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Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

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Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

Old 07-03-12, 07:49 AM
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Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

I have a friend that I met over 20 years ago who is (I think) paranoid schizophrenic. She is convinced that she is being surveilled in her apartment, that the FBI is videorecording inside her apartment from the roof of a building across the street, that trains and helicopters are deliberately being diverted past her building so that she will be unable to sleep, etc. This is her third living situation in the past six months. She will move somewhere for a while, everything will be dandy, and then her paranoia reasserts itself and she hates the place and wants to move on. That's where she is now.

She has been calling me just about daily asking if I know anyone with a room to rent. I helped her move this last time (I should say we helped her, since it was with SSGT Honeylamb's truck and labor as well). I don't know of any of my friends whom I could ask to have her move in with them, and even if I did I would hesitate to because it's just going to happen again.

Yesterday afternoon, behind her back, I called her landlady and talked to her for my entire commute home (45 minutes). They have sent her a letter asking her to move out because she is driving the other tenants in the building crazy (pestering them and telling them stories about what's happening to her) and keeps calling the office with complaints about how hot the building is (she has a window unit in her apartment but hesitates to use it because of the cost).

I really feel like I have done all I can for her but I also feel terribly guilty. Her divorced parents have given up on her (not that I'm judging them, I get the feeling she has probably put them through a lot). Both her siblings are dead, one from suicide and the other from an accidental overdose. She is, as far as I can tell, all alone in the world. I have encouraged her to find a church home since she is a believer, but after coming to church with me a few times she got paranoid about the other church members there and said some pretty insulting things about them and she won't come any more. Despite my urging her, she hasn't started going anywhere else although she is in contact with some LDS missionaries.

She doesn't drive or have a car, so I take her to the grocery store and Walmart every couple of weekends. She drives SSGT Honeylamb crazy so we usually go alone. I don't want to give up on her, but I'm truly at a loss. Do I wait until she just goes completely psychotic and gets violent,then call the police? She will not discuss medication or psychiatry. She gets completely defensive and hateful if I question her delusions.

It makes me nervous to ask you guys about this and yes, I know, there will be some snarky responses, but any serious ones from people with knowledge or experience with schizophrenia would be very welcome. I will try to just get some laughs out of the snarky ones, I could use a laugh on this particular subject these days.
Old 07-03-12, 08:07 AM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

I have no experience with this, but maybe you could contact your local mental health agency. Even if she's not at the level to be committed maybe they provide some kind of help. Good luck.
Old 07-03-12, 08:20 AM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

I predict your chances of finding a solution to this here are about the same as getting helpful sex and dating tips on a Video Game forum.
Old 07-03-12, 08:30 AM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

I was going to suggest something similar to what logrus9 offered. There's a time to be the resource and there's a time to serve as a referral. She needs help from authorities who are experts in mental health. I wonder, at the very least, if they could recommend you a book or two so you can read it and get to know how to better handle your interactions with her.

In terms of church, there are certain congregations who specialize in different populations, such as recovery and/or struggling with mental illness. There may be a specific faith home available for her in your area where she would be welcome in special ways.
Old 07-03-12, 08:30 AM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

Hey just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you.

Seek medical help for her. This isn't the place to get answers.
Old 07-03-12, 08:30 AM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

Originally Posted by logrus9 View Post
I have no experience with this, but maybe you could contact your local mental health agency. Even if she's not at the level to be committed maybe they provide some kind of help. Good luck.
Yup.

I take is she's on Social Security Disability? She doesn't seem like someone who works.
Old 07-03-12, 08:34 AM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

Originally Posted by The Bus View Post
Yup.

