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Topic : 11/23 Schizophrenia

Number of Replies: 502
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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.

 

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January 11, 2006, 2:38 pm CST

Of Two Minds : The Revolutionary Science of Dual-Brain Psychology

Of Two Minds : The Revolutionary Science of Dual-Brain Psychology. Fredric Schiffer, MD 

THE FREE PRESS - A Division of Simon & Schuster Inc. 

Copyright 1998 By Fredric Shiffer 

  

This book seems to help me understand my condition a lot better! I hope that others can find and read this book! Thou the book contains the "standard disclamer" that it may not work for schizophrenia, it does have "case studies" that make me believe that it does! 

I found this book through an inter-library loan. I was told at a book store that the book is "Out of Print"! 

  

The book describes covering the left eye and all of the left side of the right eye. So that you have to look right to see anything. Then the same on the right, covering the right eye and all of the right side of the left eye so that you have to look left to see anything. Doing this during therapy seems to help the person understand each side! And to help each side to understand the other. 

  

I feel that Dr Phil could help people a lot better by trying this idea. It should be done during therapy, and Dr Phil is a "real good" therapist! I feel that Dr Phil could help a lot more people, ones that he may not have been able to help before! 

  

I post this so that others may try this to see if it helps them! 

I learded of this book after I told my doctor that when I wear an eye patch that I do not have as many headaches, and she said that there was a book on something like that! 

 
January 13, 2006, 8:26 pm CST

I have a Michael, too

Quote From: kafm48

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.  

Your story was so similar to mine.  My Michael is in jail right now...again.  He is 30 years old and was diagnosed six years ago with bipolar disorder, later schizo-affective disorder.  He has had several arrests, involuntary hospitalizations, and suicide attempts.  He has tried all kinds of medications but frequently chooses to self-medicate with alcohol and street drugs. He is delusional and paranoid, doesn't sleep much, can no longer focus on any activities.  He also has poor hygiene.  He is often angry and sometimes violent. 

  

His brother tries to be supportive and sympathetic but ultimately feels Michael is choosing to act the way he does.  As a family, we do few things together anymore as Michael becomes very stressed around other people.  We are so consumed with his problems, we sadly pay little attention to his brother.  We do not get together with extended family for holidays because we can't leave Michael home alone and we can't impose him on others. 

  

We too live in Florida and can find few resources.  After one of his arrests, he was found incompetent and sent to the state mental hospital.  It was wonderful!  He was safe yet treated by mental health professionals.  He improved greatly but, when found competent, was returned to jail.  Upon his release from jail, we found a group home but they closed a few months later.  The social service agency provided no referrals or alternate placements for Michael.  Although they had some subsized apartments available, there is a one to three year waiting list.  He moved back home with us but  resents what he considers our "control" over his life. 

  

We had applied for Social Security Disability and were so relieved when he was approved.  Then we learned his payment would be too high for him to qualify for Medicaid which was all I really wanted anyway!  In September he became eligible for Medicare and we chose a supplemental plan that had prescription drug coverage but they only covered generic drugs, not the ones that had been keeping him well in the hospital.  He rapidly decompensated when the drugs didn't work. 

  

One of the most difficult things for me during the last six years has been navigating all the bureaucracies involved in trying to keep my son safe -- insurance companies, medical professionals, law enforcement, court systems, social service agencies, and, of course, DCF and Social Security.  I have little energy for my own life anymore and feel like I am always dealing with one crisis or another.  Friends and relatives mean well but they do not understand the reality of living with a mentally ill person or fighting to get them help.  Last week, I snapped at a friend who asked me why I didn't just put him in a hospital!  Where???  Most people out there do not realize all the obstacles the mentally ill and their families face. 

  

Reading your post and some of the others actually helped me.  I have often felt like I must be doing something wrong or I would have "fixed" Michael by now.  These posts let me know that many others out there are going through the same thing. 

 
January 19, 2006, 10:19 pm CST

Been there, still doing all that..

