Message Boards

Topic : 11/23 Schizophrenia

Number of Replies: 502
New Messages This Week: 0
Last Reply On:
Created on : Friday, November 18, 2005, 03:44:32 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

Imagine hearing voices that don’t really exist, thinking lasers are shooting through your walls or believing that people are coming into your home through electrical outlets. For people with schizophrenia, these types of delusions and paranoia are part of daily life. Mary sees angels and demons and has even believed her husband was a demon in disguise. Then, Ann Marie and Tim would give anything to help their mother. She talks emphatically to people who aren’t there and speaks nonsense to her own children. Watch her erratic behavior captured on camera and find out whether her case is beyond treatment. Plus, two sisters, Melanie and Rachel, want to know if their minds could be ticking time bombs. Talk about the show here.

 

Find out what happened on the show.

 

More November 2005 Show Boards.


As of January, 2009, this message board will become "Read Only" and will be closed to further posting. Please join the NEW Dr. Phil Community to continue your discussions, personalize your message board experience, start a blog and meet new friends.

November 21, 2005, 5:40 pm CST

my brother

Thanks to all who have posted...thanks for sharing your stories.  TY Dr Phil for finally doing a show on Schizophrenia.  I have a brother who suffers from it.  He is now homeless and jobless thanks to how our state treats the mentally ill.  My Dad has tried for years to get him help but he does not see how ill he is.  Finally after 9/11 it put him over the top.  The week before he was put in jail he was driving around town in security uniform with guns strapped to his body pretending to be a cop.  The cops showed up took his ammo but let him keep his guns.  A few days later he is bashing in a fridge with a sledgehammer saying the lady next door caused 9/11 and I won't let her sleep.  Well they pulled him into jail there he sat for six months until a bed was open at the Oregon State Mental Hospital.  He stayed there until he was stable...they discharged him without any follow up or a way of putting him  into disabilty pay or any kind of halfway house.  The judge dismissed  his case.  Fast forward four years later here my brother is homeless and jobless.  He deserved better help then this.  He could not afford medication after he got out that he quit taking the meds which were helping him.  I am so angry at how our state treats the mentally ill.  It has torn my father up as he tried to prevent the inevitable.  My dad is elderly loves his children dearly.  I found out about him being homeless from my step mom as it tore my father up to talk about it.  I lost one brother ina car accident 27 years ago...I feel like I have lost another one.  He is dead to me mentally as he is not my brother.  My mother is so freaked out about him she is afraid for her life that she does not let him know where she is.  My mom had no idea how ill he was until about six years ago she called him up ---she lives miles away and my parents are divorced...he proceeded to tell her over the phone she was dead and proceeded to tell her how she died.  So she is freaked that he is going to go after her as what he told her was very vivid.  I have no idea where he is as we he wants nothing to do with me...the only person who get close to him is my dad and from what I know they have no idea where he is.  It is winter...IM hoping he is safe and won't harm himself or others.  I love him dearly and it kills me to see this.  I have great compassion for the homeless who are mentally ill.  Every time I see one I think of my brother.  Thanks again dr phil for doing a show on this and thanks for letting me get this off my chest.   I don't know how to get past this...im so saddened.  I wish there was more we could do but our family helpless to get him the help he so needs. 

thanks  I can hardly wait to see wed show  hopefully this will help me. 

