Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

I need your help - Son 25, Bipolar / schizophrenia

I am new here and thank god i found you
I live in a country who doesn’t help us as a family all i can do is searching and reading and talk to psychologue
My son is 25 years old we have been struggling for one year and he didn’t want help and always he says we are sick not him until he wanted to kill his brother and fight with us
Until i found psycare i called them and come to take him to hospital and it was a nightmare he refused to go and did manic episode but finaly they took him and he was diagnosed bipolar psychosis at first the dr doesn’t tell us it’s schysophrenic because the dont use this word we bring back at home because we believe him and promised to take his medicine but one week later we had afight because he doesn’t want to take his medicine and he left home
Since that we are the one who ruined his life we are evils at first when he come back home for hours to take his clothes we opened for him(his two brothers left home because they are afraid of him and for their safety) and everytime he come back he shouted at us and he needs to hurt us to kill us by words and by bottles and once we told go away when you take your medicine you can come back he stools all our keys (home cars everything its a bowl next to the door full of keys) we wanted to call the police until heis uncle decided to talk to him and forced him to take the invega IM and to take lithium but as usual he stopped after days
Foe now every day and others he sent me whatsapp voices to blame me and he scared me always even if my psychotherapist told don’t believe him but it really hirts i don’t answer and always told him i love you and of course we gave him money to take appartment and to live but always finish his money and needs more and more until yesterday he sent me voices a lot he provoked us me and his dad that we are the problem and we did that to him because we forced him to go hospital
All the doctors are lying and he is fine and doesn’t need medicine he sent voices and voices that hurts from hair to toes to my heart
And he told he wished that we do accident and we die and he wanted that his brothers die and that we see them diying and we died after them
I forced myself and told him you want us dead it ok you can pretend it that we are not here anymore and so sorry to not talk to him anymore or take your medicine and everything will be fine and you are not sick you can work and earn your money to live
Because i have a major heart problem my boys are afraid to loose me and i want to live for them i cant hear his voice he scared me to death
I need to know if i did right or what to do i am lost we are lost we don’t know what should we do
And you should know that it is a blessing you are living in a country where you have help community everything to help you and him
Please help

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Hi Rida,

So glad you found us. Rida, schizophrenia is a tricky mental illness. One of the worst symptoms of schizophrenia is anosognosia. Anosognosia means that your son doesn’t actually understand he is mentally ill. Everything he experiences is real to him and its can be quite scary for him. Scary for you because he is trying to make sense of what he is experiencing and the illness it telling him that his family is part of the problem. Of course you and your sons are frightened.

When you tell him to take his medicine, he doesn’t really think he needs medicine so he just gets upset with you. No matter how many times you tell him he is sick and needs to take meds that won’t help him. There is a book about anosognosia and how to talk to your son. The book is called “I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help”. Dr Amador who wrote the book and he is the expert on the symptom anosognosia. HIs book will help you and your son if you try his communication methods.

You must be careful for your safety. In this sort of situation it is better that your son does not live with you.

I’m glad you found us, take care.

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Dear Rida, what a journey! My son does think the same as your son, ours is almost 48, he had the 1st episode when he was 19; he’s been on and off meds, of course when he stops we’re his enemies, we are his problem; my fault because we ruined his life when I took him to the hospital and he had the psicotropic meds.
We get cussed out and I have learned it’s not worth to join his ‘dance’.
On the meds he’s a gentle guy but off the meds we want to run!!! My husband was off his sight most of the time before he lost control on 2019 and on 2020 same thing and he landed in jail for 6 months until they found a bed for him at the State Hospital, he was all bones when he was transferred and he had to spend 6 months there to be stabilized. We didn’t see him for a year and he only had 2 abilify shots administered after he was released at the end of February this year. all that down the drain because it’s been 3 weeks that he missed his shot at the end of April and here we are again in the same hole.
I’m looking for help again! He can’t be on his own looks like. He used to leave to his apartment to avoid the meds and every time he had to pay for property damages on his apartment.
Looks like you are from another country. In here we used to have case workers checking on consumers but covid has altered everything. I’m looking for help and I hope I get the right door; I’m trying to avoid the police but if you find yourself in danger there’s no other option or flee.
There’s good meds and treatments but when they’re accepted!! My son doesn’t have insight, it’s called anosognosia.
The book 'I’m not sick I don’t need help" by Dr, Xavier Amador is a great help and the NAMI family to family education course. It helps and you get to know people that have the same struggles.
I hope others may have a better answer for you.
This platform has helped me a lot, I have picked tips here and there.
These issues have made me loose my mind sometimes!

Take care.

