What Would You Do?

I am scared!
How do I help him?
-Meds are not working, i cant guarantee he takes them
-the public is a nightmare to him

He tried to kill himself this weekend. I found out and told him we had to go to this walkin clinic for a meds change. We went around about it for hours but I finally got him there, with my word being I would not ask them to admit him. I was relying on the doctors to allow me to keep my word.
Unfortunately, they didn’t ask him to lift his sleeve and they couldn’t notice he took a hatchet to his arm. He lied straight to their face about suicidal thoughts, suicidal attempts, and hearing voices. I crossed my arms and looked right at the nurse when he was asked that, but meds were changed and he was allowed to leave.

Long story short, I regret not speaking up a couple days ago, but at the same time I dont know what my stance is on hospitalization really is.

Point being…he’s home and medication has been “adjusted”. What can I do to help him now?How can I be a better advocate for him?

Should i start journaling these daily delusions, “rules” mentioned, and behaviors?
eg. The drive thru attendant “coughed at him” because he was supposed to walk in
eg. Eveyone we pass is shaking their heads at him
eg. We can’t wear white shirts

I’m guessing logging this may allow us to notice a correlation of medication and increase or decrease in behaviors, hypothetically…:woman_shrugging:t3:

If I can not bring myself to vocalize anything when we are in the hospital, when we go back in a few week’s would it be deceitful to have a notecard saying something short? What would you write?

I think the realization of the severity of his pain/suffering and daily delusions is setting in on me and I am freaking out here!
I’m a special education teacher, with memory problems and epilepsy, I think I have just been accepting his schizophrenia, trying to keep him safe, keep his and my family safe by not sharing the details of what was going on and now their cluessless, he feels alone, and I’m lost!

This just cant be handled tendlerly anymore! I am begging for help! If you have resources and recommendation I would appreciate the support.


Hi @Icare, welcome.

The best advice is to search this site on words like “NAMI” “Family to Family”. If you have a local NAMI, start attending the family support group.

Find a therapist to work with you as you sort out your stance on hospitalization and other various topics.

You said he tried to kill himself, did he fail because you intervened?

If you do log with journals, the person who would be interested is his current psychiatrist. You can give your information to the psychiatrist and/or therapist. They may not be able to talk to you without his permission but you can always fax or mail the observations you feel are relevant.

Can you explain why you feel you must not tell his family in order to keep him or them safe?

Welcome, hope


I just wanted to say that I can see you love him and you are doing the best you can. It’s not easy my any stretch - but you are hanging in there, walking the hard road, and that counts for a lot. Keep taking baby steps to understanding his condition (as it is constant and ever-changing at the same time) and your role in his care.

I also want to share with you that hospitalization can have positive long-term effects that aren’t seen at the time. My partner was hospitalized right before I met him and he is still traumatized to this day (I had to literally hold his sweaty hand so he could walk into a hospital to visit his father). He remembers his time as a low point in his life full of fear, guilt and resentment. However, it was a turning point in his life because he had kept his family in the dark for years and that was when they found out what he had hidden for so long time. They were shocked, hurt and, in some cases, in denial. However, they adjusted over time and he now has more people who are looking out for him and aware (to varying degrees) of what he goes through. I believe this greater awareness with the people around him keeps him more connected to this life. Also, it helped him be honest with me from the very beginning of our relationship so we could build our life together around the truth of his condition. While he still has frequent suicidal thoughts, he has not had an attempt since his hospitalization. It is definitely a day-by-day thing at times, but I think it was a good bad experience for him.


Thank you @hope , for your response and time.

I have started looking into NAMI, and found some resources I believe will be valuable. I appreciate the the advice and will continue to investigate what they have to offer.

I know he does not trust the doctors and will not go to a therapist, but I guess I never considered going to one for myself.

He failed because he said that the hatchet didn’t work. He said the worst gash that took a chunk out of his arm was the first strike. The other slices just got weaker by the attempts.

I made my first post last Sunday night. He left for the first time while I was at my mom’s visiting her on mother’s day. From what he shared, I’m guessing he attempted in the bathtub and that did not work, so i figure he grabbed his stuff and left. He said that he feft it was time to go.

A month before this happened I knew his meds need adjusted. I had a struggle simply scheduling an appointment! I got him to agree to give me verbal consent to make the appointment, despite refusal to make the appointment himself. Anywho, that appointment is coming up in July, he said he was going to be signing consent papers.

I just wonder if they’d actually find the logs helpful or if it’d be more or a reminder to me of the intensity of the daily paranoia.
I also wonder about the log and/or notecard to share the attempts and voices because I have a good feeling I will not speak up at appointments about his actions.

