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K9

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Hi everyone, can anyone give me some advice please? not sure how to react to family member who has schizophrenia, amongst a few other problems, depression, anxiety, etc. Not living at home at present.? I know stress is a big factor with schiz. however I am trying to stop enabling so as to help.? Confused, I want to help not hurt. :(
 

K9

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Re: Help and advice

hi everyone, I just posted on Schizophenia forum but no-one to talk to there and I don't know how to transfer msg ("Advice please") just want to talk to someone :(
 

foghlaim

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Re: advice please

hello k9? ? just want to say.. that i have read your post,? and earlier one.. you said there was no-one in there to talk to.? ?i can't advise because while i have a son who suffers with depression, and anxiety.. at times.? ?your son's other symptoms would be best adressed by some of the others here who may have experience in those areas.? they will be on later and i'm sure they can offer you some support and maybe advice.

all i'm doing here is letting u know that some-one is listening.?

sorry i can't be of much help.
 

K9

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Re: advice please

Hi Notsure, I just read your reply,

Thank you for replying and you are helping by listening, thank you - by the way I don't know where you are from but I am from Australia and it is 1am here - don't know how long I can stay up.? What time do most people come on?? ?CM
 

foghlaim

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Re: advice please

that is a hard one to ans... cause i am in Ireland.. it's 5.15pm here now,(fri)... nearly forgot what day i had. lol.. most of the contributors are from america and canada.. and that puts them 5hrs behind me.
so in my time zone.... i usually see some of the others are on at around 11, 12. even later..
 

foghlaim

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Re: advice please

k9. i wouldn't worry about staying up to see the replies,, they will be there when u wake in the morning.? sorry if that came out rather rudely.. i often try myself to wait around and see if any can help me out.? *s*
 

David Baxter

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I have to run to the office now. Will try to get back to reply this evening or tomorrow in case someone else doesn't find your thread first.
 

Steph

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Hi, Is there a schizophrenia society in your area or a schizophrenia case manager??

Phone the mental health unit at your local hospital and they will provide resources that will help you in your community.?

Maybe he could go to a mental health group home first so he can still have some supervision especially with remembering to take his meds. Steph
 

K9

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Re: Advice on coping with schizophrenia

thanks Janet and Steph for replying - I had a look at the sites you posted and they were helpful.
He's an adult I don't have much of a say and he doesn't want me to be too involved, however I think its because he realizes (and I do to) we are co-dependant. He has worked in the past but can't hold down a job for too long, gets stressed, goes back to drugs. Not sure if the drugs came first or the schiz. If it were just the drugs I think I would know how to handle. However, he didn't seem to have a problem until the drugs started. I think I could post on a lot of different forums here, addictions, depression(mine), phobias(mine)etc etc. Anyway thanks girls, I have to go now will check in again.
 

David Baxter

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Another forum member here, Heart Art, has struggled with similar issues with an adult son with schizophrenia, crazyme. She has a number of threads in the "Schizophrenia" forum here that would be worth reading.

There are also these two excellent resources:

Schizophrenia: A Handbook For Families and
Caregiver?s Guides to Coping with Schizophrenia

Steph's suggestion of checking to see whether there is a local chapter of Friends of Schizophrenia, Schizophrenia Society, or NAMI in your area is also an excellent one - these organizations run support groups for families in exactly your situation where members can advise other members on what has worked and not worked for their families.

It's not an easy situation for anyone to be in. The bottom line is that there is not a lot you can do with an adult child who won't accept the help he needs. The goal becomes how to set boundaries so that you don't become used and abused and how to cope with the inevitable distress that any parent feels at having to cut loose a child to sink or swim.
 

K9

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Re: Advice on coping with schizophrenia

thank you so much for the info David :)
 

HA

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Hello K9,

I also have a son who developed schizophrenia at the age of 17 and is now 27.

