Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Is there an explanation for people with schizophrenia to live in filth that was created by themselves?

My brother is 56 and has lived with Schizophrenia for 34 years. He lives in an apartment that my mom pays for because sh cannot live with him. The condition of his apartment is beyond horrific.
Not only does he throw garbage all over the place, but he goes to garbage cans outside his building and takes trash from there as well. He throws His clothes and bed sheets in the garbage can, but not the actual garbage. His hands and feet are black for dirt. Many of you already know that he does not EVER flush the toilet. That whole story is in another post.
I know many of your family members live in similar ways. Is there any kind of explanation , for this behavior? Is their mind so full of distractions that they cannot figure out where to put garbage?
Has anyone ever heard any kind of guess at why this happens to many people?

Yes - this is very common. Its likely a problem related to brain Dopamine - and lack of motivation and depression. Some good information here on the topic:


I find it to be something more than just lack of motivation. My son purposefully spills things. He soils his socks with cheese so they smell so badly I just throw them away. He wipes his dirty hands on windows. He is actually making an effort to make a mess. I feel like he is trying to make evidence of his helplessness.

My daughter throws things out when she is frustrated not being able to clean them herself. It was hard when she was not on medication. Frustration increases irrationality. These days, I spend time mostly to make things better for her. Now she does her own laundry, vacuums and mops her bedroom. I will handle those that require heavy lifting, getting rid of bugs, etc.