Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

When someone with schizophrenia mentions killing?

I don’t want to take this lightly but I don’t want to over react. My stepson says things like “kill, kill, kill” but he says it in a joking manner. I came home from work yesterday and he was saying “i’m just going to kill everyone” Or he will say kill (insert his mom’s name) with a knife. He will say that around her or to her. She will say calmly you shouldn’t say that. He will say man I’m just playin’. He has come to us in confidence and he feels free to say this stuff. He seems like someone who would not hurt a fly but I have seen him lose his temper also. This is a bad situation because nothing has been threatening. Is there a point where someone could go ahead and carry out what the voices are saying? I guess just monitor the situation. Guess I am asking if anyone else has been in a similar situation.

Most of the mentally ill in the media who commit mass killings were not being treated and were not on medication. But anyone can snap.How many murders do we see in the news and the neighbors say of the murderer, “Oh he was such a nice guy”. or the parents say:

In general though you will read studies all over that say schizophrenics are no more violent than the average person and in fact, they are more likely to be victims of violent crimes than the average non-schizophrenic person. I don’t know your step-son obviously but it’s not impossible that he could get violent.
If he’s unmedicated it ups the chances that something might happened.You should actually post this in the family section where other parents with sons or daughters would have first hand knowledge and experience of the subject.

When I was in the state hospital there were a couple of patients who were there because they had tried to kill someone. One tried to kill her sister, the other I don’t think understood that killing isn’t a joke. When the mind snaps, anything could happen.

Thanks for the feedback. He is on medication and does not buck taking it. He does not deny he is ill. His delusions are still real though to him. I thought I was posting in the Family section (it has FAMILY in the orange box) I am new here, so let me know. Thanks

Yes, you did indeed post it in the family section. My mistake. I was doing a search for “All Categories” which lists EVERY new post on every forum.

Currently my son is inpatient under suicide watch. He was recently arrested but not charged. He punched his grandmother in the face and threatened to kill his sister. Is my son capable of doing these things? No. However when he is in the grips of psychosis, not in touch with reality then yes unfortunately he is capable as we just found out. I’m guessing the voices told him to do it as there was no provocation.

This is a totally unprofessional opinion however I’m wondering if your step-son isn’t ‘playing’ with his voices. Saying what they want him to say. If this is the case then I would be cautious but it doesn’t mean that he is going to act on them. Even in play saying these types of things is not appropriate.

I think maybe he does play with his voices. I never heard it put that way before.

You will know if he is serious if you get that feeling in your gut—maybe just a scared feeling, or not feeling safe around that person.

You may find this Facebook group of interest. It’s probably from there that I got the understanding of ‘play’ with the voices.

Parents of Kids with Schizophrenia

Ok you could be over analyzing , but if he said kill with a knife its certainly going into an area most people would usually shy away from , even if they were joking. Just because of the excessive imagery that conjures. If his not sympthomatic and taking meds thats a definite bonus. Alao just to say that people with schiz , can have odd social mannerisms that do not represent any dangerous intent.

I recommend you read our page on violence and schizophrenia:

Some of the key risk factors for violence with schizophrenia are lack of treatment, alcohol or drug abuse, a prior history of violence, and command delusions (I must hurt someone or they will get me, or the voices commands me to get someone).

Lacking any of these risk factors - then obvioulsy the risk is low. But - the people most at risk are the people in the family.

I would take precautions - make sure there are no large knives or guns in the house. Perhaps have something like pepper spray just as a backup.

Watch for signs of violence.

more ’ normal ’ people , snap and kill someone than sz do.
i used talk about killing people all the time…i have not done it.
take care

My son also has voices that tell him to kill people.It is very unnerving.He no longer attends school because he did put his hands on more than one student that was annoying him.My son begged me for help because he feared that he was going to hurt someone.Although he takes two antipsychotics,he still has command hallucinations and I can’t guarantee that he will always be able to ignore them.I try to keep things low stress and watch for signs that he may need more meds.Pdoc talking about trying out more “adult” type antipsychotics to see if that will help his voices(he’s 13).

Keep a journal of these incidents as they are warning signs that he needs a medication adjustment. I had my daughter involuntarily committed because she was verbally threatening others . You see when she got very psychotic before she hurt two nurses. The judge had no problem signing her commitment norm did the docs who assessed her. She ended up in hospital for almost three months until she was no longer a threat.

No one can tell you if your son will act on these threats (and they are threats). My daughter once admitted to the voices telling her to hurt me and it scared the ever living crap out of her, she asked to be hospitalized, and I don’t know if that was because she thought she might listen to the voices, or because she never wanted to hear them say things like that again. She later denied she ever heard that-I don’t know if she remembers.

I think you have reason to be concerned. But I will be 100% open and honest - I a have a bias. My DH was stabbed by a family member who we never would have suspected was capable of violence against him in a million years. And also had no reason that we could figure or ever heard of as to why he did it. He never really said. This kid was NOT sz, but my point is I learned in my own life that you can never really know what someone is capable of. If you some some gut instinct quietly nagging at you, if there are a lot of risk factors that lead up to a violent possibility-take it seriously. Error on the side of caution-because you don’t want to live with the regret that someone get seriously hurt-or worse and you didn’t listen to that instinct or act on the evidence in front of you.

This needs to be dealt with. You can’t just sit around and wait and wonder and hope nothing bad happens. I know this is will not be a popular response on here, but I cannot in good conscience not say this-he needs to be evaluated by someone professionally who knows he’s saying these things. Do you guys have medical power of attorney or some other legal recourse to get this done? I may be hypervigilent because of my experience-which is why I’m giving full disclosure-but I have a bad feeling about this.

No we do not. That is part of the problem. My wife does not want to do that. I have already stated to her that we should have at least that medical power of attorney. My hands are tied. My wife won’t even go to any type of counseling or support group meetings to deal with this illness her son suffers with.

I have also looked at it from this perspective at times

This is something I will start doing instead of trying to remember everything

Ok there are a number of things; generally no one knows what the next person is thinking. To all who says to take certain actions and almost plan for the worst because this kid could be some kind of ticking timebomb ,

To the original poster
i say open a clear , frank open line of communication with the kid. Seek clarification , next time he says such things ask him why he is saying it , if he brushes it off , ask him what makes him say such things because you are seeking comfort in the relationship between all parties , thats the approach to take. If he remains not forthcoming explain to him that you think he is saying such things because of x or because of y. Try to be confident in your approach , confidence breeds confidence , if he takea it personally say you want an open relationship with your step son and that you want to be honest and you want him to be honest. You want to be understood and you want to understand.

Run it through with his mother first

Has your step son ever been violent in the past? Does he solve his problems with violence? Does he talk about being violent in disturbing detail?
What are your views on violence in the house and in general?

I have never been violent for any reason, but have had to defended myself violence directed at me. My family did not accept any violent behavior and my mom always told us that if we ever went to jail for killing someone, she would refuse to visit us. Oddly enough our family threw the phrese “stop it or I’ll kill you” around in a casual way, but it was a known empty threat.
My first pdoc freaked out when I saidit casually, and sent a certified letter to my husband saying I wanted to murder him and to remove all knives and guns from our house. She also hospitalised me 5 tmes in 4 months, and had to be in restraints until I reached the hospital.
How embarassing!
It helps to know what your stepson thinks about hurting others, and making it very clear any violence isn’t accepted.

My son tells the voices he wants to kill them.

My son tells the voices if he had a gun he would kill them. it alarms me but not counselor s at center he goes to for mentally ill. I get upset when he uses word kill