Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Support for parent attacked by Sz adult child

I am so glad to have found this site. I have been looking for some kind of online support since my son attacked me this past August. He has now been told he has Sz. I know it was only the Sz that attacked but how do you get over the fear that he may do it again.
My son is 26 and was still living at home when he had this breakdown. Before the breakdown my son had never even raised his voice to me much less attacked me. I knew something was bad wrong for several days before this happened. I just was not able to get him help in time.
He was arrested for assault on me since he tried to stab me. The charges are to be dropped in 10 days because of his diagnosis. Although we still talk on the phone by court order he has not been able to have contact with me. We have seen each other on a couple of occasions with someone else around.
My problem is I don’t know if I can be around him by myself again. This whole thing has cause a lot of anxiety and depression along with empty nesting; as he was the last child at home. Has anyone out their ever been through this and how did you cope.

Welcome to the forum,
I’d like you to know I am deeply sorrowed that schizophrenia has affected your family in such an extreme way.
I myself am diagnosed a schizophrenic, and while I have never violently lashed out because off the illness, I can tell you the voices some of us experience are very persuasive, demanding, and a bit overbearing.

I have had voices tell me to kill my Mom and while I couldn’t imagined myself even considering the possibility, I found myself wondering if it was the right thing to do simply because the voices told me so and based off what I have read here I no longer have a sever case.

All that’s to say, I hope you and your son are able to move past this situation, I’m sure your support in this season of his life would be phenomenal. It can be extremely hard not to act out when delusional, so please just remember when he does do these things his body has become a temporary puppet for the illness, while that doesn’t sound cute or sugar-coated it is the unfortunate reality that the diagnosed and their loved ones have to face.

Odds are your son needs you.
Don’t give up on him!

Thanks for reading!

Thanks for your input. I can assure you I have not given up on him. He is on meds and seems to be doing well. I am just trying to find the new normal and get over my fear of being around him by myself as I am a single parent with no support. Friends were great at first but now have gone on with their own lives. I just need to feel normal again and quit crying. My son will always have my love and support just maybe at a distance. These feeling make me feel guilty because a Mom should not be afraid of their child. Anyway thanks for the support and I wish you well with your journey in life.

How did you escape the stabbing may i ask?

I’m sorry to hear about what happened with your son. The voices, visuals, delusions, and paranoia of schizophrenia can really overtake a person and force them to do things they would never think of doing otherwise.

You seem profoundly affected by this experience. I’m glad you’re reaching out for support. But have you thought about therapy for yourself? This was a traumatic experience, added to the already depressing empty nesting.

I think working through these feelings will really help you heal. Many family members of a schizophrenic need therapy for themselves. And it can be highly effective.

Wishing the best for you.



I have been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. When I was in involuntary hospitalization, I had to go to mental health court, and my parents were there. I said some awful things to and about my mother, which I don’t even remember. I was still under the delusion that my parents had made sex tapes of their children, and were selling them on the internet.

I am sorry your son attacked you. That must have been an awful experience for you. I agree with @radmedtech that getting some therapy for yourself for what you have been through might not be such a bad idea.

Once your son gets on the road to recovery, hopefully you will feel safer around him. At least you know that it was the schizophrenia that did that to you, and not what your son really wanted. Still, he has to learn to control his behavior, with or without schizophrenia. Hopefully therapy will help him with this.

Welcome to the forum. Sorry it’s under such circumstances. Perhaps therapy to help deal the trauma you went through would be a good idea as radmedtch suggested. Even though it was your son, it was still a traumatic experience. Plus the quilt of feeling this way has to be hard. Try not to be too hard on yourself as recovering from any trauma takes time.

I’m sorry that you had to come here like this. Please accept my hugs. -0-. Think of that as being hugged by a jelly bean with arms. That’s what I think that looks like.
Yeah, definitely therapy.
I am so happy you know that it was the schizophrenia (holy crud I spelled that right! Sorry. I am a schizo affective (schizophrenia/depression) business student with ausburgers indicators. I can’t spell schizophrenia, schizo affective, bushiness or ausburgers. I rely on spell check. Sorry to break in with that. That was just a really big thing for me that I just did.)
But love will get you through everything. I never got as bad as your son has, but for years (birth -> a little less than a year ago) I though my Mom didn’t love me and shut her out of every aspect of my life. I think that was really hurtful to her and I really regret it. I guess in a weird way I was deluded even back then.
I always loved her of course, like I am sure your son loves you.
Just take it slow. The best way to enter this pool I think is by the steps.

He for some reason happen to pass out right in the middle of the attack and I ran like as fast as I could.

Thanks for all the support. I am still confused as to how to talk to him about all this. When I inquire about whether he is taking his meds he gets a little upset and will not answer me. This is not him I know. He still thinks the voices are his spirit guides as he calls them. As with a lot of Sz’s he does not think he needs help that what happened is over and he will not attack again. He claims it was a one time thing. He has only been in treatment for about 6 months now. Will this get better and is it ok for me to require that he take his meds in order to be around me?

