Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Update on my schizoaffective sister

I have posted before on the ongoing saga that is about my schizoaffective sister and myself…trying to relate and have some semblance of a sisterly relationship. Things went pretty well over the Holidays and we had decided to do a once a month sleep over at my house to have more quality time and have time to go shopping together and things like that…That lasted 3 months, 3 sleepovers…things were always a challenge and always emotionally charged, with her non stop talking and often nonsense logic, and fearful yet argumentative demeanor.

There were still golden moments of unexpected laughter and moments when I felt we connected and there was always hugs. Our last face to face encounter we went to bring some supplies to her home, it was a pleasant visit, brief but uneventful and rather upbeat. We made plans that our next overnight would be around my sz son’s birthday (April 13)
and we promised to talk on the phone during the days to come. That was a month ago.

Since then, we (my sz son and I) have left dozens of upbeat messages for her. Just saying things like “Missing you! give us a call” --Where have you been? miss hearing from you" Can’t wait to see you again" etc etc…nothing back…so about 3 days ago my son and I drove to her house and she refused to answer the door ( I have experienced this with her before) so my son and I tried to gently coax her to come to the door, after about 30 minutes she screamed out bloody murder: " I AM PERFECTLY FINE!!! AND I DO NOT NEED YOU TO WORRY ABOUT ME!!!, I AM TAKING CARE OF MYSELF!!!, LEAVE ME ALONE!!! -I LOVE YOU IN THE NAME OF JESUS!!!–GO AWAY.!!!" …so…we left.

It was a gorgeous sunny 70 degree day and my sz son and I were on our way to the park and high hopes of bring my sister with us. So sad that she had windows and doors shut tight and was in a dark tiny efficiency apartment about 200 sq feet all alone and in whatever state of mind put her there. I could not help her. My heart is broken again and a part of me wishes I did not care as much as I do. These silences of hers never go well for her and have lasted at times as long as 5 years, the last was one was 18 months. There is truly nothing that I can do. It is like mourning a loss over and over again and it never ends.

Thanks for listening/reading. I hope everyone is well or heading that way. On the upside my sz son had a great birthday and is doing really well, I am blessed in that regard. :heart::gift::birthday:


I’m glad your son’s birthday went well and sad for your sister.

Thank you for updating:)


I was hoping for another story like your Christmas one when I opened this thread - how sad.

Does your sister take any meds at all?

My son’s case manager thinks they will change his diagnosis from SZ to SZA, and this last stay in the hospital they added Tegretol for a mood stabilizer. They also gave him Risperdal until they can get the dosage right on the Invega shot, but there was no real change until the mood stabilizer was added. He’s even taking his meds now even though his insight hasn’t came back.

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So sorry about your sister, @Catherine. I too was hoping for a similar story to your Christmas experience…and I hope this ends up being a short silence. In the meantime, Happy Birthday to your son!

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She refuses to see a psychiatrist now because the one she had before was not good at all and kept giving her scripts for xanax for years until the side effects and improper dosing by her own hands (and the doctor’s) just about killed her. It was her family doctor (bless him) that got her off of the xanax and onto Buspar. While he is not a psychiatrist he is able to provide meds for things like anxiety. Lots of doctors do. Wisely he made it Buspar which is one of the anxiety meds that has the lowest side effects and is not addictive. When she takes it regularly she is able to function minimally -enough to get by. The problem is she forgets doses and sometimes doubles up because she doesn’t remember. She also smokes weed (she’s 55) and every once in awhile her alcoholism kicks in and she will drink wine coolers or something, always with bad results. Who knows what happened this go 'round.

Anything can set her back light years. If her toilet overflows. If her electric goes out. If someone verbally attacks her (maybe a disgruntled neighbor or something) If a field mouse got into her house. You name anything that happens to people on a regular basis and when it happens to her it is the apocalypse. I have tried to teach her “you roll with the flow” and “these things happen every day to somebody” …doesn’t matter…she is not a fan of life’s everyday circumstances.

Ultimately she needs a psychiatrist and an antipsychotic with a mood stabilizer. I am not a doctor but this is not my first (or second) rodeo. She would also benefit from home based counseling and living in a supportive environment. I had all of these things lined up to discuss with her one thing at a time …maybe once a month and now my opportunity is gone. The brief time I mentioned it to her she seemed open to discussing it. Maybe it was just too much 'family and too much 'normal and too much ‘love’ for her to handle----- my sister has gotten none of that anywhere else in her life for her whole life other than one brief romance that ended in the man’s death (from diabetes) about 15 years ago… My self and my son are the exceptions to what she deals with in her life-- and not the norm for her. In a strange and very uncomfortable way I kind of understand why she isolates and recoils from the only good influences in her life. People tend to feel more comfortable with what is familiar even if it is awful and it hurts.