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So sorry about your son we hope they find something magical for them because we need miracles its a long time illness and it’s so exhausting and plus the difficulties i have he have dog farm he take care oh his own dogs and if we send him again to hospital he will always tell us that his dogs will die and he knows that we love dogs and we will bring him back out (we have somebody to go and feed them) and like this no choice
(Sorry about my English)
I will begin to read the book right now
Thank you so much

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Dear Rida,
I read all that you wrote and I want to say that I am sad that you are going through all this. I want to know if he has keys to come inside your house? Maybe it is safer if you change the locks so he cannot come inside the house? Be very careful. Just remember to NOT feed his anger. If he yells and calls you names just do not say anything, only listen. ((Hugs)) :heart:

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Hi Rida,
I’m so sorry you and your loved ones are having this experience. Yes, it can be very scary and the most important is you keep yourself and family safe. Unfortunately I am going through a very similar situation. Mental illness is a very difficult and sad diagnosis. There is nothing easy or simple about it as it deceives our loved ones who suffer from anosognosia. Please continue to reach out for help and hopefully something positive will happen. I’m glad you have found us.

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Thank you for your support
No he doesn’t have keys we took it from him
I stopped answering him anymore until he will take his medication and until i will go to see the doctors

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Hi Rida,
Unfortunately your loved one, son, doesn’t realize he has this condition ‘schizophrenia’ or SZ for short – because in 75% of cases, the illness prevents the person from being aware. He honestly believes he is fine, but he is scared that everyone around him, including his family and the doctors, are trying to do bad things to him – like make him take medication. Telling him over and over again that he is sick, does not help. He will just think that you are lying to him. So, instead – set some boundaries. Tell him that he is a valued member of the family, but that all family members must treat one another with respect and cannot be wishing anyone dead. Explain that he can come over for a meal, if everyone can remain calm. Feeding him a good supper is important, because he needs the nutrients in the meal, and also being full will help him get a better sleep. Not being medicated, not eating well, and not sleeping, will make everything worse. If you are able to build up some trust with him, then without arguing about it, suggest that he might try the doctor’s advice, and if he feels better taking the medication he can continue, and if he feels worse then he can stop. That is all you can do. You can’t force him to do anything. But also you can’t let him take over your life and scare you. He will get by one way or another, but preferably with your love and support. You can’t make him understand and you can’t make him comply with the medication – but you can set boundaries as to how he is to behave with the family and you can try to include him in your life in terms of caring for him at least for one meal a day if you can manage it. It is very hard to go through this and everyone here in this forum has had to deal with the frustration of not having enough support in terms of the city officials, the police and doctors. Unfortunately, in the past the rights of the mentally ill were non existent and family members took advantage of this, and now it is all the way to the other end and we find it difficult to get help for our loved ones because being ill they don’t understand that they need the help, and there’s not much we can do. Your other children should get counseling therapy if it is available. Not only to help them deal with their feelings in regards to their troubled relationship with their brother, but also to understand that this condition could have a hereditary component … meaning if they have children, they could pass it on in their genes. My mother has this condition, as well as one of my cousin’s sons.
Keep yourself and your family safe, and just understand that your son can’t help feeling this way and that it is nobody’s fault. Best wishes to you all.

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Oh my gosh! It is true the voice in his head are telling him all those things. He can’t help it the way he thinks. The medicine only quiets the voices. Unfortunately they will always be there… He doesn’t mean to hurt you. You have to take measures to hide those things that he doesn’t need to get at. Keys, money, anything he shouldn’t have. We have safes for those things. So sorry

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We go through the same issues: the unpleasant behavior, in our case even spitting on the carpet, pounding on the tub of the shower, maybe couple of showers a day, the yelling, the hallucinations, verbal abuse, delusions, sexual remarks that can’t be repeated, reclusiveness, being vindictive, lack of sleep, different eating habits like instead of having the meal at once he just eats just little bit at a time probably out of being paranoid thinking that I might have put his meds there.
Sigh! There’s little comfort in growing and not growing in comfort!
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I hope we can have strength to endure it to the end.

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So sad for you
Take care of yourself its very important :heart:

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Rida,

One other book I would like to recommend is called “The Untethered Soul”
It has really helped in controlling my worries about our son and about life in general. It has also brought me some peace.

You have to take care of yourself before anyone else.

Best of luck!!!

JohnT

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Ms. Rida-

-My eyes fill with tears as I read your Family entries.

-If nothing else, it is a comfort to know our struggles are shared and often almost the same.

