Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Very stressed need advise please

My son is stressing and bullying me to speak to a lawyer about his delusion believing that his psychiatrist injected him with drugs that shrunk his muscles and gave him stretch marks , i don’t know how to handle him and i feel so low and stressed out , he is devastated and determined to sue his old doctor and is driving me crazy to tell the lawyer what he is saying is true . He barely lets me speak and when i do he starts cussing and calling me a bad mother if i don’t do what he wants . I know i need a therapist that can teach good coping skills but all my money is spent on my son , i feel i have no life , i’m sorry for venting but i just don’t know how to handle this behaviour . If i say No then hell breaks loose and if i say yes then i’m contributing to his delusions and i can not do that .

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I totally understand your frustrations. It is very OK to vent here. Sometimes others can give you ideas that you otherwise wouldn’t think of.

I had to learn the hard way never to argue with or about a delusion. My daughter never got mad at me for what I said in front of the judge, because it was her delusion: “Your honor, she speaks to beings up there who watch over this city, and she can read minds.” He knew instantly that she was delusional, and she knew I was telling the judge the truth about her. So no argument on either side.

You can possibly tell your son that you can’t afford a lawyer, so if he can find one that will take his case for free, you will go with him to the appointment. He truly believes, and I mean HE BELIEVES his delusions are true. You can’t get him to NOT believe them… If he feels he needs a lawyer, you can’t talk him out of that… and talking about a lawyer isn’t going to make things worse. Possibly it would calm him down to feel understood.

The truth is in my opinion that most likely no attorney will take the case, especially not without a retainer up front.

I found help with NAMI and this forum that kept me from pulling my hair out. And in the critical times that resulted in forced meds for my daughter, it was what I’d learned on this site and with NAMI that enabled me to take positive actions without fear.

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Hi Linda,

I’m not sure if I am the best one to answer, but I have a lot of experience with my husband (schizoaffective) and lawsuits.

If your son is over 18, let him handle the lawsuit himself. If he wants to hire a lawyer, see if your son will be willing to be his own counsel. Although his claims might sound extreme, there may have been some abuse that could warrant a trial. That is for a judge to decide and the daunting prospect of all the work it will take to make it to trial might make your son give up on the idea. Removing yourself from the process will make it easier if that is a possibility for you.

No lawyers wanted to represent my husband for a personal injury case involving a home insurance corporation even though it was real and not a delusion. He was persistent enough for several years, representing himself, that the court actually gave him a settlement (because the injury was severe enough), although it was much less than he wanted and he spent it in a few months time.

As for arguing with delusions, I second what oldladyblue said. When it comes down to others listening to your son, they will be able to tell if he is speaking in a delusional way or not and they might tell him, if they believe his accusation is a delusion, that it is not worth pursuing in court, taking that responsibility off your shoulders, at least.

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@Linda I feel your frustration as my son is always wanting me to get an attorney. He wants to sue every hospital for keeping him in like a prison when he didn’t commit any crime. He blames me and yells at me too. Many times, most times, I do not know what to say so I say nothing. Lately, since he is in the hospital, I asked my daughter to go with me because I feel mute; not knowing how to respond. I have had visited him at times only to be told to leave after a few minutes.
As for your statement:
I know i need a therapist that can teach good coping skills but all my money is spent on my son , i feel i have no life

I also thought I need a counselor and I went to one for only two of the visits. Her only concern during these two visits was if I could afford to retire. I talked and cried about my son, but nothing was accomplished, so I stopped.

I have been reading and responding via this site and it is helping me just knowing that many of us are suffering trying to help our loved ones. I have gone to NAMI before, a few different time frames and there was one group that I really looked forward to attending. However, my son was in a different county at the time, so now I haven’t found another NAMI group in the county I live in.

If you can not afford counseling, see if you insurance will cover it. Otherwise, seek out NAMI or another type of support. The best support that I have found is knowing others who have walked in your shoes. For example, @oldladyblue stated her daughter after court forced meds her daughter is in recovery. That has given me hope that my son will be in recovery, some day just don’t know how long this is going to take.