I take is she's on Social Security Disability? She doesn't seem like someone who works.
Yes, that is correct. I just talked to someone at the local public hospital, and they told me that if she is acting bizarre I can ask the police to pick her up and take her there for evaluation. If I did, though, it would destroy whatever trust she has in me up to now, right? Maybe I should ask her landlady to do that. When we spoke yesterday, she wondered if it would do any good. The hospital probably won't keep her unless she seems likely to harm herself or somebody else. You can't be committed for pestering people, right?
Old 07-03-12, 08:36 AM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

Call the FBI and the CIA, tell them you know a Russian sleeper!
Old 07-03-12, 08:37 AM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

Originally Posted by Vibiana View Post
Yes, that is correct. I just talked to someone at the local public hospital, and they told me that if she is acting bizarre I can ask the police to pick her up and take her there for evaluation. If I did, though, it would destroy whatever trust she has in me up to now, right? Maybe I should ask her landlady to do that. When we spoke yesterday, she wondered if it would do any good. The hospital probably won't keep her unless she seems likely to harm herself or somebody else. You can't be committed for pestering people, right?
You shouldn't worry if she'll trust you or not afterwards. It's what needs to be done for her.
Old 07-03-12, 09:43 AM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

^ That's exactly it. It's about being more concerned for her well being than whether she still likes you.
Old 07-03-12, 10:00 AM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

The real question here is she unattractive-schizophrenic or like Claire Danes on Homeland schizophrenic?!
Old 07-03-12, 10:58 AM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

Originally Posted by dogmatica View Post
^ That's exactly it. It's about being more concerned for her well being than whether she still likes you.
Vibs didn't say "like", she said "trust" which is what she would need to help facilitate her seeking help without being forced.

That said, this doesn't sound like it will end well. She probably won't get the help she needs until she hurts herself or someone else. I hope it doesn't come to that. Good luck Vibs and thanks for trying to help your friend.
Old 07-03-12, 11:02 AM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

http://www.schizophrenia-help-online...izophrenic.pdf

chapter 2.

however, I suggest a tranq dart, rolling up the body in a carpet, and dumping it at the nearest ER entrance.
Old 07-03-12, 11:08 AM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

I'm gonna go ahead and say I think she is a spy in deep cover.

We had a friend of the family (come to think of it, we have had several of these nuts) who was completely off and would refuse to get help.

We knew her for years and she went from being a simple idiot to being completely nuts. We tried and tried and tried to help her. We got her a place to stay. A friend of a friend offered to help her out and let her stay in his vacation trailer while he was out of the country on business for about 6 months. We hoped she could get on her feet in that time. NO! No, she didn't do that. Instead she wasted what little money she had and didn't take care of anything. No cleaning, no paying of the water bill even! Luckily the electric was being paid by the homeowner.
Well, because this fruit wouldn't pay the water bill they turned it off, and what did this idiot nut do? She kept crapping in the toilet anyway...for months! The homeowner comes back to his place being completely trashed and stinking to high heaven. Of course there was now vermin in his trailer too.

You would think this was the last straw, but we kept trying to help her. We tried to get her to get on welfare but she wouldn't because she is "better than that". Instead she bums around off everyone. We had her committed and they kept her for about a few days then had to let her go. She's not suicidal, just a pain in the butt for anyone who knows her. She has burned so many bridges it's unreal. We finally had to cut her off. She will still call us asking to do things for her but over the past 2-3 years we really try not to help.
It's a tough situation but at some point you have to stop because it will ruin your life as well.
I would certainly call the cops on her and give that a try.
Old 07-03-12, 11:21 AM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

Hm. I have a friend like that. Though he's mellowed out lately. I've spent nights outside my office, looking at planes around the airport, being told that they're moving too fast and are UFO's or government spies.

I thought he just has character. Never thought about the possibility of paranoid schitzophrenia.
Old 07-03-12, 11:36 AM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

Originally Posted by Vibiana View Post
Yes, that is correct. I just talked to someone at the local public hospital, and they told me that if she is acting bizarre I can ask the police to pick her up and take her there for evaluation. If I did, though, it would destroy whatever trust she has in me up to now, right? Maybe I should ask her landlady to do that. When we spoke yesterday, she wondered if it would do any good. The hospital probably won't keep her unless she seems likely to harm herself or somebody else. You can't be committed for pestering people, right?
How would she know you made the call? Won't the police keep that confidential? Or could you make an anonymous call? Oh, and just tell her the landlady said she was acting bizarre. If you tell it to her enough, she'll think it was the landlady who called.

