Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

In a Very Concerning Situation and Need Advice


#1

Yes, my best friend of 8 years developed schizophrenia and is now hearing me persecute him. This really is a long story, and I apologize in advance for the length, however, this situation is complicated and isn’t merely black and white. For this to make any sense, I have to give you the complete run-down of what happened over the past year or so. In an effort to save time, I’ll also include a TL;DR version.

Around this time, last year, my best friend (I’ll refer to him as Bob) Bob started having issues at school. He began believing that his high school bullies were reading his mind, and furthermore, he thought every minute gesture these kids made was one of harassment. For example, if a student were to scratch his nose, this would trigger a response in Bob. Bob would believe the student was commenting on his smell. This issue persisted for a while, and his parents chose to forgo getting help. Until the school guidance counselor got involved, Bob’s family did nothing to palliate this issue.

The counselor Bob sat with screened him for signs of potential danger to himself or others. The results of the screenings determined that Bob was indeed a danger to himself, for he explicitly claimed he has thought of hurting himself and others. The guidance counselor then called Child Protective Services, and instructed them to enforce that Bob’s family does seek medical help. This led to Bob’s subsequent diagnosis of schizophrenia and a perception to the high-potency anti-psychotic, Risperdal. Then, to our lament, Bob suffered Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome as a side-effect of the medication.

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) utterly destroyed Bob; he was hospitalized for 4 months. Part of the reason he was stuck there for so long was because at the time of admittance, he was 17, however, one month into his hospitalization, he turned 18. After that point, Bob’s parents had no legal authority to remove their son from the hospital. It took them four months of harassing the hospital staff to finally convince them to, regrettably, release Bob from their care.

Bob’s first few months out of the hospital were uneventful. He was still regaining confidence to speak his mind, and was still very much affected by NMS. He wouldn’t talk, paced back-and-forth constantly, and acted very peculiar in regards to certain situations. (During this time, I was unaware that he had schizophrenia, as his family hasn’t told me why it was that any of these events happened. I was simply told that a doctor wrongly prescribed medicine for Bob to take.) It was not until about a month ago that I noticed that Bob had a serious issue.

In the beginning of September, Bob came to visit my house unexpectedly. Thinking nothing of it, I allowed him inside and proceeded to hang out with him for a couple of hours. Everything seemed fine until the very end of our time spent together. He eventually questioned as to why I was hanging-out with one of his old bullies in his neighbor’s house. I had no idea how to respond to this so I simply said “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Bob continued to argue that I have been talking to him for a while and saying very strange things to him. Things have only continued to escalate in these terms.

During the whole month of September, Bob would message girls that I knew and consistently harass them and ask them to have sex with him/hang out with him. Some of these girls included my sister, my girlfriend, our other friend’s girlfriend, and random girls I know/ am friends with. It didn’t help that he was having auditory hallucinations, either. Bob has been hearing people, and in two separate instances, walked into his neighbor’s home in search for the people he was hearing. Unfortunately, I and my other two friends (who are even closer to Bob) are among the most prominent voices he hears. This is the reason that I am seeking advice today.

Recently, Bob has been hearing my friends and me persecuting him. He hears me threatening him, making fun of him, and ultimately harassing him unabatedly. In response, Bob consistently messages us his aggressive reactions to the hallucinations. He has cursed me out, metaphorically compared me to a demon, and has threatened, on multiple occasions, to “smash [my] face in.” I’ve been trying to communicate with his family in hopes that they can subdue his aggression, but to no avail. In fact, he just messaged me and told me to “not be a pussy and hide behind his sister,” and furthermore to “never message his mom or sister ever again.”

I am terribly concerned that if this situation goes unhandled, that Bob will become violent and seek to harm me in order to put to end his constant harassment. I don’t know what to do in this situation because his parents are refusing to get him treatment and I know that this situation won’t get better, it’ll just gradually get worse and worse. If anyone could offer me some insight into what I can possibly do to ensure my safety, and that he gets the help he requires, it would be greatly appreciated.

TL; DR

My friend is schizophrenic and hears me harassing him with death threats, etcetera; he hears me persecuting him. Recently he has been threatening me with violence and I am fearful for my safety. His parents are refusing to get him help, which will only make the situation increasingly dire. Please give me some advice on what I can do in this situation to ensure my safety, and the safety of others. Thanks!


#2

Are you still at school? If so, go to the same counsellor he saw and show the messages. She will know who to report to. If all else fails, you will need to go to the police. That might end up as the best for him. He may end up with court-ordered treatment.


#3

No, I’m in college now and he is out of high school so we can’t go through that route. Also, I don’t know how to approach the police about this. He is still my best friend, regardless of the trauma he is suffering, so the last thing I want to do is get him arrested or in trouble. Although I do understand that it most likely needs to happen.


#4

Tough situation. Since Bob is legally and adult and it doesn’t sound like his parents are helping the situation, I’m not to sure that there is a lot that you can do. Legally speaking, getting some sort of restraining order may not be a bad idea. I know it’s not what you want however it may help to protect you and get yourself and perhaps your friend help a little faster if the need to use it happens.

In the meantime I would recommend not responding to his accusations or threats. I doubt anything that you say will help him to rationalize what he is currently feeling. Keep a record of them as they may be needed later on.


#5

You need to take these threats very seriously - and do whatever you can to avoid him and protect yourself. To your friend - these voices he hears are completely real - and he could very likely act on them. Can you live somewhere else for a while. Go to his family and share them with them so they know the situation is serious - and push them to get him into treatment quickly. Carry Mace / or pepper spray also in case you need it.


#6

Here is some information you should also read:

First Aid for Psychosis:
http://www.schizophrenia.com/sznews/archives/005561.html


#7

Yes, the idea of a restraining order is currently the best so far. We live on different streets that are adjacent and parallel to each other; this means that the odds of seeing him are very high, however, I need a break from this constant harassment. I currently have on file photographic proof of every threat, remark, he has said to me while experiencing hallucinations. I personally believe I have all the evidence I might need in order to receive an order of restraint, so I will be going towards that route should the situation continue to worsen.


#8

I’ve been taking it seriously since before he even started threatening me. In fact, the day that I noticed evidence of psychosis in him, I immediately involved his parents, however, they chose to ignore my plea in favor of ignorance; they assume that this is something Bob can outgrow; they’re clearly not functioning in our realm of reality. I will definitely purchase some pepper spray in the meantime and I’ll be making sure to lock my doors at night. (Maybe being a bit paranoid here, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.)