-From Vermont, USA

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I have to check that out. Thank you for the suggestion.
If you have come across " I didn’t promise you a rose garden" I also recommend it to anyone; I wish they didn’t close down the psych hospitals, we have many seriously mentally ill persons and few beds.
Take care friend. :heart:

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Hi Rida,
I totally understand what your going through. My son is 30 and Schizophrenic. I have been dealing with this for years. I get it from him that it’s all my fault . Then he hates me and my family. My family totally turned there back on us. They don’t understand mental illness. They don’t want no part of him. I do everything I can to be there for support. But, he refuses to take his meds. Then I’m the one to get abused. It’s a lonely feeling . I just had to hide all the knives in the house. The past two days have been the worst in a while. I’m 58,and getting tired. I really don’t know what to do. I have been beat on the past two days by him. I’m afraid for my health and his. He ran out of the house pissed off a hour ago. Not knowing what he is capable of when he is like this.

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There are not enough beds. The nursing staff are angels. I dont know how they do this all day everyday. I used to work on the finance dept of the hospital. Funding goes to the department’s that generate revenue. Even grant monies are dipped into for other departments. I have seen the CPAP unit and it is so outdated. Not enough beds, chairs etc.

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Welcome to the platform! what you describe is a very familiar scenario of mental illness and the struggles we go through with our loved ones.
Take care and empower yourself by trying to read all you can about the illness, join a support group and take the family to family NAMI course, which is free; it helps to know that you’re not alone. Reading helps and still it’s hard I have to say.
Recovery is not on my son’s horizon yet and sometimes is like going one step forward and 3 backwards; we’ve been on this journey about 30 years and our son doesn’t have the insight of his illness (it’s called anosognosia).
I have read the book ''I’m not sick I don’t need help" by Dr Xavier Amador.
I guess I have not had enough practice on reflective listening, sometimes it’s best not to say anything.
I love this platform!

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The Untethered Soul. I have read it many times. Now I have it on audible and listen to it while I am driving. I think it has saved my life. Of course the problems he talks about in the book are trivial compared to the problems we are dealing with, the principle remains the same. You have to make up your mind that you will live a life of joy and happiness and not let ANYTHING get in the way of that. It is a remarkable little book of Eastern philosophy for the Western mind.

We can’t do anything about their suffering, but we can stop our own suffering. It seems impossible at first, but I have been practicing for a little over a year to do this and I am so much better.

We keep an open heart filled with love and compassion toward them. Of course, we are going to feel afraid, sad, and angry at times, but we have to just relax into whatever situation we are presented with and let both the situation play out and the emotions pass through us.

First and foremost, we stay safe. If that means calling the police and having them arrested or taken to a mental hospital, that’s how you deal with it. I have called the police many times on my son. He has destroyed my property, stolen my car, my cash and my credit cards. Threatened to kill me, told me he can’t wait for me to die so he can dance on my grave, etc. I had to get a restraining order against him, but he violates it frequently. Presently he is in jail on a felony drug charge, but that is the best place he could be, unfortunately. The hospitals won’t keep him more than 4 days. In jail he gets his meds, and he can’t get illegal drugs. I am hoping he will get transferred to a dual diagnosis residential treatment center operated by the county criminal system. But I know that there is no cure and he will eventually get out regardless. It is hard to see him suffer, but I have had to stop trying to fix him or give up any hope he will ever get better. This is something I will have to live with the rest of my life. I decided a year or two ago that I either had to find a way out of the pain or kill myself because I couldn’t stand living with the pain any longer. Suicide would have been the easy way out, but he has two beautiful young children who need all the love and support that I can give them to help them cope.

The Untethered Soul showed me another way out. We can’t change the wind, we can only change the direction of the sails. I truly believe that one can change the way one thinks about life and find peace and joy in any circumstances…even these horrific and heartbreaking circumstances. It’s not as easy as the author, Michael Singer, suggests, it takes daily practice to change the mental habits of a lifetime, but it is so worth the effort. I have gone further than the Untethered Soul, trying yoga, meditation and Buddhism. I take from it what resonates with me and discard the rest. But I keep coming back to the simple premise in the Untethered Soul.

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One way to look at it is better he spits on the carpet than on you! My son has done that to me— in public even. I’m so sorry you are going through this. I wouldn’t wish this heartbreak on anyone. They say that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I spent 4 years in Pakistan and Iraq and I used to tell people that Al Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS didn’t scare me because I had a SZ son. Truly, I would rather be tortured, starved and put in solitary confinement than deal with this, but I am try to view it as an opportunity to grow stronger spiritually and mentally.

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Sexual remarks that can’t be repeated—whoa, do I know all about that! In addition to regularly being called a “psychotic whore” and the “C” word, my son once texted me in graphic detail how “the voices” had forced him to sexually abuse his infant son. I know it never happened, (he was never allowed unsupervised access to either of his children after he became ill) but it is hard to listen to the twisted and tortured thoughts of a madman. It’s worse than any PTSD because there is no “post”. It is ongoing traumatic stress occurring almost daily. Truly, caregivers of SZ are a special under-served and under-researched population. We are kind of amazing, when you think about it.

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