him right now, and how awful he must feel every moment, to live in the world he lives in. Me and everyone else (his parents, other friends) have more or less been told to avoid engaging him (he writes a LOT of e-mails), and most of us have followed that advise after the first few days. It is hard to stay silent. But I know any words of support would only been seen as something mocking and cruel by him, and make him feel worse.

Feeling so powerless before someone you love is humbling in a very painful way.

-Philip


#2

Isolation is no help at all.

If someone sits down with him and allows him to expose all that he is aware of, this would be a good start.

If, however, he is constantly interrupted as he exposes his reasoning, then completion is thrown out the window. If ALL is revealed then there is no assumptions left in the equation. If there is no open mindedness, then around and around we go again. If totality is exposed then there is no room left for an ongoing around and around hopelessness.

If both he and others are aware of the totality, then his reasoning is exposed and shared. However, if the entirety of the situation is kept under the title of mental illness, then the entirety is not exposed, thus around and around we go again.

Complete exposure reveals the error in judgment, whether it be his, or yours, or both


#3

Unfortunately, people in general are not interested in completeness.

For instance, people in general are not interested in the entirety of reality, the entirety of TRUTH. Instead they just accept whatever
it is that they see.

However, this rule did not apply to me. I chose to be more intelligent than my eye balls, thus I did not accept what my eyes told me. In turn my mind noticed that the motion of all objects, as “seen”, was ABSOLUTELY impossible. I was fascinated that others did not notice this obviousness.

In other words, I did not just assume and thus accept what “appears” to be going on concerning motion, and I did so since I knew that it was the right choice for my mind to be more intelligent than my eyes.

As shown in my above video collection, videos 1 through 9 ( 1.5 hours long ), I showed that all that is required to understand Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity, and do so by figuring it all out by your little old self, is a grade 6 education along with grade 9 math.

All this was achieved by removing assumption from reasoning.

The removal of assumption, removes the possibility of error.

Thus I stress the point again, by removing assumption, one requires only a grade 6 education along with grade 9 math the figure out by your little old self, Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity.

However, if assumption is left within the equation, then simple error displaces you from the truth at hand.


#4

Thank-you for the great response, INTROBC.

I agree that isolation is no help at all. May I ask if you have any advice for how to communicate with him? I have contacted him in the past, but it hasn’t gone well, as he believes I have done terrible things to him and says he does not want to speak to me. I do not wish to violate his space and comfort in order to try to get him to talk so that I can listen. Is this a mistake? Should I be trying to engage with him and listen even as he tells me he wants me to avoid him?

This is especially a problem since he wants everyone to go away, and believes all of us want to hurt him. I feel like trying to pressure him into conversation would aggravate him and make things harder for him and for me.

Please tell me what you think. Thank-you again for replying.


#5

Welcome to the forum someonetobe.

I think were it is possible engaging him in conversation or some form of communication is a good thing. Even though he is pushing people away either because of his paranoia or because in his own way he may be trying to protect those that he cares about, he still needs to know that he is not alone. Trying to use LEAP may help him to open up to you.

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

I know some think using LEAP is like playing into a delusion or being condescending but I look at it as being compassionate and empathetic.

You may also find some good resources/coping tools here: http://www.schizophrenia.com/

If he is still e-mailing you then that is a good sign. It is painful to watch someone you care about go through this. He is going through a very confusing time right now. I think sometimes even short conversations just saying hi with no other expectations can help the person to not feel so alone. Wishing you and your friend all the best.


#6

Thank-you very much for your warm welcome, BarbieBF.

I’d already listened to some of Dr Amador’s lectures, and since this post have watched more and done some reading.

I have a question that I’d welcome any kinds of answers to, or guesses, advice, anything. My ill friend, S, contacts me more than anyone else. But he also believes I have raped him and am trying to kill him. He says he is only contacting me to harass me, in hopes that I will reveal how I plan to kill him.

It was not easy to try reflective listening when what S is talking about is terrible things S thinks I have done and am doing – there’s a really powerful drive to defend yourself from accusations (the same drive S no doubt feels when people tell him he is ill). But I have tried to reflectively listen anyway, since he reaches out several e-mails a day. When I do, he responds in all caps that I have raped him and that he is going to kill me.

