Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How to cope with living with violent schizophrenic

My uncle has been living in my mum’s home since I was around 4 years old. That’s 26 years ago. When I was 8, he showed signs of mental illness but never received medical or therapeutic help. Since I became unemployed two years ago, I have been living in my mum’s home and during that time, my uncle has been physically violent towards me thrice. He becomes aggressive over anything (touching dishes he might be using, using something he wants to use but hasn’t told anyone, someone else watching the TV when he wants it off, telling him not to do something etc). He also enters my room at will so now I keep my door locked.

A few weeks he pushed me across the house twice on different occasions for asking him not to use expensive dishes as a tray and using my furniture as a dining table (he told me the furniture wasn’t mine because I am too young to afford anything). A few days later, I was sat in the living room by myself watching TV in the early hours of the morning. My uncle walked in and opened the windows which left me feeling very cold. Trying to avoid upsetting him, I asked my mum, who was in her room at the time, if I could close the window. She asked me why I was in the living room in the first place. Surprised by her response, I have avoided all common areas of the house except the bathroom because I worry that if he does anything to hurt me, they will blame me for triggering it. So now, I keep to my room.

A week after that incident, I wrote to my mum and my uncle and aunty (mum’s siblings) asking them to consider providing him treatment or alternative living accommodation. While I know I could easily leave my mum’s home I am worried about my younger sisters (14 and 16 years old) who have to live in fear at home. If I move out because of him, it will only make it more likely they won’t want to be home either. Neither my mum nor her brother and sister have mentioned anything to me about the letter or the recent violent incidents. My grandmother, who was present when he attacked me and tried to shield me, made an emotional appeal to my mum to have him moved because she was worried for my safety but my mum has said nothing to her.

Living in fear of being harmed at home is very stressful. It saddens me that no one cares whether me or any or my siblings are harmed. The first time he hit me, my aunt’s only concern was whether my uncle was OK. Instead, she was angry with me for reasons I do not understand. My mum gets angry with me that I avoid interacting with him even though he has been verbally and physically violent to me. Honestly, I am very confused by all this. I would be grateful if someone could help me understand why my family protect him and seem not to care if he physically hurts me or my siblings.

If you are in immediate danger, call the police. Don’t be afraid to and don’t be put off by family members trying to guilt you into not doing so. It sounds like you are in a toxic situation where there are minors in an unsuitable environment, unfortunately if you do anything about it you will very likely be blamed or shamed by the family if they support the person that you are fearful of. Don’t take it personally, it is just what happens when people try to protect somebody, even if that somebody is an abuser. Call the police as many times as you need to in order to establish a pattern if the abuse can be explained away by the family.

Record in any way you can what is going on. Cameras and voice recorders don’t lie and if you need to get this person committed then this will stand as very good evidence of why. When it comes down to two opinions, authorities will go with the most convincing and if your family sounds more convincing than you do then you’ll be on the back foot. I was in the opposite situation where my wife was diagnosed with sz and feared me abusing her so called the police many times. Having a factual account of what happened each time stood as a backup if I was ever arrested, fortunately it never came to that.

For your own emotional wellbeing, you might like to look around in your area for a martial arts training course- if you are able bodied that is. This may give you more confidence to handle situations, or at least it will take your mind off things.


I’m really sorry that you are living like this. It’s not ok. I would call the police on my son in an instant if he became violent and I have. If they are concerned for him then they would too. Allowing him to get away with aggressive behavior will only embolden him to continue and maybe eventually somebody will get seriously hurt and then how would they feel knowing they ignored the problem?

It really sounds like you and maybe Grandma are the only ones understanding the seriousness of the situation. I encourage you to call the police next time he’s violent but I would try to do it discreetly or get to a safe place if possible because he may become more escalated if he knows you are calling. Also, maybe CPS should be contacted since children are involved.

It will be hard and there will be an aftermath with your family. Be courageous and do it anyway. Take Care

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It is called co-dependancy. My son is also intermittantly violant and I take him to the hospital when he is unstable, so I understand your fears and it is not ok for you or your siblings to live like that. If iit were me, I would visit child and/or adult protective services. He is running the home and suffocating you all. There are other options. Check with your county. xoxoxox