Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Hit A Wall - Don't Know How to Handle

Hi, all. It’s been a while since I’ve been on here. I am sure many of you will be able to relate to what I am about to type. I am just coming undone. After years of keeping everything together between my bipolar husband and schzioaffective son (who was previously violent for those of you who are new here - he attacked us in July and was put in a juvenille jail facility, then he broke his leg and ankle playing basketball while there in Oct. and was sent home to recover). My son’s meds were changed in July when he went in-patient after the attack for about 2 weeks and he has since been stable for the most part. I see glimpses of the old him when he was little and the violent tendencies are gone. He has been relatively good since being home since Oct. 20th. I don’t know why all of a sudden I am unable to handle things. Crying a lot, being extremely irritable. A few extra things have been added to my plate, but nothing that I couldn’t handle in the past such as my older son moving back home temporarily with his girlfriend. My 98 year old grandma is dying and although I’m not extremely close to her, this has thrown for a loop. Just completely overwhelmed by the prospects of decorating for the holidays, purchasing and wrapping gifts, etc. I work full time and I love my job, have a wonderful boss who is very understanding (and knows of my personal situation). I just want to run away. I don’t know how to get myself out of this funk and it is completely debilitating. I used up all of my PTO when my son first came home and then immediately following his ankle surgery, so I can’t take some time off from work or it would be without pay. I almost had a terrible car wreck on Saturday with both my sons in the car because I literally am not myself. If anyone has advice, input, or previous experience with this, please, please respond. Thanks in advance.


Lisa in my humble opinion you are simply overwhelmed and may now be venting some of your built up stress while also contemplating the holidays as well as everything else. It’s at times like that when I do my best to remember that I should only focus on as well as do one thing at a time.

If he is truly doing better try to at least stay cautiously optimistic and acknowledge the positive. Of course you’ll wait for something to happen and the longer he stays well the more disappointing it will be should it happen, but if it hasn’t then let him see that his settled behavior has made an impact so he understands that his efforts are worthy.

This is often a tough time of the year for many, let alone those of us dealing with scenarios similar to yours. Now it’s more important than ever to sometimes take a moment to focus on what you know you can do to help make things better for everyone, which will of course in turn make you feel better.


I have gotten better at saying ‘No’. The holiday season should not be about stress, and I have decided not to let it be so. I try to remember what I want the season to be about and let the rest go. We don’t all need to have every corner of the house decorated, perfectly chosen and delightfully wrapped gifts, and 10 different kinds of cookies freshly baked.


This is great advice and simplistic in nature. But when you’re mired in depression and feeling overwhelmed, you can’t think straight. I will heed what you both have said. Thank you for giving your input. Sometimes you just need to feel like someone cares. Bless you both.


Hi LisaS,

Sometimes when it a big wall, I just have to wait it out. I remind myself it will pass - the line “this too shall pass” helps me. I think I began using it as a mantra when my kids were toddlers going through rougher stages. I make time for exercise to release some endorphins - you golf yes?


I’ve had some horrible holidays. A couple of years back, at a family gathering where people were going thru old photos, someone handed me one of my son from happier days. He was in the hospital at the time, and I busted out crying. It was just too much.

In contrast, this year my son was invited to share Thanksgiving with a friend and his family and by all reports, they all had a pleasant time.

This can definitely be a very hard time of year. Try to find some way to feel peaceful and enjoy the time the way you wish to spend it.


I’m sorry to hear you are going through all of this. Sounds like a full plate! Almost getting in an accident in the past has been a sign for me that I have too much going on. I take Rescue Remedy (a flower tincture for stress) and Black Cohosh (for menopause) and Folate Acid. All these are very helpful. I also spend a lot of time doing things for me - hiking (at least a walk every day), reading, yoga, painting. Is there anyway you can take more time for yourself? Even just to lie down on the floor in a private room for 15 minutes with your eyes shut (maybe have some nice mediation music on?). The yoga I do is like that. Most of it is on the floor with our eyes shut and the teacher has nice music. I think the music really helps. Each year I do less and less for the holidays. It makes it much easier. Most of us go through what you are going through at various times in our lives. (In other words - you are not alone : )


Hi Lisa.

I know how you feel, as I’m having the same problem. For me, the underlying issue that makes everything else seem like it’s just too much to handle is that I just want my son back. I miss my intelligent, hardworking, and handsome son, and I’m so damn angry that this has happened to him. I used to be very good at compartmentalizing. I’m not anymore.

How do we get on? I don’t know. I’m only a couple years into this. I know the grieving will come and go, as will my ability to better handle stress.

I know this wasn’t very insightful, with advice or anything else, but you’re not alone. I’m sorry you’re struggling. Hugs.


