Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Tell us how you are today?


I watched it and I also bought the book which I haven’t read yet. It was interesting with a happy ending that most of us don’t have.


I can so relate to that … traumatising ! Even though all stable now i feel anxious and feel like I’m walking on eggshells around my son . I pray every day !


I am sorry that didn’t work out for a longer timeframe in CA. Is it worth having a new discussion with your daughter about meds? Have you tried using the LEAP form of psychology? (Dr. Amador’s book “I Am Not Sick; I Don’t Need Help”)?


Hi Vallpen, I know that feeling of doing so much for them and giving so much of our time and money to them and feeling very unappreciated. My son has been very nice lately so that helps, but I when I get resentful I remind myself that my son has a brain disease that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. It is so tough because it is for the rest of their lives and ours. None of us get a lot of breaks from it all.


Hiya Three, I hope you are sleeping tonight. I am up again. Wish I could turn off and just sleep… You’ve been through a lot with your family, plus your own schz. Has today been more peaceful for you? I hope so.


Hiya Hope, Yes, so many balls in the air. I hope you had a good day. Sorry about the trouble sleeping for you too. I wish I could solve this problem for me, would help a lot not to be so tired.


Yes, me too. I was hoping she could make a life there, with a job and a place to stay. She will be home on the 7th of July.

I’ve read the book, and I’ve tried the LEAP process. The hard part is getting her to talk to me about anything. She is hesitant to open up to me about anything and since she knows I want her to take meds, she rarely talks to me about that at all. I’m going to try with the “maybe it would help you to hold a job” angle about meds when she gets back. But she blames her loss of jobs on others, each time she loses one, it is “their fault”. I will try to remain hopeful.

Thank you for your advice about that book, I didn’t know about it for over a year after she got ill.


Oh, oldladyblue, I am feeling like it may be a good day. Glad you have some more time before your daughter arrives home. Sometimes it seems that your experiences with your daughter are quite similar to my experiences with my son. The desire to work, the illness getting in the way of work and daily living.

I asked a FTF instructor friend “I have forgotten, what am I hoping for now?” She said I must still hope for my son taking meds someday.

My mom is in her late 80’s and recently had open heart surgery. I did my turn recently to go and live with her post surgery. One of my brother’s was just diagnosed with BP in his 50’s. He was surprised to find out he had BP. So much upheaval amongst my family, there is another sibling still undiagnosed and unmedicated for BP. I did find it much easier to be around the unmedicated sibling - for one thing being around a person who can only spout irrational demanding statements is a much easier go than being around someone with angry psychosis;)

The funny thing was it was so easy to not get caught up in the unmedicated sibling’s nonsense. I used to try and try to be rational with this sibling - you can’t be rational with an irrational mind. And another thing I have learned lately from the FTF instructor friend? You can’t have a mentally healthy relationship with an mentally unhealthy person.

Funny how learning to not take my son’s actions/words personally has made it so easy to not take my sibling’s BP rants seriously. Just kind of slid off - wow - do wish I had known all of this stuff earlier in my life. I have wasted a lot of breath trying to be rational with this sibling when I was young.


Can you tell us more about this? We just act normal and don’t react to odd behavior? The Nami here doesn’t have a meeting until Fall!


Sorry you were up again
I had a long overnight sleep in the garden

Thanks for your words

I’m going away and i am scared for my family
more than ever

of course they have to go sometime
but it’s really not going to be long enough


I think we are saying that what is rational and makes sense to you may not make any sense to a person with MI. So trying to reason with someone with MI may just bounce off the wall, or make them upset. I find I have to keep reminding myself of that. @oldladyblue If your daughter does not believe she has an illness, it is unlikely that talking about meds is going to help. You say that she blames others for her job losses, so it appears that she is in total denial. You might want to re-read the LEAP book, or find the video on the Leap Institute website that shows Dr. Amador talking to a client who does not want to take meds. I had to read parts of the book twice. And we haven’t got beyond the LE part of LEAP because our person doesn’t talk or has been too sick much of the time to even have those conversations. I understand. But if your daughter expresses any other complaint or concern, that could be the crack in the open door to find something to agree on as a reason to take meds. In the meantime, you have to build trust. It takes time. You have to use REFLECTIVE LISTENING, and EMPATHIZE with her feelings. This does not mean you agree, but you empathize. The book explains this and gives examples of how to do it.


