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I Took In a Relative w/ Schizophrenia...
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I Took In a Relative w/ Schizophrenia...

This is going to be very long but please bear with me. I want to provide as much detail as I can to get the most help.

I decided to take in my distant cousin who I had no idea been living on the streets for over two years.His abusive father who had Schizophrenia committed suicide several years ago and his equally abusive mother  moved to another state, leaving him to fend for himself when he was barely a teen.He then told me he himself had Schizophrenia. He lived on Social Security where his aunt became the payee but used his money for her own use. He had been beaten up several times and suffered even more types of abuse while living in a room and board until he ran away. I decided since I had an extra room in my house, he could live with me for a while. Maybe that was a mistake...

With his new surroundings, he was very happy that at age 26, he finally had his own room, a t.v. and a computer. I provided him with all necessities and even food until his SS check came, but about a week into him staying with me, he began eating my roommates' food and stuff that I had planned to make for my fiance on our anniversary. He came up with excuses that he hadn't eaten well and wasn't used to it but he would pay us back. I told him just because he says he will pay us back doesn't mean he has free will to eat what he wants. I told him which food was his  and not to touch anything else.I've now had to tell him several times but he isn't retaining it and he's making my roommates uncomfortable when he sneaks up on them while they are cooking and asks them for food. They have also thrown food away when it was obvious he had picked at it, dipped his spoon in the ice cream or dug his finger in the peanut butter.

He says he has learned to sometimes ignore the voices or he writes songs to the voices, telling them they won't run his life or he will giggle while he's walking down the street, making conversation with them. I can't take him to the store or the mall because he will start skipping through the aisles, talking to strangers,scaring them or flirting with girls while their boyfriends are standing right next to them, rattling off philosophical quotes he says he learned while staying in Buddhist temples and mosques for shelter.
He does a high pitched screech randomly, he talks in a child-like tone and moves his body in a very strange way. I wondered if he also had some sort of mental retardation...I don't take him to stores anymore.

I did, however take him to a local mental health clinic. He was given Diphenhydramine, Zoloft, Deprol, Divalproex and Abilify. They said he was bi-polar along with schizophrenic but I know there is something else going on with him and they didn't pick up. I made sure he swallowed each pill on schedule since he said he wasn't taking any of his other meds. They don't seem to be working though. He says they make him even hungrier.

His behavior has gotten worse since he's been here for some months. I feel like I am constantly reminding him how to do things and what not to do. He does not clean up after himself, can't do his own laundry even though I taught him how several times but he "forgets" and broke off a knob on the machine. I've taught him to put in the shower liner so that the floors don't flood, he forgets and the floor is always flooded. He leaves the counters and mirror covered in hair shavings or toothpaste and once used one of my washcloths to plug in the drain so he could take a bath....Upon learning this, I was so disgusted, I threw it away and wondered what else he had done to my things.I took all of my stuff out of the bathroom and put them in my room.

He is not allowed to cook anything on the stove because of the accidents he had burning pots, leaving the gas on, ect. He will often eat so much that he's throwing up or clogging the toilet with his waste. He seems to have a problem with wiping the seat or flushing a second time if it doesn't go down. It has grossed out many people who come over since I share the bathroom with him. I have had to fix the toilet several times because he's "using" it so much. I tell him he can't eat 8 times a day because he can't afford a high food bill and he has to show self-control. I didn't know someone could poop that much in a day.

I am finishing up an internship so I can graduate college and he's getting in the way of that. I already have too much going on in my own life and I have taken him on. I didn't expect this even though my fiance, who does sympathize and tries to be understanding, was right all along about me bringing him in. She knew I wouldn't be able to handle it and thought he needed to be in more capable hands. I feel like I have to check on him constantly, eat dinner with him, make sure he's okay and it's affecting my relationship with her, because with our busy schedules, we only see each other once a week and he ruins our alone time with his constant need for attention or does something crazy..When she found out schizophrenia was genetic and my mother already shows major signs of it, along with an undiagnosed mental psychosis, she's become a bit more uncomfortable.

I am exhausted by him. He wanders off around the neighborhood and has caused trouble with people who came to my house talking to me in a threatening way about what he has done, such as peeping through windows, making gestures or dancing on people's lawns. I don't want him to say something to the wrong person and something happens to him or me because I'm trying to defend him.

