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

That’s a relief. And, please do text your story if and whenever you feel to.
Yes, it is hard on the moms I’m seeing, so glad to discover it’s not just me.

I did make some edits in my story above but only formatting the last section into paragraphs and a few edits for clarification as it read like one long run on sentence. It can also be quite confusing in that I am talking above three of my four sons and a grandson in this one telling of my story.

not_alone, Your posting is exactly what this thread is meant to be about, there isn’t a way to hijack this thread. I wish all of Mike’s story was on this thread, I was so worried he would find this thread that many of the events we dealt with ended up on other threads.

During his battle with cancer, I so wished I could have come to this forum for emotional support. The situation was just too important to risk anything rocking the boat of him allowing me to help him.

His favorite well worn clothing often raised eyes in waiting rooms and his adamant refusal of his cancer team being allowed to speak to me made for a challenging support journey. I heard him remark after the 45 minute drive to the cancer center “she yelled at me all the way here”, so sad. Such events made me want to tell them about his scz, but I had long learned not to trust the medical community with such delicate information.

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Hi irene, I think we never would have survived without a sense of humor. I know that for some families the emotions run too painfully deep for them to see the humor in the moment.

Mike had a sense of humor and found enjoyment in his days, not all day, but usually at least for some part. His last rental home was a student rental in a university neighborhood that had rats that made frequent appearances in the garage. When I told him one of his cats had killed a rat, he replied “I hope it wasn’t the white one, that’s my favorite”.

lol, that was my laugh for the day! These guys can say the funniest stuff, not in the moment, but later when you replay it in your mind.

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Hi not alone, Your story with schizophrenia sounds similar to mine, like a big chaotic, unpredictable disaster. The common thread is that is is so heartbreaking for us moms. You really can’t have any idea how sad it feels to have your adult child so sick and they don’t want to do anything to participate to help themselves. I know this isn’t true for all afflicted with schizophrenia, but it is true for most who are non med compliant., at least from my experience. Anyways, my son, who is 29 now, started having trouble in high school around age 15. He stopped socializing much and just stayed in his room a lot. He also was smoking weed. Things got worse the next couple of years and was hospitalized for threatening to kill himself 2 times in high school and he barely went to school, but did end up graduating. He became very angry and moody and isolated. He did get antidepressants, but stopped taking them after a few weeks. He moved out of state to live with his dad,my ex, for about 5 months after high school and that didn’t work out, so he came back to live with me. He increasingly became more delusional and paranoid and angry. I was so scared to live with him that often I would stay with a friend at night. He finally ended up at the hospital luckily, and he was committed to a state mental hospital, where he spent a week and came home with meds in hand. Things have been one drama after another since, I have tried so hard to help him for the last 12 years that it became the main thing of my life. He now lives in a townhouse near, us that my husband, his stepdad and I provide for him. He usually keeps everything filthy and I have helped him clean so many times. Fast forward to his currant condition, off meds completely since mid April, has

been bothering neighbors, being aggressive here and there and just isolating lately. I have dropped goods off to his place and I hear him talking really loud to himself. A neighbor has told me she heard him also. I am frightened of him, and I have called the police about him many times, but usually he acts half way calm when they arrive. He is a constant worry and has been very threatening to me many times. I could go on and on, as we all could with our stories, but he only seems to be getting worse as each day off meds passes. I am supposed to take him to his doctors appt on Monday and I kinda afraid to do it, if he decides to go. Oh, he is the youngest of 4 children, 2 older brothers who never see him and a sister who lives out of state and tries to text him, but she get overwhelmed. He has no friends and doesn t drive, so he has always been dependent on me to take himout to get stuff. I haven’t taken him anywhere lately tho. I go to NAMI meetings and support group at senior center and that helps. Whew! There are so many more things I could say about his behavior, which is very entitled and spoiled a lot of the time, and of course the split second mood swings and psychotic moods and angry aggressive behaviors. i better stop now, I think you get the idea….

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Does it really help? What are they like. I mean are there other family members there, people with mental illness? Are they very welcoming?

I found one in my area on Tuesday. It is a schizophrenia schizoaffective and bipolar meeting. I am considering going.

Thanks

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The support groups help in my situation because I get to talk to others caregiving a loved one with all kids of mental illness.

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Kinds of mental illness, these typos

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I appreciate your sharing some of your sz family story here with me, thank you. It takes a lot out of me just revisiting mine in the re-telling.

What is standing out most for me is our fear. While I believe it’s understandable and it informs us of real potential dangers, I am also not wanting to be driven by it. I’m going to be bringing this up with my therapist this Tuesday and also ask her if she knows about this LEAP method that I’ve first heard of here. Do you know it and utilize it? If so, what has been your experience?

