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Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Rashmi Nemade, Ph.D. & Mark Dombeck, Ph.D., edited by Kathryn Patricelli, MA Updated: Mar 20th 2017


To be diagnosed with Schizophrenia, a person must have 2 or more of the following symptoms for a significant part of the time during a 1-month or longer period:

  • Delusions - fixed, mistaken ideas that the person holds. These are often odd or incorrect ideas about themselves and the world around them.
  • Hallucinations - sensations that only the person experiences. This can include voices speaking to them that only they can hear.
  • Disorganized Speech - this can be switching topics frequently while talking, giving answers to questions that weren't asked or not being understandable by others.
  • Very Disorganized or Catatonic Behavior - this might be childlike "silliness" or being agitated or irritated without a reason, or showing no reactions to the world around them.
  • Negative Symptoms - this might be not having the full range of emotional expression that others do, having poor eye contract and little body movement; or not showing interest in participating in activities.

Additional criteria include:

  • the person's level of functioning in terms of self-care, work, or relationships must show significant decline compared to before the symptoms were present.
  • there must be continuous signs of disturbance for at least 6 months. This may include 1-month of active symptoms and then periods of lower symptoms where only negative symptoms are present.
  • symptoms must not be part of Schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder with psychotic features.
  • symptoms must not be the result of another medical condition or a substance/medication that was taken.
  • If there is a history of autism spectrum disorder or a communication disorder, the diagnosis of schizophrenia can be made only if delusions or hallucinations are present, along with the other required symptoms of schizophrenia for at least 1 month.

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

my wife has voices telling her things - dustin - Sep 12th 2014

 My wife is 31 is very smart .About five month ago she came into the room and told me she has had a affair with her boss .I was so upset then later that day she took off in the rain left my 5 yearold at one of her friends houses ,broke into her bosses house . He called me told me to get there now to get her.she then spent a week in the hospital.they did nothing .For three months she was convenced that her and her boss had a affair and thats why the voices are harrasing her .they say things like your nasty chuck thinks your not good in bed .things like that .Also theres a voice telling her she is going to jail .she spent another & days at hospital they went away for four days till she went to get her things from her work and spent alll day talking to her boss. That night they came back .But now she tells me there was no affair It was the voices puting it in her head .She gave me details of the she saying it never happend . her boss has his own family but cheated on his wife befor. I dont know what to belive i am so confused.She is sick i know she is but now with all this we have lost custody of our 6 year old for now bc she called the cops on me when we and my little girl went to store thing  iwas leaving town with her .I felt like my baby was in danger sop i let her mom get her for a month .Then her mom got a attorney and sued us for custody till nov .If she doesnt get better by then i think i going to have to leave her so i can git my kid back .  My wife thinks the voices are being beamed into her head by a two way bug listning device .She needs help will not get it ..She doesnt want to be locked up  she says .If anyone could give some clue how to deal with all this i would love to hear it .Iv gotten to the point were im cant stop thing about if she had affair or not .That sounds so selfish of me I know but Iv been with her for 16 years .I want everything to go back to normal and have my wife back and baby back be happy.and know the truth of whats going on .. 

Maybe I have this? - Kay - Aug 20th 2014

I'm 17 and in a week ill be 18. I'm in my last year of high school and i am having problems with the general public. I have axiety attacks when i think people are talking bad about me. When i ask if they are my friends say they are not talking about me but i know they said something bad about me. My Grandmother thinks im hallcuinating (sorry if i spelled it wrong i'm in a rush!) . But i also say things that are not related to the topic and start to feel really dizzy . I'm afraid that i'm going crazy. When i read this i felt like it was realted to my experince these past years. I've been bullied since a young age. I also mess up talking in front of my class or i wont participate in activities and its screwing me up because i have to really work hard this year! I need advice before seeking Professional help. Thanks.

Am I psychotic? - - Jul 12th 2014

I did a lot of drugs mostly psychotic and anti psychotic drugs. Also as a consequence for this was jail time in high stressed/tense situations such as police brutality and an occasional meth head wanting to fight. Now I'm convinced I'm always followed by either police or an unknown person. I hallucinate old crown vics that are for civilian use as full cop cars and after that every white sedan looking car is now a cop car sometimes seeing 6 supposed cop cars at every turn. It drives me insane. The unknown individual seems to only be a shadow. Always looking watching waiting. I'll never know for what. It's always been there even in jail. I have over time ignored the problems with more drugs to get away have a sense of peace for once but now I want to be sober and live a clean life. Now these issues are coming back like old ghosts. The drugs I did and prefer are meth lsd ketamine dxm saliva pcp cocaine 25i Bk and oh well I forgot. I hope to achieve higher brain function that I once had before.

Schizophrenia - Mary - Jun 12th 2014

This is in response to the commentor that has voices telling them to kill themselves or others. I am sorry to hear that so many people are being tormented by these disabilities. So sad. I would just like to say that although it is almost impossible to pull yourself up and convince yourself to not place society's " label" or " diagnosis" upon ourselves. There is a lot more going on spiritually speaking and things being created to make people crazy. For people to actually tell the truth that they are having these experiences shows enormous courage and clarity of mind despite what you may think of your thoughts. I dont trust the medications enough with side effects and all to ever seek treatment for my anger and psychotic outbursts. Mine are from years of being a female and pushed around by either men or just idiots in general. We are constantly seeking peace that's all. How damned hard is that? Why do I get stuck thinking that you attract like minded individuals who appear to be seeking the same goals in life, to discover they are narcissistic, parasitic, psychopaths? I am the prey they seek and I am a very pissed off person. I am also afraid of choosing jail as a better option to my current residence. Losing control scares me to death but so does being medicated. Anyway sorry for going on a hike here!! Keep your heads up

I told my kids I think I am schizophrenia. - Terry - Oct 5th 2013

I hear voices in my head they tell me to kill myself And they tell me to do stuff to the people that hurt husband does not know I have schizophrenia cus he is always working my kids know cus they tell me I am always talking to my self and I told them once that I am going to kill my self in front of you guys and they were crying and crying. It's is the voices I I hear that told me to say things. I don't want to go to the doctor cus I don't want them to say that I am crazy.

mom of schizaffect son age 29 - sally - Sep 27th 2013

All mental patients should lern a simple phrase in case of a problem


Then, anyone trained in the illnesses can take it from there-

I hope your sister is okay- but usually, something radical has to happen, SHe is just living her life- making memories- and possibly getting pregnant- so if you have the chance- try and lure her away from the guy.

If not, the police / social worker- or a MENTAL health ADVOCATE- might be helpful.

Sometimes, you just cannot do a thing.

Sorry to say- until a major event happens. Emergency room personnel can help then- I wish I knew of a better solution =

NAMI near you?


I need help - - Sep 24th 2013

My sister schezophrenia ,and she 26. She had her mental illness for 5years but me and my mom keep a close eye on her all the time because she always trying to go with the worst people ever that are up to no good . She always calls to bring her food or a pack of cigarettes not this time.It been 2 days that she's been missing .we already did a missing report the police know that she has a mental illness and we've made fliers but just today they found a servalence video that she was with a guy that's 45 years old man he's know to be an alcholic and known to steal and a drug addict but since the video shows that she's willing to be with him since the video shows her entering with him and leaving with him but the store owner said he get teen to steal for him. The detective that's on the case says she not a missing person because she with him willingly  could I go by it legally that she need help . She not taking her meds because she out there . She not in her right mind but he still says that he really can't do much. The store own said she didn't look to well and that this guy has a temper and the detective knows all of this info.

