29 Year Old Schizophrenic Man Seeks Grant To Avert Homelessness For Self And Mom
by Julian Glenn Coatley
(Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
I am a 29-year-old male who has had a diagnosis of schizophrenia and mild mental retardation since the age of 18. I have never been married.
My mother and I are very close as I have always lived with her except for visiting with my dad on occasion who lives in another state.
I am the only child to my mother. I have a brother on my father's side. I am a very smart young man who believes in treating others the way that I want to be treated. I am a Christian and I try my hardest to live my life by God's high standards.
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by disintegration of thought processes and of emotional responsiveness. It most commonly manifests as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, disorganized speech and thinking.
Mild mental retardation is a form of developmental disability and intellectual handicap, which refers to the state where intellectual development is weak or slower than those of the same age group.
It is assessed by two factors. The first being an IQ score of 50-70. The second being lack of potential to meet social standards.
Sometimes I take my frustrations, a symptom of the disorder, out on my mother. I feel that others however are causing me to take these frustrations out on her. When I am asked how that they are doing such, I really cannot explain.
At eighteen, one day while riding on a train, I told my mother that people were after me. This was real, but my mother explained that there was no one after me, but there was.
Another time, I felt that people were plotting against me and I remember crying about it. My wonderful mother took me into her arms and just held onto me, with tears filling her eyes.
My mother took me to a mental health facility to have me speak to a psychiatrist who spoke with me first and then my mother. The things that I told her that were happening, really were, yet she wanted me to be seen anyway.
After the visits to this psychiatrist, it was stated that I be transported to the Georgia Regional Mental Hospital for diagnosis. For some reason a sheriff took me there. I remember my mother upset and crying. I stayed in this particular hospital for nearly one month.
The doctors there told my mother that I had a psychosis and referred me to the Grady Health System, which diagnosed me with having paranoid schizophrenia.
I was later diagnosed as having mild mental retardation as well, as early school records were received to assist with this diagnosis. The roller coaster ride of emotional and mental hardships became great.
The disorder evolved to the point of my mother having to stop working as I would wander out of the house and walk around, sometimes in the street, with the doors open, while she was at work.
We are in search of a day program that would allow mom to work, once she finds work, so that we can have more income than just my Supplemental Security check of $674 per month.
I was once in a day program until the criteria changed from accepting those with a dual diagnosis to having one diagnosis. I then had no day program at all.
I pace a lot and it is hard for my mother to get me into a day program for that reason as well. Different medications have been tried to help with the pacing but nothing has worked as of yet.
My mother thought of getting me into an assisted living facility, but the ones that had no violations were too expensive for us. We are extremely close and truly desire to remain together.
My mom and I have been on a roller coaster ride, dealing with my disorders. I have had outbursts on my mom but she has been right there by my side. She promised me that she would stick with me as long as she lived in this system and then onto the next system, in God's new world, were as stated in the bible, would be no more illness.
My mother has cried, I have cried after the outbursts that I have had towards my mother. I apologized to her over and over.
I have been in and out of Georgia Regional and Grady Hospitals. But it has been a long time since any hospitalizations. I have taken this medication and that medication.
People stare at me a lot to the point where I get angry and shout out or the other party shouts out. My mother tells me that I have certain looks on my face that people do not understand.
I get teased a lot. It is hard out there. Arguments began, but there is my mother speaking for me, trying to protect me. Sometimes tears are in her eyes as she has tried to explain my disorder. Some understand; others do not.
My mother has never turned her back on me because she could not take it any longer. She is still there, fighting and coping with this disorder.
Once at Grady Hospital, a group of about forty psychiatrists took my mother into a room and she stated that they commended her for being 200% supportive of me.
She is now and has always been right here, still holding up for me through all the hardships of this serious disorder.
When my mother had to stop working to care for me, we came to have just the one income of $674 per month. It became hard to keep housing, as we did not have enough income to pay the rent and the utilities as well as other things needed.
We resorted to rooming houses, which always turned out to be big headaches. We turned to weekly hotels, which were not affordable as the month was longer than the money. We became homeless the rest of the month.
We have no real home. The Task Force for the Homeless in Atlanta states that living in a hotel is considered as being homeless.
We at one time moved to subsidized housing where we were mistreated. Many of the families with mental illness were mistreated there. This was a program that offered temporary housing for homeless families with mental illness.
Mom began working and we were able to find other housing, as I was in the day program at that time. This was before she had to stop working to care for me.
My mother has tried to find odd jobs to do where she could take me along, but finds nothing. My mother has posted on certain websites to barter, where she asks for housing in exchange for doing odd jobs but as to date have found nothing.
My mom always posts advertisements, seeking a way to help us to secure housing, income and different agencies for day programs. This poor woman really tries. We are still living in a hotel until the money runs out. Will someone please help us?
My mother is constantly trying to earn money doing jobs that she can take me with her, but has had no success. Mother tries hard to find work at home, when we are in the hotels, but all that she finds are scams.
It is truly hard and critical for us out here. I am looking for housing grants so that we can secure regular housing. We are in desperate need of a place to live that we can afford.
I am in critical need of a day program so that if my mother finds work, she will be able to work.
I would like to have grant money to start a shelter for families that have adult members that are mentally ill.
When my mom searched for a shelter for us, every place stated that they had family shelter for moms with young children only.
They stated that because of my age, there was nothing to put us together as a family. But we are a family in need also, with my mother being indigent.
Julian Glenn Coatley