Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My son has walked 6 hours away from family and friends


My son was diagnosed as bipolar rapid cycling at 22, then schizoaffective 5 years later, now schizophrenia. He has anosognosia and won’t take his meds and thinks we all have the problem. He hears voices, paranoid (stuffed toilets with t shirts to keep out predators)and has taken refuge 6 hours away in a hotel where he now resides. He left one morning and said he was getting a breakfast sandwich and never came back. He first lived out on the roadside, has a shopping cart in his room with all his belongings. He gets disability and the nice hotel owner is giving him a discount rate. Winter is coming and I fear for his well being as he walks everywhere with his cart, eats once a day. I understand why he left…he has no control, everyone around him is in denial so they don’t help, his friends do substances (he doesn’t drink or take drugs) and two of his mentors are no longer here. I tried to get home health in to help him but he wont take the help. He wont answer his phone, or talk with family. Truly we want him to stay put, have a life, but in a more stable environment as the hotel cant watch over him. He is unable to pay his bills, and do activities of daily living. He wants his freedom…but still needs help. He is now 34. I haven’t heard from him in 2 months. I am flying to his town to see if he will again talk with me. What I want to know is how you would handle this situation…he literally wont talk to anyone taking meds…even a blood pressure pill (which I take). He is polite and nice to the hotel. I need signatures to handle his bills, taxes etc. Any suggestions would be helpful. How have others helped their children from afar?


Hi Rose,

You sounds like you’ve read a lot since you already know about anosognosia. Have you read the book by Xavier Amador on this issue? Have you watched his videos? See below.

I know its a really difficult situation and my heart goes out to you and your family. Its made doubly hard by the fact that you don’t live close to him. Is there a local NAMI (or Schizophrenia Society of Canada, if you live in Canada) that you can talk to - in his area, to find out about resources that might be available to him? Perhaps you could get him into a group home or other treatment center close to where he lives now?

Do you have any friends or family that live close to where he is living now? Can they help at all?

Would he see a therapist to help him - one skilled in dealing with schizophrenia? Perhaps there is something close to the city where he lives. If you can get him talking to a skilled psychotherapist as a first step - perhaps that could lead to eventually getting him help with medications.