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Topic : 11/23 Schizophrenia

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Created on : Friday, November 18, 2005, 03:44:32 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

Imagine hearing voices that don’t really exist, thinking lasers are shooting through your walls or believing that people are coming into your home through electrical outlets. For people with schizophrenia, these types of delusions and paranoia are part of daily life. Mary sees angels and demons and has even believed her husband was a demon in disguise. Then, Ann Marie and Tim would give anything to help their mother. She talks emphatically to people who aren’t there and speaks nonsense to her own children. Watch her erratic behavior captured on camera and find out whether her case is beyond treatment. Plus, two sisters, Melanie and Rachel, want to know if their minds could be ticking time bombs. Talk about the show here.

 

Find out what happened on the show.

 

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November 23, 2005, 7:59 am CST

11/23 Schizophrenia

Oh my goodness!  I'm so glad you are doing a show on this!  My mother just passed away on the 9th of October.  It has been terribly hard!  She was a schizophrenic AND a drug addict.  I have been living with terrible guilt and shame for the way I treated her before she died.  I had NO patience for her....because I did not understand her illness and how it had progressed over the last few years.  It was not until after she died that I began to do research on this disease.  It saddens me that it took her death for me to finally learn about it.  If I would have known more BEFORE it happened I believe I would have been a better daughter to her.  There is ALOT more to this story but I do not need to go in to that right now....just wanted to thank you for doing this show.  I hope that there is at least one child of a scizophrenic out there that learns something vital about their parent's illness so that they will not have to be where I am today...wrapped up in guilt and shame.  
 
November 23, 2005, 8:06 am CST

Amazing Mary

WOW!  Mary, you are AMAZING!   You carry on with your day-to-day life, despite your illness.  That in itself,  is a major VICTORY!  You keep hangin' in there and God Bless You!!
 
November 23, 2005, 8:14 am CST

For Tim from the show

Dear Tim, 

My heart went out to you when I saw how sad and overwhelmed you were on today's show.  I know the stress and weight you feel.  My son's father was diagnosed about 6 yrs ago with a form of bipolar, but his illness has many of the same elements as schizophrenia.  At his worst, he was extremely paranoid and delusional, and made a nearly successful suicide attempt when my son was barely 3 yrs old.  I was the person who came home and found him.   

  

At the time, there seemed to be no way to get help, my son's father was actually seeing a mental health professional and still deteriorating rapidly.  Every single day was unpredictable and highly stressful.  It was the worst time of my life, I felt totally alone, scared, sad, and helpless.  After the suicide attempt, he was hospitalized and I can remember sitting on the floor, shortly after he was gone, and thinking I'd never been lower before in my entire life -- wondering if I could even pick myself up off the floor and go on. 

  

But I did, and things are different now.  My son's father got the help he needed and is largely able to function on his own, with some help.  We no longer live together, which is healthier for everyone involved.  I've been able to get my son's and my life back on track and we are thriving.  My son spends lots of time with his dad and things are pretty good.   

  

When you're in the thick of it with someone who is so ill, you can't see the forest for the trees.  You let everything for yourself fall by the wayside because you are so consumed with day-to-day existence.  Just managing that person and getting through each day.  I could feel the weight of that burden crushing down on you, right through the TV screen.  Now that Dr. Phil is getting help for your mother, I hope you will take some time to take care of yourself and do things to create a positive, healthy life for yourself.  You deserve it!   

  

I pray for healing not only for your mother, but for you and your sister. 

 
November 23, 2005, 8:28 am CST

TO the BRAVE people who were on the show...

I am a 32 year old mother of a bipolar daughter who will be 15 next week. 

  

She has been hospitalized 4 separate times and in and out of intensive therapy programs. I understand the children of the mother who is ill. I sit by everyday hoping my daughter will be alive tomorrow.  

  

To the woman who is battling this illness, thank you for being so brave and battling the demons to be ont hat show, I know how how that must have been for you and I want to thank you from my heart for being able to come on and talk about your illness. We need people like you to stand up for mental illness, so that the myth's and stigma's attatched to it will diminish. 

