Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My son is in & out of jail - need advice from similar cases

Copied from the Diagnosed Forum, please add your comments below:


Need help on dealing w/32 yr old schizophrenic son who cannot stay out of trouble. I read about schizophrenics who seem to be harmless & live their lives quietly. But I have yet to read & learn from violent, criminal schizophrenics, from other parents. I cry all the time, & don’t know where to turn.


Oh my goodness @Dreamer17h1 , you are not alone. My son can barely go out of the house without getting a ticket or getting locked up for something, wrecking a car, or getting into some harrowing predicament. My husband and I are so weary of it all.

We have gotten to the point that instead of bailing him out and hiring a lawyer every time, we are going to let him stay in jail and have him utilize a public defender. I don’t watch Dr. Phil too much any more, but for some reason, I watched him one day this week. It’s like that show was speaking to me. It was about how this set of parents, particularly the mom, continuously enabled their drug using, unemployed 30-something son by always bailing him out and rushing to take care of his needs and issues. Sounded like me, it really opened my eyes. Dr. Phil was more upset with the mom for her enabling actions than the son!

I guess there comes a time when we as caregivers have to just let them suffer the consequences and quit being enablers. Easier said than done, I know. I have made up my mind that I am turning over a new leaf and will no longer be an enabler. I read about those quiet harmless schizophrenics too and wish mine was like that!

Hang in there – we are all in this together.

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Thank you so much for your story. I just needed to hear from a parent going thru same thing. My life has been miserable for last 2 yrs since diagnosis. It’s so hard not knowing when to say enough is enough, especially after all the money we spend taking care of him & he just takes money like he’s entitled to it & not grateful.

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My son has not had many problems with the law, but when he has, I have never hired a lawyer - he always got a public defender. It actually helped me out that the public defender for those who have court hearings for enforced hospital stays was the same one who was assigned to my son when I was applying for guardianship. My son avoided all contact with him, and he didn’t press too hard, knowing that having a guardian was the best possible thing for my son.

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You are definitely not alone. My son has a 2009 felony for drug use.
He also bought alcohol for teenagers and this is a misdemeanor. He is on probation and also has to go to TASC court ordered because of his drug use. He will go in front of the judge next week and I don’t know what he will do. He finally stopped using. This doesn’t mean that things are better he is homeless now. He cannot live with me because of complaints and the felony record. The list goes on an on. I have tried not to enable but it is very difficult not to. I am at my wit’s end. The father is out of the picture doesn’t care. I don’t know what the future will bring, but so far it has not been good. The mental health system is broken. It needs to be fixed.


Hi. I was thinking about doing guardianship as well but others started telling me the court would hold me responsible when he does anything wrong is this true?

I know what you are going thru, it is so sad, I feel I have no where to turn. My son has 1 felony & 15 misdemeanors. His dad is out of picture also. Just this morning his landlord called me that my son started a small fire in his studio apt. I am at my wit’s end, I don’t know what else to do. I’m the one who looks for places to rent, but no one wants him. I don’t know what else to do. Oh and on top of this, my son is calling & harassing me for money so he can go out w/friends!

I definitely feel where you’re coming from Dreamer17h1. My daughter has had problems since she was 17 years old with the law. It seems like we have been waiting for court dates most of the time over the last 15 years. She gets on probation, gets off, then gets right back on again and on and on it goes. She was just diagnosed with sz about a year ago, but she has had symptoms since she was a child. I was so upset with her last bout with the law, all I could do for about 3 weeks was cry and stare at the wall. I could not even move. She came up to me and told me she was so sorry her mental illness was so hard on me and I told her it’s not the mental illness that’s hard, it’s all the trouble with the law and waiting for court cases that scare me. She is now in therapy and learning a lot about impulse control and has been doing a lot better the last few months, but it takes a while to get a court date and now we are once again waiting to go before the judge. I hope this part of story ends very soon. It is really stressful and scary.


Search "protease deficiency"
My son took Digestive Enzymes and improved for sure.

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