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Schizophrenia Community
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1450639 tn?1284923584

my mom has no insight about her illness

my mom(62 yrs) has schizophrenia illness, she talks to herself often, arranges things very frequently in the house e.g.- keeping spoons, plates, cushions, shampoos, empty containers in certain order or re-arranging all of the above time to time. When asked to stop doing it she tells me that if she doesn't do it then their could be problems. Apart from this she talks about marrying guys who're less than half her age, sometimes imaginary characters or sometimes a neighbor's son.Mom is divorced since 12yrs. and lives alone - I visit her once every year for 3months. She had this problem since almost 10yrs now, (was never taken to a pschyiatrist), but last 6months her probs have escalated quite a bit-- she keeps the phone disconnected does not communicate with anyone, thinks Im going to harm her, stays in very dim light, I managed to force & take her to a psychiatrist, she was prescribed - olanzapine(olimelt in India) 10mg at bedtime & sizodon plus (morning & bedtime 1 each time) - mom refuses to take these drugs as she thinks she's perfectly alright. Upon Doctor's advice im now giving her Olimelt 10mg at bedtime mixed in her food without her knowledge. I see a 2 % improvement in her - its been 4 days that im giving her. My questions are - how effective will this drug be if taken everyday once at bedtime & for how long should it be given?, i have already googled side effects on this drug- so will not need that info. Also most important - how can I convince her that she has a mental illness - without losing her trust in me? Can I print some basic information about Schizophernia from internet and leave it casually at her bedside, so she can read it & maybe relate to it & understand that their is a problem with her mental health.?? I have 2 more months of stay with her & once again she will be living alone, as I work in a different city. I would definitely want her to take her medication by herself when Im not there, but for that she needs to have an insight about her illness. Please help & any advice in this matter from anyone experienced will definitely be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
11 Responses
Avatar universal
When reading the first part of your post I thought your mother has OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and talking outloud is not a sign of mental illness, but could have something to do with the OCD if she does indeed have it.  Many people talk outloud to themselves;  it's not uncommon at all and shouldn't be viewed as mental illness.
Wilth OCD you can't just tell someone to stop doing it; it's a disorder in which the person has to perform certain tasks or a great deal of anxiety can be caused. OCD can be treated with therapy and medication for many, but there are some who just don't respond or choose to continue to live the way they live; could even be called being eccentric by some.
Has the Doctor said your mother actually has schizophrenia???  
Obviously your mother is not receptive to the idea of being called mentally ill or having a mental illness and understandably so; many do not like being labeled so a different approach should be taken with your mother I believe.  The word schizophrenia is also trying to be done away with in certain countries because it is so stigmatizing and demoralizing for many.
I can't speak about the medication part, but I would try a different approach with not forcing your mother to believe she has a mental illness.  You cannot force anyone to think or believe something they choose not to and makes them feel less than a human being.  I would suggest speaking with your mother and stating that ALL people have conditions, life issues, disorders or whatever words are suitable for your mother.  Ask your mother what she would like to call what she is experiencing, but always reassure your mother she is first and foremost a respected person who will be treated as such always.  
Much luck with all and good health to your mother.
Avatar universal
Hi, I know you did not say that your mother hears voices, but if you look at this particular Doctor on this link he believes that the term schizophrenia can be a harmful one.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marius_Romme
This is one man who has taken different approaches in his work.
I know you are concerned about your mother and this affects you also.
Hopefully others here may offer their opinions to help and again the best to you and your mother.
PS:  Maybe your mother likes younger men hey; just teasing you....
Avatar universal
I just read this very interesting article and one point the author makes is that quite often it is the way the caretakers or those who love the person "react" to them in general.
Here is the link to the article:  http://www.successfulschizophrenia.org/articles/message.html
585414 tn?1288944902
When a person is diagnosed with schizophrenia they need to take antipsychotics for their entire life generally. Zyprexa (from what I remember it and what I was informed) takes a while to build up a blood level. Rispedal is more short acting in how long it takes to work. They also when a person is elderly need to rule out other evident concerns such as dementia but only a psychiatrist would understand all this in full. You could look up schizophrenia.com for more information. As well NAMI friend and family support groups can be helpful to learn coping skills. Its important to remember that everything that you describe including the lack of self awareness and inability to understand why medication is needed is a symptom that is part of the specific psychiatric disability itself and is best treated like one.
675718 tn?1530036633
i take risperidone and it has helped me with my voices i hear, but i have to keep taking the pills :)
Avatar universal
It's not uncommon for people with schizophrenia to have no insight into their illness.
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675718 tn?1530036633
El Paso, TX
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