Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Wife wants my son out of house if no meds

Hi,

My 32 yr old son from my first marriage was disignosed with Schizophrenia about 2 years ago and moved in with us 3 months ago after his family kicked him out. Since then he’s made many remarks that have upset my wife. Including calling her an “Fuc#'n Bi$ch” as he walked by her… Under his breath but she heard it. He’s never lived with me his entire life. Now my wife is telling me either he gets on meds or he leaves… He refuses meds and all Doctors. He’s very clean and works around the house every day but he has some major issues. Constantly talking to himself and yesterday he was browsing around our insectisides in the garage and now my wife is freaking out. When I asked him why he was doing that he said just seeing what’s in there. My wife is afraid that he will try to poison her.

Any idea? He refuses all meds and any doctors.

Should I ask him to leave?

I would try getting him into a facility. I had to have my younger brother leave and though he is now homeless, my husband does not want him to even know where we live.
But homelessness leads to alcohol, or unfortunate runins with the police and in and out incarceration.
I was kicked out of my last house after asking my brother to leave and he just kept coming back, breaking in or getting into my car and sleeping in it. Its the most heart breaking thing but your marriage might depend on it.
Its unsafe to be unmedicated in many cases.
Praying for you guys.

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He is willing to leave if I ask him. He’s said it many times " You want me gone just let me know". He’s very intellegent and him and I get along very well. But when he has episodes things are said and my wife does not have the heart strings and no tolerance for his smart remarks.

she is scared and has the right to be so. Protect her and get him outside help.
If he is able to function and work around the home then it sounds like he will do will with
another structured home ( care ) facility. He may have issues with your wife… but SHE is YOURS and he shouldn’t destroy that. Love for both is very difficult but if he can and will function in another maybe better living situation for him… You have loved them both… He may do better… and then you all will.

Hard choices to make. My son or my wife. I lose with either choice.
My wife has children from her first marriage and I’m positive if it were
her daughter that was i’ll she would not let me kick her out. This is very
unpleasant situation.

Some parents have good luck with rules - like- it’s against the rules to call your wife names. He has to be polite. Asking him what situation would work can be helpful as well. My son does best in his own apartment with help on life’s details from me- is that a possibility with your son?

When my husband was concerned that my son meant him harm,we built a guesthouse for our son to live in. That plan worked for several years.

We also made sure our bedroom door had secure locks, my husband needed to be able to sleep without worrying.

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Hi Hope,

Thank you for the reading my post. He’s recently come to us (3 months gao) and we immediately applied for SSDI but it has not been approved yet. He has not been officially iagnosed schizophrenia but has all the symtoms including Anosognosia. I’m getting everything in little pieces from his mom. He saw an philologist for 6 months but not official diagnosed then he was jailed for 60 days then hospitalized (involuntary) for several weeks and the hospital stated he was severely delusional and paranoid. But SSDI does not take that as an official diagnosis so we are waiting to hear from SSDI on the current application. If approved we will have some funding to get him a place, if not I can’t really afford to pay for his support in his own place.

He refuses all medial help, consultations, meds etc… :frowning: His family had a crises team intervention and that’s how he ended up in the hospital.

My wife does not want him here so I’m stuck between and rock and a hard place.

He works around my house daily, takes my dogs for walks, cleans the floors, manicures the front and back yards, vaclums, does dishes, his room is spotless. Heck he’s cleaner then either one of us. He’s probably scared to death of being kicked out… That keeps him motivated and very busy cleaning everyday. I told him he does not have to clean everything but he says it keeps him busy

But when he has an episode he can say offensive things and be rude and calling my wife an F’n Bit#h was not a good idea. She does NOT give 2nd changes to anyone.

Thanks

Hi Gairo501,

Happy to help, my husband and I have been in a similar situation - my son did better talking with me than his dad, but on bad days, I did hear him calling me the “c” word several times- it really shook me up at the time, my son would hiss it at me under his breath as he walked by.

