My mum's illness


#1

My mum is mentally ill.

She lives in Israel.

I live in Sydney Australia. 20 hours and 3 flights away.

I have a wife, daughter and son. They are my life.

I tried to convince my mum to fly here, but the illness has taken its toll and she has severe anosognosia. Not surprisingly she is refusing medication. She also refuses computers and dental work.

My mum does not speak fluent Hebrew in a country that speaks it. She has scared all her friends off. She is isolated.

We try to visit once a year. Sometimes she will refuse to see me.

Our phone calls, in general, consist of her yelling at me facts of royalty and persecution.

I love her dearly, but I am lost.


#2

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.

If you google or search on youtube Xavier Amador and LEAP you can find some long videos. Since you are already aware of anosognosia I’m guessing you have done a fair amount of research into all this. If nothing else perhaps using LEAP can help make the phone calls easier to deal with. Sending love.


#3

Yes, I have read Xavier’s book. The distance makes it particularly hard to apply. Our only form of communication is phone calls and so much is lost in that format.


#4

Do you have any contacts in Isreal that can help your mother. The isolation that she experiences is really bad - it makes things worse. Isolation is bad for everyone - its extremely stressful (there is a reason its a form of torture) and it makes things worse for your mother’s condition. If you had some people close to her that could help her get out and make some friends - it would be a really good thing. Perhaps there are some organizations there that could help you - or people you could hire.

We’ve had visitors here before from Isreal - in fact I used to have a discussion forum just for them, but there were not enough to keep it active so I closed it. I would look for mental health groups in the city where your mother lives - and see if you could get an outreach worker to visit your mother occasionally. Also - we have some resources here:

http://schizophrenia.com/family/FAQgen.htm#whattodo

Anyway - thats a start. Some people visit buy medications (or get them from someone in these discussion groups - who have extra) and put them in vitamin bottle - to at least get them started on treatment. Its deceptive - but sometimes thats the only thing that works.


#5

Its sad, deceiving her seems to be the only way I could get her to agree to treatment.

In the past I had paid someone to check on my mum, ensure bills are paid and so on. Mentally ill are horribly under treated in Israel, for example, my mum city Eilat has 2 psychiatrists to service a city of 50,000 people. The public organisations “Enosh” is heavily understaffed and focuses on helping people who agree to help :frowning:

If anyone is around from Israel I would love to here some stories / advice I would love to hear.


#6

sorry to hear that, try to understand why she doesnt take pills? Is she religious? does she thinks that her disorder is sth spiritual rather than brain related? does she thinks that god is angry with her and is punishing her like what I thought? briefly try to discover what’s the philosophy behind the action of not taking pills, cause taking pills is the first step in curing S.Z., takes her to psychologist or clergyman of your religion or brings her to your residence country for a short period to persuade her taking meds. I know it’s a hard thing to do but is the only way which I know, bringing her into the game of taking meds is more important than the game itself cause after that psychiatrists know how to cope it.


#7

I am a schizophrenia. Your mother definitely need help.
Please don’t try to talk to your mother.
You must hear your mother. If she don’t talk to you.
then Look for someone who is in friendly relationship your mother.
In my experience Mother prefer daughter than son.


#8

She is convinced she is Royalty and keeps talking about wanting her mother to come and get her (my Grandmother passed away before I was born). There are tons of religious aspects to her illness, she does talk about virgin birth a lot.

She was diagnosed by a psychiatrist. She does not trust pills, she thinks people are trying to poison her. The distance makes working through these kind of issues, very very hard.

That is so hard, she used to have friends but scared them all away.


#9

I know that i’m repeating but don’t let her to be free for herself, take her to psychiatrist after psychiatrist and clergyman after clergyman and friend after friend to make her feel there is sth wrong with her or better than all of this take her to someone who she has trust on and has authority over her to persuade her to be hospitalized, this is an unknown game, you must try everything to see what of them works, for me nothing of these worked and i just admitted to take drugs after ECT, so after doing what i said consult to a psychiatrist for more professional advices and even for having an ECT for her.


#10

talk to her former friends and let them what’s going on and ask them for help, tell them that their friend is ill now and need the help.


#11

I don’t know.

But im oddly remind of “it takes two” by whomever that group was.

And once again reminded of “there aint nothin like the real thing”.


#12

I used to ask the question: Why can’t we just put his meds in his food and not tell him? I’m glad now that I have never done anything like that. It’s so much easier to lose someones trust then gain it. I would rather have my son’s trust.

It seems like your mom lives alone? Even if she wanted to take the medications, having positive symptoms and racing thoughts would get in the way of her remembering to do so.

I don’t know if trying to approach medications from a different angle might work. Take SZ out of the picture. When she is talking to you about what she is going through then try being empathetic towards the stress she is going through. Depending on the medications she has been prescribed some of them also have a mood stabilizing part to them. My son takes his medications to help him deal with anxiety. You could try asking her to try them for a couple of days and see if they help with her stress levels.


#13

I feel your pain, Sam_Saffron. My mom has similar problems. She has all the support available, but the state laws here in the U.S. are preventing us from forcing treatment on her since she won’t seek help on her own. It’s kind of horrible, because the laws in place to prevent abuse and people who don’t need treatment from being forced hospitilazation. But it would really help her if she was in a supportive environment and on medication that reduced her delusions and paranoia. She often rants about how everything was stolen from her, and how she had stocks in companies. It makes me feel very sad for her. The more she realizes you are on her side, it might help. It is better for me because I’m living at home so I can be there for her a lot.


#14

Sometimes the illness gets better over time. My mom went christmas shopping and she can still drive. She seems pretty happy right now. She started saying “I love you” and giving my brother a hug when he’s home from college. Her insight is pretty good compared to how it was when it started. She was on medication for maybe a week, but stopped taking it. She was the most insightful in years.