Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Is there hope for my mom?


#1

My mother has has schizophrenia for all 23 years of my life. She is my biggest motivator and my strongest pain. It hurts so much to have her in my life because all i want to do is help her anyway possible but at this point i feel hopeless. She was on her meds for a long period of time but she ran away to another state and was found months later after my sister filed a missing person report. The doctor said she would never be the same again…

She currently is living in a assisted living facility and is not only unhappy but I see her becoming unhealthy and I hate seeing her like she is but I am the youngest child and am a full time student trying to hit financial freedom as soon as possible so i could throw money at whoever can help her. It kills me inside and causes me deep depression whenever I pick her up, but i cant just not pick her up. I’m all she has…

I don’t know if there is even an answer to this, but i’m sick of hurting over this and am desperate for help from someone who’s experienced this. Is there a treatment that has helped transition people with this illness back into the world. I pray that one day she would be able to maintain a job, and be self-dependent. I truly love her more than anything in the world and for that reason I hurt a lot.


#2

I’m so sorry. Trust the doctors and others caring for your mom. Encourage her to follow their directions. Good for you for getting your education! I have a 21 year old son and I would never want his life and future to be jeapordized by me in any way, and I imagine your mom feels the same way. You may want to find therapy/support group for yourself, and make sure you take good care of yourself and stay strong. God bless!


#3

“Knowledge is power.” So…

  1. Get a copy of this book and read it and have your family read it, as well. (Torrey can be a bit totalistic and unwilling to see exceptions to his “rules” at times, but most of the book is really worth the effort to plough through.)
    http://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Schizophrenia-6th-Edition-Family/dp/0062268856
    .
  2. Get properly diagnosed by a board-certified psychopharmacologist who specializes in the psychotic disorders. One can find them at…
    http://doctor.webmd.com/find-a-doctor/specialty/psychiatry and https://psychiatrists.psychologytoday.com/rms/
    .
  3. Work with that “psychiatrist” (or “p-doc”) to develop a medication formula that stabilizes their symptoms sufficiently so that they can tackle the psychotherapy that will disentangle their thinking.
    .
  4. The best of the psychotherapies for that currently include…
    DBT – http://behavioraltech.org/resources/whatisdbt.cfm
    MBSR – http://www.mindfullivingprograms.com/whatMBSR.php
    MBCT - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22340145
    ACT – https://contextualscience.org/act
    10 StEP – http://pairadocks.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-10-steps-of-emotion-processing.html
    .
  5. the even newer somatic psychotherapies like…
    MBBT – https://www.newharbinger.com/blog/introduction-mind-body-bridging-i-system
    SEPT – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somatic_Experiencing
    SMPT – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensorimotor_psychotherapy
    .
  6. or standard CBTs, like…
    REBT – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rational_emotive_behavior_therapy
    Schematherapy – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schema_Therapy
    Learned Optimism – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_optimism
    Standard CBT – https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Treatment/Psychotherapy & scroll down
    .
  7. If you/she/he needs a professional intervention to get through treatment resistance, tell me where you live, and I will get back to you with leads to those services.
    .
  8. Look into the RAISE Project at https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=raise%20program%20schizophrenia.
    .
  9. Look for mental illness clubhouses in your area (which can be hugely helpful… but may also pose risks). Dig through the many articles at https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=mental%20illness%20clubhouse%20model to locate and investigate them.

#4

First of all, I have to give you a compliment for being a nice, caring daughter. Family support is invaluable in the recovery of anyone who is suffering from schizophrenia. All I have to say to you is to use all the resources in your vicinity to help your mom.

I got diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1980 when I was 19. I suffered terribly for the first two years. I didn’t have idea if I would ever recover. I had no clue as to whether my suffering would ever end.

For those first two years I had no job, no money, no car, no friends, no girlfriend, no independence, no school and I had to fight every minute of every day to keep my sanity. I spent my first year in a group home and most of my second year was in a locked psychiatric hospital. I was put on medication in the hospital and I took it every day and I have taken it every day since 1983 except the occasional time when I’m out and can’t get to it. So medication is the hugest factor in my recovery.

