Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Im in desperate need of advice and help


#1

My sister is in her late 40s. We have been trying to obtain help for her and its becoming unbearable. She belives everyone in our family has implanted devices in her ears and head to control and shock her with cell phones, the tv, our cars, ect. She believes that we mean her harm. Especially myself and my father. She constantly talks to herself about us being out to get her and will often refer to herself in the 3rd person. She lives with my father who is 70 and disabled. I also live there with my 2 girls age 5 and 14. I am actually afraid that she is a threat to herself or others. Especially my father and 2 girls. About 6 years ago she jumped my dad hitting him in the face multiple times. I had her picked up by the cops and because my dad didnt want her in jail, he didnt press charges. We just want her to have help. She has 2 children that havent spoke to her in years and pose no help whatsoever. We have tried to get my sister to admit that she has an issue but to her, she is normal and we are the ones out to get her. We have tried so hard. We have tried every possible way we know how. I feel like its a dangerous situation. She will at times just sit and stare at us for 45 minites to and hour with a look of hate. We’ve tried talking to her, all that does is cause her to backlash. We are at a loss. Home doesnt feel safe anymore and is very uncomfortable. What do we do?? How do we not only help her but also feel safe and comfortable again?


#2

Hi,

Your family’s situation and your sister’s untreated illness sound very difficult.

What you can do depends on where you live. Is there a local crisis line you could call for advice?

Also, NAMI has support groups for family members: https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Family-Members-and-Caregivers

There is also a NAMI helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI. The hours are listed on the link.

Since she has been violent in the past, I would make a safe room with a locking door and always keep my phone, car keys, and wallet with me.

The children are the obvious priority; they need to be safe.

Do not worry about getting your sister to admit she has an illness. She probably has the symptom called anosognosia that truly prevents her from understanding that her brain is not working in a typical way. 50% of people with these serious mental illnesses have this symptom. Just try to be friendly and kind with her. Give her space. In other words, treat her as you would wish to be treated if you had a devastating and untreated illness that you did not even know you had.

Always prioritize safety above all.

Best to you.


#3

There’s a book that gets recommended a lot here called I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help by Dr Xaviar Amador.

It may give you some ideas about how to talk to her. The book is intended to help people learn how to talk to their loved one & get them to see the value of treatment even if they never gain any insight into their illness.

If nothing else, it might ease the strain of your relationship & make things better at home if you use some of the techniques the book teaches.

The approach is called LEAP. - Listen, Empathize, Agree, Partner (I think the P is Partner anyway)
It sounds easy, but it takes some practice. A lot of people have good luck with it. I’m still trying to get it right.