January 05, 2009,
P.T. asks from Woodstock, GA on January 04, 2009
Mother-in Law Has a Mental Illness, Need Suggestions!!!
My mother-in law has schizophrenia and it's been controlled for many years. In the last nine months her conditions has gotten worse. I need advice on what to do. My husband is frustrated, he has no support or help from his siblings. She's lived with us for nine years and is a great help to our family. Our two son's adore her. She is seeing a doctor who is trying different medications, but nothing is totally helping as of yet. The disease is scary. It comes with paranoia, mood swings, depression and talking and seeing people that are not there. She has no insurance and we pay for everything out of pocket. We are looking for state funded solutions, possibly a home or support group or hospital until she gets better. She is a permenant resident(green card) not a citizen, not sure what she can even qualify for. I just need to be pointed in the right direction for help. We love her, but we have two boys that are starting to be scared of their grandma. We'd love any advice you can offer.
F.T. answers from Athens on January 05, 2009
Hi P., I work as a director of a Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Program at a local Community Service Board in Athens. I have worked for the state Mental Health System for about 13 years and am very familiar with mental illness and schizophrenia. Is your mother currently receiving services from a state CORE provider? If so, she should be seen as a client under the Fee for Service option, which covers folks who do not have insurance (as long as you have legal residency). There is a local Community Service Board in each county in Georgia with program for adults with severe and persistent mental illness, which schizophrenia is categorized as. I would suggest contacting your local CSB (if you are in Cobb County, this would be the Cobb/Douglas Community Service Board) for services to help cover the cost. They also have access to other state funded resources, such as hospitalization if needed and possibly residential services. Just for you to know, residential services such as this have been cut drastically over the years, so it is very hard to access these types of services. Also, for a hospitalization if you are uninsured, it will most certainly mean a state hospital, and there are quality issues with those, and not often that helpful for the long run. They will also only take someone if they are homocidal or suicidal. If you have a Crisis Stabilization program in your area (often run by a CSB), they may take your mom for several days to try to get her on a more stable medication regimen. You are doing such a wonderful thing by helping to take care of your mother-in-law, and schizophrenia is such a horrible disease. But, as you know, with the right medication, the symptoms can be controlled. Best of luck to you, your mother in law and your family. F.
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P.W. answers from Atlanta on January 05, 2009
Find your local NAMI Chapter to help you. (National Alliance on Mental Illness). The Georgia Advocacy Office can also assist with information. Push for services. Call your local Representatives, Senators at State and Federal level. You will be surprised how much help they can bring for you.
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R.M. answers from Atlanta on January 05, 2009
You can try Classic Community Support in Stone Mountain. They are a residential provider with an array of services and supports. You can reach them at ###-###-#### and if they can't help I'm sure they can direct you in the right direction. Good luck!
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M.H. answers from Atlanta on January 05, 2009
Mental problems are scary and I don't know a lot about schizophrenia. I do know some things about parents living with you and dealing with irrational behavior and I do know a little history about the disease.
Niacin was used at the turn of the 20th century in the mental institutions in the southern United States as a test to see if schizophrenia could be cured. It worked well with so many patients that many institutions shut completely down. The medical community now uses chemical pharmaceuticals to manage it with some success. If the doctors have not tried it, it is simply a food supplement and couldn't hurt. I know this sounds simplistic but why not try it. (And, of course, it might not work because she's already taking meds.I know there are a LOT of variables) If you decide to try it, make sure you get it from a health food store that sells pharmaceutical grade supplements to insure good quality.
God bless you for your continued sacrifice!
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J.S. answers from Atlanta on January 05, 2009
I can only imagine how difficult this is. These multi-factoral diseases are treatable, but they require so much to manage while treating. When I say treatable, I believe, and there is much, much science to back my belief, that the root cause is treatable thus healing the person rather than medicating the symptoms. Any medication should be aimed at getting to the root (although you definatley need the medication to treat the symptoms until you make progress). My sister has used homeopathy in conjunction with her medication and has made astounding progress. She also did lots of study in the biochemical piece.
A few things i might suggest:
1) There is a book called Gut and Psychology Syndrome that would be very useful for you. By Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD. Search Amazon, if you have trouble search amazon.uk.
2) The genetic based medical protocol we used as part of treatment with my son who is recovered from Asbergers (once you start researching the roots, you will understand why I make this correlation) was by a doctor named Amy Yasko. You can find info about her at www.holistichealth.com. This starts with genetic testing and goes from there. My son (who had already done much work in the area of homeopathy, nutrition, osteopathy, supplementation and the DAN! protocol) turned around in 2 weeks on the first step here. I know this was key for us, but also know that healing is a building process that takes the layers of effort.
3) There may be a couple docs to lead you. Our doctor (who we work via phone and lab results) is in California. She is Dr. Rachel West (www.drrachelwest.com). Our homeopath (which I feel has been key for us) is also in CA (email me if you would like her number - fabulous!), and is trained in classical homeopathy. There is also someone who may be able to help (but not sure) here - the center is called Progressive Medical. They advertise very similar to our treatment philosophy for other multifactorals like fibromyalgia, but I don't know much about them, perhaps you could check it out.
it will take diligence, but between prayer, nutrition, in-depth medical treatment of many areas, and homeopathy - she can be well. Many prayers going for you and she, J.
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S.H. answers from Atlanta on January 05, 2009
First of all, God bless you for giving her a home filled with people who love her and I'm sure that is helping her more than anything else that can be done. That said, her doctor should be made aware that the meds he has her on are not working, and if he does not help her more pretty soon, find another doctor. Not all doctors are equal to one another; she may just need a new one. Also, the doctor and his staff should be able to give you recommendations as to where to go and who to call for more help. Be up front with the siblings and ask them outright for help with this, at least financial help, if you think they can afford it. If not and you and your husband are grandma's only family able to help her, talk to the Department of Family Services. If you are citizens of USA and she is your dependent, you may be able to get her help that way.
K.D. answers from Atlanta on January 05, 2009
I'm not sure what you could do...I'm sorry for your struggle & will pray for you.
I saw you do professional organization? Can you please tell me more about what you do...& pricing.
E.M. answers from Atlanta on January 04, 2009
Where is your mother in law from? May I suggest you have a family mmeting so the other siblings realize the seroius of the problem both physically and economics....And that you guys need help emotionaly, economical and finding a place for granma until she is okay again