So glad you have ssdi in the works, really hope it gets approved - keep after it. The ssdi money was our son’s lifeline to live somewhere else after his delusions about his dad accelerated. I am so sorry you received such a poor “turnover” on the situation from your son’s mom - that is so frustrating. It does sound as though your son is high functioning and motivated to work with you on living there- just don’t emphasize that bit with Social Security. Our Family to Family class taught us that when we apply for ssdi we should always talk about their worst days. They said as parents we tend to talk about their better days.

Ansosognosia - so relieved that you are already aware of anosognosia. Our family members with this symptom need us, its tragic when people don’t understand that our kids are too sick to know they are sick. They are not choosing to make bad decisions about taking psych meds.

Have you had a chance to look at Dr Amador’s LEAP technique? I find it really helps in those tricker conversations. Welcome to the forum!

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Hi Hope, I’ve read parts of his book that someone was nice enough to share. I need to read more.

Thanks for sharing and caring

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Sorry for the impossible situation. But it sounds like your son is logical and somewhat self-aware. Perhaps a simple sit down to say, “Your staying with us is a privilege, NOT a right. And if you ever curse at your mom, or act in an unsafe manner, then you lose that privilege.”

And then, have the discipline to kick him out for 30 days (he will probably fail quickly to test you). If he gets his $&@/ together and comes back in 30 days, then perhaps you and your wife restore the privilege of living with you.

And yes, I agree with the security. Get rid or lock up poisons, weapons, and for dang sure bolt your bedroom door.

My 17 year old son (now 19 with a SZ diagnosis) would often tell me how easy it would be to kill me in my sleep. We kept the door locked and a taser by the bed. I became a pretty light sleeper!

Once we’d received the SZ diagnosis, and he turned 19 then he crossed the line and lost the privilege of ever living with us again. Sad but necessary to protect the rest of us.

We’ll always love him - he’s in an SZ treatment facility now and we are hopeful. But. He will NEVER be allowed to live at home again.

An impossible choice, but one we had to make. Hang in there.

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Hi Sando, Thanks for responding.

Interesting there is a common thread here. My son told his stepdad that he’d “better not go to sleep” and threatened to kill him in his sleep.

How do you get them into a SZ treatment facility if they refuse treatment?

Thanks

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How much help you will receive from the authorities varies from state to state and often, county to county within the states. Your local NAMI organization (if you have one where you are) can sometimes be helpful in letting you know what resources are available in your area.

At treatmentcenteradvocacycenter.org the state map will show you the laws for your particular state.

Threatening to kill someone will usually get a 3 day hold in a psych treatment facility. Is that how he was hospitalized before?

When it comes to making a diagnosis, the doctors and Social Security want to see proof that the situation has been ongoing for a long time and the psychosis is severely debilitating. You haven’t mentioned if he hears voices - the hallmark of schizophrenia, when he talks to himself is he talking to someone? My son had a long history of failed employment - did you get those details in the turnover from your ex? Disability is about being unable to work.

In my area, if my son had ever verbally threatened to hurt us or himself, the sheriff would have held him in a separate cell while waiting for an interview with the agency in Texas which has proven themselves to be nearly totally uninterested in helping our family members with smi - Texana. If the rep from Texana found them to be a threat to themselves or others - which the deputy says it means they have to say it to the Texana people, THEN they would hold them for 3 days in a psych treatment facility. To stay another two weeks, the person with smi would have to agree to further treatment. IF they don’t repeat it to the Texana rep, they just let them go back home to you. We had a camera that recorded sound outside our home. We wanted to be able to offer proof if it ever happened.

You can see how many of our family members with smi end up in jail. Some people will use jail and time in court before a judge as an opportunity to get a judge to order treatment. Court ordered treatments vary, in some areas it is done as an out patient. If they don’t show up for their shot, the judge can order them back to jail. For our family members with anosognosia, Dr Amador really recommends monthly injections.

I am not in the kick them out club, I am more into the help them find a way forward club. Clearly they do need help finding their way forward and figuring out a living/life situation that works. Having said that, my husband, who is my son’s father, was promised by me that if my son became an actual threat, he would have to live somewhere else.