  

I get Dr. Phil 2 different times so will watch again this afternoon to see the children of the mother and grandmother with scizophrenia. I missed that part of the show and am glad I get it in the AM and PM.  I am sure I will have more to post. 

  

Thank you again. 

  

Maybe healing can begin now for countless people because of your bravery, 

  

Tammy 

Mother of a 15 year old intelligent beautiful child who has bipolar, takes Lamictal and risperdal 

 
November 23, 2005, 9:04 am CST

Help for those who don't have the illness

I feel there are many people who have mental illnesses and don't know it.  I for one have one and am proud to have it.  I have schizophrenia and been diagonsed since 2001.  Many people look down on anyone that is different then them, especially when they have a illness.  Having a mental illness just makes a person different than everyone else, and its not a bad thing.  Its hard to have a mental illness and deal with it.  But, life goes on, you just learn to try and deal with it.  I know I have learned to deal with it.  If you  have a mental illness, turn to your family for help.  The probably don't know how to help at first but they love you and will learn how to help.  There are many places out there today to help those with menatal illnesses deal with them.  The more people that know about your illness the better you will feel.  Because you will have some one to talk too about your problems.  I for one, have found that many people with mental illnesses don't have no one to talk to, and many people that do not have the mental illnesses never have been around any one with a mental illness are willing to be around you and help you.  I am divorced and hated it at first.  When my husband found out that I had a mental illness he ran the other way.  Little did i know when we got divorced that I was pregnant.  I know have a child, a illness and was lost.  But then out of the "clear blue sky" I found a great man.  This man has never been around people with mental illnesses, but has been there for me when I needed him to be.  He treats my daughter like she is his, has been learning and researching on my illness.  He is no doctor, but he helps me decifer what is real and what is not real. Its very hard, but he does it.  Since we have been together I have had a hard time, "seeing things that are not there" even being around him and talking to things that are not there.  He understands that I cannot control it and is still there.  MY ADVICE FOR ANY ONE WITH A ILLNESS TO TALK TO SOMEONE , ANY ONE WITHOUT THE ILLNESS GET INFORMATION ON THE ILLNESS AND HELP SOMEONE DEAL WITH IT. DON'T RUN AWAY JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE DIFFERENT. 

 
November 23, 2005, 9:09 am CST

SCHIZO-AFFECTIVE DISORDER

I have a 27 year-old son whose diagnosis is Schizo-Affective Disorder.  I don't know that there is much, if any, difference.  I am thankful that Dr. Phil has addressed this terrible brain disease.  There are issues, too numerous to imagine, that come with this disease.  Our son has been "different" since he was seven years old.  After being diagnosed with ADD, Bipolar Disorder, and others, the final diagnosis was this.  Fortunately, he is (and has been for 5 years) managing well with the help of the drug, Seroquel.  His symptoms are many of those you heard on the show.  One of the things he has done is to accept his voices as "friends".  He also writes poetry and plays music.  He is extremely bright and extremely sweet. 

  

By being unkempt and talking to himself, he brings a lot of unwanted attention.  His room is a pigsty and he keeps his body the same way.  He does shower but you cannot tell it.  His teeth have literally rotted out of his head.  He now has a mouth full of abscessed teeth (24) and will have to have them all pulled.  Medicaid and Medicare do NOT cover dental.  He has no self-esteem.  Even the police have harrassed him because he is "suspicious" looking.  It is so painful for us, his family, to see people stare and make fun of him.  I cannot imagine what he feels himself. 

  

Because of his lack of judgment, he has had numerous legal problems.  He is the sweetest, most compassionate person you could know but yet has been labeled as a convicted felon.  It is my understanding that the prisons are full of mentally impaired persons, simply because of the lack of treatment available to them.  We have clawed and screamed our way through this for almost 20 years trying to get help for him.   Ironically, it was through his prison time that helped us.  He was finally seen as someone who had a severe mental illness and received the proper medication.  He was kept under constant supervision in the medical facility of the prison.  It was also through them that he finally received Social Security disability benefits.    

