My mom just got diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia so she's very adverse to taking meds or receiving treatment. She thinks that everything is a conspiracy against her, people are trying to kill her, have sex with her and take her money. She gets into fights with people all the time and has had the cops called on her for going into neighbors yards to water their plants (she's obsessed with water)

I convinced her to finally receive treatment by just saying it will be good for her to go in and talk. Eventually the Psychiatrist convinced her to take meds even though she's very scared of meds.

So for the first 3 wks she has been taking ABILIFY. She only took 10 mg and I didn't notice much of a difference.

After seeing the Doctor again he recommended 30 mg. That night my mom refused to take her pills. She started calling me a "pusher" and saying I'm trying to kill her like they did to Elvis Presely. She also said that the medication hasn't been tested and that she will become dependent. She doesn't know exactly why she's taking them except that they will stabilize her anxiety. (so she doesn't even acknowledge that she has Schizophrenia, but just thinks she has an "overactive mind" and lots of stress caused by Others and not her diseas...)

I told her that everyone wants her to take them even her sisters and her daughter. She then accussed me of trying to get the family against her and started cussing at me and insulting me in any way she could. She said the doctor is related to my uncle who is trying to take her house...etc

Now she's really upset. The past 6 days since the doctor recommended more medicine she has stopped taking her pills. She has become agitated and resents me. I just tried to get her to take just 20 mg and she yelled at me again saying I'm trying to take her "Money".

So what would you all recommend for me to do to convince her to start taking her meds? How can I go about getting her further help?

She's only seen a psychiatrist, but no therapy or psychologists etc... is there someone who can further convince her of her problem? She doesn't think she has schizophrenia and I don't know if I should outright tell her?


Last edited by crayola110 on April 29th, 2008 03:40 PM; edited 1 time in total
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First Helper sharkfish
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replied April 29th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Oh boy! Attempting to get an adult who is in denial to take medication for a mental disorder is really tough.

Approach your mom when she is calm. Try to appeal to her sense of reason and tell her she was a bit less anxious on the 10 mg. of abilify. Let her know this is a very low dose and in order to alleviate all the anxiety she needs a bit more. Assure her this medication is not habit forming and no dependance will result from taking it.

You can talk to her doctor. Let him know that she is refusing her medication. He may have some suggestions for you.

Telling her she is schizophrenic is perhaps the right thing to do but is likely to alienate her more. I would hold off on that. She is agitated about the medication and in denial. If she starts taking her abilify again you may have a more stable personality. That is when you will be able to have a more direct conversation with her about her illness.

Unfortunately, unless your mom becomes a danger to herself or others she is free to choose whether or not she wants treatment. She can refuse her medication. If she should become violent she can be forced into treatment.

I wish I had more to offer you. I have been trying to convince my brother to receive treatment for bipolar disorder for awhile. He is still refusing. It is heartbreaking to watch someone you love deny that they need medical attention.

Let us know how you are doing. We are here if you need advice and at least be a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen. Hugs.
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replied May 8th, 2008
Her fear of meds may not just be the schizophrenia talking. Have you seen the side effects, like increases in blood sugar leading to diabetes, the inability to regulate body temperature (can't even excersize...) and the horrific irreversible DTs, which make them look crazy even if they are on meds?

Please have her see a psychologist, preferably one who specialize in cognitive behavior therapy.

My dear husband (onset after we met) is going to one, and is much better now, and doesn't take meds. He ignores the voices for most part, and knows the paranoia is a construct of his mind not working properly (he used to accuse me of poisoning his food... to the point where he would vomit it out, claiming I wanted his "Money" as well, before the diagnosis). It also helps that he can call me on the cell when anything gets too overwhelming for him, where I can convince him that men/police/monsters are out to get him, or would have got him by now if so.

However, the way you put it, it seems your mom is too out of touch to trust you completely. I agree that reminding her she is schizophrenic doesn't help either, it probably makes her suspect you more. Societally, it is essentially calling her "crazy," and while all of us know they have sane thoughts, they can be out of control at times.

Perhaps you can go to a therapist together?
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replied May 8th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
Wow!
I realize that medication has many negative side effects- this is true, and really unfortunate. Even more unfortunately, some people aren't able to even function without medication.

I commend you and your husband for trying to work through the illness with only therapy- not many can do that!
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replied May 12th, 2008
Thanks for the replies.