A young adult with schizophrenia goes through the same changes that other young adults go through, they want to be independent. The challanges they have to face make it much more difficult for them.

Other reasons that people with schizophrenia do not want family involved in their lives are paranoia, (you may be part of a delusion such as someone who is trying to hurt them). Disorganization is another symptom where he may not even have the ability to organize and comprehend what you are trying to help him with and can't do it himself and a common one, is lack of insight or anasognosia, which means he does not realize or believe that he has an illness.

Sometimes there is not much you can do but take care of your own mental health and hope that when he hits rock bottom that he gets the help he needs.

Some of the programs available in Canada and many of States are Community Treatment Orders (CTO's) and Assertive Community Treatment Teams (ACT Teams). These are both especially important for those who have problems with insight and problems with substance abuse. My son does not have problems with substance abuse but he has had issues and he could have easily fallen down that road. He has both an ACT team and a CTO which have been extremely helpful in keeping him on medication.

He also lives in a group home with 3 other young adults and they share the cooking and costs of the home. He is happy there.

It is very helpful to be involved in an organization that advocates for people with schizophrenia because no one else is going to do it. It is also helpful to be involved in something that can improve the lives of those we love and other families....especially at times when there is nothing you can do directly for your son at a particular time.

I am very involved with the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario and just recently our national organization has launched a campign to advocate for better treament and research for people with concurrent disorders or substance abuse and schizophrenia. Fifty percent of people with schizophrenia also have a substance abuse problem but as you know there are not many treament programs or even information availble for these people.

Below is some information about this new advocacy issue and even though it may not apply to you directly, I hope this gives you an example of something that you could become involved in with an organization close to your home.

Hugs
Judy

The Schizophrenia Society of Canada, in partnership with the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario is beginning a three-year project titled ?Concurrent Disorders and Schizophrenia:? A National Awareness Strategy?, funded by the Drug Strategy Initiatives Fund of Health Canada. The project will bring together experts from across Canada to raise awareness and share information.? This will involve six regional consultations across Canada to bring together experts from a variety of sectors to identify regional resources, service delivery gaps, and recommended solutions to advance the issue of concurrent substance use disorder and schizophrenia.? The contributions of family members and consumers are particularly welcomed in these consultations, which will also include treatment professionals, researchers, and administrators.

The Toronto area consultation will be held at the Toronto Marriott Bloor-Yorkville (90 Bloor St. East) on Tuesday, March 7th.? We will be holding two sessions - the morning session will run from 9 a.m. to noon, and the afternoon session will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Breakfast or lunch will be provided, depending upon which session you attend.? Mileage, parking or other transportation costs will be covered by the project.

The purpose of the consultations, essentially, is to find out:

1) what is going on regionally in the area of concurrent disorders and schizophrenia and early psychosis;

2) what are the critical gaps in this area in Ontario; and

3) how can this project help to address those gaps as well as and promote awareness of available resources and effective approaches.


If you are interested in taking part in this consultation, please contact:

Catherine Willinsky, Project Manager,

Concurrent Disorders and Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia Society of Canada

Tel: 416-405-9564? ext. 1? ? Fax:? 416-405-9586

katya.willinskyATsympatico.ca
 

K9

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Re: Advice on coping with schizophrenia

thank you for all the info HeartArt - sorry I haven't replied.. I have been away for a while. been busy and a bit exhausted. K9 :(
 

g-scared

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hello K9. i'm in a somewhat similar position, except it is my boyfriend that has developed psychosis. i am not sure if there is a possibility of schizophrenia, because he was also on meds. it has been especially painful for his mom, because she has also been hospitalised in the past for a mental disorder, and they are very much co-dependent.

maybe you could advise me a little. because i want to communicate with her, especially because she worries about him. however, when they speak he gets really upset. and i didn't mean to be mean, but i wrote her a short message recently, warning her not to yell at her son seeing as how is in such a delicate state.

i'm not so sure what to do myself. but it seems that giving him space has been good. i've recently hinted a little about this internet community. i spoke to him also about seeing a doctor, but he has not ventured very far yet. space seems good though, especially since his major problems about five months back were with paranoia. it is important to make him feel that you are on his side, and that you just want to help.

however, i understand that i am probably having a much easier time now that he has apparently begun to come out of his episode. before when, things were frantic, when he was so frail and speaking about suicide i was not so cool about the situation.
 