Last night he said he needed to take a jog. I told him he needed to stay within the cul-de-sac. He left around 7pm. I fell asleep while writing an article and around 1am, I wake up and he's still not home. Ten minutes later, he comes knocking on the door, smelling like alcohol and giggling like a child. He said he crashed a party several streets down; something he wasn't allowed to do. I was so upset and overwhelmed, I took away the Xbox and turned off his internet while he was in the bathroom. I went in my room and when he realized what happened, he began pacing around the house, slamming doors, talking to himself and eating even more.

The next morning, he starts yelling at me that he's a grown man and he can do whatever he wants. He thinks he can handle so much and I need to treat him like an adult but hasn't showed me he is capable at all.He has the mind of a child. He will start taking up bizarre and random conversations with my friends if they come over and they aren't sure how to handle him but they try to have a good attitude about it.He refuses to take any classes at the mental health clinic because he says the people there are "too slow" and believes he's more normal than they are but his social worker thinks otherwise. He's not allowed to obtain a driver's license and he can't have access to his money. I try to explain that he's not like me or any other person in the house. He then storms out of the house blabbering gibberish and throwing tantrums all around the neighborhood.

I can't provide him with what he needs. I feel like he is a full time job with overtime with no pay or benefits. I already have a mother who has mental problems and now I'm dealing with him. I felt bad for him and that's why I took him in but I can't handle it. My roommates aren't taking to him very well, he isn't retaining what I say to him, my already unstable relationship is going down the tubes because she thinks if we have children, they will have it. She's also dealing with my mother and well...it's a long story. My fiance goes through a lot being with me and I love her so much. She really wants to work it out but other factors are making her re-think things. My family nor his side of the family wants anything to do with him. If anyone can provide some advice, such as were he could live (I live in Southern California),I would appreciate it.
5 Comments Post a Comment
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585414_tn?1288944902
  Yes they might be experiencing what are called negative symptoms of schizophrenia which are difficulty relating to people. It would be worthwhile to discuss that with their psychiatrist and also find out their specific diagnosis (such as schizoaffective disorder or bipolar with psychotic features, etc.) so you know how to follow up.
   Not wanting to take medications as prescribed can occur partially because of their side effects (increased appetite as mentioned is common as are cognitive side effects which can cause confusion as well as sedation but each person responds differently to each medication) as well as not understanding their need. Substance abuse or alcohol abuse as a form of self medication can occur
with some people and a dual recovery group is what is needed.
   At this point in time the best thing to do is find out about available mental health housing (supported housing where a person is basically independent, supportive housing which has more intense supervision and community residences which are more supervised). Then from there work with agencies that can help with this process to have him be approved. Medication monitoring can be indicated as a need if the psychiatrist notes it. Further outpatient support may be needed. NAMI can be helpful in this regard. Also their friend and family support groups can help as regards coping skills to understand whats going on. Its best to understand the person doesn't want to be this way but is experiencing symptoms not all of which respond to current treatment but that may improve over time.
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Avatar_m_tn
Increased hunger is a common medication side effect as is increased memory loss and confusion.  Bizarre behavior is a symptom of schizophrenia and mania in bipolar disorder and this all sounds familiar to me with being diagnosed with schizophrenia myself.  This probably isn't something you're equipped to handle, no offense, so try to take ILADVOCATE's advice.
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675718_tn?1321008971
yes iladvocate has the best advice :)
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Avatar_f_tn
My mothers side of her family has schizo. When I was 13, me and my 2 brothers had been introduced to 'fake marijuana' which at the time I had no clue the problems it could cause. My brother which was 15 at the time was a loving, bubbly, all around beautiful person. He always laughed and was always the sweetest. Then about a week before thanksgiving we were at the lake with some friends smoking this fake drug and my brother had fell and smacked his head  on a rock, he seemed normal and then on Thanksgiving we had noticed he was acting strange, talking to himself,keeping distant from everyone, Laughing at nothing and staring off. We had finally took him to a doctors, we found out he had schizo. He acted very strange mumbling words, talking to 'gods' is whathe called them, And hehad told me I was going to dieat the  lake, I was terrified not forthe fact that he said that, but the fact that he would say such terrible things. Months later he became violent. He bustedout our sliding glass door, throwing things everywhere, threw a rock threw our car window,Telling me he was going to kill me, and manymore. My mom had to call an ambulance, The cops came and an ambulance came, He was standinginour drive way talking strange things screaming, and crying going completely insane. It took 5 officers to put hijm in handcuffs and theyhad taken him to the hospital. I was so scared. Present day, About a year later he is alot better but still a completely different person. I will never ever forget what had happend...
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3236191_tn?1355144215
It might've been the head injury that caused it.
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