Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How do you handle wandering out of the house?


Hi my brother has delusional schizophrenia and is blind. It seems every few months he tries to sneak out while we are sleeping. What cause this and what can we do to prevent this ?


This is exactly what I’m dealing with too. And when I ask why he tried to sneak off he dosnt have a reply. I feel your pain, my friend. It’s scary.


When I was really bad off… Sometimes my voices would call my name and i was sure someone was outside shouting for me. Or if I was having a hallucination about the house being on fire, I’d run outside. There could be a lot of symptoms that is causing him to go outside. Delusion that an intruder is in the house might make him want to try and get away… You might want to ask him about that…

Plus, for me, I’m a huge sleep walker. My sis asked our landlord to install a door alarm so it will wake her up if I’m trying to get out in my sleep. My parents used those child proof door locks as well. Deadbolts on the door that need a key to unlock is also an option for night use.

Just some ideas… hope it helps.


So what can you do to prevent it? With him being blind , its surprising how far he gets sometimes. I also take care of our mom she has late stage Alzheimer. Do you know what causes them to wonder?


All we can do at this point is stay vigilant. Lock doors and sleep lightly. He’s 19, so it’s not a crime and we can’t legally stop him. I feel like he’s running almost, either away from what’s in his head, or toward whatever he feels so strongly compelled to do. Perhaps some kind of alarm could help you. There are tiny yet annoying ones you can stick to the door frame…


We get along pretty well I have been taking care of him for about 10 yrs. He had a stroke which took his vision. So we had to move him in with us. Now all he talks about is goin back home all the time. Even though he he can not take care of himself.


I know that moving homes was a major shake up for my son. He really needs routine and balance. @SurprisedJ, did you have much wanderlust before meds were helping?


Yes , I know moving him was a big deal. He was off his meds for quite awhile. He kept getting out of his own house in the winter. Almost getting frostbite. Cuz he couldn’t find his way back to the door. But now since he’s been living with us he takes his meds and sees his doctor like he’s supposed to. So I am Very curious of why he still wanders? His doctor said their is nothing they can do. So I need all the suggestions I can get. The last time he did was just before Christmas . It was very scary it took us almost 2 hers fo find him.


My reason for wandering is a bit different… when I was 14 our house caught fire (4th of july neighbors high powered firework went through my sisters bedroom window) my 3 year old sister and I were both in burn unit for some skin grafts. When I wasn’t doing well… the house was on fire again and I needed to get out so I wouldn’t get burnt again. It’s a pretty consistent hallucination for me… (all consuming flame) My midnight escapes are hallucination motivated.


So you can remember why you do things that to other people may not understand…? My brother sits there talking to 6 people in his head all the time. Sometimes he gets mad if we ask him a question if he’s talkin to the other 6. If he starts laughing for no reason we ask what’s the joke to try and bring him into reality. Sometimes it works. But he has trouble remembering things a lot too. I wish my brother could explain his actions…


I can remember a few of my motivations. But when I wasn’t med compliant I lived in my head too. I didn’t interact very much with the world outside my head circus. The laughing for “no reason”… Sometimes the voices do pop off with a good joke or a funny something. Just like how non-SZ people remember something funny and smile… I hear a funny something from my voices and I do laugh.

It’s hard explaining actions. There is stuff that my brain has done and some of me is standing back saying… “no, don’t do this, this isn’t right” But my body goes ahead and does it anyway. People will ask why, and I really can’t say it in a way they understand. Plus with racing thoughts or intruding thoughts and all the other gifts of SZ there could be a memory wipe before the words can even come out of my mouth.


Pretty scary. I’m afraid we won’t be able to find him before he gets lost, or mauled by a bear or mountain lion. I wish he could articulate what’s going on.


And that makes so much sense as to why he can’t seem to even begin to explain… It’s like the thoughts race so quickly he can’t keep up. Thank you for helping, @SurprisedJ, you have given me insight. :wink:


Do you know of any other people that are blind dealing with schizo


Thanks for chatting with me I am new to this being around him 24/7. He wants to lay down all the time, he says he doesn’t sleep . But he does I just don’t think he remembers sleeping. Is this something you have heard of?


When my head circus was in full swing, it was hard sleeping. I would lay down because I was tired, but my voices, my hallucinations both visual and tactile, were too much to get over. Even if I could get a little sleep, there was no rest in my head. Sure, my body might finally stop and let me sleep, but my brain was still spinning a mile a minute. Even if I did manage to sleep, I was still exhausted.


Is there anything to help him sleep better ?


I didn’t start sleeping better until I was med compliant and my voices started to amp down. But I do sleep better if I take a long walk and tire myself out a bit. That’s if I’m amped up. If I’m having a bit of a panic/paranoid day, I take a calm bath. If he’s not med compliant then there’s really no such thing as a quiet room.

Please feel free to ask any questions, and I will try to answer the best I can. Also, read the Diagnosed section of this site. There are a lot of us who have some similar symptoms and have found a 100 different ways to combat them.

It know the title sounds insulting, but even I liked “Schizophrenia for Dummies” it was much better written and more informative then I would have thought. for a good list of books for lots of other answer and general overview of symptoms - resources galore :smiley:


cant you install a babyfoon or an motion detector?


Thanks a bunch… He’s med compliant and I give them to him every day 2 x a day. He has been that way since he moved in last Feb. We have talked about seeing a different psychologist. The one he has now seems like lets see if this works?? I’m like sure I deal with it if it don’t. Then you change it after I paid for the prescription. It just seems like something else would work better. Thanks for all the extra info ,I will check it out.