Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

I'm at the end of my ropes with my schizophanic sister

My sister has been sick her whole life as far as I could remember. She is 38 years old, eight years older than I am. When she was younger my mom would just say she had a learning disabilities. This is what I believed until my mom died 2005. I have been taking care of my sister ever since. She has gotten worse over the years. I have taken her to the dr to get treatment but she alway refuse medication or any help. She make it seems that I’m the one who needs help. The Dr will not tell me anything about her condition. I only know shes a paranoid schizophanic because I found papers from the dr hidden in her room. I always assume this but now I know for sure. She contantly talks about being on her own and finding an apt but she never leaves the house. Oh and she also had her disability check turn off because of noncompliance and not being able to follow through with scheduled appt. I offer her my help but she says that I’m going to steal her money. But all I want is for her to take her meds and get her disability back on. So that I can find her a place she can afford and move out of my place. This has caused me so much stress I don’t know what to do.
I’m a single mom with three children. I can’t afford to take care of her anymore. She eats all day and night, walks around watching me and my children peeping in our room at night. She has this obsession with the bathroom she flushes the toilet constantly and runs water until I make her stop. She also talks to imaginary people. Which she says are in the ceiling.

One night she told me that it was a man in my ceiling. He told her he was going to kill us all. She planned to run away with my children to get away from the man in the ceiling. She loves my children but I’m afraid she will take them and run away. She ran away when she was 25 and it took us a year to find her. My brother found her living under a bridge in VA and she was 6 months pregnant with her 3rd child.

Sometimes her reality is removed from her and she gets angry with me and says I stole her children. Even thought she was there while I was pregnant with all of my children. (She has three children but they live with another family member because DSS removed them from her) that’s another story. I can’t continue this way. I can’t continue to live this way she has became a big burden on me but she don’t have anybody else and if I kick her out she would be homeless.



Wow - that sounds extremely difficult for you and your kids. You have to take care of yourself and your kids first - you can’t do everything yourself - especially as a single mom. I feel for you - it sounds really stressful. Have you talked to your local NAMI about options for her to live outside of your home. I’d recommend you contact them. They should have a good list of options for you to discuss with them. Start here, they have local offices in most cities in the US:

You might also start by making it a condition of her getting on medication if she wants to stay in your house - just to see how that goes. People can do quite well when they have good treatment. They have injection medications that can last 3 months - so you don’t have to worry about her going off her medications by not taking the pills.

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Hi Delilah,

Sorry to hear what you’re going through, sounds tough and no doubt similar to many, many others who have relatives with sz.

Not sure what advice I can offer as I don’t know the US system, but if you were in the UK you could probably go and speak to her doctor and have her assesed, and just on the fact that she is threatening to run away with your children, there would be enough to have her forcebly hospitalised (sectioned) to make sure she takes her medication and is monitored 24/7 to ensure she isn’t a danger to herself or others.

I know it’s not easy, but whatever you do, do something. She won’t get any better without meds and the right care, so doing nothing is not an option.


Yes, and also get her to sign consent form so you can speak openly to her doctor about your sister’s treatment.

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Hello. I’m sorry to hear that you are going through this. I have something similar although I am new to it myself in the last couple of months. My advice from what has been an intensive crash course recently is:

  1. Your kids are more important. Protect them. Do the best thing you possibly can for the sick person whilst protecting your children. This is what the sick person would want you to do if they were not sick.
  2. Crack down on the non-compliance. I was advised to do this here and it has worked. “It’s your choice, but I don’t have full and open access to your Psych and I don’t witness your meds then you can’t live here”.
    I’m new to this, but have formed the opinion that if someone won’t comply at all then you are fighting a losing battle, protect your kids.

You are not alone. It can be very hard to start being tough, but ultimately if someone is that sick you need to establish rules. You and your children are 100% salvageable and you all need to be sane by the end of this. The children are innocents, never feel guilty of making a decision that is negative towards another adult, sick or not, if you need to ensure the safety of the children, and safety means their emotional state not just their physical well being.


Sorry, another thing. You can’t let yourself get too worried about this. It may take the threat of this to make her comply, which is in her best interests. We all get sucked into being manipulated by the sick person. Unless you can take control this won’t end well anyway.

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You can commit her to a hospital and get her a case manager. If she gets dangerous or wierd call the cops they will bring her to the hospital and court

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If she ever seems threatening to you or your family, call the cops and instruct them that she schizophrenic and needs to be hospitalized. The hospital will get her back on her meds, even if they have to go to court and get her on Medicaid.

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Delilah2, my son has the same problem, he is 29, it is too sad for them and for us too. I am taking him to Ecuador for a BEAM surgery to eradicate schizophrenia. Look for this doctor that found the cure! His name is JOSE MACKLIFF. We are going in about a month. Please do not give up with your sister, she needs you. If you do this procedure, you will have her back to normal very soon.