Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Mom with Schizophrenia -- NEED ADVICE ASAP


#1

So my story is a little long, but I’m so desperate and I really hope somebody will read all of this and be able to give me any sort of advice or steps of what to do next. Thank you to anyone that takes time to do that.

Anyway, so I kind of have to back track to when this started. About a year ago my mom joined this church. She was doing very well in this church, made friends, found healing in it, etc. However, she got very obsessive and began going almost everyday, praying for hours, and so on. We started to notice a lot of changes in her behavior and things she would talk about. I can’t really remember specifics thinking back, but I remember talking with my sister and close friends with my concern. That she was acting very abnormal and I felt uncomfortable around her. My mom and my dad were having marriage troubles as well.

About two months ago my mom was at church and apparently had a huge mental breakdown right in the middle of church. She collapsed and started going on about how my baby sister (who died 4 years ago) and her father (who died 3 years ago) were still alive, and I guess saying lots of things. She was brought to a hospital, my mom refused to get cat scans and the hospital just released her, no evaluation, nothing. While she was back home that evening is when she first started showing real signs that something was wrong. She kept saying people were talking in numbers and the next morning I heard her in her room talking about people trying to control her (I don’t know who she was talking to). I remember her crying all day and running around the house saying “no, no, no.” At this point, she went to pick up my brother from school and started talking to him about how she thinks her life is an experiment and a movie and speaking in jibberish about movies and her life.

Later that evening, she called a friend, told her there was a pain in her head and that friend called an ambulance for her. At this point, after this she was transferred to a mental hospital. She refused to take the medicine that was prescribed to her and really hated the place that she was in. She was never given a full evaluation there and was only “pre” diagnosed with schizophrenia. Whatever that really means. Anyway, she was released, had her car, and stayed in a hotel BY HERSELF, and the next morning was threatening suicide to a friend. This friend called my sister and my sister called the police. She was taken to a hospital, and again brought back to the SAME MENTAL INSTITUTION AS BEFORE involuntarily. This place has never given us any information, and when my sister and I would drop off clothes or visit, my mom would carry on about stories about this place, not sure what were true and what weren’t, but this place sounded horrible. It broke my heart seeing my mom in there and nobody was allowed to tell us what was even going on.

So anyway, after about a week of being in this place again, at around 7 pm one night, a cab pulled up to my house. In the cab was my mom, just being dropped off. And mind you, she doesn’t trust anyone anymore especially my dad. So she was SCREAMING, and I mean screaming her head off and refusing to get out of the cab and cussing at my dad. And meanwhile we are all just like what the hell when/why was she released? NOBODY told us she was released. Just dropped off at our door (a place she didn’t want to be). I tried calling the place trying to get in touch with anyone who could help or explain what was happening. Nobody helped me, they just repeated back all my questions. I ended up screaming and cussing at them for being the most unhelpful people on the planet.

So my mom really refused to come inside, and I sat with her outside trying to calm her down, and I got a hold of one of her friends. She agreed to let my mom stay with her. We tried to explain that my mom has been having a lot of delusions in the past, that she thinks her life is a made up movie (kind of like the movie The Truman Show). Her friend simply says, “your mother is just having a nervous breakdown, she just needs love and quiet.” Of course I agreed with this because all the hospitals and mental health places are scary, maybe she just needs to be calm and then we can figure out how to get her help.

The first couple days went by, “oh your mother is doing great she is so calm and herself!” Then after awhile is when things started to take a turn. My mom started talking about her delusions and her friend was finally like there is definitely something wrong, she needs help. My mom accused her of being brought to her house to relive her childhood. So, her friend said that she cannot help my mom and that she needed to be out of the house by today. (the 25th)

When I went to visit my mom on Wednesday is when my heart broke the most. She was so thin, and she proceeded to tell me that everyone in the whole town knows who she is. She would go on hours upon hours of long walks and say that everyone watches her. Every time I tried to tell her no mom that’s not true she would say “Just go off script for one second.” She thought I was an actor reading from a script. She kept saying, “I know that you’re behind this too, it’s okay.” She went on to say how she knows there are cameras in the house and how this whole thing is taking a toll on her. She thinks her life is a part of a “game” and she kept saying that she wants it to stop. She kept telling me how alone she felt and how she wanted it all to go away.

Yesterday she called me though. She left a voicemail saying for me to call her because she doesn’t trust texts. During the phone call she thought it was being recorded and about how she thinks money is involved and people are placing bets on her. There are so many things, even just little things that scared me what she thought. She had so many delusions I can’t even remember them all. She didn’t trust anyone but me or my brother and kind of my sister.

Today early in the morning she called saying that her friend asked her when she was leaving and my mom flipped out. She needed someone to pick her up. My sister had to go to work and I did not feel comfortable being alone and driving her. Also where was I supposed to take her? So my dad (who my mom trusts the least) went to the house. My mom freaked out and the cops were called and she hit the cop. She is currently waiting to meet with the commissioner to figure out what to do. I went down there and told them that my mom is very sick and that she needs to be transferred to a hospital to be properly evaluated and taken care of. But they don’t seem to take this seriously.

They could possibly just release her on the sidewalk and she would have no where to go. What should i do in this situation? On monday I am going to request a mental health evaluation but what if they refuse? Why is it so hard for my family to get my mom the help she needs? It’s so frustrating because shes so paranoid and doesn’t believe anything we say is real that she refuses any kind of help. It’s good that she got arrested so they can see that there is something wrong, but the commissioner told me that if my mom walks in and pretends to act okay, then there is nothing they can do? This is so out of my league here and I’m only 22 and my dad is in complete denial about the situation. I am not equipped to handle this and it’s so hard to get her in the hands of the people who can. Sorry this was so long I just wanted to explain the incompetence we have been dealing with in the past and how my mom’s illness has just been getting worse and worse with each passing day that she doesn’t receive help. Thank you so much to whoever reads this.


