Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How do you cope on an everyday basis with your son/daughter's illness?

I feel like I have no life. I go through the motions and try to focus on my wellbeing and my life, but it is difficult when coping with a son who won’t stop cocaine and has schizoaffective disorder. I give him a gift card every three days so he has no cash and can’t buy the drug, but then he tells me he owes money to drug pushers. Do I believe him? Every time I give him any money I see the signs of drug use. I am at my wit’s end. ANY SUGGESTIONS??? All of you keep me going - thank God for this site and all of you. God bless and stay strong.


I am so sorry Roseo, this is an awful illness and your son’s is complicated by the dual diagnosis.

Do you think there is a chance he is trading the gift cards for drugs?

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Had a husband who was a coke addict who traded that addiction for alcohol (cheaper and easier to get) and our son is paranoid sz. The drug/alcohol addiction is worse imho. You can chose to abuse substances, you cannot chose to not be sz.
Do NOT give him money. As tough as it is, the interaction between his drug dealer and him is his. And the consequences of him not paying may not be pleasant, but word on the street will get out and no one will front him drugs.GO to Alanon for the addiction portion of this terrible situation. Take Care.


There is a machine at the grocery store we go to and you put in any gift card, it gives back cash.

These illnesses are almost untreatable when there is addiction happening. Sobriety is a main factor in treatment.

Please take excellent care of yourself. I know it’s hard. When everyone asked me what would help me, my only thought was: HELP MY CHILD, when my child is okay, I will feel better.

So, maybe going through the motions is better than not. Good sleep, healthy food, some exercise if possible, and no unnecessary stress are my current goals.


My husband, long ago, traded a cocaine habit for alcohol. He has developed alcoholic delusions and hallucinations.

My daughter developed schizophrenia and has no insight.

I now go to Alanon and the NAMI support groups. I am making progress. It is very, very tough. I am the only sane one in my family, the only working person. I am not enabling either of them nearly as much any more although I can’t stop supporting them totally, I am no longer supporting them completely. I don’t give my husband cash, nor my daughter, beyond a tiny amount. I am growing a savings account for me to leave with, if it becomes necessary.

Only you can decide how to best solve your situation. Support groups are a good start. Good luck.


My son is currently refusing meds and is easier to be around than when on meds and drinking excessively. PDOC told him on more than one occasion alcohol and anti psych meds together were making him worse.

“There is a machine at the grocery store we go to and you put in any gift card, it gives back cash”
Did not know these existed. What a terrible idea.

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The gift cards have stopped the drug use I hope. I still struggle with his illness everyday. He also owes money on the street.

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