Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Scared and unsure what to do about my childhood friend


#1

Will try to make this story as short as possible. Basically I think one of my childhood friends is schizophrenic. He believes that there is a huge conspiracy plot out to get him. He believes that all the radio stations in his city are constantly talking about him and making fun of him. But it does not end there. He believes that the police, various levels of Government and restaurants(he worked many years in the industry) are all part of the conspiracy.

It all started about 3-4 years ago when he started telling us about how radio stations were making fun of him and ruining his reputation. He started to switch jobs about once a month and claimed all his coworkers conspired against him at any location he worked. My other friend(who is his close friend as well) who owns a restaurant gave him a job for a little while but he started making threats to other employees and so my friend had to eventually fire him. .
He then moved to Quebec City which is about 3 hours away and we did not hear from him for months. His phone was out of service. Then all of a sudden he contacts us and we start seeing him regularly enough despite the distance. He seemed much better and would not talk about his conspiracy stories anymore.

But his peace only lasted a short while. He took a big interest in hiking which is a big passion of mine so we did many hikes together. During many of these hikes he would have ‘‘episodes’’ where he would once again bring up his stories of how the restaurants, police, government and radio stations were all plotting against him. He even started back school but teachers and fellow students were out to get him. He would usually go on about this for a few hours and I would hear him out. Although it was crazy talk he did not really make any threats.

Well last weekend we went on a winter hike together and he went off again but this time he made threats. He is very mad at my other friend who had to fire him from his restaurant years ago. He said if my friend does not stop calling radio stations with info about him that he will burn down his restaurant. He told me to warn my other friend and the other workers at his restaurant who he is convinced are all part of the mafia. He also said that he will take care of his city and Montreal (where we are from) and he is warning me before the destruction. I told him ‘‘as long as you don’t kill anyone’’ and he responded with ‘‘don’t worry they will kill me first’’.

In the past I just dealt with his rants because he’s kept his current job for two years and since he had not made any threats I figured he will be fine. But now his threats are scaring me a little. I don’t think he would actually do anything except maybe harm himself. I could be wrong but anyhow I would not want him to harm himself.

Me and two other friends(including the restaurant owner who is threatened) want to help him but we are not sure how, Contacting the police will only make him believe his conspiracies even more. FWIW he had a very hard childhood in a rough foster home. He is 31 years old and lives alone and does not have any friends in his new city despite being there for over 3 years. The fact that he had periods where we did not hear from him and he could not be reached makes me wonder if he has not all-ready being diagnosed and possibly interned for a while.

Any help is appreciated.


#2

If he is indeed a threat to himself and or others, I say do your best to hospitalize him. There is no shame in that, and he needs to be on medication. I don’t really know the laws of canada but I found this http://www.schizophrenia.ca/docs/e2%20Recovery%20and%20Rights%20-%20When%20Voluntary%20Treatment%20is%20not%20an%20Option.%20How%20Mental%20Health%20Laws%20Can%20Help.pdf

hope it helps you.

He will probably be angry at first but then he will surely understand that it was in his best interest.

Maybe talk to him first, say you’re worried he has schizophrenia and that he should get help. If he refuses you can hospitalize him.

I know it sounds harsh but the same thing happened to me and eventually I stopped being angry and accepted the illness.

Best of luck!


#3

Thanks for the reply! Gonna check that link. Good to hear a reply from someone who suffered like he is.


#4
  1. Get a copy of these books, read them and have your family read them, as well. (Torrey can be a bit totalistic and unwilling to see exceptions to his “rules” at times, but most of his book is really worth the effort to plough through.)
    http://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Schizophrenia-6th-Edition-Family/dp/0062268856
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Complete-Family-Guide-Schizophrenia/dp/1593851804/ref=as_sl_pc_tf_til?tag=schizophren0c-20&linkCode=w00&linkId=XKLY6NWSWJSQ3VYN&creativeASIN=1593851804

  2. Get properly diagnosed by a board-certified psychopharmacologist who specializes in the psychotic disorders. One can find them at…
    http://doctor.webmd.com/find-a-doctor/specialty/psychiatry and https://psychiatrists.psychologytoday.com/rms/
    .

  3. Work with that “psychiatrist” (or “p-doc”) to develop a medication formula that stabilizes their symptoms sufficiently so that they can tackle the psychotherapy that will disentangle their thinking.
    .

  4. The best of the psychotherapies for that currently include…
    DBT – http://behavioraltech.org/resources/whatisdbt.cfm
    MBSR – http://www.mindfullivingprograms.com/whatMBSR.php
    MBCT - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22340145
    ACT – https://contextualscience.org/act
    10 StEP – http://pairadocks.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-10-steps-of-emotion-processing.html
    .

