Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

I don't know how to deal with this


Hi, my name is Emma. My mother has schizophrenia, and there is nothing I can do to help her. Some days I will be talking to her and she will just zone out and start praying. Some days are better than others, and today is just a bad day. She won’t listen to me, and she just stops in the middle of walking and starts talking to her “voices.” I love my mother to the stars and back, but it gets me upset to think about how much she suffers. I just wish she would help herself or allow herself to be helped. Oh, and to top it off, she smokes too and I can’t get her to quit that either. Any tips or helpful pieces of comment?


Hi Emma. Welcome to the forum.

Do you mind if I ask if your mom is receiving any sort of treatment?

Some of these links may help: - under resources are free videos on using LEAP
LEAP is a way of communicating to build trust. Listen-Empathize-Agree-Partner. - 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 and you should find some long videos - under problems you will see anosognosia
Anosognosia looks like denial but is different. - helped my understand delusions - National Alliance on Mental Illness. - Schizophrenia Society of Canada

Can also find some very useful information here:

Early Psychosis Treatment center information in these two links

Psychiatric Treatment Centers affiliated with Medical Schools in the USA

This link may help you find a psychiatrist in your area


Welcome Emma!
Not sure what to say since there isn`t any past backround on this.
Do you have any other family to help?


welcome emma,it is nice to meet you…hope you get what you need from this forum…


@BarbieBF Thanks! She does get treatment about once a month, but other than medication the doctors say there’s nothing they can really do.


@bridgecomet Yes, she lives with my grandmother but there is really nothing they can do. We all try to help but she gets better and then worse and over and over again. I just don’t know.


@bubbles Thanks.


Mostly she just gets nervous about everyone around her. It is just the "voices that talk to her and tell her depressing things like I’m going to get hurt or that she is a bad person. But my mom is very sweet and I can’t get anything through to her when she is doing worse. Mostly because the “voices” just contradict what I say. She has Paranoid Schizophrenia, I forgot to say.


Well you can’t make someone quit smoking because you want them too, they have to want to quit. As you’ll read on this forum its quite common for someone with sz to smoke. Help her when she lets you but don’t force it when she refuses your help. When that happens you need to think about your reaction and how you are dealing with it, ways you are coping.


@Skims Thank you. I know it is very hard to make someone quit smoking, and I don’t push it very far. I just try to mention it every once in a while. I try to keep my cool with it, and when she doesn’t let me help I just walk away to let her be. Is the way she acts normal for people with schizophrenia?


Yes absolutely normal. With the smoking, my boyfriend says there is nothing worse than being nagged about it. He knows its bad for him and that I want him to quit. It just makes him more anxious and makes him want a cigarette every time I bring it up. Just let your mother know that you care about her and that you are there for her when she does want help is really all you need to do. Make sure she knows how to get a hold of you and that no problem is to small to help with.


Welcome, I know what you are going through. I am going through the same thing with my mother. Unfortunately my mother doesn’t get any help. I wish there were magic words of wisdom. For now all I can say is, remember she is sick and doesn’t really have control over what the voices are saying. Try to keep strong and know that you are a good person and just be there for her when she needs you. However, don’t get too sucked in that you loose yourself. That is very easy to do. Our whole worlds become about them. I’m 43, never married, no kids and don’t see marriage in my future because who will want to deal with all that I’m going through?? Please don’t let this happen to you. Good Luck


I think you’re at the point where you need outside help. That will be hard for you to get because there are limited resources available to the mental health community. So, you are left with your own resources. Get what you can from the mental health establishment. Your problem calls on a lot of resources from you. In Al-onon they talk about “detachment with love”. Try not to let your mother’s problems get you down.


@mjudge13 Thank you very much! I wish you luck in your situation and I’m happy to know that there are people who are just like me with these problems. My mother is in the same position with the voices and things. Thank you for the advice.


@crimby Thanks. I try not to focus too much on her problems or else they will get me down. I’m happy I joined this forum; it has really helped me.


I have been dealing with my sister who is 58 and was stricken in her late teens. She has been on every medication there is and nothing has made a difference. Now I would just like to know how to make her go to sleep so I could have at least one hour to unwind before I have to go to bed so I can get up in the morning and go to work. You just have to dig down deep and find the patience to deal with it. Maybe if you have anyone to relieve you it’s best to step away occasionally to preserve your own sanity.


You mother is so lucky to have you Emma. Schizophrenia is a terrible mental illness. There are really severe symptoms associated with this illness. Her symptoms are common for her diagnosis. It’s hard to just snap out of it. I feel based on my own experience there is a language that needs to be learned to communicate with mentally ill people, because it is a disability and it does affect the brain.
I will give examples of what my family does for me.
They usually don’t have eye contact, they approach in a gentle and caring way. They will usually walk pass me, stop and hang out. They will call my name out often. They try to get my attention often. They will say things like Here’s your Carrot juice mom. Did you take your vitamins. Don’t stay in your room too long. Can you make me a shake. They have taken walks with me. They ask me questions often and they ask me to do things for them. This has helped me a lot. I feel really good helping out. I do a lot now. I still get my symptoms but I have had so much improvement. In time she will stop smoking like I have. You can try the patches, cold turkey or electronic cigarettes.


Sometimes new medication can help or a sleep aide. If she can do a lot of movement during the day or a day care place to keep her active. Stimulants can make her stay up, maybe reducing them such as coffee and soda. A good healthy diet can help. Having her write in a journal. A regular schedule or routine daily will help. Good luck check out