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Don’t argue with your son (that never helps) just say to him that you hear him and you can see how very upset he is and you are very sorry for what he is going through (all true statements). I tend to agree with the others that anybody is going to see through his claims and it will likely go nowhere. When my son gets grandiose ideas like that. I say to him that I wish him well and for him to let me know how it all turns out. That usually stops it cold. If he says why won’t I do it for him, I say to him that it isn’t my problem and while I care very much for him, he is an adult and it is his own adult problem. I say it just wouldn’t be right for me to interfere. My son has disorganized schizophrenia so figuring out steps to a multi stepped process is virtually impossible for him if I don’t lead him through it. I don’t know what your son’s diagnosis is, or how old he is or if he is on helpful medications (it sounds like he might not be) but in many cases if you actively listen to him, (in spite of how much you disagree) and make him feel heard and understood (always use neutral statements that in someway can be true for you like “I hear you” " I see you are angry, sad, upset, etc…" I am sorry you are suffering from this") It should lessen his attacks on you or against you ( i am all too familiar with being the verbal punching bag) he attacks you because you are his “safe person”, the one he can trust and I know that makes no sense at all but I believe it’s true. If he gets stabilized he may not even remember what he has said to you. If he still says mean and hurtful things just brace yourself and do not break or let him see you get very emotional (I know it’s very hard) but the words he is saying are not really his own they are from a sick brain and your son has no control over it when he is delusional. Just say to him when he says hurtful things that " you are sorry he feels that way about you but you will always love him" It is hard but the reassurance can help as does a calm demeanor and the low stress response. These are lessons I learned the hard way and I hope they help you in some way. Please keep trying to get your son the help he needs, he doesn’t know how much he needs it but you do. Also please get counseling for yourself as you go through this, I still go to counseling regularly and my son has been fairly stable for several years now. My counselor says I have PTSD and I know she is right. This path is very hard but I will never regret the time I spent getting my son to where he is today. He is so much better. I wish you and your son much better days ahead. Vent anytime you like. This is your safe place. :slight_smile:

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Thank you so much , i will take your advise . He just gets very upset about this subject otherwise he is ok in his own little world .

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Hi , the problem is his bullying , he wants me involved as i was there when the doctor injected him . They say every day is a different day well i think every hour is different . After he cussed and got mad , an hour later he asked politely for pizza … i am always debating to go back to a therapist as your right they don’t really help a greta deal, this site and Nami helps much more . Thank you Catherine , spanky , lifelshard,and oldladyblue for such great advise , much appreciated . My son is 21, schizoaffective and on meds and can be very sweet at times but when he remembers the time at the doctors he turns nasty on me but i will try different tactics like you said , Thanks again and thank GD FOR THIS SITE

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I thought of something else. If the meds he is on are not as effective as you hope for them to be then it is important to tell his doctor and explain in detail what you see in your son’s behaviors. There is no ‘one or two pills fits all’ solution and often it takes several tries to get the most effective drug and see how well it can work. It’s probably of very little consolation but schizophrenia characteristically shows diminished positive symptoms after the age of 25. Take care.

Hi Catherine ,
He has tried 2 other drugs and both were a disaster .He refuses to take anything else apart from Abilify. He asked to put down the meds and now is on 15mg and to my surprise seems to be better than before . He wants to ask to put it down to 10mg and i’m apprehensive about that . I can’t wait until he is 25 , everyone keeps telling me that , i just want him to heal .

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If he gets tremors form Abilify, call doc asap and stop med, they can be permanent, its been many years since she stopped this horrible med…

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@GSSP, how is she doing these days? Is she on another AP? The cat is adorable, I hope the cat is a comfort to her. I wish my son would agree to getting a cat, they can be so affectionate and are not that much work. It seems the harder I try to get him to do something, the more he resists. So, I just keep my mouth shut now, and just offer subtle suggestions here and there. I always hope he remembers our conversations and approaches me and takes some of my suggestions.

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Has your son ever tried Clozapine? I know he is apprehensive but it has had some amazing results for hard to treat patients. Sometimes doctors are apprehensive about prescribing it because it is an “old school” drug and has been around a long time. It does require regular blood draws to make sure that it has no adverse affects on the white blood cell count. My son has been on it for 10 years and is doing very well. All blood tests come back normal for him and he has been virtually delusion free for at least 6 years now. I understand that not everyone has the same outcome. My son took about a half a dozen other meds before he tried clozapine, including Abilfy: Abilify made my son belligerent and violent acting and we stopped it within 2 weeks. Nothing else made a dent. After 6 months on clozapine my son reported that his voices were gone. I consider this medication my son’s salvation. Maybe keep it in mind as a possibility if all else fails and if you haven’t already tried it before. I understand how you feel, I once was where you are. I am here anytime you want to talk or vent. I check in every day or every other day.

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He’s been on them for 2 and half years now and No tremors and seems to be stable on them , i hope she is feeling better .

Thank you Catherine , i am so happy to hear your son is doing well . I heard Clozapine is great but My son will not have a blood test every month or even consider right now to switch meds , he has no insight . I just have to be content with ‘stable’ right now and i suppose i need to get used to his frustrations and anger when he remembers about his doctor and his delusion , just hard sometimes as you know . Since we lowered his meds he seems better , still isolated but has started an online real estate course online again with a little push from me Every day i pray that this brain disease will get better .

There is incredibly great advice from all the people who have commented on this post! The only things I can think of to add are (1) He is living in your home and you can establish the rules. For example, abuse is not tolerated. If he’d rather live somewhere else, or fix his own meals, he can do that. Or you could use giving or withholding allowance as incentive. This takes a lot of guts…get your NAMI support group to help you with this. Saying “no” does not mean you don’t love someone! (2) If I have not mentioned it to you already, look up “anosognosia” elsewhere on this site, as well as LEAP, and the book by Dr. Xavier Amador “I Am Not Sick; I Don’t Need Help”. Using both of these things (I actually would not let our son come home because I knew he would not be medication compliant) is what helped our son into recovery. He has been hospital free (and on Clozapine) for one year, and is very stable, with more upside potential. Trust me, he would NOT take meds for the two year prior to that!

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I can relate to this. There was a period of time where my husband and I had really bitter, angry fights because he wanted to “do something” about the abuse he was experiencing, and that I was letting people hurt him. He knew I thought he was sick and that was a huge betrayal. Things have gotten better recently, though. I don’t argue with him about what he experiences. I don’t try to convince him of the logic any more. This is his reality. But I did say that I would not pay for a private investigator, or support going to the police. He was free to do those things if he wanted, but I wouldn’t participate. I don’t lie and say I believe the same things he does, but I also don’t try to convince him otherwise. We don’t talk about his experiences any more. I used to think that was a bad thing, because I wouldn’t know what was going on in his mind. That might be true to a certain extent, but nothing good was coming of our fights. So I don’t encourage him to be secretive, but he knows I won’t lie to him either and avoids discussing his “friends”. It’s the best we can do, and with the relatively recent peace, I’ll take it. We are coping together.

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Hi ! , my son is med compliant but still has outbursts of cursing and anger when he looks at his muscles and believes the doctor shrunk them . He is not living with me as he can be a real bully at times , however we have a better relationship when he lives in his own apartment . He will be moving much closer to my home in the next few days , (about 10 min away ), and i can keep a better eye on him . He is always welcome to visit me and hang out with me when he feels he wants to and he does which is great . I fully support him , rent , food , all his needs and i cook for him and he cooks sometimes too . He has good days and bad days and his mood effects my mood and my day . I love him so much and we tell each other every day "i love you ‘’ . He knows what ever he needs that im there for him . I have been to Dr Amadors seminar , and have read his book but once your on the spot with an outburst of cursing and anger you kind of forget how to behave with Dr Amadors teachings , it needs practice . Clozapine seems to help so many which is amazing but my son will not have regular blood tests . How old is your son ?

Its hard i know , i don’t talk much when my son is ranting and cursing about his doctor but he bullies me saying you have to talk with the lawyer and what kind of mother are you that you won’t help your son and look what they did to me and if i dare say something he gets even more mad , so i listen and try to defuse the moment the best i can …

This just reminds me about how different each person and each situation is! I fully understand how difficult it is to stay on track with LEAP (Dr. Amador’s teaching). It does take practice! I know I fail sometimes when I wished I had used it but I can’t beat myself up about that. However, I WILL keep trying! Our son is 25. I envision a time when he can be a bit closer and living independently with some oversight (either I or a care manager would check on him regularly and ensure that he is taking his med). I’d love for him to have a roommate that he can relate to. In our situation, I think that being in a group home where taking meds is required, and everyone else there is med-compliant, has helped. Our son seems to also see the reality of SMI in other people since he is so close to that on a daily basis, and recognizes some of his history of many hospitalizations, not eating or drinking, extreme confusion, etc.

Apparently having SZ goes with the delusion that everyone is after them and following them. I totally feel and understand your frustration.
I had posted several weeks ago that I was allowing my unofficially adopted son back into my home with very simple but no tolerance rules.
Be in the house certain time and shower by certain time and NO ALCOHOL. or he would be asked to leave immediately. He signed the agreement and within days came into my house drunk and insisting someone was outside and wanted to get my gun and shoot them, he wouldn’t let it go. Finally went to bed, sleeps all day and repeats his delusions of the sheriff and all the jail has done things to him and he insists next week he is going to court to testify against them and receive a big fat check. ALL Delusions. Saturday about 1:30 a.m a drunk driver slammed into my mothers house not far from me, luckily no one was injured, we were hoping this would wake him up. NO, he came into my house same night drunk again and started getting belligerent, aggressive and extremely disrespectful to me. I did not feel safe calling 911 as I knew that would escalate it, so next day I called sheriff and had them escort him back off my property again… He is back to homelessness and no money but blames me for it all. He spoke to his probation officer and therapist and insists he did nothing wrong and what I did was uncalled for. This is proof that this disease knows no boundaries. We are all waiting for the other shoe to drop now as a matter of time before he is arrested again. He needs help not jail but that will never happen unless he asks for it, which will not happen either as he is Anosognosia. I am devastated and concerned with my hands tied. UGH…I feel for your pain and know exactly what you are going thru. I like the suggestion and have also done this with my man, tell them to go seek lawyer on their own so they can deal with it directly and hear from someone else that they have no case or proof of anything. The result might not change for them but at least you are not in the middle of it. My son has spoken to 2 attorneys, both have declined. Hang in there, glad we have this forum. I was also advised to seek support from NAMI, as soon as I get this house situation resolved, I will be doing that for myself.

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