Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

I wish I knew the reason


#1

I want to ask some questions,I can’t find the answers by myself…Is it normal to be hated by your schizophrenic family member whereas you can’t find any reason for it? By normal,I mean is it something they can’t help,is it because of the illness? How should I interpret it? Should I ignore and keep doing my duties or what? I really don’t know…

And another question about the site.Is it possible to send a private message to a member of this site?

Thanks in advance


#2

It could be because they are struggling with a delusion that puts you in a very bad light in their mind. People are out to get them, and you’re in on it. Maybe you personally are out to harm them in some way. Maybe people are out to get them, and you’re in denial about it, and thus making things worse. (As possible examples of how the delusion might involve you.) Hostility is a normal reaction if you believe that someone is trying to harm you, and severe anger is a normal reaction if you believe someone is being willfully ignorant and it’s making your situation worse.

Sometimes it could be because of very high levels of stress, which can make someone very agitated in general. So if you were to do or say something that was only slightly annoying, during a very high stress state, the person could feel extremely agitated by it instead. In some cases stress can also come in the form of trying to cope with having a mental illness in general, feelings of dependency, indignity, vulnerability, etc can all make someone feel very stressed and angry, in addition to sad and so on.

In some cases, it’s because well-meaning loved ones take on very condescending attitudes, talking to the mentally ill adult as though they are stupid, a child, or too “crazy” to have their thoughts and feelings count for anything. This will make almost anyone piping mad, to be treated that way, but when compounded by the stress of mental illness, talk about furious.

All things to consider.


#3

Thank you Turnip…and how do you deal with it? Any idea?


#4

My personal advice would be:

  1. Keep yourself and your loved one safe in part by giving them space when they clearly feel very agitated. Don’t try to force them to talk it out or otherwise confront when they seem to want to get away from you. Give them time and space to cool down. Often when we are very agitated, we don’t want to hurt anyone emotionally or otherwise, but feeling trapped and provoked can push us over the edge.

  2. Understand that emotions, even unpleasant ones, are a natural part of the human experience, and that even feelings of extreme anger or bitterness are normal when people are struggling through something, especially something like mental illness. Don’t try to suppress it, or take it personally. Accept that it’s a part of being human, a part of the grieving process, a part of life, and allow the person to experience their emotion.

  3. Validate emotions in conversation. This doesn’t mean you have to validate delusions or unhealthy behaviors, but it is very healthy to validate emotions. For example, say someone is expressing extreme anger about something you said. A way to validate the emotion while showing you care would be, “I’m sorry that what I said really upset you, I didn’t mean to upset you.” In this context, “I’m sorry” is simply a display that you did not* want to hurt them. It’s not about losing or winning an argument, but just about empathizing, and “sorry” is a powerful word when it comes to misunderstandings and hurt feelings. At the same time, you’re acknowledging that they are angry, without shaming it. Often times this alone can take the edge of anger, when the person knows they are understood and that their emotion is respected.

  4. If you are a caregiver, be as involved in the treatment plan as possible when it comes to encouraging the person to tell their doctor/therapist about their emotions, or telling the doctor/therapist, yourself, if you are able. This is important in case a medication is failing and paranoid delusions are returning, or if a medication is causing increased agitation (for example Abilify does this to some people).

  5. For yourself, consider your own therapy to have a place to vent, learn coping skills and so on. Caregiving is extremely exhausting, especially emotionally, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of not regulating your own stress and emotions, which will ultimately make things worse for everyone, including yourself and the mentally ill loved one. Taking care of yourself emotionally is hugely important at all times.

*edit to fix


#5

Yes, PM by clicking on their name and then there will be a blue rectangle in the upper right corner.


#6

When I was psychotic I pushed my husband away. But he did not abandon me. He was there for me when I returned home after a year of being “on the run” and in hospital.

Delusions can cause this. Give your partner space, see to it that your partner takes medicine as prescribed. Be there when the delusions fall into pieces. That is a tough time with being embarassed, regretful and lost.

I regret a lot of stuff from when I was psychotic. For example, I abandoned my kids for a year. They were 5 and 9. I was hard on my husband and wanted a divorce and never see him again. But he waited patiently.


#7

Wow! You did a super job explaining!! I would love to email that to my son’s Dad.


#8

So what you are telling is;they can do anything to you but you should be there for them and become a doormat? Is that correct? :slightly_smiling: What about my feelings,MY LIFE,my responsibilities to myself while the other part is taking no responsibilities at all?

And why do all pyschologists say that if you don’t do anything in the face of hurtful behaviour you’ll reinforce the bad behaviour?Doesn’t it apply to schizophrenia?

I believe noone has come to earth to sacrifice her/his life for another.There must be some other solutions.Possibly some spiritual solutions.If only I knew!


#9

You do what you feel. If you say you want to help him, do it. If you wish to divorce, do it. No matter what you need to take care of yourself. No doormat.

Don’t go into his delusions. He needs someone to break them and start to be unsure about them.

He can’t be responisible until he is medicated and starts to function again. Living in delusions makes your view of life different. What is obvious to you might not be the same to him.


#10

Being a caregiver is a voluntary choice.

If behaviors are too harmful or disruptive to your life, it’s up to you whether or not to continue to support the person or live with them.

For me, I realized I would gladly give energy, resources, and time to my family member. When we get along, our relationship is the most meaningful and interesting aspect of my life.

That said, there are behaviors I cannot live with. My family member was kicked out for months and moved back home about two years ago.

Happy and grateful whenever we get along.


#11

I was psychotic when I left home. I did not think right or wrong. I ran away from terror and fear. Little did I know the terror and fear was IN ME. I thought my 9 year old son would stab me in my sleep. I thought my husband put poison in my food. I stopped eating and sleeping. Everything got worse and worse.

I could not be a responsible parent in that condition. My voices told me to kill myself too. Never to harm anyone else.

It was a choise my husband did. To wait and be patient. He made that choise. You have to make your choise. I was gone from home for a year, of what was 6 months in hospital. Then it took me yet one more year before I could be left alone with my kids. My short term memory was a catastrophy. I forgot I had something on the stove, that my kids asked me something, what to buy in the store etc.

You as functioning part of your relationship must make this choise. Do you have energy to help him and still have energy left for yourself? Do you want to build your future with him or without him? Noone but you can answer those questions.

I am happy my husband chose to wait for me. But he has also said it was close he didn’t. It was all too much.