#2

Hi. Just wanted to welcome you. I have no answers to you. I hope she will get help for her problems. One thing very common is that we don’t trust meds. See if she can get injections instead if that happens.


#3

It sounds to me like your mom should be on psychotropic medications. They can make a huge difference. If you don’t think she will remember to take them, you can give them to her in a time released shot. If you’re in the US the criteria for getting her involuntarily committed is that she must be a danger to herself or others. That can be interpreted in different ways. The fact that she hit a policeman could indicate that she fits this criteria. Dealing with mental illness can be extremely exasperating. To the mentally ill person it seems like she is rational and it is others who are being unreasonable. They now have med’s that are milder than the traditional ones, so, with a little trial and error, your mother shouldn’t be miserable on her med’s. It just might take a little time to find the best ones for her.


#4

Hi @mjenks. Where to start… I’m sorry you find yourself needing this kind of advice at the young age of 22.

In order to be officially diagnosed with schizophrenia the person needs to have experienced certain symptoms for a period of time. I’m guessing that your mom has the symptoms however hasn’t had them long enough so that may explain the ‘pre’ diagnoses. This link may help:

http://www.dnalc.org/view/899-DSM-IV-Criteria-for-Schizophrenia.html

When it comes to not being able to get information regarding your mom’s care, understanding privacy laws may help. If you are in US then this posts explains HIPAA. Getting your mom to sign releases allowing you or someone she feels she can trust, access to her files can help a lot.

http://forum.schizophrenia.com/t/hipaa-at-a-glance-us/2298?u=barbiebf

This may help you to understand why your mom can’t see that she needs help:

http://forum.schizophrenia.com/t/anosognosia-article/12157?u=barbiebf

Please look at these sites:
http://www.leapinstitute.org/ - under resources are free videos on using LEAP
LEAP is a way of communicating to build trust. Listen-Empathize-Agree-Partner.

http://dramador.com/ - Dr. Xavier Amador is a clinical psychologist whose brother had schizophrenia. He is the founder of the LEAP Institute. Wrote the book: I’m Not Sick I Don’t Need Help! Can buy from his website.
Search Xavier Amador and LEAP on youtube.com and you should find some long videos

http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/index.php - under problems you will see anosognosia
Anosognosia looks like denial but is different.

http://lesswrong.com/lw/e25/bayes_for_schizophrenics_reasoning_in_delusional/ - helped my understand delusions

http://www.nami.org/ - National Alliance on Mental Illness.
http://www.schizophrenia.ca/ - Schizophrenia Society of Canada

Can also find some very useful information here:
http://schizophrenia.com/

Early Psychosis Treatment center information in these two links
http://www.schizophrenia.com/earlypsychosis.htm
http://www.raiseetp.org/sites/
http://psychosisprevention.org/get-involved/education-center/finding-treatment/

Psychiatric Treatment Centers affiliated with Medical Schools in the USA
http://www.schizophrenia.com/psychcenters.htm

Sorry I know that I probably overwhelmed you with all the above links.


#5

All these links are amazing thank you so much! And I am in the US so the HIPAA laws do apply. My states laws also makes it worse. I have to wait until Monday just to request a petition so she can be fully evaluated. And since she’s had ongoing symptoms for about 2 months now, they would be able to diagnose her. But seriously thank you for these links!


#6

She was prescribed a medication, I’m not sure what, but she refused to take it. Medication is definitely needed now because she’s gotten violent and has no grasp on reality. Do you know of better ways to convince her to take the medication? It’s not a matter of remembering to take it, she doesn’t think she needs it/doesn’t trust it. Which sucks because I know it would make all the difference. Thank you so much for responding.


#7

What are the rules on injections? Like when/under what circumstances are they allowed to do it?


#8

Same with any medication, no one can force your mom to take it unless it’s with an AOT or Assisted Outpatient Treatment order. I think that’s what it is called in the US. Here in Canada they are CTO’s or Community Treatment Orders. Sometimes the injections help because they help with stability over a period of time and help to keep the person medication compliant. Having to take pills every day for something you don’t believe you have can be very hard on the person. Having an injection once a month or however long it is may help with that. I think without the order your mom would have to agree to it.

Sometimes talking about medications from a different point of view can help. My son and I would usually discuss his meds (he called them pills) in terms of anxiety relief. They helped him deal with anxiety which we both could agree that he had problems with.


#9

I am very sorry to hear about your situation but hang in there. I hope soon you will be able to land her in safe hands. She obviously has paranoid psychosis at this time they can’t diagnose her with schizophrenia until she meets some criteria. The neurotic nature at this point is very stressing but once she receives the right combination of drugs she will be ok. I stress that she must obey with her medication once she starts with them. Eventually she will accept to take the meds just to assure you she’s ok and get herself out of the situation but I strongly recommend that she be on injections to assure she is receiving the treatment because when she let go of meds she will relapse and have a complete new episode that might be worse. With the meds she will be fine. Again I’m so sorry you have to endure this at this age. I hope you come across a good psychiatrist to monitor your mother’s progress and recommend actions. Keep well dear.


#10

sending hugs of comfort for you…try to hang in there


#11

I know from personal experience they can forcibly give you medication. There are a few anti-psych med’s that can be given as a time release shot. I’ve been on a couple of them - Prolixin and Haldol. I think they’re working on a Geodon time release shot. If she got one of these shots maybe she would see that she’s been totally irrational and understand that she needs to take medication.


#12

I’m not sure. I’ve been forcibly given injections when I was just a little out of control. They didn’t maul me or anything. Several people held me down while they gave me a shot and then they left me alone.