You came to the right place-welcome!
This happened with my son about 3 years ago. He hit me in the face. Blood everywhere. I was never afraid of him before this. I called the police. They came and arrested him. I went to court-but did not press charges. I was so afraid that I moved to another apartment before he was released, and had a restraining order place against him. It took me a year before I would see him again. I am semi-supporting him now, we talk everyday, but I will not let him know where I live because he does not respect boundaries. I told him this. It was VERY traumatic for me.
The thing about this illness is that it causes a mother ( or father ) to act counter-intuitively as a parent. Sorry this post was so long. I know there is a way to support your son without tolerating violence. I would not let him live with you until he is stable–especially if you live alone. Well, that is the only way I could deal with it…

I agree with bridgecomet. Make sure you are safe! If you don’t help you, you can’t be there for him.
DEFINITELY require that he take his meds. It is one thing if someone is just being deluded on their own, but when they start getting violent, that is totally different. He might not like it, but I honestly think it is for the best.
Maybe when he becomes stable he will thank you for not taking any gruff and refusing to let him quit on himself.

@dontforget623…Im sorry for your troubles at the moment. It must be tough for you. I myself have schizophrenia and have caused my parents a lot of difficulties when sick with the condition.

Schizophrenia makes you disturbed and unbalanced and stress makes it worse. Due to the illness, I lashed out at my mother. I am ashamed of that but it would not have happened if I wasn’t psychotic and very unwell. This illness causes a lot of stress inside the mind of the schizophrenic. The mind can be very tense and added stress can set things off. For me, I can be on my own, completely on my own (nobody around) and I would be having a heated argument with the voices in my head. It leaves you feeling very stressed and a lot of times I wish I was dead than have to put up with the illness. As regards your son, I would keep being supportive. Your son would not be in this position if it was not for the illness. He is unwell. But he can get better in time. It just takes time. With schizophrenia, you can be good one day and poorly the next. But gradually over time you balance out and feel better.

Keep up the posting here on the forums. We’re here to support you.

By the way, inside the mind of a sufferer of schizophrenia, it can be very stressful. You can be constantly hearing voices tormenting you. Nobody else would know any different but the sufferer can be very stressed. Voices can drive you completely insane. It can be like a volcano inside the head of the sufferer of schizophrenia. What Im saying is you may not understand but your son may be under a lot of stress without you knowing it. And added stress can set things off. The stress of schizophrenia can cause a lot of problems for the family but I assure you these things would not have happened if it was not for the stress of the illness. Things will get better for you and your son. My heart is with you through your current problems.

Keep up posting here on the forum, we’re here to support you.

Hello, :wave:

I am the kid sister of a man who has Sz, but I was very young when he was diagnosed and as I grew up, he went through his journey of healing so I am not afraid of my oldest brother James.

However, I am afraid of my other older brother John. I have four older brothers. James, Jacob, Jack and John. All of whom have had their struggles with mental illness, addiction, and other complications in life. I have learned so much from them. Mostly, to never touch alcohol, or drugs. I’m the goody two shoe, last born and the only girl.

John is only three years older then me and this past year has not been a good one. These past few months I have been the object of his almost obsessive harassment and violence. I’ve given him many second chances because I just kept hoping that the good person and the fun brother I knew just had to be in there somewhere.

Once he beat me up. I forgave him and didn’t tell a soul. Stupid me. Then he punched me in the face again and trashed my car. Then he stole my car and made my life a bit more complicated then need be in many areas.

About two weeks ago that mental crash that we had all been expecting finally came. It was the day after St. Patrick’s Day. John was involuntarily committed and in a few weeks after his is detoxed, after his assessment, the family will be allowed to see him.

Scared? You bet I am.
Ready to see my old friend and 4th older brother? Not by a long shot.
Thinking of not going when I’m called? Yes, I am thinking of not going when the family has it’s chance to see him.
Feeling guilty for being afraid of him? Yes, I feel horribly guilty for being afraid of him.
This is my brother, I shouldn’t be afraid of him. But I am afraid and that fact almost makes me cry. It makes me feel like a bad person for not being able to forgive as completely as I should.

I am going to beat that fear. I’m going to swallow it down and I will hold that door of second chances wide open. I will go to family counseling between us if it’s offered. I will trust that he can come back and be the slightly dangerous, slightly devil may care fun brother he used to be. But I also won’t be surprised if he comes back different.

John’s danger edge and wild ways very well could have been drugs and a mental illness. I have no idea who I will meet soon. That scares me too. It will take time and therapy and an obvious effort of healing on his part for me not to flinch when he moves his hand, or break out in a cold sweat of dread when his number appears on my phone. But I’ll do it, because what else can I do? Not be part of the family? Live in fear forever? Never forgive and let it fester? NO. None of that will work.