teresa 

 
November 22, 2005, 12:19 am CST

I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOUR GOIN THROUGH

Quote From: oregonduck

Thanks to all who have posted...thanks for sharing your stories.  TY Dr Phil for finally doing a show on Schizophrenia.  I have a brother who suffers from it.  He is now homeless and jobless thanks to how our state treats the mentally ill.  My Dad has tried for years to get him help but he does not see how ill he is.  Finally after 9/11 it put him over the top.  The week before he was put in jail he was driving around town in security uniform with guns strapped to his body pretending to be a cop.  The cops showed up took his ammo but let him keep his guns.  A few days later he is bashing in a fridge with a sledgehammer saying the lady next door caused 9/11 and I won't let her sleep.  Well they pulled him into jail there he sat for six months until a bed was open at the Oregon State Mental Hospital.  He stayed there until he was stable...they discharged him without any follow up or a way of putting him  into disabilty pay or any kind of halfway house.  The judge dismissed  his case.  Fast forward four years later here my brother is homeless and jobless.  He deserved better help then this.  He could not afford medication after he got out that he quit taking the meds which were helping him.  I am so angry at how our state treats the mentally ill.  It has torn my father up as he tried to prevent the inevitable.  My dad is elderly loves his children dearly.  I found out about him being homeless from my step mom as it tore my father up to talk about it.  I lost one brother ina car accident 27 years ago...I feel like I have lost another one.  He is dead to me mentally as he is not my brother.  My mother is so freaked out about him she is afraid for her life that she does not let him know where she is.  My mom had no idea how ill he was until about six years ago she called him up ---she lives miles away and my parents are divorced...he proceeded to tell her over the phone she was dead and proceeded to tell her how she died.  So she is freaked that he is going to go after her as what he told her was very vivid.  I have no idea where he is as we he wants nothing to do with me...the only person who get close to him is my dad and from what I know they have no idea where he is.  It is winter...IM hoping he is safe and won't harm himself or others.  I love him dearly and it kills me to see this.  I have great compassion for the homeless who are mentally ill.  Every time I see one I think of my brother.  Thanks again dr phil for doing a show on this and thanks for letting me get this off my chest.   I don't know how to get past this...im so saddened.  I wish there was more we could do but our family helpless to get him the help he so needs. 

thanks  I can hardly wait to see wed show  hopefully this will help me. 

teresa 

I have several in my family that has schizophrenia. "IT RUNS ON MY MOTHERS SIDE". My brother has it to. He causes us the most trouble. My brother has been jobless & homeless before to. Hes finally on disabilitly and draws a state check for about 500.00 & 60.00 in foodstamps a mth. and he does odd jobs. People knows when his check comes and often takes advantage of him. They either borrow money, have him buy them cigerettes or beer or they all go to the bar. One night his "so called friends" got him drunk on a cold December night. They had him take his clothes off and had him run around several houses naked. When he got back into the party they had him lay down naked and they all gathered around in a circle and had him sing "Here comes santa claus, while he was playing with hisself". "I HATE HIS FRIENDS".  He rides or walks everywhere "It doesnt matter how many miles what kind of weather". Several yrs. ago we all couldnt find him. We thought he was "MISSSING OR SOMETHING HAPPENED". He was gone for over a mth. He finally came back. We asked him where did he go and where was you and why didnt you tell someone where you were at. Well we all live in Missouri. He said he went on a vacation and hitch hike up to 'NEWYORK". He said "He had a wonderful time". He slept under bridges and overpasses. Caught fish and went to those shelters who lets you stay overnight and eat free. He said "He caught rides from time to time". We`ve tried gettin help for my brother to. We didnt have the support of the family & police or the judge. "My brother dont see that hes mentall ill either". My brother had a van load of my dads guns after dad died. We finally got him to give the guns to dads brothers for "SAFE KEEPING". My brother was in the state mental hospital to. They had him on meds and let him out. They didnt do no follow up care on him either. "THERE IGNORANT". Were also extremely angry at how our state of Missouri takes care of our mentally ill. Im also angry at my sister, dads family, the police, judge "THERE IGNORANT". My husband and I we tried our best to help my brother. I met my husband through my brother, they were best friends in school. He snapped in 1979. We called the police and had him arrested and the police took him to the state mental hospital. The DR. told us "If my brother could stay on his meds for 1 yr. that he would be well enough he could go off the meds and leave a normal life". I also feel like I dont have a brother or a mother. Mom was mentally and physcially abusive to dad and us kids. If you have time read my post on "CHILD SECRETS". Theres alot of questions Id like to ask mom. But shes mentally ill. As I look back and think of all the abuse mom has did "MAYBE SHE WAS MENTALLY ILL BACK THEN". But then there were times when she seemed like a good mother. I dont blame your mom for being scared. "IM SCARED OF MY BROTHER TO". Its really hurts me & my husband to see my brother the way he is and we feel so "HELPLESS". I want the brother I grew up with. I can remember the time I was in JR HIGH and my husband would come over to visit my brother or go riding around. My husband would always want to wear my softball cap. Dad got sick with cancer and we moved to town and lost touch with my husband. A yr. later we all got back in touch. I was in high school and they had graduated. We started dating and got married. Well yrs. later my husband started talkin about when he liked me. He wanted to date me I was in JR. HIGH, but my brother told him I was to young. "HE WAS A BROTHER THAT PROTECTED HIS LITTLE SISTER". Now when my brother needs help or protectin "I CAN`T EVEN PROTECT HIM".
 