Here is a list of my accomplishments since I got out of the hospital in 1983. I have worked almost steadily since 1983, I lived independently on my own since 1995, I took college classes and I need only four more classes for my degree, I have driven my own car since 1997. These things are not easy to do and I didn’t just get these things overnight. It took years of taking small steps towards my goals, co-operating with my family and doctors who wanted to help me, it took months of going to vocational programs for the mentally ill, it took regular visits to psychiatrists and therapists.

It took living for years in homes for the mentally ill, it took going to day programs. Like I said, nothing comes easy to someone with schizophrenia but I advise to search for every resource in your area, make calls, visit places, get your mom the best treatment, talk to therapists and psychiatrists and talk to clinics and glean any information you can about finding help for your mother in your region.

If your mom will take her medication than she has a fighting chance of having some kind of life. If she won’t take it her life won’t end but it will certainly be harder without it. I feel for you and your mother. Like I said, I have had this insidious disease for over 35 years, I know the pain and horror of having schizophrenia, I know the pain my family felt when I was suffering and no one knew if I would ever get better. Her recovery will not happen overnight, it takes patience and support. I wish you and your mother good luck.


#5

**You are doing all you can right now. You cannot fix things for her. All you can do is be supportive when she asks.
The right combo of meds will go a long way in helping her get her life back.
You have a sister? It would help you a lot if she could lend some support, so you dont feel like you have to do all this alone--and you cant anyway.
Stay strong for yourself and have faith that your Mom will start taking care of herself too.
:yellow_heart: **


#6

I listed those in my first post above. But it’s also occurred to me that you may benefit from learning the skills taught in the classic book at the link below. They are very widely used to deal with older adults with dementia, and they may be appropriate for your circumstances. One thing is for sure, they will help you to be less stressed.

Another that may provide excellent explanations of what you’re up against:


#7

hi i’m actually new to this and look for some help, insight. My mother turned 50 in may but for the last year or so has been showing some signs and symptoms of possibly having a mental illness. I don’t know what it could be. I would like to share some things that my Dad, Sister and I have experienced and please tell me if these are things we should definetly not take lightly and move forward with steps to get her help.

Starting around Christmas time last year my Mother has become exstreamly suspicious of my Dad and his business and the people he works with. She thinks that there is some kind of scam going on that those he works with are ripping off my dad and even thought that their tax guy was ripping them off. She no longer leaves her cell phone on because she thinks its bugged and people from the company are listening in and even believed that their US mail was being intercepted. This was ongoing for months until she finally did their taxes on turbo. She was fine for a few months there after but then again around Christmas time she has been having episodes again. My dad has experienced these intense rages that she gets where her tone in her voice and her eyes become like black and glossy and my Dad says she’s just exstreamly angry and constantly accusing him of cheating. She even accused him of flirting with the girl at the Mc Donalds window – so now my dad hates going out to eat with her because he’s either flirting with the waitress of he must be gay if the waiter is male. More recently my Dad said she woke up in the middle of the night crying and was saying that the devil is really her friend and things like this. At first when my dad Told me I thought he was exaggerating because my mother has always been very strong and very together so to hear this I thought ok this is weird but I didn’t see it for myself so coudlnt’ really believe it. But on Christmas morning when my husband, sister and I arrived at the house she was in a very liked dazed mood…almost like you would think she was on some kind of drugs because it was very weird and just kept asking us to hug her and to love her and was crying. Once we gave her a moment and gave her this love she needed she was fine the rest of Christmas. This past weekend I went to visit and she was totally fine all day Saturday in great spirits nothing odd. Sunday she seemed fine too…she would talk about nature and god a lot but she’s always been a good religious person but nothing like a holy roller but always just in tune with herself and god etc. Anyway, my very first experience where I got to see first hand what my dads been talking about occurred Monday morning when I woke up at 4am to her sititng ujp in her bed breating in and out very heavily. My dad was working nights so I slept with her in her bed and the dog slept in his bed on the side of the bed. Well, it was woken up suddenly like in a nightmare when you get up instantly and sit up to find her sitting up too breathing in and out, in and out extreamly heavily and I askd her if she was ok, do you need water, can you breath? and our dog was on the side of me trying to jump on the bed as if he was so scared. When she looked at me It was as if she wasn’t there her eyes were like glossy and kidn of black. when she finally caught her breath she got up ANGRY and put on her coat and started to cry that she feels the negative energy all around her and I just hugged her and she started to pray ’ our father who art in heaven’ etc. and then she started to say pray for tony pray for tony which is my brother who was just in the other room sleeping. she goes to our stairs and starts yelling his name as if she wants him to wake up and she starts saying over and over pray for tony pray for tony he’s in his room standing over his bed they’re in his room pray for him so I was freaked out this is my first experience seeing her this way so I was very scared but worried too so I got int omy brothers room and wake him up and he gets up and she’s just exstresamly upset and we hug her and she’s crying and finally I get her to to garage and she has a ciggerate and some water and she starts saying that there’s angels and demons all around just like this show we had watched the night before…so I dotn know if she had a nightmare or what but then she starts whispersing and pointing to my dads chair in the garage that he’s a demon. when I said his name out loud she like whispered me to be quiet and just points at his chair saying he’s a demon. so I was really uncomfortable and just fraked out so I said i’ll be back and go to check on my brother. well mind you I texted my dad/sister when she was being upset and my brother was hugging her and so my dad/sister knew she what was going on and then when I left the garage to check on my brother she called my dad all normal like hi, love u…and my dad said she was all normal bu knew wat was going on and just went along with it. she’s very emotional lately and talks about god and brings up things from her childhood. so its just CRAZYNESS and I mean writing this clearly I know something is wrong but I don’t know what it could be. Please help. I need some insight on what to do. I pray nothing is wrong with her that this is just a phase and I feel guilty for feeling something is wrong especially if something isn’t but then I worry if something is that we’re not doing enough to get her help before it gets worse. I love my mom so much and just not sure what to do. please help.


