Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Son refusing to go back to supportive housing

Hi ive posted once before and find reading all your post so helpful .We have hit a crisis point again with my 25 year old son. He was fairly stable for a year on respiridone 2mg and went into support housing .This has been a great help to me and my husband we were still very anxious but got our space and life back in some small form .He has now come off his meds got verbally agressive with the staff at the supportive housing and i brought him home to cool off .That was two weeks ago he wont speak to us at all ! Only to act out verbally and is making no moves to go back to supportive housing .He has an appointment tomorrow with new mh team at his supportive housing… im sure he wont go to appointment… it feels like we are back to square one . He is acting like a child and we are running after him .This cant go on .He has more negative symtoms and had done for most time. He has odd behaviours and some delusions that come and go but he mainly isolates and is verbally aggressive if he is asked too many questions . He has also stopped smoking for about 3 Weeks now and stopped his excessive drinking again for about three weeks he is eating and sleeping ok at minutes .He wont discuss anything wont take meds . He had some fears always around this time of year and hates Halloween even though he watches terrible horror movies. What do i do push him out ? Let him stay ? He has a history of just taking off once for a month.Has anyone got any experience of this any advise will be greatly recieved as i know you all gets this .I am now just lost as a mother and just cant stop going over the past five years he has no Job no friends no motivation .The verbal abuse is really affecting me… he was a gentle caring person funny bright musical …all gone . i really dont like this person but as a mother i have unconditional love for him but i feel stuck and powerless and afraid ! Sending all much care and strength with whatever stages you are at with this horrible illness that affects our loved ones .

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I suggest setting boundaries with him to live in your home…pick your battles to address things that you cannot tolerate. You can also offer rewards. For example, verbal (or any other abuse) is not allowed. Have a plan if boundaries are not followed and enforce it. Does he get spending money? Does he have transportation?

Read the book “I Am Not Sick; I Don’t Need Help” by Dr. Xavier Amador. It is worth trying the psychological strategy for Motivational Interviewing and if that doesn’t work, try it again later. It could take years, but you keep looking for “windows” to things that are important to him that he can relate to doing what you believe is best for him and for you (such as taking meds) but for reasons that are important to HIM.

Connect with a NAMI Family Support Group, if possible. (

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Thankyou for your reply .I will look at the book you have suggested .I live in the UK we dont have anything like Nami i wish we did its sounds very supportive . I am usually very strong but right now just at a loss and have no energy to fight this again .I Hope tomorrow i will feel stronger

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I understand your feelings completely. This journey can be exhausting mentally, emotionally, and physically. It is possible you would find some information or links to other websites if you can access Perhaps others on this Forum will have some thoughts to share with you, as well. Most importantly, take care of yourself. Realize that you cannot solve all problems. Also, the ways this illness affects our loved ones tends to change over time. So what you see today may be different tomorrow or in a few weeks. But do get a copy of the book, which uses a strategy of LEAP (Listen, Empathize, Agree, Partner). It is available on Amazon. You might also want to look at the website. You are cared about!

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How lovely to hear the 'words you are cares about ’ from someone who just gets it .This is such an isolating illness for all concerned to feel cared for helps alot. . Today i woke up with a new energy cleaning cooked and left son alone. .after i told him he can stay but we wont tolerate bad behaviours and he must consider medication. No response from him!! He would not go to the 1pm meeting Today … but the mh nurse cancelled anyway . I feel when im low the whole thing goes upside down …praying for strength and its coming back . Thankyou hope4us

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I never successfully got my son to go to supportive housing without a hospitalization. Making him go directly from living at home would never have worked. Also, I might not have been able to do it without having guardianship.

Was the place allowing him to drink and refuse meds?

Hi Vallpen
The supportive housing dont allow communual drinking but can have it in room and there is a ban on drugs .It is a very quite place and he had a nice room kitchen and bathroom .It is staffed Mon to Friday 9 to 5 they try to encourage self care and to stay on medicating but thats up to him and he discusses this with a the mental health nurse .We hit a crisis point this time last year and the nurse arrange this place for him. His last hospital admission was 2 years ago when he walked out after refusing meds again and went missing for a month . So i feel it was a step forward going to live away from us …now he wont budge his silent is so powerful .He hates us but wants to live with us …such a confusing illness it affects every aspect of your life.Hows your son doing Vallpen?

I am so glad you are feeling better. It is normal to go up and down in our feelings in this journey. I know I do. More thoughts for you…be sure to clearly identify what those “bad behaviors” are and their consequences. Or even better yet, if possible. to identify “good behaviors” and their rewards. Put it in writing so that there is a record you can all refer back to and he cannot say that he was not aware of it. And rather than tell him he “must consider medication”…that has no identifiable plan or consequence…go back to the LEAP strategy. You will need help HIM identify something that HE wants or wants to do and relate that to a reason to take meds. That is how LEAP works. It can take time but I am confident that in many situations it can be useful!!!

