Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

I am a mother of five children that has one 22yrs old son thats diagnosed with schizophrenia. Help


#1

I am a mother of five children that has one 22yrs old son thats diagnosed with schizophrenia 11months ago. Not sure how to deal with him. He stopped his medication to continue to smoke marijuana. He is declining extremely and relapse with now a criminal record. Please help


#2

isn’t there anybody you can talk to about this? it sounds like you need help


#3
  1. quit giving him money for pot. If you give him money, he will spend it on pot. I used to smoke pot, so I would know.
  2. tell him that if he lives in your house, he has to take medication or get an occupation
  3. get professional help

You need to see a doctor, I dont even have my bachelors in psychology yet, I am 21 and one of the most highly functioning people on these forums…this isnt a forum for out of work PhD’s…most everyone here is not recovered and functioning in society like a normal person…to be honest, the majority of the people here are not doing so well. Notice like two other people replied, I know one of them personally and he is doing quite well and is very intelligent.


#4

I’m the oldest of 5. I have Sz and my parents were at their wits end.

www.nami.org will help you find a support group in your area.

Also it will help to find a support group for your other children as well. Let them know what SZ is all about and it also lets them know that they are just as important as your child with Sz. Trust me… it really helped having my siblings on my side. It made my recovery much smoother.

Find out what this disease is really all about… there are many parts to it.
http://schizophrenia.com/diag.php — over view of the disease.

The pot is hard to stop… I should know… as you get to know this disease better, you will be able to set some boundaries. My parents do love me… but there came a time where they had to let me in a group home because my siblings had a right to food and clothing too. So I had to go. It wasn’t easy for my parents… but being a group home I was able to get extra help and turn my attitude around and had more people really telling me that there was no way pot was Ok.

There are a lot of options as far as group homes… shelters… and other stuff…

Also look up PACT teams or ACT teams…
(there is a poster on here named @BarbieBF and she has always posted a lot of resources she’s used while helping her son.)

I do hope the best for you and your entire family… the biggest piece of advice I can give is please don’t neglect or ignore your healthy kids for you son with Sz. It killed me when I found out how neglected my other siblings felt and how much resentment they held toward me because of it.

Good luck.


#5

Thank you so very much!! The response and info was greatly appreciated. I am trying to find my son a group home or supervised home to reside in it being he doesn’t like living by himself because of the paranoid issues.


#6

Is your son who’s just been diagnosed the oldest?


#7

Thank you. It’s important to stress to you that he gets social security disability money. So I never give him money. I can say I see it make him act out very bad when he come home after smoking weed. I told him he can only stay with me for two weeks because I’m finding him an apt to reside. I also demanded if he smoke while he’s temp here with me he will get kicked out. I expressed to him he only have two choices back on medication or back into the mental facility! !! Although he smoke black n milds and walk around outside I can see prancing to find weed to smoke. But this is his choice and he knows the stipulations.


#8

First time on the forum. Sorry


#9

thought i would say hi.
take care


#10

Oh that doesn’t sound good, personally marijuana helps me but for most schizophrenics I don’t think it does.
You should try and get him some help or you will just have to be patient and wait for him to want the help hisself first.
Wish you luck,Jade.


#11

Welcome to the forum @Carla

My son is 20 and diagnosed with schizophrenia. He was diagnosed in 2011. He is also diagnosed concurrent disorders which is addiction. He likes marijuana and it triggers his psychosis and causes breaks…

I did look into how to discipline ADHD and ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) which did help with boundary setting and keeping myself under control :wink:

My son is also on disability, here in Canada, and I have insisted on having a portion of his payments to cover living expenses so I have paid for almost everything. Since your son is on ssd then I’m guessing you are in the USA.

Some of these links may help. Learning to use LEAP can be a very useful tool.
http://www.leapinstitute.org/ - under resources are free videos on using LEAP
LEAP is a way of communicating to build trust. Listen-Empathize-Agree-Partner.
http://dramador.com/ - Dr. Xavier Amador is a clinical psychologist whose brother had schizophrenia. He is the founder of the LEAP Institute. Wrote the book: I’m Not Sick I Don’t Need Help! Can buy from his website.
Search Xavier Amador and LEAP on youtube.com and you should find some long videos
http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/index.php - under problems you will see anosognosia
Anosognosia looks like denial but is different.
http://lesswrong.com/lw/e25/bayes_for_schizophrenics_reasoning_in_delusional/ - helped my understand delusions

Getting your son into an Early Psychosis Treatment center may help take some of the pressure off you. They usually assist for the first three years of treatment.
Early Psychosis Treatment center information in these two links
http://www.schizophrenia.com/earlypsychosis.htm
http://www.raiseetp.org/sites/

Psychiatric Treatment Centers affiliated with Medical Schools in the USA
http://www.schizophrenia.com/psychcenters.htm

This link may help you find a psychiatrist in your area
http://psychiatrists.psychologytoday.com/rms/prof_search.php

Getting my son to stop chronically smoking marijuana was tough. A constant struggle. He brought into the home, I threw it out. Taking a portion of his disability also limited the amount of money he had to spend on it. Personally I don’t consider it his money as it was being paid to him to cover living expenses not get stoned. I still didn’t take what I was entitled to so that he had enough for his cigarettes and gaming etc.

