Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Worry for the Future


#1

So as some of you may know, I had to involuntary commit my fiancé for the first time ever. I’m scared of what the future may be like and if I’ll ever have to do it again. So I am wondering… How many times have you had to voluntarily or involuntarily commit one of your loved ones and what were each of your experiences like each time? I feel severely traumatized and so embarrassed that I had to call for help. I’m even afraid of going out since some of the neighbors had gathered up and seen what transpired because he refused to let them in, so I had to come out and talk to them. I’m terrified of having to do it again another time and facing that kind of stigma of being the victim in an abusive relationship or with a severely mentally ill individual. I don’t know how to move on from this.


#2

I think it’s different when it’s your partner vs. your child, but you have to decide what you care about most.
Him or what other people think.

First, you’re not the victim of an abusive relationship because you didn’t just take it - you called for help & you got him help. There’s no shame in that.

Second, he has an illness and there shouldn’t be any shame there either. Hold your head up, and dare them to say anything bad about it or treat him poorly, because neither of you deserve that.

Based on my experience, your fear is probably not in line with what will really happen when you talk to people.

And, maybe this trick will work. If someone says something you think is out of line, remind them of how lucky they are that they don’t have a mental illness to deal with - either theirs or a family member. Remember, mental illness does not discriminate - it will take men, women, people of any color, age or race, and both the rich and the poor.

I think people, to some degree, receive the amount of stigma they are expecting.
I’m either doing a great job of ignoring it or refusing to accept it because I usually have a good response when I talk to people - or maybe I’m so in your face with it that people are a little afraid to say anything bad.

Either way, you need to live your life and not worry so much about what other people think. If they have a problem with it, it’s their problem - not yours.


#3

Thank you, I really appreciate your words, it’s great advice. :two_hearts:


#4

Only works if you can find a way to not care so much what other people think.

Act like it, even if you don’t feel that way, and you’ll eventually get there.

However, don’t let it keep you from accepting that some people do care and will be kind to you both.


#5

Yeah, when I went to take out the trash and the cop came backs, three different neighbors offered to take it out for me (I had taken out two bags since he was hoarding recycling things for two weeks now and every time I took it out, he would get it from the garbage and bring it back in) and told me to just take care of my business.


#6

I wondered what our neighbors thought after the SWAT team morning. Nobody ever said a word, nobody even stopped that morning to watch. Afterward I just kept waving when I would drive on the road and see neighbors like everything was normal. I figured they were all waiting to read it in the local paper. About 2 weeks later - nothing ever did show up in the paper- the mail person brought something up to the house and asked “how’s everything going?” and it sounded like an inquiry.

We live rurally and before the big SWAT event, I had told two neighbors that our son had suffered brain damage. In a rural county, that may be enough to have informed the entire county. I am concerned about using the word “schizophrenia” - I don’t want to bring my son to the attention of the villager types with torches and pitchforks.

When the mail person asked, I said pretty much this “Sometimes when my son is having a bad day he worries someone is trying to hurt him, so he calls 911. Sometimes, we can see he is having a bad day and we call 911. They are supposed to send out a mental health officer to talk with him and calm him down. One day a couple of weeks back when 911 was called the mental health officer wasn’t available and the officers who did come were confused about what was happening”.


#7

Schizophrenia is a hard word. It’s still hard for me to say out loud even though I can now think it without feeling any panic. My son isn’t officially diagnosed with that yet, although I think it’s coming.

I find that Bipolar is much easier for people to relate too, so sometimes I say maybe he’s Bipolar. It runs in the family, so it’s reasonable to think that’s what’s going on with him.

There’s no question he has psychosis, so I simply say he has psychosis sometimes. My son is OK with just thinking about it that way too. And, honestly, I don’t think most people understand what psychosis means, so it doesn’t have the bad connotations that schizophrenia does.

He has said in the past that he thinks he has schizoaffective. For some reason, that word is easier to say, even though it combines schizophrenia with bipolar, kind of.

Brain disorder is supposed to be the politically correct way to say it now according something I read on NAMI, so it’s OK to just go with that.


#8

In the FtFclass one of the older women who had an much older son said I should always say “bipolar” as that is socially acceptable.

I wanted to be honest and schizophrenia actually does damage the brain. When one neighbor asked how did he get brain damage? I responded that the first time he heard something happening that wasn’t happening was the night after his transplant surgery. I told them the surgery supposedly went fine, but he has never been the same since. All true.

You doing okay?


#9

If you’re asking about me, I’m always OK - I’m a rock.

I figure with everything that’s happened in my life (more than just my son), if I haven’t had a nervous breakdown of my own by now, I can get through anything.