Either way, professional help is needed. You can only do so much. Good luck!
Old 07-03-12, 01:17 PM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

Adult schizophrenics who refuse to take their medication can be incredibly difficult to manage and the system has few ways of dealing with them because most states have decided it is wrong to forcefully medicate an adult who poses no immediate danger to themselves or others. The laws do vary by state and medical health professionals in the area will know the laws better than random strangers on an Internet board.

It's one of the main reasons why so many of the homeless are mentally ill people who can't support themselves in our society.
Old 07-03-12, 01:30 PM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
Adult schizophrenics who refuse to take their medication can be incredibly difficult to manage and the system has few ways of dealing with them because most states have decided it is wrong to forcefully medicate an adult who poses no immediate danger to themselves or others. The laws do vary by state and medical health professionals in the area will know the laws better than random strangers on an Internet board.

It's one of the main reasons why so many of the homeless are mentally ill people who can't support themselves in our society.
She has been homeless before. She was close to that at the time we met in 1990. I should have "sucker" tattooed on my forehead, I guess, because if it weren't for the fact that she drives SSGT Honeylamb crazy, I would take her in myself, although I know that wouldn't be good in the long run. I just hate to think of her cooped up in that apartment in triple-digit heat, going slowly insane.

She is a difficult person to be friends with, but I feel an obligation because I really think she is all alone in the world.
Old 07-03-12, 01:43 PM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

Maybe she could live with Crocker Jarman...sounds like he already is living in a looney bin...

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/other-talk/...op-bucket.html

But seriously...on my wife's side of the family there is a long history of mental illness and abuse (that someone should have fucking told me about before we were married) but if you can't get her professional help then you really can't help her at all and by all means stay out of the way of the carnage.
Old 07-03-12, 01:52 PM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

Originally Posted by d2cheer View Post
.............................................but if you can't get her professional help then you really can't help her at all and by all means stay out of the way of the carnage.
But don't stop posting updates!
Old 07-03-12, 02:10 PM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

Originally Posted by DirkUSA View Post
But don't stop posting updates!
Well, she just called again. I can't help wondering if, bonkers or not, she can still play me like a violin, because I feel even worse about the fact that it's so damned hot and she seems completely oblivious to the fact that she has a 30 day letter to vacate her apartment and all she can do is complain about how people are nasty to her and playing games with her.

The landlady told me yesterday that she was considering making an offer that if she goes to a doctor and goes on medication she could stay, but I doubt that she could legally require that. In fact, if my friend had any money to hire a lawyer I think the landlady could be sued for housing discrimination.
Old 07-03-12, 02:10 PM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

Calling the police at this point wont do any good... She isn't in immediate danger to herself or others (poor decisions or being difficult don't count). Until then, not a lot can be done. She has to fall farther before then. I know that sucks, but you cant help people who don't want it until something bad happens. Best case is that she doesn't do irreparable damage when the time comes.
Old 07-03-12, 05:35 PM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

Massive doses of pure LSD.
Old 07-03-12, 05:41 PM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

Serious question:

Why are you friends with this person?
Old 07-03-12, 06:08 PM
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Re: Schizophrenic friend won't take meds, getting in bad situation

Originally Posted by Rockmjd23 View Post
Serious question:

Why are you friends with this person?
Because she's a decent person?

I don't have any advice Vibiana, but I'm glad to know that this woman has at least one person trying to look out for her. The saddest problem with mental illness is that it is difficult to care for someone who behaves so unpleasantly.

I think about Vince Li, the man who beheaded the kid on the Greyhound bus, and how no one stepped in to help him long long before the tragedy when he was exhibiting clear signs he was suffering from issues.

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