My daughters mother is schitzoaffective and has come to hate everyone that loves her - Dustin - Sep 8th 2013

I met my daughters mother when I was 18 and she was 15.  3 years later we had our daughter.  Throughout my relationship with her she sometimes expressed her hate for her parents who at first denied our love but eventually gave in and allowed us to have a relationship under their guidelines and rules.   We never fought or argued for our entire 3 years up until our daughter was born, but once born, mother went through post pardom depression and became unbearable to deal with.  She became a completely different person and we ended up breaking up and i had to take her to court to exercise my rights as a father.  While I had visitation me and mother still continued a sexual relationship as well as being friends but her parents had custody and didnt like me too much.  All of a sudden one day mother called me and she said "I slept with Dave and he effed me 10xs better than u ever have" then she hung up and has hated me since.  She hasn't had a single civil conversation with me  since then and that was 7 years ago.  our daughter is 8 now and I've been battling mother and her parents who supported her and our daughter up until a year and a half ago.  Her episodes consist of cutting, hearing evil as well as occasionally pleasant voices that tell her to hurt herself and that she is worthless and she also has visual delusions of people in her closet that have names and their own personalities.  18 months ago she met a guy that she is still with now and he's a known drug dealer and addict and I think she has been using drugs with him because of her changes in behavior lately.  Her parents stepped in and filed for emergency guardianship because mother got awarded full custody 2 years ago.  Her parents just want her to get the help she needs but she now has cut them out of her life and now calls them by their first names and speaks to them in an angry cold tone. She also did the same thing to her own grandparents who are 2 of the nicest people I've ever met.  And her 3 brothers who she has always been close with cant get through to her either.  She hates and has ostracized her entire family including her brothers and its all people who love her and have done everything they could for her.  And in that happening I stuck up for her family to the judge even tho they had never accepted me because at the end of the day it's about my daughters best interest.  She puts her hatred ahead of the best interests of our daughter and it breaks my heart.  Now in the past few months I've been building a relationship with her family and we are all hurt and know for sure her schitzoaffective disorder has a big part in her justifying her decisions and I wish there was a way to get through to her that we all love her and need to all have positive relationships with each other and it's sad and ironic how things have turned out.  Anyone who may Have any advice for me please email me 

for some reason she is afraid that I'm gonna show up to places she is and stalk her and I've never done anything like that and wish she knew how much I love her and would do anything for her.  

Four days in a PSYCH UNIT FOR the Attempted Murder of his mother and Father - Concerned Sister - Sep 8th 2013

My brother is the father of an autistic son who was recently diagnosed with schizophrenia. The Psychiatrist who saw him a few weeks before this attempted murder of his parents happened thought he should be hospitalized, well with their insurance he wouldn't have been going to a very nice place and the love that a parent has for their child is a hindrance to their safety. He did try to strangle his mother two weeks later and when my brother got him off of her he started choking him. It wasn't until my brother started seeing the sights you have before passing out that he could hit his son. The first hit did nothing, the second  to the throat did. The police and  "crisis team" spent 12 hours in their house that night trying to find a facility to take him too. They finally did about 250 miles away, the Sheriff drove him there himself. He was out four days later with some new medicine and is now back at home with the parents that he tried to kill. I don't think they will ever be able to put him in an institution to save themselves. I can't sit here and wait for the train wreck, I want my brother out of that house or his son in an institution. I'm sorry but attempted murder and four days in a mental facility is unbelievable. When I called the place he was in and spoke to his nurse, I was mad that they were putting him out so soon, she actually said that she wasn't aware of any choking incident. OK. The Sheriff's Office doesn't want to talk about it either, because I called them to see if they would check on my brother when he was driving back from this mental facility across the state with his wife, and the son who tried to kill them, and they acted like they knew of the people I was talking about but then said they didn't have a report of the incident. Now he is on "new" medication and they deem him to be all better. I am sorry, but four days after two attempted murders is pathetic. My brother and his wife of course want to believe this med is the fix and so do I, but you just DO NOT take a risk like this on a medication after only four days when you have tried to kill your parents. The other side of the family just acts like it's no big deal and my brother has been in this hell for too long.  I see family members saying things like "the incident", NO it was attempted murder, CALL IT WHAT IT IS. I am begging my brother to remember this like it happened last night and NOT to let his guard down. HE said he will, I don't feel good about it at all and I wish my brother would get out of that home if his son doesn't get the long term care he needs. It's no decision any parent would ever want to make but this is no longer about holes in the walls, he has a whole new game plan.


Stars in Her Eyes - - Mar 9th 2013

Many years ago, when my first wife and I were both young, we went out to a remote hillside a few times to look at the stars. I would bring a star map along and would try to locate some of the constellations shown on it, with several minutes of searching. My wife on the other hand had no trouble at all. I could point to a collection of dots on the star map and she would look up and in a very few seconds she would point to it in the sky. There it would be, among the thousands of stars overhead. It was amazing. Little did I know that she was becoming schizophrenic and within tow years would be nearly completely irrational.