November 22, 2005, 2:02 am CST

"WHAT A BEAUTIFUL POEM"

Quote From: meeka777

 I am the parent of a 16 yo male diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Our journey with this disorder started 16 years ago. We received many mis-diagnosis and have many issues getting where we are with treatment and med management.
I am overjoyed that a talk show as popular as Dr. Phil will be doing something on Schizophrenia. This brain disorder is so stigmatized in our society. Many people with this brain disorder are functioning quite well and may be your next door neighbor.
Schizoaffective Disorder is a combination of a depressive disorder and schizophrenia. In my sons case it is Bi Polar Disorder. My son goes into periods where he is delusional and out of touch with reality. He is extremely violent and out of control in our home and in the community. Yet, he is highly intelligent, gifted in art and writing and a joy to have when he is not in the psychotic state of the disorder.
I would like to include one of his poems so that others may have some insight into the disorder:

Tethered Wings

see the pain
of tethered wings
and hear the call
of many things
watch the others
fly away
and live to see
another day
you shout to them
they do not hear
the sound of voices
in your ears
but still you have
your tethered wings
and can not follow
other things
you break away
from bars of steel
you leave this place
it seems so real
you no longer have
your tethered wings
go with them now
the other things
Im glad to here that there are people out there that are functioning well with this mental illness. I have 6 family members that suffers from this mental illnes they havent "FUNCTIONED VERY WELL". You said "Schizoaffective disorder is a combination of depressive disorder and schizophrenia". Depressiive as in "DEPRESSION". I have suffer from depression sometimes. You aslo mentioned "BIPOLAR DISORDER". My sons exwife has bipolar disorder. She cheated on him 5 times. She blames everyone but herself. She wouldnt hardly pay the bills. Always was late with the house payment. She put there house in forcloser 2 times in which my husband and I had to get the money out of our 401k to keep them from loosing there house. She almost put there house into forcloser a 3rd. time. Shes, lied, had him falsely arrested. By far the most "CRAZIEST" stunt she ever pulled was the 1st. time she took my 8 mth. old granddaughter and left. My son came to our house around midnight and he asked "if we seen them". We said "No". So we all are up all night drive and look around and calling family & friends. Her family said "Call the police, something bad happened. Maybe they got kidnapped or killed". So we called the police and had a missing person warrant out. Her mom & sister came down and was cryin and her sister almost fainted. They wanted us to make  missing posters so we all could place them every where. So I put a picture of my daughter inlaw and 8 mth. old granddaughter, the make of there car and when there were missing etc. We even had it broad casted over the local news station. My husband and son took off for a week, caused they were so upset and distraught. She was and is our 1st. and only grandchild "SO SHE VERY LOVE AND SPOILED". We couldnt eat or sleep. We called my family and my husbands family. Each family member was assigned a town. Well we got to noticing her family didnt put there posters in the 2 towns they were given. Well a week later the cop found my daughter inlaw & granddaughter and come to find out her and her family had it all planned. Her family new where they was all the time. It was 2 mths. before my son and my husband an I could see our granddaughter. My son filed the papers to divorce her put the server didnt know her address or nothing. My son missed his very 1st. fathers day and her word "DADA". Her very 1st. word "DADA" was said to a her mexican boyfriend.  "WE HATE HER & HER FAMILY". This all happened in 2002. Her family set her up with a mexican who is a druggy. Then she left the mexican for some other guy. She left the other guy and went back to the mexican. Then she left the mexican and went back to my son. They both went to counsling for several mths. Here we go again. In JAN2005 she left him and lived with this gay guy and his friend. Our grandaughter is 3 at the time. Then we find out that she left him for the gay guys friend. Come to find out they starting dating Dec 28, 2004. They got drunk and did drugs together. Then she left him for his brother. They drank and did drugs together. Then she left him and went back to  his brother. Then she left the