There were some tiny odd things in high school, that just didn’t ring right in hindsight. But the following are the things on the journey to realization.
Before scz took over, he was quite social, smart, and happy.
When we actually noticed a change was his third year of college, age 20. He stopped participating in sports that fall and in the spring he called to say his friends were upset with him for not wanting to spend time with them anymore.
Fourth year, age 21, he left his suite mates since freshman year and moved into the “art” dorm with a student he had never met.
We just thought he was finding himself.
He started wearing a t-shirt that said “Shy Insecure Awkward” He had always been the opposite.
Odd jobs post graduation, always working though.
He called from grad school saying he found himself unable to speak at times. He wanted to see a psychologist because he believed he had autism. His older brother has autism, Asperger’s from birth. Younger son had never shown a single sign of autism. He didn’t complete the year’s work though he stayed there not doing anything. Came home, stayed for 4 days and found a busboy job and a place to live a couple of hours away.
Began calling me frequently to say people didn’t like him - this was a big theme. Over and over.
His kidneys failed and he needed a transplant. When I went to move him home, he had done some damage to his apartment walls. The state of his apartment kitchen was interesting. Not horribly bad, but not as he had been raised. We realized he smoked and somewhere along the line he had started smoking marijuana. I was surprised, that wasn’t like him. Not being naive, that just wasn’t like him.
Once we got him home he slept nearly constantly.
The night after his transplant surgery, age 27 ( 7 years after he stopped spending time with his friends-pretty much the average time for voices to show up) he said people were arguing outside his hospital room.
About 3 months later he accused me of talking when I was not.
Sometimes in the following years when we would meet him for holidays and lunches, he would have garbled speech and he would be frustrated when asked to repeat himself.
He drove home one day to tell us he was worried because everyone in the town he lived wanted to kill him. We asked if his car or home had been vandalized? No. Just everyone calling him names and it just kept becoming more so.