Hi DianeR, let me try to explain. Nothing like another lowering of expectations eh? Its my world, welcome to it:)

A close friend is married to someone with unmedicated bipolar. (Once we became more open about Jeb, a friend showed up to let us know they had a difficult situation as well). I think what he gains and we (my husband and I) gain is a healthy relationship with someone who understands. He is a man in his late thirties married to a woman with unmedicated bipolar. He wants a real relationship with his wife. Currently their relationship sails the rough seas of her bipolar cycling. She is either happy manic or depressed and angry. He and the kids try to lie low to get through the depressed angry cycles. In the manic cycles they all look tired while she flits around excitedly happy.

The relationships, husband/wife, mother/children are not healthy relationships because she is too sick (unhealthy) to do her part to bring balance to the relationships. Healthy relationships involve the healthy needs of both parties being met. She needs proper meds to curb the disorder and therapy to help her understand and adjust her behaviors. Currently, in her world, she is the center of all and is spun around constantly by her bipolar.

Her husband is without a family adult partner, her children’s lives have no consistency -they have a mom who is out of control of herself. They can all try to meet her swinging needs of the moment, but she can’t meet any of their needs at all. Narcissism is heavily discussed with bipolar - maybe it’s a symptom like anosognosia, maybe they are just so spun around by bipolar cycling they can’t see anything but themselves.

My son Jeb’s scz makes it impossible for him to have a healthy relationship with me. I think to expect a relationship with Jeb would be an unfair and unrealistic burden to place on him while he is unmedicated and not in recovery. My role in our relationship is clearly a caregiver relationship. While caregiving can meet some needs, we all need more balance in our lives than constantly giving.

Not taking things the scz does or says personally is a big part of understanding that our unhealthy family members are not capable of healthy relationships. When we take their actions personally we are denying the illness’ affect on them. We DO have a need to not have our family members say horrible things to us that we know aren’t true. We cannot expect them to fulfill our needs, it would be irrational to think that they could until their recovery reaches that point.

And some recoveries never will reach the point of offering a healthy relationship. I am not trying to be a downer here, I think being realistic is important. I believe we must hope for the best and prepare for the worst -and try to keep OUR lives in balance as much as possible when we have family members with scz. If we get too caught up in the sadness we cannot fool ourselves, we cannot function well if we become mentally unhealthy.

Many of us, whether we are parents, spouses, siblings, extended family or friends, will always remain in the caregiver role despite meds and excellent individual progress. Always being supportive of our loved ones while understanding we must seek healthy relationships outside of our caregiver relationships if our family members always require a level of caregiving.

Its better for us and better for them. Some of them have their hands full just getting through the day.

Didn’t really mean to address our behaviors around odd scz behaviors. I think those decisions are case by case and will change as your son’s recovery progresses. CBT will help him work on adjusting his behaviors. I did eventually realize texting with Jeb I was better off ignoring the accusations of sexual abuse - as though he had Tourette’s vocalizations. For me with my sister, I found that not taking her bipolar seriously kept me from getting upset. I just repeated stuff calmly and ignored her irrational outbursts. Now that I have seen irrational behaviors caused by brain disorders - I guess I can’t unsee them. My brain sort of alerts me and I go into LEAP type communicating - a useful, unexpected gift.

I can’t have a healthy relationship with my sister who is bipolar. Maybe someday if she is medicated and works with a therapist. As Peer to Peer instructor Nick always said, at first its 90% meds, and then as recovery progresses coping skills become more and more important. Nick found in the later stages of his recovery that meds were about 40% and practicing coping skills, social skills, etc were 60% or more.

Nick emphasized in Peer to Peer that it did not mean he reduced his meds, its just the value of the other skills became more important.


I am a geriatric nurse who works with dementia patients. Like you and the LEAP communication, I have learned to communicate with them in a way that meets their cognitive needs. It IS a gift, or at least a skill we develop.
It’s the little things, huh? :slight_smile:


Thanks for all this Hope! I actually mis-read what you said. I thought you said you CAN have a mentally healthy relationship with a mentally unhealthy person. ANYWAY - it ended up that I got very good information for myself reminding me to have healthy relationships outside or my relationship with my son. AND it enforced to me that my relationship with my son (even on meds) may never be normal/healthy. I seem to expect this to happen - perhaps some day!


No problem Diane, I called Nick’s mother the FTF instructor to make sure I was getting his quote passed on correctly.

@WAmac - I almost used a dementia example but thought it was getting long:)


@hope I usually think I get what I need and I did - the post was very helpful to me : )


“you have to build trust

Yes, I agree, that is the starting point. I read the book about 9 months ago. My daughter doesn’t really talk to me (you mentioned your person doesn’t talk much either). After I read that book, I simply tried to calm things down between us to where she would at least open the door and say something (anything) to me (instead of to her voices) when I knocked. (She mostly isolates.) Looking back now, the change in that area was huge. We went from barely speaking once per week, to her opening the door most times I knocked and at least answering one question a day. It will be good for me to read it again before she gets back home next Friday. (I’ve had a welcome 10 week break while she was in CA.) Thanks for suggesting that I read it again. Good idea.


Oh, how I wish I could sleep in my garden. It has been lovely at night here in FL, and will be for just a bit more before nights are too heavy with humidity. But I live in a weird, busy neighborhood with lots of traffic. Plus the tenants in the back would walk by and wake me wondering what was up…

My insomnia is at it again. Up from 2am, it’s 4:33 now… going to try to go back to sleep soon. I have to go to work at 8:30.

I was told to try yoga to see if I can get my mind to calm down from all of the constant worrying. I understand that you are worried… I can’t stop worrying.

I hope you have a good day.

You are going away? Where are you going?


Hi Hope, I didn’t see your answer to me till just now. Yes, your family situation with your son is similar to mine with my daughter from living arrangements (well at least when he was in your back house) to desire to work, and daily living problems. I am lucky that she has never been violent with me, just angry. When I read about some of your experiences, I was quite saddened. And you have other situations with others in your family, as I do. Tough for sure.

It has been much easier to live with her since I started totally ignoring the rather obvious nutty things she says. Really, that has helped me to extract myself somewhat from my mind spinning after we talk.

It almost doesn’t matter to her if I ignore her words and just answer positively to something/anything she said that wasn’t so awful.

Is your son still living on his own and working part time? I seem to remember that was the last situation.

To treat myself recently, I bought an Eileen West nightgown off of Ebay. I never spend money on nightgowns, but it is so soft, light and pretty, it makes my insomnia easier to handle. Totally off topic, but that made me so happy…


I wish you could sleep in your garden in your new nightgown. I am so glad you bought it. The idea of sleeping in a garden seems like something out of a fairy tale. Currently we have a bad outbreak of mosquitoes after that tropical depression. One of the bad outbreaks, large biters.

My son didn’t complain when I started ignoring the texted accusations and delusions. When his psychiatrist shared with me that he had shown him our text conversations, I just said “yeah, I don’t respond to the delusions anymore”. The doctor didn’t say I should do otherwise when I asked for suggestions - he had no suggestions btw. I thought it was interesting when my husband insisted I turn my phone on do not disturb at night - I really felt I needed to know what was going on with my son all the time- and I informed my son that I was doing so, his delusional texts and accusations nearly stopped altogether at night. Of course that was quickly followed by the screaming at our house amping up…coincidence?

We are still enjoying a break from being terrorized, thought I don’t think we have recovered all the way yet. Sudden loud voices can still freak out me and the dogs. He does continues to work part time and live by himself. Usually he works about 4 hours then often doesn’t work again for 2 weeks. He just grabs those lighter hours of psychosis and works when he is able. As long as he limits his work to about 8 hours a month and changes his living location frequently, this just may continue to work.