him and went to this old guy that is best friends with her mom & stepdad. My filed for Divorce in Feb. 2005 and the divorce was`nt final until Nov. 2005. We had a long 9 mth. custody battle. Her & her family told outragous lies. The judge seen through those lies, she admitted to doing drugs, cheating etc. and she still "GOT CUSTODY OF OUR GRANDDAUGHTER". My son was very good to her. He had a good job, a new home, car, didnt smoke, didnt do drugs, didnt drink, she didnt have to work. She wants the wild life and the wild men and party. The guys she left my son for dont even keep a job. She works and supports them. Some of them didnt own a car or home. Some of them lived with family or friends. When shes in are family she says she loves us and that were better to her than her family and that she dont want nothin to do with her family.   "SHE BLAMES HER LIFE ON HER FAMILY". She said "It was her families fault she cheated on my son with the mexican and the other guy". When shes with her family "SHE BLAMES HER LIFE ON US". She blames my son for her cheating on him because "He dont never take up for her when theres a family problem". My son is a very very passive person. Hes very quiet and dont talk much. She on the other had is a bully. She wore the pants in there marriage. If things didnt go her way "SHE THREATEN TO TAKE THE BABY AND LEAVE". Then she blamed me for her cheating. So is this part of her "BIPOLAR DISORDER OR IS SHE JUST A MEAN DEVIL OR BOTH"? Im 45 1/2 yrs. old and been married 28 1/2 yrs.  and I`ve been through hell from my childhood to my adult yrs. Ive been beaten til I was bloody, mentally, verbally, physcially abused and been sexually molested by 6 family members and other people, Ive had to deal with marital & kid problems, went to a theraphist and he showed his self to me. Sometimes I feel like I just can`t take no more. All in all "I DO HAVE A VERY GOOD HUSBAND & KIDS". But above everthing "MY GRANDDAUGHTER IS THE BEST". Were very close. On her visitations with  my son "she has to be with mimi 24/7". "GOD BLESS, TAKE CARE & HANG IN THERE".
 
November 22, 2005, 9:25 am CST

11/23 Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a disease that terrifies me. Mostly it is because I don't understand how it happens. Manny on my fathers side have had it and my mother always watched me for signs of it. I wish I new what causes it. I have heard it is genetic and also have heard it is environmental. Like maybe you can be born predisposed to it and then living in a bad environment can push you into it or something? I don't Know, and I hate not Knowing. I hope this show clears it up for me. now that I have kids of my own and all I would like to get some peace of mind on the issue.
 
November 22, 2005, 10:32 am CST

11/23 Schizophrenia

Quote From: opalrose28

Schizophrenia is a disease that terrifies me. Mostly it is because I don't understand how it happens. Manny on my fathers side have had it and my mother always watched me for signs of it. I wish I new what causes it. I have heard it is genetic and also have heard it is environmental. Like maybe you can be born predisposed to it and then living in a bad environment can push you into it or something? I don't Know, and I hate not Knowing. I hope this show clears it up for me. now that I have kids of my own and all I would like to get some peace of mind on the issue.
How old are you?  The older you get, the less likely you will get it.  I am the woman on the show and I had my first psychotic break at 18 years old.  My mother also has it.  If you have children, you are probably safe, though I have heard of cases of women in their 30's getting it but that's very rare.   I believe I was born predisposed of it, as well as my sisters, but a major trauma occurred for me when i was 18 that seemed to 'trigger' that predisposition.  I hope that my being on the show gives people hope.  Yes, it is a terrible disease, but it IS treatable and with the right support network, doctors and medications, one CAN function in varying degrees.  Truthfully, if I did not have the job I have right now, I would be on disability.  It's well suited to my needs and my boss is very understanding.  I am also protected by FMLA, the ADA, and the union.  My therapist and psychiatrist have also acted as advocates for me when I've needed it.  Yes, I miss days from work due to the illness.  Yes, i've also been in the hospital several times (twice this year), but I continue to fight and pray for those like me who aren't as fortunate as I am to have all the pieces in place for me to function well enough to hold a job.
 
November 22, 2005, 11:28 am CST

"WORRY...WORRY...WORRY"

Quote From: opalrose28

Schizophrenia is a disease that terrifies me. Mostly it is because I don't understand how it happens. Manny on my fathers side have had it and my mother always watched me for signs of it. I wish I new what causes it. I have heard it is genetic and also have heard it is environmental. Like maybe you can be born predisposed to it and then living in a bad environment can push you into it or something? I don't Know, and I hate not Knowing. I hope this show clears it up for me. now that I have kids of my own and all I would like to get some peace of mind on the issue.

Schizophrenia runs on my moms side of the family. "IT SCARES ME".  Im afraid of "DR. PHIL IS GOING TO SAY ITS GENTETIC". If its gentetic then its a defective gene thats been passed from generation to generation. HOW far back in the family tree does it go? WHY is it defective and WHAT gene is it and WHAT causes it? WHY do some families HAVE it and some DONT? DO I HAVE the gene and am I a "TICKING TIME BOMB"? After seeing several of my family members  go through this ESPECIALLY my brother "ID RATHER DIE", than to have "SCHIZOPHRENIA". You know its like they dont understand or is aware of anything or knows right from wrong its almost as if there in a "COMA STATE, THE LIGHTS ARE ON BUT NOBODYS HOME". Im Only "SPEAKING" From MY Experiences With MY Family. "ITS BEEN TOUGH ITS BEEN HELL".  I PRAY to GOD that people has had better experiences than Ive had.  Another thing that WORRIES me "CANCER" runs on my dads family. Now Im pretty sure "CANCER" is genetic. "ITS TERRIBLE". My dad is 1 of 13 all natural kids 4 girls & 9 boys "Same parents". The oldest girl died at birth. Then my dad was the oldest. My dad died of lung cancer. His dad "my grandpa" died of prostate cancer. His mom "my grandma" died of cancer "but I dont remember what kind" 2 of dads brothers died of lung cancer. 1 brother died of a cancerous brain tumor. 1 brother just found out hes got lung cancer. 1 sister had breast cancer and is doing ok so far. Her son died of cancer "I dont remember what kind of cancer he died from". Dads other brother who dont have cancer has 2 girls that has cancer. So far the girls are doing ok. Dads other sister died of cancer "dont remeber what kind". So 8 members died & 4 members so far are doing ok. So between DADS family HISTORY of CANCER and MOMS family HISTORY of SCHIZOPHRENIA. "AM I GOING TO BE DIAGNOSIED WITH CANCER AND  BE MENTALLY ILL ENOUGH NOT TO UNDERSTAND WHATS GOING ON"?  I dont want to be the one who passes these DEFECTIVE GENES on to my kids & grandkids. "ID FEEL GUILTY. "ITS ALL A BIG WORRY TO ME".  

 
November 22, 2005, 12:08 pm CST

"SORRY TO BE BUTTING IN"

Quote From: stryker_m

How old are you?  The older you get, the less likely you will get it.  I am the woman on the show and I had my first psychotic break at 18 years old.  My mother also has it.  If you have children, you are probably safe, though I have heard of cases of women in their 30's getting it but that's very rare.   I believe I was born predisposed of it, as well as my sisters, but a major trauma occurred for me when i was 18 that seemed to 'trigger' that predisposition.  I hope that my being on the show gives people hope.  Yes, it is a terrible disease, but it IS treatable and with the right support network, doctors and medications, one CAN function in varying degrees.  Truthfully, if I did not have the job I have right now, I would be on disability.  It's well suited to my needs and my boss is very understanding.  I am also protected by FMLA, the ADA, and the union.  My therapist and psychiatrist have also acted as advocates for me when I've needed it.  Yes, I miss days from work due to the illness.  Yes, i've also been in the hospital several times (twice this year), but I continue to fight and pray for those like me who aren't as fortunate as I am to have all the pieces in place for me to function well enough to hold a job.

But my brother was in his 20`s when he was diagnoised. If you`ve read my post "you`ll know it runs on my moms side of the family".  People may function only if they take there meds and as you say the right support network. There are people like my brother who wont and refuses to take his meds. There were times he was in the mental hospital and did ok, BUT the minute he gets out he stops taking his meds. We can`t make him take his meds. We can`t reason with him. Weve tried hiring a lawyer to get custody of him so that we could put him in a mental hospital or boarding home to see that he takes his meds. The judge told us he "cant do that unless he hurts or kills someone". "THE MISSOURI JUSTICE SYSTEM AND THE LAWS THEY HAVE IN PLACE ARE IGNORANT". Theres alot of mentally ill people that slips through the cracks of the justice system. "Im scared of my brother when hes not on his meds". Hes 47 and the last time he took his meds was in his 20`s. He still says and does "off the wall stuff". Sunday we went to moms nursing home where shes a resident. The nursing home hosted a thanksgiving dinner for the residents and there families. Were all setting with mom at the table and theres other people at there tables and staff & people & residents walking by and  he asked me & my sister when the 1st time we had sex, who we had it with, where and how old were we etc. Wanted to know how we feel about brothers & sisters having sex. One of these days hes going to rape, kill or hurt someone bad enough to put them in the hospital and theres not a dang thing we can do about it are hands are tied. Hes also a alcoholic and drinks all the time. My husband and I went to several of the bars he goes to and we`ve set and talked to the owners and his "so called friends" and explained the situation to them and that we dont want them serving, buying or giving him beer. They all end up getting mad at us and one time we thought there was going to be a fight between us & them. My brother goes to a very dirty low class bummy bar at the rough part of town. "THERE ALL BUMS". We dont know what else to do. "ITS JUST A WAITING GAME". Sorry for butting in. Good luck and God Bless You. 

 
November 22, 2005, 2:00 pm CST

11/23 Schizophrenia

Quote From: cingular

Hi,   can I say I am so very very sorry for you....    I have not seen the show yet, but i cant wait.      I know what it can feel like to be all alone in your head... its not a fun thing....    gosh, if there is ever anything that can do for you,   sometimes just having someone listen to what you have to say and taking the time to talk is sometimes very helpful.    when I went through a very hard time alot of people (including my family) went away,  the did not take the time to just listen.     it was to big of a problem for them and did not want to be botherd........hugs! 
Hi thank you for the kind words.  But please don't feel sorry for me.  Yes, i struggle every day with this disease.  Sometimes I get so fed up I just want to die or stab something into my ears to make the voices stop.  But I am a fighter.   I take my meds regularly, even when I don't want to... thanks, in part,  to my husband who nightly asks "have you taken your meds?".   I have a disease like many others.  Many people also have this disease whose voices need to be heard.  I am so grateful to Dr. Phil and all the producers and others on the show who gave me the chance to have my voice heard.  I tried to speak for those who haven't had the opportunity I had with this show but everyone is different.  Schizophrenia manifests itself in many ways.  But there are also millions of others who have other kinds of diseases they struggle with.  Like diabetes, or fibromyalgia, cerebral palsy.... and the list goes on and on.  I guess my point is...  we all have our struggles in life.  but ultimately it comes down to a choice each of us has to make for ourselves.  We can do the things that we know will make our lives easier (such as taking meds and joining a gym like I just did last week).  It's a choice to be happy.  I choose to take the meds, with all their side effects ...including weight gain... so that I can be happy and share my life with my husband and my son.  I don't want my son to remember me when he's older as a mother with schizophrenia, but just as a mother that he, hopefully, loves. 
 