Antigone: Thanks for your advice. I realize I can't just force her to take them. I just want what's best for her and it's hard to appeal to any logic. She is in her own world where everyone is "out to get her".

catru: thanks for the suggestions. I realize that there are side effects, but I feel that they are willing to risk considering how bad she is. I for one would rather live a life more clear and apart from fear/paranoia with any side effects from the drugs than the reverse. I do think CBT would be good for her.

I've only taken her to a counselor a few times and then this psychiatrist who perscribed the Abilify. She actually got into a fight with the counselor and he asked that she not come back... I will probably look for another psychologist who can deal with CBT for her paranoia while she takes her meds.
----

She definitely needs medication, because being 55 she's already set in her paranoid views so much that it will take more than just CBT to relieve her problems. It's been getting progressively worse and I just want to keep her from becomming really bad.
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replied May 30th, 2008
won't take meds
Having read Crayola's comments, let me say that we have been dealing with a seriously paranoid schizophrenic son for going on nine years. The side effects are treatable in most cases, and play second fiddle to the delusional thoughts of a truly schizophrenic person who might otherwise be living on the street. If you are so lucky to be able to talk to them and get them to listen, the illness is far from severe as is the case with our son. Rationalizing with an insane person is generally NOT what a psychologist cares to do, but once in a while you can find one that will be helpful in convincing them that they need to talk to a psychiatrist for medication. Having tried virtually all medications, there are some that work well but have serious side effects with long term use. But, I'd still rather have him with a well mind and sick body, if it means he can have some semblance of a life. Abilify didn't begin to touch my son's mental illness. It's a better mood stabilizer, but if you have luck with it, more power too you. A new atypical med that is out is called Invega. My son refuses all medication right now, and I may have to go down to the court house with my guardianship papers yet again, for about the tenth time, and ask for a court order to have him picked up. Once the judge signs it, I take it to the sheriffs office and they then bring him to the hospital where real professionals medicate him, generally on a 200mg shot of Haloperidol, which shuts down the delusional thoughts immediately. It takes him about two days to stop napping all day, but when he wakes up out of it his mind is as clear as a bell, and he is in a great place to make his own future medication decisions, that is until he decides to stop taking them again. He ran away once and I found him in a county shelter in Long Beach. Generally until they get medicated, they believe that the psychologist is part of the system that's pitted against them, and that we're all passing messages back and forth telepathically. It's far better to get them on meds so they can think clearly, at which point only then can a professional really offer any objective help. Forget about the idea of talking to your mom if she's that psychotic. Get a court order and get her into the hospital, where they can treat her if you want to see her better. Best of luck, from one who has lived it for a while.
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replied January 18th, 2009
I have the same problem mother in complete denial
Except my mother won't even go to a doctor; ive been considering moving for some time and i feel horrible because i dont want her to be alone with this problem that she denies that she has, my family has tried several times to get her in to a facility; they have lied to the cops to have her taken and i dont know what to do anymore, i have seen a psychologist myself and all i hear is to worry about me, because its been going on for so long that my life is totally wrapped up in worrying about her, is this wrong to feel after so many rejections and blowouts, i believe there is bipolar involved too because one minute she is trying to be nice and the next shes throwing me on the street and if i leave she calls and tries to find me and says people are out to get me as well, im so lost.
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replied January 31st, 2009
my father
hello everyone,
my father is a diagnosed paranoid schezophrenic who also rejects meds. Like all of your stories, he believes that everyone is out to kill him or is after his money.
he recently got out of the mental hospital after a 12 day stay of heavy medication. He has been released and is staying home at the moment, however, giving him the meds is still a continues struggle. Every 3 years, he goes through a relapse during which we (his family) are forced to admit him into the hospital where they make sure he takes his meds.