#8

Can you talk to her about seeing a psychiatrist?

I’m sorry you’re going through all of this.


#9

The worse part about being a child of someone with an illness like schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder is how hard it is to convince them to seek help. I have schizoaffective disorder like my dad. My dad and his oldest sister both have a schiz illness. My dad is much worse after he drinks, he accuses everyone of trying to send him to jail ( he had gone to jail because my brother called the cops on him when he was abusing our mom) and accuses my mom of sleeping around (his latest person that he accuses her of sleeping with is my cousin her nephew) things can turn violent at the drop of a hat.

My aunt doesn’t drink or do drugs but she refuses meds. she has called my dad in the middle of the night and told him that people were trying to kill her or they are holding her daughter hostage. She has spent time in the mental hospitals but as soon as she gets out again she stops taking meds. Her worse delusion was thinking every red haired little girl was her granddaughter that she is court ordered to stay away from.


#10

my dad just tried on Friday to take her to a general wellness doctor just because she hasn’t been to one in years. He was hopiong to get her regular vitals taken and some blood because we thought maybe it was just menopause and her estrogen levels need to be checked to eventually find something to balance her out. And, we still think it could quite possibly still be that but after seeing her behavior on Monday morning when she said someone was standing over my brothers bed and to pray for my brother and said ‘they’ were in his room – it made me realize it was something much deeper then menopause. anyway, he had the appointment for her Friday and she was really pist off and walked out.


#11

see this is just crazy I don’t want it to get to this point or worse for my mom. I don’t get why they wont jus take their medicine! its so hearting break and frustrating all at the same time! My mother is a Taurus and very stubborn.


#12

I think it has to do with parental feelings at least it is with my dad. I tell him to go back to the psychiatrist but he thinks he knows better than me since he’s my father and decides going to the psychiatrist is a waste of time.


#13

Hormone imbalance (especially at her age) is a definite possibility. Drugs and alcohol need to be ruled in or out, as well. Early onset dementia is another possibility. Supporting your father (and getting any siblings and other relatives to join in) to get her properly examined, assessed and diagnosed seems like a VERY good move.

You may want to look over my two earlier posts on this thread to look into the many resources I listed here. I have many more if you need them.