While for the most part, I’ve evolved into the (L)isten and (E)mpathize parts, not so much with the (A)gree part - with his perspectives (particularly including delusions). I think the (L) and (E) had built some trust and (P)artnership, but I mostly in our conversations avoided subjects that I felt I would be adverse for me to agree with him on (in particular meds, coming to my house, seeing his son, etc.) I’d do my best to just listen and then steer the subject differently. It worked somewhat, but I’m curious now about where adding (A)greeing might have taking us. I am keen to read up here on the forum on how it has actually played out in other care-taker | families with their sz loved ones lives.

“Agree to disagree” was a key part of “agree” with my son.

Yes, thanks. That’s an (A)gree still isn’t it, lol.

And it doesn’t pathologize.

Thinking about you @irene and your son and his appointment today. Hope all goes well.

In regards to what I stated yesterday:

“What is standing out most for me is our fear. While I believe it’s understandable and it informs us of real potential dangers, I am also not wanting to be driven by it.”

I came across this helpful statement by
@hope in another thread.

This is a goal.

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Hi not alone, the appointment did not go great. I asked my husband to go with and surprisingly my son got in car with him. He usually says he doesn’t like my husbands driving. My son was laughing to himself and talking to himself, disturbing, to say the least. I told him many times that if he doesn’t see the doctor, that he will not get his Social Security money, motivation for him to pull it together and get to appointment. My son was filthy, dirty clothes, hadn t showered in weeks, and matted hair. I waited in the waiting room, and he came out quickly. The doctor ( psychiatrist) then announced to me that he was retiring in November and now we have to find a new psychiatrist, this one had not been great, but better than nothing. We had been going to this doctor for 4 years. My son will see no other MD doctor for checkups or dentists. Now I have another big task to set him up with a new psychiatrist, and it is difficult because I called a few and they said he is over 18 and has to make appt for himself. Good luck with an unmedicated paranoid, delusional schizophrenic making his own drs appts! lol!

Oh that must be so frustrating to have that unexpected road block thrown up in the path to him getting his SS money, as well him having had an established relationship with his psychiatrist and now having to depend upon him getting that done for himself.

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Hi, it is just another unexpected burden that goes with this illness. And he doesn’t have the cognitive skills or motivation to find a new doctor. I will have to do it and maybe bribe him to agree to tell doctor that I can be his advocate. That is what I am thinking, so much thought goes into navigating the mental health systems for these poor souls who can very often be their own worst enemy. Oh well,I am trying to be less involved emotionally as I get older, but that is hard because we are the mom. And the fear is always there, but I am getting better at setting boundaries. Tomorrow I am going to try to have a me day!

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I was so surprised that “agree to disagree” worked as well as it did.

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what’s happening today with my unmedicated sibling?
Well I just learned that he is in a pretty critical downward spiral( still /again)
He’s at my elderly Fathers house doing further destruction to the home my Dad left his home 2 days ago when my brother turned the power off from the breaker Its NV and was near 90 inside besides that no food is going to be safe to eat or a way to cook :unamused:luckily my aunt lives near and my Dad is able to stay there while this is happening. I guess he went back today for clothes and meds and it was pretty horrible no clothes were left in dresser mattress against the window really just total chaos think squatter / hoarder its getting bad this was is a nice home on a golf course with an hoa quickly losing any value it may have had .
I have no idea how or what my brother is thinking /feeling right now
I know my Dad is defeated/deflated
and Im feeling all the things again
I’ve already talked with the mobile crisis response unit in their county today , brothers on radar but refuses services every time.
I think my aunt will be able to take Dad to Dhsh tomorrow hoping to get services for Dad started making an APS report.
that’s today :-1:

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How did your “me” day go Irene? I hope you gave yourself some good care.

Got some “good” news from my jailed brother’s lawyer that he “failed” his psych eval and the forensic psychiatrist is going to declare him incompetent to contribute to his defense in a meaningful way. My family had been sweating that he might get released from jail and attempt to return to his hoarded-out house which is contaminated with the tear gas used to smoke him out after he refused allow the police to serve a warrant.

His symptoms had shifted toward psychosis and erotomania since he was last released five months ago from his more usual alcoholism and bipolar patterns. It’s been tough keeping my mother onboard with resisting the urge to bail him out, and holding out for a psych eval and a motion hearing for a psychiatric furlough to a private hospital. Right now, I’m ambivalent whether he goes to a state hospital over a local private one. He doesn’t have much respect for the doctors at the local facility, so maybe he’ll do better elsewhere.

He gets very wrapped up with his faith in the competency of his doctors, their credentials and so on. Although he was rarely medication compliant, he’d at least listen to them. I’ll be happy if he’d just try some newer medications as his medication mind-set is so stuck in the Seventies. Getting him on court-ordered long lasting antipsychotic medication would be the cherry on top, but I suppose I shouldn’t get my hopes up.

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