November 22, 2005, 3:03 pm CST

Not giving up

Quote From: cingular

I feel so so sad and sorry for ANYONE who has true mental illness,  it does exist,   the problem that I have is how many people start taking medication for, depression, sadness, to deal with a death, to stop smoking etc.... and may have had some problems but they start taking a medication and WHAM!!!   they start have symptoms of SCHIZOPHRENIA,    I belive it does exist,  but i think that there are to many cases where it is brought on by medication prescribed by a doctor.     this happend to me,  if I had listened to the Dr.s I would be in a mental hospital today,   but I knew that it had to be the Rx they gave me....   I was on lf the lucky ones who figured it out.    there are so many people in mental hospitals today that dont need to be there.....   and then there are these poor poor people who have true mental illness and I feel so sad because i had a small tast of mental illness...   and its sad...  today I take NO medications and I have no problems at all... .   but while being treated for insomnia, the medication they gave me made me hear voices,  and act  strange...  but it was not me..it was the drugs.................. I cant wait to see this show....   I just hope its not another story of someone who is diagnosed with schizophrenia AFTER already taking medications....     I pray for anyone who had true mental illness...  May God be with them..    

Hello, I'm sure my story is not unique, but I want to say it. I need to say it. Get it out. The last 3 years have been a living hell. Right now, our 20 year old son, Michael, is in short term residential treatment for paranoid schizophrenia. He has been unable to attend school or work since his senior year in high school. It's been 3 years. He got accepted to FSU on a Bright Future Scholarship the summer before his senior year. WE were so proud so happy. He was happy.  

  

But as quickly as the excitement came, it disappeared just as quickly. A month later, he broke up with Emily, the love of his life that summer and slowly spiraled into a deep, deep depression. He turned to alcohol and drugs to self medicate and starting experimenting with harder drugs. He stopped getting up for class, followed me around the house sad and in despair. He wouldn't seek medical help and I was at a loss to reach my beautiful, gifted child. His first psychotic episode happened while visiting friends at FSU and using mushrooms that fall. He came home talking of aliens and being taken up in space ships and speaking rapidly and incoherently. His father and I hospitalized right before Christmas.  

  

He was angry and resentful and embarrassed. He was in denial. All the things in his head were now real to him and we were the enemy trying to ruin his future in college, and with his relationships with his friends.  He was being left behind and he didn't understand why. Everyone now thinks he is crazy. The football player, wrestler, community service award recipient, Calendar Couple, honor roll student etc. etc. etc. was gone.  

  

Now, his life was involved with lawyers for a DUI, a BUI, a drug paraphernalia charge, probation, home schooling, a 3 month stay in a dual diagnosis center in South Florida, another stay in the hospital, a 3 1/2 month stay in another local SRT unit. We went to AA together, we went to family therapy, we went individually to therapy.  

  

My husband and I separated. I filed for divorce. I needed to protect my 2 younger sons. They told me either Michael left or they were. They thought he could change if he wanted. They wanted their older brother back. Not this person that scared them, embarrassed them, made their mother cry. 

  

No insight. Michael was still in deep denial. He only took  his medications while in residential treatments which never lasted  more than a few months. He didn't need the meds, he gained 40 pounds, he hated the way they made him feel  and now look.  

  

He stopped. No more Geodon, no Zyprexia, no more drugs period except the Zanax that quiets his panic attacks but is addictive and harmful in the long term. It is the only drug he wants or takes and it scares the hell out of me. Why do the doctors give it to him? 

  

But, we are the ones with the problem, Michael believes he has no addictions to alcohol or Zanax. He has no mental illness, if everyone would just let him be, he would be fine. But, he has spoken in tongue, he gets messages from the TV. He reads the Bible for hours at a time. He can find no rest, no peace, no sleep, no happiness. He is trapped in his body and mind. He feels ugly and unloved.  

