Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My almost 30 year old son is sick again

Hi Everyone, My son will be 30 in July and is sick again with the paranoia and delusions. He refuses to take his medication and to face that he is sick. I took his medical marijuana away from him today, because I think is making him worse. He ran after me, to get the bag with the marjuana from me. He was shaking, crying and he looked like he was having a nervous break down, that’s how I can tell he is sick. He said some pretty nasty things to me. I wanted to hit him so bad, but I had to control myself. I know he is hurting and it breaks my heart to see him this way. I have been through this insanity before with him. I love my son very much and I don’t know, if I can see him hurting or me going through all the insanity again. I am hysterical crying. I live in Florida and the laws are different here, police officers will come out. He always calls them, because someone or some kind of organization is coming to get him. But they cannot take him to get evaluated. Because they can’t take his rights away, unless he is going to hurt himself or hurt someone else. Basically, if they don’t hear from his mouth he or anyone is in danger, then he is not a threat.
The insanity of this illness, the isolation is just to much.
I feel lifeless, empty, helpless . I told him, he needs to take his medication or leave. He doesn’t take it serious, because he knows that the police can’t come in and tell him to leave, unless I go to court. Of course, I don’t want him to leave, but maybe scare him into taking his medication.
Right, now I live in an apartment complex and if people start complaining, I will get thrown out.
So my heart is pounding and my head, knowing that today is just the beginning of the hell we will both go through.
Thank you for letting me vent.

I’m sorry you’re in this hell hole again, Lily. This is an awful disease.

If there’s any way you can repeatedly suggest to him that a hospital would be a “safe place” to go, since they keep the doors locked, then maybe he’d allow you or the police to take him there? I know it’s a stretch, but it once worked for my son.

It sounds like you’re potentially in a very unsafe living arrangement. Can you go somewhere else, or at least keep yourself behind a locked door, as much as possible?

Stay safe.

I have a similar situation with my son (he’ll be 30 in June) and he suffers with schizoaffective disorder bipolar type. I guess I’m fortunate that in Alabama we don’t have medical marijuana yet though there are bills in the legislature for just that. I see that there is a problem with the laws (civil commitment/Baker Act) about the need for imminent danger to themselves or others. As I’ve found out here, if you claim there’s a possibility of violence, they simply arrest them for domestic violence and lock them up. They do not receive any real treatment while incarcerated.
You won’t be able to scare your son into taking meds I don’t believe. My son went to jail for 150 days instead of taking his medications. Of course, he does not believe he is ill. But, I’m in a similar situation with wanting my son to leave, but I also don’t want to put him on the streets as that would likely be even worse for him.
Somehow there needs to be a change in the laws to remove the restriction for imminent danger, or to recognize that a person suffering from sza or sz is always suffering as these are incurable illnesses/disorders. I think my son’s condition has worsened over the last couple of years. And he doesn’t even realize that he’s really sick. It really shouldn’t be okay for someone to be as ill as my son - that shouldn’t be a right. Sorry, but that’s my venting and I wish you luck in your situation.

I totally agree with you, this is why so many people with mental illness end up in the streets and homeless. The baker act here, all it does is take them in the hospital and let them out the next day. The only way they can be baker acted is if they are on drugs, a threat to someone or themselves. So in my son’s case, he has called the police himself out of fear. They know him and he is in the system he called them so many times. But I asked them if they can take him to a hospital to have him evaluated, I was told they can’t do that, unless he is a threat to me, others or himself. They can’t take away his rights. I will not have my son go to jail, because like you said, he will go to jail and there is no help there for illnesses like his, which by the way my son has sza and sz, he also doesn’t think he is sick and he is getting worse. It’s rediculous that there is nothing that can be done in certain states for them to be evaluated. I know in my son’s case if they evaluated him, they would see right away he needs help. The person going through sz is suffering, this illness steals everything from them. It destroys many families. The law needs to change where caregivers can have the right to decide what the loved one needs , when they are ill and have the say so to have a loved one taken for evaluation. We need more mental hospitals, that can understand, evaluate and be able to treat accordingly.
It isn’t right that our adult child is suffering and there is not much we can do. It isn’t right. You are pretty much in the same situation I am in, because it sounds that Alabama is pretty much the same as Florida as far as laws involving mental illness.
I wish you luck and hope for changes in the system .

I have my room and I do have a lock on my door. It’s so heart breaking to see them suffer. My son is a pretty quiet and calm individual. But this illness destroys every inch of them.

My son is also almost 30. He was very non-compliant with meds when younger, but was started on clozapine about 4 years ago. He still has delusions and paranoia, but is so much more stable. He doesn’t exactly accept his diagnosis, but takes his medication every day. I think it is the first one that truly made a long-term difference for him, which has made compliance worth it. Also he gets a small daily allowance from me as incentive to stay stable. Finally, we have gone the route of group homes and other managed living centers, and I think he finally realized that staying independent is conditional on staying stable.

This is what I hope for!!! I have thought about other ways to encourage med-compliance such as paying for auto insurance on a month-to-month basis. Also, there can be a Clozapine level check at the monthly blood draw, so presuming our family member has authorized the lab to give us the results (or if we have guardianship that would be a given), we would always know if med-compliant. Now that our son has been hospital-free for 9 months…hallelujah!..our first next step is that he would get a part-time job. The carrot is that we would provide a used car.

Blood tests only test what the drug is at the time it’s drawn and will not give you info about compliance the rest of the month.

I’m not sure how old your son is but he may qualify for disability. I’m sza and cannot work but get disability

Thank you for that clarification. That makes sense. I did a little more research and it also seems to be true (in my hugely non-medical terminology) that the actual serum level can vary quite a bit at any one time depending on several factors. So a single blood draw does not necessarily indicate the exact level of med absorption.