My oldest brother James has said that he himself scared my younger brothers to the point where they didn’t trust him for bit. But he regained their trust through staying sober, off street drugs and on meds, working hard to stay stable, making amends for his past actions and going to family therapy, anger management and other things to ensure that he never acted out again. I’m more likely to sustain deeper injury from a rose bush then my oldest brother James.

It took time, commitment to healing and family therapy to help rebuild that trust. I know you love your son. I know you understand it was his illness and not him. As much as I love my brother John, as much as I know it’s his mental illness and his addiction that caused this past 6 months of sorrow, I’m still a bit afraid.

Ok, I’m very very afraid. But my brother James is the bravest person I know and from him I will also learn how to be brave and I will do everything in my power to just forgive John and trust again. I will be open to rebuilding that friendship, because that is all I can do.

However, some family therapy wouldn’t go amiss. I hope you’re fear will fade as you see the progress of healing in your son. Sometimes you just have to face that fear and accept it as a once in a life time incident. I too will try and live by the words I just typed.
Thank you for letting me post.

Strange, and lucky.

Good thing he passed out, what incredible timing.

I am so sorry this has happened to you. My daughter has never behaved dangerously to me or anyone else. Since he is a danger to others and possibly himself, please try to keep him in the hospital as long as possible for the medication to work. I would not allow him to move back home. It’s not that your are giving up on him but perhaps a group home would be a better solution right now. I know it takes time to find the right medication and if he’s not med compliant that poses another problem. You cannot help him if your are not safe. Please take care of yourself first. Could your son be abusing drugs?

Molly I know for sure it is not drugs. He spent 95% of his time at home on the computer or meditating before all this happened. This was one of my problems when all this happened. Everyone including the police thought it was drugs. I had to beg to get him the right help. I am of the hippie era and would know if he were to be doing drugs. He is not in the hospital but living with a friend across town. He does go to therapy once a month by order of the court. After next Monday when they dropped the charges he will not be under a court order for therapy. I am nervous about what will happen after that. He seems to be open to continuing the treatment according to what he told one of his friends. I am lucky in that all his friends have been a great support for me and him. I will probably never allow him to move back in but I would hope that at least I can conquer the fear of him at least coming to visit.
Pansdisease you are right I was lucky. Not to mention he had a pistol at that time that an elderly man had given him that I hid the day before this happened. I don’t think I would be here today if he had gotten his hands on it. I gave it to the police and since he had never registered it to himself and the elderly man died recently he will never see it again. Only by the grace of God am I still alive.

Well I’m glad he no longer has a gun. You say he’s at a friend’s house. How long do you think that will last before he is asked to move out? Are you in the states and does your son receive SSI? If you live in the states you may want to be proactive and look for a group home where he can live. Based on personal experience with my daughter I don’t think living with a friend will work out. He will act out again Also don’t be so sure it isn’t drugs. I never thought my daughter would take drugs but our kids our not well and they will do anything to feel better. Please do not allow him near your home and make sure you change all your locks – have a lock on your bedroom door as well. I know it sounds scary but you do need to take care of yourself.

I changed locks to my home not because I was afraid of my daughter but I was afraid of my ex husband. He made an attempt on my life before I left him. Its scary when people you love behave in a very unexpected way.

When you see your son — make sure it’s in an area where you can get away from him. I’m so sorry you are having to go through so much heartache. You don’t want to die at your son’s hand because your son is not ready to be without an advocate. He will be thrown in prison and God knows what will happen to him there. Please use your judgement at all times in dealing with your son. Trust your gut.

One more thing – you say your son has schizophrenia and as someone once told me – don’t marry the diagnosis because psychiatry is not an exact science. Your son could be schizo-affective which means he has schizophrenia and bipolar and which also means he cannot take anti-depressants. Someone bipolar on anti-depressants becomes manic and mania imho is a lot scarier than depression. My daughter has been diagnosed with everything under the sun so don’t take the doctor’s diagnosis as the final word.

He has had 2 diagnosis. The doctor at the jail said Sz and the doctor he is seeing now says Schizophreniform Disorder. I have read the symptoms of Schizophreniform Disorder and I don’t agree with that diagnosis. Despite the attack he does seem to have a somewhat mild form of Sz. Now that I have been on this site for a few days I believe he has mostly negative symtoms. He is on a low dose of abilify only. Before the attack we had no idea he had a problem until about 4 days before the attack when his behavior became very strange for him. In hind site all his friends, their parents, his co-workers and I could see this had been a problem for a while but we all had brushed it off as just weird. He is fine living where he is for a while and by no means would he agree to a group home. He cannot live with me. We are in the states but he probably will not get SSi because his Sz is so mild.

If you can get a case-worker for him, they should be able to find a place for him. When my son came out of jail,there was a shelter for him to stay in-while he attended court and group with is caseworker. She helped him find an apartment. He went into the shelter and was safe there,but had to leave in the morning. This was all through Mental health court. Good luck-do not accept violence-verbal or physical