  5. the even newer somatic psychotherapies like…
    MBBT – https://www.newharbinger.com/blog/introduction-mind-body-bridging-i-system
    SEPT – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somatic_Experiencing
    SMPT – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensorimotor_psychotherapy
    .

  6. or standard CBTs, like…
    REBT – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rational_emotive_behavior_therapy
    Schematherapy – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schema_Therapy
    Learned Optimism – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_optimism
    Standard CBT – https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Treatment/Psychotherapy & scroll down
    .

  7. If you/she/he needs a professional intervention to get through treatment resistance, tell me where you live, and I will get back to you with leads to those services.
    .

  8. Look into the RAISE Project at https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=raise%20program%20schizophrenia.
    .

  9. Look for mental illness clubhouses in your area (which can be hugely helpful… but may also pose risks). Dig through the many articles at https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=mental%20illness%20clubhouse%20model to locate and investigate them.


#5

It certainly sounds serious if he is threatening to burn a building down. Poor fellow. You are a true friend to want to get help for him. I agree that he requires treatment and soon. Best wishes! You could call your local mental health agency to ask for guidance or even the emergency dept of your local hospital.


#6

Please read what 'targeted individual’s have to say. Thought broadcasting – part time psychotic strangers who stalk someone to verbally harass them is probably the coworkers harassing him. This is called delusional by mental care whose policy is refusal to discuss most of the coping information that would keep a victim okay. Sadly, they refuse to discuss ‘social problems’ such as these to keep victims employed and functioning alright, and is more about just selling medications. All I can say is about mental care really, you cannot get confrontational or even give feedback sometimes or you will be locked up for weeks at the psychiatrist’s discretion in mental hospital on forced hold at your own expense in US. If care does not meet needs, just try other doctors until you find something that works better then cancel with the old pdoc.

You know, I lived in REALLY crazy and segregated city once, people who hear the voices who work fast food/retail or gave into drug dealing due to poverty, and the people from out of town/foreigners they will hire. You have to see workings of community like this to understand a lot of politics, at least in US has eroded to sheer sham that is more and more breaking the backs of the poorest to entertain the wealth & pay the politicians. Poor and middle class who buy existing housing here are being targeted for mass loss of belongings to put them into tons of debt, while better off who can build new housing are being left alone to build and keep the construction contractors working…People start to hear the voices who move here, usually 2-3 years can happen. They are told to go to churches to make it stop and they follow directions from other voices, dirty businessman who runs these churches and runs these people around to do lots of unethical stuff, but says he owns the poor, minorities and cops too so unethical stuff is getting worse and worse. Then they run their churchies around to thought broadcast/preach stalk some of the people who ended up on disability pay after mental care calling it ‘stealing’ as these did not get any $$$ and probably fired plus no unemployment pay is normal. Locally, some sex abuse victims and those who met them are treated to a bad harassment from these and needed the disability pay as the mental problems from meeting these people include PTSD/selective amnesia (1 topic amnesia and bad nervous breakdown/insomnia) and these problems last 10-15 years or more. There is no cops, court or politician who will intervene to make the voices stop for any of the sex abuse victims, other schizo victims are ex-wives of wealthy, unwilling mistresses, new people to town, rival businessmen. I just worked anyway, while getting disability pay, but unable to find any work that would support me…Takes 1-2 years to concentrate over the mental noise as meds did not help.

I hate your friend is shooting off his mouth angry. I would remind him all he gets from this is jail, maybe committed for rest of his life unfortunately, stuck staring at the wall, no water to drink except at meals, cat fights with crazy employees/patients, THE DOCTOR/THE DOCTOR, nasty food, nastier restricted diet for cholesterol increased by meds, cannot wash hands after bathroom as pdoctors say water is toxic???, bunches of ruined books/magazines/newspapers, no sex/other, no visitors, no movies, no cigarettes, no drugs/alcohol, no sunlight unless handcuffed, no exercise time, no showers alone but you see yourself naked from shower later by hallucinations. GET OVER IT! I worked annual reviews for the committed ones and we had SEVERAL firebugs who were committed for life.

Solution to calm him down: Why not read up and google the stuff I talked about especially how ‘targeted individual’ is treated, see all the other complaints and just tell him his complaint is almost normal. Lots of people hear voices some of the time and just say something rude, but some people are really spineless or worse. Most of the middle class men in my city have snapped and it is the ‘dark side’. They would snap their own mother in two. We have minorities churchies saying they had to mess up their guy who went to mental care because he would not go to the church to fix this, some cannot get relief at church as I explained or wallet is big enough, refuse to do unethical stuff. Traditional denominational churches sometimes don’t make the voices stop…may not even be okay people, could do 180 on you if they start to hear it and will screw you a few times to move you on. Ask for car repair at church and pay, for example.

