Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How do I help her?


#1

Hello~
I noticed a new young woman in my neighborhood a few weeks ago.It is obvious she suffers from hallucinations,paranoia and has problems caring for herself. At first I was worried she was homeless.She has told ppl she stays in a "group home ". But I am wonder if it really is or not. She does not appear to be on meds,is out at all hours day & night exposing herself to risky behavior ,like befriending men & drinking. I feel sympathy for her because a lot of ppl don’t understand she cant control herself.They just call her “crazy”.
I have tried to befriend her (very slowly ).Say what you will about cigarettes but they have made it easier for me to know her, sharing cigs. She can only stay in conversation a few minutes before she loses touch or walks away. I don’t talk a lot and keep the subjects basic,nothing about current events etc.I only ask her 1 or 2 questions at most. I am trying to find out where she is from and what her living situation is. I am afraid something might happen to her. I think if she really is in a group home ,that they are failing her and not keeping watch over her,and it makes me angry for her .I think she feels rather safe around me and for now I think that is a start. Do you think I am interfering by trying to find out her living situation ? I know she has no relatives here.


#2

I think it’s admirable what your doing, Its rare to see someone who cares. No I don’t think your interfering but helping her sounds like it will be difficult. If she has the ability to realize that shes ill then you could be a saving grace, if not, it may be tough. Good luck and thank you for being a good person.


#3

Thank you Scarecrow. I’m no saint. But I feel that no one really cares about her welfare. I have taken a lot of time to gain her acceptance.But I don’t want to tell her what to do either. I know she wouldn’t respond to me pushing her to seek mental healthcare etc right away if ever…Who would ? There is one woman ,the neighborhood gossip who is very intolerant and unsympathetic towards her.I’ve redirected her meddling to finding out where the young woman lives . And that if she is in a group home they are not caring for her.Now the gossip at least understands the lady could get hurt on the streets.I know she gets money from her mother who lives out of state.
I try to let the woman be as much as I can but I also try to make sure she is ok. I know some peer support ppl and a mental health pro. I plan on asking them the locations of group homes in the area and if she is indeed living in one,well they are going to have to answer for the neglect. I’m sure the woman’s mother thinks her daughter is being taken care of.
Thanks again 4 your reply


#4

I meant to say I appreciate any and all insight. Like you saying she might not realize she is ill. I am trying to understand it from her POV as best I can.
ThnX


#5

I have had a lot of appreciation for random people who have stepped into my son’s life and given a damn for him when he has been off medication and at loose ends in the community - good on you for caring about what happens to the young woman.

Sorry to say, if she isn’t going to get some treatment, there is not much you can do. However, just having someone kind of keeping tabs on her is a good thing. If she starts putting herself at serious risk of harm, you can call the police to do a “wellness check”. If you do call, request a CIT officer if available in your community. And the more you know about her, the better you can inform those who can help her. Also, if you feel comfortable doing so, you might offer her a way to contact you if she finds herself needing help.