I don't know how to help my mom anymore - I am tired

My mom has suffered from schizophrenia my entire life. She has relapsed many times and been to jail. I believe she was diagnosed when I was around 8, then the medication she was given would be an ongoing battle for her. She would take it for sometime, then stop taking it. She was treated a few years back, and was in a treatment facility, and she became okay. Then, about a year ago, i noticed she was changing. She stopped taking her medicine completly. She would have random angry outbursts at everyone, including me. She believes something is after her. She hates my dad to the point where she has completely isolated herself in our house. She avoids him. She’s living as if shes the only person in the house, and throws things away randomly. She threw out meat because she doesn’t like us eating meat. She also threw out my sisters clothes for no reason. Her and my dad have had a rocky relationship for a while, but I think now they will be seperating as my dad can’t take it anymore. I believe her illness started after she lost her first kid (before me). My sister was born premature, and ever since then she’s had this obsession over her. Never been that way for me, and the way she treats me. We have had a very difficult relationship, I feel very angry for the only point that she has made my life extremely difficult. She was never a mother to me. I would always gravitate towards other people in the family, and she would hate that. I have had many milestones in my life so far, which she has never cared to ask me about or even inquire about. I only have a relationship with my dad currently. We have tried everything to get her to take her medicine. She flat out refuses because she thinks theres absolutely nothing wrong with her. If she’s sick, she won’t let me take her to a doctor because she thinks medicine and doctors is “bad”. She hates anything medical related. She spends her day isolated in her room, staring out the window and randomly calling our family and friends to talk about the amount of hatred she has for my dad and how much she wants to leave him. Anytime my dad says anything to her, or even talks to me or my sister, she gets infuriated. She doesn’t want us to have a relationship with him. I feel like cutting her out of my life because all she does is bring me absolute misery. Everytime I try to talk to her, it ends up in a screaming match, where she just yells at me. I am getting married in a few months and I do not want her at my wedding. She has proven time and time again that she is not worthy of being there for me on my big day. She constantly tells me to shut up, tells me that im a bad person. She’s even tried to put her hands on me. Thats where I draw the line. Even as a child, I had witness this and it was so traumatic for me. I’ve tried to make things better, but if she doesn’t want to get better, then there isn’t much I can do. What should I do? How can I help my mother?

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Definitely buy I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help! How to Help Someone Accept Treatment. It might give you some ideas about how to help her. Also , you and your father need support, so the two of you might go to a NAMI support group.

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Hi Anonymous10, I know you asked how to help your mom, it would be better for you to stop thinking about how to help your mom and start thinking about planning your future in your own home. My husband’s mother had scz all of his life and was unmedicated for her psychosis. We included her in special occasions while keeping our day to day lives separate from his mother. The first priority of family care is making the rest of the family the priority. What can frequently occur in our families is that everything begins to circle around the family member struggling with mental issues. I try to think of the priority as being “containing the damage”. When we started, it wasn’t easy. Yes, in the beginning it felt wrong to not include our younger son. As we did it more we got better at it and it became easier. Now we travel and spend weekends with our other son without feeling guilty. We had to learn how to make ourselves a priority. Good luck to you, if you chose it, it’s hard work.


Set up your own life first. Your mother is at a point where most of her life’s events circle around her delusions. So long as she isn’t hurting herself anymore than she already has, things have stabilized. Unless you REALLY want to, getting her involuntarily committed (while it would definitely help in terms of getting on a better long acting injectable.) is too much work while also attempting to plan a wedding and trying to manage your life as a newly wed.

Like others have mentioned, Dr. Amador’s book might help but I would add my two cents as someone with a BP parent with Schizo-affective tendencies, (her delusions involved us but she was more afraid that we would be hurt by other “things” that she saw, not that we were bad children or horrible people, fortunately.) as @hope, mentioned, treating your life as your life, and insolating a positive sense of self and self care within those relationships is as important in your long-term goals to taking care of your mother, as actually taking care of her. Amador’s techniques work best on delusions and states of anosognosia where the symptoms of their condition outweigh their negative perception of other types of community/outreach. It’s not easy to come to the conclusion that our loved ones will never seek out medication based help and most therapies aren’t as valuable to them because the basis of their delusions shifts the goal post, so to speak, of how/when they use the therapy techniques to measure their own perception of the world. It really is like circling a drain and waiting to see what’s left in the basket when the water’s gone.

While it seems like a betrayal and simply doing nothing (I speak from the experience of finally having my primary role as caretaker relinquished recently.) it is doing everything when it comes to making progress in your own lives. Jobs, family, and other people who do not give us time to recharge can and do make us worse off at dealing with relationships and our own basic needs. The irony of people/jobs insisting on self care is that it isn’t a simple “take a bath for two hours every night” level of respite that most people need. At the point were many people quit jobs or family obligations, they have been running on empty with no time for self development/interests for YEARS.

You are not in a head space to care effectively for her until you can seek out whatever form of counseling or therapy works best for you. If that is reading extensively and journaling rather than seeking out a professional, start there. Get some recommendations from the local NAMI group, or even the local DHS. They will be able to give a list of providers that you can try. Better help is also good but takes more time to match through their system although the convenience cannot be beat. (Most people on the site will post if they offer a sliding scale.)