No, not a golfer. My thing is gardening, which unfortunately, this time of year in Oklahoma is non-existent. During the summer when my son was at the juvenile jail facility, I was mowing (we have almost 4 acres) daily - which was something he had done previously. I found I truly enjoyed it even in the extreme heat we have here. My doctor wanted me to find something I could do during the winter to take the place of the mowing, but so far, I haven’t come up with anything. I know the exercise was a great stress reliever. My grandma passed away last night. I think, for all of us, it is a delicate balancing act. We handle our “normal” plate, but put a few extra items on there and it throws us for a loop. Since my son broke his ankle and leg in the juvenile facility and had to have surgery 11/1, he has required more caregiving from me since. He wakes me up during the night for pain meds and I think the interrupted sleep day after day, plus the extra load of caregiving has just put me on the edge. I am home from work today, just laying in bed, trying to re-charge my batteries. Anyhow, thanks to all for your suggestions. Just knowing I am not alone and others have been in this same spot makes it somehow easier to face.


LisaS, I’m sorry about your Grandma and sorry you are blue. I have realized recently that even though we are resilient, things pile up and we lose a bit of that with aging. I’m glad you are thinking in terms of taking care of yourself. Several people here have hit the wall so to speak of late.
I have felt so overwhelmed with our son’s volatile behavior and trying to keep him out of the hospital once more. He is taking his meds now but he was feeling so miserable and agitated he couldn’t stand himself and said he needed help. This is nothing short of a miracle with him. One day at a time.


That was a good read. I live in central New Jersey but spent my early youth cutting tons of grass on my grandparents farm in a town called Mt. Laurel. Had a 20 acre plus wide open area that at age 11 I was cutting on a Ford tractor using a 15’ wide 5 piece old style rotary gang mower (or golf course mower). Unfortunately like many others the farm is a subdivision now but I still enjoy cutting my and my neighbor’s lawns.


Hi Mom2

I’m sorry to hear that your son became unwell again, but how amazing is it that he recognized this and reached out for help?! After 2 hospitalizations and then once again decompensating, my son actually wanted to go back to the hospital. That was a miracle too. This was a lengthy hospital stay, but well long enough for him to get going on Invega Sustenna. That was another miracle, as my son had been non-compliant since the start of his illness.

If I recall from your previous posts, your son stopped meds a number of months ago, and you more recently talked about possibly getting him to consider injections. Now that he’s starting to have some awareness that meds are not the enemy, that they can really make him feel better, maybe he’ll consider the Invega Sustenna?

Whatever happens, congratulations to your son for making the choice to take care of his health. I hope things settle back down soon for you all.


I understand completely. Lately with nothing new added to our situation I feel like (and have been) snapping at my family just leave me alone. Of course I suspect it is a sunshine deficiency too given the time of year!
The intellectual side of me knows there are times you have to say no and stick to it. The emotion side doesn’t always agree, but for the past few weeks I have been telling my family when I have had enough. And the sweetest thing has happened, my son with sz has taken notice. He tries to limit the stress he causes on me! Or as stress as he sees it anyway.
As for the holidays, well who really said we have to present a Hallmark channel month and a half with perfectly decorated homes, extra baked goods, special perfect family time and gifts for others? The pressure to perform over the holidays is crazy (sorry for poor choice of words, but seems to fit best). Breathe and refocus.
You can let all this go and still be you. A person who needs to grieve grandma, adjust to son moving home, a working mom and care giver to your child. :slight_smile:


My husband is from New Jersey, born in Patterson and grew up in Wayne. His sister still lives there in Pompton Plains. Beautiful state! It is interesting to read how each of us copes and keeps ourselves going through the long haul. Glad to find a fellow mower on here. Very satisfying and I just love being outdoors, hearing the birds, smelling the freshly cut grass. Slice of heaven for me!


Hey Safety,
I’m from Middletown,NJ I am familiar w South Jersey, too.:sunglasses:
Now I live in NY.

I have made all celebration work optional for myself; anyone in the family is welcome to do it if they want it done. Since the beginning of the illness about seven years ago, there have been three Christmas trees. Sometimes we eat out (last year Christmas day at Middle Eastern restaurant was really nice). I bake a few things I enjoy if I have time.

I sent one Christmas present already, probably will not send more.

I would enjoy doing more if I had more energy and time and other resources. I just don’t have that anymore.

It sounds like stress is a main factor in your “funk.” Also, the loss of a family member is stressful and sad. We all have our limits. The good news is you are recognizing your limits and can start to care for yourself in truly nourishing ways.


Xmas is a commercialized joke, a total waist of time and money, just a day like any other, to add the additional stress is down right stupid…

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Bless your heart. Now that your son is relatively okay, it is safer for you to let go of the perceived need to hold everything and everyone else together. Now your mind, body and spirit are crying out for relief. I highly recommend that you seek good counseling and possibly temporary meds, if you don’t already have these. You are going to get through this. You are not alone, so don’t try to do it alone. Get psychological and medical support. You deserve and are worth it. Let us know how you are, okay?


not alone:


Thank you, Sweetc. I am doing a little better today. Actually out getting a pedi after work. I found out my grandma’a funeral is on Friday morning; my company Christmas party starts at 2 pm with a painting / wine drinking activity, then we check into a fabulous hotel and have dinner on the 52nd floor of a downtown building with a spectacular view. Hopefully the funeral won’t completely waylay me so I can enjoy the company’s festivities. I am going to do less on the Christmas decorating and such this year and call it good enough!