I have post partum psychosis w/ schizofective disorder - M.S. - Feb 10th 2013

Hello.  I wanted to briefly share my story with others in hopes that maybe people can understand the illness.  Since I was young, I've always been a sensitive and emotional person.  I had my share of problems growing up and like everyone, has always had ups and downs.  I was physically abused by a family member when I was 11 and 12.  I've had severe depression since my senior year of high school.  I also suffered anxiety attacks.  I am 30 years old now.  In the past I was in denial and occasionally tried different anti-depressants including Lexapro and Xanax.  Both of those medications made me feel high and weird so I stopped taking them.  Time went on by and I had a steady job.  In 2006 my grandfather passed away that that was very hard for our entire family.  He was like a father to me and things started really going downhill from that moment on.  I was 26 years old when I became pregnant with my beautiful daughter.  I had a really rough pregnancy and she was born by means of emergency c-section in April, 2009.  I was diagnosed with Post Partum shortly after her birth.  I also got an allergic reaction to Zoloft in which my doctor had given me to help me sleep. During my pregancy, I was in a relationship with her father and we moved in together and found an apartment.  That in itself was stressful enough, since my family whom I was living with previously disliked him and fought with me about leaving home.  After I had my child, I brought her to our new home and things really started taking a turn for the worst.  Her father and I fought for stupid reasons and I had a lack of sleep stemming from the last few months.  One night, as her father and she slept, I stayed up all night with a pad of paper and pen.  I can recall becoming obssessed with my financial situation (IE. lots of debt), and filled the whole paper with words.  I can remember looking into the lamp light and asking God and take my daughter and I to a better place.  I had the delusion that the town I was in, was actually Heaven.  When my boyfriend (now ex), woke up the following morning, he saw the paper I had incoherently scribbled on and only laughed at me.  No harm EVER came to my daughter through all of this.  To this day she is perfect (now almost 4).  In the day times, I would bring my daughter over to my parents house and we'd visit all day while her father would work.  When it was time for him to get off work, we'd both come back to our home to have dinner, etc.  I had been taking hydrocodone prescribed to me.  I started to become paranoid that I was forgetting to eat while taking them.  I freaked out and yelled at him asking him why he didn't make sure I ate.   This started another fight.  After he threatened that he might leave me, things went really wrong.  I can remember not being able to find my cell phone and accusing him of hiding it so I couldn't contact my family (we didn't have a house phone).  I took his cell phone and when he went outside to smoke, I locked him out.  I then called 911 and told them that I thought he was going to try to kill me.  I was convinced he was going to.  Eventually he begged me to let him back in and I did so.  He got on the phone with 911 and told them that I had post partum.  The police came and I remember them looking around and asking me if I wanted him to keep the baby while I went to the hospital and I said yes.  They took me to the ER and I remember laying in the hospital bed thinking I was taking some sort of test to get either into hell or heaven.  The side I was on was hell and the other side I had to try to get on, was heaven.  I was becoming aggressive, wanting to talk to my family and thought for sure they were keeping them from seeing me.  Then I was committed to the mental institution for a few months.  They had trouble trying to diagnose me.  I was having many delusions and hallucinations while there as they tried different medications on me.  My family was taking care of my daughter while I went through this.  I demanded that they pick up my daughter from her father because I was still convinced that he was violent.  The doctor then said that I was having a post partum psychosis with schizofective order.  After they found the right medication for me to take, which was Lithium.  I was then able to come home, back to my parents house.  I broke up with my daughters father and moved out with my daughter.  Things got even worse for me.  My right leg had been hurting since I was in the facility.  I went to the ER to get it checked out, and they eventually found that I had a blood clot in my leg, behind my knee.  They had to perform emergency surgery to remove it.  The surgeon also found that my muscle was dying and had to remove muscle also.  All in all I had 11 surgeries in a row on it, to save my leg.  When I was able to come home, I had to have a vacuum pump to circulate blood flow so the wound would heal faster.  This would was 12 inches long and about 4 inches deep.  Home health nurses had to come 3 times a week to change the bandaging.  I had to train myself to walk again pretty much.  Several months went by and eventually through many issues and dr. visits, it was healed.  In 2010, I had stopped taking my medication and had another psychosis.  This time, I thought my mom and grandma were setting up a plot to kill me and that there were bodies buried in the backyard.  I thought there were aliens and that I was a famous rock star.  I ran outside my house and down the street.  The police picked me up as I was acting irratic.  They brought me back to the mental institution.  I was there a few more months.  This time along with Lithium, they also prescribed me with a shot (can't recall the name), to help with the delusions.  I was able to return back home to my family and my daughter.  Months wen by and I really missed working.  In 2011, my place of work expanded to a new building and I gained a few different titles.  Unfortunately, I had stopped taking my medicine, again.  I was in denial that I really had much wrong with me and thought I was feeling okay without it (big mistake).  One night I went out to a bar for a few drinks to meet up with some co-workers (who never showed).  I was in a psychosis.  I didn't come home when I said I was going to, so my mom came to find me and knew something wasn't right again.  I had a delusion that I was at first a lawyer and then an FBI agent.  My passport was my FBI badge.  When it was closing time, they tried to kick me out but for some reason I wouldn't leave.  I was too afraid to.  I thought there was someone outside waiting to kill me.  They didn't really understand the situation and the police were called.  I fell the the ground and swore I had hurt myself and that I was in pain and couldn't move my legs (no idea why I thought that).  Ambulance came and took me to the ER.  I remember laying there thinking that the Dr. that was just in to check me over, somehow surgically gave me someone elses eyes and that I was seeing through them from their prespective.  Eventually I sat up and walked out.  I demanded to have my purse and they told me they didn't have it.  So I was convinced I left it at work in my locker.  Work is walking distance from the hospital.  So in the middle of the night, I walked there as though I was a warrior about the slay a beast (my thoughts in my head) and I found a stick that was my sword.  People were cheering me on, etc.  I came to work and it was very early so not many people were there.  A co-worker came up to me and I remember showing her my hospital band that I found out I was adopted (which Im not) and that I dont know who my real family is.  I had a camo jacket on so I was convinced that I was a security officer.  I was opening all the locks that weren't locked and searching them.  I had a Canadian accent and told them I just flew in from Canada.  I found some bottle lock caps and told them that they are weapons that you use to deter a thief and so on.  The store manager called my family and told them what was going on.  They told him to call the police.  The police came and took me back to the mental facility.  This will be the last time I was there.  I was eventually released back home with my medication.  I did not lose my job at that time.  I continued to work there until late 2012 though I no longer work there for reasons I don't wish to discuss but I worked there a total of 10 years.  To this day, I am taking my medication and taking good care of my daughter and enjoying her company.  We still live with my family and her father still plays a role in her life, even though its small.  I strongly suggest that if you are diagnosed with an illness, to never stop taking your medication unless a medical professional advises you to.  There is too much to risk, especially when you have loved ones trying to help you that care so much about you.  If not for them, then do it for yourself.  I still struggle with becoming paranoid at nightime but for the most part, my symptoms are controlled.   I do not miss those delusions!  If you know anybody that is experiencing them or if you feel like you are, then please seek help!  God bless.

Suzie raised a schitzophrenic - Suzie - Feb 9th 2013

My 21 yr old daughter was a good kid until her senior year in high school, where I noticed she was getting more aggitated. Problem is that the aggitation has not stopped. She constantly mumbles  curse words and phrases when she is awake. I provide everything for her, yet she curses at me and calls me names and says how much she hates me. I live in fear for myself and her, because I know she is in denial that she has an undiagnosed mental illness. At first I thought she had Aspergers, but after reading about schitzophrenia, she meets much of that criteria. I also have read on Executive Funtion Disorder and she falls into that catagory also. Whateva'. Now she has been going out drinkin' w a couple of her only friends she has ever had and comes home puking because she is not able to do her ADLs and cook for self  so she is drinking on empty stomach. She works couple days a week as a server at Dennys and seems to like it, but I am afraid she is gonna lose her job because she is always late. She has sensory issues and can't drive a car, she blames others for her not being able to drive. She has bills that she refuses to pay. No accountability. She is VERY secretive and wont tell me who she is going out w or where she is going even if it is to work. She locks her bedroom door every time she goes in there. She is a hoarder and has boxes stacked to ceiling w random things in them and refuses to get rid of anything. She has coloring books from when she was in K. She is anti medication so she refuses to take any medicines. She met w a Psychiatrist one time a year ago and I guess the guy said she had anxiety. What a fricken joke. She desperately needs a complete psychiatric evaluation, but has no insurance. Total nightmare I am living through. I did start to get involved w this group called NAMI that helps Peeps who have to deal w Peeps who have mental illness. It is free and the Peeps are very kind , small groups and they give u support and suggestions and educational information. I would just like to say that I enjoyed reading the stories here and feel for every one of ye'. Peace out!

Howdy! - Bob Keeshan - Feb 8th 2013

I couldn't afford to go to University, but it was one of my desires to study psychology and the mind.   All members of my family seem to have schiz,inherited.  Many doctors I've seen because of depression insist I don't have it tho.  I've known literally hundreds with schiz.  I'm not a doctor but I swear from personal exp, it takes me about 60 sec to diagnose someone with it.  It may sound exaggerated and schiz to say that, but I've proven it.  Ex. a lady I met I was positive she had it.  Her friends knew her for years, insisted I was wrong.  One day she said she was diagnosed with it in her teens but refused medication.  I swear I could write volumes about the subject and what I've observed.  But who would care?  I'm no doctor?  I believe, most go undiagnosed and misunderstood which is not good for everyone. etc. etc. no room left for my comments.

My Father is driving me crazy! - - Jan 5th 2013

I have my 80 year old Father living with me and my husband and lately he is getting worse.  He is a Paranoid scizopriac and has refused medicine since he was first diagnosed at age 35 and now he has diabetes and isn't taking his incylin or medicine like he should.  He has been acting even worse lately making sexual remarks to me and it is really making me uncomfortable.  Now he is getting sores on his feet and I think he is having kidney failure causing his craziness.  I don't know what to do anymore, he won't listen to me when I tell him to stop eating sweets and his crazy talk is driving me crazy because I am home with him all day long and my husband is at work.  I don't know what to do anymore.


Need help for my granny! - nikki - Dec 13th 2012


My granny is about 80 years old and she has a very weird habbit of abusing and cursing people. I am not sure if she is schizophrenic or not but i know for sure that she has problem of depression as she does not have a good past. i have known her for about 20 years and the habit is still the same. She blames anyone for anything and later starts abusing them. Everyone is upset because of her behaviour. I know that this is not her fault because she is going through a mental trauma. We also consulted a psychologist and he gave her some medicines but those medication is not really helpful as it gives her lot of muscular pain. I would be really grateful to you if you could please tell me what is she actually going through and what can be done to make her better.