When I built the guesthouse to get them apart from each other, both objected. My husband could not “do” LEAP for 10 seconds, he would get too excited when my son was in an episode. I held my ground and told both of them, when its completed ONE OF US is moving out there. A sense of humor helps, but seriously, I would have moved out there in a heartbeat :laughing:

Some people have their family members who are struggling with smi in campers and recreational vehicles, some are in guesthouses, some are in rental houses their families own or regular rental homes and apartments and some live very well with family members.

In my son’s case, he did know what would work for him - it did take him some down time without the pressure of supporting himself, to learn to adjust to living with his scz. I hope that someday he will take AP meds (anti-psychotic) in the meantime we just keep working LEAP to keep those lines of communication open.

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I don’t think it is a good situation you are in, with your wife not being willing to live with your son while you try to help him. It takes time and energy from the caregiver to move a family member from unmedicated and unwilling to see a doctor to a good med that works. Sometimes it isn’t possible to get a good result. Sometimes a “happy” medium is found.
But always it takes time and effort. Almost superhuman time and effort. And everyone in the family and circle of friends is touched by the schizophrenia’s effect on your loved one.

An ultimatum may not work for your son (i.e. meds or leave) and it shouldn’t be an ultimatum from your wife to you either to get your son on meds or make him leave. I believe that you are correct: if it was her daughter that was ill she wouldn’t be so quick to want to kick her daughter out. Marriage vows are for better or worse, she chose to join your family, and you cannot abandon your son when he needs your help. My life was a total mess when my daughter was in her psychosis: my sons moved out and told me to kick her out, my husband was being investigated for (non-existent) abuse that she called in to the police often and he also called the police on her several times, I barely got any sleep due to the constant talking (yelling) that she did at all hours. BUT in my heart I knew I couldn’t give up trying to help her. We have a good result for my daughter now, but it was a long hard road. My sons and my husband are very glad now that I didn’t take their “advice” and abandon trying to help my daughter, and they know I would go through hell and high water to help them too, if something terrible happened to my sons or husband.

I wish you luck sorting out your situation. Your son is is pretty good shape, in my opinion, if he is able to work around the house. It takes awhile to get over the cursing and derogatory comments that come out of our ill loved one’s mouths when they are in an episode, but that is the illness talking, not your loved one, who is still there inside the turmoil of his mind. If you can get your wife to do the NAMI family to family class with you, you both will gain great knowledge to help you sort out your situation.

It took learning the laws of how to force hospitalize my daughter when she threatened harm to self or us, and then calling the police multiple times to get her into a hospital and finally on the right meds to break her psychosis (and over 2 years of time). But the effort had a good result.

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fortunately, my son has an overblown fear of ‘the law’ and government. So, if i can gently frame things that 'Son, it’s no longer my call, they are either going to arrest you and potential have you put in there against your will, or you can do it voluntarily." that has worked a few times.

having said that - he is still aware that he can leave - and left once with 2 other 18-19 year olds, against medical advice (AMA), departing the facility in snowy, 15 degree weather with no wallet, money, phone, or place to go. he later said their plan had been to go to a homeless shelter that was 40 miles away. we already knew the homeless shelter was 100% full with a wait-list.

We had no idea where he was, nor any way to reach him.

Sooo, when he called me from some stranger’s phone later that scary night, i said, ‘son; i’ve talked to the treatment facility and they are willing to let you back in, but only if you go back within 24 hours. i’ll pay for one night at a crappy hotel for you and your renegade buddies, but that’s it. the homeless shelter is closed to new people. So once you leave this hotel, you will live on the streets.’

he was mad - hung up on me and said, ‘fine, i’ll be homeless!!’. my wife and i were scared but felt resolved in our position. he called back in 2-3 hours to say, ‘okay, can they come pick me up?’ He went back and has been in now for 60 days.

So the combination of fear of the lawman, and reality of living cold helped him make the right choice. not sure how that would work in a warmer climate - meaning, if he was in California and being homeless meant sleeping in a park, he might be more open to trying it! at 15 degrees, you don’t get too excited about sleeping under a bridge!