  

People who have never been through this have NO IDEA of the mental and financial drain it has on the family.   And even though he is currently managing, we are acutely aware that at any time, things can change.  I would love to see Dr. Phil address this topic more than just this one show.  The things I have described above are very brief.  There is so much more that needs to be said. 

 
November 23, 2005, 9:27 am CST

Hard on the Family

Quote From: jonseymom

Oh my goodness!  I'm so glad you are doing a show on this!  My mother just passed away on the 9th of October.  It has been terribly hard!  She was a schizophrenic AND a drug addict.  I have been living with terrible guilt and shame for the way I treated her before she died.  I had NO patience for her....because I did not understand her illness and how it had progressed over the last few years.  It was not until after she died that I began to do research on this disease.  It saddens me that it took her death for me to finally learn about it.  If I would have known more BEFORE it happened I believe I would have been a better daughter to her.  There is ALOT more to this story but I do not need to go in to that right now....just wanted to thank you for doing this show.  I hope that there is at least one child of a scizophrenic out there that learns something vital about their parent's illness so that they will not have to be where I am today...wrapped up in guilt and shame.  
Please try not to be so hard on yourself.  I am the parent of a schizophrenic young man.  Dealing with this brain disease is the hardest thing a family can endure.  I was fortunate to have a little background in mental health and I knew where to turn.  His dad and his brothers had a very hard time coming to terms with this until we joined NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill).  I'm sure you have a chapter near you.  From experience, I can tell you that, even though your mother has passed, NAMI will still be a valuable resource.  You do not have to be a member to attend.  Please talk to someone; it will help.  Good luck.
 
November 23, 2005, 9:37 am CST

You are my Heros

My sister suffers from this terrible illness and I have intimate knowledge of the pain that todays guests live with.  I watched Celeste go from a beautiful, vivacious, fun loving young mother to a frightened, disconnected and sometimes suicidal being.  I was powerless to help her.   

  

Celeste has lived with this disease for nearly 20 years............emphasis on lived.  There are times - just 2 years ago when I thought the voices would drive her to end her life.  Thankfully, she won the battle again. 

  

Celeste has overcome great trials with this disease and today is healthy & working outside the home and enjoying life.   Her worst bouts with the illness come from an inbalance of meds, or the Dr. changing her meds.  She has never stopped taking the meds on her own. 

  

Mark (Celeste's husband) and I are ever watchful for signs that she is getting sick.  Mark is now able to catch it before it gets out of hand. 

  

I love Celeste more that I can say and I would do ANYTHING to have this burden lifted from her.  I don't know anyone who has more courage than Celeste because the demons she faces during her psychosis ARE REAL.  The pain and the horror are real and she fights them over and over again.  Each time she wins she knows the demons may come back......but she puts it behind her and lives her life.  She even manages to have a sense of humor about her illness.  She amazes me every day by just living.  I am so proud of her. 

  

To the family members-  it is important to look past the illness and see the person held captive by the illness.  Do not let the illness mask the person inside that body.  Take the initiative and get them treatment even if they don't want it.  Never forget the person you love needs you. 

  

Those of you who have this illness ---please know that you are not alone.  You are true heros that must face unimaginable horrors.  We love you for your courage and for just being you.  We do not see your demons be we know that your battles are hard won.  You are important to us,  you make the world a better place by bing in it.  Please don't ever stop fighting because we need you in our life. 

With love and prayers to all. 