My Boyfriend/X-Boyfriend is schizoaffective - Rose - Dec 9th 2012

its absolute emotional torture dealing with a moody delusional person, who is uncooperative to get treatment. on a daily basis im defending myself from accusations. i am at the point of just wanting an organization or institution to step in because i cant do this on my own anymore. i am so tired that i never want to hear about another mental condition ever again. i feel im doing work reading, trying to educate myself about this and trying to cope and yet my boyfriend, with his condition, walks around and doesnt do anything because he doesnt have the capacity to change or doesnt care to change. its a pathetic existence to hav a condition that has no answers and practically drives others, who are around the diagnosed person, to practically get driven to insanity too.  im overwhelmed and i realize there really is nothing anyone can do, but walk away. save myself. period. all the information in the world is not gonna get him to get treatment. no one can force him unless he ends up back in jail.  how utterly sad.

Mom has paranoid schizo, but no real help-how can we get some? - Valexxa - Mar 30th 2011

virginia webb...i'm wondering if you ever got the necessary help for you mom.  I'm pretty desperate for help myself.  My mom is very much like yours, but instead of an alien conspiracy, it's an FBI conspiracy.  She's alone, so I as her daughter am the only one she has.  In trying to get outside help from agencies, all I keep hearing is "she must be a danger to herself or others.  Well, it looks like someone needs to be hurt or killed before the state will step in.  So frustrating...

My Daughter Suffers Daily - PK Mills - Nov 13th 2010

I have an 18 year old daughter who suffers visual & auditory hallucinations on a daily basis, all while being on meds. It's like pulling teeth to get her doctor to help her. Her doctor even went so far as to take her off the medication that she was taking, and was working mostly, and put her on another that makes her delusions even worse. She is managed by a state agency that is cutting back due to budget restraints, and the patients suffer by loosing great staff members, program cuts, and having to see sub-par doctors. We need to write to our senators and congressmen and make them aware of the problems that cutting vital services for the mentally ill causes.

i do not know how to help my father - jaclyn jones - Sep 5th 2010

my father is schizo and he has been my hoe life. i have been very aware that he has problems since i was a very young child. my mother left him when i was around 3 yo.  he becomes very agressive and at times is very violent. he doesnt even understand that i am his daughter which is totally rediculous to me because wells i look like him. but back to the point he is 45 i guess and still liven wit his parents. i havent ever been close with him at all i jus aviod him. we live on a farm i am 20 now and goin to college tryin to get my life together. he has put me threw hell as to his mother and father. for years they denied that there was anything wrong with him expect dexlexcia. they always have told me that i was the one who is insane that he never done nothin that i recall in my past. i have been to consuling my how life because to be completly honest im scared that i may become like him. i live under his parents roof and they are helpin my with college they dont seem to understand that my father is becomen very violent treated to kill me about a month ago. and had the kniffe in hand to do it at the very point he treated. they are refusen to help me get him help. i have a older sister who is married and lives in town she doesnt want to around our father nor do i. but i feel like if hes goin to break which he will and does then id rather him hurt me than other people around me. thats the way it has always been. but im jus wonderin if i can get him help with out him haven to physcally abuse me again. i am not the little girl that i once was and do not take well to being hit because of my father. i jus need help on gettin him commeted or medicated but he has no clue anythin is wrong and im not spose to do anythin to help because i have to much to llose right now. but i love him because he gave me life. and i jus wish that maybe for a year he could have a normal life like everyone else maybe he could be happy???

Need help, really BAD!!!! - thrlmccoy2 - Dec 16th 2009

I have two sisters whose 65yo and 63yo. Both are living in the home we growup in. Well my sister who's 65yo is Schizophrenia. Well, the issue is that my 63yo sister is total overwhelmed as to taking care the other but I do not live in the city or even the smae state. I am over 10hrs driving time from them.

I am looking for support for the one who's 63yo because she just cannot continue dealing with the sitatution.

My sister who's 65yo has two kids but her kids has turned their back on her for the past 16 years. Right now I am totally responsible for the both of them. I pay all the bills (property tax, Utilities, phone, insurance, and send money for food).

My brother - - Dec 8th 2009

My family  and I abandoned my poor brother for 17 years because when we tried to contact him, the people in his group home always said he didn't want anything to do with us, didn't want visits and wouldn't answer the phone so my whole family just conveniently and selfishly gave up and shut him out of our lives.

We have now been back in contact with him but I feel so sad about all the lost years. He's very ill but very like a large cuddly teddy. He is so glad to have our visits and support now. He's such a gentle loveable person. I don't think I can ever forgive myself for not supporting him over so many years when I concentrated on bringing up my children and just shut him out of my mind.

Just thinking about how lonely and abandoned he must have felt is awful. I hate myself for neglecting my poor mentally ill brother. I hope no-one else will ever do what my family did to a member of the family.I'll never get those years back-all his missed birthdays, Christmases , when he was ill and didn't have a family member even at the end of the phone. I really hate myself at this moment.I think that I'm the most hateful person I know for the way I've behaved in this totally neglectful way.

The mentally ill so obviously need their family even more than most other people and even if they are perhaps frightening or aggressive they still need to know that they are loved.


Does anyone from Mental help net answer any of the questions the contributors on here are asking? - Mj - Sep 1st 2009

I am researching mental health issues and so have come across this site. There are many questions raised in the support community section by people clearly in need of some answers. Do they receive any answers?

Editor's Note: It is not possible for us to answer all reader submitted questions.  Some but not all questions appended as comments are answered in this manner (e.g., with an editor's note).  Others may be answered by peer comment responses.  Questions may be submitted to Dr. Schwartz and/or Dr. Dombeck for responses through their respective question/answer columns but there is no guarentee that any particular question will be responded to.  Questions may also be asked within the support community where they are generally more likely (but not guarenteed) to get a response.  People who are in need of answers to serious questions regarding their health (emotional, mental or otherwise) are urged to contact a local appropriate health professional so as to arrange for direct care. 

think i might be going insane - - Feb 28th 2009

ok so my mother is bipolar and lately i been talking to myself silently if im alone out loud everywhere i go if not with people i feel like im being watched or followed sometimes when i talk or what ever i feel like my words arent coming out of mouth as i say them but after i say them ive been told i may be bipolar mixed episode but i also still have an imaginary "boyfriend" i over anylize everything and everythin including numbsrs letterz and patterns and if something isnt even it drives me up the wall i cant tell therapist cuz im scared ill be sent away and i cant put family thru that cuz every mounth my mom ia there and i dont wanna worry my dad can some one help am i schizo or border personality or... please help

I wanted to address three comments - Dr. T - Nov 23rd 2008

Hello everyone. I just did a project on schizophrenia and I wanted to address three comments.

1.) SH: I know your situation, I have had people who were close to me such as friends who needed help but refused. Usually when a person does not believe that they need help it is going to be very difficult to convince them to get it. However, asking to set aside a time to meet and talk about the situation and some of the behaviors that are disturbing to you and concern you, may in fact help that person to see just how much you care about them and how much you really want them to seek help for their health. Their health = your health. Some behaviors can disturb you if they are extremely abnormal, especially when children are around who do not understand mental illness.

      Sometimes conversation will not work because people become defensive when you speak of their mental health. But if you truly want this person to seek help because you need them to be healthy for your relationship with them, whatever that may be, then you may be able to convey this in a delicate, yet firm manner that will encourage them to seek help. You could also offer to go with them to counseling sessions or to sit in the waiting room for support. If his priority is to be the best father he can be, then that also includes sustaining and obtaining better health.

2.) Beatrice: I agree that schizophrenia is one of the most abstruse disorders aside from autism. It has perplexed psychologists and neurologists for years and research has yet to completely understand its origins. One of the things I have found helpful is doing as much research as I could on the disorder so that I could better understand signs and symptoms and behaviors that are indicative of psychotic behavior. It is a very sad condition as well and the people who experience it are victims themselves. Brain imaging studies have revealed that an area of the brain is activated when hallucinations or delusions are being experienced. For example, if one is hearing voices, the auditory part of the brain will activate. This confirms that people with schizophrenia do in fact experience what they say they are experiencing. It is very frustrating for both the person experiencing schizophrenia and the person watching a loved one experiencing it.

