Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

It's been a while since I've updated


#1

Hi everyone,

Haven’t updated in a long while. Things have gone downhill.

Approx two years ago when we had son committed pdoc put him on Invega Sustenna, then Invega Trinza. Things have been rocking along reasonably well until around the first part of this year. Son started getting squirrely about taking his injection and then when he was due for it this past May, he abruptly said he wasn’t going to take it any more. My heart dropped to my feet. He was already becoming psychotic. His paranoia and delusions really never totally left and getting worse.

He said he was going to take control of his health care and was going to go to another doctor and take Abilify. I knew from previous experience Abilify never controlled his symptoms. And he has never been compliant with taking meds orally. It was obvious that he was not taking any meds.

Things were getting worse by the day. We highly suspected he was doing illicit drugs too. Smelled pot on several occasions and found little tiny empty baggies here and there. Ever since he’s been sick, he has for some reason had really bad false delusions about his dad. Me and his sister too to a lesser extent. He started becoming a real menace to all of us and even people in our neighborhood. I received one complaint email about him from our HOA, as we have strict HOA rules in our subdivision.

He has totaled his last three vehicles and we were paying over $400 for insurance just for him each month. So with his disability money he purchased a nice little Honda Ruckus scooter that does not require insurance. Three months later it was totaled. Or so he said – we just never saw it again and he said that’s what happened. He recently purchased a really cheap scooter and has just about demolished it too.

Things got so bad around here that we finally had to practice “tough love”. We could no longer put up with him being unmedicated, doing drugs, disrespectful and hateful actions towards us, destruction of our home and his living quarters downstairs, shooting birds at passers-by and calling people names in our neighborhood, etc. So we made him leave. First time since his diagnosis 7 years ago we have done that. We called the police to our home to insure his departure was peaceful. Anyone who remembers our story knows that my husband and I have done everything humanly possible to help him for the past 7 years.

I made reservations for him in extended stay facilities ($$ came out of his disability). He was kicked out of both. First one for walking to vending machines in his underwear. The second one for dismantling fire alarm in his room. I’m sure his very bazaar way of dressing did not help his cause either. His sister agreed to let him try staying with her. That lasted one week. Then he was locked up in a little town nearby, I never did get the full details of that. Son said the police tackled him for no reason and put him in jail. Weirdly enough, they just let him go two days later with no charges. idk

So then he was homeless. We received a call from the police last Tuesday that they found him behind a church, it was 4 a.m., wanting information from us. We gave them the scoop so they got a CIT police officer involved, 1013’d him and took him to the hospital, which is where he needs to be. He is not being cooperative at the hospital. The church official found son’s bag behind the church on Wednesday, and the police notified us that it contained meth. What a punch in the gut.

So I have no idea how this is going to end. He cannot come back here. My husband and daughter have been so hurt and saddened by his actions towards them, as have I, but they no longer want anything to do with him. I understand. But I am his mother. I will always love him. I don’t like him one bit right now, but my heart still loves him. Even though I love him I know that I can no longer enable him. I also have to look out for our own health. My husband has had one slight heart attack since all this began and now has a pacemaker. I honestly think I have PTSD. My nerves are completely shot. If I hear a door slam or people hollering I start shaking. My eyes can fill with tears at the most inopportune times.

I am the rep payee for his Social Security. I am going to find out how to turn this duty over to a service that handles these things. His incessant texts and phone calls for money is not helping our situation. I keep telling him that a rep service is not going to be as lenient as I have been, he never lets up. But this is something I must do to cut the cord.

My heart is breaking over this outcome. I fear what is going to happen to him. But I have to let go.


#2

I’m sorry you are going through this. I know how tough it is. But doing the same thing over doesn’t work, and you know that. Trying this way might. But I’m sorry about the pain you are in.


#3

I know this is so hard. It’s my husband that has sz, not my children, but I can imagine how difficult that would be. My husband would have a dual diagnosis of sz/substance abuse.

Where they intersect is a challenge. Self medication seems so much easier. I’m fascinated that my husband won’t see a doctor or take prescription meds but something he can buy on a corner- that’s ok.

I am new to sz but not substance abuse issues. I know from my husband’s issues with drugs that boundaries are critical, but sometimes you have to “let go and let God.” Sounds like you are doing that, which is SO HARD for me as a caretaker and a loved one. I haven’t been able to do that with his mental illness or his substance abuse, actually. I didn’t want to admit there is nothing I can do. I guess I’m saying, it sounds like as hard as it and though I am still new to this that you have done exactly the right thing.

Hugs to you.


#4

Thank you Hatty. I thought that forcing him out would lessen the stress, but it really has not. My heart feels like it is covered in a heavy sadness blanket.


#5

Sadwife, my heart goes out to you in your struggles. It’s always hard, but I can’t even imagine what you are going through with your husband, the father of your children. Hugs to you too, and especially your children.

It has taken me a long time to let go. Like you, I have never wanted to admit that I can’t fix this problem. I feel as if I’m trying to keep the Titanic from sinking.

It’s interesting, but when I read others’ stories about their loved ones who have sz but don’t do drugs, I think to myself how lucky they are. I believe if my son did not do drugs, he would be doing very well.


#6

I have been exactly where you are. You do have to let go as much as it hurts. He needs to decide he wants help. Pray for that constantly. I had to let go and it took 2 years for the desperate call, “Mom, I am willing to do whatever it takes. I can’t live like this anymore”. He too was doing meth and dealing too. I believed him and stepped in.

I got him to a psych hospital 1000 miles away (no local services in our state) that was connected to an assisted living mental health facility (also none of those in our state). If he stopped taking meds or started on the street drugs he knew he would be left there. He thankfully really did want the help and 2 1/2 years later is doing well…still in assisted living but drug free and med complaint. I pray you get similar outcome. Be kind to yourself and do take care of you and the others in your family. You have done all you can, until he wants help.


#7

I feel like people with schizophrenia are more likely victims of drug addiction because it’s harder to socialize. Then befriend sketchy people who give them a sense of friendship; I’ve never done meth although on a couple occasions was offered it. The one person who offered it; I broke ties. I have a friend who is in recovery from meth. From what I’ve observed, meth has to be horrible. It seems to shatter people’s personalities. To have schizophrenia and do meth would send someone to a terrible state, and would need a serious intervention or six month stay in rehab. Recently, meth has seemed to hit the population at full force. I have bipolar1 so I have no need to be upped. My doctor won’t even prescribe me vyvanse, even though I never abused stimulants or the vyvanse. I just don’t want to take stimulants because it makes me moodier and I’m calm if I continue to take a mood stabilizer for depression. I would never use meth; it would make me relapse and have psychosis. I’m in my late twenties and as time goes on drug abuse is spreading and it’s a national crisis.

Forgive yourself, forgive your son. Hope he gets stable and recovers some day.


#8

@lovemyson I am very sorry you and your family are going through this again with your son. We are going through this with our son to. He stable! Against his will of course. I know it not right for him to not know he’s taking his medication, but that’s the only choice I have right now. because he’s not a danger to himself or others…we can’t get him involuntary admitted. When he’s off of his medication, we can’t live in the same house as him. For some reason, he always attack me with hurtful words. This has never happen until he was diagnosed. My son has been hospitalized 3 time against his will. On the last hospital stay, he stayed for 3 weeks. They put him on Invega shots because he was non compliant. When it was time for him to take his shot in May, He refused to take it, but he agreed on started back taking his Rispedal pills. That’s last for 2 months and now he’s not taking them on his own. The reason he said he doesn’t want to take the pills is because he said they make him tired. Well, Iam not sure if that’s all the way true because he hasn’t complain of being tired since I started adding it to his dinner 2 weeks again. I do know the medication has side effect and feeling tired and sluggish is one of them, but he hasn’t complain about being tired so far. Again, I know that’s wrong, but I’m trying to keep him off the streets because without taking any medication We can’t stay with him. I don’t know how long it will last but I know when he was off of his medication. I couldn’t get him to go anywhere or go to his doctor, but since he’s back on his medication. He is willing to go to his appointment on the 26th. @lovemyson We all feel your pain. And we know that your heart is hurting because you don’t want to see your MI son on drugs and on the street, but you was left with NO choice because of his actions while in your home. This is the fear that we have with our son. As I said before, I don’t know how long I will be giving him his medication without him knowing. If he figure it out and refuse to let me fix his plate for dinner, then we will have to put our son out on the street because we can’t take the verbal abuse, smoking weed, slamming doors, pacing etc. My son was just diagnosed with Scz on last year and this is all still new to us. He was already Bipolar and not taking medication, but he was able to work and control himself until he started to be delusional and paranoid. Be blessed! :pray:t6:


#9

Thank you for your encouraging words @Triplets. I will think about your experience often to give us some hope.

I really fear son is going to end up dead. He looked so so bad when I went to see him in the hospital last Wednesday. Banged up head to toe, scabs/dried blood & bruises, matted hair, bushy beard and mustache, pitiful dirty clothes. I couldn’t help but wonder what happened to my precious, handsome, funny, smart little boy.

I will pray that I get the same type of phone call you got. I’m so glad for you and your family that your son is now doing well. I can imagine what a relief that is to your heart.


#10

Good for you on making the right decisions concerning drugs.

I am terrified of this meth situation. A few years back, one of son’s not-so-good pdocs prescribed him Vyvanse along with Zyprexa. Son stopped taking the Zyprexa and loved taking Vyvanse. It was literally like pouring gasoline on a burning fire. He had the worst violent psychotic break ever, turned over very large, heavy flower pots in our yard, screaming all the while and hit his dad with a big stick. He was locked up for this. When we bailed him out of jail, our agreement was that he would go to a dual diagnosis center and he did. It worked for a while, but son was soon back to the same old thing, except we would no longer let him be prescribed Vyvanse. Any kind of stimulant is poison for him.


