Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

We don't know how to handle any of this

I don’t even know where to start. I guess I will make it short and add more depending on what you need to know to help us. My husband and I have been taking care of his mother who we are sure suffers from schizophrenia although she has never been diagnosed. We are only in our 20’s and she is getting harder to care for but we have no idea at all who to talk to or what to do to possibly get her help. We have just been trying to deal with this ourselves for a long time and we dont know where to go from here.

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Read my recent post. Ex Parte. Or take her to a psychiatrist.

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One of the best places to start is with NAMI (national alliance for the mentally ill). Their website, , has a lot of good information for family members of people with schizophrenia.
Also, there are a lot of good books on the subject. I relied on Surviving Schizophrenia, by Dr. Tory when my husband started showing symptoms.
Of course, the goal is to get her to a doctor to get diagnosed and on medication. That’s not always way to do if your loved one doesn’t think they are sick. Therefore, you need to learn as much as you can to help her get medical help.
Good luck!

Why do you think she has SZ? and what is getting worse for her? How old is she?

To be honest, I would start off with your city or county’s mental health services. See if they have a crisis line that could give you some recommendations. If you don’t have any of those services, call social services.

Right now, you just need some practical advice that will work for you, where you live.

In most places, you can’t force treatment unless the person is an immediate danger to themselves or others.
However, danger to themselves covers way more than just threatening suicide. I can include things like they won’t eat, or they won’t stay out of traffic.

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Psychosis can come from a variety of ailments including dementia, major depressive disorder, lyme disease, schizophrenia, bipolar and other medical illnesses. Certainly getting her evaluated medically is necessary. I know it can be very difficult and tricky because the person’s brain is impaired and often they don’t know that anything is wrong and will resist treatment. You may need some help and the suggestion to contact you local mental health center is critical. They may be able to help you plan for her evaluation and treatment. Best wishes!!

Hi, you need to take her to a regular doctor. If she won’t go , then you go for her and describe her symptoms and get his advice - he can put her on medication or tell you that she needs to see a psychiatrist, etc. If she needs a psychiatrist, they can put her on medication that is designed for what is going on with her. There is a paper and pencil test that they can give her to determine if she is schizophrenic. Warning, if a doctor or psychiatrist thinks: she is a danger to herself or someone else, she can’t take care of herself, or there is no one who can take care of her 24/7, they will try to put her in a psychiatric facility. She will not have privacy in the facility - aids can walk in on her while she is in the shower, she is locked inside the facility, there will only be a bed and possibly table in her room, you can only visit her during visitation hours, she may want to come home and you may have a helluva time getting her released, the stress may make her condition worse, etc. The best thing is for her to be given medication that is effective and she be allowed to stay at home.

I feel your first stop should be her GP. Find out what the diagnosis is.

They should have plenty of information but this said you will need to do alot of research once you know what the diagnosis is.

Whatever the diagnosis is stay informed and try and stay one step ahead of the medical teams. They tend to follow protocol and seldom think outside of the box in my experience.

You are best carer your mother can have and she will appreciate you.

I agree with everyone that has said take her to a regular doctor first and get her a complete physical with a full blood workup and get a clear picture of her health and then tell the doctor about any unusual behaviors and it is likely your second visit will be with a psychiatrist if the physical rules out any other critical diagnosis. Best of luck and welcome to the forum.

I’m sorry this is happening to your family. Diagnosis is so important and it takes time. Start journaling the symptoms daily so you can give this to the doctor. I agree with other advice here is to start somewhere. You sound overwhelmed and it is easy to get there if you are a caregiver. Make some time for you also. God bless and good luck.

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