3.) Eurodreamer: I have heard many men and women ask the question you have asked. This is a hard situation, especially if you love someone. The best thing to keep in mind is that this individual does have problems that could interfere with the normal pace of your life, that is, depending on the extent of their problem. Some individuals with mental illness could use a person in their lives to help them and to support and love them. However, it is up to you to determine whether you are strong enough to deal with the situation.

Very complicating positions for one to be.

don't know how to help - SH - Nov 22nd 2008

I believe that my son's father is suffering from schizophrenia.  He has all of the telltale signs and behaviors.  However, he does not think he is sick or needs help.  He believes he is blessed with some sort of psychic power, can see ghosts, etc.  How can you get a person help who does not think he is sick? 

I am also worried about my 9 year old son spending time with him (father and i are not together), and explaining the situation to my son.  Any help you could give me would be appreciated.

Will it never end? - Beatrice - Oct 6th 2008

I am the eldist of five children, and my father, brother and one of my sisters are all schizophrenic. All three have been in and out of hospital, refused to accept that they are ill, and rarely stayed on thier meds unless forced.

There have been but a few brief periods in our lives, a year or two at best, when there has been some sense of normalcy, but then all hell breaks out one, two or all three of them become ill.

The most difficult part is they tend to lash out at those who love them and are trying so desperately to support them. In the end, they drive us away. 

My sister was released from hospital two weeks ago, after trying to have her husband arrested for "plotting" to murder her.  Since her release, she has been calling her inlaws and neighbours and telling them that her husband has sexually molested all of their children.  The poor man is at the breaking point.

More needs to be done to find a cure for this horrible, horrible disease.


Met A Girl who is Schizophrenic but highly socialable...and I want to know what it would mean to enter a relationship with her - Eurodreamer - Aug 28th 2008

i recently met a girl who i suspected was on heavy medicine due to her eyes being so shiny and lack of blinking. It was also really hard to read her emotions.

Turns out she is schizophrenic. She is one of the nicest most sociable people I have met in a long time. Here i my concern, I don't know what it would mean for me to enter a friendship or relationship with her.

She said she has been with many people and never been long term. Probably due to her illness, not sure.  

I don't know if I should speak to her about what I am feeling, am worried about her feeling presured. She has been clear she can't handle stress.

Any advice? 

....HOPE.... - - Aug 21st 2008

hi everyone,

these are mostly all sad stories but with everything we have to deal with thu out life, their is light at the end of the tunnel :). If you know any one with the symptoms listed above please get them help... with or without their consent. Early detection is the key!

I have just finished my nursing prac in a hospital for chronic schizophrenia patients and it is amazing the change of personalities when they are receiving the right medication and support. 

Don't think that just because you are getting your loved ones professional help with out their consent makes you a bad mother, husbanded or daughter ect. You could be saving them.

All the best and remember there is always light 

"Difficult" students. - JR - Mar 26th 2008

Could it be that (to paraphrase)"They're Bad, they're Bad/You know it, they're Bad"?  I have been Bad enough myself in my time (Evil Spirit, etc.).  Speaking as a Should-Have-Been-Teacher to someone who is brave enough to be an actual one - not all Badness can be pshchoanalysed away.  Voluntary intoxication and sheer delinquency cannot always be excused away.  There may be circumstances in which connection should be cut, without any sense of guilt.  This is especially the case if a failure to cut the cord may damage one's own life and family.  Maybe you should just let go, without any sense of guilt.

 Best regards,


To Help Or Not - - Mar 26th 2008

I tutor students and adults in Math and English. I have been tutoring two students who sound as if their behavioral problems are getting the better of them. I'm not a doctor, so I won't try to diagnose them.

One is a high school student who yells at and I just found out last night, actually hit his mother. I provide study guides for him and he took the guides to his teacher and told her I was "trying to teach better" which upset the teacher. I am just the after school tutor, but I feel he did this to try to make me look bad. This student was supposed to register for classes for next year and didn't bother. Now, he'll be locked out of all the classes he needs.

He is 17 and torments his family. He never bathes and pretends to be an angel in public, while in private I am finding out he has a history of violence to his family.

My other student is 22 years old and admits to drug-induced psychosis. He says that he hears voices in his head, but he can't talk about it. Yesterday, he admitted to having been hospitalized for his problems.

Both of these students have been tutored by me for quite some time. The older one is attending college and I act as support for him. The younger one is becoming disrepectful and I feel I have to leave this situation. The other one is giving me hints that he has a violent past.

I wanted to help, but my personal safety is a priority, I have a family and do not want to be involved with these students should they become violent.

I found this site by accident, but it is a great site. For anyone who is gettin hints of violence, quietly distance yourself. For anyone who is hearing voices, get the help you need before you put people who are trying to help you at risk.



Am I? - Fizzle 2 Dope - Feb 14th 2008
      I was doing research and I found this page. I had been looking for some explanation for the feelings that I have been feeling. For the past four months I have been experiencing long periods of disconnects with my emotions, delusions of persecution, and the feeling that in the near future something bad is going to happen. These feelings are truly disturbing to me and I have no explanation to give it. I fear that my delusions are hampering my life and that if they continue I may not be able to function in normal society. I have found some help in identifying the problems, and writing them out, but I feel that this is just another form of my sickness, (hyper-graphia: The uncontrolled need to write.) I quest to find some help, but the professionals in my area seam to prefer medication for me, I do not want to be on meds but I fear that this is what I need. I just want to know if these feelings of impending doom are based in reality or not.

Fizzle 2 Dope  

my daddy - - Feb 6th 2008

hi im 13 years old and my daddy has scizophrenia i hate seeing him like this and i pray in my heart every night it will some how go away but i know in my mind it will always stay he wont get help but yet he is still calling for my moms every day i still will always pray 

when my daddy picks me up from school people star at him and talk behinde my back about him i wish the would stop  it really hurts a lot i cry almost every day sit sulk and pray i wish i can see my real daddy so i can see how he will treat me   i wish i met my daddy 

i wish upon a star 

how do you get someone who is maybe schizophrenic to get help? - natalie - Dec 26th 2007
I think my mom may have some form of schizophrenia. She has a loss for reality and is excessively paranoid...She's been married twice. Her second husband all he wanted was his greencard and then he disappeared. She's always had paranoia, but I think it has increased since her second separation. She kicked me out of the apartment because she thought I was spying on her for her ex-husband. She told me I was a traitor and that she hated me because I didn't let her breath and that I reported everything to her ex. Anytime she misplaced something, or something wrong happened she either blamed me or my grandmother and she always tied in how her ex was involved. For example I broke the nob in the tub one day and she said that I did it on purpose because her ex called and told me to break it because he's jealous and he doesnt want her to take showers with other men. However, neither I nor my grandmother have any contact with her ex. He disappeared and no one really knows where he is. My mom is in her late 40s, she has worked all her life and now for the past 3 or 4 years she says she does not want to work. She says that it doesnt matter because even if she wanted to work that she knows her ex will call the agency and tell them not to hire her, because he doesnt want her to work and be happy. I think she is depressed. I tried recommending a therapist, but she says she's not crazy and that she is not going to go to a therapist because she knows her ex wants her to think she is crazy so he will call ahead and tell the therapist to tell her she is crazy. If you speak to my mom briefly she is very normal, nice woman, one would never know about her thoughts because she only says them to the I don't know what to do, my grandma has been trying his best to support her monetarily, but she really needs help.....

im not sure if i am or not. - David - Dec 9th 2007
im in the same boat as leonardo, however i only really can think of 2 personalities and one presents itself only when im alone and most of the time at night. and ive started hearing things but im not sure if its just because im paranoid, or if i really am hearing things and i have gone into these kind of depression downspirals every once in awhile. im only 16 so im just wondering if its normal to feel like this or not. also ill get these random splitting headaches that hurt real bad and thats usually when my personality/emotions change.

