Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

You Can't Do This Alone

I really wish this topic was on its own thread. At NAMI’s Family to Family they ask in the class “how many of you have wished your family members with mental illness were dead?”

When no one raised their hand the instructor said “Really?”

Since my son seems to be on the road to gibbering or tragic death - or maybe I’m the one on the road to tragic death. sigh.

2 Likes

I’m not sure if the poster you are referring to is a troll or not, but I think you go too far in your first sentence. And he or she certainly isn’t ‘dispicable’, and they didn’t say your son is better off dead. They’re clearly someone that is also going through a lot. Re-read the post, they even say they don;t want to devalue what you are going through, they are just sharing their perspective. Also, please bare in mind that some very sick people cause huge damage to those around them.

3 Likes

When the psychiatrist was explaining the seriousness of the situation to me I was deliberately trying to rationalise it away, say it would be fine, we could manage it etc. They really pushed me on how serious it was especially with young children in the house, and how it could be almost hopeless if no insight developed. They went quite hard. I said ‘it sounds like what your saying is it would be better if someone called me and said she’d been run over by a truck’. He said ‘there are many people in your situation who think that and whether or not it is true I can’t say, you should have counselling yourself’. And I thought ‘sh*t, not a ‘no’ then’.

1 Like

mpilting… I’m sorry that your brother has “severe” schizophrenia. I have no idea what he and you have went through. To wish death -that makes me think a LOT has happened and it’s going to take a lot of effort and patience to get through. But I do think that with or without schizophrenia he still deserves the right to human dignity -which includes a life where he is loved unconditionally by the family members he still has left :sunny:

5 Likes

uh, that is my dad currently… all he can say is “hi” everything else is word jumbles. But I do not wish death on my father. I mention Oreos and Marilyn Monroe and he smiles. He still has the ability to feel happiness and to feel loved. The fear you have of your family member turning into a “gibbering idiot” is real. But, it’s not worth their death.

3 Likes

What you’ve experienced is similar to what I’ve gone through with my dad. His parents are passed on, and his older brothers are completely burnt out by his actions. I and my biological mom are the only people he has left in this world who can see past the psychosis. I think it’s because my mom and I didn’t know my dad before he became paranoid SZ. We both loved him SZ and all from the beginning, and learned when he was having an episode to just get out of the way and let himself de-escalate or we called the cops. Sometimes I’d have to lock myself in my room. Sometimes it was scary. But I don’t let myself read into his psychosis. It’s just something he does. It’s our normal life. That’s what it’s like to grow up with a person with schizophrenia . You gain respect and understanding for the disorder.

1 Like

Yes. It should have its own thread.

1 Like

Hi Tutica,
Thanks for your kind words. It must be tough being a single mom and dealing with this. I am glad to hear your son has a caring psychiatrist. Just make sure your son’s physical health is monitored. If he is taking meds, there are dangerous side effects. Best of luck to you and your son.

2 Likes

Exactly.

My son’s first doctor was bluntly honest about how difficult it would be to get my son on meds. HIs words “nearly impossible” “this sort is the hardest” due to my son’s presentation.

I am just beginning to understand that I should have understood it as “you will never be able to get him on meds”.

Lol - like nearly impossible wasn’t clear enough.

3 Likes

Our family was in similar situation. There is no way we could have gotten our family member to try meds. Now, there is court ordered treatment and things are going well. Truly, there was no way we could have gotten to this healing place without the courts.

4 Likes

Thankyou for your insights my son is 32 and has been on various versions of these drugs since he was 15. At our monthly doctors appointment yesterday the doctor just bluntly said people with scizophrenia dont live long. I already knew the statisics but was affronted anyway. We are doing our best with diet etc. Its a tough job for a single parent. Really the rest of the family is too busy to help much. I pray that something changes so he can stay well. My heart goes out to you.

1 Like

Yes indeed. I have dealt with a number of Psychiatrists recently and note very different patterns in how the interact. Some of them are very direct which I prefer. Others always seem to try to underplay things or not answer questions properly like the old line of ‘well, we’re talking about human behavior here so it’s very hard to predict’.

Part of the problem for me is the advocates and social workers. In our case because she threatens divorce regularly her advocate ensures that things are presented in all documentation so that they appear best in a potential custody case, for example her differential diagnosis is schizoaffective vs. bipolar with psychotic features. Having lived with her I know it’s the former, as she has delusions and referential ideas without mania or depression. However, because of the advocate they also slip ‘first episode pyschosis’ into the differential, even though there are witness statements from many family members that describe the onset of the illness over two years and the acute period being well over two months, so she doesn’t fit the DSM for brief psychosis. What this does however is helps her to underplay things, and insist she doesn’t really need her meds. To me, if they were just stronger about diagnosing it may actually help to get people to take meds. I also think court ordered meds should be used much more often, particularly when ill people are treated at home, it’s like we are forced to take someone into the family home because there isn’t anywhere else for them, but then nobody will force them to take meds. I don’t understand why it isn’t mandatory for someone to take meds if they are in a home with young children and a Psychiatrist thinks they need to take meds. I can’t speak for the USA but in a lot of other Western countries we have the mental health advocacy movements to blame for these things.

2 Likes

So you are having to fight the illness and these advocates who help your wife better her position against you for the legal system?

No wonder you are frustrated. They are going to fight you as you attempt to protect your child.

3 Likes

Pardon my ignorance. Im new to this, but what is ECT?

1 Like

Dear Stan,

I am soooo sorry for your loss!! My heart hurts for you. I hope you and your wife are healing these days. Please know you will be in my prayers.

God Bless You

That’s a horrible thing for a doctor to say, re life expectancy. I don’t think the statistics say that.

1 Like

ECT: electroconvulsive therapy

An electrical current is made through the brain in order to reduce excitability.

When medications do not work or no longer work.

Positives: reduction in psychotic episodes, reductions in episodes of depression
Negatives: temporary amnesia lasting up to 6 months, considered an invasive procedure, temporary jaw tension

1 Like

Cato1, beat them at their own game. Document, everything and date it. I am sorry you are having to go through this.

1 Like

Do to your response, I am now seeing the “whole picture” of this post. Thank you for clarifying this for me.