Thanks so much @jmarie1067 I would have loved to have a happy story about my sis, maybe I will sooner rather than later. My son however gives me much reason to hope and to smile. :slight_smile:


Maybe you guys were just pulling her out of her comfort zone too fast?

It sounds like she’s really benefit from something like the ICT program my son recently got into here - if she’d be willing to accept the help. That’s the struggle I’m having now.

At one point, he brought up that it would be nice to have all the things they offer. Now, he’s not sick, so why would he need all that?

I hope your sister comes around sooner rather than later this time.


I think you are right about making her go outside of her comfort zone too fast. I just did not know how to pace it. I thought once a month would give her a month in between to “recover” I always told her to let me know if she needed to skip a month or if she needed to cancel. I told her I would understand. Her communications skills are like -0 though -so…it was a no win situation. I would say do you want to come? and she would say yes I do! and I would take her word. Maybe inside she was like NOOO!!!- but it was in her head and I didn’t know. That can happen like that.


I have the same kind of problem with my son sometimes - and we live together.

He often says yes, and sometimes means yes, but when it comes time to actually do it, the anxiety takes over & he just can’t. Then, he feels bad that he couldn’t. If he feels like he’s disappointing someone else, it’s even worse for him.

Sometimes, I think I need to give him a little push, but 9 times out of 10, it’s the wrong thing to do.
The ICT team is trying to figure out his boundaries & they’ve gotten a lot of push back from him - about things I told them he’d push back on.
He did, however, let his case manager bring him home from the hospital, so that was a pretty big step for him.


Catherine, I love, love, love your posts. They are so informative. I firmly believe from reading them, I can understand the difference between schizo affective disorder and schizophrenia. Since there is a debate over the two, I firmly believe my daughter has schizophrenia and not schizo affective disorder. Thanks so much for your posts.


Oh you are so welcome! I always hope my experiences can help someone else. My best to you.

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The hurt you write about is the hurti feel too. We thought my son 24, was a drug addict and as soon as he joined A 12 step program he’d be fine. Then in a shelter he learned he was schizoid frantic. He went on respertAl. Was work T toward another degree as a drug counselor…and he had to go to ER and hospital fora couple of weeks. A surgeon saved his.ife but he was very sick and we brought him home. He stayed nine months and sold his car and moved to San Francisco… He would
Return for great visits in all holidays. He only wanted to be around family…he went on another medication begin ng with a A. His visit here so stressful…His dad is 84 serious medical problems. By writing a lot of letters, pulling strings manipulating I was about to get him an appointment with the psychiatrist in San Francisco and in walking distance from his apartment. Two weeks later he disappeared . He had canceled his doctor’s appointment and thrown away his Wallet because it had
Evil vibes …he wandered all over Denver, reno, Portland ,
And now homeless in Seattle. He refuses to goon medicine. But he went with me to see my counselor
She mentioned that I was very concerned. He said that was my problem. We saw hm six weeks ago after three years of only feline in touch by mail and my sending Gift
Cards to General deliver.y. His last visit a disaster.he
Heard voices all the time and sound bothers him.
When he was on medication we watch A beautiful MindTogether and other films and hiked and had fun.

Love my son, college graduate, so handsome,
Never violent just extremely agitated…
I have to take care of mysel first , then my husband who is house bound . I have two other sons loving with us who do drugstore trips, hospital and Urgent Care. Shop
For us . One pays rent, the other his gas, groceries and gas.and is recovering from leg injury.
Many years go by. Darrylwans to come back for my birthday.
His brothers say…last visit a disaster. THEY WANT TO WATCH TV in the living room where hewould sleep. We might put him up for a few nights n a motel. All he did las nth was sleep three days
Then we went got gift card from targhet and at outback…all he meals wig family unpleasant t…he would leave restaurant agitTed right wake.and smoke. . And

He refuses to allow the doctors to poison or experiment
On him. I send him money and gift cards for my own peace of mind. It’s a choice…go out for breakfast with
Family, have a massage, get my dog tended to.

My precious son must be 52. At times my heart aches
For him. I give to menta illness…And I mention to church
Friends from arts and Crafts,bookclub …that I have a son, on disability, mostly homeless. That he has schizoidfrenia which is treats like a out casT LKE CANCER WAS THE big big C…and before that
The Lepers.

This disease will be cured! My son your sister will get better…miracles happen…remission remission.
You and family must stay healthy so when our love Nescafé better we can rejoyce next week next year.


Sharing the emotions makes the burden lighter. That is my philosophy. Thank you for sharing. I believe a cure is in our future. I wish you and your family well.


You’re a very understanding sister. I wish there was better treatment out there for our loved ones.