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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.


Find out what happened on the show.


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November 23, 2005, 1:27 pm CST

Second Post

Quote From: newmomy2b2


    how insensitive are you to say this poor girl is possessed. lady, skitzephrenia is a horrible mental illness. it's been around for a long time. a lot of these people are much better and able to function in regular society with the proper meds. i don't belive your rediculous possession bull. 

This is the second post for this person.  I cannot believe she/he is a psychologist.  The information in the post is suspect, to say the least.   If she/he IS  a psychologist, I'd like to know where so we can all steer clear!!!! 
November 23, 2005, 1:31 pm CST

How brave you are

Hello ... mainly to all the guests that were on today's show. 


We really just wanted to express to you our Thanks and tell you all how brave and strong you are.  You're willingness to step up and put a spotlight on yourselves,  your lives and loved ones who are struggling so with such a serious and often misunderstood condition ... what a gift you have given so many not as able or brave as you are to do so.  You've most likely already effected their lives and how others  may look at and treat them. 


We have a mental illness also, not schizophrenia (although our biological mother had severe schizophrenia).  We've been diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (polyfragmented) with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (there are a number of common accompanying conditions that seem to go with those diagnosis' ... too many to list).  We think that we can empathize with much of what you have described.  For a life time we grew up with the fear that we had inherited the schizophrenia that plagued our biological mother and never told anyone about the symptoms we were experiencing  ...  from a very early age ... for fear that we would be stigmatized and treated the way she had been.  It was not until our own symptoms began to effect our ability to function, work, take care of ourself safely that we finally sought out some sort of help for what we were experiencing.  It was and continues to be a terrifying process.  Unfortunately ... where we live there are not a lot of services available or accessible to individuals with mental illness ... it's very frustrating as, supposedly the DID and PTSD are very treatable conditions but it takes a lot of time to work through everything ... treatment can apparently take a committement of years and few professionals are willing to lock themselves into long term care (sometimes you just can't "cure" something in 6, 50 min. sessions).  We had a great therapist, she had never dealt with anyone who had been diagnosed with DID before (apparently we're one of the few in about a 4 hour radius who have been legitmately diagnosed with the condition) but made the committement to work with and learn with us, unfortunately she left the agency that was providing the service to us and our time with her ended.  We have yet to find someone else that we can afford and are comfortable enough with to continue our treatment.  It's very frustrating. 


Sorry, didn't really intend to head off into a diatribe of our own experiences.  We just wanted you to know that your bravery/courage and personal stories really touched us and gave us some hope that perhaps .... some day ... people with mental illness will be able to walk tall and not have to be afraid of being stigmatized or alienated because society in general doesn't really understand it and many are afraid of people who have to contend with it in their daily lives. 


Thank you again ... we wish you and everyone you care for, peace and happiness. 

November 23, 2005, 1:31 pm CST

11/23 Schizophrenia

My husband was 12-13 years old when his mother commited suicide.  She was diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was a baby.  She was taking medication for this but she thought she was fine and so she quit taking it.  It also caused her to gain a lot of weight and I think that also provoked her to stop the meds as well.  Luckily my husband wasn't there to witness what happened but He also hasn't dealt with it completely.  I think one reason why he hasn't dealt with it is because he wasn't even able to go to her funeral because her family didn't think it was good for him.  He is still mad at her for killing herself.  I just don't know how to help him deal with this.  He is now 26 years old and I want him to be able to let go of the pain and anger he has still towards her.
November 23, 2005, 1:35 pm CST

Ive been there

Quote From: pigeonjo

I am a 26 year old mother who suffers from this disorder along with Bipolar. 


I was dignosised in May of Bipolar.  After being hospitalized in May and put on some medications.  I turn for the worse.  I began cutting on myself and hearing voices (counselors says they are deep thoughts).  Of course, the voices or thoughts did not help with my every day living or my cutting.  I became worse and I was hospitalized again in July.  I was put on several meds including Seroqual.  After being released from the hospital the second time, I came home to find out I have lost my job ( was a legal assistant to a high, powerful attorney), my church support and my diginity.  I was ashamed of what I had become.   


Needless to say, I am still unemployed.  I have been working temp jobs through a temp service agency.  My former boss gives me bad references so I can't get new employment and  she also called DHS on me trying to get my kids taken away.  Additionally, my family had to move out of our nice home to a family member's rental house because we could no longer afford our home.   


