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How many of you have an unmedicated family member and what's happening today?


#241

Yes, of course you post helps. I am thankful for everyone who posts. I am gaining understanding. And, some hope.

I am closer to acceptance of my daughter, as she is, then I thought possible. If I don’t try to change her, don’t demand of her, it DOES go better. Seems weird to accept that she talks/laughs/yells alone in her room for hours, and rarely speaks to me more than a minute at a time. Seems weird to accept being lonely while living with my daughter for 2 years (ill); more lonely than when she lived on her own the prior 10 years (well). Yet, if I just see her a minute a day to give her dinner, it goes way, way better than the recent past when I daily nagged her about work, or doctors, or eating, or sleeping, or whatever I nagged her about, knocking on her door and demanding she speak to me.

Right now, It’s almost a peaceful existence in my house finally, except for when her loud speech awakens me at night from a sound sleep, and my heart starts beating so strongly I can’t return to sleep for hours. I haven’t quite gotten over being scared when weird behavior happens. I hate feeling scared. She’s never willingly hurt me, but still I am occasionally scared, and embarrassed by that about myself.


#242

It helped put things in perspective for me when I read something @hope wrote earlier. Our loved one and their illness are kind of like 2 different things. We care for our loved ones and we know they would never hurt us when they’re well, but we also know the illness can be unpredictable and it can rob our loved ones of the ability to think clearly. I think it’s natural and prudent to be cautious of the destructive potential we know the illness can have. I don’t think it’s something you should feel embarrassed about. For what it’s worth, I feel that way sometimes too.


#243

lol, my son recently ordered an ‘octo-shot’ - 8 SHOTS OF espresso!

I refused to allow it (it was on my dime). He pouted and whined for about 10 minutes and then finally changed the subject.

He still sometimes brings up the fact that I decided Red Bull was no good for him and refused to continue to provide it.

I see he has started drinking tea again, that is HIS sign that he is doing better…Strange the things we end up tracking…


#244

Thanks so much @calicakes for your post. I am up again in the middle of the night (4 AM) due to loud conversation coming from my daughter’s room. My heart still hasn’t slowed totally back to normal. Earplugs and noise machine didn’t help tonight. Yet, ignoring her is the best for a mostly quiet home the other 23.9 hours of each day. I still puzzle over how someone can behave like this and not know it or acknowledge it. As you say, the illness and my loved one’s ability to think clearly are separate from each other. I am very lucky that her behavior is mild now when the illness is running her. I am very lucky that the 35 times the cops have been to my house in 2016 and 2017 are over. This year, not once have those wonderful men and women been to my home over her behavior. Thank you for making me look at the illness separately. It helps me to see the great improvement she’s made.


#245

@oldladyblue, I hate anosognosia. I am glad that we know its there and we don’t think they are deliberating refusing to take meds, but at the same time, I hate it.


#246

Yes, @hope, you are soooooo right. If not for the anosognosia, so many loved one would desire help. I know my daughter wouldn’t choose to be a burden, or to scare me; she was such a lovely young woman before the illness.

Now, when I go to sleep, I pray for all families facing similar struggles. May there be more peaceful minutes/hours/days in all of our lives. I count the peaceful times as gifts.

I thank you, and others here who have shared. The shared stories have helped in adjustment/recovery from the shock of an anosognosic schizophrenia world. We, the loving caregivers, are fighting a war that we could never have imagined, pre-schizophrenia. I had heard of schizophrenia before my daughter’s illness; I didn’t understand it. But I had never heard of anosognosia. Anosognosia makes fighting mental illness like fighting an invisible demon that has one CONVINCED there is NO mental illness. It seems to be the cruelest delusion of all.


#247

I have been finding the odd job here and again for my daughter. If I find her one, she will usually do it. If I don’t find her one, she says in her room. I posted ads on craigslist and do all of the contacting myself, to weed out the predators. “Young woman with special needs, needs part time job cleaning”. I found two cleaning companies that hired her for occasional jobs. She is truly happiest when she has somewhere to go, something to do. Plus she likes the money.


#248

I’m brand new in the same situation, she won’t even consent to be treated so we don’t have a formal diagnosis yet either.


#249

@glendalegirl Have you been able to sign up for a Family to Family course yet?

Sorry for responding, I know you had addressed this to @Never_to_become, I just wanted to say that Family to Family was our first step. When we were brand new we didn’t have a formal diagnosis either. We used Amador’s “I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help” and bribery to get our son to work with a psychiatrist. He only did it because we promised to pay for him to have a vacation in Colorado. We never told him why we wanted him to see a psychiatrist - we used Amador’s methods of communication.

When we showed up at Family to Family it seemed like we were way behind everyone else. So many of them already had their loved one’s diagnosis due to their family members having been jailed and hospitalized.


#250

Can you ask your daughter to take something to help her sleep? That can be her AP drug or other prescribed med. Or even Benadryl. Could you explain to her that the noise is keeping you up? Not sure if either of these approaches will work or not…it maybe worth a try to focus on the practical (needing to sleep) rather than the psychosis (‘who are you talking to?).’

