Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Schizophrenic mother having relapse in diff state


#1

Hello - I’m new here and I greatly appreciate any insight that you can give. I live in CA and my mother lives in NV. She is schizophrenic and is currently in the middle of a relapse. She hasn’t been taking her medication for a couple of weeks, as far as I can tell, and she has not been willing to go to a doctor, despite weeks of pleading from me and other family members. There are a lot of factors at play here that make this situation complicated:

  1. She lives with her mother (my grandmother) who is in her 80s. My mother has been throwing things away in the apartment they live in, including her medicine, food, and my grandmother’s personal items (and almost her medication too - luckily she managed to get them before my mother did). My grandmother is not capable of helping my mother while she’s like this.
  2. She got into a car accident a few days ago. She went the wrong way onto the freeway and hit another car. She went to the hospital, but they discharged her the same day. It is incredibly frightening to think that she could have killed herself, or other people. And it’s also frustrating that the hospital staff did not recognize the mental state she was in and did not keep her for psychiatric care.
  3. Since she doesn’t have a car, she has been caught by the police trying to get into other people’s cars. They just brought her back to her apartment. Again, more trained professionals that did not recognize my mother’s state or do anything to help her get treatment.
  4. She had a job, but she quit a week ago, and hasn’t yet filed for disability.

Since I live in a different state, I feel like my options are really limited as to force my mother to get treatment. Especially since the police and the hospital didn’t do anything. Do you have any suggestions as to what steps I can take to get her admitted to a hospital?


#2

Write a letter to whoever is the responsible mental health authority detailing your mother’s situation and behaviors. You might have to write letters to several different authorities. They could even ask you to come and testify to her mental instability in court. They’re probably reluctant to admit mental patients because they are short on funds. Maybe if you inform them of your mother’s situation they will see things your way.


#3

The hospital and police let her go after the accident?
This is when someone needs an advocate. The walls seem to be getting higher in the mental health system.
Try calling the hospital and the police and tell them she had an accident. She is harmful to herself and others.
Your Grandmother should not have to deal with this alone.
You and your siblings ( assuming ) should come together on this quickly. Call social services-Adult protection services and tell them what is happening.
Find a NAMI support group in your area-also where your mom lives-they may have some helpful advice.
I wish you luckOO


#4

Sorry you have to go through this/ Clutching at straws here a bit to try and offer up suggestions, but here goes:

  1. Call the police station/county where the incident happened and request a copy of the police report? See what’s written there and possibly call and see if you can talk personally with a detective or senior officer in the station and inform them of your concerns?

  2. You said she’s not medicating. Do you know who her psychiatrist/Dr is? Can you give them a call and at least notify them of the accident/attempted break ins and your concerns about her coming off medications?

  3. If you can’t get advocacy for your mother, then at least try and do so for your grandmother? An aged care organization or similar which looks out for the needs of elderly persons may or may not be able to assist. Possibly even requesting a home nurse or home help service for your grandmother may mean if some other professional comes to the house and witnesses the behavior, they may be able to report it to the correct authorities.

Good luck! My mother was 77 when she passed and was still my father’s (sz) carer. It is very hard on ailing elderly relatives in that position.


#5

Thank you everyone for your advice. My mother has never spiraled this badly before, and my poor grandmother has received the brunt of it. My sister called in a welfare check yesterday, but nothing has come of it. My father is going there today to see what he can do (him and my mother are separated but technically still legally married).

I’m hoping for the best, but I’m honestly worried that it will fall upon my sister and I to take in our mother, and we live together in a small two bedroom apartment. My grandmother needs a break, but the thought of having to take in this kind of chaos into our own home is incredibly daunting. I’ve been estranged from my mother for over a year and only recently started speaking to her again a month ago, only to have this happen. I know it isn’t her fault, and I have been asked to take her in, but I just haven’t been able to give a straight answer yet. In my heart, I do love my mother, but I just can’t live with her.

Anyway, these forums have been a wealth of information and support, and I appreciate anyone that took the time to read and/or reply. Thank you.


#6

Yeah, it’s true that you feel that burden to take her in, but honestly, I wouldn’t recommend it. The fact that she hasn’t a relative other than your grandmother to live with, is more likely to be a point of case to the social workers/police etc she comes into contact with than if she were living with you (presuming you are fit and capable), where they may not see the urgency. And then you’re stuck.

I just finished reading a book by Victoria Secunda called “When Madness Comes Home.” Like you, I’ve been estranged from my sz parent. I made that decision on professional advice to save my own sanity. As hard as it sounds, you need to put yourself first.