Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Hi there! I am new to this site

I’ve never done anything like this. Reaching out to a support group. I did once take the 6 week NAMI class which was helpful. I’ve been reading on this site for a few days now and I feel like I have found my spot. I can relate to most of you and it feels so good to relate to others. My story in short… my son is 21 years old. He has been hospitalized at a mental hospital 5 times, locked in the ER setting 3 times awaiting placement and is currently there now awaiting a placement in a group home. He has “ lived “ in 4 group homes and been kicked out of all. Has been homeless 3 times and has been in jail three times all in these 4 years. It has been horrible for me as a mom to watch him suffer so much. I have been thinking for a year or so that he is developing skitzophrenia. He’s been diagnosed many other things. His most recent problem is that he attacked his caregiver with a knife. He just got mad with him. Said the caregiver was getting on his nerves. My son has a history of violence and we cannot have him living at home because we are concerned for our safety and we have other children in our home. Just like others have said my son thinks his mom and dad are the ones with the problems and that we are trying to get rid of him. It’s the complete opposite. We love him so much. We have been here with him through it all yet he is horribly ugly to us. He says awful things to us such as we are not his parents anymore and curses to us often. He has threatened us saying we should watch our backs. Most recently I asked him if he hears voices and he said ” yea girls talk to me” he couldn’t tell me what they were saying and then he said guys talk to him too. He proceeded to say that is why he “ talks to himself” He has never admitted this to me or anyone. Does this sound familiar to any of you?
When he is in the Hospital he does not participate in any classes. Just paces the halls. He spent 9 months last time. He can’t handle watching TV or sitting in classes . Does this sound familiar? All he can do is draw and listen to music. I could write a book on his last years. We have not felt that he has received the correct help he needs neither from the mental hospitals, jails, or group homes. It’s been quite pathetic. However there have been many angels that have been sent to protect him and many nice people along the journey but he has only gotten worse, not better. He has lots of anxiety. He steals alcohol whenever he can and will down a bottle of NyQuil if he can get his hands on some. He will steal from gas stations if given any freedom. He wants to live on the streets where there are “no rules” but when on the streets he is helpless and gets in trouble with the law. He has cognitive problems, memory problems, anasognosia,mood disorder. When he gets mad, his eyes change and he is really scary looking, anyone can relate with that? He can not be talked out of things. When he escalates, we have to leave or call the cops because he gets totally out of control. He hasn’t brushed his teeth in over a year!?! But he does care about his dress style. Often a gang punk dude. He will laugh at times when it’s been real serious such as cops were just at our house because he was throwing things at the windows. I’ve often thought that was weird how he’d laugh. He has told me before that he feels like pulling his hair out ( he has so much anxiety) and that drinking gives him relief.
I think about him whenever life gets quiet. Usually when I’m driving or at home when my other kids are asleep or right when I wake he is the first thing I think about. I have to tell myself to let go of him when I’m around the family. I had to start on medicine for depression because I’d cry a lot . Now it’s more bearable but it is still a constant ache. Sometimes I think well maybe now he will get better and then he only gets worse. I had guardianship up until 3 months ago. I was in a situation where I had to relinquish for my sons best interest. He is now a ward of the state. It was time for me. It’s exhausting and I felt like I lacked the resources to help him. We have tried him living at home a few times but each resulted in hospitalization. Anyway that is my rather long story

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Hi @Mogis, welcome to the caregivers forum. So often, there’s only so much care we can give, isn’t there? I’m so sorry about your son. You did what you needed to do for you and your familiy’s sake as well as your son’s. It is heart wrenching to make some of the decisions we have to make and to contemplate the outcomes. Good that your depression is being treated; do you also go to therapy or other support groups? Through NAMI, Alanon, or family support through the local mental health clinic? I’ve found that volunteering helps keep me more balanced, too. And, through this journey I’ve kept up going to the gym and trying to take care of myself.

Yes, we can all relate. Hugs to you and your son!

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Welcome Mogis,

This forum is a great spot to find others in similar circumstances and hear their stories of struggles and successes. Your story sounds similar (except for the physical violence) to what my husband went through in his early 20s with his family. They actually ended up moving several states away and did not tell him where they moved because they did not know how to deal with his threats, verbal abuse and so on. As far as I know, they still are not interested in understanding the illness and do not want to ever see him again.

Therefore, I applaud your reaching out and trying to help and understand what’s going on with your son. If he is being physically violent, probably it is for the best that he is a ward of the state at the moment. If the state can diagnose him properly, perhaps he can start taking medication that will help him with that and eventually he can be introduced back into society.

As I need to keep reminding myself, the best thing to do as a caregiver is to keep ourselves healthy and calm. If we fall apart, we will not be able to help others, either.

If you are able to write letters to your son, send him positive messages and cards; even if he doesn’t respond, they may give him hope. My husband said letters helped a lot when he was in prison and the State Hospital.

Take care of yourself and keep us posted.

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Thanks for your response. I am doing so much better thanks to a number of things. I wonder if one starts to feel numbness to the situation because one has seen so much. At the same time I don’t see him every day which would be a reminder of his condition. Whenever I talk with him on the phone it hurts and it usually affects me for some hours. I am a busy mom of 6 kids still at home so quiet time is not often. I excercise in the mornings which helps. I really appreciate you reaching out to me. I might try to reach out to a mental illness support group in the area. I’ll keep it in mind.

I’m new here too, but wow. I can not imagine a 5 kid household and a big schizophrenic-like big boy.

Welcome. I’m sorry to meet under these circumstances

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