I know that racing heart feeling. I’d wake up from a. deep sleep to my sz husband screaming about the neighbors trying to attack him. It’s impossible to stay calm when a loved one is actively engaged in a psychotic rant.


#251

Hi @Jan, I appreciate your suggestions, but the key is “to take something”. She won’t take any drug or medicine from me, even vitamin supplements, and she won’t see a doctor, as she “is just fine”. She cannot see any symptoms in herself, even being awake at night. She doesn’t believe she is “talking in her sleep”. When I’ve knocked on her door to quiet her, she’s asked me why I was waking her up. Yet, I know she was talking or yelling at her voices.

I am doing better at being calm when I am awake, but being awakened from sleep always produces the racing heart. Sigh.

I have found something called “Natural Calm” which helps me to return to sleep. It is a fizzy magnesium drink at the health food store.


#252

Start with a lawyer you trust or has experience with granting guardianship AND conservativship to parents with dependent children. They will ask for an official diagnosis from a psychiatrist. We got ours from my son’s stay at the inpatient hospital.
We spoke to my son about the importance of meds, comparing it to my blood pressure and cholesterol meds I take. He was settled out on pill Invega through this process luckily.
Papers are served on all parties- father, mother and child. A court date is set and evidence and testimony is given to the judge. This took place in Missouri. Not to say it is that way in all states.


#253

Do you live alone with her? Are there other people in the house? For your support. There should be some consequences for acting out at nite. I know she is sick, but sometimes they can be reasoned with. It’s no way to live–sleep is too important😎 I’m glad that the supplement you bought is helping.


#254

I take a beta blocker called propanolol for racing heart/ anxiety. It works pretty quickly and is prescribed to me “as needed.” I don’t take it very often anymore, but did a couple times a week for awhile.


#255

Thank you for the information, I’m new on here and didn’t realize my reply had even posted. I will look up family to family, had not heard of that. My daughter’s first “episode” (not sure if that is what it is called) started on March 10th. We have now been through 2 weeks of complete calm, but constant “convo” as I call it will her friends. This morning she quickly came downstairs and went straight out the door–which scared me to death, because that is somewhat how this started so I think she is entering another episode. I have read a lot about communication, but didn’t know there was an actual method. Will look up Amador now. Not sure what your screen name means, but I resonate with that–I have been grieving over her life for a few days now.


#256

Hope keeps a lot of us going when it gets pretty dark. Sometimes its all I feel I have left in the battle with my son’s scz.

The grieving can be overwhelming. When I am having an especially difficult day with the grief, I visit a thread here called “How to deal with my sadness of my sons schizophrenia”. Son or daughter, the pain is the same. We all have to learn to deal with the grieving as we try to deal with our family member’s illness. There is some comfort on that thread.

Have you had a chance to hear about NAMI? National Alliance on Mental Illness? They have a website, nami.org Local NAMI chapters hold the free Family to Family course that will really help you get started.

My son suffers from anosognosia, its a symptom of scz that makes it impossible for him to understand he is ill. He believes everything he hears is real and he believes his paranoid thoughts are legitimate. Dr Amador specializes in helping us deal with anosognosia. Its a good place to start when you have a loved one that is refusing treatment.

People do tend to call the really bad moments, when they are totally overwhelmed by psychosis - episodes.

Family to Family is a long course - there is a lot of material to cover. You may have a waiting period before the next class. Try to find out if your local NAMI chapter has a support group - they can be a good resource in the meantime.

I am so sorry about your daughter, I know I felt like the entire world had shifted on me when I learned about my son. Take care, Hope


#257

My daughter also has anosgosnia schizophrenia. She has developed a new pattern this past week of going somewhere pause to do all of her sitting. She doesn’t take her phone and we don’t see her for 6 hours at s time. I ask afraid she will walk or wander away into a strange place a get lost. She is very bright, but has zero insight


#258

Personally, I had trouble understanding at first why family members of people with scz were always using the phrase “new normal”. Now I know, its a nice way of saying “what the he** are they doing now?”

When we moved our son into a garage apartment on our property, it worked for a couple of years. I know that many people encourage us to not allow them to isolate. Its possible that my son’s time out there on his own, gave him an opportunity to deal with his illness and figure out coping strategies. Its equally possible that the time out there alone wound him more into his world of paranoid delusions.

My son did seek out Cognitive Behavior Therapy on his own to be able to grocery shop again. Such a puzzle, increasing paranoia about me handling his groceries caused him to look for a way to shop for himself. I do believe that Amador is correct that they will work towards things THEY want to work towards.

I am glad that Sarcosine and vitamins are helping your daughter, did you start the ssdi process?


#259

Thank you for the words of encouragement, I downloaded the book yesterday on my Kindle and am a third of the way through. (some of the phrases he uses are very much how I have been trying to communicate, totally non-confrontational) My local NAMI chapter had just started a family to family class at the end of February right before our journey started…so I will check in tomorrow morning to see when the next one starts.
A question for everyone out there, and it may have been asked before: how do you know when a new “episode” is starting?


#260

How were you able to get this with the privacy laws? I am going to start for guardianship myself.