My mom has been acting strange for a few years with her symptoms gradually getting worse every year. She kicked every family member out of her house and lives alone now. Whenever I’m around her I notice she will mumble or giggle to herself. She has theories that ALL television shows have secret messages about the afterlife and every single thing they say on TV has a hidden meaning. She now thinks we can communicate to her with our thoughts. She is 40 years old. She will call us by different names and sometimes will yell at us saying that we’re not who we say we are. She also frequently tells us that she’s a member of the FBI or that she’s secret agent and also that she doesn’t need a job because a rich family member is going to give her money. I was reading symptoms of schizophrenia and I noticed she matched a lot of them except for a few. She has great hygiene and she dresses well. She is also a bit narcissistic and admires herself in the mirror often. She will sometimes tell us she needs to see a psychiatrist but when we get someone who will see her she will refuse to go and will scream if we insist. Do these sound like Schizophrenic symptoms?I Think My Mom Has Schizophrenia
I Think My Mom Has Schizophrenia
You have described symptoms of psychosis, which may be indicative of a psychotic disorder, such as schizophrenia. The only way to know if she has schizophrenia or any mental health disorder would be for her to undergo a mental health evaluation. Without an in-person evaluation, it’s impossible to determine an individual’s diagnosis.
Her symptoms are undoubtedly concerning. Try your best to convince her to seek mental health treatment. The ultimate goal is to convince her to voluntarily seek treatment. Otherwise, there may be little else that can be done. Forcing someone to seek treatment is very difficult and typically can only be done in emergency situations. In most cases, an individual cannot be forced into treatment unless they are a danger to themselves or to others. Short of that, an individual typically has a right to refuse treatment even if they are experiencing symptoms of psychosis.
You said that she lives alone. You want to do your best to make sure she’s safe. Check on her or send someone else, whom she trusts, to check on her. You may want to contact your local community mental health center to determine if there are services available that can assist your mother or family.
If you are worried about her immediate safety, call the authorities or your local mental health crisis team. They can go to her home and evaluate her mental health status. If she were to need hospitalization, that can be arranged by the mental health crisis team.
If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to write again. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle