Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Need help with my hyper religious dad

I am 18 year old male from India . My dad started having religious delusions like seeing god around 2006 that particular year he lost his job and his reputation ( he had a big name in town ) . My uncle took him to a psychiatrist in 2008 . He was diagnosed as a schizophrenic . The psych told my mom and uncle that my dad will forever remain ill but gave some meds saying it’ll keep him in control . Since then he has never worked . All these years , things he was going he kept it to himself . In the april of previous year i lost my mom . It was only after my mom’s death i got to know that he has schizophrenia . (Mom hid it for my own good) . Dad takes his meds regularly (never visited psych again tho ) coz the voice of god tells him too . He has religious delusions as well as grandeur . He talks to god all day in his head and he enjoys it . The voice is like his friend . He also believes he is massiah , immortal and one day god will tell him his mission . A positive for me here is that he has never done anything bizare or violent . He even listens to me patiently when i talk about his illness ( indirectly ) and when he is going wrong . Right now he spends most of the time listening to preachers and other religious stuff . I think it confuses him more . Should i stop him if so how coz i can’t tell him directly. Any help would be beneficial

Bless you, you are a good son to care for your dad, but you need to not let his illness take over your life. I am guessing it would be futile to try to stop him from listening to preachers and seems harmless enough unless he is sending them money or doing crazy stuff because God told him to.

1 Like

My son suffers from spiritual delusions. Different from your dad, but similar in the absurdity of his claims.

We are fans of LEAP - Listen, Empathize, Agree, Partner. The LEAP Method - NAMI Pierce County

We try (try!) to listen and empathize (‘Wow, it must be scary to have demonic forces arrayed against you.’) without ever trying to say ‘There are no demons seeking to stick you with arrows!’

The book, ‘I’m Not Sick and Don’t Need Help’ has some good techniques. Basically, pointless to argue or convince your dad he’s wrong. Your dad’s denial is actually part of the disease. It’s called Anognosia.

Please know we still struggle with the right balance and I’ve certainly not been perfect in my application of these techniques! (“Son, the Covid Vaccine does NOT contain nanochips to control your brain!” Yikes).

But my point is simply to share some resources and a perspective from a fellow caregiver.

2 Likes

Welcome here Itsme. I’m sorry for the circumstance, but you have come to the right place. This is an excellent group for resources, questions, support, or just venting. Excellent group of folks here from all over the world, all walks of life. SZ is a very serious and complicated illness. It can easily become overwhelming and all encompassing even inhibiting your own life and progress just to have a loved one who suffers from these MI. You are truly courageous to take on caring for your father. I’m not sure what I can offer for advice though. Half of me wants to say, if your father is contented and peaceful in himself and not acting out to hurt others or himself, is taking his medication regularly, I’m not sure I’d try and take away anything that gives him comfort. However, my other half is thinking if his delusions are still that apparent and severe, it may be worth talking to his doctors about medication options. Perhaps a higher dose or combined with another med? And then I find myself back thinking well, if he’s not unhappy but rather at ease even and not harmful to himself or anybody else… count your blessings.
It’s incredible that you have an open safe relationship by the sounds of it, that he trusts you (this is invaluable) and there’s a working level of communication. These, if you take the time to peruse the site and read endless days worth of old posts, these are some of the simplest and greatest gifts for those of us living with a loved one suffering mental illness. Again, welcome here and I hope the best for you and your father going forward.
Oh! And read as much as you can from anywhere you can! Get yourself as well informed as you can about the disease. There’s a few go-to’s that people will consistently mention here for resources like Dr. Xavier Amador’s book “I’m Not Sick I Don’t Need Help” that covers the LEAP method that was mentioned and is one of the greatest resources for understanding the condition anosognosia as Sando mentioned. Personally I like a book called “The Center Cannot Hold” by a woman named Elyn Saks who writes from first person experience as someone who suffers from schizophrenia. Both have a number of talks they give that you can find on You Tube. You should also find a documentary on John Nash, a brilliant mathematician and diagnosed and listen to him speak in his experience. So many great resources out there if you take the time to research. Many brilliant minds and successful people have suffered the disease. I urge you to learn as much as you can about it, but first and foremost know how to take good care of yourself. These illnesses have been know to beat down not just those afflicted, but also the people closest to them who love them the most. Be good to yourself. Remember your own dreams for your future. Self care is going to be your greatest ally. Take care.

1 Like

my son had a similar experience…but what i do say to you @Itsmeharsh is that you should count yourself lucky that he is hearing good voices and is not distressed by them…also you said he is not violent. these are all great psoitives to take from it.

1 Like