Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Son in denial but hearing voices

My son is showing symptoms, pretty much every symptom of sz. He is delusional and thinks he has some sort of power to hear people’s thoughts. That is because he is hearing voices. I am so worried about him. All these voices he says are talking about him, plotting against him. He isn’t eating anything I cook or make. I just know he thinks I am trying to poison him. He has said before that he is afraid that someone is trying to poison him. I have 3 kids, I have always been their rock, their inspiration, their go to person when something is wrong. Ages 26, son 28, 31. He is so convinced that if I didn’t know better I would believe him. Here is the problem when he was 9 he had a mental break, labeled rapid cycle Bipolar. It was so horrible that he had to be committed. I learned the hard way (just divorced I had no help) they just used him as a guinea pig. A nightmare for 3 yrs. He hasn’t had meds and been fine since he was 13. Now 28 there is no way I could tell or suggest that he see a psychiatrist. Idk what to do, I’m so scared and heartbroken :frowning:

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@Karen_Leonard, I can empathize because my son was recently involuntarily committed due to increasing symptoms such as: taking multiple 5-hour walks in 100-degree heat; intermittently taking meds, when he had been totally compliant; hearing voices almost all the time and making facial movements that looked like he was struggling – all day long; and becoming uncommunicative, and finally, aggressive, which is out of character.

I’m definitely no fan of psychiatric medications, but I see no other way at present to help a psychotic person. If he has to be involuntarily committed for that to happen, then that’s what might have to happen for him to get stabilized. If you call a Crisis Unit who will come with the police, just make sure it happens when he is at home and not on the street – like at 6:00 am or something.

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I don’t normally suggest this, but my path to recovery was Jungian Analysis for a little over a year, and transitioning to antipsychotic medication in addition. It might be helpful, but it’s hard to say without trying. CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) can also be helpful, although it’s generally better in conjunction with drug therapy. Most therapists will require a psychiatric visit first for liability concerns.

In my case regular Jungian therapy replaced much of the heavy lifting of the Listen and Empathize portions of the LEAP method often carried out by caregivers. It’s typically non-directed, non-pathological and non-prescriptive while supporting healthier coping mechanisms, unlike more directed and drug related therapies. I feel it was successful for me for these reasons, rather than any particular merits of Jung’s theories. I wish more psychiatrists and psychologists were trained in LEAP, to get better buy-in from patients to steer them to medication. Talk therapy also lends itself to Telehealth which is important in these days of Covid-19.

If you are unfamiliar with LEAP, it’s a communication pattern that can prove helpful in improving relationships with people lacking insight into their illnesses. Dr. Amador wrote a book, “I am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help“ describing the LEAP method and supportive studies of anosognosia (lack of insight or awareness of illness). The book is often recommended by NAMI and forum members.

There are other alternative drug-less therapies, but I’m not well versed in them and I only support therapies as a gateway to medication rather than replacement. Jungian therapists can be difficult to find, if you are interested in this route, the following link may help: https://www.cgjungcenter.org/jungians-organizations/#

Cognitive Therapists are more numerous, and there are multiple disciplines within CBT. This link may help you learn more about CBT and possibly find a practitioner: https://www.nacbt.org/

Disclaimer: While I am a part-time caregiver of my brother and father with SMI, I was diagnosed with SZA over thirty years ago. I’m an advocate of appropriate drug treatments for SMI, but I feel they are incomplete treatments and additional CBT, supportive talk and psychosocial therapies are helpful where feasible. Any drug advice is from personal experience or research and not a substitute for qualified Psychiatric care.

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Hi Karen. Glad you’re here.
I don’t know if you found this forum because you’ve a ‘sneaking suspicion’… or maybe it sounds like you’ve some experience with managing “odd shit”. As well as having some experience with the mental health system wherever you are for the love of your child.
It’s important to try and get the kind of professional help the best you know how for those that you love, and, as you’ll read here, if you take a long time to scroll and read through, it’s not easy. Not even a little bit.
Your children are grown. What you describe is close to what a lot of folks here discuss. Please take the time to read…
This is an excellent place to find recourses, share information, and find some hope. And if you need, just vent. You’re not alone.

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You woke up this morning very angry. I took him to get something to eat and he said they didn’t make the burger just right it went to screaming and yelling in the truck turn the hamburger out the window. His anger agitation and aggression it’s just getting worse day by day. Today really scared me. At this point I’m thinking of involuntary commitment because I’m afraid that he will hurt himself which would be more likely or hurt someone else not as likely. I just do not want him in a state-run crappy facility that’s going to use him as a guinea pig. I want to try to find real answers not just throw a label on him and throw it in the gutter. I’m so beside myself, I’m so conflicted, and I’m so torn apart. I am researching right now what the laws are in Tennessee. I’m an hour away from Nashville so maybe there’s more options I just don’t know them.

If there is a NAMI near you, I suggest you call them. Perhaps someone at NAMI can give you some information, or put you in touch with someone who can give you information on how and where to get your son committed. It is hard to help your loved one battle their symptoms, and in the majority of cases, usually an ill person doesn’t believe they are ill and won’t accept help. It often has to be forced on them, which feels terrible to do. The more you can learn from reading on this forum, asking questions, going to NAMI, and other resources, the better equipped you will be to decide what might help.

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