Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

What are the strange things that your family members do that make no sense?

I have posted many times about my brother who is 56 and has had schizophrenia since age 22. He lives in an apartment " on his own" but not without COMPLETE support from family. We literally do everything.
I often see my brother doing strange things and I wanted to list them to see if others experience any similar things with their family members.

  • No sheets allowed on the bed. if you try putting sheets on the bed he will throw them away.
  • Walking and turning around in circles 3 times every few steps
  • Walking with his hands above his head and making hand motions
  • using the toilet as a garbage can
  • Hoarding objects that he finds in the garbage
  • Eating food from the garbage ! Even though he eats daily meals at my moms house.

Be grateful he’ s not on the street.

I am grateful. But I would be more grateful if he were in a group home.


I hear you.

Take care.

from frosty Vermont​:snowflake::snowflake::snowflake:

One of the ‘strange’ things I see my son doing lately is to throw the sheets off the bed, and he used to be on his own apartment but was evicted bc he used the toilet as a garbage can and I don’t know why but he likes to put pennies in the toilet as well and that he did on 2 different buildings, it was expensive!!! In one toilet he put a disposable razor blade so it was stuck somewhere in the pipes and they had to call the plumber, it was leaking water on the floor below, $2,000 dollars in damages right there, on the other building similar damages, and another $2,000! He can’t get a low income housing anymore; on his own he went on to rent a hotel for a month and in less than 2 weeks damages again, close to $1,000 this time since he kicked off the toilet and broke a window.

Managers know him and remember the damages so he isn’t welcome, now he can’t stay at a hotel and if anything I invite him to go on the street.

I was looking into it but since he’s very resistant to the meds he isn’t accepted, and of course when he takes the meds he doesn’t do that. That’s the other reason I was looking to placing him in a group home.

When my son is med compliant his behavior is less odd- he is just a little slower. He is a gigantic slob. He was a slob before he was diagnosed. Off meds the odd behavior is too strange to list.

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This makes me a little happy in an odd kind of way. I gives me some comfort to know that my brother’s behaviors with the toilet and the sheets are not just him but others as well and is likely to be the result of delusional behaviors. It is interesting that there are certain behaviors that are common.

My brother is on meds. but in a very unconventional way. He refuses to see a doctor, so my cousin who is an internist prescribes medication for him but relies on family members to give him feedback. At age 56 being non compliant with meds for the last 20 years, I have no idea if the meds he takes now are working. I am not sure if the toilet issue or the sheets would be better if he was on the right meds. But we have little control over what happens in my brothers life. The goal is to manage him and keep him in an apartment. Now that I see others have problems with toileting also I see that this problem is not likely to go away. This makes me sad…

Lamps in my brother’s apartment are always on it seems. Morning or afternoon. Rain or shine. Blazing away. Two of them. Another behavior: when out in public, my brother (in his 60s, diagnosed decades ago) has a habit of stopping, then staring at and moving his left pointer finger in certain ways and pausing at different bend positions, as if he has attached thoughts to each motion, almost like a rosary chain. I bring up these two examples (of so many) of things that seem strange…but when I look at them from his point of view, I can imagine there are reasons. Lights? He needs encouragement and brightness. The finger thing: a way to center himself during stress that is free and always available.

The bathroom issues you deal with, he doesn’t have–but then he went through a near-eviction about five years ago (bed bugs in an old building) and it scared him or maybe my mom’s and my hysterical reactions scared him, so whatever I tell him to do now to stay “warm in winter, cool in summer” he will try to do, emphasis on try. The years when he should have been solidifying basic hygiene habits (teens and 20s) were when he was living on the streets, taking drugs and nearly losing his mind from mental illness onslaught. These days, I feel at times like I am trying to teach a young boy how to clean. I see incremental improvements, though, so it can be done, but I’m no Pollyanna about it, either. It’s not rosy. I used to cry after time in his apartment. I don’t any more. It’s better.

It has been decided he does not sleep on a bed so sheets are a moot point. He uses an army cot, canvas, surface is washable. It’s not something I would do, but if I have to buy him a new one every couple of years–I’m pricing them out now–that is what I call a solution.

He is pretty med compliant these days. I hope your brother changes and you’re not permanently sad about him. It’s so hard though. My thoughts are with you.

