Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Mother with schizophrenia

My mother has had this for 10 years now and idk what else to do. She’s violent towards other people. You can’t talk to her about anything. Her birthday was yesterday so I called to wish her happy birthday and she wouldn’t let me talk saying she woke up at 530 yesterday evening and has been up all night saying there are people after her and she’s going to leave. She lives with her mother (my grandmother, who is in her 80s). Idk how much longer my gma with be alive and I’m worried about what is going to happen to her. What options do I have? Basically something probono. I’m 27, my middle sister is 25 with a 4 year old daughter, and our youngest is 16. We can’t help her. We try explaining she needs help. But she won’t listen. I know you can’t force someone to get help. But the only option we have is too call the police and state she is in danger to herself and others. Idk how to go about this. She is a very violent person when she has her episodes. She’s even had them in public places making a clerk cry for no reason cause she looked at her “wrong” to screaming in the grocery store. What advice can I get from this? We can’t take her in when our grandmother passes. Idk what else to do. Except see my mother go homeless. My parents are divorced and my father won’t do anything to try and help. Her brother won’t help her. Basically no one will. I don’t have the money to put her in a home/hospital to seek help. We’re worried she’ll kill herself and there would be nothing we can do to help cause we can’t afford it.

I’m so sorry. You will find plenty of people on this forum who can offer up advice from their own experiences. Keep checking back as more people read your post. Do you live in the States?

Hi Laurenmm08,

First of all, talk to your grandmother to find out if she has plans in place for your mom.

Has your mother been diagnosed by a psychiatrist?

Does your mother work at a job?

Just a little more information would be really helpful in figuring out possible options for you.

I am sorry, but am glad that you are thinking ahead. Take care, Hope

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My mom doesn’t work. She hasn’t worked in 10 years. My grandmother doesn’t know what to do she’s too old to worry or try and help her. Due to her age. My grandmother gives her money every month. She’s in denial thinking she’s fine. But we have not taken her to get diagnosed. But we are 100% sure she has it based on the symptoms and us doing research on it.

Yes we live in Texas

So from my experience, it sounds like she needs the diagnosis to move forward. When my son started continually “acting strange”, we knew something was different and after Googling endlessly, found that he was exhibiting many of the same symptoms as schizophrenia. The problem was getting a professional in the field to see the same thing and I soon found out that it wasn’t an easy thing to do.

Then came the opportunity. Someone called 911 when he consumed an extremely large amount of espresso at a Starbucks and starting tapping his head against a wall. He called me and I was on my way to pick him up when the FD called me saying they were with him - and even though he was nineteen, they still asked me what I wanted to do and I told them I had been waiting for this opportunity to get a mental evaluation, and the rest is history.

So, sometimes the quickest way to get that diagnosis is with that 72 hour hold (or 50/50 hold some states call them) where which some stabilization can occur as well. There are also the petitions through the courts, but those can get pretty lengthy I’ve heard.

I meant a 51/50 hold…I think

I agree, you need a real diagnosis to move forward with your mom.

Short version here, you can get more details after you have a diagnosis that she is disabled by schizophrenia. Once you have a diagnosis and if she doesn’t have assets (less than $2,000) she can apply for ssi and ssdi, depending upon how long she worked. If she qualifies for ssi, she will qualify for medicaid. While its not a great deal of money, she would also be eligible for section 8 housing and SNAP (food stamps)

My MIL had vascular dementia and refused all help for a couple of years. We had to wait until the dementia issues grew to be such a problem that she ran out of her house screaming one day. She believed her house was full of strangers that were refusing to leave. The police took her to an ER and they held her for a geriatric psych evaluation.

Once we had the paperwork with her diagnosis, we could apply to a judge for guardianship - that’s another route, and you might need guardianship to be able to apply for ssi if she won’t cooperate.

See that’s the problem there’s no way we can get her evaluated for anything cuz she doesn’t want to go since she thinks she’s fine. I’ve asked her multiple times to go with me to a doctor to get checked out. So the only option we have is calling the police and having her go in for psychic evaluation and for them to hold so they can watch her. We basically would tell the police she’s in danger to herself and others. Which she is. She’s put her hands on her 85 year old mom. She has threatened to kill people. She can’t drive anywhere my sisters and I would have to drive her to her errands that we take her. My sisters and I have got to the point to where we don’t want to help her anymore because every time we’re with her she has an episode in a public place. She’s screaming at people, calling people names. She yelled at a cashier and made the cashier cry. We’ve had the cops called at our house multiple times and multiple times I mean it 20 times. But when the police get there she acts totally normal and they say that there’s nothing they can do about it, unless they see it happen.

When she touches your grandmother in anything but a loving manner, you need to call the police and charge her with assault - its even more extreme when assault happens to an elderly person.

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Is there any way you can record her without being obvious about it?

I know sometimes it becomes a he said/ she said situation and their hands are tied, but multiple calls at some point become a flag something is not right. . But in any case repeated verbal threats to kill someone should be taken seriously and considered a danger to others. And maybe if there is another public episode, you could ask a third party to please call the police? Just a suggestion.
Do you have a mental health crisis team in your area? And you also could check your area on aging resources…physically threatening an elderly person is elder abuse and a criminal offense.
Sadly the way the laws regarding mental illness are structured sometimes it takes a legal problem to get medical help.

We did that. My grandmother wouldnt press charges. We had to go downtown to do it. But my grandmother couldn’t handle walking around. So she said nevermind. So We left.

Yeah I have voicemails she’s left me and my sisters. And we have recorded her.

Like I’ve said we’ve called the police. She will have her moments than once the police will show up she will act totally normal. Than the police can’t do anything about it.

Then the 85 year old mom should have called cops and pressed charges at that time. You normally cant get arrested for just words as it is “he said she said” stuff.

This is really no big deal and should be ignored… I hear it every day…

It is possible someone is over reacting to her SZ words…