  

    I am caring for my older brother diagnosed with Schizo-Affective Disorder.   His illness had a late onset (30), full blown at age 37.  I bought a large home with lots of privacy. Hospitalized him, and then moved him in to my home.  I supervise distantly, now.  I act as his nurse, secretary, housekeeper and case worker as needed.  He suddely lets me know when he needs help.  I began by telling him that I wasn't going to let him fight this fight alone.  All that I had was his and we would do whatever it took to get his life back, he had lost enough.  He doesn't want to be sick.  I try to provide the enviornment he needs to be an adult, man.  I try to work out ways he can help me. When I know he needs reassurance I remind him that he would do the same for me. 

  It isn't impossible to turn it around.  It is difficult and no one will hold your hand through it.  Start with their living situation, then the meds, then the doctors, then social security.  You can't let things wait a week to get to it.  You have to do it now and don't stop.  They didn't have a choice in getting this disease.  They need you to listen and help.  The best result I got was to tell every social worker, doctor, public defender, and pharmacist,  "My brother has three choices for his life. They are Prison, Homelessness, or Suicide/Death.  I am here to add better options.  Help me to help him."  I eventually was passed on to the better or best person/people for dealing with each obsticle.   

   Yes, it is sad. Suffering is optional. 

  

 
January 31, 2006, 1:18 pm CST

I live with it

 I am the daughter of  a person with this illness, and the siblings that were on the show I can relate too them so well.  My mother talks to voices all day, and all night.  It is so bad that I don't sleep with my door unlocked, nor will I leave my daughter alone with her.   She has not talken her medication in a long time, and she seems to be  getting worse.  She used to go to a place in our area for outpatient help, but she no longer goes.  The reasons as to why she no longer takes her medication and why she no longer goes for outpatient help I don't know.  I do know that living with someone with this condition is scary because you never know what is going to happen, and when.  He hears voices, and at times she thinks she is someone else.  She even talks in different tones, and imagines things that are not happening.  I fear that one day she is going to do harm to someone in our house, my grandmother or one of the kids (my daughter or nephrew).  It is like my family knows what could happen but they are not doing anything to help it. Like they have given up.  My grandmother is 71, my greatgrandmother is 86 so there isn't really much they can do.  My sister is 17 so it looks like I am the one who has to do something.   I saw the news where the woman drowned her kids, and I thought that is my mom.  Only I don't want to get that far.  What  I don't understand is why no one at the clinic she was going to tried to contact us, and let us know anything.  But we should have been more involved as well to prevent it from getting this far.
 
February 5, 2006, 6:27 pm CST

Kudos to Mary

Dear Mary,

Ever since this show aired I've been wanting to tell you how deeply I respect your courage and the strength with which you keep on keeping on, even though daily life can be so very challenging.  You are an inspiration!

Many blessings,
Jane

PS Feel free to email me privately.
 
