Hello everyone. So, I’m a daughter of a man who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. I’m 18 and I learned about my father condition when I was 16. Actually, I think my father show a lot of symptoms since I was little but I couldn’t understand much back then. When I was 16 I learned that my father is diagnosed with schizophrenia long time before he got married with my mom, and he’s been taking med since then.
I’m trying to understand his condition and provide him the best circumtances also remind him to take his med in the best way. I even take psychology as my major in college, in order to understand more about my father (i’m in year 2 now). But, it’s not that easy. I’m trying hard, but there’s a moment when I feel helpless and so does my mother and little sister. We all trying hard to make my father in his best condition, but we can’t control everything on what happened outside the house. And since he is a father, when things goes wrong, everythings goes wrongs. He can’t go to work so he doesn’t get money, and sometimes he abused us too.
Sometimes, there’s a moment when I hate my father so much that I blame him for everything that happened. As a daughter it’s so hard to accept this even though I’m trying hard too. I don’t want to hate him or blame him. It’s a wrong thing I know it. So, how do you guys finally cope with a family who diagnosed with schizophrenia? Maybe your story could help me cope too. Thank you :’)
@Ayla I am so sorry to hear your dad and your whole family is having to cope with schizophrenia- I understand all of the frustration and emotional roller coaster that it entails. From my experiences with my son I have learned that 1/ knowledge is power: educating yourself fully on the illness is key to understanding it and it seems you are well on your way to doing just that. 2/ self care is absolutely essential: I get therapy for myself individually so I can discuss my feelings about my son as well as many other things in my life (and try to make sense of it all) and I belong to an additional DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) support group as well as this group here. knowing that you are not alone and that others truly understand where you are coming from and can be there for a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on (either in real life or even virtually) is another critically important coping tool. I wish you well and welcome to this group. ps: you might want to explore your local NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) group (if you have one) they are a wealth of resources and have free educational classes and support groups as well… Home | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
Such great advice from Catherine!
In my case, a diagnosis of schizophrenia in my son is something that I will never fully feel comfortable with. I have, however, found a new normal…a new way to view and go about my life with him.
I gave myself the time to grieve what I had hoped and dreamed about relate to him in my life. I actually acknowledged those feelings…and then let go. I recognized that part of my problem was being sad about the loss of him, his future as I understood and hoped it to be, or our relationship…and then let that go.
I am honest about what to expect of him and his future…hopeful, most certainly, but realistic. I think it is easy to feel resentful about what we wish could be, even angry about what has been. Those emotions are acceptable and perfectly normal, but recognize they can also be paralyzing and keep you from moving forward.
In my own case, I needed to fully recognize what is within my control, what isn’t, establish healthy boundaries around that, and as Catherine said, I needed to learn to draw my attention away from my son and into the quality of my own life. For me personally, this was my hardest step. I was terrible at pursuing the quality, joy, love, and happiness in my own life so I could be a better loving support to my son and family.
I am best equipped to extend myself into a world and life that needs me just as much as my son does when I am not neglecting my body/health, my work/livelihood, my relationships outside of my schizophrenic son.
Wishing you all the best, Ayla.
Thank you so much Catherine, never thought that family also need assistance too. And I think by joining this community I found a shoulder to cry on :’}
Thank you Catherine, I wish you and your family good health and happiness
Thank you so much Marie for your advice. I realized that I too was so scared about the future and your advice would help me a lot. Thank you, thank you so much. Wishing you and your family good health and happiness
You are a Rock! Your words gave me great comfort. Especially the part about letting go, the hardest thing for me.
I’m sorry to hear about your father’s diagnosis and bad things that have happened to all of you. I have been abused by my Dad and I’m pretty certain that he was mentally ill yet I didn’t recognize it until after he was dead.
This may help — choose now, although it sounds to me like you already have — to be a survivor. I have survived that horrible father and I am learning how to survive my son being terrorized by this horrible disease. Choose to live in the moment and find reasons to laugh and enjoy nature or your favorite things. I’ve cried on shoulders and grieved and then decided, okay, that didn’t help my son one bit. Now let’s go forward. I agree, BIG TIME, with your putting your self-care and life front and center first as a priority. And, don’t put up with any additional abuse. The family needs to, if you haven’t already, make a contract about what will and will not fly to live together. If he doesn’t quality for income because of his disability find a better lawyer or a good one.
Hugs to you and your home team