I am the only caregiver for my 32 year old son who has schizophrenia. Lately his raging has escalated and last week he punched me repeatedly. I am too scared to go to his apartment but can’t just stop helping him. He was improving until he started self medicating. He is now withdrawing and tells me the drugs made him hurt me. I don’t trust he won’t snap again. I don’t know what to do. I love my son and want to help him but am afraid one day he will kill me.
First of all. welcome to this forum. I am sorry you have a need for it but I am hopeful you can find a lot of support here.
Very sorry to hear that your son is not doing well at the moment. I hear that you love your son and it sounds like he loves you too. Try not to lose hope. Assuming that you don’t have legal guardianship and you have HIPPA laws blocking an open conversation with his doctor—if it were me, I would start by writing his doctor a very detailed letter about what you are seeing and experiencing with your son.
He or she needs to know that the protocol he is currently on is not working for him now —either because he is self medicating as you said or he is not taking the medicines correctly or the medicines need changed or all 3. Does your son have a case worker or home health aide or anything like that? There may be a way to apply for such assistance via his doctor or place where he is treated.
Even though the doctor won’t talk directly to you about your son without his permission or without you having guardianship. He will read your letters and I would not leave anything out. Including what drugs you think he may be taking and his violent tendencies toward you recently, and whatever else you have observed. If he goes to the doctor alone he may not be giving the doctor an accurate account of his situation. Maybe he can’t do it in his current state of mind.
My son hit me a few times and broke stuff when he was on Abilify and it was the medication and it was promptly stopped and he didn’t do it again. That can happen though, with medications, but street drugs can make that happen too.
You and your son are in a difficult place at the moment and I understand it. I have been there before. My son had a dual diagnosis and was addicted to drugs and had schizophrenia so it is a really difficult path to navigate. It took a few rocky years but we got through it eventually. Today he is relatively stable and lives with me and has been clean and sober for several years. I have his guardianship though -so that helps a great deal. My son is 35 and was diagnosed at 21, but was ill since he was in is teens.
If you have an opportunity to get counseling for yourself, a professional therapist can often help you navigate what you can do to best help your son and help you deal with things when it looks like your hands are tied at times.
You might also want to look into NAMI classes (if you haven’t already and if they are even available in your area) The Family to Family class is free and it comes with a wealth of useful information and a network of support.
In the meantime there are a lot of good people here that understand much of what you are going through, I hope you find support and answers in the coming days and that things with your son start to improve Take care. https://nami.org/Find-Support/NAMI-Programs/NAMI-Family-to-Family
I totally can understand where your fear is coming from. My son got mad at me once and pushed me and I fell on a hard box and broke a rib. It hurt like hell. The only thing I can suggest is calling Police to assist you in getting him to a doctor/ER. He has be in a bad place where he’s not taking care of himself or a danger to others. I know you probably don’t want him in legal trouble, but sometimes it takes that to get his attention. Good Luck!
Call police next time and tell him he is schizophrenic, they Will take him to hospital and he will be admitted for a couple of weeks to a mental unit. Where he will be put on he right meds and will not be discharged until they have a discharge plan.
My son who is schizophrenic and would always stop taking his meds, is now on a shot, he gets once a month. Take care of yourself first!
If you can get him on Clozapine works better if he is clean. My grandson was a horrible drug addict. But he has been clean for almost 5 years now. I am very thankful his pdoc finally listened to me and put him on Clozapine. It was a fight took 2 years. But very thankful it worked and he is clean. Good luck.