Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How to address meds?

My daughter is 35 and lives at home. She has recently stopped taking her meds for paranoia and delusions. She believes that others are after her and lives in fear all the time. Should I give her the ultimatum of taking her meds or living somewhere else? It has our home in total chaos.

Have you asked her why she’s stopped her medication? She has her reasons and if she’s willing to share them with you, it’s at least a start to starting a dialogue about it.

She does not think she needs the meds because she is convinced that what is happening to her is real.

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She is so upset with us because we will not agree with her about what she is seeing and hearing. So heartbreaking…

Yes. That is lack of awareness.

Some people have it only when their symptoms are worse but when their symptoms are better, they can see that what they believed was not real.

Other people (and my husband is one) never realize that what they believed was not true, even when they are doing better.

Did your daughter ever have awareness that she had been delusional?

I found this to be most helpful.


Were the meds helping? Did you tell her doctor? I’m so sorry she stopped taking them, but it does happen sometimes. And even when a med works for awhile, it can stop working as the brain can change over time. You must read the book “I Am Not Sick; I Don’t Need Help” by Dr. Xavier Amador if you want to understand this and help her. I don’t like to tell people what to do but in cases like this (50% of persons with SZ), it is true. You can read about this at It is THE book to try to understand what is going on in our loved one’s mind who won’t take meds and gives a methodology to get the person to become med or treatment compliant. There are a lot of other things you can do…many are discussed on this Forum…Get educated and get support. NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Family Support Groups and its Family-to-Family class are the best resources (and no cost to you) available that I know of. Do your best to help her, but you may also need to establish boundaries for your own safety and sanity. Keep getting educated on this…we can’t solve the problem with a few words on a page…But I promise you there is hope for a better future if you will pursue the hard work and take care of yourself.

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While there have been times this year (when she was on her meds) she did seem to understand that she has a mental condition, I don’t believe she has ever believed that these things are not true. She was just more at peace with it.

Thank you SO much for sharing this…I appreciate your taking the time.

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@hope4us I think the drugs were helping. While she never stopped believing someone was after her…she did seem to be more at peace…and able to function. I do believe the side effects of the drugs also contributed to her wanting to stop taking them. I have reached out to her doctor to try and figure best next steps. Thank you so much for the book recommendation. I have begun to reach out to NAMI and other support areas.

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@Maggie46 thanks for this. I’ve added it to my list of favorite SMI TED/TEDx talks. As I see more of Dr. A, I’m struck how his research aligns with my own thoughts. I note that he recommends that while listening and empathizing with subjects to apologize for getting things wrong or confused. I’d recommended this approach in a post recently. I hope I get a chance to meet him someday and compare notes.

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Yes @Maggotbrane the information he offers is so informative and empathetic, I refer to his advise constantly to keep reminding myself how to tackle each day. I do hope you get to meet him one day as well.


Just wanted you to know that I am praying that God would give you the right words needed…at the right time. Grace to have love and compassion in such a difficult situation.

I went to a LEAP workshop last year and found it to be very helpful. Dr. A did a lot of role plays which helped me to better understand tge techniques. There were parents, psychiatrists, judges and attorneys there in addition to mental health therapists

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