Hello, I am new to this site. Please bear with me as I tread lightly as I have read some of the posts and feel a bit anxious about what I need to talk about. I am the wife of someone with Bipolar/Panic Attack syndrome, the mother of a first born son who was an absolute pleasure to raise who fell ill with Paranoid Schizophrenia a few days before his 19th birthday. His Neuropsychopharmacologist said it was the worst case he had ever seen. Having done my homework while waiting for my son's first appointment with him, I was so relieved to hear the Doctor say "But, he does still have insight". It makes all the difference in the world. My husband also has insight. With a lot of extremely difficult work and literally years of finding the appropriate resources and my son's own ability for his need for medication compliance, he eventually went back to work part time, lives on his own and manages his disease very well. I literally became an expert on finding resources and ended up getting a job as an advocate for people with disabilities. The job was a perfect fit for me. I've written many articles, had my own blog and read so many books to prepare me, my family and to support others I can't even begin to count them all. I practically have a Black Belt in applying Alanon and Adult Children of Alcoholics 12 steps and rules of detachment due to my family of origin and all the issues that were born of growing up in an alcoholic home. I did not however find the rules of detachment useful when dealing with my son's schizophrenia. I even wrote about it in my blog. I intend to share the NAMI Metro newsletter article here when I'm ready. So I am really uncomfortable with using them now. My second born son, the one we thought could go on to have as normal a life as possible ended up in a snowmobile accident in 2013 and has never been the same since. He is currently homeless. We have never given him anything he did not earn. He had his own successful Construction Company prior to his accident and we own rental property that he has worked on for us in return for being paid over the years. The last time he did work for us, new roofs, 8 screen door and entry door installations and quite a few other upgrades to our garage, my husband paid him by buying him a used car. We knew the people he had been living with 5 hours south of us had had their fill and he would be homeless. We also knew in order to find steady work he needed a vehicle. He lost everything when his symptoms reared their ugly little heads at the age of 33 and his wife (who had been seeing her ex boyfriend while being married to my son) decided to get a divorce. He lost his business, his house, and eventually his truck and all his tools. I am not one to advocate walking away from a spouse when they become ill unless they become dangerous. When they were married, no one had more influence to get him help than she did. She didn't even try. Don't know if I'll ever be able to forgive her for that. Now as we zoom back to the present, I am miffed. Totally miffed because in all my years of working with the mentally ill I have never seen anyone with worse Anosognosia than my son. His oppositional and defiant behavior is classic and his paranoia toward us is as unfounded as it could possibly get. His memory has taken a big hit as well. He blames everyone else for his current status when of course nothing else could be further from the truth. He exemplifies agitation, aggression, apathy toward working (this was a person who loved to work), lack of motivation, depression, anxiety, delusions of persecution, and lives in a state of disease created victimhood. So, for the first time in my life I am faced with the worst state of powerlessness I have ever felt. And I really do not assign co-dependency as the cause for one second. To me, it is purely the outcome of a faulty system of care that refuses to change their definition of mental illness to include the common symptom Anosognosia (the biggest barrier to treatment) and give parents the right to insert themselves as the primary caregiver of someone who has to rely on someone else testifying to the fact that their son, daughter, etc, is sick and needs help. What we are forced to do as parents in the hope that our children 'might' end up in the right hands of someone who has the authority to commit to services is outrageous and cruel. We literally have to abandon them to a system that quite frankly doesn't give a crap if they live or die. A system that doesn't step in until they commit a crime or actually hear for themselves threats of doing so. A system that has a suicide body count so deplorable that they are the criminals if you ask me. Durable Power of Attorney is not the answer. Guardianship is not the answer. Why? Because we are not going to live forever and then what? Waiting until the disease has progressed to this point can and often does mean that the individual will never reach the level of stabilization they would have reached if early intervention was allowed based on the observations of parents and others who know that someone is sick and needs help. Last summer, my son visited us and ended up staying for a couple of months. He kept asking me to drive him back down to what he feels is 'home' and just drop him off. He no longer wanted the car because someone was using it to spy on him through it's GPS system. My response was always, "You are not a prisoner, your vehicle is ready any time you want to leave". Things got pretty heated one evening with him yelling at me to take him home and my husband just caved. He got him in the car and drove him and dropped him off with nothing but the summer clothes on his back. I recently mailed him his winter clothes, and toiletries in a back pack. I try to keep the lines of communication open. There are days when he texts me 20 times a day. And other days when I don't know if he is alive or not. He will not accept any help from us. Even getting him to accept his own clothing was a battle I fought hard to win. I am heart broken, exhausted and terrified every single day and there is not enough praying to drive these feelings away. My feelings are a normal mother's reaction to a situation so dire and drenched in a reality of circumstances that are parked in my heart like a concrete brick of heaviness and grief. The one thing that keeps looming toward me with a a vengeance is that God gave us all a free will. Because of Anosognosia my son's free will is on a path of self destruction that will not be steered by anyone but him. Anosognosia is the foe, the robber of healthy minds and hearts, the thief in the night that stole my son. And it's about time the mental health system makes it a priority and gives parents and other loved ones the right to tackle it before it's too late.