Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

New one here. Lost. What should I do?

Hey everyone! So, a little backstory. I (24, F) have several mental issues myself, being in a relationship for half a year with my girlfriend (17) now. Since the beginning we knew about each other’s issues, we were ok with it, supporting and loving each other.
Lately she’d been having more and more issues and I felt hopeless about how could I possibly help… She is currently hospitalised. And… Today, we got the verdict. Schizophrenia. I love her so much and want our future together and to support her, let her heal, help as much as I can. But I am SO SCARED! :frowning: Please… Someone who went though this with your so, what should I do now?

Personally, I would assess the situation and see how she responds to treatment. In the meantime learn as much as you can about the illness.

You haven’t given us much to go on as far as symptoms and her level of insight. These can have a big effect on her prognosis. Also what support structure and resources she has available.

You should also consider an exit-strategy, especially what might happen to cause you to have to say goodbye. You may not want to think about it right now, but if you are prone to anxiety and depression or have a history of codependency, you could spiral down with her. It’s possible to develop a siege mentality, where it’s you and her against the disease and the world— and that often doesn’t go well.

This is coming from someone who’s largely recovered from Schizoaffective Disorder, and is an example of a best-case scenario. Looking back on it, I may have bailed-out on myself at your age— probably 50/50. It’s a very hard and long haul and can chew up 5 and 10 years or a lifetime. You’ll know in about 6 months to a year if she responds well to treatment. But relapse and drug regime failures are always a possibility. Since you aren’t married and have just six months invested, you need to think long and hard about balancing your commitment to her and your future.

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Hi,
Don’t be scared, sz is just a name for what’s already going on. You can be there for her, and encourage her to take whatever meds they prescribe.

She’s so young, don’t give up. Are her parents involved?

Also it’s important to take care of yourself! It’s a very stressful situation.

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Welcome to this forum. I am sorry you and your girlfriend are going through this. I highly suggest you do as @Maggotbrane suggests and read, read, read on what sz is, and what it means to someone’s life. Also, read everything you can find on this site from those who supported their spouse when sz hit. If she is successfully medicated, the future can still be bright. If she doesn’t successfully medicate, the long term rocky road ahead will be hard to navigate. @Jan is right, take care of yourself, and be there and encourage her. She needs you right now.

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What caused the hospitalization?
Was she normal prior to this?

Hi I am new here. I’m not sure how this works just yet but hopefully I am at the right place. My Daughter 15 was hospitalized September 2018. My family didn’t understand what was happening. We went from happy go lucky to total meltdown, screaming , fighting, seeing people we couldn’t see. Then it went to her trying to commit suicide. Now here it is 2020 and my daughter has Paranoid Schizophrenia. Something I never thought would be in our family. But it is and I tell you the ups and downs are like a roller coaster. Not sure where our ride will end. But I know we are on the right path we made it this far. I just feel so alone when the times are really bad. I did my homework over the years. I did the research the medical trial and error. I did what I could to know what this was and why my daughter has it. I have it to but on a lower scale then her. I take meds just like she does. We are in this together but at the same time I feel so alone. She has been having more problems lately. I try my best to fix what I can I tell all the info to the doctor’s but you know sometimes I don’t even know what I am supposed to be doing. I try to encourage her we have really happy moments but we have really bad moments too. She is doing better since her new med. But I don’t know how I’m gonna survive this alone single parent of 2 one paranoid Schizophrenia and the other ADHD. I have no family at all that even wants to try and learn. I have no support group I have no one that I can talk to that can relate what I am feeling and how I’m handeling this diagnoses.

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This is a really great group. I am sorry you are going through this as a single parent. It is really exhausting. My son is a similar age, but still bouncing around between different diagnoses.
Do you have MHA (Mental Health America) near you? That’s been a good resource for me.
Someone told me that it is really hard to medicate teenagers because of all the hormones raging. I think that’s right, judging from my son.

I will be thinking of you and your daughter. It’s so hard when this hits when the other kids are looking at colleges, going to proms, etc. I treasure all the little good moments!