February 17, 2006, 1:58 pm CST

A Daughter of An Afflicted One

Quote From: chrissy_98

 I am the daughter of  a person with this illness, and the siblings that were on the show I can relate too them so well.  My mother talks to voices all day, and all night.  It is so bad that I don't sleep with my door unlocked, nor will I leave my daughter alone with her.   She has not talken her medication in a long time, and she seems to be  getting worse.  She used to go to a place in our area for outpatient help, but she no longer goes.  The reasons as to why she no longer takes her medication and why she no longer goes for outpatient help I don't know.  I do know that living with someone with this condition is scary because you never know what is going to happen, and when.  He hears voices, and at times she thinks she is someone else.  She even talks in different tones, and imagines things that are not happening.  I fear that one day she is going to do harm to someone in our house, my grandmother or one of the kids (my daughter or nephrew).  It is like my family knows what could happen but they are not doing anything to help it. Like they have given up.  My grandmother is 71, my greatgrandmother is 86 so there isn't really much they can do.  My sister is 17 so it looks like I am the one who has to do something.   I saw the news where the woman drowned her kids, and I thought that is my mom.  Only I don't want to get that far.  What  I don't understand is why no one at the clinic she was going to tried to contact us, and let us know anything.  But we should have been more involved as well to prevent it from getting this far.
I can relate to how you feel. My mother was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrena before I was born, so I've lived with the fear of her my entire life. I'd heard the things she's done when she's not been on her medication. She's always been loving towards me, even when she's been very unstable. That fact never eased my fear of her though. The news story of the woman in San Francisco that drowned her kids really hit home for me. I felt so blessed that I had family that took me in and cared for me. I could very easily have been one of those kids because I was in my mother's care for a very short time. I also understand your frustration with the MRHR system. I've wanted to find a group home closer to where I live, but I've not been successful. It seems like the people who are being paid (unfortunately not enough) to help us just don't care. So, I know that it is difficult to find assistance, but if you get her the help she needs she has a better chance of having a life as close to normal as anyone with this struggle. Above all, in my experience it is so much easier to deal with my mom when she's on medication. I just want to encourage you to not give up on your mom, and don't blame yourself. I've been there and it's not easy living with schizophrenia. You have family, most important of all a daughter (like myself) that needs you! Be strong for her! My prayers are with you because your story is close to my own.
 
February 24, 2006, 10:29 am CST

11/23 Schizophrenia

Quote From: nmastae

Dear Mary,

Ever since this show aired I've been wanting to tell you how deeply I respect your courage and the strength with which you keep on keeping on, even though daily life can be so very challenging.  You are an inspiration!

Many blessings,
Jane

PS Feel free to email me privately.

Hi Jane.  Thank you so much for your support.  I would love to talk with you but I don't have your email address...  I don't mind posting mine here so I will give you mine.  stryker_mary@yahoo.com. 

  

Talk to you soon I hope. 

  

Mary 

 
May 10, 2006, 12:32 am CDT

My Boyfriend is in Denial

Quote From: cenobia

My sister was just diagnosed with this illness.  It has been hard to accept, especially when she is doing odd things.  It started out with her believing in this cultish religion having to do with "twin flames" and "spirit guides".  I tried to talk her into getting help, but it didn't work.  Her husband finally got her to a hospital, but he had to lie and say there was a priest there who would do an excorsism on her.  She believed/s that she was/is possessed by an evil spirit after she did some ritual to call her spirit guide into her body.  This illness is very frustrating and scary.  My Aunt also has it, so I grew up around it, and I know how to deal with some of it.  She has had the illness for over 20 years.  Now she is in a good place, she lives on her own, does her own thing, and is generally happy.  She understands her illness, unlike my sister who still is in denial.  I do worry that I may have it sometime in the future, or that my kids may, since it is genetic.  But I will cross that road if it comes.  I saw that my chances are pretty slim, which is good, about 9% or something like that.  I wish they had some dna testing they could do, cause I would like to know.   

I hate the sterotype about people with this.  It doesn't cause violence, it's not a reason people with it become violent.  There are a lot of great web sites out there that give the facts.  I know a lot of people who automatically assume they are not safe around my family members, and that is sad.   

Anyway, my sister was in a mental institution for nearly 6 months.  She was on so many different medications, sometimes the meds seem worse than the illness, with all the side effects she had.  I may be seeing her this week, she lives quite a distance away from me, so I will be able to see if she is doing any better.  I can't really picture her with it yet, so I need to see her for myself I guess.   

It is one of the hardest things to go through, it's almost like the family member dies, because you have to say things like, "remember when she would do this before..."  or "She was so funny/talented/etc before..."  Just watching someone I love go through this kills a little bit of me each day.   

I hope everyone who has this in their family, and everyone who has it, can find peace in their lives.  Don't let it get you, you can still be a productive member of society, you can still do anything that you want, as long as you learn about the illness, and listen to the doctor, and believe in yourself.   

