Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My son breaking things

My son, who I’ve posted about before, gets very angry when my husband and I go away. We come home to broken TV’s, smashed phone, holes in walls, etc. He admits he gets angry, I guess because we leave him. He is 28, dx schitzophrenia, and won’t take meds. It’s so frustrating , as we are retired and want to travel some. I’ve tried to get him to go talk to someone about anger management, but he won’t. Another thing is he has a headmate that is his girlfriend…he collects stuff for her, like my pink apron, daughters clothes. Recently he ordered a pair of toddler girl sneakers… He really needs to be hospitalized… but he hasn’t “hurt himself or others” . So tired of this…

The hands down best way is to build him apartment in your back yard or a used RV in the back, lock up when you leave…

Have you read about LEAP and tried it? You can read about it at and read the related book “I Am Not Sick; I Don’t Need Help”. Have you ever gone to a support group such as NAMI or at least looked at their website There is lots of information available to us to help our loved ones with SZ. It is not easy, I know. Persons with SZ who do not take meds are usually unable to realize that they are sick. Logical reasoning for them to take meds does not work. You have to use another strategy or get them involuntarily committed long enough to get on the right med where they can possibly start gaining insight. Has he ever been hospitalized? There may come a time when he is “a danger to himself or others” and you have to be ready for that. Do you have a written history of his mental illness to help PROVE that he needs to be hospitalized and kept more than 48 or 72 hours?

I always feel so sad for people going thru this.

Will your son get on SSI? How do you feel about becoming a guardian of him? I think becoming my son’s guardian was the best decision for both of us. He was too sick at the time that he didn’t really track what was going on, later he had some resentment, but I shudder to think what would have happened in the past few years if he hadn’t had me fighting hard to get to treatment that worked for him. Now I think he understands that he can rely on me to make some important decisions for him with his best interest in mind.

I have not had my son live with me for some time. I was fortunate to be able to purchase a place that he can “rent” from me (using SSI money). He did some damage there, it was stressful, but not nearly as bad as it would have been when if he had lived with me. I am there almost daily, but on the whole our interactions are now positive. And I am planning a week-long vacation later this month! Last year was the first time in a while I had been able to do that, I was quite anxious about it, but he did quite well.

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He actually does live in a rental we have. An older mobile home. He comes over to our place because of better amenities :thinking:, when we are gone. I think we are going to stop this and put a security system in. He does get SSI. We are not guardians though. We charge him rent. Not much though. His place is a wreck . Any change puts him in a tizzy. So frustrating, if only he would take meds.

Yes, we go to NAMI meetings. I have heard of LEAP, but need to review it. He tried to purchase a hand gun the other day. Luckily he didn’t have 2 forms of ID as he lost his passport. My husband went back and told the store of his history. The guy said he would never pass the background test as he’s been in institutions. He desperately needs to be in hospital, but " until he harms himself or others " there’s not much we can do. I am away now with my daughter who had major surgery. Me being away has thrown his world into pieces also. Hate this disease.

I understand your frustration with the system re: involuntary commitment. I write my elected officials when there is a key vote that affects persons with SMI coming up. (NAMI makes it easy with links to form letters you can customize if you are getting their newsletters.)

I’m glad you can be with your daughter. I expect she is glad to have you close and I hope her surgery went well. Our “other” children need us, too!

Yes, try LEAP. It is a start and hope, even if it happens in baby steps and it really doesn’t cost anything except our time and intentional commitment to use it (and cost to order the book).

I totally understand how frustrating this is, my son does the same things if we try to enforce rules or just because. He has does horrible things as well, burned holes in our clothes, keyed and flattened tires, and just little things as well, things that make you think, hmmm, like taking cards out of the deck. My son thinks he has 10 girlfriends and needs to pay child support. Now he claims he is a god has been since birth.

I agree about the hospitalizations, and not being able to get him admitted. so frustrating as we as family know when they are in crisis.

Yes. … there’s no good answers. I probably could push my son very easily to become " a threat to himself or others" then call 911. Just unreal to have to do this. Do you have guardianship over your son?

I have read of people doing this (using/creating a situation to enhance the appearance of “harm to self or others”). I wouldn’t blame you. Even with a guardianship, I don’t think it matters about involuntary commitment, unless that varies by state?


I am totally in the same situation with my son, who is 22. Will not take his meds. He tends to burn things with ciggs when he is made. He tells me he has 10 children. talks to himself 24 hours a day.

I know he needs to be in the hospital but was told he was baseline. How bad does it have to get !

A support group might be able to help you with this. There are no easy answers but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things we can be ready to try. I know it is hard.

Some thoughts I’ll throw out…How does your son get cigs? When you “try to enforce the rules”, it won’t work unless you can, are prepared to, and do enforce them. Are there other incentives you could offer, or things you could withhold (non life threatening things, however, you do not even HAVE to let a person who is abusing you or your home to live with you).

Also, even with persons who refuse medication, don’t give up on the possibility that one day the person might agree to it. (I just read about that happening on another post on this Forum!) :slight_smile: I still go back to LEAP, although initially it might be to partner with something that is not meds. My friend likes to say “This is a marathon, not a sprint” and I know you know that.:frowning: