Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Unmedicated mom and a broken heart


hey guys im feeling really low tonight it just kinda hit me all a sudden! My mom got a new doctor because the other one moved out of state, this new doctor brought up the idea of taking her off the medication… so starting next month (september) thing will go back to how they used to be and im really scared. I cant do this all over again i cant even imagine some of the stuff you all go through with children, parents, siblings, spouses not being medicated i give props to you guys! seeing my mom go through this is hard but its even harder being a teenager and have a situation like this and im not prepared to do it again i could really use some words of encouragement or advice, thanks.


It would be good to know why the doctor wants to take your mom off of medication. Is that doctor a psychiatrist? Are you her closest “caregiver”? If so, can you tell the doctor your concerns? Will your mom allow the doctor to talk with you about her care? I’m sure it is very hard to be so concerned about your mom but I encourage you to keep learning about the illness. Knowledge is empowering and can be very helpful to care and treatment.


i would call NAMI and get advice by phone


I’m so sorry you are hurting. I think you are so strong for dealing with all of this at such a young age and am so glad you are reaching out to us. Do you have a counselor at your school who you can talk to?

I can’t understand why the doctor would be taking her off of medication if it was working. I agree with the others, try to find NAMI in your area. We are here if you need help with that but it’s important for you to have someone to help you.

Stay strong and please keep us posted. We are here for you



I feel for you. When the person with the illness refuses help, it is awful for us. I totally understand your fear. If the meds were working I can’t imagine why a pdoc is recommending that your mother stop. I can’t imagine it will be healthy to stop suddenly. Is she on a monthly shot? Is that why starting next month she will be unmedicated? I wonder if what your mom told you is really true: that the doctor suggested ceasing the medicine. Or if she just decided on her own.


I would ask the doctor if he is doing that to clear your mom’s system before trying a new medication, some doctors will do that before changing meds depending on the meds. If this is the case I would let the doctor know in no uncertain terms what your mom’s behavior is like without medication and ask if the process can be done in the hospital so she can be monitored. Either way you have to find a way to fully inform the doctor either in person or with a letter. If your mom sees the doctor alone he is likely not getting the complete and accurate picture.


Very good point, Catherine.


I agree with Catherine: be firm with the doctor about why you think this is a bad idea.


my dad is also a caregiver to her, it is a psychiatrist and he says there could be a chance its not SZ and could be a weird psychotic break from depression but her crawling on the floor with a knife is definitely not depression at least in my opinion! its hard to be close with her because of everything and her abusive past but im working on it. thanks for the response


thanks for the support, i do have a counselor at my school but i dont know if id ever go to them with this. i have several church leaders im close with but i dont like to complain to all of them about it all the time. the doctor said this could all be a psychotic break from depression but the things ive seen is not depression so they want to see what will happen. thanks again for supporting me and responding it means alot


thanks for replying, yeah she is on a monthly shot because she has in the past had addiction problems and overdosed a few times so they wanted to be cautious of that, the last shot they gave her a smaller dosage and next month theyll be taking her off completely. its my dad who told me he insited on going to this appointment to see the doctors perspective on why they want her off this medication.


thanks for the reply! its not only me caring for her its my dad aswell and he went to the appointment and doesnt want it to happen but the doctors said that this medication could do more damage then good if its not SZ so that worries my dad so he is more open to it.


Thanks for posting back. I am glad that your dad went to the appointment with your mom, and hopefully he continues to go. I am especially glad that he is there for you too and that you have your church to help support you. I guess the doctor is worried about side effects, which is a valid worry.


I’m glad your dad is helping and attending the appointments with your mom. I still think it would be be beneficial if you mailed the doctor a detailed letter of your experiences with your mom’s behavior. Another close family member’s perspective cannot hurt. I wish you guys the best for the future.


@rspan Or possibly you can get the doctor’s email address and keep him updated with your mo’s history as well as your ongoing observations and concerns.


You are not alone. So sorry this is happening. What is the reason her doctor is taking her off her meds? It does sound dangerous to me. Perhaps a new psychiatrist . My son was allowed to take his own meds without my knowing and of course he stopped taking them. He ended up back in hospital and now takes a shot one time a month. I blamed the doctor and am looking for a new psychiatrist which is not easy. Sending you support and hugs as you go on this journey at such a young age.


There is also a support class called FAMILY TO FAMILY that is run by NAMI. I took this 12 week class and learned so much and got lots of support too. You may want to check it out as it helped me cope and now have friends who know exactly what I am going through. I now teach the class even though my son is still not out of the woods and may never be. Learn as much as you can.


Good for you moving on to be a NAMI teacher. The family-to-family class was a very, very good thing for me to do to help me with my daughter. I highly recommend everyone with a mentally ill friend or relative to do the NAMI family-to-family class if they can. I drove an hour each way twice a week to do the class. It was well worth it.


I think it is probably a very rare thing for a schizophrenia sufferer to ‘make it’ without medication, but we do read about some who quit their meds, walk away from the hospitals, walk away from their families and so on.

If you can tolerate this and manage this, I would suggest that you take a step back and let the natural consequences run their course. Doctors and police will often intervene and commit someone to hospital when they become dangerous to themselves or others.
Or you can call police and have your loved one charged (it ain’t easy), but normally gets them to hospital for a mandatory, 72 hour assessment.

I think you will feel less guilt yourself if you do something, as opposed to doing nothing.