K9

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Re: Advice on coping with schizophrenia

Welcome g-scared,

Sorry I haven't replied. Not always able to get onto the computer and have been pretty busy lately, but here goes. I don't know that I can really give any advice as I am not a professional, however, what I can say is that it has taken me quite a while to realize that I needed to give him some space. I am still learning. I don't know what country you are from but HeartArt has posted some very helpful information on this site and perhaps try the Schizophrenia Society or Carers for some information and perhaps they may even have counselling available.

Also check out the post from David Baxter about the Handbook for Families and Caregiver's Guide to Schizophrenia. I am also trying to take care of my own mental health so that I can be there for my family when they need me.

Remember you are not alone and there is always an ear here.

Don't know that I have been of any help but take care.

K9 :)
 

K9

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Re: Advice on coping with schizophrenia

g-scared said:
hello K9. i'm in a somewhat similar position, except it is my boyfriend that has developed psychosis. i am not sure if there is a possibility of schizophrenia, because he was also on meds. it has been especially painful for his mom, because she has also been hospitalised in the past for a mental disorder, and they are very much co-dependent.

maybe you could advise me a little. because i want to communicate with her, especially because she worries about him. however, when they speak he gets really upset. and i didn't mean to be mean, but i wrote her a short message recently, warning her not to yell at her son seeing as how is in such a delicate state.

i'm not so sure what to do myself. but it seems that giving him space has been good. i've recently hinted a little about this internet community. i spoke to him also about seeing a doctor, but he has not ventured very far yet. space seems good though, especially since his major problems about five months back were with paranoia. it is important to make him feel that you are on his side, and that you just want to help.

however, i understand that i am probably having a much easier time now that he has apparently begun to come out of his episode. before when, things were frantic, when he was so frail and speaking about suicide i was not so cool about the situation.


Hi again g-scared - I hadn't read all the posts, sorry. I now know you are from the US.
Do you have a crisis mental health line you can get any advice if you need it urgently.
Also if you do, perhaps they can speak to him (if he wants to of course) if you are worried. Are you able to speak to his case worker from the hospital if he has one or can you suggest he speak to them. K9 :))
 

g-scared

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These are all very helpful thoughts I should look into. I just spoke to him recently, and asked what it was that his mother suffered from. He said that when he was about 12 years old she was diagnosed with major depressive disorder with psychotic features. As you can imagine this was very difficult for him growing up with. Especially because his family was shunned by his neighborhood when the surrounding families found this out.

What is interesting is that she blames a dieting drug for her episode. There was a class action law suit for the drug, and a recall. Unfortunately she was on heavy medication for a few years, and did not realized this until it was too late to receive benefits.

It's difficult to tell how much of his illness has to do with genetics. One could maybe call it a genetic weakness towards some substances.

This is all good information, but I should really find someone to talk to. Hopefully I will convince him as well to seek guidance. Sometimes I think that he's afraid because he grew up seeing someone suffer from a mental illness, and he does not want to admit that he might as well be affected. It is very difficult to function in society when you are negatively stigmatized.

A couple of other tidbits. I noticed and read on the drug dexedrine, and have found that rapid withdrawals from the medication can cause severe depression. I remember when he was very much in this state. When he felt that he was worthless, and cried more intensely than any one I have ever seen. Now he is taking it again, and seems to be doing ok. However, there are short crying spells that I worry about. They are not too intense, and only last for a few seconds or maybe minutes. But they are very brief and seem to come out of nowhere.
 

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