Sadly enough, the mental hospital is a true nightmare to all of us and to him especially, but experience has proven that once he stops taking his meds, the inevitable fate would be the hospital. We admit him not because we do not care for him, and not because we haven't tried ALL ways of giving him his pills ( including crushing pill into powder and putting it in coffee or food),but rather because his ways become unbearable, he starts becoming so afraid that he actually poses a threat on other people as a result of his fear of the "conspiracy", thus the mental hospital.
I encourage you all to know for a fact, that he/she in your family is more scared than all of us, and that person is usually an extremely intellegent person that thinks outside of the box.They only uproot from reality because of reality's complexity and dishonesty, thus creating an alternative reality in which one is victim of a great conspiracy.
I understand how hard it must be to live with a person who is paranoid. But we were put on earth with certain family bonds that are almost impossible to break ( morally) especially when that loved one is a father or a son or a daughter or a mother.
Today i actually wished for my father's death, for all the hell that he puts us through. But then I said to myself, that there is a driving force greater than all of us, that will fix everything. Call it God, call it karma, call it the source of the universe, call it whatever you may. Such higher power exists, that power is the very same one that put us on earth without us knowing which families we will be born into, nor which children we will be giving birth to. Noone had the luxury of picking out their family members. And that is why, it heals my heart to know that everything happens for a purpose, and that we are in their lives for a purpose.
When I read the side effects of those meds, my heart cringes, and I am put in a corner where I cannot escape the voices of consciousness. My father is also diabetic and also has very high prolactin level in addition to a tumour on his pituitry gland which is likely to enlarge with high prolactin levels. He has moved from resperidal to abilify , back to respiridal and now he is on Invega, a new drug apparently that has less prominant side effects. I hope he responds well to the new drug. anyone knows anything about it? has anyone tried it or has experience with it ?
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replied February 4th, 2009
taking drugs
Hi,
i was diagnosed with psychosis over a year and half ago, but have been better for the past year. I cna remember practically everything that happened, and I remember that I fervourently did NOT want the medication. Quite a few clever tactics were used on me! The best one was from a the doctor, I said I wasnt goint to take them, because I thought they (whoever they were!) were trying to kill me. The doctor, clever man, got me to believe he was in on it, and knew all about it, and that the medicone was not real, just a placebo! He even gave me a type that looks like tiny flying saucer sweets (those ones you have if your cant swallow) and told me they were flying saucers! Ha ha I took them of course! Also I still trusted my mum, but no one else, and she told me that if she was poorly like me she would take them. That made me take them too. The real reason why I didnt want to take them once I started to feel better was I didnt know what was in them or how they work. I have since read a few books on it, and it am a little bit wiser but not much! Hope thats helps a little.
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replied July 27th, 2009
scyzophrenic mom
mom wont take meds. I read your story's the same as mine, is their a solution for us.Is teir a way we can force them to take their meds. before we too become mentally ill from the stress. My brothers,sisters and I all we want is peace again. How can we do this?
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replied September 12th, 2009
Schizo
Seems there is no hope, Not really, there is a solution to this problem we just have to find it.
I was trying to get a singer to to relize what she was doing wrong and why she did not sound good.
She went to several voice coaches with no avail. but then it came to me.
I made a good quality video and sound recording of her singing and showed her what she was doing wrong with her voice. After she seen it for herself she ended up being a really good singer.
one of the biggest problems with people with Schizophrenia is denial and fears of meds.
It may sound way out there but What if there was a way to convience them that the problem is actually real and the crap in thier head is not real.
i'll tell you one thing that I do know is that Big Pharm as I call them is not going to lift a finger to find a cure without meds if they did they would go broke.
that would be like the gas company showing you how to run your car on trash. WoW solve two world problems, but we go broke. ant gona happen.
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replied December 23rd, 2009
emotionally exhausted
i too am dealing with a lot of the issues mentioned in previous posts. except it took me a LONG LONG time to finally accept the fact that my mother was experiencing this mental illness.

