How can I stay strong for mum?


#1

My mother was recently diagnosed with sz. Throughout my childhood, she was always difficult mood-wise and was frequently paranoid, experiencing both delusions and hallucinations.

Just before Christmas, she had a real psychotic break - believed that God was speaking through her and a lot of other grandiose ideas. These soon became paranoid and she believed she was victim of demonic possession. After hospitalising her (I am her eldest child, she has no partner), she was put on meds and improved minimally before being discharged (she just hid all of her symptoms, ditching the meds as soon as she was out).

Every night, unless my grandmother sleeps with her, she will bang walls, throw things and shout angrily, I imagine at whatever she is hearing/seeing.

It is very, very hard. I no longer recognise her. She had her moments whilst I was growing up, but never did it consume her and erode her very being. I sleep with a locked door and find myself increasingly desperate to move out of the home because I just cannot cope. I suffer from my own mental health issues, am currently out of work and education because I cannot seem to get on with anything with her being so sick. Can anyone else identify or give some advice?


#2

Hi Hooty. Welcome to the forum.

First I would say that you need to stay strong for yourself so that you can be strong for your mum. Learn what you can about schizophrenia so that you can better understand what you are seeing. The below links may help. Know that you don’t have to go through all this alone. Depending on where you live try to find a support group.

I don’t know if by using LEAP and talking to your mum about anxiety and needing help to sleep that you may be able to persuade her to at least try to take some of her medications. Insight can be hard.

Please look at these sites:
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
http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/index.php - under problems you will see anosognosia
Anosognosia looks like denial but is different.
http://lesswrong.com/lw/e25/bayes_for_schizophrenics_reasoning_in_delusional/ - helped my understand delusions
http://www.nami.org/ - National Alliance on Mental Illness.
http://www.schizophrenia.ca/ - Schizophrenia Society of Canada

Can also find some very useful information here:
http://www.schizophrenia.com/


#3

First you need to stay strong for your self. Have you checked the Nami site for support for yourself?
www.nami.org

Also you might need to bring in a care giver or a visiting nurse to help assess the situation and get this poor woman stabilized. I’d say talk to the hospital that had her and find some extra help. I know she won’t go to them, so you can bring them to you.

She might have to go on injection for her meds. Long acting injectable antipsychotics

http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=About_Treatments_and_Supports&Template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=155528

The poor woman doesn’t have to be in complete terror every night, having her voices and hallucinations scaring her, confusing her, and just making her life a misery. I do hope you get a visiting nurse in at least a once or twice to assess, and give you some ideas and resources and give yourself the healing you need as well.