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chimain after so much ‘weird’ things the lights on are the least of things; I think our son has them on out of fear; there’s days that he makes sure that inside and out, upstairs and downstairs all the lights are on day or night; we just adjust and let the lights on; on one occasion we went to visit one daughter that lives in VA, she used to have this huge house and they had the lights on the entire day! No one there had a mental health issue but had them on as a normal, so from that point we don’t make a fuss anymore.

We started to have energy efficient bulbs long time ago, and no close my room’s door; I purposefully leave one light on in the living room but overnight my son turns it off.

There’s comfort in numbers! :slight_smile:
Take care! :two_hearts:

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My son also takes sheets off of beds. When no meds he runs water constantly, shower, sink… the old mobile home he had, the water ran over constantly and ruined the floor. With no meds he bangs, makes holes in walls. He constantly has ALL outside doors open, no matter the weather, so we spend our day shutting doors and turning water off. He also is a complete slob. He hoards, piles in every room. We tell him he can only do this in HIS area
( his bedroom and his bathroom). But he doesn’t listen. He is taking Invega 9 mg now. First meds in a long time, and it is helping, lessons the symptoms. We are on a 6-8 month wait for housing. He says he’s good here. Ha. One time a counselor told me when they hit age 30, they seem to accept illness more. Seems to have happened with my son, he turned 30 last April. Its been a hell of a ride.

I am happy to hear that no sheets on the bed seems to be common. Now I am not going to bother buying mattress covers to protect his mattress that I bought only 3 years ago! he ruined 6 of them already.
The bathroom issue is HUGE! But I might as well accept it. I have someone going there daily to flush his toilet and clean up his mess. This is my moms aide. My mom has demetia and has a full time aid. She helps me out with my brother also.

HA! Mellow at 30! My brother was using cocaine and was a nightmare to my parents when he was 30. he was driving and getting into a lot of accidents and also getting a million parking tickets! Very expensive for my parents. He did hav some jobs but just used the money to buy drugs. Somehow he never had enough money to pay his rent… I was not involved in his life then. SO HAPPY that I did not have to deal with that stage of his life. My brother is 56 now. He has not flushed the toilet for over a year. He rummages through garbage cans and finds things that he hoards in his apartment. He likes finding dishes and throwing them on the floor and then having it shatter into a million pieces. I have to keep him in that apartment, so I have to deal with all his crap! Literally CRAP! What will he be like in his 60’s?? He is 56 now. Can he just FLUSH THE TOILET EVER?? NO!

I agree, lights are not a big deal. Thanks for responding.

Nice that your mother’s aide will help out.

Our 40-yr-old son spends about one night a month with us— he lives at a board and care for mentally disabled. When he’s here, our son will take the bed off the rails so it sets low to the floor and, yes, he takes the sheets off and puts them in a closet. He’s always changing furniture around and rearranging his room.
It’s really hard for him to restrain ftom smoking in his room. It’s a rule that he usually always breaks, even though he says he will not smoke in the house.

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This is so strange to read this. My son also doesn’t like the traditional sheets on the bed. He wads them all up. Even as a child/teen when I would nicely make the bed they were immediately rumpled and balled up. I wonder what this is attributed to.

I myself who was diagnosed with Schizophrenia know that it is an extreme challenge of every day dealing with the disorder, I know and remember that the mind in my situation was in such a state where the mind is constantly dealing with inner demons, that I believe have manifested into a difficult level for the mind to bear. I know that my condition came after my severe insomnia, and its important to know that good sleep, God, and prayer are the keys to recovery. Know that the mind which has not been able to sleep well has no way to manage the day when its supposed to be asleep, and often that itself might depress the person. So often meaningless and or weird behaviour may arise because the self cannot deal with the stress and it is these behaviors that may arise from the anger from the stress or from stress management. This is where weird sexual behaviour may also arise. Stress is a huge factor, which can arise from childhood trauma, maybe in childhood where the person inclusively may be unaware of it…Always ask for a psychologist as well as a psychiatrist…it will save you from a lot of trouble. And there are medicines that do wonders…and in some cases may be discontinued after recovery has been made, and it CAN be made. God bless youre sick and youre family…they will come true, with prayer.