Am I Schitzophrenic? - Leonardo - Oct 29th 2007
At first I thought it could've been D.I.D., but I did research and I'm not sure. I feel as if i have more than one brain or personalities though it usually happens when i'm alone with no one to talk to or if there's a traumatic issue going on. I or rather we have determined that there are three of us, yet i really don't know if its all true, because it has never interfered with my social relations only when i have a problem needing to be resolved or when i'm alone. Can anyone here help me with this?

IT'S DIFFICULT - - Oct 8th 2007
First off, I want to say that everyone who has posted a comment is strong in their own sense, whether you have schizophrenia or not. Personally, I do not but I am a student studying Psychology and would one day like to become a clinical psychologist and help people with mental disorders. I will keep you all in mind and stay strong! There are people out there who want to listen!

Is my boyfriend faking it? - Michelle - Jul 8th 2007

Hello everyone! Well my boyfriend and I have been together on and off since 2001. Just recently 2004 he was arrested and did 1 year in jail. During that time in jail, he happened to have episodes and because of those episodes he's been diagnosed as a Schizophrenic. So he spent the remainder of his time in several state Mental Hospitals., taking meds.  He then came home in 2005.  From 2/2005 to 2/2006 he wasn't taking any meds.  He worked and lived a normal life. Keep in mind we have a child together. So exactly 1 year later he goes into this deep hole. He stayed mute for 4 days. He smoked cigarettes, and ate, but didn't speak or take care of his personal hygienes. So on the 5th day around 6pm he decided to leave the house , took off all his cloes and walked a few miles in a busy traffic area yelling he was a child molester. I was at work at the time, so didn't know he was gone. So the authorities picked him up, took him to the nearest ER. he spoke and told the authorities he was homeless but gave his name. (wierd) Since he was there before they have his parents number on file. I returned the call explained the mental condition of his past. so they hospital sent him to the county mental facility. He stayed there for 30 days in a Canatonic Stage. He had all types of injections. So finally he decided to speak they sent him home. He spoke to us, but wasn't really sure of what happened. He started acting wierd so I sent him back to the facility. He stayed there for 2 more weeks. Came home seemed okay. Then 2 weeks later he stopped taking his meds, I went to work he statred to drink beer, I get this call at work telling me I need to come home. Your boyfriend has been arrested. I went home explained to the police his situation. What he had done was called 911 making threats. Obviously he wasn't in his right state of mind. So off he goes for another year in Prison this time.  a year goes by. admits he has a problems. Finally taking his meds no problems. Doesn't drink anymore. So now he doesn't live a normal life, but does have monthly appointments with doctors that things, but the Qustions I have are is he really a mental patient? Why does California allow a convicted felon/mental patient  to apply and most like receive disability benefits. Now i'm not speaking for Everyone. Just my boyfriend. All the doctors and so forth only know him by a file that's been made for years. I'm the one that lives with him and knows him better than his self. I KNOW he can go to work. He does more activites/duties now then he did before he became ill.  His attitude is sometimes negative towards me and my child. I'm tired of it, but people say It'll be mean of me to seperate him from his daughter and leave him. It may look like because he's ill i'm getting out. Honestly I feel nothing is really wrong with him in that case. I feel that he's suffering from deep depression, or not being able to drink (since he was a heavy drinker). I feel my daughter and I deserve a better life. WEll this is my story...

Thanks for reading.


Isolation - [A River Aint Too Much to Love] - Apr 27th 2007

Hi to all of you out there.

I'm 27 and have been involved with my ex-boyfriend who I will call "S", over a period of 6 years, and I still love him. From the start, a couple of things really disturbed me, I can't cover them all. First there was "sexual" jealousy of a delusional nature. At first, it seemed so unlikely that I almost felt flattered and went out of my way to be patient and try to reassure him and explain things and affirm my devotion to him. But it... was constant, often if we ever had any mild disagreement about anything he would raise the subject and accuse me of all sorts of things. I can make a distinction between "normal" jealousy, which we all feel and often feel that we would be pathologised if we confessed to it - I am sympathetic to that. But what was happening is something I can only describe as delusional loops. He would later state that he knew what he was saying was untrue. But at the time, it would rage for hours. Some mild disagreement would be turned into a firestorm featuring threats as well as accusation, all kinds of verbal abuse, and including violent behaviour - including to my own person, but also of mine and other peoples' property (eg neighbours). I am a feminist and not a doormat "but I love him". I know that sounds cliched, and have managed to keep away from him for periods of time (although he would always control how and when, essentially) but I still love him as much. Which is ever so much. What I am wanting to find out is - well, I'm in need of some insight right now. I have to be decisive. The trouble is that recently it has become clear, including in relation to the DSMIV criteria, that not only does he suffer psychotic episodes and that all evidence is consistent with schizophrenia - I will be a little more specific on this shortly - but it also seems these attacks are worsening.

My trouble is that I am alone in all this and S acknowledges the need to see a doctor, however it is highly likely he will avoid doing so as long as it is humanly possible. I have concern for his wellbeing and know that all that can be done is to encourage him in this respect, and be careful so as to not make him feel pressured per se. What I need help with is where *my* head is at, and I understand that responses to this will be subjective. Basically things have intensified rapidly over the past few weeks and to a large extent, he is not conscious of distortions in his own behaviour - sometimes this means at the time but a few days later he act like the person with whom I share a loving relationship, look back and offer up critical insights and there will be dialogue. Sometimes this necessary break does not happen. The problem for me dealing with this in isolation is that what I take to be his negative symptoms - which is a total ability to absolutely cut me off instantly at will and at length, I mean a ruthless coldness that is not humane (distinctions are needed, I know, I'm trying to be concise) - *and* what comes across as psychotic, if it is not acknowledged by him as being such --- these have combined along with repetitive patterns and his self-contradictions to make me utterly unsure of where to draw the line any more between whether he actually is often simply a ***** and I should tell him where to go, or whether this is a symptom of illness and not something he has control over.

In other words - we recognise schizophrenia as a disease, an illness, that impacts upon a person, like something socially acceptable like asthma may be recognised as having an impact. So when we talk about someone having symptoms, we are not describing that person's personality, but how schizophrenia has caused certain behaviour. I can't sleep at the moment - I have many health issues of my own, in fact - because I do believe that mental illness shouldn't mean that a person is without morals or, in certain situations, that they shouldn't be accountable for their behaviour. So what I am writing here veers off from being a sort of attempt at reasoning into something much more unknown, which is: when S acts like this - do I think, well, he's like that, that's his personality, and that's awful? Or do I think, well, I can't tolerate that, but that wasn't deliberately sadistic? Both the psychosis and the shut-down are so intense, but when he is able to communicate and appears to believe what he says to be true, I don't want "he's 'crazy'" to be something I lean upon to protect myself from the truth, which is that he's a ***** and is innately selfish and just doesn't care.

I know no one has the answers but how do you love someone who can cut you off at any point in time, indefinitely; how do you love someone when you're not allowed to get angry bc they become furious, and when they're angry you have to take care of it, and you never get to relax? *Can this ever work?* *Has anyone any stories of successfully coping with the impact of this condition on a love relationship?* And obviously schizophrenia entails symptoms that in a "normal" context are absolutely unacceptable. When much unacceptable behaviour has come to point, are there any methods one can use to say, here is where I draw the line, here I choose to give up? I have just drawn and redrawn the boundaries of how far I am prepared to go and I'm starting to feel it's impossible to know anything for sure. 

Briefly, some of his other behaviours:

- associating with very dodgy people (eg a guy that would tell taxi drivers he had cancer or was sexually abused, for kicks, and leave porno round) but saying he wasn't friends with them. 