  

His dream for the future are distant memories. He has days he thinks he can go on to college, days he can make a difference in the world, but morning comes and his demon keep him locked up inside his fears and paranoia. He can't break outside the paranoia to move ahead and he can't  see it. The doctors keep saying no insight, no insight, no insight......................................... 

  

But he has times during each day, he hugs you, says "I love You", helps you, smiles at you. He still loves football, the news, music, good food, fishing and friends. He reads voraciously. His conversations are speckled with wit and intelligent, caring, a glimpse of the past. Then the demons step in and push everyone away. No one knows what to say, it is so hard to hear the crazy stuff you simply stop talking, stop calling, making eye contact actually doing anything and everything that may upset him. 

  

I would gladly trade places with my child. Any mother would change places. I do not want to give up hope, but I am tired and scared Michael won't come back to us healthy and whole.  

  

I don't know where to turn anymore for help. I read, and read, and research and talk to agencies and professionals and no one can help us find a safe place for Michael.  

  

I believe his only chance at a healthy life is to go into a long term residential facility with a structured day and medicine supervision. Perhaps a year  maybe longer i hope not but, he is no longer on my insurance and is now on Medicaid and there is no where or no one who wants to help anymore.  Money talks, money finds the best facilities, the best  psychiatrists. I am a only a teacher my husband is self employed.  

  

I was forced to drop Michael  from my state school system insurance  because he wasn't a college student and was living with his father at the time.Thank God, we have since reconciled and I have come to understand that it is not our fault, we did not cause this and we need each other to hold on to because no one else could live through what we do each day. No one could love this child as we do and no one will fight for his recovery if we don't.   

  

I am a teacher specialist/trainer, I have a degree in psychology and i spend my days offering parents and teachers hope for their children with disabilities. I can teach  them about behaviors or ADD/ADHD or learning strategies or brain research in learning. You name it i will find  them help, I will teach a class, I will develop a power point, I will put on a family conference for hundreds. But I can't help my own child........and what happens to Michael when his father and I are gone?  

  

I am so afraid for Michael .  My heart is broken and aches but I will not give up. I believe in the power of collective prayer. I want to believe in miracles. Please pray for Michael's  insight into the illness, please pray I locate a transitional home for him that takes Medicaid, please pray for my younger sons that they will find the courage to forgive.  

 
November 22, 2005, 3:49 pm CST

My Story

My brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia in August 2003.  He was 23 years-old, he owned his own business, he had been married for 4 years, and he had two children, ages 5 and 5 months.  It all started when he began displaying suicidal tendencies.  He was checked into a hospital 2 and a half hours north of here because there were no beds available here; he had to be transported by ambulance.  My mother came over to tell me he had been admitted to the hospital on Saturday.  My parents made the trip to the hospital several times that week.  On Monday, they went to talk to my brother, his doctor,and a social worker.  On Tuesday I went with them for visiting hours.  On Thursday they returned for visiting hours and Friday they were there when he was discharged.  With a referral from the doctor my mother works with, there was a 6-week wait to get into see a psychiatrist.  The next 5 weeks were hell for my parents.  My sister-in-law had moved out, fearing what my brother might do to her or the children.  They witnessed first-hand the paranoia, depression, and bipolar behavior associated with schizophrenia.  My brother had no health insurance and they paid over $300 for a month's worth of medication.  My mom had to use FMLA so she could take care of my brother.  There were nights he never came home and days he never got out of bed.  The day of his first meeting with the psychiatrist, he cancelled his appointment; the receptionist said another appointment could not be made (this was on a Wednesday).  His behavior became more and more bizarre, and he left my parents' house on Saturday night.  My mom and dad found him Monday evening.  He had committed suicide.  He had no hope.  He could not find peace.  The mental health system failed my brother as well as my family.  The doctor from the hospital he had been checked into called to "follow-up" about 10 days after he died....  Please know that if you or someone you know is dealing with schizophrenia or any other mental disease, you are in my thoughts and prayers daily.  Thank you for letting me share my story.
 
First | Prev | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | Next | Last