Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My Dad was diagnosed and I’m worried

My dad was diagnosed 4years ago and will be getting out of the mental hospital this month to come live with me and my girlfriend, she stays home throughout the day while I work and goes to work through the night, I’m scared and worried about what might happen, as I will be his caregiver. I’ve been doing a lot of research does anyone have some useful tips or guidelines I should try to follow???

I wish I could give you really great advice but there are some people on here that are far more equipped to do so than I am. I will say this… find balance. Don’t lose yourself in the every day struggle of your new normal. It’s easy to get lost in it, for their illness to become your identify. Take care of you and others you love and find time for yourself as well.

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The important thing is that he stays on meds. Find with him some hobbies, things he can do to keep occupied and engaged. He can join virtual groups for people with his condition like NAMI connect. Make sure your girlfriend understand this illness. Learn how to talk to him; the Amador book I am not Sick, is very good as are the NAMI family to family classes. Above all, and I know it’s hard, be compassionate.

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I think it would be extremely important that your girlfriend agrees and understands the situation with your father. You two need to have a plan how this could work out. What are the proper boundaries for each one of you?

All-in-all it doesn’t sound like a good idea.

Does your father get SSDI? Have you looked into group housing or some other kind of supported housing? If there is a waiting list, sign up for it now.

Check with the people where he was at to see if they have any ideas.

What specifically are you scared of? That one or both of you wouldn’t be able to handle things? Schizophrenia usually starts in young adulthood before 25. Was this his first episode? Could he have gone undiagnosed for a long time? Four years is an awfully long time to be hospitalized, was he in the hospital this whole time? If not, where was he? What other family and support does he and you and your girlfriend have?