Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Venting about my dad


#1

My dad has had paranoid schizophrenia my whole life but was diagnosed only 6 years ago. Looking back at my childhood, I can see that he wasn’t well. Even though I’ve lived with him my whole life, we’ve never had much of an emotional connection. These days, when we do communicate, there is a lot of yelling. Thankfully, we do get along sometimes.

It’s sad to see him go through this. He doesn’t have friends and can’t keep a relationship because he is controlling and thinks the other person is cheating. He gets out almost every day, but when he is at home, he just lays in bed all day. He has recently stopped cleaning as much as he used to, so it’s all up to me. He believes that if you spend time with friends and family “you need strength from them” and “he doesn’t need that”. He also has a hard time living in apartments, and refuses to live upstairs because he “has to be near the door”. He wants to move to an area that might be bad, and I really don’t want to. We’re always moving, and I like where we are now, but he says he can’t deal with it, because “this area is closing in on him”. I wish that I could live on my own, but I can’t at the moment.

I know I need to be more supportive of him, and I am going to work on not arguing and just listening to his delusions instead of trying to tell him they aren’t true. What other ways can I be supportive of him?


#2

Is he on meds? Sounds like he isn’t, but I could be wrong.


#3

He’s not. He says they make him feel worse.


#4

Can I ask how old you are? Is there any other family near you?


#5

Well there’s your answer. Medication is what helps our symptoms. I don’t think I’ve ever met a schizophrenic who doesn’t need medication. He sounds symptomatic by the way you described him and my first thought was “He’s probably not on meds”. Some meds may make you feel worse, but there are many anti-psychotics out there for a reason. Some work on some people, some work on others. I’m sorry for your struggles, it must be indeed frustrating.


#6

I’m almost 22. Yeah, we have some family nearby but we don’t have a close relationship with them. I think I’m the only one that knows he has SZ.


#7

How can I help him with getting meds that work? Should I suggest that he ask his doctor to prescribe a different anti psychotic because a different one might work? Could I talk to his doctor confidentially about trying something else because he says that one makes him feel bad? He would get mad if I tell him that I want to talk to his doctor.


#8

I’m so sorry. Taking care if an ill parent with no support is so stressful. Is there anyone you can talk to about this? Perhaps social services might be able to help you out some.

Chores and daily maintenance with sz is far more difficult than you would think. Maybe start by asking your dad to do some things with you - say, “Hey, while I’m cleaning the kitchen, could you put the dishes away?” Talk to him while you’re doing it. Small tasks, and chat with him while he’s working. Don’t be accusatory, just try to get him involved in it.

I was wondering about your age because of your concerns about having to move. I hope you don’t have to. I’m sorry you’re going through this.


#9

You can tell the doctor anything you think might be helpful. The doctor won’t be able to tell you anything, but would probably appreciate knowing that your dad is noncompliant on his current meds and understanding the reasons why.


#10

No, I don’t have anyone to talk to about this. I’d like to join a support group, but he probably won’t let me. I’ll ask him about it, though.

Thanks for the advice, I’ll try that! That seems like a nice way to bond, too.

Thanks so much for your support.


#11

Check out NAMI.org for a local support group.
It`s very hard to do this alone. I hope you can talk to some family members about this.
Good luck!


#12

Thanks! I’ll check them out. Maybe I’ll try to talk to one of my family members that I feel comfortable with about it. It’s very hard.


#13

I know-but you will feel a lot better and you need someone on board with you…


#14

Yeah, I’m going to talk to my aunt about it. I just had a long talk with him telling him that he needs to tell his doctor that the Invega makes him feel worse and he wants to try something else. I told him that if he doesn’t tell them, I will and he agreed. I told him that if he doesn’t take the medicine, I’ll have to get a case worker or I’ll leave. I hope that wasn’t the wrong thing to say. I don’t want him to turn against me. He didn’t get mad, but said that he “doesn’t want anyone in his business”. He also said that he knows it’s hard dealing with someone who has a mental illness. He doesn’t want to believe that schizophrenia is his problem, though. He thinks his main problem is depression.


#15

Sounds like you made some great headway!
Go with him to the doctor and ask him to sign a release so that the doctor can talk to you about meds, etc…tell your dad that you need this so you can help him.Way to go! :+1:


#16

Wow, thanks. Didn’t know I could do that. I’ll do that soon. Thanks a lot for the support and advice!