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I have no idea how to help my son - Carers UK Forum

I have no idea how to help my son

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Hi I'm hoping someone can give me some advice. My schizophrenic son is ranting at the moment saying he can hear everyone outside telling him to kill himself. I've tried distracting him and I've tried talking to him to make him understand logically that although he can hear the voices it's not really happening. All he keeps saying is I'm belittling him and how it's making him feel and I'm at a loss now as to what else to do or say. He won't speak to anyone other than me so it's no good ringing the crisis Team they don't help anyway. Plz does anyone have any suggestions ?
Hello Debra

Sorry, but all I can up with is for you to ring 999 and ask for an ambulance - he obviously needs medical help at the moment - more than you can provide on your own.

I hope that by the time you see this you will have been able to reassure him and talk him down to a calmer place.
It's best not to try to correct him or contradict him
MIND has some good words to use, and helplines for you to call too http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/helplines/
How intensely frightening and stressful for you.

Sorry if this is a useless suggestion, but here goes. Would it help if you said to him something like 'But why do what anyone else tells you to do? You're not a slave. You're a free person! You don't have to take orders from anyone telling you to kill yourself? Why should you? No one has the right to tell you to do that!'

Would it get through to him at all if you told him how desperately heartbroken YOU would be if he did what the voices are telling him? Could you say 'Darling, PLEASE don't do it - for my sake! I love you so much and I couldn't bear to lose you! Please be brave and stay here with me!'

My thought was to try and 'use' what he thinks is real, but in a way that stops him harming himself or worse.

I do hope he will calm soon.

Kindest wishes, Jenny (sorry to be helpless....)
PS - I agree it probably won't work to tell him he's only imagining those voices and they aren't real. My mother had a form of paranoid schizophrenia, and was convinced people were spying on her and following her around and trying to poison her. She truly believed it. It was impossible to argue her out of it, as she then thought WE were part of 'the plot against her'......
Thanks everyone for your help. I'll look at those Mrs A thank you. I said exactly that to him jenny but he just exploded in anger as he said I was missing the point. He has now told me that all he wanted was reassuring that it wasn't happening but when I've said that in the past he accused me of making out he is imagining it all so I can't win ! He does seem calmer now and less paranoid so I'm thankful for a little respite. This caring lark is exhausting !
First, very glad he's a bit calmer now, and some of your stress and fear can subside.

I do wonder though what he himself means 'the point' of telling you about the voices and what they are saying? is it simply 'that' he hears voices that he wants you to 'affirm', whether or not they are 'real'?

Would it help at all if you said something like: 'I know you hear voices, and it's upsetting and frightening for you that you do, but, whether or not the voices are real, always cling on to the fact that they have NO RIGHT to tell you what to do, however insistent they may be.'

That sort of maybe acknowledges that yes, he has voices in his head, but also moves on to the essential reminder that he is an autonomous human being who does not need to do what they tell him - even if he can't stop them, even if they are 'only' in his head, even if they are just part of a 'different part of his mind' (the 'disociated' part) that whatever the origin of those voices, they have only the power over him that he grants them, and they have no right to control his actions, however loud they are...

But, oh, what a frightening time for you. What do his counsellors (and yours?) advise is the best way to react in such situations?

I hope you have a more peaceful evening now, and perhaps even some 'mother son together time' (in a nice way for a change!)

Wishing you and him all the best possible.....Jenny
I tried telling him yesterday that they are only voices and have no power over him I think I maybe i could have worded it better as that infuriated him although he did apologise later . I'm afraid his care co ordinator doesn't give me much advice for these situations other than to leave if I feel threatened. I have spent a lovely afternoon with him today in the sunshine which annoyed my husband who wanted me to spend time with him but now we are back home my son's paranoia is back I wish this mental illness would give us all a break
Debra, I'm wondering whether the most useful suggestions would come from parents in a similar situation, or partners of those with schizophrenia. Are there no forums specially for this? I'm not saying that it's always the same for everyone, but surely there should be some 'tried and tested' approaches that you could benefit from, knowing that other parents have been in such similar situations as you?

I'm glad he can 'come back to reality' when his 'bouts' are burnt out, and that he can apologise afterwards. I do think that is essential. It must be very reassuring to you that he is not perpetually 'locked' in to that paranoid 'alternative reality' for him.

Glad you had a good day with him. To be treasured. :)
Debra, I know it may sound very different from everything you were advised, but I have to tell you that, because I know exactly what you are in... I don't want to discuss here what some say, that if doctors can't really find any physical brain fault for a mental illness, they label it as schizophrenia etc.. I just want to tell you that I know someone who heard those voices, was sectioned, had "episodes" and so.. After long years of this hell, she is now free. When they spoke to the person who first checked then cleared her of ss ("soul squatters"), they said that actually most of such cases are to sort out in days/weeks. The only thing is to finally understand that these are only spiritual matters..
(Then psychological support of everyone around after :)
I don't think I can give the details here. But I know how much that mother, after all those adventures with social services (matrix, isn't it?), was crying for years and praying to Jesus for answer and help... I know that she was desperately looking for all ideas, for any, finally effective advice.. She said she would be the most grateful and happiest if anyone told her that solution and gave the right contact earlier. Debra, I know that her child is completely back herself now. (Without any "beings" attached.) So I decided to drop you this information to consider..
With my blessings to your family.