Ann Marie wanted Dr. Phil to see exactly what was going on with her mother, so she installed cameras in her mom's home to catch her non-stop psychotic behavior.
Her mother stands alone at the kitchen table. She absently tugs an unkempt strand of hair from among the mats that cover her head. Here's a sampling of the statements she makes to no one in particular:
"Do you have the Mary Williams white microphone with the Roberts sponge, Brian Bob?"
"Bea Arthur and the Golden Girls, they were all over Michigan."
"I would imagine the Feds are going to have a field day there, Gabrielle."
"I'm someone that got hired by the Feds to take all of this down. Well, that's a ten billion dollar reward."
"Do you hear me, Janey? You're getting caught by Mt. Mary College tape recording system for what you're doing. That's right. They're putting their own tape recording system in. That's why I'm hearing Laurie."
Ann Marie explains, "Over the last six years schizophrenia has become a monster that has crippled my mom. She is currently living in my brother's apartment. She pretty much sits smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee."
To illustrate her point, Ann Marie engages her mother in a phone conversation. She starts with a warm hello, but soon says, "What are you talking about?"
"I can hear somebody with a gun through a cell phone, wherever you're at," says her mother.
"Can you ... feel it?" asks Ann Marie.
"I can feel it through the cell phone. You got that off?"
"Who are you talking to?" asks Ann Marie.
"The radio station. They mic'd everything."
"What do you mean they mic'd it?"
Her mother explains, "Well they put little mics, connected to stakes in the ground all the way to your ... wash machine, to your dryer, and I can hear them move body bags."
"That is not safe anymore," Tim says.
"She sat there and watched me sleeping last night. She said she saw people by me," Ann Marie continues. "I opened up the refrigerator. All of the food was moldy. It just reeked. She'll unplug all the appliances: the refrigerator, the freezer."
Tim says, "Her response would be, 'There's speakers in the fridge.'"
The cameras even captured their mother saying, "Isn't that right? One bastard, Brian Bob, in my refrigerator."
Once, when their mother was still living on her own, Tim drove over to see her. He arrived to find his mother had turned off the heat in the house and turned off the breakers. He found his mom sleeping a foot away from the space heater covered up with a blanket. The oven was on and open and the stove burners were on.
Ann Marie and her brother petitioned the court to have their mother hospitalized.
"The hospital kept her for about two weeks," says Ann Marie. "They put her on medication, sent her home. After my mom was feeling better, she didn't think there was anything wrong. She was in denial of any problems with her health. The medicine ran out and the illness just took over. It excelled at the speed of light."
"Well, exactly," he says. "It's like soldiers who are fighting under severe conditions ... we create an imbalance in our brain, so consequently what happens is that you become psychotic. You become overwhelmed."
Dr. Phil introduces Dr. Morteza Kahleghi, of Creative Care, who is joined by his wife, Mary. Dr. Phil says "We've been talking about what could be a very innovative intervention program for their mom. Can you talk about that a little bit?"
"Absolutely," Carol replies. "The first thing we look into is whether there are less restrictive things that can be done like powers of attorney, advanced directives that a person would on their own choose to do, that name someone to make decisions for them when they're not capable to do that. But we try, if it's at all possible, to allow somebody to keep control over their life."
Dr. Phil agrees on the importance of this aspect of the case.
"That's great," Tim says, looking at his hands in his lap. "That's awesome. And that'd be 10 tons off my chest. This is very hard for me." A grimace forming on his face contorts his words and he breaks
"It's been a long road, has it not, Tim?" says Dr. Phil.
Tim nods and through his tears says, "Yeah."
"And I want you to feel good about it and not guilty about it," says Dr. Phil. "This is something that we're going to do for your mother, and not to your mother, OK? This is a gift that family members can give to someone where they get them to where they need to be to get the help that they need to have."
"Thank you so much," says a tearful Ann Marie.
"Our goal is to bring your mom home where y'all can love and share with her. And when she gets to the point where she's got her feet on the ground and, as Carol says, she can allow some control back in her life, that she keep it as long as she's got her feet on the ground," says Dr. Phil.