Karen 

 
November 23, 2005, 9:37 am CST

My Brother needs help

My Mom basically believes everyone has a psycotic disorder but herself, and because of this she drives everyone crazy.  My oldest brother is 38 and living at home becuase he doesn't function socially well enough to hold a job.  My Mom says he is a skitzophrenic, I say she drove him insane.  For example, She says most of us had colic and that all babies tend to cry unconsolably.  Then she baby sat my first daughter when she was 3 months old.  My daughter who never cried unless hungry, screamed the whole time.    What did my Mom do? She held her upright  away from her body and paced around  with this stupid blank expression and then told me "she has colic".  Funny, because she never had "colic" again, and I never asked my mom to baby sit again.  She always pushed us so ahrd to fit in because she wanted us to be normal.   My brother doesnt like to dance but she made him go to dances where he felt estranged and awkward.   Everything we did was "shame on you" "innapropriate" "embarassing", etc.  AS a result, my siblings all experiences social anxiety and never really "fit in" the way my mom wanted them too.  She can't understand that there are different kinds of people and you make finds who are similar to you.   She won't let my 19 year old brother go away to college because she says he won't fit in and isn't socially mature enough.  He would be if she would back off!!!  If I hadn't flipped out and moved out when I was 17 I hate to think where I would be today.   My Mom is scared of everything.  Even now if I drive with her and a stop sign appears in the distance she will scream :"STOP!" and slam her hands on the dash board.  She says we all have depression and OCD.  Last Thanksgiving when we were all home my sister put a pan of sweet potatoes on the table and my Mom ran in and moved it two inches from where its as been, because she said it was better.   My Brother Mark is living at home and hasn't slept in years, since he moved in.  Of course he's acting psycotic! I wish I had the money to buy him a house in the country side!!  he was her first baby, and thats why he's so bad.  I don't know what I can do to help.  My Mom won't listen to me, she says I just say these things because I may be developing skitzophrenia!  My Brothers and Sisters agree but wont say anything because they dont want to hurt her feelings.  They will never stand up to her.  I am so sad and frustrated and I feel so helpless...
 
November 23, 2005, 9:38 am CST

Well Said

Quote From: selarroc

Dear Tim, 

My heart went out to you when I saw how sad and overwhelmed you were on today's show.  I know the stress and weight you feel.  My son's father was diagnosed about 6 yrs ago with a form of bipolar, but his illness has many of the same elements as schizophrenia.  At his worst, he was extremely paranoid and delusional, and made a nearly successful suicide attempt when my son was barely 3 yrs old.  I was the person who came home and found him.   

  

At the time, there seemed to be no way to get help, my son's father was actually seeing a mental health professional and still deteriorating rapidly.  Every single day was unpredictable and highly stressful.  It was the worst time of my life, I felt totally alone, scared, sad, and helpless.  After the suicide attempt, he was hospitalized and I can remember sitting on the floor, shortly after he was gone, and thinking I'd never been lower before in my entire life -- wondering if I could even pick myself up off the floor and go on. 

  

But I did, and things are different now.  My son's father got the help he needed and is largely able to function on his own, with some help.  We no longer live together, which is healthier for everyone involved.  I've been able to get my son's and my life back on track and we are thriving.  My son spends lots of time with his dad and things are pretty good.   

  

When you're in the thick of it with someone who is so ill, you can't see the forest for the trees.  You let everything for yourself fall by the wayside because you are so consumed with day-to-day existence.  Just managing that person and getting through each day.  I could feel the weight of that burden crushing down on you, right through the TV screen.  Now that Dr. Phil is getting help for your mother, I hope you will take some time to take care of yourself and do things to create a positive, healthy life for yourself.  You deserve it!   

  

I pray for healing not only for your mother, but for you and your sister. 

Your comments are well stated.   I have an adult son who has a brain disease, as well.   With the symptoms being so similar, it is hard sometimes to differentiate what is what.  But in the end, they are all the same!!  Being in the thick of it, as you said, is the worst.  It is so hard to know the right thing to do.  My son attempted suicide so many times, I was afraid to leave him even to go to work.  Eventually, I had to cut my hours and then finally quit altogether.  The financial strain is huge, but is nothing compared to the mental strain felt by the families.  I hope that Dr. Phil will also help Tim and his sister.   Attending NAMI meetings (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) helped our family tremendously.   Not only do they provide support, they provide resources.  It's helpful talking to others who have similar experiences and concerns.  Even though everything is going well for us right now, too, we know that things can change at any given time. You sound like a wonderful person.  I wish you all the best.
 
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