Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My son is coming and I'm scared

My son is driving across the country to be here. He has been living far away and this will be the first time he has seen his extended family since getting sick. I flew out to see him and felt like I escaped with my life in the middle of the night and flew back home. Crying the whole way home.
We were always good friends and we still are but with lots more boundaries.
I don’t know if I have the strength to see him again and the painfull reality that is his life as a Paranoid schizophrenic
I’ve been reading the book " I’m not sick and I don’t need help"
The book has helped me to just listen to his fears.
The way I deal with stuff is by living in the moment as much as possible and not let my future fears get a hold of me. So I know I will be able to deal with this but I know you guys have dealt with this before and is there anything I should do to prepare myself for this? He will be here in a few days. I want to make his life better in anyway I can.
He is so strong to be able to deal with this. We are strong. If you have any words of advice, any wisdom, anything I should look for, I would really appreciate your help.
Trying to be peaceful about this and be strong. Trying to remember to breathe.
Omg I hate to be afraid of my own son!

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OMG, Well, your age and ability to handle this will help dictate what to do. Once you let him in to stay, the only way you can legally remove him is though an eviction order which is a long pain in the ass. You can allow a visit but when you tell him to leave the cops might be required. DO NOT hesitate to call cops if he is a danger to himself or others.


I agree. My mom had to call the police on my brother. She said it was the hardest thing she’d ever done. But it turned out for the best. The police were really understanding and sympathetic. They helped my brother get help. It sounds like you’re going through what I call “the bomb”. A loved one goes insane, and it just explodes everywhere, damaging everyone. You have to realize, your son is not the only victim. You are too. When a loved one goes insane, everyone kinda does.


Is your son unmedicated?

Be calm, smile gently when you talk, if they are having trouble hearing you due to loud voices, the smile communicates for you.

My son suffers from schizophrenia with a heavy dose of paranoia. Don’t look him in the eyes, it can scare him, look to the side of his head. Keep your body turned sideways - its less threatening- and don’t get too close to him, you don’t want to crowd his space.

Do you have a lock on your bedroom door as Dr Amador recommends, and a dog that could sleep in your room with you?


And be respectful. Sometimes I have to remember when my son wants me to do something, to just do what he has asked.

Like if he asks me to feed his cats, I don’t rearrange his cupboards. If I clean something, which he appreciates, I make sure I put everything back in the same place.


I think you’ll be okay. Are you more worried about other family members and how they will react to him? My son isn’t schizophrenic, but has traumatic brain injury and a cyst on his brain and he’s fixated on the goverment. He barely talks about anything else. Nobody wants to hear it. Everyone tries to give him advice and tell him what’s best for him. They only make the situation much worse. If you can, keep their interactions with him short. They don’t get it and they probably never will.


@Knows3939 Has your son arrived? How is it going?

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My son has been here for 3 days and he was tackled and arrested by the police for disorderly conduct and has the next day (yesterday) was sentenced to 15 days. I’m scared for him with his delusions in jail. I am wondering if I can help him to get treatment now? I am about to call the social worker of the jail, to see if there is any help. (So far they say he is faking to me and they don’t see whats wrong with him) Thank you so much for asking and for being here on this site,

OMG, not the best way to start out for him, what state do you live? My wife served 30 days in county facility for trying to kill a couple cops with her bare hands. LOL, they released her when they figured out that nothing could be done for her…

Oh crap, you have some clueless people dealing with him. I wrote idiots and to be politically correct deleted it.

You have to talk to the social worker, the prosecutor and the judge if possible. This is an opportunity to get the judge to sentence him for treatment. Do you have any paperwork on him at all to prove he is sick?

If you don’t mind asking, what state are you located in?

Ugh. Cannot believe the police think he is faking it. I agree with the others. You have to get a social worker or some medical person involved. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise–it may ultimately get him into court ordered treatment. Then sue the police.(Just kidding—but that kind of ignorance gets my blood boiling!)

I’m thinking that the stress of the cross country trip and being home might have pushed him over the edge.

I really hope it all works out well for you both!

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Yes, call the jail’s social worker and medical team. I actually went to the jail and took a letter for the team with some key medical records attached.

Here’s the info of what to do:

Best to you.

I am in Florida. I was calling the police to have a crisis intervention team go see him and they said we arrested him last night. He was flipping people off and swearing.

Mandatory Treatment Laws in Florida

Like every state, Florida has civil commitment laws that establish criteria for determining when involuntary treatment is appropriate for individuals with severe mental illness who cannot seek care voluntarily. Florida’s laws allow for the use of court-ordered treatment in the community, known as assisted outpatient treatment (AOT).

A person may be placed in involuntary inpatient treatment under a court finding of clear and convincing evidence that mental illness is present and that because of the mental illness, the individual:

is unable or refuses to make responsible decisions with respect to voluntary placement for treatment AND either
without treatment, be incapable of surviving alone or with the help of willing family or friends, or be likely to suffer from neglect or refuse to care for himself/herself in a manner that will pose a real and present threat of substantial harm to well-being; OR
be a danger to self/others, as evidenced by recent behavior
For outpatient treatment, a person must meet the following criteria:

be unlikely to survive safely in community without supervision;
have a history of noncompliance that includes two hospitalizations in past 36 months; or
act/threaten/attempt violence to self/others in 36 months immediately preceding petition filing;
be unlikely to voluntarily participate;
be in need of intervention in order to prevent relapse or deterioration likely to result in serious harm to self/others;
and likely to benefit from assisted treatment


Were you able to contact the jail’s social worker?

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If you are in the 11th circuit:

The contact person also might know how to find a Post-booking diversion program for someone with mental illness in a different circuit.


Wow, thank you! This is some good information. I will continue to try and get him treated and I really appreciate this information. I have been on the phone half of the day with the jail and the other half with VA hospital. I’m going down there tomorrow to get some papers for my son. Thank you for this.