Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My mother is a diagnosed schizophrenic

My mother is a diagnosed schizophrenic. I’m now her only caregiver and sometimes I feel like she’s draining my life.
She lives at home with me and since my grandfather died (who took us in and cared for her when I was a child) I had to forgo my career plans, friends, and never mind any romantic relationships.
She has legitimate psychotic breaks (and had to be institutionalized several times over the years) but sometimes I think she fakes some of them just to punish me or to get her way.
She often threatens me of having a psychotic break if I don’t do or act exactly as she wants. Is that common? I mean is that a symptom of the disease or is it her personality? I can’t help but feeling manipulated most of the time.
And it tears me apart because she’s my mother, she’s supposed to love me, and I’ve sacrificed so much for her.
And are people suffering from sc so out of tune with other people’s feelings? She can be so cruel and malicious sometimes and other times (I call them the placid times) so harmless.
First timer and I hope I could get something across for English is not my first language.

1 Like

I’m sorry that you’re going through this, it must be unbelievably difficult. It is important to take care of yourself and maintain boundaries. You should not be giving up your entire life because your mother is ill. Is she medicated? Whatever the reasons, illness or not, your mother seems to be manipulating you, and it sounds like you are suffering because of it. I think others on this site can give you some tips as to how to maintain boundaries, but you should definitely get connected to NAMI and read the book “surviving schizophrenia”. It is vital that you take care of yourself.


Thank you so much for your kind words. Sometimes it feels like it is an impossible task, and a lonely one too.
Just bought the book you recommended. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in this.
In my culture we don’t talk about metal illnesses, most families just hide them.
Oh, and yes she’s medicated, she’s been medicated since I was 10 years old, but nothing seems to work on her.
Boundaries: I should definently work on that. As hard as it may be.
Thank you. It meant a lot. Today was particularly difficult.

1 Like

I am glad you decided to share on this Forum. We listen and learn from each other. I totally agree with @mouse comments above. Also, the fact that your mom is taking meds is huge. Many of us on this Forum have loved ones who don’t or won’t. I encourage you to work with her doctor to investigate another medication or combination of meds that work better for her. Clozapine is one that is often overlooked but works wonderfully for many people. There are posts on this Forum about clozapine and other meds. I wish you the best.


I’m the one who is glad to have found this forum. I don’t know anyone who has to deal with a similar problem. So to have found this space to talk about it is very comforting.
She’s been through Clozapine and a lot of different meds. She’s now on Risperidone (6 mg) for 5 years or so.
You’re so right about the meds thing not being a problem. Only realized it now that I took that for granted. Yes, it could be so much worse.

1 Like

Have you noticed there have recently been TV ads for medications that treat SZ? I think this just affirms how common SZ actually is. There will eventually be less stigma around mental illnesses. We are already seeing less stigma around bipolar disorder. The more we learn about the illness…really seeking knowledge beyond our lived experiences…and the more people learn how to treat the illness and how to help persons with SZ, even those who can’t see themselves as sick, the more advocacy work that is done by organizations like NAMI, Treatment Advocacy Center, Healing Minds NOLA, Mental Health America, and many more, the more help and less stigma there will be. There is much work to be done!