Skip to content
Advice
avatar
alilagrant posted:
Ok, I need some help here and I don't really know where else to turn.

My mom has recently been diagnosed with schizophrenia...or at least I just found out. I believe she's taking her meds, but she also smokes a lot of pot. She's like a zombie almost all of the time.

I recently moved near her to keep an eye on her since my step-father died, and just realized all this was happening.

The main problem is that she does not remember any of her psychotic breaks, and will not accept that she has the disease. Can she get better if she doesn't accept what the problem is? And, either way, how can I help her?
Reply
 
avatar
h1980 responded:
My mom was diagnosed with schizophrenia 20 years ago when I was young. You are in for a long ride my dear. My mom still has a hard time accepting that her audio halluconations are part of her illness. She takes mediction and attends therapy. I cannot express to you how difficult it is to cope with a loved one who suffers this illness. To answer your question, Yes! It is going to be hard for her to get better and she may never "accept" that she has a problem! What they think/see/hear is VERY real to them! You could compare it to being on a constant bad trip of acid. The best advice I can give you is to do some homework. The more you learn for yourself about the illness the better you will be able to cope yourself and with your mother. I can tell you that smoking pot is not going to help her situation. What kind of psychotic breaks does she have? How/who diagnosed her? Was she hospitalized? How old is she? There are many factors and different types of schizophrenia. I would also see if she has you listed to be able to speak with her Dr. It may take months or even years of trial and error with medication. Once you do some research, I would suggest you look at all the facts and see if you feel she was properly diagnosed.
Like I said, you are in for a very long ride. And you will have to decide how dedicated you are to her health. Most people will turn their back on her and you may be all she has and trusts. If that is the case you will need her to sign the necessary paperwork for you to be able to assist with her
Dr.(s).
I hope this helps. Let me know if there is more I can do.
 
avatar
alilagrant replied to h1980's response:
Thank you for your advice. As far as understand it, she was originally diagnosed with depression in the late 80's and has been on meds for depression and anxiety since then. I myself have depression/bipolar, or something like it (different drs have different opinions). So I do know all about trial and error with meds, I've been doing that myself for 12 years, and I'm only 26.

I know she's had two psychotic breaks in the past few years with severe paranoid delusions, and had to be hospitalized both times.

I have an aunt who is very helpful, but she lives a ways away...other than that it's just me. And I know I can't turn my back on her, I've had too many people do that to me with just my depression, and I can't do that to anyone else.
 
avatar
h1980 replied to alilagrant's response:
I understand. I am 30 and have went through med changes and diagnosis changes myself too with depression/PTSD/bipolar ect.. I have been through a ton of therapy over the years as well.
This is the first time I personally ever looked at this discussion board looking for some 'support' with my mom. It doesnt seem like there are a lot of people on here. But I think it would help to know there are people who understand.
I'm glad to hear you will be there for her. Paranoid delusions are very frustrating. From what I have learned and went through the best thing you can do to help her is to be there for her and keep an eye on her and make sure she is going to her Dr. appointments, taking her meds, therapy. There are a little resources out there? Is she still able to make a living?
 
avatar
larsstarscanary responded:
I think it's good that you live near your mom but not with her--I hope you will live your life to the fullest.

Her being sick is one thing. Her using the drugs is quite another issue. What does her doctor say? Have you and she ever spoken about her pot use?

Are there any support groups in the area that you could attend such as Al-Anon? I don't know if there is a support group for those who are trying to help those who use drugs, but I think Al-Anon would be at least some support. Perhaps there are other support groups at some of the hospitals, or houses of worship (such as churches) in the area...

I wish you all the best.
 
avatar
larsstarscanary responded:
I forgot to add: I have a relative who had the chance to live his dreams when he was a teenager, or, take care of his mother, brother and niece because they were so down-trodden. My godmother told him to live his life. Fortunately, he listened to her and his dreams came true--He has traveled the world in a career that he loves, and is able to help his mother, brother and niece and his niece's child from a position of great ability. He's in a much better place than if he had given up his life for theirs.
 
avatar
SeekHelp2010 responded:
First off, marijuana interferes with some of the meds out there. She needs to stop using (for awhile atleast) & then she can allow the medication to take hold.

Accepting the disease is something she will need to do on her own. I have found out, that if literally someone's life is falling apart & the answer stares them right in the face, they will sometimes not accept it. Call it hard-headed syndrome. Sadly, there are people out there who will let everything slip away & never accept that they had (the ability to take) control.

I would get other people in her life involved in making sure she knows she has a problem. And that it can be solved. Start bringing things around the house, so she will read them. Like books & magazine articles. And find support groups in your area. Go to one on your own, without her. Then take her. There are many things you can do.
For the cost of a few dimebags of her weed, she could see a qualified 'shrink' for an hour. There are so many resources out there, get involved and take care of things if you need to. Just don't let her keep going on like 'a zombie'. You love her, right?
 
avatar
knight986 responded:
I can't speak as to supporting someone with schizophrenia, but I can speak to why she might be using marijuana.

Being a schizophrenic, when I was younger I did smoke pot myself. Although, I didn't necessarily realize at the time, when I looked back on it later, I smoked because it was self-medicating. It didn't take the voices away, but it made me not care that I was hearing them.

Eventually I stopped, not because I couldn't afford it, but because the one person that I trusted, my then-girlfriend (now wife) insisted that I get help. She even got all of my friends to talk to me about it. Even my friend who was supplying me said that I needed to get help. So I stopped smoking because he denied me access to pot, and I went to my local mental health clinic because she insisted on it.

It's been a few years since then, and I'm still struggling with it, but I'm off the illegal drugs.
 
avatar
larsstarscanary replied to knight986's response:
Yours is a major accomplishment--Congratulations on your life without illicit drugs.


Spotlight: Member Stories

I think I started hearing voices in 2007. I'm am certain of a few things. I was working the graveyard shift at a 24hour store at the time for l...More

Helpful Tips

How to Detect Early Schizophrenia Symptoms ?
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder mostly connected with the thought process and emotional responsiveness. The medical condition is ... More
Was this Helpful?
3 of 3 found this helpful

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.