Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Advise on schiz son walking out doors unattended


Does anyone have any suggestions when someone is still in recovery after being the hospital…is cycling with hallucinations/delusions but constantly tries go sneak out of the front door (elopement). Different locks? Different tactics? Help?



Your son will probably progress better in the outside world. Trust me, psychiatric hospitals can be very untherapeutic places. I used to go mad in those places but found that I got better when I got out of the hospital.


I don’t think you would want to physically restrain him. Is he prone to run away or something? Maybe if you just got him to tell you where he was going every time he left it would be sufficient.


I’m not sure if this helps, but my voices used to be less prominent when I cycled esp in the forest and used to do this at least 2 times during the week.

I was also less paranoid doing this than walking and thinking people were talking about me etc. I would suggest cycling with him, but not following him as such as this just fed my paranoia when I had people walking behind me / following.


Hi Sonya,

I’m diagnosed schizoaffective and It’s been years since my last trip to the hospital, knock on wood… Here’s the thing… Is your son a danger to himself or others? I know that when I have an episode my mind goes into overdrive. I am constantly thinking about concepts and I feel as if I understand them at a level that nobody else seems to get But I still can’t help but tell you all about them. To the outsider this is annoying, but to me… It’s torture. Medications are only part of the solution to finding peace and "sanity"
Now, my senses become so acute, that the sound of a television sounds like a never-ending siren. A light can feel as if it’s so bright that when we try to explain it, we look even more crazy.

He needs time to himself to do some inner soul-searching. and I do that my best when I go for my daily walks. Something about being outdoors, by myself with no distractions gives me the peace I desperately need.

I hope this was helpful…


Thank you everyone. I really appreciate all opinions and sometimes you just don’t realize how much the smallest thing you say could be HUGE in our world. Especially in understanding. Thank you. :slight_smile:


It seems natural to me that he would want to go outside. I would even dare to call it a good sign. My main concern would be how safe is your neighborhood? Or how safe is your street? I lived in a group home in 1980 in the heart of a big city, close to downtown. That meant gangs, s*x shops, hookers, homeless people, and all the people who ran the street. I walked freely wherever I wanted to go and I was EXTREMELY psychotic and sick. Except for one incident, I never got bothered. Maybe because I never bothered anyone else. I used to get up early on Sunday mornings and go jogging down our main avenue when it was deserted. If all your son wants to do is get some fresh air and stretch his legs; AND IT’S SAFE, than why not?..Well, we did have this 17 year old girl who was a resident who went walking downtown and ended up getting picked up by the police for freaking out and trying to break some store windows. She got home and we had to hide all the knives and it ended up that all 4 counselors had to restrain her by dog-piling on her. But that was a a rare incident. But maybe go on walks with your son. After all, it’s his mind that is in trouble, not his legs. A young healthy male (or female) needs a little exercise and a little open space. I used to enjoy taking long walks with my dad around our neighborhood when I lived with him when I was 28-29. The poor guy worked all day and came home to me and I was unemployed and broke with nothing to ,do so he would take me to the arcade to play Pac-Man or go for these long walks with me. I miss him.


*This is a tough one.
I would go with him, but pay as little attention as possible to him. If you cant go, then someone else? Ask him why he isnt telling you where he`s going. I know you are worried that he might be picked up, or get lost, etc…


So far it has been good. We made a deal that if he needs to burn energy and wants to walk and clear his head to just tell someone in the house and someone will always go. He, so far, has agreed and told us every time which has helped him to clear his head. Grateful for compromises.