Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

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


I have now one that has not been medicated for couple of years, maybe more and she is in what looks like a solitary confinement, speaking to no one and non-functioning… I’m trying to figure out my role now as a visiting sibling and hoping for the best…


My younger son (36) is unmedicated. His visits from his older brother (38) are very special for him. When Jeb lived with us, he would be so excited about his brother coming home for the holidays. I believe because his brother was here rarely, he did not build up delusions about his brother.

He would clean his place here in preparation for his brother’s visit. Sometimes he had been so excited ahead of time about his brother’s pending visit, that he was unable to actually visit for very long with his brother after his brother arrived.

Jeb eventually wanted to move to an apartment in the town where his brother lived and he did. He sees his brother rarely, his brother always waits for him to initiate contact. I think this relationship is very important to my son with scz.

I think the key is that my older son always lets Jeb initiate contact and he uses LEAP based methods when he speaks with him. After Jeb was diagnosed his brother read Dr Fuller Torrey’s manual “Surviving Schizophrenia” from cover to cover. He also read Dr Amador’s “I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help”.

My older son is an awesome son and brother.


Thanks @DianeR. I know you’ve been through the wringer and have survived, with your son doing well at present. It gives me hope I will find a solution to get my daughter medicated. The emotional roller coaster is so draining.

@Love_Hope, I totally understand your loved one’s situation. @hope’s advice to you seems VERY good. Someone on this site told a story of sending letters regularly, even though no answers came back. She one day got a response requesting a visit, she visited, and then no communication since then. There seems not much we can do to break the self-imposed solitary except little steps, especially if you live far away.


I totally agree with you - forced hospitalization is sometimes the only way we can help our children. I had to do it with my daughter as she was diagnosed with hard to treat sz - nothing seemed to work anymore. She was in a local psych facility for about 4 months - it may be more or less – then later to a state facility where she stayed another 4 months. IT HELPED. She was finally stabilized and that is why she was in the psych facilities so long. She is not what she was before mental illness and never will but at least she’s not tormented 24/7.


What state are you in @Patricia6 ? It sounds like it is a more helpful state for MI. I would love a way to end the torment as you did for your daughter.

I wish my state (Florida) had more options for forcing treatment on those with anosognosia. The longest of her 4 forced hospitalizations was 30 days. The shortest was 6 days and had the best result (whatever the drugs were she was on). However, she will not stay medicated. I cannot get her records as my daughter will not sign for me. She has avoided being hospitalized the last 4 times the police were here, although obviously MI, she doesn’t say the threatening things she used to say which got her hospitalized before. Two attorneys have said guardianship application may not work (and the cost is so high). I feel stymied by the system. At least my daughter seems to be doing better as there is less screaming at/with her voices. I find it easier to live in the same house with her if she is at least more quietly MI. I would love it if she had government support to be able to move out, I contacted two attorneys about SSI/SSDI and so far no one has been willing to take her case. I am afraid to try to apply for her on my own as the rejection rate is so high and there are no current medical reports.


I’m sorry that you had to go through that it seems we just can’t be happy. My husband is also bipoler. My sz son is hardly eating and isolating himself. Try and take care of yourself


Sigh, it is very tough, especially when there are two to care for. I hope you are taking care of yourself too.

Today, being Veterans Day, several restaurants in the area had free meals for veterans. I had a free breakfast at Bob Evans and then a free dinner at Applebees, both good treats for myself. Gosh, I joined the Air Force 44 years ago. Wow.

At least both my daughter and husband had quiet days today so I could go out twice with no worries. Plus, I got in a bit of gardening before my A/C shut down. I got my trusty A/C guy to come same day, he fixed it, only charged me $50, then paid me $50 to take away my old well pump, and asked me if I’d give him a plant. I gave him 6, and we were both happy.


I don’t know how not to feel helpless? I do what I can of help everyday and read about solutions/methods which most do not seem currently applicable, I do things for me too, but it’s very difficult, I know it’s more difficult for the afflicted loved ones but their lack of insight and their mental and physical health becoming worse and worse and no talking, no seeking help, not accepting help, isolation… they might survive it, they are peaceful living with their worsening symptoms, showing no sign or desire for change, but me watching this everyday is just so hard! I AM SORRY


It is hard to just watch and feel helpless, I agree. As you stated, if the ill person seems peaceful with their life, then that is a thankful situation. I learned to back off and leave my daughter alone if she seems happy enough to be “herself” even if I don’t agree. It is hard though as you wish more for them than isolation in their room.


I always wonder what the future will be like. What my future will be like.


It is really easy to feel helpless. Change can take years for our family members.


Sigh. I understand @Love_Hope @Margi @hope No one likes feeling helpless. Or wondering about the future when it is uncertain. Or waiting for change. I have gotten used to those feelings, and the sadness that comes and goes. Occasionally, small changes add up to a big one.

Tonight, my daughter asked me to play a board game with her. I bought Life and Monopoly at a yard sale recently and left them in the kitchen. When I gave my daughter dinner tonight, she asked me if we could play a board game. Wow, I was taken by surprise. She noticed the games sitting in the kitchen. I haven’t been invited in her room for weeks. I got the games, and she chose Life, and we played an entire game. She won! As soon as I left, she went back to talking alone in her room to her voices, but WOW was I pleased with the change tonight brought in our normal routine.


I do too, how can I not, it’s not running smoothly as I thought it would… not a happy family but a dysfunctional and unhealthy… everyone&everything is telling me to accept (not expect) if I wanna be “happy”, just don’t know how to do so yet.


That is very beautiful :heart_decoration:


It takes time, but it does occur, to accept what is. It is still hard for me not to compare what “is” with what “was” and it is a grieving process. It helps to have a support group. Greatly. But it takes time. I was told it is called “the new normal” and it will arrive for you, in time.


Thats good news maybe now she will want to play more often. I am so happy for you . The only peaple who really understand how we feel are here on this forum These days happiness is not in the cards for me.


I am so sorry that your days are so difficult. We were there last year, it was a nightmare. I hope your days get easier soon.


I understand, and hope that things can be better for you soon. It is very hard to be unhappy for any length of time.


I couldn’t agree with you more, I’m so grateful for everyone here…

@Margi I too was feeling very bad lately so I talked this morning to my Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) psychologist then I felt much better. You cannot imagine how important seeking mental health is in general and in particular for family/caregivers (whether they are caring full time or visitors)…


I agree that the more help I seek for myself and my own health, the better prepared I am each day to deal with my daughter’s illness.