These days, I get angry way more often than I get upset, and I’m not going to waste time or energy feeling sorry for myself when he’s the one stuck in a mental nightmare. If I have a moment of sadness, I acknowledge it, let it pass & move on.


#10

Good for you! Rock on!

I never get angry, I worry, but not excessively. I have had to deal with more than this in life also, and dealing with heavy stuff really changes your perspective about more heavy stuff doesn’t it?

But I do try to NOT say “what else could possibly happen?” I don’t want to jinx myself.


#11

I’ve learned that too, because no matter how bad it gets, things can always get worse.


#12

Wow. That’s awful and I know what you mean, we moved to a small town particularly to avoid attention and yet I feel like more people are watching you where I live. Too much of a friendly town compared to the rude people in the city. Not sure which one is better for him, but at least there’s less traffic and city noise.


#13

I always thought of psychosis as psychotic. But it had never been hard to say "“schizophrenia” in my life until now, because I know someone is at stake. Between my family it was just thrown around like a normal thing.


#14

While my son would prefer to live in a city, he does have less stress here in the country. Exactly, the stakes can be quite high in our situations.


#15

I was also embarrassed to have the police come to my house at least twice a month. She calls the police so they can escort her to the hospital. But I realize there is nothing to be embarrassed about. My daughter is ill and she can’t help it. Also, I met some very wonderful and supportive people who aren’t caretakers but have seen me struggle with this and have come up to the plate and extend a helping hand.

I hope you will find the support you need. Please don’t be embarrassed. You did nothing wrong except help your boyfriend who is very ill.


#16

I agree. He really likes it here too, which is a good thing, but it doesn’t help his delusions. He’s worst than he was last year.


#17

I’m so sorry you are going through this. I understand totally how you feel because I felt similar when I had to call 911 on my sz husband after he threatened me with harm the 1st time (hasn’t been a 2nd time-but like you I know its more than likely it will happen again in the future). Fortunately like you, the police were great, they took him to psychiatric clinic, got him admitted once they saw how psychotic he was and I had to request that he be held till he was agreeable to taking meds again. My neighbors all saw the police come, the ambulance and him being wheeled out after sedation. I felt a bit embarrassed-but then I felt their concern and care. Some of them assumed it was a medical condition, others who live close to our house and have heard him yelling/screaming in the past knew otherwise, but all were supportive of me and him. I think most people are like that-I expect them to avoid us, but they still say hi and will talk like normal. No one asked him how he was or what happened. All in all-involuntarily committing him was the BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED to him and to me. For my husband, it gave him a scare, it gave him some insight into his mental illness, and that he had to take meds in order for him to stay at home. He didn’t like being in the hospital-so he knows if he gets off his meds again, he’s going to end up there again. He didn’t get mad at me-though it took several conversations before he accepted that I felt I was in danger from him so he had to be committed. You did a brave and caring act-your fiancé will be all the better off for it. I’ve read many of your posts and am so inspired by how you handle yourself in the midst of all the turmoil and you’ve given me so much support and good advice. In fact, you gave me the courage to do what I had to do. So hang in there. You did the right thing-the only thing that could be done. And it was hard and yes, I was scared, but I won’t be next time. But you’re still reeling from what happened-give yourself some time to accept it. I was freaking out afterwards too-it took about a week to put it all in perspective. On another note-If you have some say, please do not let him come home too early. Make sure the meds are the right ones and he understands he has to take them in order to come back home. This is your chance now-he’ll just want to get out and may promise the world and the doctors may listen because they have a tendency to release as it opens up more spaces. Stand firm and insist that they must wait to be sure the new meds are working as well. He was dangerous to you-keep repeating that and that you don’t feel comfortable about having him home till its obvious that the medication is going to work. If the patient is a threat, the doctors will treat that more seriously - but you have to keep reminding them.

Now that I know I can do it-hopefully once you get accustomed to the fact that you did it and the world didn’t fall apart and he finally got some help, the anxiety and worry will go too.


#18

Thank you and I’m glad that I was able to help you. He says his doctor said that he could be released tomorrow, but when he asked the nurse she said that it stated “undetermined.” I’m going to call tomorrow before the doctor gets to him and tells him he can go. I need him to be in there a little longer – for my own safety and his as well, including hope for recuperation.


#19

I ran into a similar situation several times during his commitment-one or another of the attending doctors would say he can go home, it got confusing. Its smart you are staying on top of the ongoing situation because it can change based on what they need-not what your fiance or you need. I got them to agree to hold a meeting with me and my husband before any release was decided so all concerns could be addressed.


#20

Well I let the nurse know that I wanted to speak to the doctor tomorrow and told her a brief overview of what he had done, his mental state, and my concerns, and she said she understood and took down my number. Either way I’ll be waking up early tomorrow and call before they can get to him and say he’s free to go.