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I Need Help



New member
Jan 7, 2009
Well, actually my step-father does.

About one and a half years ago my step-father of eleven years left my mom. He had no explanation. He just left. Being the wonderful wife that my mother is, she followed him demanding answers. He accused her of trying to send him away. He accused me and my step-sister of helping her. He was hundreds of miles away and he accused my mom of taking pictures of him. But finally, after a year of "working things out", my parents reunited very far from where we lived. Everything seemed fine but he wasn't. A couple of months later, an hour before my grandfather (mom's dad) passed away my step-dad stormed out of the hospital. Later, we found out it was because he believed some family members were making fun of him. There have been many other occasions where my step-dad has acted completely irrationally over something that has just not happened. But these occasions were rare and my mom still managed to hold our family together.

I am a Junior in college so I rarely spend time with my parents. They live seven hours away from my school. On Thanksgiving, I returned home. I have come to realize that my family is being torn apart. My step-dad has not been professionally diagnosed but I believe he may have Paranoid Schizophrenia. When I came home, he accused me of having let people borrow the car he bought for me. I kind of just brushed it off but the random accusations kept coming. I found out that the rest of my family lived around his anger and accusations. My younger step-siblings cannot use the internet or phone in from of him because they are scared they will anger him. One night, at about 3 a.m. he woke my sister up to ask if she had been recording him earlier in the day with her phone. She was actually texting. My mom is scared to go out with him because he often confronts strangers with accusations. It was on Thanksgiving day when I discovered it. I was looking for Christmas decorations in our bathroom closet, and I discovered a Gun (which I have secretly replaced with a toy one) and plenty of bullets. I was absolutely horrified. I am still horrified. My step-dad was such a nice and caring and funny man. Now I can't look him in the eyes.

I came back home for Christmas break determined to do something. It was obvious that he had some sort of mental illness but I have never known anyone with any kind of mental illness. I began to observe him. I noticed his lips moving sometimes as he looked down and shook his head. He gets up at least 8 times a night and walks around the house. When my sister and I try to talk, he paces in the doorway. However, he is not always like this. Some days he is as jolly as can be. Those are the saddest days because I miss him.

So after my observations, I talked to my mom about it and we called up the local Mental Health facility. They told us it could be several things and for them to find out, my step-father has to schedule an appointment for assessment. This is a huge problem. My step-father believes he is healthy. He gets angry when we tell him he needs to go to the doctor. He accuses us of many things, including trying to get money out of him. He laughs when we talk about his strange behavior. Our whole family has gotten involved but he doesn't listen. Now I am stuck. I know there is a way to force him to go if he's a danger to himself or others. But who draws that line? Also, when they do an assessment, do they just ask questions? He will not admit to us of things we know he has done so I know he won't be honest. I just have so many questions and I am looking for any advice.

I haven't never even met anyone with a mental illness but I can't just sit here and watch my family fall apart anymore.

What should I do??


Sep 22, 2008
Maybe there's nothing that you can do at this point.He may well end up in hospital at some point in the future if his condition deteriorates.


Hello and Welcome

Does he eat and sleep properly

If he's not eating , he's a danger to himself
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