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Hi Jenny
Youre are not alone in this and its good youre reaching out. You have your hands full and it can be very lonely and scary but trust yourself, look how far you have come. Has she gone to any DBT or CBT outpatient therapies?

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Contact NAMI (national alliance on mental health), and read about LEAP (Listen-Empathize-Agree-Partner) communication strategy. Be patient with your loved ones, and yourself. Love goes a long way, when in doubt, show love.
Best of luck to you and your family.

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Yes, that is how this disease works. I understand, as does probably everyone on this site. Do the best you can, be kind to yourself and your daughter, and as @CanadianDaughter said: love goes a long way. Trust your instincts on how to help her, and to help yourself too. You are getting good advice from the others who’ve posted here. We all wish you the best sorting this out. Come here for support. This is a good place for you to come.

Thank you all so much for the support it really helps knowing I’m not alone. Right now my daughter and I have a new appointment to get her on the meds again. Things are not so bad right now but I don’t wanna push my luck either. We have been waiting for a doctor to be able to see us. And finally we found one. So yes that will help out. But let me catch you up since I’ve been away. My daughter’s “friend” loulou is back not so bad right now but she sees her. I can not but that’s okay. My daughter is not sleeping well again because of LouLou but like I said we will have that fixed on Tuesday. As long as LouLou behaves with my daughter. I never thought I would be here talking about this but I am. I was always trying to hide the fact but here it am openly telling you about my daughter’s schizophrenia. Wow I have grown and learned alot and I’m not a shame anymore. I never thought I would ever make it to this point where I’m comfortable enough to just talk abouty daughter’s “friend” no I can’t see her but my daughter can. She does misbehave and gets my daughter hurt but she only comes around when we don’t have her meds. I thank you all for helping me find my voice.

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I understand about trying to hide the fact of your daughter’s illness. Most people out in the world have never experienced having a loved one with schizophrenia. They don’t understand it at all, and can be quite cruel when you try to talk to them about it. Even some psychiatrists haven’t dealt with the seriousness of long term psychosis and schizophrenia.

Here on this forum you can discuss almost anything without feeling bad about talking about it. It really does help to talk about hallucinations (invisible friends) with people who get it. I’m glad you found this site.

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You don’t need to hide your daughter’s situation, not here or anywhere else. But people here understand. We also understand that you have the condition as well, but that your daughter’s schizophrenia is more pronounced. There is a known family connection with schizophrenia. If we remove the stigma associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, and talked more openly, doctors could counsel people on the family history and help people more. There’s no shame in it.

My mother has auditory hallucinations as well. When she is on her meds, the hallucinations are subdued and happen very rarely. When she is off her medication, like now, she hears voices daily. A lot of the time she is having conversations with her family members. They are in Austria, but she thinks they must be here. If I try and talk to her, she will say “shh…I’m listening”, or if I call her, my mother will say “I’m busy right now, I will call you later”. Sometimes she sees things. None of that is a problem, except for when she bases her decisions on what the ‘voices’ tell her. Or when she becomes paranoid, and afraid that someone is trying to harm her. It upsets me when she is scared. I just try to reassure her the best that I can — as I know that she is not really in danger, but for her it feels very real.

I’ve learned that when she is delusional, not to confront her about it. I don’t play along, but rather when my mother says something out of the ordinary, I will just say “okay” and then steer the conversation back to something real. My mother is mostly a lovely person, but sometimes she can get angry. If she is feeling paranoid and begins to accuse me of things, or she says something mean to me, I give her a time out and saying that I’m leaving and I will talk to her later.

When we get together again, we are back on good terms. I tell my mother that I love her, as often as I can, so she always knows that even when things get difficult.

I hope that the doctor is able to help you on Tuesday.
Good luck and take good care of yourself and your children. Keep positive.

hope4us posted this, which may be better advice: https://testandcalc.com/voices/resources/Responding%20to%20disturbing%20beliefs%20-%20handout.pdf

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keep being supportive Karolina, your partner needs understanding, sz is very tough for the patient, be tolerant if she is moody, just continue being a loyal friend

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