I can't help it but I blame my self for all the horrible things my husband, parents, and kids have gone though due to the voice or the schizophernia.  When I was just depressed I could go though the day.  Now with the schizophrenia, I can not go one day without screaming at someone or starting a fight with my husband or accusing someone of something because that is what the voices are telling me.  The voices tell how horrible of a person I am, my husband doesn't love me and he is going to leave me, etc....  The doctor said they are deep thoughts because they are in my head ( I don't hear them like it is a person talking to me)...but still the voices are there and the hurt just the same.  I don't attend any functions.  I stop going to church, family gatherings, and just to the store.  Afraid of what people are thinking or saying..  Yes again, the voices puts these thoughts in my head...     


Unfortunately, in October my 3 year old (she is 4 now) was dignosised with onset biploar which is found in children.  She can't take any medications.  All she can do is go to counseling, which is $50 a week..  Money we don't have but we have to come up with.  My son is developmentally challenge and his meds are also outrougous and then you have my meds.  Due to the financial strand that this has put on my family, I have winged myself off of the Lamictil and the Seroqual and now I am only taking Efexxor and I no longer attend my counseling sessions.  Everyone wants me to get on SSI/disability but I am not that kind of person and I can't afford to be unemployed for 6 months before I can start the filing process.  It could take almost 2 years before I would get an response and that is too long to wait.  I have to help raise my kids now....not later. 


Let just say that I am still not the best person as I have been before all of this but to me, my kids and their health comes first.  I am hoping to get my daughter treated and healthy so she does not have to go though what I have.  My mother has also been dignosised with Bipolar recently.   


In my case, the voices are still there, I just have to go day to day listening to them and try not believing what they say.  I have two beautiful kids to raise and I am in the process of trying to get a college degree.. 


I am sorry this sounds more like a sad story but I want other people out there to know that they are not the only one.. 

My daughters father is schizophrenic and bipolar and is hell on wheels to deal with most of the time.  We were together for 4 years before i finally left him because he would rather do drugs than take his medication, then would be abusive toward me as a result.  The one thing he did do right if nothing else was get on SSI.  He had the resources he needed to have a better life once he finally got on disability.  And as shameful as it is to admit to the state (or to anyone) that you and your family need help its worth it to keep your family together and your children taken care of properly.  It really sucks that life has dealt all of us the cards we have been dealt but there the only cards we get - i wish it was like go fish and we could trade for someone elses cards but that would just be too easy now wouldnt it?   

As for myself i suffer from Severe post traumatic stress disorder, depression, migraines, eating disorder and a drug addiction because i tried to help someone with schizophrenia and bipolar who wouldnt help himself.  The things he put me and our daughter through are unspeakable and hope that no one else would ever had to go through that.  Things can go out of control so quickly and before you even realize it.  Please get help from SSI and start improving your life today for your children and for yourself.  And dont worry about all those others, i had to go back to school because when i quit my job because of my ex, my old dr. i worked for was mad and since then still gives me a bad referral.  people are incapable of understanding until there, were we have been and you have much more important things to focus on besides how badly others may think of you for something they do not understand.  I wish you the best and please, please stay on your meds.  And we all need to help in this fight for the mentally ill, keep spreadin the word. 

November 23, 2005, 1:36 pm CST

11/23 Schizophrenia

I have abrother who was diagnosed with schizophrena when he was 20. He refused to take the medication that would help him, there was nothing anyone could do. My mom and dad anf yourer brother were terrified, he was very paronoid and saw exactly what the guests speak of on the show. I am very sad and angry that no one could help. 5 years ago he killed my Dad, Mom and younger brother and it seems like it just happened.  I will always be scared of him and so angry he did not get help even though we knew he was dangerous. My family was the world to me and I will never get over this huge loss. I know not all people with schizophrenia are dangerous but this case was and he only got the help he needed after he had killed our family. We had to go through alot, he was not charged with murder he was found not clinically responsible. We did not have options like the show speaks of, believe me we tried but no one could help him till it was just too late. 

