Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

What do you do when they are silently angry

Wishing everyone a better year ahead for you and your loved ones

I feel my afflicted sister has so much anger, it’s understandable if someone doesn’t talk and hold grudges for so long (due to real difficult circumstances mixed up with unreal hallucinations/delusions)…

If your afflicted family member doesn’t express anger with words but you can see it in body language, actions and you feel it’s piling up in obviously not healthy way, what do you do? I feel that this anger more than anything else is what makes her “lose hope in humanity”, lose hope in general and isolate and hate and doesn’t give me a single chance to talk solutions…


Happier New Year to you…I have had issues like that especially with my estranged sister who is schizoaffective and under medicated and currently not speaking to me. I just try to wait it out. Things can change even if it takes years. We know our love (for our siblings) is unconditional so whether they talk to us or whether they are silently angry, we will still love them even from afar.

My sister lives about 10 miles away from me, but she might as well live on the other side of the planet. She still won’t answer the door or the phone for me. Sometimes when I try to leave a voice message for her she unplugs her phone before I can do it. It breaks my heart because her reasons for what she is doing are a mystery and likely based on delusions that I have somehow hurt her which I know I have not. She has done this with me and her adult son who lives in another state and it has been her character for her whole life. The longest time she didn’t speak to me was a little over five years, the next longest was 2 and a half and this occasion is verging on 2 years now. I still send her cards and letters and hope she gets them. They have helped to bring us together before. On New Year’s Eve I was able to leave her well wishes on her voice mail which made me happy even if she didn’t appreciate it.
I can’t stop loving her and I can’t make her get the help she needs. I wish I could but I care for my son and myself and that is enough. It’s all I can handle successfully.

I would suggest if you can not try to discuss the issues with her because she may not be cognitively well enough to do that. Just leave small symbols of your love around whenever you can. A happy note, a smiley sticker, maybe a flower or a treat or something small you think she loves or appreciates. She will eventually realize on some level that you are not her adversary. Barring her getting more extensive professional help you are limited in what you can do to change her outlook just as I am with my sister. I am sorry you have to go through that, I know how it feels.


Thank you @Catherine I appreciate your support :heart_decoration:

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Yes, @Catherine has offered some great advice. Professional counseling would be ideal but is often not possible in the current environment. I’ve noticed that sometimes persons will “talk” with someone who seems to be genuinely interested in them without really knowing they are talking with a counselor (or maybe the counselor has to reveal their position, I am not certain, but I expect there are ways to make the professional relationship very subtle). I’ve heard of counseling referred to as “talk therapy”. There might eventually be a way to get your sister to see a counselor. You might look at the book “I Am Not Sick; I Don’t Need Help” for purposes of learning how to get her to a counselor for reasons that SHE wants and not because she is sick.

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@hope4us this sounds ideal for another afflicted one and I do appreciate your support. Our story is way harder than this… my sister is so angry (ill) that she doesn’t speak to us (to the limit that I thought she became incapable of speech but on Christmas she did speak to my 7 year old cousin when she visited us). My sister also doesn’t let us finish talking when we get to see her while she takes her food etc, she locks herself in her room which doesn’t have tv/mobile etc. I did read Dr. Amador’s book two months ago when it was first suggested to me here but there is not a single example in it that is close to my sister’s case, all examples are of patients who communicate back verbally and the LEAP method can be applied with them… my sister doesn’t let me finish a sentence without her very angrily going back to her isolation.

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My son does not verbalise . Interestingly after the last hospitalisation last month and then been on an injection for first time he shared with his nurse after the usual standard questions of how are you feeling . He said he can now talk more ! This lasted about a week then back to mostly silent when speaking he almost whispers his voice is weak . I really fear this is part of his illness . He also isolated over Christmas it breaks his sister and brothers heart . I feel for you and you are tenacious and will find a way forward . Which may be medication how this will happen is not apparent yet . Stay strong and focused your sister knows your on her team

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I have not experienced your situation but I have experienced an extended time when our son was not communicating with us. I understand that you can’t use LEAP when there is no response! However, this illness typically changes over time. We (both parents and a sibling) were prepared when we DID have the opportunity to use LEAP months later during a hospitalization. Even when our son was often non-communicative and was in a wheelchair while I gave him a back rub, when I simply said “What you think is important to me”, I couldn’t believe what an immediate difference that made in his demeanor. Of course, he was a captive audience in that scenario! But this opened the door for him to be more cooperative. And it was still a long journey of ups and downs, but today he is on medication and SO MUCH BETTER.

The best thing I can suggest is to not give up. Be as creative as possible. You could try leaving written notes, for example, mailing cards or letters, or leaving a voice mail message if she’ll possibly listen to that. When our son was missing for 3 months, I gave up on voice mail because his phone was full so I texted him every few days. He never responded the entire time except ONCE and this is exactly what he said “Hey Mom,I just want you to know that I love you very much! I’m not mad at you.” I understand our son’s demeanor is totally different from your sister’s, but again, I encourage you to think creatively and try to be patient. And have HOPE that things will change.

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