Daughter tentatively diagnosed with schizophrenia

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by grmac, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. grmac

    grmac New Member

    Hello everyone. I posted here awhile back wondering about my daughter being in depression. She is 38yrs. old. Just heard from her hubby that she was tentatively diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. However, she of course doesn't think anything is wrong with her and that it's everyone else's fault she is the way she is. I could use some advice to relay to him how they can get her help and started on some medications or get a full evaluation on her when she is an unwilling participant. It's breaking the whole family apart. They did live in Montana but live in Wyoming now so if anyone is from there and knows the laws there, that would also be helpful. Thank you for any help you are able to give.
  2. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry. Schizophrenia can be such a heartbreaking diagnosis. But paranoid schizophrenia with onset on 'older' woman have one of the better prognosis with right medication to my knowledge. And i don't know your laws, but there i'm from there is one good point in psychosis. It makes it possible to commit a person for involuntary treatment. for many other mental health conditions, that can be just as harmful, nothing can be done if patient is not wanting treatment. With psychosis they can. But unfortunately I have no knowledge about your laws or methods on this. So no advise. Just warm :hugs:
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I can't offer any advice regarding the diagnosis. etc. but I absolutely understand what it is like to be in your fifties and raising a young grandchild....been there done that....it is hard no matter how much you love the child. on the other hand, you can do it and "Tweety" will benefit from your efforts. Sending hugs and you're right "It's not fair". DDD
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    in my opinion paranoid schizophrenia is the hardest thing to deal with. I had an aunt who had the schizo without the paranoid aspect and that had it's own set of challenges. But you add in that paranoia......and it's like walking a mine field at times. My Mom is paranoid schizo. It has been an interesting life, to put it kindly. lol

    I dunno about "late onset". I'll have to go look into that. I do know that with many people who have the disorder they show symptoms long before diagnosis is made, often years, some even back into childhood. At first these symptoms can be misread until the disorder itself becomes a problem.....and other people realize there is something seriously wrong with the person. To this day, to strangers my mom does not appear to have a disorder at all (only way you'd know is to catch her on a really bad day). The only way to pick up on it is to actually spend quite a bit of time with her. (unless she's in an episode and then well.....it's just obvious)

    Both my aunt and my mom began having symptoms in their late teens, early 20's. Both held it together for the most part........although the paranoia was already causing mom issues in her marriage. As they grew older, the symptoms became worse because neither was medicated. Medicated the symptoms would ease and all but vanish. My aunt was medicate properly because she was diagnosis relatively early in her late 20's early 30's. Problem was keeping her on the medication. Because as soon as she felt "normal" she'd no longer believe she needed it and stop taking it.....never ending cycle. (a common thing with schizo's and other mental illnesses) Mom didn't get diagnosed until her mid 30's (found that out not too long ago) but rejected the diagnosis (still does and she's in her 70's) and would only agree to take valium. So, life with her was a roller coaster ride filled with drama. I did get her on correct medications ONCE by manipulating her into going to a psychiatrist, then praying he'd have sense enough NOT to mention her diagnosis, yet medicate her for it anyway. Luckily he did, but she was on them little more than a month before flushing them.....that was a few years back. I've not been successful again.

    My aunt was far easier to deal with than my mother. You weren't constantly up against the paranoia that so easily could be turned against you. Given time and patience, you could get her to cooperate. With my Mom.........well, she's also a religious fanatic (literally), which is part of her illness, and due to that she is determined there can't be anything wrong with her. Tough to fight against that. lol It can be mighty frustrating. If you push to hard, you're out to get her too. *sigh*

    I don't know how unstable your daughter is, but if you can somehow get her to take medication, follow her treatment plan.......she will do dramatically better. But I won't lie to you. Due to the paranoia aspect, this is difficult to do.

    With my mom...........I practice detachment. I don't have a choice. Unless she is a danger to self or others, there is little to nothing I can do. Since my whole life has been lived this way.....usually, even in a psychotic break I can talk her down and get her calm, at least for a while. That is if no one else is deliberately or accidentally pushing buttons while I'm trying to do so. Stress will and does make her symptoms more pronounced and severe.

    Awful that I've lived my whole life with it, and yet I really am not sure there is much helpful advice I can give but to learn to distance yourself from behaviors associated with the illness, most especially if she will not cooperate in treatment. When my mom starts nonsense with me, I will NOT put up with it. I have hung up on her countless times. I have shut the door in her face probably the same amount of times. Why? Because you have to take care of you first. If you don't distance yourself from the behaviors, they can drive you bonkers in short order. My bro just figured this out while living with her for the past year, my sis is about to figure it out as my mom is going to live with her within a week or so.

    I hope you keep coming here and talking with us. It is also wise to seek a therapist for yourself so that you have someone knowledgeable whom you can just open up and unload to, you're going to need it. Try to stay focused on your own life and enjoying that little grandchild that I know is wearing you out. (mine do me for certain lol ) You can try to talk to your daughter during her less paranoid moments, but if she's anything like my mom.......well, let's just say she can shift gears pretty darn fast. Remember......you can't force her into treatment. Stinks, but that is just the way it is. The sooner you can learn to accept that, the better, because it will help you learn to detach from the behaviors.

  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im so sorry. We believe my mom was schizoaffective disorder but she never got help but that was back in the 70s when I tried to turn her in. As she got older her paranoia just got more pronounced.

    I do think that her husband should keep some sort of journal - video if possible - of her actions. Once he gets some evidence of those things he can attempt to get her help even if that means going for an involuntary commitment. I know she wont be happy about that in the beginning but there are medications that can help. The issue is getting someone to stay on the medications. That is also an issue with someone on bipolar like I am. There are long acting anti-psychotics that can be administered if your daughter doesnt look like she is going to be compliant. However that is down the line.

    Your son in law might want to hook up with his local chapter of NAMI to get some support.
  6. grmac

    grmac New Member

    Thank you all for your thoughts, hugs, and insight. It really has been helpful in trying to understand this illness. Janet, you mentioned NAMI. Is that for National Association for Mental Illness? I will pass this information on and again, thank you for taking the time to respond!