Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Need advice please

My 32 yr old son has had 2 manic/delusional episodes twice this week had him calmed and ready to go to hospital as soon as we got outside he says he’s fine and doesnt need to go…i dont know what to do…history - he has been in hospital twice in last 4 years and goes on and off meds which he obviously not taking now was diagnosed bipolar schizophrenic i dont know what to do

  • List item

You might want to start with trying to find a NAMI in your area ( so you can connect with folks who have experience that are close to you and able to refer you to the best local resources.

NAMI also has a page with numbers for you to call if you feel you are in crisis

It doesn’t sound like you’re too new to this but feeling scared and confused right now. NAMI was a great resource when I was in crisis.

1 Like

His disorder may actually be actively convincing him that he doesn’t need help. It may also make him suspicious of the medical community as a whole.
These are unfortunately common to those diagnosed with Schizophrenia and can be compounded by other less obvious symptoms like lack of insight and trouble with memory.
He may believe his delusions are real communication from some legitimate source.
He may believe he is supposed to be rendered disabled and not meant to have control over his thoughts, moods and environment.
He may even believe you and other people closest to him are the cause of his struggles and his stress.

Work toward building trust and providing even-tempered responses to his opinions and his needs.
Establish the angle that you want his quality of life and his independence to improve over time, rather than stay the same or get worse.

Ask him about his quality of life.
Is he content and fulfilled?
Is there anything going wrong, or anything missing?
Does he feel like he has the peace of mind and security to be comfortable at home and also to go out and do the things he wants to do?
Is his day to day generally easy or hard?

He might have nothing to say about all that, or he might have some very strong opinions about it.

If he doesn’t have any input to give, save it for another time when he does feel like talking.
If he has a lot of hurt and despair to convey, be patient, don’t match his level of intensity. Help him explore his feelings and try to conclude that he is not well for a variety of reasons.
His delusions and lack of insight might stop him from understanding that he needs therapy and medication. He may even believe that he needs isolation and self-medication (the worst treatment options for a Sz person).

He won’t get help until he genuinely wants it. And he won’t want it until he gets tired of feeling out of control.
But you can help him to trust you enough to talk to you about what’s going on with him.
It takes a lot of patience and a lot of acceptance that his rationalizations and his actions will be irrational.

Even then, he may refuse treatment. But if you’re going to try to help…
Help him to want your help.

1 Like

Thank you for the information. I have been reading dr amador book and it is amazing to find the answers to alot of things ive been wondering about! I realized that these 2 episodes that my son had is actually the first time my husband and i witnessed it in person. Problem being we live 2 hours away and the first time i got him to come to me and got him to a dr. The second time others around him got him to the hospital and i came down afterwards. He was doing good and getting the shot from the dr and i dont know what happened why he quit. He was living with his girlfriend and she was keeping me informed. Now the have broke up and he actually called me to come to my house so i kinda figured something was going to happen. We r down in his neck of the woods and the 2nd episode happened im hopeful today he will go back with me. This is so hard my husband and i work full time. I cant afford to lose my job but im scared to leave my son alone. Sorry such a long post just needing to vent i guess

Don’t quit your job. If you’re going to have to miss work, tell them in advance that you have to take time off for a family medical emergency. That generally helps protect your employment and gives you an edge if you were to be laid off. Most employers won’t even question it for fear of legal backlash.

It’s good that you’re with him. Breakups are hard for anyone and stress is a definite trigger for those with Sz/Sza.
If he doesn’t want to go to the hospital, ask him how he would feel about out patient group / one-on-one therapy. Reassure him that he deserves to be able to enjoy his day to day and have a good feeling about the future. If he doesn’t have those things, it makes sense to figure it out and start working toward them.

It helped my brother a lot when he asked me if I would ever go to therapy. I told him if I had trouble going to work, or spending time with people close to me; if I had reoccurring thoughts that I didn’t want to think and I couldn’t steer my mind away from them; if I felt bad about my future and couldn’t find any peace day to day…
I’d be determined to figure out what’s holding me back and I’d make an appointment with a therapist. I’d set aside whatever feelings of hesitation I might have because I know that I deserve to feel like I’m in control of my circumstances and to feel good about where my life is headed. I told him that I have family amd friends to confide in, and that has always been enough to help me get things back on track.
But if that wasn’t enough, I’d never just shrug my shoulders and accept it. I told him I feel the same way about him. He deserves those things, probably more than I do.

Maybe talking to your son about those things and reminding him that he deserves to have a sense of security and fulfillment will help.
I’m fairly certain that quitting your job, or letting yourself be laid off isn’t the easiest or the most helpful option. Instead, remember that your son is a grown man who is allowed to make his own decisions. You can’t sacrifice anything for his benefit if he doesn’t want your help. So, keep taking care of yourself and your own affairs.
But be ready for those big opportunities phrased as simple questions when he comes to you for advice. Set aside judgement and any feeling of despair for him. When he asks for help, set boundaries and remember that you can’t provide security and peace for him if you have none for yourself first.

