Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

I would like to help if I can


#1

If I might be so bold, I wanted to pose a question for help.

I’m looking for ideas from all sources concerning a loved one.

If a loved one ended up a bit destabilized through no fault of his own and it threw him into a manic period, what could a caretaker do to gently help that loved one either stay grounded or maybe not suffer so much when the good feelings fade away?

I could only imagine how awful it might feel when all that heightened energy and joy goes away. I was hoping there was something that a caretaker could do when the crash came.

Also, what could a caretaker do to protect her loved one from people who might take advantage of her loved ones good nature and good mood?

Thank you for all suggestions in advance.
Thank you for letting me post


#2

Hmmm, I’m dealing with being the loved one who needs help myself. What I do is call a family member and talk. I tell them what’s distressing me and they gently tell me what is real and what is not. I’ve been freaking out about my neighbors for awhile. My whole family tells me to relax and ignore them. But I also have to realize that not everybody is nice or fair. But I would say for you to talk too. Treat your loved one like they are normal(which they are). Be calm, cool, and collected which I know you are capable of. People taking advantage is a tough one. Tell them what you know about life. Tell them not everybody is fair and understanding. See, this is why talk therapy works. It’s basically a sane person telling a person who needs help, with what reality and human nature is like. I would simply say: tell them right out to not trust everybody— without making your loved one paranoid. Use your experience with whatever has worked before. Anyway, good to have you back kidsister. Although it’s too bad it has to happen under these circumstances.


#3

My daughter is schizoaffective - so she has the mood disorder symptoms of bipolar you described. She would rapid cycle, I mean sometimes within hours. Since she was also acutely psychotic at the same time (which is not unusual for people who are bipolar but not sz to have psychosis also in either the manic or depressive poles).

I would not say to do anything that much different than someone in acute psychosis. You need to be observant and aware of what they are doing-their behaviors. In mania someone often will be pretty open about everything they are doing because what they are doing not only makes sense to them but feels “right” and brilliant, and like there’s no way it will go wrong. So talk to them, ask. Just like it’s difficult for someone who’s psychotic to talk them out of a delusion-you are going to have the same challenges talking someone out of doing something risky in a manic state of bipolar. Their optimism and high regard for themselves are so high, and their fear is so low-they pretty much feel like it’s impossible for things to go wrong for them-despite evidence to the contrary. This is why-like sz, people with bipolar are hospitalized so often-they do unsafe things that make perfect sense to them-the only real difference is the reasoning is more linear and they feel fantastic about it instead of scared and ashamed (if they are not feeling irritable and angry that is-part of a manic or hypomanic state). So try to talk them out of it-use evidence as to why they shouldn’t be talked into something risky or be taken advantage of-but be prepared that it’s not much different than the chances of talking someone out of a delusion.

In the depressive state watch for suicidal ideation-this can be a VERY dangerous time!!! Watch for isolation, ask the person if they have plans if you suspect they are thinking of taking their own lives-and take action if they have a plan! Don’t leave them alone for a second and call crisis or 911. Ask them what helps them to feel better during that time. Sometimes it’s mundane, normal things like talking over coffee, not necessarily about how they are feeling. If they do want to talk about how they are feeling listen and let them know they are important to you and your there for them and care about them. Ask them about things they are grateful for to remind them of pleasant things.

It’s really not that much different than helping people through psychosis-I mean-the illness is different but many things that help are the same.


#4

Offer them a hot beverage and be there physically for them? Sometimes having someone in the same room, not necessarily doing anything in particular, but just being present, is priceless.
If that doesn’t bring them back, try noodles.


#5

Your post got me thinking… Of all the stuff that I have read I have never read anything on how to deal or help someone cope with ‘coming down’. Although I have never looked for this either. It has to be a hard and somewhat of a let down to go from feeling wonderful about everything to feeling mediocre. Maybe just being there as you have always been and understanding that the person may be feeling a bit ‘depressed’ for a bit until being grounded again gains it’s own footing.


#6

@77nick77 - Thank you for your suggestions. Like always, you have a great “no-beating around the bush” approach.

I’ve been thinking a lot about your situation with your loud neighbors and been trying to think of ways to help. All I’ve been able to come up with is how constant loud noise and rumbling and banging from our old neighbors really began to upset my brother. It was just wearing him down.
Sound proofing as much as we could didn’t help his idea that he was being spied on. Having the banging more muted and some other noises blocked out did help block the neighbors power over his peace of mind. It did help him relax more so he could catch his breath.

@oneof21angels Thank you for your ideas of watching out for the isolation. Sometimes I get in my “I’ll fix it for you” mode I forget to something simple like you suggested:

I sometimes forget to do something as simple as that.

@Csummers

That brought a smile to my day. Again, I get used to trying to be actively fixing something. When a lifeguard hears the call they spring into action. Your right of course, a situation doesn’t always need the dynamic force of being rescued. Something simple and comforting is just as effective.

@BarbieBF - Thank you for the encouragement as well. I do worry about the crash coming. My loved one is SO happy and animated right now. He’s just so happy. I want him to be happy. The rush of boundless energy is a huge change from how things usually are. I want to support his good mood, but I also want him to be safe. I can only imagine what it’s going to feel like for him, when he comes back down from being on top of the world.

Thank you all for your ideas and encouragements. I very much appreciate your feedback.

Thank you for letting me post.


#7

Hypomania is not so bad, if I’m being honest about it-especially for the person experiencing it. Mania is bad, bad, bad. Hypomania would actually be pretty awesome, IF it was a stable state of being, and IF it wasn’t one of two poles, the other being a black depression, and IF it wasn’t an addictive state that caused people to want to go off meds that also stave off that black depressive pole.

Your family member is lucky to have your support and love. Sometimes I hate the mood component of my daughter’s illness more than the sz part.


#8

what do you think you should do?


#9

Wait for an appropriate time and let the things happen. The things which are beyond your control are not probably good to worry about. Just acknowledge to your loved one again that you care for him/her. You would be there to provide your support regardless of the circumstances.

I think, let the person experience things in its own way. I hope this will add a good addition to the person’s wisdom.

Keep us updated please!


#10

About the best you can do is to gently and calmly try to direct him. It takes patience.