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I agree with many opinions posted above - and I have been there. My son from my first marriage 31 diagnosed after college with sz. He is also an alcoholic. I have been able to get him to rehab for dual diagnosis facilities where he got meds. I have been through this dance 2xs in 6 years with a variety of levels of success. Basically I say I don’t want to ask u to leAve - your rent is meds and no booze . Then when he is working he also pays cash. Seems like you need to buy some time with your spouse. Perhaps install a good lock on your bedroom so she feels safe at night- and understand covid is making everything worse. Good luck and keep coming back

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I’ve been in your shoes as the mother of an adult son (28) w/SZ. You and your wife’s well being and safety absolutely come first. The safety and well-being of your son is not well served living in your household especially unmedicated. In my opinion, it’s in every parties best interest to live separately. Schizophrenia is a serious illness that needs 24/7 care and takes a toll on caregivers and I don’t believe it’s safe from what I experienced w/my son. It’s not safe for you, your wife or your son. My son lives in residential care specifically for people w/schizophrenia. It took 2 years for him to stabilize with a 24/7 care team of a full staff including psychologists, psychiatrist, medical doctors, medication management, diet, exercise routine and daily living skills monitored. Most family members can not provide this necessary on going care and typically the person w/SZ can manipulate family. I highly recommend finding a facility opposed to street living homelessness. Your son can apply for social security to off set the expense of residential care and some insurances cover too. You all need and deserve to live a quality life. My best to you in this journey. It’s a tough road.

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Do most states have residential programs for people with schizophrenia? It sounds like such a good idea, but i wondered if families end up footing a lot of the bill. In my city, I get the feeling that homeless shelters are housing many of the adults with severe mental illness.

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Wow, what a tough position to be in. I’m sorry you are going through this. I know I put up with all kinds of bad behavior from my 35 year old son because of his illness and because he’s my son and I love him. I have a very hard time maintaining boundaries with him, but I would never expect anyone else to tolerate him in their home. Your son is no where near as bad as mine, but you are doing him no favors by allowing him to come between you and your wife. All members of any household must treat each other with respect and kindness or home life becomes miserable quickly. If your son won’t take medication, then he must change his behavior without it. See if he will go to a therapist. DBT may help him. Family therapy is probably a good idea as well. You can’t expect your wife to have the same feelings for your son that you do, but she is going to have to be willing to forgive and not harbor resentments against your son or you. That’s a big ask. I hope your love is strong enough to survive.

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If schizophrenia is left unchecked ; many have suffered violent consequences . My advice is to make him leave with the understanding he has two weeks to change his mind regarding treatment. Make sure he understands the time limit and if he waits longer than that to agree to your conditions ; he’s on his own, That should provide him enough time to realize how difficult it is being homeless. From what you describe; it seems that you are reaching a critical stage with him. Unfortunately for some, there is no limit to the violence they are capable of . This is why my son has been homeless for years ; he almost killed me in a fit of rage. Thankfully, he was eventually picked up in the streets of L.A. for taking someone’s dog that he thought was his from his childhood. He is now in the county prison mental ward receiving treatment . He calls once a week and sounds better than he has in years. They are currently seeking monitored housing for him upon his release. My wife who is the most compassionate person I know refuses to let him live with us again. We are very much afraid of him and will forever be so.
We had lost hope until the police and social services stepped in ; perhaps some day we can visit him and salvage something of a relationship. I will never again complain about the taxes I pay in California.
Please be careful; your family’s safety is at stake and there is no going back. My son’s illness has tormented all of us for years. His attack on me is the worst event of my life and haunts me daily. I should have been more careful after seeing several warning signs.

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Thank you for posting your story @soconfused , I am sorry that you went through an attack, I hope you can heal from the daily haunting of that event. I am glad that your son is now in treatment in prison and doing better. I never had to endure bad violence, thankfully, but did call the police each time there was physical threat of any type.

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