I don’t feel comfortable telling his family anymore because he tells me I’ve been hearing fir year now how he doesn’t trust them. I mean he specifically said do not tell anyone about this. Even though there’s no reason, even though they’re a close family and supportive of eachother and I’ve know them for over a decade. I can’t help but want to honor his wishes and keep them in the dark about the true intensity.

He feels we’re only invited over to holidays for them to laugh and belittle him. He’s shared how he thinks his youngest sister poisoned him a month ago because he must have ate too much when we visitedthe time before. Unfortunately, the list goes on.

When he first got on medication years ago he was hospitalized. He voluntarily drove that night to another city hospital and admitted himself. They kept him for 72 hours. I slept in the car for the night, but contacted his oldest sister the next morning because she lived in that city.

With that, our families have known in general that he has been suffering and was diagnosed years ago. I guess, I don’t want to worry them and bother them if they don’t want to ask.

I group messaged his siblings once this winter telling them he said that he feels none of them cares about him, and he could use their support. It bit me in the ass though. They all messaged him that day. Nothing wrong with what they did! They care, that’s why they all wanted to immediately respond to that, but there’s five of them, so it was pretty obvious.

It’s not just if they don’t ask I don’t want to bother them. I’ve been asked but I don’t know how to tell them your brother or son is hearing voices to tell him to kill himself, or thinks everybody is watching him and listening to him. He thinks you’re against him and doesn’t even feel welcome in your home.

I’ve known them for a third of my life, they’re my family too, and I feel comfortable with all of them. I guess I feel selfish too knowing if I talk to them about it I will want to say how much I am struggling keeping it together- how i get frustrated trying to figure out who he is talking about when he hardly ever uses a name, how I’m tired of holding back a cough, a scratch of the face or head because im worried it’ll cause him to panic. I would want to tell them how I wish we could watch a movie together or sing a song together without it having a alternative meaning. I wish I wasn’t accused of cheating all the time, I wish I could make a mistake like burn dinner without it being in purpose, or any of the other things that I’m trying to find the patience for. We both work at home, we’re both around eachother all the time and it is a consistent roller-coaster of emotions daily.

I don’t want to end up venting about my struggle to them when there brother’s or son’s is far worse. I dont want to tell my sister because I’ve tried and I know she loves him too but her advice to her youger sister I simply dont want to hear! Not to say she isnt there for me. She took me home to the unexpexpected empty house last week with many of his things missing and insisted on bringing me back home with her incase I had a seizure that night. My momma worries enough, it’d break her heart to hear an update.

As you can read, I could ramble forever because I’ve been keeping it in all in. That’s why i knew i needed to reach out for some support here. I appreciate you!


I’m so sorry you and your husband are having to go through this, its scary and lonely and a bad night mare during the really bad periods. It sounds like he is really stigmatized and embarrassed to have people know. I wish he could realize this is like any other illness it is not his fault, or yours. And to have family that is trusted and loved, be by your side would lesson the burden on you and maybe him. I would have to share it with others, my others was here on this site because my family is no longer around. My daughter was diagnosed in April of last year. And talking to friends usually left me feeling angry about things. I understand standing in the ER with your loved one, them saying pretty much everything is okay. And me thinking, NO this will never get better if they don’t know the truth of it. So once I started talking and telling what was going on with her it was hard to shut me up. She was usually so out of it she didn’t/wouldn’t deny any of it. I felt like the worst mother and a trader doing that to her but she is doing better now. But I seen her beg me to kill her and think demon dogs were tearing her inside out, so I knew I had to be strong for her to help her get through this even if she ended up hating me. Well that’s what I did but we are all different and my daughter still does not see she had anything wrong with her but your husband seems to. Good luck with the new meds. Take care of yourself, you are important also.


Nami’s Family to Family class was the start of our journey out of the confusion. We had no idea what was going on until we started the class. We came out of Family to Family with a plan for moving forward. Our FtF teachers recommended a psychiatrist who did work with families and specialized in severe neurodiversity. We had been working with a psychiatrist who was mainly involved with the worried well and people with depression.

I do hear you, sometimes extended family can be great support and other times they complicate things without helping.

I still feel like I am walking a tightrope when I am around my son. He is older now and his symptoms have relaxed - somewhat. We still have to watch what we say around him to avoid triggering him and I well know that locked up feeling in my chest (because I know I will be blamed and it could set back our current relationship) when they leave jalapeños on his sandwich when I was quite clear the sandwich must not have jalapeños. The caregiver 3 C’s are still in place, I didn’t Cause it, I can’t Control it and I can’t Cure it, yet, I still can end up with the repercussions of a food truck worker’s error being blamed on me doing it on purpose.

