Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Looking for a support group for the first time

My mom has struggled on and off with psychosis for the past 12 years (I’m in my mid-20s). She is a single mom and we don’t live close to other family so I’ve kind of been her main caregiver. She does fairly well when she is on medication but every few years she goes through a period of refusing to take it which is incredibly difficult. This just started happening again recently and I feel like I can’t deal with this on my own anymore. I spoke to a counsellor recently who told me I should try to find other family members/caregivers that I can connect with and get support from which I’ve never done before so I am looking forward to being part of this forum community. The counsellor also said with covid going on, there might be some virtual support groups going on, so if anyone knows of any, I guess let me know. I don’t live in a huge city so not many local schizophrenia resources here.

Hey throwawayheal, so glad you found us, so sorry you had too. This is an excellent forum for questions, exchange of information and resources. Sometimes just being able to vent in a place where others won’t judge and certainly understand the struggle that is the reality of life with a loved one with a MI. (If you haven’t lived it, you just don’t know.) Sometimes it’s advice we share, sometimes it just support in the hard times. Great group of contributors from all over the world, different backgrounds, different cultures and belief systems, many walks of life here. One thing we all have in common is that we have a loved one with a severe Mental Illness. My suggestion is to take some time reading through the older threads and posts. Tons of sharing of thoughts and great resources and info is here.
Sounds to me like you’ve already started the healthiest way any of us could: talked to a counselor and sought out support for yourself. You’ll find it’s a strong recurring theme. Reminding ourselves and each other to do what we need to do to nurture and care for ourselves first. We are no good to anybody if we aren’t good to ourselves first. It takes strength to live it and not lose ourselves, it takes dedication to survive it.
Again, reading through the forum you might find threads that’s speak to or cover a topic that is pertinent and important to you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
We all found our way here too!

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Welcome @throwaway_heal, I’m sorry you’re in such a position that you need us, but welcome! Wisdom is right, there are many here who stumbled across this group but its been a welcome relief to me and many of the others, I’m sure.

There is probably nothing you can say that someone in this group hasn’t been through before. I can only imagine what its like to have to deal with one’s own mother but I’ve dealt with other family members since my early 20s, when I didn’t know a thing about mental illness. Its been a long time and just having someone “out there” who understands what I’m going through is a welcomed support.

Take care and please check in from time to time. We honestly like to hear how YOU are doing. Be blessed! :palm_tree:

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@throwaway_heal, welcome to the forum. You are probably my son’s age who has sza disorder. I’m sorry that you are going through tough times with your mom’s illness. This forum is great support. We lean on one another when the going gets tough. There’s tons of good advice on resources, treatments and son. Keep faith. And take good care of yourself and believe that your mom will be better with the right treatment. It’s great that you are talking to someone to help you through this. Hang in there!

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@throwaway_heal See my post:

It sounds great, if the person will agree to go to it. It’s free, I think.

I’ve heard that peer/group supports aren’t always helpful with people with psychosis because they can’t recognize illness in themselves but can identify it in other folks (and basically feel like a sane person thrown in with a group of “crazy people.”) Maybe others have had a different experience?

Right. I think for someone to attend a support group in the first place they wouldn’t be able to have anosognosia. This article says “57 to 98 percent of patients” with schizophrenia have it: Anosognosia in Schizophrenia: Hidden in Plain Sight.

Anosognosia might not be all-or-nothing. Maybe if someone has some insight they might get something out of a peer-to-peer group.

You would think that with such a huge rate, the medical field would have figured out better ways to help with this symptom. Of course, medication usually helps and I’ve looked into the LEAP method but even that is not well-known from what I’ve read, and to be honest, I just haven’t been very successful with it.