Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

I think my father is schizophrenic.. Sorry for the long post

I believe my father is schizophrenic. I used to think it was bipolar, but I don’t seem to see actual mania in him. This started about four years ago when he really started to change. I was about thirteen, and we found out that my mother was pregnant with a surprise fifth child. During the pregnancy, my father started to believe that my mother was cheating on him. It was confusing, and horrible. He had this idea, which I now know is a delusion, and wouldn’t believe otherwise. He would yell at my mother, cuss her out, and micromanage her phone and everything else. He went through and blocked hundreds of people on Facebook that none of my family knew, and only a few that my mother did know. His “episodes” we’re spread apart- he would be perfectly fine, just my usual father for a while. Then we would start to notice something off. He would be quieter, his temper would start to get worse. Then he would go off about the delusions again. For a while he had an obsession with “codes” he found in my mom’s phone. (Emojis, books she had saved, ect) These would be a sort of cycle, and as the years have gone by, they’ve mixed together. My father no longer has “normal” weeks. He would be fine, in a good mood one minute, then go into the garage and come out and be horrible again within an hour. He’s never actually hit my mother, although he’s gone on rampages where he’s ripped down a poster, thrown away my flowers because he thought it was my mother’s, ripped his birthday book saying it was a mockery because the title, which had bone in it, was a mockery of him. The closest thing to physical abuse was when he threw a rag at my mom, and when he took my phone out of her hands (maybe two-three years ago). One argument, he stopped halfway through, putting his head in his hands, shaking, and screaming to “shut up”. I wasn’t there- I don’t know if it was at my mother or something else. He hasn’t had a job since I was a child, and doesn’t try to get one. He stays at home watching my baby sister. He has no friends really anymore- he started to push them away, accusing them of cheating with my mother. He stays at home with no outside contact, no phone, no laptop, absolutely nothing to access the outside world besides tv. My mother is not cheating, nor has she ever. She has proof that these days she’s supposedly cheating, she was at work. It’s on her paycheck. But he thinks it’s fake.

He also has temper issues. I don’t know about my childhood, I can’t remember. I think he’s always had anger issues. But they are much worse now, I believe. He will “blow up” about everything, even simple things like my brother dropping a soda. It’s hard to deal with sometimes- I hate being in a car when he’s driving, and I’m a lot like my mom, so that doesn’t help. He loves us, that I know to be entirely true. When my mother told him we would move, he mentioned that we (his children) are the only things that he lives for, and that he would rather die than not see us for a week. He threatens my mother with leaving… She doesn’t really have the money to put my brother and sis in daycare.

Right now, he lives at my grandpa’s. My grandmother, who is dead, had whatever he had. She believed in ghosts and Bigfoot and whatnot, and had the same temper issues. He still doesn’t have a job, and supposedly “pays rent” to my grandfather. My mother pays him every month, and he often asks for money. He doesn’t have any self control - he gambles and somehow buys marijuana and occasionally beer. He frequently borrows my siblings’ money (I refuse to do that anymore) and he owes one of them at least 400. Again, doesn’t have a job.

I’m sorry this is so long. I honestly am not sure why exactly I’m posting it. I don’t fit the usual story for anyone, really, and few people even know or understand my family issues. I don’t know how to help my father- he lives in a prison of his own mind. I love him, and I don’t know what to do. Or really, what I can do. We’ve only called the police once, and they didn’t do anything. The guy simply said “social media ruins a lot of marriages” and left. My dad seemed fine to them. I worry about my mom- but we’re moving around October, so that makes me feel better. (My dad won’t go with us. And it will make it hard for him to come over, which is good.). But I still don’t know how to help my dad. He won’t take any help, and I’m scared to guilt-trip him into getting help. (I’ve thought of it. Not sure it would work.)

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Hi Wolfie
I just wrote a post about my Dad. I’m a bit further on than you are in the sense that I am 28 and my Dad has gone 20+ years without serious symptoms making it onto his medical record. All I will say is that I wish he had at least brushed with the health service all those years ago. The lack of certainty becomes very difficult as you get older, and the illness can get much worse if it goes unchecked. Professional help could be just what your father needs. Try not think of it as guilt-tripping him. You are genuinely concerned, right? Let him know that, and suggest a trip to the GP.
Good luck

I think your first priority is to keep yourself, your siblings, and your mom safe. You can continue to love your dad, but from a safe distance. You can’t really make someone get help, and if his bizarre thinking comes from mental illness, then there’s not a whole lot you can do to change his mind. Just do what you can to support him and point him in the direction of resources, but try not to let it weigh you down. This is a heavy burden.

Thank you. I’ll try, if I can.

Thank you. Our moving makes me feel a lot better- he won’t be around nearly as much. That should hopefully take care of most of the issues.

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