It is hard to build a support system. I hear @Sando, it seems to me the first thing we do is lose all of our friends. I think in my case personally, I drove most of them off. I suspect I am too sensitive to the insensitivity of others. I can only sympathize so far (turns out its not very far at all) with someone putting themselves in great distress over issues that are insignificant compared to schizophrenia and the loss of a child.

We do end up building a new support system. These will be people who will take the time to actually understand what is going on and learn what kind of active help is required. When we are in intense crisis at my house, only the inner circle folks are welcome to be a part of our lives. If they aren’t actively involved in helping, I dump them right off my plate. I don’t need extra people whining about their little struggles while I am handling crisis after crisis.

I do wish that some of these people knew how fortunate they were in their lives. I know we are supposed to remember that these little issues are big issues to them because they don’t have our experiences. But seriously, how long am I supposed to commiserate with someone regarding the loss of their beloved dog when I am losing a beloved son?

Okay, rant over.

My FtF teacher would tell you that the logs are extremely valuable for all of the reasons you mentioned. Progress is usually only spotted in hindsight. My son’s symptoms do appear to have lightened somewhat, it has taken several lighter years to come to that conclusion. For a long time we seem to reel from one crisis to the next. Now they are definitely further apart, my son is 40 and remains unmedicated.

Like you I have sat there in front of doctors, in my son’s case, mostly medical doctors and have wondered what to say. In my son’s case, its best to let things play out with medical doctors without my intervention. Now, having said that, when its a psychiatrist or a therapist, I am all over it, I get behind the scenes and provide information through faxes or emails.

If you could perhaps ask a couple of family members that you think might work out to attend Family to Family with you? Developing a support system is a good idea, especially since you seem to have a lot of family around you.

Once we got things somewhat stabilized, we have found extended family to be supportive. Our neurodiverse family members can end up quite isolated without these supportive relationships.

I’m so glad you found us!


It’s tough trying to help someone when there are so many distractions going on with your family member. My 28 yr old son cut himself in a tizzy and I took him down to the ER. Of course they held him until they found a bed for him in a facility. No he didn’t want to go but he wasn’t coming home with me so he went with it. Unfortunately it took 3 days to get an opening. At least he was under supervision in the ER.

You have to speak up. He can not help himself. You have to be the advocate for him. It’s hard but it will continue until the meds work better.


@MinMin I appreciate your kind words. They got me! I’m not looking for people to acknowledge me for doing “anything” but I had my loved one randomly ask/accuse me of me having an ulterior motive for getting with him tonight. It was refreshing to read.

A lot has happened in the last two weeks. We’ve been to a hospital another two times. He was advised to get a psych evaluation by two of the nurses, but he was adamant about not wanting to be admitted.

He was honest with both of them though. He was not with the nurse the other weeks, so that is progress at least!

He’s going on FMLA for a break from work, I just need to figure out what else I can do for him to keep taking those baby steps.

I appreciate your support!

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My heart breaks for you @ttt1 I can’t imagine the worries you have with your daughter having this diagnosis. Especially to hear her say such outrageously scary things. Her diagnosis is recent, hopefully the right treatment can be found.

He is definitely constantly worried about what people think about him. He thinks the random strangers in the street have their backs turned because he disgusts them and people “react” because of what he does. The trains that go by our house judge him/ communicating with him or others.

I’ve been struggling with him begging me to let him use a gun to end his pain. I don’t quite understand everything because it changes but he was saying he could handle two shots to the heart, they’d take him to a pole barn, sew him up, I can help him while he heals and he’ll be a new and stronger man.

You’re right though! I remind my students all the time, I don’t know they need help with a problem if they don’t speak up. The doctors are not at home and unless I fill them in they will not understand the intensity.

Thank you for your support!