Also, in my opinion, talking about the old stuff or how someone mistreating you after the fact is giving the bullies more power over you. Do think it best to discuss with spouse any people you encounter who try to humiliate you in public in front of a group of people as these will probably screw your whole family later, this is sign you need to avoid this one if it is male. Female hissies may be okay later but your choice to chance it. Hostile/sex harassment work situations need to be handled appropriately with management soon in order to avoid being screwed, schizos (especially desirable female) are frequently targets to land relationships.

There is no need to try to approach any politicians unless you have a group of protesters who like want to wear ear muffs everywhere. Rest is sham, at least we are not forced to show up to vote in US anyway. They use jury duty as a punishment in lots of US areas to call up someone going through a crisis to tell you a ‘shut up’ of sorts but if you keep mental care, psych doctor will get you out of it. Do not answer jury summons and you get an arrest warrant here if you moved and did not update driving license.

I get some pretty tacky stuff from live TV and radio too…Including an anchor telling me I’m not taking my meds right. I had the same news helicopter from their channel fly over my house at tree height 3 times btw while I lived in the concentration camp/segregated city I mentioned.

If friend needs to be on disability pay due to his troubles handling social harassment, Serouqel is good to try. Usually need to be on meds to get disability pay. (Care and therapy will not coach him to deal better with this probably…) Seroquel has few side effects. Taken at night, broken into pieces, it is great sleep pill if you start at 50 mg. Your friend likely has some insomnia issues, this will fly him right through it great. Leave a little more time to get up, probably sleep 10 hours if you get to bigger dose but can go to 600 mg gradually.

Some of us met the wrong people and voices start for us. If you just quit talking to whoever you met through them, just not make contact again, nothing confrontational, do not discuss it any longer and ignore the voices, you can have remission from schizo after a couple years sometimes. Can also ask the voices why you are hearing it. May be told to do thought broadcasting, vandalisms, thefts…This is your decision but I would never cooperate with following orders from voices as it is my experience these people go nuts and is crazy psychopathic no one okay will spend any time around again. A family sex abuse issue, mental problems with his family or the problem from the foster home could still get him tortured, bad new is these psychosis cases sometimes do not resolve even with meds. If he is holding down job right now without throwing a fit about ‘whatever’ I just ignore from some coworkers, is awesome. My city has a lot of terrible employment situations any longer, if he found a good one hang onto it hard…He is really lucky.

Also, in US we are trained to never discuss schizo at work EVER. You can tell them you need change to work environment so you can do the job (accommodations) like take work home to be away from distractions, work in back away from customers, limit your hours so you do not go over income limits, adjust schedule for insomnia or flexible schedule…I ALMOST ALWAYS got treated okay at work as I never talk nutty & treat all of them okay.

Good luck! B—ing about the stuff only gives it more power!


#7

You need to go tell the police. He is making threats against people’s lives and he has been persistently delusional and untreated for years. If you tell the police, the WORST that can happen is some hospital time. If you don’t tell the police, he may end up with a life sentence. He may serve it in a hospital but it will still be life. What are you thinking? If he gets treatment, he will get better. If he doesn’t, the minimum that happens is that HE gets worse, suffers more, ends up jobless, homeless, etc. The maximum doesnt bear thinking about.
I cooperated with mental health services to have my son sectioned under the mental health act. Before he left the hospital two weeks later, I told him what I had done. He wasn’t in the slightest bit angry. Two weeks of anti-psychotics straightened his perspective. He could see by then that he had been deluded and irrational. After 3 months, he was almost back to pre-illness days.
When someone has no insight, the day they start issuing threats is a godsend. That’s the day you can start getting them treated. Do it.


#8

Thanks for the reply. After thinking about all this I will contact his local CLSC (local health service center). They have a response team. From what I understand they will get in touch with him and try to get him to willingly get treated. If not they might call the police.


#9

Hi, @lavalmember! Before I say anything, I just want to tell you that you sound like a good friend for wanting to help your friend and that you’re concerned about his well-being. I wish you luck for you and your friend.

Like the others are saying, I think that you should either talk to the police, to a mental health team (if you have any in your area), or to an adult inpatient/outpatient service about your friend. Like Minnii said, he may become angry at first, but he should understand that you were trying to help him. Since you said that you got in touch with his CLSC, hopefully they should be able to help him get treatment for what he is facing. On the other hand, if he refuses help or anything, getting him hospitalized may help.

Not sure if this will be any use of you, but I searched up for treatment centers in Quebec City and found this.