My son has gone off meds and is now homeless

My 30 yo son was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, he has gone off his meds for about 2 years and now he is homeless. Having to watch his decision to live without medication has been the most heartbreaking experience of my life, and I don’t know what to do anymore. His mental health is getting worse day by day. Any thoughts on how to handle the situation?


I am so sorry that you are going through this situation. It is heartbreaking, but it sounds as if he may have to reach the point of needing hospitalization before he will agree to take meds once again. If that happens, he might, having returned to lucidity, be persuaded to consider a psychiatric advance directive that would take into account various scenarios, stipulating what to do should they occur.

What astounds about the case cited below is the apparent disregard of the sufferer’s wife for their daughter’s safety. No one should be compelled to defer to a loved one’s wishes to the extent of putting themselves or others in harm’s way.

I am so sorry @Leahh that you feel hopeless about helping your son. It is so hard to watch when our adult children with severe mental illness make bad choices. I’m afraid there isn’t a lot you can do unless he is willing to accept help. Does he live near you or far away?

@frustratedinlaw I clicked on your like, but it didn’t go to a story. I agree that sometimes one just has to wait for the right time to intervene. I had to wait until a totally accidental happening happened to get my daughter arrested outside of our home. When I went to court, the judge was sympathetic to me, and ordered her onto meds. That saved us from the horrible psychosis, as she is still on meds and doing well now, almost 3 years later.


We have the same problem. Fifty year old son off meds and psychotic. Lives alone but building wants him out. He is verbally abusive. We feel helpless.

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@stp Welcome to the site. I hope you find it supportive. It is a good thing that the laws protecting tenants from eviction are there in most states, and are good. Hopefully the building people will not be able to evict your son. I do understand how helpless you feel when your adult son went off meds and back into psychosis. It is a very hard battle we are all fighting against sz in our loved ones. I wish you the best. Do come back to this site to read and post and hopefully find steps you can take to make improvements in your life and your son’s life.

Thanks so much for the welcome and understanding. We feel a sense of urgency given our advanced ages and worry what will become of him when we’re gone. We have a special needs trust but really no understanding of how they work. There will not be any family to supervise him when we’re gone. So tragic.


Hi Im frustrated too. My 27 year old son refuses medication and help and is living in his car. My heart is breaking.

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@stp The thing about this site is that you should find welcome and understanding here. Many people are struggling as you are, or have been through the struggle in the past and no longer come here, but their words are still valid today to others.

Worry about homelessness for our loved ones is very great among caregivers. The needs of the severely mentally ill are high, and places to get help are often understaffed, underfunded, or missing altogether.

I found a lawyer who did pro bono (free) work for me by being honest and upfront when I called for an appointment that I had little to pay. Having a plan in place brought me much peace, as it was a plan for the best I could do. The fear that not all will work out as I want after I am gone is still there, but at least I have set in place what I could for her.

As we grow older, we find that life becomes more and more full of sadness, or at least that is how I see it. Friends and relatives getting ill, savings disappearing, businesses folding, etc. It is hard to accept and bear sometimes. A person can only do what is possible for them to do, as you have done so far.

@cmac1970 I am so sorry your son has refused medication. That is very very common among those with severe mental illness. There is a book by Dr. Amador “I’m not Sick, I don’t Need Help” that helped me a lot to understand and gave a method to communicate better with my daughter when her mind was almost unreachable to me. It is almost like a person can’t see their own condition at all, so they feel there is nothing to treat.

Welcome to this community. I a sorry and sad for the reason you are here, but you are very welcome to come here to read, learn and feel like you are not alone in your heartbreak.