Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

What are you supposed to say?


#1

What are you supposed to say to a schizophrenic person ( a family member ) who says " I don’t like family,I have never been fond of the concept of family and I can’t say that I like you " bluntly,just like that. In the meantime,it’s me who has been supporting him in all ways,trying to motivate him,trying to convey positive messages .

Well,then he started to talk about some childhood memories (yes,childhood …when we were both kids) about how he has disliked me since then.Good gracious !

We are not even in the same city,the talk was on the phone. I call sometimes just to say hello or chat a little bit,just to show that he is part of the family.And he was the one who said family was important a few months ago. My head is spinning.

Not wanting to blurt out something hurtful I said “take care” and hung up.

What do you do,what do you say in such a situation ? People say my sense of duty is too much.Or is not? I don’t know but I know I am not as angry as I used to get.Is that a good thing or bad? I don’t know that too :slight_smile:


#2

I tell the truth from my point of view, unless that would be hurtful.

So I think you said and did the right thing.

I don’t engage conversations like the one in your post because I am always kind of shocked. My response is wishing my family member liked me and that we were close, which is not going to happen if say something confrontational or hurtful.

It’s good not to be angry. What would that do?

When we give our time and resources to people we love, we do so by choice. They are under no obligation to like us or feel a connection. We can withdraw from the relationships if we want to or need to.


#3

it sounds like a challenge. when family has wronged me i gave a little distance and went on about my own business. time has a way of maturing people even when its not by our efforts of communication


#4

Maybe you could try lessening support for a while and see how he responds. Find a circumspect way to let him know you expect something different from him. If he escalates maybe you should cut off support completely, at least for a while. He does at least owe you respect, if not more. Only you know how much you can take.


#5

Our minds are messed up. Our perceptions and thoughts are often out of kilter. We latch onto an idea and take it to the extreme. We read people wrong. We misunderstand other people and our minds create problems where there are none. I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1980 when I was 19. I blamed my schizophrenia on my sister and my parents. I thought they caused it and I was mad at them for this reason. I didn’t want to even see them in person. I was dead wrong of course. They were actually doing their best to help me. That’s how screwed up we can be. So, I don’t know why your brother feels this way but he may think he doesn’t like you when he really does. It’s possible he may not really like you. He may be confused about whether he really likes you or not. Family dynamics are complicated. There’s stuff we like about each other and there’s stuff we don’t like.


#6

People with schizophrenia can be perceiving and reacting from the dream/unconscious center of their brains, without the normal gates or inhibition to blurting out what is going on in them. The dream center of the brain (part of the limbic system) can be “turned on” too much by excessive dopamine or too many dopamine receptors in that part of the brain. The Front part of the brain where we have our inhibitions particularly related to social interactions often doesnt get enough dopamine. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that turns things on. We all have those types of thoughts in our unconscious minds but it is more “alive” for them and they just blurt it out. You know in dreams we play out all sides of issues and feelings…love/hate/fear/ anger…on and on. Imagine if you couldnt keep your conflicting emotions to yourself and just blurted them.

It is a fight to have compassion for ourselves and for our family members as we go through this brutal journey. It is sometimes exhausting…but there doesnt seem to be a good other way. We are all responding the best we can from our state of consciousness.


#7

Nonschizophrenics don’t like family either somtimes. I would not contact that person anymore until that person contact you. It can take years to let a schizophrenic sort him /herself out. (Tough love)Basically he/her rings up for money which can be denied or better to call to talk some truth instead, and realize (appreciate )somehow your value as a person(wisdom, family) and not some sort of easterbunny with a richness of goodies getting treated like dirt.


#8

Thank you for your informative response.It helps to understand the illness so much.None of the doctors I talked have explained it to me in this way.

It also reminded me something my family member told me a while ago when I told him that facts meant so much to me.He said “ohh how different we are ! Schizophrenia is living in a dream state.”

Your mentioning ‘state of consciousness ’ somehow made me conjure up a mental picture of young children screaming “I hate you !” while punching their mothers’ legs with their small fists.

I’ll ponder on this a bit.Since I’ve encountered such a situation in my life,it might be more about me and my choices than the other part.


#9

It is all so hard to figure out. I have 2 adult son’s who have schizophrenia and now i am a psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. I thought that would help me to know what to do but it doesn’t generally. I try to be as humane as i can, being grateful it isnt me that has this horrible illness. I do believe that we are all responsible for our actions and reactions independent of what the the person does. My son has called me every name in the book referring to how i do all types of weird things…like prostitute myself…talks about how he would like to kill me…on and on. Next day he doesnt even seem to register the conversation. I was recently going through some papers i have from him and i found a card that says, “happy mother’s day. Through it all i just want to say that you have done right by me.” Both of my kids have been hard on me, but at the end of my life i will be accountable for what i did not what they did. I want to be able to stand proud and be okay with my choices. Doesnt mean i havent had my share of moments of screaming “I hate you” and hanging up. As a human being…i surely have.

It is crucial to find someway to take care of ourselves as family members and people. It is not an easy journey.