1 Like

As @wreklus also said, there are job protections for an employee who is caring for a qualified family member with an illness. With some exception, an employer with at least 50 employees is required to offer FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act). You can ask your Human Resources department or supervisor about that. You don’t have to give details of the illness until you fill out the forms. The completed forms (one from you, one that the doctor fills out) go directly to HR, NOT to your supervisor. FMLA can be approved for UP TO (depending on the documented need) 12 consecutive weeks or intermittent days each year.

1 Like

Absolutely! I was able to take FMLA for my son but had to exhaust my sick and vacation leave before doing so (but that was just for my organization).

Well unfortunately he wouldnt come back with me to my house. I am so frustrated/worried! I tried to get him to talk about what happened and he said he was fine and not going to talk about it ugh! I know about fmla i got it the first time after having to fight for it because of his age. Unfortunately i dont believe my company understands the illness! The second time it started as a fight again sobi had to go to my personal dr to get stress leave, which im sure i will have to do again. I feel so guilty leaving him! He does have other family near by but they dont really understand everything either and i dont feel its their responsibility. So i try to text with him and see how he is but i feel like im just waiting for the other shoe to drop so to speak. I just hope if he’s not feeling right he will call. We did have very good conversations thus last time so that keeps me hopeful!!

Hi Hopefull, there is a lot of waiting for shoes to drop in this business. I am so sorry he wouldn’t come back to your house with you. It can be so difficult to get them to stay on meds. Your son has housing yes? He has a place to be and food to eat?

One of the most important things I’ve learned over the years during times of crisis is that how I reacted to different situations had direct impacts on my son’s outcome. He could sense my anxiety in the smallest ways and would become even more anxious himself. Now when I see him going to a bad place, I distract him by talking about something that makes him happy, something he likes to do, really anything to get his mind to a better place.

The grief we experience during these times can become so overwhelming that its hard to think straight but don’t feel bad about continuing to do the things you need to do. I think its great that you had some good conversations, hang onto those moments and strive to have more. Don’t let guilt eat you up - it doesn’t do anybody any good. You are here fighting for your son, you’re a good mom. Keep us posted.

Try not to worry yourself into a puddle!
I know that’s about impossible, I’ve been there quite a bit with my brother over many years (even before his diagnosis).
Your son is a grown man, and he will make his own decisions. Stay in touch with him, but try not to be overbearing. This can be difficult to feel out, but I found that calling a couple times a week worked for me and my brother. At first, I tried to keep the conversation light and pleasant, letting him talk about whatever he wanted. If he seemed uninterested or tired, I’d say, “You seem like you have other things going on, I can let you off the phone and call you tomorrow instead.”
This gave him an out that wouldn’t be too awkward early in the conversation. That way if I was accidentally being too nosey, he could get off the phone without feeling any pressure to make excuses.
Another thing that worked well was asking to visit him about once a month. I did a lot of driving during those times when we lived in different states, but it was always good to spend a day or so catching up over a weekend. I’d usually end up helping him straighten up the place a bit and talking to him about his hobbies.
On the inside, it was nerve racking to see him struggle and not make any progress. But with Schizophrenia, you really have to redefine what progress is and what survival means. You can’t hold them to the same standard you hold yourself to.

@ wreklus
This is really good advice. Thanks.

Well alot has happened…the other shoe dropped :cry: but on a good note he did cooperate going to the hospital. But of course once in agitated about getting out. Therefore dr got court order to keep him for a bit. Also he is talking to dr honestly i believe and agreeing to take meds (ambilify) which makes very hopeful!! Hard part him staying on them. And luckily again my dr helping me with stress leave from work. Should be getting out sometime next week will be visiting tomorrow. Unfortunately he had to go 2 hrs away where he’s from because thats how the insurance works now by county not state. But I’m very grateful hes getting the help he needs!! Thanks to everyone that has replied to me nice to know I’m not alone in this!

1 Like

Sounds encouraging. Thanks for the update. Really good to to see that you are feeling better about things and feeling more hopeful. Keep us posted :slight_smile:

So glad he cooperated about going to the hospital - that is a big relief. Really nice that the doctor got right on it and got the court order to keep him for a bit. You are so NOT alone in this - have you seen @Vallpen 's painting an artist did in regard to all of us who live in a land where it rains dropped shoes?

1 Like

Oh my i looked up the painting. Doesn’t that hit the nail on the head :grin:. Had a nice visit the other day. I will be picking him up from hospital tomorrow they started him on the shot and giving him zoloft for the depression. He seems to be handling everything well (sigh of relief). I have noticed he is talking with me alot more about things this time around. I have been trying to use leap as best i can i do believe it helps! Thank you all for your encouraging posts has made me feel alot better! Here’s to looking forward to positive things bless you all and sending positive thoughts and prayers to all going through this also :heartpulse:


I actually bought a print of her painting from the artist for myself - its in my kitchen:) every day it reminds me of this forum and that I am not alone.

LEAP for us was a game changer. I use LEAP and I always speak to him in a respectful manner.

So glad your son is handling things well, more thoughts and prayers for you! And thank you:)

1 Like