@Faith1 Has he given reasons why he won’t go back that could be worked on?

Gosh, so many of our family members have things that will routinely trigger bad times for them. Do you think that once he works his way through his Halloween time at home he will be ready to return?

Thanks for input Hope .Well that could be possible there does seem to be an emerging pattern to his behaviours. He just wont speak he goes mute. The mental health nurse told me all the doctors have been at a loss with his behaviours as he doesnt fit any normal pattern . He has calmed down not as much aggressive outbursts .

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Hi firemonkey
Thanks for your imput . He is mute most of time and has said nothing but stoney silence and when had enough of question will become verbally abusive .Having spoke to the staff at the supportive housing they admit they have been keeping a close eye on him since being told he has come off meds. Also a younger girl staff member said she had being pushing/asking him to take showers downstairs as he only had a bath in his room and she felt he was letting his hygiene go ! My conclusion as a mother is hes been shamed and humiliated something he is sensitive about it doesnt take much to push this trigger .When he was at home i had to stop treating him like a child …maybe he felt the staff were patronizing him …However this is just me mind reading as he wont talk .

@Faith1 Sorry to respond to your firemonkey post - but surely this is a big part of the problem? My son is sensitive like this as well, shame and humiliation would be devastating for him.

I think your mother instincts are correct.

Yes Hope my son is extremely sensitive to this and rejection and not being good enough .His Brother and sister have extreme allergies and skin sensitivity but he hasnt the physical sensitivity but seems to have no layer to protest from life . Even though he came from what i believe is a normal loving home he has always struggled with low self esteem . I have sheltered my kids from the outside world something he blamed me for in the beginning of this illness. How he was treated in hospital the first and second time he was unwell was cruel but seemed necessary by the professionals to get him ‘well’ we as parents just thought and really trusted they knew what they were doing and were so distressed and scared like him … They really didnt know and still dont know answers i believe this has destroyed his self worth further .As his mum i cant repair this …there is major trauma in the name of keeping him safe .But we dont have an alternative in the UK .There had been postives in some of his recovery but it dosnt make up for this violation on a human being my son and the man handling of him when he was ill. I know many of you have experience of this and it can takes everyones power away. Sending so much strength to you all struggling at this time I pray for a light… a change …a safe place… for us all and our loved ones to just live our lifes in peace without judgements and comparison to others 'normal ’

I have often wondered how they go about treating forcefully where such is allowed. I suspect it would require manhandling at times which would be just devastating for many of our family members. It could literally take our children years to recover from such handling. My knowledgeable friend always says that the only parental vision that is 20/20 with scz is hindsight.

So much pain in this world for some of our children with scz.

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I Agree Hope! My son has told me some of the things they have done to him in the psych ward and it breaks my heart.

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Sigh. Hugs. You are going through so much right now.

I am no expert, but I feel I have learned some basic things I didn’t understand at all when my daughter got ill. I don’t believe my daughter hates me and my husband anymore, even at the worst awful times. My daughter (sweet, kind, helpful, artistic pre-illness) is still in there somewhere, but the person she is when psychotic is not the person she was. And, off medicine, she is psychotic most of the time. I couldn’t figure out why she wanted to live with us either, after she disappeared for 30 days and came home. (She turned down a group home.) Someone at a NAMI meeting pointed out that she still loved me, she does, the person herself, not the one influenced by voices and talking back most of the time. Our relationship improved so dramatically once I realized that and started telling her “I love you” again. I wish I could take back the times I pounded on her door when she wouldn’t quiet down and said the awful things I said to her. She wouldn’t talk to me at all for weeks at a time sometimes. It is the last 9 months of the 2.5 years that has become tolerable. If he is home off alcohol and off drugs, that is an improvement for your son, no?

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Perhaps this is why my daughter doesn’t speak to people much, she mostly talks aloud to her voices. She does get a lot of negative reactions when she tries to speak to strangers at a store, etc. Actually, she used to get a lot of negative reactions from me. It took me a long time to get out of shock and look past the upsetting and un-real things she was talking about. I wonder how hard it is for her to actually speak to me instead of her voices.

I feel so sorry for all of us nobody seems to understand how horrible and stressful this can be. My son has been off his medication for one year now. He was not doing to bad untill about two months ago. Now he has emptied out his whole house all his stuff is contaminated and that all that stuff is not his. Peaple are coming in the house and taking things they stole all his money and the bank is taking it also. He has been calling me every day this week for money. I’ve been sending him money in his acct everyday says he’s starving and has no food I dont know what he is doing with all the money . Today when he asked me for money I told him he needs to go back on his meds he then told me to F - myself and hung up the phone. I ended up sending him
$200.00 . I don’t know where to turn to for advise

@Margi - I can’t remember, has your son been hospitalized before?