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What is the best way to cope with a severely mental ill family member?

I lost my father to suicide when I was about 10 years old. My grandmother (mom's mom) moved in with my mom and my brother and I right after that. She has essentially "parked" there for life (so far, for over 2 decades), hanging on to her daughter. My grandmother never had sense enough to get her own stable house to raise my mom and two brothers in. Instead, she moved them back and forth every year to new schools because she liked to jump from apartment to apartment. She also failed at securing a stable job with a future, and as a result, was sleeping in her car at a plaza before she saw the opportunity to come live with her daughter. Ever since, we've dealt with her craziness. She has heard a "guy" voice for who knows how many decades. She's a paranoid schizo, as diagnosed a long time ago. She won't take meds or get help because the visual, audible and sensory hallucinations that she has are believed to be "real" by her. She will act like other people hear it and they do not. Her basic knowledge of science and how things work is...gone. She thinks she can hear someone "running inside of a house" on a back street, for instance. Or in an attic next door. She is filled with the most unbelievable hatred for anyone on tv or elsewhere that she doesn't like. I'm not sure that is related to her "condition"...it seems to radiate from her personality in life as a whole. Anyone who accomplishes anything in life beyond her...she hates them. I don't think she's ever had a kind word to say about anyone, but her whole life...she has done nothing. She barely worked enough to get like $500 a month in Social Security, and is now 75 years old. A pension never existed...I doubt that she ever kept a job over a few years max. Never kept a car for long, either...junked it and got another one each time it needed repairs. She seems to know that, but by bashing on others and trying to build herself up, she uses that to ignore it. So she will sit around and bash on others on tv and in life who do better than her. Any family member that stands up for the others she bashes on, she will go into the "I don't want to argue all of the time, you just want to argue all of the time" stance and get mad that nobody wants to hear her bitterness. I likewise do not believe that to be her schizophrenia. All throughout life, she has scammed and cheated probably thousands of people out of money. She skipped out on a nursing school decades ago that is still looking for her. She has stolen her own daughter's mail to try to cover up threatening lawyer's notices when her and her son stood against her own daughter that she is living with and tried to avoid paying for a vehicle. Her credit has been bad for life. She refuses to follow any type of proper laws in life and likes to do everything "her" way. She won't even open a package the right way even with a big pull tab that says "Open Here". She'll grab a knife and cut it open as if I rat chewed it open. My mother struggles with things financially, so I do live at home and help her out in whatever ways that I can. When I get married at some point, however, I will have to leave my mother. I'm quite ashamed to call this lady my grandmother most of the time. She even hates her own grandchildren and great grandchildren. She hates my brother's wife because he married her and my grandmother "doesn't believe that anyone should spend their whole life with someone". Her relationships were full of her selfishness and always failed. So at the present, dealing with someone who cries out and screams to a "guy" at night that isn't there...it's irritating trying to sleep. She's unbelievable to try to get along with, fails at any common household tasks...so it's a constant pick-up-after situation. I realize that she's old and such, so I don't want to sound like we have no compassion. We are the only two in my family who have tried to even take care of her. But she drives us up the wall on any given day and can't get the simplest little thing right. How do we "cope" with this without it affecting us? I know that one day she may have to go into a home of some type because my mother and I will have to work and eventually she won't be able to take care of herself at the rate of her deteriorating mental condition.

Asked By: sls.spec - 12/31/2012
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Iisten to me, im a schizophrenic as people call it... More
Answered By: Stupid Idiot - 1/1/2013
Additional Answers (1)
My mom passed away at 75.I think most families have at least one member who is exasperating or impossible to deal with.These are your Grandmother's twilight years.Maybe you could try asking her about the happiest times and best times of her life.As people age,they often retreat to their memories maybe you could unearth... More
Answered By: Derek - 12/31/2012
 
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