Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

I messed up. I broke his trust

I didnt know what to do I found a psychiatrist through a friend’s for his son had sz and he might understand. My son was depressed, seeing spirits, thinking the world was going to end, and wouldn’t leave his room sleeping during the day’ etc. It was bad and it scared me. I scheduled a session with the Therapist for me, got my son to come along, and when he saw both of us he said he didnt do family counseling. I then told the Therapist that I was worried for my son, and would be willing to give up my appointment for he is seeing spirits and thinks the world is going to end… So, he asked my son if he wanted to stay and he said ok and I left. At that moment I knew I had broken my sons trust. I justified my actions by thinking this is what they do in interventions, but I did it’, no one else is to blame. He is 21. He tried 2 different meds and they made him feel funny. So no meds. He does not think anything is wrong with him. He has been seeing spirits and demons for a while. I use to sit with him until he fell asleep when youngrr. Now I am the enemy. He texts his father to communicate with me. “Tell her not to come in my room” when all I am saying is dinner is ready. I moved in with my parents for help. They say he needs a job. I cant sleep. My husband blames himself. I dont know my next step. I dont even think he is going to therapy anyone for they wont tell me anything. I broke his trust to save his life’s I told myself. I justified my behavior for a short term gain for a long term loss.

Per Dr. Amador in his book “I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help!” studies show you can apologize to people with SZ and other serious mental illnesses when you make “mistakes” like that.

Watch this video for an explanation and demonstration of the methods described in his book:


I’m presently in the same situation as you. Trying to navigate help for someone who doesn’t feel they need help. I, like you spent a lot of time trying to not cross those boundaries but the situation kept getting worse. If he is going to counseling that is a step in the right direction and hopefully it will help him see you are trying to do what is best for him. I have been educating myself reading everything I can on how to help. Someone mentioned the book above and it has lots of good suggestions. And yes you can tell him you’re sorry, and validate his feelings. I’m sorry you are going through this and you’re not alone.


Thank you. I appreciate the feedback. And wish you all the best with your struggles. I wouldn’t wish this on anybody.

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Thank you very much and appreciate the helpful tips.

I have been diagnosed as schizoaffective. I think what you did was the right thing to do, even if he won’t speak to you now.

Somehow, you’ve got to get him on meds. You can take him to court to have meds ordered by a judge.

I’ve been forced into hospital so many times since I was 16 (I’m 44 now). I hated it. But you know what? It kept me alive. I was very suicidal.

I’m still told I’m delusional and hallucinating even though I always take my meds now. But I’m happily married with 3 children.

Don’t give up!


@ToThrive In what way did you violate his trust? He went with you to the counseling appointment. He had an opportunity to talk with the counselor and to decide whether or not to continue. If he is blaming you for something, I think he is taking advantage of your guilty feelings as well as likely being delusional. You did nothing wrong! His behavior now is a result of the illness. I agree with the posts above to read the book, and to apologize for anything you did that may have offended him (but not because you did anything wrong). In my opinion, the only way to help a person like this is to use the LEAP (listen, empathize, agree, partner) strategy explained in the book. Neither you or a judge can “force” medication. Sometimes in a hospital medication is given when the person doesn’t want it but it can’t truly be forced. And the person gets out of the hospital and stops the medication. Learn all you can about this illness if you really want to help him. Find a NAMI Family Support Group to help you with all of this.

I was in the same situation when my daughter got home from hospital due to a difficult episode. She lost her trust in me, and question like “have you taken your med” is seen as trying to exert my authority upon her. It took a while and lots of anxiety inducing moments to calm situations and explain WHY I did what I did or said. It was mostly what I said that hurt her, and explaining it helps with her understanding and improve her feelings. Now she understand my actions were intended to keep her well and out of the hospital. I believe her trust in me has recovered. Another improvement that she made is the way she communicates. So instead of lashing out in anger and sadness, explain Why she is angry and what is it that bothered her. Sometimes, it is my mistake and sometimes it is her misunderstanding. Either way, the outcome is positive for her.

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How wonderful that you and your daughter have developed the ability to communicate feelings with each other! And sometimes we just need to say “I’m sorry if I did anything that hurt (offended, etc.) you.” That doesn’t mean we are acknowledging fault, but a statement like this can soften the defensive posture of our loved one and make it easier to move on.

For many years since her deterioration in mental health, she has been looked upon and many times looked down due to the way she dressed, acted and reason. People around her in school, work and social interactions have built up a need to have to continuously prove her capability and many times her confidence in herself is low. She comes to me often to check her ideas and to validate her competency. Sometimes, I forget that and would critique her ideas wanting her to do her best and sometimes I am wrong because of my limited knowledge. It helped her to explain the intention behind my statement, so for example, “have you taken your meds”, it could be me exerting authority over her or me making sure she stays well. So my question to her is why would I need to exert authority? What benefit does it give me that I don’t already get as a father? So, it’s discussion like this that helps her see that my actions and intentions are aligned, and not meant to be detrimental to her.

Few days ago she told mum that she is stressing me out and felt bad about it. She will keep up with the meds. It’s moment like this that all the stress and anxiety is worth working for.