Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

What can you do if someone refuses medicine even though they need?

My mom has a bad history with schizophrenia and has had at least 3 breakdowns (what I know of, because she doesn’t talk about it). The most recent one was in the summer of 2013 and it was at a point where she was not trying to function (eat, bathe, etc) and led to her getting both legs amputated due to an infection she got. Longer story short, she was in a rehab place doing well and had been there almost a year when she was told her insurance couldn’t cover it anymore, thus she had to find a home or resort to a shelter. She got an apartment and was seemingly fine until i noticed her drinking a lot. She NEVER drank but at first I figured it was normal- here’s someone who wont be the same again physically and was inside a rehab place for almost a year so yeah Id wanna,party too. However it kept going on until things piled up with rent, utilities, etc and she was broke. She’s having religious delusions which scare me because with her being pretty religious she believes these voices and it worries that she might act,careless,and hurt herself or others. She has said things such as belief that our upstairs neighbors whom we’ve never met are trying to kill us. She believes people such as my aunt (her sis) and others arent really on the,other end of,the phone, that its recorded voices because “they sound different yet say the same thing”. You can be,talking to her and sometimes she’ll listen thoroughly and,answer,questions. Other times she,will just look upwards as if shes,hearn stuff and,will completely block you out

I apologize for this being a long, long paragraph but I feel its better to tell the story than leave crucial things out.

Also, she refuses medicine because she was prescribed Seroquel which she feels makes her,gain too much weight and sleep a lot. What other medicines are,there,that help with this w/o these effects?

All the medications have side effects. They can act differently on different people, though. The only place she can be made to take the med’s is in the hospital.

How does your mother feel about getting admitted to a psych hospital. It might help her.

Also, I too experience religious delusions. Try getting her to hook up with spiritual organisations as these help a lot in easing any paranoia or difficulties she may be experiencing.

I hope things improve for you and your mother.

Thank you.

As far as being admitted, she wouldn’t willingly do it but in the end once she was better she’d thank me. Last time when I had to do it she wouldn’t talk to me until her medicine was working again. It really sucks when you know your helping them but are guilty at just locking them away. Could always be worse, though. Some people would’ve just,threw,her in a,nursing home and not care

Update: just to give everyone who doesn’t know the extreme paranoia associated with schizophrenia an idea of just how random and horrible they are, she woke up awhile ago and started knocking on my door. She demanded to come in. Once she came in she accused me of stealing her pain pills and that god told her I have them… And just to let you know, not only had that never crossed my mind something to do but I have never been big with taking pain pills because overall I feel worse and I sweat uncontrollably. Plus, besides the 420 fun years ago I’ve never used drugs. So yeah, paranoia can be very broad because that is not something I would have expected her to accuse me of. She did,something similar about 2 weeks ago… she had money given to her by my aunt and she lost it. While she,didn’t outright blame me, who else was,here? What worries me is what shes,doing with it. If she’s a drug user (which she most,definitely isnt, frm what I have seen growing up) … Right now I feel like I’m in a situation where, no matter what I’m saying she’s going to believe what she believes before anything else.

Man. I worked up another best selling novel lol. I just really care and wanna see her do the best for herself the same she feels about me.

Welcome to the forum @technician

Some of these links may help: - under resources are free videos on using LEAP
LEAP is a way of communicating to build trust. Listen-Empathize-Agree-Partner. - Dr. Xavier Amador is a clinical psychologist whose brother had schizophrenia. He is the founder of the LEAP Institute. Wrote the book: I’m Not Sick I Don’t Need Help! Can buy from his website.
Search Xavier Amador and LEAP on and you should find some long videos
Building A Collaborative Relationship “LEAP” - under problems you will see anosognosia
Anosognosia looks like denial but is different. - helped my understand delusions - National Alliance on Mental Illness. - Schizophrenia Society of Canada

Can also find some very useful information here:

Thank you @BarbieBF

@technician I know how bad it can suck when you are trying to help them but they think you are bad and trying to hurt them. After my mom’s most recent break, my wife and I tried to visit her in the hospital as often as we could, but she just had this look in her eyes like “I don’t trust you and I think you are trying to hurt me.” Eventually she asked that we stop coming for a little while, but as soon as the meds started to kick in she remembered that we had tried to be there for her and asked that we come back and visit her again.

So don’t give up, and just let your mom know you love her as much as you can. Hopefully she’ll remember it when she comes back to reality, and you can sleep soundly at night knowing you’ve done everything within your power to do.

Best of luck!

I, too, am trying to get a sibling help with schizophrenia. This is the third and, my last, that has been diagnosed. I am making many calls to legislators, mayors, police officers, and anyone I can within my community and state. I also have been educating myself the best I can, about the laws of my state regarding mental illness. Try to be as patient as you can. You could try and get some legal advice through legal aid services within your county and state. There IS help out there. You could go to your local court clerk’s office and ask about these services. There are many different medications out there. Many do have unpleasant side effects, but it may only take the right one or combinations of meds to get her stabilized. If you have ANY pull in your community with physicians, family members, etc., that can help advocate for you. This is what I am currently doing for my brother. I am making some progress but, sometimes there are bumps in the road. I hope that your situation has improved since this last post. Be strong. I hope this helps.