  

My Boyfriend has been diagnosed with Paranoia, which i think comes under the umbrella of schizophrenia.  His paranoia can be treated and cured if he takes his medication for at least a year.  But he is so stubborn and thinks there is nothing wrong with him.  I can't bear to see him this way, and i know there is nothing i can do to convince him.  So i understand all of you out there who care for a loved one, how hard it is to see them this way.  I am trying to learn about the illness and understand it more, so i can help him and support him. What can I do?  I feel so useless.  Sometimes he doesnt want to speak to me because he feels Im out to get him, and poison his drinks, he keeps asking me questions as to why I had set him up so that he would end up in a mental institution to get treatment he needs.  He blames me for that, and that hurts me so much. 
 
May 25, 2006, 3:26 pm CDT

11/23 Schizophrenia

Quote From: tompain

The Psychiatric Industry has for years been getting away with murder drugging kids who show symptoms of hyperactivity in school. 

  

Some classroooms have reported as many aas 80% of the students on drugs for ADHD. Alderal and Prozac to name just a couple. 

  

Parents have been criminally charged with child neglect for refusing to give their kids the presctibed medications. 

  

Their children taken away and returned months later traumatised by their treatment and the forced medications. 

  

Thankfully their is a great public outcry and pending legislation in Congress to stop this abuse, but I ask you how it is that you cannot see they are doing the same thing to adults? 

just perusing the board again... 

  

hormones, when they first hit, do some odd things to kids.  i exhibited every single one of these symptoms, and a well-meaning friend of my dad's suggested his taking me to a shrink.  his reply, "oh, please:  she's a teen-ager!" 

  

that's like taking a two-year-old to a shrink because he's suddenly discovered the word "NO!" 

  

everything's a "disease" any more. 

  

some of it represents normal stages of life. 

  

some of it represents character-flaws (i.e., narcissism; psychopathy). 

  

normal stages of life don't need "fixed;" character-flaws cannot be "fixed." 

 
August 16, 2006, 10:45 am CDT

11/23 Schizophrenia

Quote From: jonseymom

Oh my goodness!  I'm so glad you are doing a show on this!  My mother just passed away on the 9th of October.  It has been terribly hard!  She was a schizophrenic AND a drug addict.  I have been living with terrible guilt and shame for the way I treated her before she died.  I had NO patience for her....because I did not understand her illness and how it had progressed over the last few years.  It was not until after she died that I began to do research on this disease.  It saddens me that it took her death for me to finally learn about it.  If I would have known more BEFORE it happened I believe I would have been a better daughter to her.  There is ALOT more to this story but I do not need to go in to that right now....just wanted to thank you for doing this show.  I hope that there is at least one child of a scizophrenic out there that learns something vital about their parent's illness so that they will not have to be where I am today...wrapped up in guilt and shame.  

  My mother currently suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. She has been hospitalized for this on and off from as far back as I can remember. My mother is now 63 and I am 37. No one ever really talked to me about what was going on. I knew that she was taking meds, but know one would tell me why. At the same time (looking back) I don't remember my mother receiving any sort of therapy.

The doctor would only adjust her meds when her behavior got out of control.

  It was very hard growing up with her illness. Many aspects of my life were greatly affected by this illness and still are. My whole family was totally dysfunctional.

 

  I have also found myself with little or no patience for her illness and her paranoid way of thinking. I have often thought of how I would feel the day she passes on. I know that my mother is in pain. A pain that she will always suffer, a pain that I know I can't relieve her of. Sometimes I wish that death will find her so that she can be released of her pain and that she will find peace.  I don't know if this makes any sense to you.  As you said, there is ALOT more to MY story.  But I do believe that you did the best you could given the circumstances you were given. And I believe that if your mother COULD NOT realize that before, she does now in a place were she is in peace and free of her illness.            I am sorry for your loss.

  I do hope that anything I've said has in no way offended you. I'm new to the boards, and have never had an opportunity to speak to someone else that has had first hand experience on dealing with a parent with this illness. Because I don't seem to have a clue. 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 
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