Am I not making the situation worse? I have an appointment with a psychiatrist next week to get some clinical advice. Until then, since I am the focus of his paranoia when we interact, what should I do? Be totally silent, or try to actively listen?

I really do not want to make things harder for S.


#7

I have not had that much experience dealing with this kind of delusion. The last time my son was this delusional he was inpatient. He thought I was trying to kill him. I limited my contact but I knew where he was and that he was in a safe place.

I have read that you can’t argue with delusions and from what I have seen that would seem to fit as I have never been able to get my son to not believe them when he is being delusional. I really don’t know what to say here. Your friend is contacting you so to some degree he is reaching out to you. I don’t know if how you respond has an affect on the delusions. Maybe try not responding to the delusion instead talking about other things. This may make him angry but I’m thinking he is angry either may. To a certain degree you may have become the safe place for him to direct that anger. I can see where actively listening in this situation will not be very helpful. I wish that I could be of more help. Hopefully your appointment next week can give you better advice.


#8

When I was ill I pushed all my family away from me. I did not want anything to do with them. Kids and husband. I thought they would kill me in my sleep. My husband called the psych team here and they came and picked me up and dropped me off at psych ER. Then I was hospitalized for almost a half year. It took about 4 months before I welcomed my kids to visit me. More than 8 months before I accepted my husband again. I didn’t live at home for a year. These things can take a lot of time. My husband was there for me all the time, even when I was too ill to realize it. I have no memories of him visiting me in the beginning, but he was at the hospital several times a week.


#9

I’m sorry, it’s so heartbreaking. I have tried to figure out what’s causing people to become ill. I kept thinking, why me? Why is it me? I’m special. I’m different. I’m stronger than this. I kept putting on the brave smile for my mom, who slowly lost herself to it day by day. Although supportive atmospheres help, they don’t always fix people. Schizoaffective, you get scared. You want to hang onto yourself, your ideas and inspirations. But often only need brief treatment which provides the longest time being well, without needing re-hospitalized. I was hospitalized once a long time ago and I got much better. I’ve never relapsed since then, had a few moments but nothing horrible. If I hadn’t done drugs I would have been better at life, but I’m trying to be good again as well.

IDK why your friend is having this issue. It’s the “dark night of the soul” when a person goes through unimaginable mental anguish and finally, eventually, must relent. Must accept humans are humans. We are fragile. We are flawed. That is the cure for schizophrenia. Embracing reality for what it is, is pretty hard actually. When we are innocent children, we’re born with a spark that just gives and gives, at some point it starts want more, crave more, explode in indifference. Shatter its glass case.

Mysteries are beautiful and tragic. As is schizophrenia. A mysterious, tragic, and beautiful curse.


#10

I want to really thank all of you for replying. Sometimes it seems like there is no one on earth that understands, and then I see your kind comments and know how silly that is. That there are many people who experience all of these things. Thank-you all for your compassion.

I have already come to this board many times to be inspired by all of you to not give up hope.


#11

My sz friend S was arrested today for felony stalking. He’s in county jail right now waiting for arraignment. This is his first experience with jail, and all of his cartakers’ first experience also. We want to do everything we can to assist him and get him to a hospital, instead of prison time. I’m going to call the local mental health hotline tomorrow to ask for advice. I’m not sure what to do now that the authorities are in charge of him.

Any tips you lovely, brave people have? For the incarceration of an sz sufferer?


#12

Hopefully the mental health hotline will have some good advice for you. I have not had to deal with the legal system. I’m guessing a lawyer that deals with mental illness would be a good first step. Sometimes what looks like a bad thing can be a blessing in disguise so hopefully this will get him the help that he needs.


#13

This is a delayed response, but I too am at a bit of a dilemma.

I have tried to reveal the bigger truth to the majority for decades, yet all ears were closed.

The bigger truth is a singularity.

Division between people is not a form of singularity at all.

Division between communication of people is not a form of singularity at all.

As long as the view of reality is seen differently between one person and another, then communication between each of these people is impossible.

Each of their perceptions of reality is therefore incomplete since neither has seen the singularity of truth.

Thus the only way to resolve the problem is to not assume. In stead both parties must be open minded and SHARE their observations, thus not create a stage of ongoing opposition.