Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Need to learn communication strategies for SZ

My charge cannot communicate about ideas, or reflect on past action or comprehend anything but the material aspects of life. He might toss a pack of food at me and refuse to converse for days and weeks, He produces broken trail-off sentence fragments. He never answers me if I try to start a conversation.
He is too disabled to manage his own home well and that is where I come in. I have been (unpaid but free rent) caretaker/roomie here for 14 lonely years and I am too poor to really get another home, maybe nothing better than an overpriced exploitative shabby room somewhere.

I am so afraid of what will happen to me and us and this place if I try to leave. Meanwhile I think he should get a modest place nearby and have it be HIS and then either one of us can use it as a little getaway. Of course most snooty landlord types think this is dishonest and won’t rent to people who need this kind of arrangement.

I need help from anyone who can envision a good outcome to this. i feel doomed in too many ways now, and no one of my own to turn to, and I can’t find a good therapist for us either…have almost given up looking.

your age, state and ability to work?

Thanks, I will try and work on this. There is no “disease” happening here but an unconscious need on his part to obliterate me and a good meaningful situation here. Its a tough nut. I know my resources and money wise, there will continue to be little. I know what I’m working with and the default position is I just stay on in spite of the risks.

Godspeed with you and yours too

Housing is so very expensive, especially for a single non-professional person. I understand your living arrangement as it has worked for you both for so long. Change is so costly and so hard. I wish I had advice, but I don’t. My family is lucky that we were able to offer a free rent room to my ill daughter as our house is paid off and we rent rooms in our back apartment to pay most of the house’s monthly costs. There was no other long term solution for her living arrangement, when unmedicated. Now that she is med compliant, she would be eligible for a group home, if it was needed, but the prior 2 years she would have been homeless if she didn’t live with me (psychosis 24/7 and all).

I hope you can figure a way to improve your life, even if it is just one tiny change at a time.

Your post was asking for communication strategies. When not on medicine, the only response to change I got from my daughter was using Dr. Amador’s LEAP method to communicate. It never got close to helping her get on medicine, but it did help get her to accept food from me and to take walks daily, both of which helped get us talking (well, not really “talking” but, improved communication from zero upwards). It was only because she learned to go out on her own that she was arrested, force hospitalized and then went onto court-ordered meds which have led to recovery.

Best of luck for small improvements which may lead to a big change.


My son is now on court-order meds (third time - which I hope it works) to get him to recovery. I am happy to read that your daughter’s court-ordered meds led to her recovery; this gives me hope for my son.

Somehow each individual and family has to learn to navigate this terrible and rocky road trying to find improvement one step at a time. I still feel it was a miracle of small events that led to her recovery, some actions done by me, but others totally out of my control. The biggest thing I had to overcome was my own feeling of guilt at forcing my daughter onto meds. The court order was dropped after two months, but I never told her it was dropped, she never asked, and I kept taking her to get her shots. Now it is a routine, that thankfully has given her a life back.

I will be thinking of you and your son and hoping he continues his meds.