November 23, 2005, 1:37 pm CST

For Mary, et al

Please, please, please see a priest! There are priests authorized by their local bishops to do excorcisms. You must see this type of priest. I'm a convert from atheism. I never believed in the devil, demons or real evil. I used to think people who believed this stuff were wacky. My conversion is a long story, but today I know beyond a doubt that this evil exists and not something to mess around with. What you're describing sounds like possesion. Please, please, please find a trusted priest. Demons are real. God is stronger. May God's angel's, especially, St. Michael, surround you.
November 23, 2005, 1:42 pm CST

11/23 Schizophrenia

Quote From: belisana

This is the second post for this person.  I cannot believe she/he is a psychologist.  The information in the post is suspect, to say the least.   If she/he IS  a psychologist, I'd like to know where so we can all steer clear!!!! 
Sorry, this is my first time posting and I re-posted. I'm not a therapist, just someone has suffered very deeply, but found healing in God. What's the harm in Mary seeing a priest? I know it sounds wacky, believe me, I used to think it was wacky, too. But I've seen it work!
November 23, 2005, 1:47 pm CST

11/23 Schizophrenia

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.  

micheals mom dont give up hope but it sounds like  youll have to find a strucual home for him until he can accept what he has.  I was 21 when i became sick my mom has menttal illness hers is worse she never grew up. anyway I was allways afraid i was going to get hers but i didnt i got major deepresion . im working on my self but dont let him give up on his dreams. He needs to find a whole new way you cant go back to the old . its kinda like AAA people place and things same thing only we need to deal with our problems every day and walk through them or we dont deal well good luck.
November 23, 2005, 1:50 pm CST

Have been in way over my head with schizophrenia

 I first met my husband 25 years ago and on meeting his family he told me to "just ignore my sister - she's got problems".  Little did I know what problems he was talking about.  We experience d"K"'s paranoia at our wedding, following our honeymoon when she wanted to go with us up until the present day.  Because of mental health protection her Dr.'s could not discuss her condition with us except to say "schizophrenia " and she will refuse any intervention of health workers and doctors.  After both her mom and dad passed on my husband and I became her primary family.  For the most part "K" has not kept to medication and her behaviors extend from hearing voices, believing she is being followed, unhealthy sexual behaviors, believing people put answering machines in the walls to spy on her, to threatening to get even with me because I stole her brother from her. After her last episode where she was evicted from her apartment and wandering the streets, we were, after some length able to convince her to go to the hospital.  There she spent 2 months and once released it was left up to us to find housing, pay bills but thankfully she has continued to take the injections that keep her relatively stable.  Unfortunately her addiction to cigarettes and fast food has escalated into serious diabetes and their is no convincing "K" that she has to take care of herself with proper diet.  Her resting blood sugars are at twelve even with insulin, her depression overwhelmes her most days and we fear that death for "K" through the diabetes, cancer or heart disease  will be in in the near future.  Her life has been one of existance since she avoids most people except those she can get money or cigarettes from.  It's been difficult to watch the decline and be unable to do anything other than visit, take her for lunch or bring her food as every penny of her welfare goes to smoke.  Her remaining brothers have nothing to do with her and her friends have all gone.  The show today was great as seeing what she sees visually was a huge eye opener.  I was once told that families suffer right along in helplessness.  My heart goes out to those that suffer with this horrible disease and those family members who are swept along in it's terrible path.
November 23, 2005, 1:53 pm CST

How did you decide to go back to your husband?

Quote From: stryker_m

I am the one with schizophrenia on the show.  In response to your post, I got sick when i was 18.  I had my first full psychotic break then.  I was unmedicated for years struggling with this disease, self medicating with alcohol and running the streets.   I was not medicated at all for anything when the schizophrenia started. I will wait for the show to air before sharing any more.  I'm sure the show will cover alot of what I might say here. 
 My exwife has schizophrenia, and we divorced because of it.  She was convinced I murdered at least 6 people, and had numerous affairs over our 21 year marriage.  And of course I did not murder anyone, nor did I ever beat anyone up, nor was I ever unfaithful to her.  Of course my denials could not prove I was telling the truth, when she was so "convinced".  Our sons (college age) and I are very baffled by it all.

How did you decide to go back to your husband?  What convinced you he was not a threat to you?  What can get my wife to trust me again??  Now, she thinks I have been lying to her all these years and yet I do not know any time I ever lied to her about anything substantial affecting me and her or our marriage.

All the best,
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