- sort of... having a bit of a self-aggrandising thing that is associated with humour and can be very funny (eg a bit of schadenfreude and gallows humour) but equally can turn into something a bit weird, where he would tell me - a sympathetic audience but not one in need of being impressed - how he sort of triumphed over some other person in some way, in a fairly specific way that would end up seeming a bit weird. But then if we ever ran/run into any such people, one could be mistaken for thinking things weren't exactly the reverse: he acts uber-deferential, again to a point where it seems excessive. He will say that he hates certain types of people and would bar us from going to any number of places or doing any number of things in an extremely kneejerk way; then if he had cut me off, those are the exact things he will seek out to do, seemingly for enjoyment.

- He usually has some new venture that he is extremely shiny eyes about, but *too* shiny eyed, ie not asking really basic "normal" questions one tends to ask as a matter of course. To put it another way, he never ever has a contingency plan, and things usually fall through in a 3 to 6 month period, lasting for a year at the very most, though that would be pushing it. But when this happens, no gradual process is clear: it's either shiny-eyed, or it's just over. In a kind of similar way he has a tendency to compulsively make suggestions for things he knows that would please me. This isn't a slight impulse, it is actually inadvertently cruel, he makes a point of targeting my vulnerabilities and dressing something up that he knows would make me feel better, except these are *never* followed through with, yet he will constantly make them, I mean several in one night. Then at some point he will be upset by something, and instead of any kind of process whereby he brings up an issue and we discuss it, he suddenly will turn on me and hatred will burn in his eyes. At this point a slow sense of horror is beginning to dawn on me as I realise the look is serious, and it literally seems that sudden; for instance, the other night, he started to talk about how we should move to the country. I recently had a notion that perhaps he tells almost everyone what he thinks they want to hear, and in any case have tried to request if he has a wish to hold it in mind and act on it, as otherwise there is this train of loss that follows in the wake of the crash and burn psychosis/cut-off. Please bear in mind these things - until about a month or two ago, I thought they were a bit pathological but did not think it was schizophrenia and I have to come to some kind of decision and I need to know if this kind of behaviour sounds familiar or whether it truly just is his personality. Because he's had me convinced for ever so long it was the latter. Other unexplained self-contradictions and inconsistencies are par for the course.

Previously i had tried to be very open to the subject of schizophrenia if it came up as I had never ruled out the possibility as such. But even though I knew a bit about it, this was mainly restricted to obvious hallucinations and I had no idea about the negative symptoms. S never volunteered anything and remained inscrutable but I picked up on a few different things. He seemed to imply that marijuana had caused him some kind of specific harm (he had had a period of heavy use during his teenage years). He also had made an odd comment about... something about him mumbling to himself on the bus and not being aware that he was doing it, once during this period. 

Almost 2 years ago S cut me off altogether - without warning and without delay. I had a relationship with another guy that lasted a year, and although I was philosophical about it, I always really missed S, as he meant the world to me. After the relationship broke up, I was finally able to get into contact with S and we started seeing each other again.I have never tried so hard at anything in my whole life, I don't think, including making a very conscious effort to stand by my convictions and not repeat earlier patterns of behaviour. He was taking anti-depressants and told me he was going to be seeing a "shrink". During this period of time, which seems so short when I say it has been 3 months (though i should add there was a short stint prior to this which ended up with him cutting me off and returning to using methamphetamine - "ice," which he had never done while we were together) it seemed there was definite improvement - the time was marred by various episodes, it has to be said, but it seemed like these could ultimately be resolved with a lot of work on my part. I have very much tried to make sure I am not someone on whom he can take for granted and overdepend on, as such, but let's face it, I am there for him. It's so hard - for a few things to annoy him to be risking the end of the world, and having to be so patient, careful and also brave and to have dignity. 

 Schizophrenia entered the picture as a certainty by way of a passing comment I made about how a sleeping medication was affecting me. I had that removed, detached feeling that one gets looking at one's arm but not feeling really present in terms of embodiment or the current time. He said that he felt like that 90% of the time. He had never made such an admission before and so gently and slowly I was able to gain a few more admissions. Wikipedia was helpful because it was really clear about different types, which enabled me to engage with him about it and for there to be some things that fit and some things that didn't fit. At that time according to Wikipedia's definition it seemed he almost certainly had disorganised schizophrenia. He admitted that while he didn't hear "voices" he could hear "murmuring". Somehow I relaxed him about discussing it, partly because to be honest with you I was excited about it, because this was *information* and there was a chance that it could be managed. I know this sounds weird but I thought this meant there could be hope.

 However that has waned with the reality of his untreated symptoms. About two and a half weeks ago he had a psychotic episode. I don't know if he knows at the time what's happening or what. He was very drunk as well; he has since admitted that basically alcohol is how he self-medicates because (according to his comments) it definitely bluntens the "come on" of symptoms and also helps him forget about it, which he deliberately does. What I am mentioning here has only been very recently admitted despite our intimacy and long-standing connection. I seem to recall there was something on Wikipedia about the alcohol as well. I thought that was going to be the lat time I'd see him, during this episode. He did and said everything he could to hurt me - I mean quite performative cruelty and baiting. For instance he deliberately urinated crassly upon the walls of the houses of two neighbours of mine, and engaged in a very odd gesture of taking plasticky rubbish out of his pocket, and, staring at me, theatrically extending his arm out and littering it upon the ground. I had no idea whether this *was* psychosis or someone being unpleasantly drunk and/or a *****. I was in bare feet and only a sundress, it was freezing, and I was forced to stand in an alley for 2 hours trying to communicate with him. He generally had his hands over his eyes and failed to respond but in a way that seemed different to how people are when they're drunk.

Eventually I had no choice but to leave and didn't know if that would be the last I would see of him, but he did end up responding to a phone message and we met up and talkeda bout it. He told me he had been seeing what he described as "red and green snakes" and that he could hear loud thumping (this is in the alley with his eyes shut), kind of like a heartbeat but far louder. And that he could remember being deliberately cruel, although a lot he couldn't remember and he said that too was somewhat deliberate. 

Basically, this is not a sob story, what I am looking for is advice. I know the bottom line is that no one can do anything if the person themselves does not want to or does not seek help. The problem is how to interpret the situtation since - for instance, he is angry at me presently because I was upset that he had stuffed me around in terms of meeting up - he will make times, and then cancel them at the last minute, and do this several times in a row. I expressed some annoyance, I can assure you very mildly. At present he considers himself a wronged party who has to dwell upon a decision as to whether I am worth speaking to. But I'm so confused as to whether this is him or whether these are typical symptoms of a pattern of behaviour associated with schizophrenia that seems to be getting more intense. I'm also discouraged by having read that medications can actually worsen the negative symptoms.

What it comes down to is whether you live with schizophrenia, or you love such a person (or perhaps just know them) - have you known of relationships which were able to endure in spite of the extreme hardships associated? And are there any kinds of things helped make this possible? Is it possible to love someone and not their schizophrenic symptoms, and to differentiate between the two? And if so, how should one go about one's business if one's schizophrenic loved one is unapologetically acting out symptoms and inflicting consequences upon oneself, and appears entirely unaware at that time that they are being anything less than reasonable? Just, I mean, what DO you do while someone acts that way beyond exiting or getting them to a psych ward? Does anyone have any tips? I would marry this person most probably if I thought that we could have a future together, and I have to say I'm not exactly the marrying type! I am sure that someone out there reading has a wealth of knowledge about this type of thing for better or for worse.

 [Please note, I realise this is long and may require editing, I apologise]

Symptoms due to illness - wants to help - Feb 26th 2007


First of all congratulations to you for accepting your condition. most people with Schizophrenia do no acknowledge that they have a problem, including my wife who has the similar thoughts, she belives she is being monitored and videotaped constantly.

That said, your thoughts are due to the illness itself, just as in case of my wife. All I would say is take your medication regularly, and try to tell yourself that what you are thinking is not realty. Risperidone and ability seem to work for my wife for 8 years and she had a relapse,because she stopped medication for 3 months.

wishing you well....

