Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Mentally Ill Parents and Schizophrenic mom... what do i do?

Im feeling quite stuck as if I can see the end of the tunnel but my legs are trapped in quicksand.
My mom is unmedicated schizophrenic. She used to be on medication couple years back and stopped taking them(it was homeopathic). She went back to her birth country and sought treatment there and she was doing fine till now. My family isn’t functional and we lack communication, but its definitely better than it was before.

From time to time, she would have the occasional episode of being paranoid that people or (my sister in laws) are doing black magic and are causing her pain (throwing insects and rats at her, when really its just a unkept house) and trying to… kill her. Now, its getting more intense and shes relapsed into this thought and doesn’t stop praying and she sprays holy water to protect herself. I don’t know what to do nor does my family and im really stressed out because I feel stuck.

My siblings have tried telling her she needs to go to the therapist( we did before) and she doesn’t trust him at all and she is downright refusing help. Just the mention or thought of it makes her get extremely agitated and scary. She is getting worse and she barely has any human contact, none of her family is speaking with her because of the troubles shes caused, she has limited contact with my older siblings since shes threatened and is paranoid by their spouses and the younger rest have had that argument with her too. I try and talk to her and support her, but shes so draining to be around I feel physically sick. So I limit my exposure even though shes my mom; I feel like im getting sucked in if I do. As for my dad, hes in the same boat too and he prays but he can somewhat function.

I cant seem to find a solution. Im angry and so confused. Why does everyone seem like this is the new normal? Theres a difference between accepting what is and accepting it and doing something about it. Ive been discouraged to not speak to my mom because of how volatile she can be towards me.

Im a young adult, I go to school and I work at the same time but its just a million times harder when home life is something I try and get away from. Im doing the best I can to go to therapy and heal myself, its like a punch in the stomach coming back to the same place where your wounds were given.

Ive made a few good friends along the way and strengthened some family ties but sometimes It doesn’t always feel like enough. I just want my parents to get help.

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There are no easy solutions to treating schizophrenia and especially not for getting help for persons who cannot realize that they need help due to the nature of the illness itself. The best advice I can give you is to learn all you can about serious mental illness, find support such as through the National Alliance on Mental Illness (, and take care of yourself. There are helpful suggestions throughout this Forum, also, along with a lot of sharing out of desperation. But there is hope if you are diligent to seek solutions and are willing to listen and learn.

Taken down I think I was misunderstood

Hi Annie,
Can you live somewhere else? Definitely see your therapist and join a support group of “children of a person living with severe and persistent mental illness” or family group in your area where you live to learn how others have coped with someone who is untreated. As mentioned NAMI groups are excellent. We have them in Canada.

Oh Annie, I’m so sorry to hear about your Mom - SZ is always difficult to deal with but this is something you’ll be learning about on the fly instead of having your parents to lean on. Learn how things work in your area. In my city, we have to call the police (9-1-1) when our loved ones are either a danger to themselves or to others and they are taken to a CSU (Crisis Stabilization Unit) which may or may not be part of a hospital. You probably know what kind of insurance your Mom is covered by because that may make a difference as to where she is taken under either the Baker Act or an ex-parte order. They will want (or at least our CSUs do) to keep her the minimum. Bug the crap out of them to make sure she gets the help she needs and that they don’t automatically release her after 72 hours - its a breeze for them to get an extension if they’ll do it. If she will sign a HIPPA release when she goes in, you will be able to visit her and talk with the doctors. This is a lot on your plate but “it is what it is.” Your Mom probably won’t be able to deal rationally with her problem but there are also teams in place (paid by the state) to actually visit the patients at home, make sure they take their meds, bring the doctor with them, etc. If you’re comfortable in telling us what city/state you’re in, I will try to locate some resources that might apply to your situation. You might also check with your City resources and see if you can find the department that handles the ex-parte orders - they may have some information specific to your area. Best wishes and hang in there!


And @annie_nasah Don’t forget that you can private message between individuals if you want to keep things more confidential than what is public on this site. Just use appropriate safety protocols when private messaging anyone.

Hello Bloom,

As of right now, I cant live somewhere else. I feel like my older siblings who are married don’t have enough space and its just confusing waters to navigate. I have 3 older siblings who live at home with my parents too and I don’t get why they haven’t left; I know they’re stuck too but its as if moving out isn’t in the solution. Im just trying to save up money so then I can move out. Currently im attending univ. so most of the money goes to that.

Thank you for the advice. I will ask my therapist about the groups.

Annie, I think there Is an offspring forum here on this site but can’t find it. You are one of many people who have a parent with mental illness. So sorry she is untreated and you have to deal with that. Do you have an aunt or uncle you could stay with?

My daughter at 16 to 17 yrs old had to deal with her brother suddenly developing schizophrenia and her dad being diagnosed as bipolar and being non functioning too. Her brother was hospitalized for those 2 yrs and she lived with me not her dad. She loved her dad who was a kind and gentle soul.

I encouraged her to continue to enjoy her life and not worry about her brother and her dad. I told her to go and live with her friend in another city while she went to university and that she did not need to buy her dad food or otherwise take care of him. He was an adult and there were lots of services out there to help him. Her job was to enjoy her life with whatever that entails with being 18 and she did.

I found these books online and although they are meant for younger people than you, you still may benefit from the information. The last link is for a support program for youth and if you could find that where you live it would be ideal. This one is in Canada.

Children of Parents with a Mental Illness