#11

@myson sounds like we have very similar circumstances.

The reason my son gave for not taking the injection anymore was “it hurts his heart”. So I tell him “you say the injection hurts your heart and you’re doing meth, really?” He had no come back for that. Over the years, when he was not compliant taking his oral meds, the reason he gave was that they hurt his organs.

I certainly understand your desperation in adding the meds to his food. We caregivers get very desperate at times. Many on the diagnosed forum strongly advise against this, but sometimes caregivers feel there is no other choice. It’s just so hard, there are no easy solutions. I hope your situation will improve and you don’t have to make him leave.

You and your family will be in my prayers.


#12

Yes, You are right. I’m just doing this to get him to his next appointment. Yes, I believe I have became very desperate. After, He goes to the doctor on Wednesday. I will stop it. I’m just trying to keep him stable so he can make the right decision to go to his doctor appointment. When he’s not on medication, he will not go to his doctor and I would end up having him admitted against his will because he will start threating the neighbors, me or anyone that crosses his path when he’s paranoid. I will continue to keep you and your son in my prayers too. Hopefully, He will get stable while in the hospital. I know this might sound strange, but the 3 times my son was in the hospital I was very hurt, but at the same time I was relieved because I knew he was safe there. God bless!


#13

I promise you, your precious son is in there somewhere! When he is ready for help, you will find him. Do not give up hope!

Try and sleep well knowing his path to recovery is you letting go so he can find it. This was the hardest thing I ever had to do…living with alcoholic parents or burying my infant daughter seem easier than letting go. If you believe in God, know He is in control.


#14

So sorry you’re going through this. My wife and I have been through similar experiences we know how tough it must be for you and your family.


#15

I’m so sorry this burden is on your heart. You have stayed the course with your son, and as much as it hurts, this is probably the course he must take next - but what a heartbreak. It feels so horrible to have to balance the needs for your much loved son with the needs of yourself and the others in your family and make tough choices. My heart, and many others, travels this road with you and will try to share your burden.

I know you will not completely ‘let go’, and will continue to give to your son the love he needs when he is again able to recognize and accept it. But for now your role in his life will change.


#16

This is so true @Vallpen. Our daughter can’t understand how I continue to hang on, even by a thread. She has a much tougher attitude about it. This is the only subject that daughter and I strongly disagree on. I finally told her that I am his mother and until you are a mother you won’t understand.

I really appreciate your thoughtful words.


#17

@lovemyson, We have a daughter the same way. She’s in college and has a much tougher attitude. We have a strong relationship, but this is the only thing we disagree on too. I told her that she wouldn’t understand how I feel until she becomes a mother. Be blessed! And we feel your pain!


#18

lovemyson

I am sorry for the change in your son’s situation. While your son was getting better your mails had been a source of inspiration for many of us. I had been in your situation in sep 2014 when my son quit his meds after one year of stability and I had to call police to take him out of the house. Actually I called the police expecting that it will bring my son back to treatment but I failed. He stayed in a room and board kind of place for few months and his psychosis started getting worse. He was thrown out of that place and then he started living outside a temple parking lot and sleeping in his car. I used to visit him there and used to carry the food for him once in a week. Got thrown out of there in a few weeks. Then his paranoia started getting worse. Then he came back home but still did not want to get back into treatment. But at that point of time I was able to send him to hospital where he got conservatorship. He has been in treatment there for the last 18 months but is still somewhat psychotic. I used to think that my son is very resilient but these quitting the meds cold turkey few times has impacted his resilience. He has been on several antipsychotics simultaneously, improved a lot but still not functional outside as he is still in that state of imagination a big chunk of his time. But the good thing is that now after he talks about the delusion, I ask him do you really think it is reality or you think may be this is your imagination and then he agrees that this was his imagination where as earlier if I ask him may be this was his imagination he would get mad at me.
Everybody say that they have to fall to their lowest before they learn their lesson but it is hard to see them and imagine them in that situation for us moms. Just hang in there. And you will be in my prayers.


#19

Thank you @pally.

The hospital my son was in recommended a room & board type place also, so that is where he is right now. I’m not expecting it to last because son is so psychotic, delusional and irrational. I’m afraid that my son is also losing his resiliency.

One plus to the boarding house is that the man that runs it is an older, kindly man with a southern drawl:) He is a pastor and oldest daughter is schizophrenic, so he gets what we are going through. Even though sweet and understanding, he seems to know how to handle these people he oversees and doesn’t put up with any “stuff”. The boarding house is within a two-mile radius of a large mall, all kinds of fast food eateries and grocery/drug stores. Son has been walking everywhere, so that is a good thing.

So that’s where we are. Waiting for the next shoe to drop :pensive:


#20

How old is your son Pally?