To My Mother Needs Help - Sherry - Jan 27th 2007
I understand your dilemma. My son has schizophrenia and it took years to get him diagnosed. I actually had to report him to the police for writing checks on my checkbook, and he was convicted of forgery and uttering. This was heartbreaking for me and it has caused ongoing problems for him because, even though the amount he wrote the check for was small -$30- he's still a convicted felon. The jail term was a turning point of sorts because he was placed on medication and he learned that he had to comply with the law, but it was a terrible way to have to deal with the problem. There needs to be some way to involuntarily commit people with significant mental problems without having to prove that they're a danger to anyone. There also needs to be money available to provide treatment for these folks, who could be productive members of society if their problems could be controlled.

My mother's struggle and (finally) hospitalization - My Mom was just involuntarily committed - Jan 24th 2007
She's 72, but the symptoms had been ongoing for over 10 years -- paranoid thoughts that particular family members were stealing her things, watching her, calling her, and had most of the town working for them. She filed lawsuits (one went to court but got thrown out), tried to hire scores of lawyers (all of whom eventually realized she was delusional and felt sorry for her so didn't charge her a dime), and generally harassed everyone in town (especially government clerks, bank tellers, priests, etc). Most people thought she had alzheimers and just asked her politely to leave; but she believed that the polite ones were "on her side" and willing to help her, which merely fed the delusions. There were violent occasions, but calls to social workers and police didn't work because they assumed she was just an upset older lady who was under stress (she would lie about stressors, like being in a recent accident when there had been no accident). And after those well-intended attempts to get her help, her anger and paranoia simply grew worse and finally extended to almost everyone in her life. She positively refused help, wrote reams of non-sensical volumes about her [delusions], hid her belongings, never touched gifts for fear they were "tainted", and -- when confronted at all -- could grow either violent, or "catatonic" (not in the usual sense, but more like very angry, and holding her body rigidly as if in a trance). Then my father had a heart attack last week (he's fine now), and my mother was suddenly alone for a few days. Note: A FEW DAYS. That was all it took. Had we known that, we would've sent Daddy on a weekend vacation years ago. My dad had fed her delusions often because he was scared of her hurting herself, and I think he felt she'd just get over her delusions one day so he never argued with her. So he was "safe" for her (though we've since learned that she was very abusive to him, both verbally and physically). Anyway, without him there for her, she LOST it. Her worst symptoms (extreme cursing, vile accusations, strange voices, bizarre behaviors, etc) weren't kept secret any longer but extended to everyone within earshot; and thank God she began calling the police constantly to come investigate several "break-ins". (She orchestrated these "thefts" by hiding things, and once even by having her car towed and blaming the tow truck driver for stealing her car! She may or may not have remembered hiding the things herself.) Those police were more than happy, after the third "emergency" call in one afternoon, to go with me to the Magistrate for an emergency custody order to get her some involuntary help. We almost didn't get it even with the police's testimony of her delusions, until I accidentally divulged that she was walking to the hospital in short sleeves in freezing temperatures. (The other crimes, including almost pushing an 11 year old down a flight of stairs out of paranoia, could have potentially put her in jail, but we didn't want her in jail.) I guess the potential to hurt herself was what helped us get the ECO. Once committed, there's yet another visit before the judge within a few days. This one went the best for me -- the patient does NOT like being there and is agitated, of course, but by this stage, there's some actual evidences being gathered (eg, no physical illness, a log of erratic behaviors, etc). Then finally, the drugs start. After a week of committment, there's been little change in her thought processes (eg, she still thinks we're evil), but today we noticed a marked improvement in her voice (no evil "raspy" threats -- just calm death threats). There's finally HOPE that the drugs (Seroquil among others) is going to help her at least somewhat. But we've been warned that it could take months of hospitalization because her symptoms were ongoing for so long (10+ years), and even then she may never completely delusion-free. The real kicker is that the hospital personnel all wondered why we took so long to seek help. !!! As if we hadn't done everything we could before this point to get her said help. We worked tirelessly to get her help, and yet there's great guilt that we should have done more sooner to improve her prognosis now. It is HARD to get a needy undiagnosed schizophrenic some care against his/her will. Without that abrupt change in her normal life (eg, my dad going to the hospital), I'm sure she'd still be without that help.

My Friend believe she is being Stalked - - Dec 15th 2006
My friend start saying she was being stalked by homeless people. They were showing up at her school, so she quit. She then has a Kiosk where she did portrait and sketches, she became paranoid and gave that up. She was so afraid she didn't want to go to her home. She is 34 years old and she became more childlike each day. I suggest she move back home around her family because she was living in the city without any relatives. But she been home now for 6 mos. and she said the stalking has continue because their are multistalkers and each time she see someone that look her way they are stalker her. She want go out during the day unless it absolute necessary, but she works at a job - where she has no public contact. A security job at night. She have no friends, her own age, I am more of a mother type being that I am 51 year old about 6 years younger than her mom. She can't make any decision about her life - she lives with her grandmother and she afraid these stalkers are going to steal her belonging, she carry stuff around with her, check on her storage unit non-stop. She get upset easily, thinks people are trying to manipulate her especially her family. She has trust issue. She even questions GOD, and on, on. I am getting so tired of trying to be the ear . I would love to help but I am getting depress dealing with this for the last 5 years she has been on a downward spiral.

Response - - Dec 13th 2006
Unfortunately, if she does not want to admit she has a problem and sees that it is negatively effecting you and your family, there's not much you can do. There is no cure for schizophrenia as you may know but the best thing to help the symptoms would be medication. If she does not want to get better, or denies her disorder, she will not seek this treatment. I guess your best bet would be to try and talk to her about how much this hurts you and your family. I wish you luck.

schizophrenia - shelly - Dec 4th 2006
My son had been experiencing some paranoia and some hallucinations but our family took it as being growing pains from turning 17 to 18. I can remember as far back as April of this year when there was an onset. But I kept thinking things were going to get better. It wasn't until June when things really started getting out of control. My son would not admit he had a problem, He became very agitated and very aggressive. At the time, he was 17 so I had him admitted to and Inpatient facility. It helped tremedously and he was doing very well. They placed him on medication, and he was doing good. Then we started seeing signs and symptoms all over again. The delimma was now that he is 18 and able to make his own decisions. After talking to him, and working with his aggression, he decided to go to the hospital. The doctors say that he has psychosis but I know that is a better name for schitzophrenia. It is heartbreaking. But I believe with all my heart that my son will go on to lead a life that he will be able to function in. So my response is to have faith and pray because prayer definitely heals. The Lord is definitely in the miracle business.

My mother needs help - Virginia Webb - Dec 2nd 2006
I am reading about these symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia and I recognize all of them in my mother. I no longer live at home but my Dad does and we are all extremely upset and at a complete loss for what to do. For the past five years my mother (age 58) has been growing increasingly paranoid. At first, the paranoia related to actual people and perceived events (her siblings were turning against her, someone at the mall looked at her funny and she knows that the person is sleeping with my dad, someone tried to poisen her ets.), but then it progressed to a general feeling of a "master plan". She said a mastermind was out to get her. She began carrying most of her belongings in big bags with her everywhere. She told us all that we know "the truth" even though we had no idea what she was talking about. She also accused my father of being in on it and refuses to show him any affection. The worst part is that these paranoid symptoms turned into a huge delusion - she now believes that an alien species puts "harnesses" into people's minds and controls them. These species come from "the red and blue realm" and have taken over everybody. She describes in detail how they torture people (scenes mostly taken from her abusive childhood). She talks to herself (i.e. these beings) constantly, walking around the house yelling and screaming at them. The problem is she still gets up, has a shower, makes the bed, eats etc etc. She is not putting herself or anyone else in immediate danger (except that she cannot maintain any normal relationships) and she absolutely refuses to admit anything is wrong with her and wont go to treatment. Help!! What do we do? Do we call the cops on her and lie, saying she is a danger to herself (she can be very manipulative and could probably convince someone that she is fine) - can we have a mental health crisis team come and get her?? I am at a total loss. Any suggestions anyone?

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