Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Stressed out of my mind

I need advice. My son is schizoaffective. He has been using cocaine even though he says he has stopped. I don’t believe this.

I give him a card for money but I have from time to time given him a little cash.

He does not have hobbies and just listens to music. He does nothing else. He will help clean his room from time to time. He wanders from place to place. He does enjoy eating out.

Now when he really wants money and I think it is for using. He will call my workplace and
phone a lot.

The dad is out of the pic he doesn’t seem to care.

I need time out but there is no one else that can help me with him. What do you do when
you are close to burnout?

Please your thoughts.

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When I am close to burnout I have to take a step back and look at any bright areas of my life there might be. And I have to also try to rest more, even if I can t sleep I just lay on sofa when I can. I cry a lot and make no more commitments than what I have to do to keep our house barely going. I am a swimmer and also I go to pool as much as possible to swim laps.


Just keep in mind things always change and this will too, Hugs to you and take care of you first.


So often there is a dual dx of substance abuse and mental illness and we forget to deal with them separately.

Son has paranoid scz and his father a coke addict/alcoholic. The MI is easier to deal with because as strange as that behavior is, I do not feel manipulated. Son has, at times, self medicated with drugs and alcohol over the past decade and that is when we have had the worst experiences. But the addictive behaviors of his father, just about drove me insane.

So, yes there is MI, but if you know (and I believe your gut feelings are sound) he is seeking money for drugs, set boundaries and stick to them. It is hard, but in the long run best.

And possibly you could benefit from some face to face support group in your area. Wishing you the best.


I run with my dogs. I’m not fast, more of a plodder but it’s a getaway and exercise produces useful natural chemicals in our brains to relieve the stress.


During the most difficult times, I took longer and longer walks. Sometimes I would have enough time to walk until I felt myself feel better.

One of my main coping mechanisms was: this is my choice. Being here in this with my family member is my choice and I can change my decision any time I choose to.


At least you try! I just think about running and then I need a nap :slight_smile:


I’m so sorry… this sounds very hard. Can you refrain from answering the phone after letting him know you won’t answer again that day?
Joining him about the music is a long term strategy to build alliance. This may be the best your son can do right now. What is he enjoying about it? At least music is universal and is very connective within the brain. Anything that can be a conversation is positive.
I agree with others on this post - any rest and relaxation in or out of your home.
I listen to a lot of calming music when I’m overwrought. I call good friends for connection/grounding. I can find work very absorbing and gives me back a sense of competency when I’m completely stymied at home. I also add l-theanine and NAC to my sons and our, foods, when he is having a more manic episode. Check out L-theanine in the supplements section - helps with creating alpha brain waves- More content mood. I know - not great to do this- but helps us all stay saner.

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People always look surprised to hear I run, no runner’s body here - it’s a plodder’s physique. :laughing:


You must take care of you! There are several good suggestions here. If you feel he is using, tell him no cash unless he can pass a drug screen. The get a drug kit from the drug store…he will stomp off once he sees the box if he is really using!

Getting treatment for both the drugs and the sz at the same time are key. I found a psych hospital called Center Point in St. Charles, MO that does both. I also am the rep payee for his SSI money. so I pay for things directly and give him very little cash. Hang in there.

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Can’t give him money or a gift card because they will use it for drugs.

You can buy clothes or provide medical/ dental care which costs enough as it is.

I have a son with the same issues and it just makes the mental illness much worse.

The doctors call it comorbidity which is the mental illness with use of alcohol / drugs.

It’s truly a trial.
Good luck. Get support for yourself and have some time away.

It’s not fun