I was in the process of trying to get my son into a group home where they could help him to regain some stability and learn how to grow up in an environment that understood his needs but some other family members have stepped in so I’m afraid my story isn’t quit at the happy ending part, yet…

Going off medications unfortunately is common and smoking marijuana just compounds the situation. My son declines or decompresses fairly quickly when both happen at the same time. Addiction is hard. I have been addicted so I can understand the pull. Fighting both can seem like such an uphill battle.


#12

Personality is the hardest thing in a person to change.


#13

I hope by now he has a diagnosis and a case manager. They can take him to social security and he can get SSI OR SSDI which ever applies for him. As long as he sees a Psychiatrist he can also get Medicaid which means all his appointments and medications are free. Sometimes a few $s co-pay for some medications. You and your family need Family Therapy, he needs individual therapy and regular visits to Psychiatrist. You can find out where your local NAMI is and they have a lot of help. They have 12 weeks family to family classes , peer to peer classes for your son and monthly support group meetings. You can be the rep. payee for his SSI check. In my son’s case I am the rep. payee and I have kept all his money a side so when he finishes college and moves out We will use it for his needs. Good luck. Please post here any questions OR concerns you may have. There are lots of experts here who might be able to answer your questions. Have some rules if he wants to live with you, otherwise like others have said there are other alternatives.


#14

When my son was first diagnosed, I was in a terrible panic about it. My ideas about sz were all revolving around media stories of people with sz who murder at the command of their voices. I was desperate and crying all the time. But I did as much research as I could in a short time and and quickly found the “recovery movement.” And I decided to convey what I could about that to my son.

The recovery movement, based on long term research says that people with sz can and do recover long term. In some cases their recovery is complete - no symptoms even without medication by 30 years after diagnosis. In most cases, they need some treatment but their sz is no longer troubling or even visible to others. In some cases they still have symptoms but retain a good quality of life. The brain, unlike say the kidneys, is plastic - to a certain extent, if we make efforts, it can repair itself.

The important thing for recovery was that the individual had a mentor who told them that they could recover and supported them. The individual decides what recovery means for him/herself. So for some people, it is just absence of voices and a life on disability, but with friendships, etc. and for others it is a family, career, house, etc. The important point is quality of life.

My advice right now is to make sure that your son knows that he can, and probably will recover and that you believe he can and you will help him. If you can get the whole family united around that, it will help.

I said all this to my son as son as possible. I also said to him, “You have to control it, or it will control you.” He has seen me manage (and struggle with) diabetes all his life so that was not a new idea to him. He has quickly accepted treatment, he cooperates with his medical team, he has improved his housing and financial situation. He takes a holistic approach, with medication, good food and exercise and a social life.

My son is a bit older than yours - 28 at diagnosis - and does not use marijuana or alcohol. Nobody in our family does, and it’s not common in our community so there is little temptation, and he can be sociable without encountering them.

But the drug use is probably where he goes because he is frightened right now.

I suggest repeating as often as you need that he can get better.

I have a friend with sz. She was In terrible mess for 8 years until I told her that she could get better. I was amazed that nobody told her before. The difference was completely transformational. She stopped denying it, accepted her treatment and you cannot tell that anything at all is wrong with her now (a year later). All her relationships and her confidence have improved. She has a small baby and is a great mother.

There are lots of people here who have recovered or are recovering. It is really heartening.

I don’t believe in family therapy, but my son never had any symptoms at all as a child. I do believe that CBT works for negative symptoms now.


#15

Mann you have made my day!!! I wish I could hug you. Thank you for the beautiful and hopeful response. I feel weight a little off my shoulders. I read your comment to my son and he was so happy and smiling. As in thanks and bless you.


#16

Feeling hopeful. Thank you so much.


#17

Really? Wow well it bring a terrible psychosis effect. But thank you


#18

Hi Carla~
Can`t add to what has already been said-but I would like to welcome you. This is a great site with lots of info. on this illness. Good luck!


#19

There is hope. He is young. MY son is 32, arrested twice, but still does not believe he needs meds. but then i meet others whose children suddenly accepted it.

I try to negotiate with him. Finally he moved out which believe it or not helped me. In nY we have AOT which are court orders for meds if they are hospitalized 3 times in a certain amount of time and considered dangerous to themselves or others.

linda


#20

Hello Carla. Welcome to the site. When I stopped taking morphine and drinking alcohol I thought I’d die. But I did not. Have been drug free since 2010. Not touching that stuff anymore. The change has to come from him. If he is not ready to stop he won’t. It’s a hard struggle to quit drugs. If you make rules for him, no smoking in the house, has to take his meds and so on, then he will feel better and maybe be strong enough to quit.