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Wednesday, April 22, 2009 kfuschino, Community Member, asks

Q: Need help with Step daughter diagnosed with Bi-polar paranoid schizo, no insurance, smokes pot

My step daughter was diagnosed with Bi-polar paranoid schizophrenia almost a year ago, she is 24 yrs old and has been on Risperidone since the diagnosis. She also likes to dabble in street drugs her drug of choice is pot. This past weekend she had another breakdown lost all reality, won't eat or sleep. Tried to get her help thru the county but she doesn't have insurance. How do I get her help with no insurance, her Dad and I are barely surviving on our income and the SD only can handle a part timme job that she may have lost this week due to this episode. We need help but no one will help us because we don't have money and she refuses to get clean no one will touch her.

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Answers (5)
Christina Bruni, Health Guide
4/23/09 9:40pm

Hello kfuschino,

 

This may not be what you want to hear and I'm not sure exactly if I have the term right, however, you may want to have her declared a "ward of the state" where legally she is declared unfit to care for herself.

 

Also, a lot of states have ACT teams, or Assertive Community Treatment teams where people are forced to take medication.  However, as you have suspected, her use of marijuana (pot) could very well be causing the SZ symptoms.

 

I would investigate the legal avenues you have.  As well, because she is an adult, she may have to hit rock bottom before she decides to clean up her act.  The marijuana use is only making her SZ worse, as you well know.

 

It is within your right to tell her she has to find her own apartment, that she can't do drugs if she lives with you.  You'll be afraid she'll wind up on the streets, but that is the risk because you have no control over her behavior, you can't make her change, and letting her smoke while she lives under your roof is enabling her behavior.

 

I can understand if you'd rather give her love than tough love, however, what I see here is that she needs immediate treatment, and if the state decrees she's unfit to care for herself, maybe treatment can be found through legal means.

 

Respectfully,

Christina

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gymnast101, Community Member
4/24/09 7:39pm

o wow im very sorry but if u really want to be a good parent u will step up and startin her out. let her talk to u about your problems with the skizo. and STEP UP TO THE PLATE!

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sunfire, Community Member
4/27/09 9:46pm

FrownShe sounds as though she has relapsed. If you can get her involuntarily put into the hospital ask the doc to get her on meds that can make her thinking more clear such as clozaril I am not an expert on this matter however, it sounds as though she is a threat to herself because she is not EATING this may help her dad and you be able to get her some help. If she will not take her meds there are shots that she can get once a month they can be court ordered (at least I have heard of this) and if she don't get them the law can pick her up and send take her to the hospital.CLOZARIL sounds like the best Idea that I can think of although it has its bad points cause people on that med has to have blood tests called Complete blood counts but after a year these tests are only required once a month. God bless you and good luck

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bkangel61, Community Member
4/28/09 6:20am

hey kfuschino

i had wrote this long answer for you and lost it. so i going to try to shorten it i have to go to work. i have been about where you are. anyway the drinking and pot smoking i think is a self med thing for some of these kids im not saying its right and it prob doesnt help but i honestly think it is part of it. what i finially had to do after he isolated his self pretty much and after finially thinking of talking to a friend that is a behavior spec. i went to court and got guardianship this was after along battle of trying to get him hosptalized which we did once and did not help i was not able to get anything else done. the answer i got was to put him out. well im sorry im am this young man's mother couldnt do it anyway after i got the guardianship i was able to make dr app. and was even able to get him on ssi and he now has insurance he is now on med and is going to try for his own place. dont know if its going to work but we are going to try. it has not been easy and is still not easy i have had to give him his med every night for over a yr now. we are just now starting on a shot hoping its going to work, i have controll over his money and will not help him get his own place without him agreeing to get the shot every two weeks. i hope something i said helps you good luck!!

bkangel

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tiredmom, Community Member
5/10/10 11:28pm

So sorry to hear about your stepdaughters condition. I have a son who was recently diagnosed with paranoia schizophrenia and it takes its toll on all close family members, so my advice to you is to not put your daughter out and to continue to seek help, call NAMI call Washington, I sat on the phone literally day after day because I was not getting any answers. We also did not have any insurance, so I called hospitals and found out that if you think the person is in danger you can take them to any emergency room and they have to evaluate the person. Then call phsyc in. I did it three consecutive times because the doctors would say patient privacy act. Until finally the third day without any sleep and all four of my other children took him back to the same hospital and said keep him or keep me, all five of us were in tears, so they finally kept him. They put him on a 72hr hold, and I visited him everyday and talked to him even though he was not responding, he heard me and thank god my son trusts me. He is doing ok, he also talks about not taking his meds, he also once in a while tries weed and believe it or not he does not like the feeling he gets from weed. I do not yell at him, or give ultimatimes, because he is not thinking clearly, I do give him choices and sit with him and see what is on his mind in a kind and positive manner. I know I wrote a lot but this is how I have to get by everyday because it is a challenge to convinve my son that today I will not love him any less than the day before. Keep on reaching for help it will come. God Bless you and your family 

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By kfuschino, Community Member— Last Modified: 10/26/11, First Published: 04/22/09