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Thank you for your support @Icare, So what happened with my daughter is I had to have her put on a court commital, it was the hardest thing I ever did, and I will admit I don’t like all of the results from doing that, but she is on meds and doing well. She is in a state housing right now, its a nice place. She doesn’t always like it because she is treated a little bit like a child. She is 31. It is a in-between place (step down) before she comes home she has been there 9 months but she is probably as stable as she is going to get. She will be on a project called PACT when she comes home they will make sure she takes her meds and she will be able to talk to people and they will make sure she is doing okay. She does not realize she is sick so its important to have this to make sure she stays on the meds. She is not the same person as before but she smiles alot now and seems happier than she ever was. I think this has been an issue for most of her life but not to the degree it is no, " till all hell broke loose". They have her on meds for depression and I wish I had some also. (I do) actually!
You need to be a hard ass, for his sake. You really seem to love him, and you see the pain he is in. And the fear he has. You are not protecting him from anything but prolonging it, I feel like a b***h saying this, but it can get better. Talk to someone in his family talk to his doctor tell them about him wanting to die. Ask the doctor what’s the best course to go. There are anonymous places to call in most areas that can help you get to talk to the right people to help with answers.
This is going to be very hard for you and I know you feel all alone. And I know right now you look at him as someone that needs you to protect him. And your afraid of the unknown and will these people treat him okay, are you throwing him to the wolves per say. I am not a religious person and I know the world is chaotic at is best but you have to have some faith their are others that want for him to be the best he can be also. Make sure to have something in place so you can talk to the doctors and the hospitals. You could probably ask the hospital in your are what you need to do for that…
Well I am sorry if I’m sticking my nose where it doesn’t belong but you did ask what I would do, by the way I went through a few night mares before I finally got my but in gear to do this and I still feel great guilt and am worried about the court system she is now in, its now the best but its all we have.


I am so sorry that he has devolved into suicide thoughts and is not coming out of his delusions on his meds. There is benefit to you if you learn more about his illness at NAMI’s class, you didn’t mention if there is a NAMI family-to-family class you can attend, or a support group you can attend.

Personally, I had to get my daughter committed several times, and the police did it twice. But the police were at my home over 40 times during the high hallucination years. Only forced hospitalization allowed me to know what medicine worked best on her (a haldol injection), and only police involvement got me to realize that she was going to have to be forced to stay on her meds. So by the time of her 2nd arrest out in the city on her own, I knew to go see the judge and tell him I needed help to keep her on meds. It is 3 years now that she is out of her psychosis. I could never have been strong enough to change myself without NAMI classes and this site and the people on it who shared their stories of pain and hard won victories small and large. Each illness is VERY different from another’s, each caregiver must make their own decisions. I feel that if he is still suicidal despite medicine, that it is very important you get him more help. I wish you the best sorting it out.


I am typically not one to speak up. I feel like I am starting to do more speaking up to both him and to the doctors. I mean prior to May, I’m not sure I went into the doctors rooms with him and I’ve been in every one, even the family physician. Since the encouragement of this site the last two visits of, of four, I have been asking questions and stating concerns.

@gijane I appreciate your support. Stay strong in your journey! My heart goes out to the parents witnessing and caring for their child dealing with this pain.

I know it hurts me to see my husband struggle. I also know a mother’s love can be nothing compared to a spouse’s, so that pain felt I predict is unbearable.


@hope I have kept those three Cs in mind! It has been helpful the last two weeks. I even shared it with his little sister, the one he said poisoned him. She was taking me to the grocery store and mentioned he had just asked her why she poisoned him the other week.

We’ve definitely stopped hanging out and talking with everybody. I even stopped talking with my best friend I would message/face chat daily. Like you said, I was tired of hearing her constantly complain about her b.s problems (not getting a text back from a guy she’s interested in, etc) when my struggles were on a whole different level.

I had some unexpected support this past week though when I woke up and accidentally called a girlfriend, I haven’t spoken with since sometime last year. She called back and asked how we were doing. She could clearly tell even though I said alright, and took me out for ice cream that evening. Her husband is/was one of my husband’s good friends before he shut everyone out. I learned her step-mom had to deal with schizophrenia. She shared some of her personal experiences and feelings.

We made plans for a paint and wine date at my house this week too, so maybe I am building/ discovering who those are that belong in our inner circle here.

I have looked into the Family to Family classes, but there are none going on in any of the surrounding area NAMI locations (we live in a small town). I see there are several virtual classes offered in other states and other counties. I will have to contact them first and I am hoping there would not be an issue. I plan to invite his mom and siblings to sign up if they’re interested. Is it the 8 week course that you’re referring to?

I am so glad I found everyone here on site! The knowledge and support is incredible. I feel like our life has had many steps in the right direction lately.


I don’t mind what you have to say @ttt1, don’t feel bad at all. I asked for your advice. Read the paragraph about me being a hard-ass a couple times.

I’m 32, I do not know what I am doing and my family is clearly clueless on what advice to give; "You’re too young to deal with this the rest of your life…you have enough stress with your health " :roll_eyes::face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

Speaking up is not a natural role for me. All the encouragement of the members has helped me realize the true importance of me doing so. Thank you.


I am so glad you discovered that your friend has a step-mom who deals with schizophrenia - it makes a world of a difference when we are able to talk to someone who can actually understand. What good news to have some understanding and support!

We always hear that our family members are on a “journey” and we must remember its their journey. We are on our own journeys - so glad you found some steps forward! :heart: