Mom Denies Schizophrenia

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Hi, over the years ive noticed my mom change a lot so has my dad. Some background:(she is currently 38) When i was born my mom got really weird she bacame moody, deppressed, and way into religion. Every life event that happened was based on religion to her… When i was growing up she didnt really take care of my hygiene.. And hers too. She lived as it was a dump,garbage sitting in the trash for 2 weeks, smell of rotting food,dirty dishes all over the place,wearing weird clothing,not showering… Then when she got fired from her work… She said it was a plot and everyone there was out to get her and stage something to fire her… Few years later shes gets a computer and starts to beleive conspiracy theories (like the goverment creating tornadoes to control the population, mosquitoes injecting people with poisons, vaccines actually putting some min controll thing inside you.. ) Although I dont believe its severe now it will get worse like it is now…

She denies her being ill even if i show her symptoms of it…How can i help her i cant just leave her to go crazy and nuts… Shes my mom.

And also will i be at risk in developing whatever she has? Thanks.

A. I’m sorry to hear about your mother. She is not well. Her denying the fact that she has schizophrenia is not surprising. Some people with schizophrenia are unaware that they have the disorder. This lack of awareness is called anosognosia. Lack of awareness is not a deliberate form of denial; it is a symptom of the disorder.

I admire your desire to help your mother but this situation may be too much for you to handle. I’m concerned about the fact that her symptoms seem to be worsening and she is not receiving treatment. It’s also concerning that the house was in such disarray and nothing was done about it. You mentioned your father but did not say much about him. Is he able to assist you and your mother? Is he attempting to help her in any way?

I would recommend speaking to your father about your concerns. Advise your father to seek the assistance of mental health professionals. They can help your father to know how to handle this situation with your mother.

This is a situation that requires immediate intervention. Many communities have crisis teams trained to deal with mental health crises. Check to see if your community has a crisis team (see the white or yellow pages). If so, call and report what is happening with your mother. They can come to your home, assess your mother’s condition and provide immediate intervention.

If you believe that your mother is a danger to herself or your family, call 911 or the police. A person is dangerous to themselves when they aren’t eating, aren’t caring for themselves properly or are deliberately attempting to physically harm themselves. Emergency services can protect your mother and can protect your family. They can also ensure that she receives the proper mental health treatment. Please don’t hesitate to write again if you have additional questions. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Jun 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Mom Denies Schizophrenia. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/06/29/mom-denies-schizophrenia/