it was completely absurd and foreign to me that this could be happening to my mother, i was living in a great state of denial for a long period of time, because i simply could not grasp the fact that my mother, the one who was supposed to be looking after me, was now the one that needed caring.

does anyone else feel overwhelmed by the intense mixture or emtions that arise from dealing with a paranoid schizophrenic family member? it has literally deteriorated my mental health, i feel lilke i am in a deep, depressive slumber 90% of the time, where i would spend hours just lying in bed, not being to get out, feeling immobilised by this great feeling of uselessness & helplessness.

i go through a wide range of emotions dail, from deep anger and resentment, when i forget that this is a mental illness and feel that she is thinking paranoid thoughts to spite me,

to the next moment feeling guilty, sad and deeply sorrowful for ever thinking bad thoughts about my mother or wishing for bad things to happen to her.

sometimes i feel it difficult to appreciate the fact that she is still alive, when it feels like she has already gone. sometimes i feel it would be easier if i were the one suffering from the condition, rather than having to observe it from the outside and have to grapple with the whirlwind of intense emotions.
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replied August 9th, 2010
My brother won't accept it
Thank you everyone for your posts. It has been very helpful and somewhat comforting to read.

My brother was diagnosed with bipolar and schizophrenia about 15 years ago. I was a freshman in high school at the time. My family has been running in circles with him taking his meds. Every time he gets close to having an episode we get told by police and doctors and courts there is nothing we can do until he is a danger to himself or others. That is extremely difficult to watch, for me, my younger brothers and our parent.

Every couple years he gets into a destructive phase where he gets picked up police every couple months and admitted to the hospital. But of course, the hospital keeps him just long enough to pump him full of meds, usually 7-10 days. If he goes to jail, he never serves more than 1/3 of the sentence.

My parents and I are at a lose of what to do. Its to the point where our family is afraid to be around. My younger brothers and I don't see him unless there are at least 2 of us. I am frustrated with the whole system (court and hospitals).

My brother doesn't seem to understand what he is doing to himself and others. He see's his wounds and will make a comment 'I can't believe I did that'. But we still end up in this viscous cycle.

Any suggestions?
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replied October 21st, 2010
i too have a son with mental health issues. he has been

in and out of jails and hospitals for the past several

years. presently he thinks he is JESUS and will not take

his meds. he has now been baker acted and hopefully they

will be successful in getting him back on meds. we have

been praying faithfully, and believing GOD will give us

relief, and would advise all of you to do the same.
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replied October 3rd, 2011
Paranoid schizophrenic mother with OCD
Hi everyone! I have read all of your posts. I was actually searching for an answer for my paranoid schizophrenic and OCD mother who has been ill for 15 years. I was hoping I could find my answer somewhere on the internet. The more I read your experiences, I realize maybe I NEED to attend a support group myself. After doing the emergency petition and the hospital doing a critical evaluation - which was last week, the hospital releases her because she's not taking medication. My mother was a nurse for 22 years so she knows the medications that the hospital was going to give her. and she knows how to act "normal" when she wants to. Then like a flip of a switch, she'll shift to her delusions. The worse thing is, is that the hospital didn't think that my mom spraying pure clorox on her body was harming herself. My mothers been doing this for years! My question was to see if I need to become power of attorney or legal guardian to make her take medication against her will? My family and I are desperate and hoping we can still save some years on my mother who is now 67 yrs old.
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replied February 9th, 2012
Faith94,

I understand what you are going through. I, too, have a mother who is a paranoid schizophrenic... who has been in a treatment center 8 times over the past 28 years I have been alive. Getting power of attorney is the easiest thing for you to do, and will make the process much easier when she relapses and you need to go through this all over again. You will be able to find out how she is doing and give the order to compell meds even though she refuses. This will help you avoid the hassle of going to court each time she relapses. Also you can commit her easier, which will help when she "switches" to normal when being evaluated. Paranoid schizophrenics are known for being able to do that.

I hope I helped a bit,
Flower28
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replied January 3rd, 2013
forced medication for paranoid schizo's
this law that you cant force a person to take meds is crap. after 2 years of living hell for my 1/2 sister in 04-05, she was fine on meds untill 11-2012, went off by choice, she's 51. I'm 54, mom is 74. And now life is a living hell for my mom and I because psycho girl does not have to take her meds. Every shrink that tells paranoid-schizo's that they have rights should be shot.
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replied January 31st, 2013
Hello Im seventeen and my father is a truck driver so he is never home my mother to is schitzophrenic it is so hard to get her to take her pills all alone and when she desnt its so heartbreaking knowig that im the reason why she has this mental.illness i believe tha she will be on and off her medication forever i wish they could just have yearly enjections so it wouldnt be that much of a problem but reading everyones comments made me feel a bit better about it knowing that i am not alone much love to all of you<3 goodluck.
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replied December 24th, 2013
My brother
My brother is a 21 year old male who is also supposed to take meds but refuses to. Our mom passed away years ago from slipping on ice and not being able to come out of the anesthesia from the surgery. It was a heartbreak tragedy for us all. My brother is the most caring, nicest, smartest guys but just can't come to accept that he needs meds and this is probably his 3rd relapse now. My dad and I are heartbroken and frustrated. We are also not satisfied with the hospital/court system. I think there should be WAY more communication than there is. My brother doesn't "know" what he's doing and yet he has those rights not to release any information to us which is absurd. He also self medicates himself with pot/alcohol rather than just take his meds. It's a constant battle trying to get him to realize what he's doing to himself and the family. I'm trying to just find solutions. It's really sad. I wish the mental health system was better.
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