Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How to talk to my mom with undiagnosed sz


#1

Hi everyone, thank you so much for creating such a loving and supportive community! This will be my first post about my moms illness on any kind of support group/site, so thanks for reading and hopefully I can get some insight. Long story short my mom lost it (haha) after she had me and my brother and was out of our lives when I was five because she couldn’t get herself help (she believes she doesn’t need help). I’ve always known she was sick and have had contact with her over the phone here and there over the years and was able to see her in person for the first time in 12 years a few years ago. So I don’t know her very well and I don’t know very much about her sickness, but I know she loves me unconditionally and I want to do the same for her and be in her life as much as I can. Right now that just means answering her phone calls, which is getting easier the more I learn about unconditional love, but it’s still hard! I Just stay quiet when she starts talking about her soul getting stolen or being born in different places, but part of me wants to tell her that it’s not true and confront her craziness, which I haven’t done yet. Part of me thinks I’ll be able to find a cure or say something that will click and she’ll just go to the doctors she thinks are poisoning her and get better…does anyone have similar thoughts and hve you acted upon them or how do you deal with them? I want to have deep conversations with her but I don’t know if she can and I don’t want to scare her away or trigger something in the fear of her not trusting me. We’ve always had a loving relationship but I’ve always been in so much pain that I couldn’t speak to her much and now I feel ready to talk with her a lot and get to know her, but I don’t know how to go about it all the time because part of her is lost and replaced with nonsensical jargon. I guess I’m just wondering how you guys cope with talking to family members with sz and have any tips?
Thank you and much love :two_hearts:


#2

You’re such a good person to want to help your mom. Many people wouldn’t do that if they were in your place.

I think you might benefit from a book that gets recommended here a lot - it’s called I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help by Dr Xaviar Amador. It teaches you how to talk to people who lack insight & don’t think you they need help.

Next, you can’t say something that will click - the book explains lack of insight & how it’s a medical problem, not stubbornness or unwillingness to see that you’re ill.

And, it’s great to listen, but be careful about deep conversations. If they’re about her, they might enforce her delusions. If they’re about you, they might give her new ones.

As far as how I talk to my son, I know I can’t talk him out of his beliefs, so I listen and comment as much as I can without outright agreeing with him. Sometimes, I ask questions so I can understand what’s going on a little more. It’s pretty much me trying to follow that book’s advice, although I still don’t have the methods down really well. I think I need to make it a habit to reread a portion each night.


#3

This part of this website: http://www.schizophrenia.com/family/60tip.html

Scroll down for “communication skills.”

It’s great that she is reaching out to you and you are answering her calls. It sounds like you love each other very much. One thing to try is to get her talking about an interest she has that is real. Ideally, there is some interest you both share, like music or movies or sports or plants. Whatever it is that she is enthusiastic about in shared reality is great to talk about.


#4

Sometimes it helps to distract or change the subject.