Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How do I help my schizophrenic mom?

My mother has schizophrenia. She has not been diagnosed, but all the signs are there. (thinking there’s people living in the attic, people watching her through the television, will not bathe, the sunlight being fake and controlled by “them”) My two sisters and I have grown up with her knowing she was not right. She forced us to be homeschooled and not really have any friends. I am 22 now and moved out of the house thanks to a friend. One of my sisters still lives with her. My dad who had been long divorced from her pays for the house she lives in, her car, food, everything. He does this for his daughter (my sister) who still lives there (she’s 23) My mother has not worked in about 25 years because she believes she deserves all the money she gets from my dad.
I need help for my mother. How do I start? She does not think she has a problem and does not go to any doctors for any reason. She has no friends. She will not get help on her own. what do I do???

You could maybe encourage your mom to go to see a psychiatrist. It could help uncover what her problem is. I don’t know if its schizophrenia but it could be a form of the illness.

I would be too heard on your mom for the way things are. You might be feeling frustrated but bare with it, as a supportive family is of prime importance when it comes to mental health problems.

Welcome to the forum jann. Perhaps someone from one of the below links will be able to help guide you into getting her treatment.

NAMI may be a good place to start: - National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Can also find some very useful information here:

Early Psychosis Treatment center information in these two links

Psychiatric Treatment Centers affiliated with Medical Schools in the USA

This link may help you find a psychiatrist in your area

Learning LEAP may help to build some trust so that you can possibly get her to go see someone. - under resources are free videos on using LEAP
LEAP is a way of communicating to build trust. Listen-Empathize-Agree-Partner. - 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 and you should find some long videos

Thank you for all your suggestions. I have let this go on for many years and just want my mother to get the care she needs. I have hopes that I will get to see the real her again under all the fear and paranoia. I thought there was no way to help her until recently. It sounds like it is going to be a long process but hopefully I can get my other family members in on it too.

If you live in the states google NAMI and see if there is a group near your home. NAMI provides support for family members who have a mental illness. They also provide free classes about mental illness, plus they are able to provide resources you may not be aware of. NAMI stands for “National Alliance of Mental Illness.” It’s a great group for support and resources.

It does take a long time, but keep that knowledge that underneath all that SZ, your Mom is still in there.

With my brother, there came a confusing mid point where he was stable enough to feel better, so he took that as a sign that he was all better. That was harder for my parents to work with then when he was confused, scared, upset. When he felt like he wasn’t doing well, he was more compliant. But once he felt a little better, he got more stubborn. It took a long time to realize that feeling a little better was the half way point in the journey.

It takes a lot of diligence to get through this. But with help of your family it will be easier.

Please don’t be afraid to contact case workers, day hospitals, visiting nurses. They are the professionals and on the other end of the phone. They know the SZ ocean of confusion really well. Getting all the professional help you can, will not just be easier for your Mom but for yourself as well.

Being young and trying to care for someone like a parent is very hard. Don’t try and go it alone. You too will need a support group. It’s amazing how many resources you can find if you network with other caregivers going through this.

Good luck

If your mother has a severe break from reality google mental health care intervention. I had to do that the first time had a psychotic break. It got her in the system and from there I was able to slowly navigate the system and what was available for my daughter. It’s very tough to have a parent with mental illness but if you can get your mother help that would be great. She is suffering tremendously.

I knew i had a problem, but when they wanted to take me to a hospital i had no clue as to why.

If your mom is like me you just need to define the problem correctly thats all.

If she is like me then she is not alone.