Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Arachnoid Cyst?

My son has an arachnoid cyst in the left temporal fossa. I have read account after account
that it can cause psychosis in some people. He has seen 2 neurologists who say that it’s
not causing his psychosis, and that many people who have these cysts live normal lives
without any symptoms. Are they obtuse? Are they afraid? Are they lazy?

I called Cleveland Clinic to make an appointment for him with a Neurologist/Psychiatrist, but
they need an MRI of his brain that is no more than 30 days old. Son is in psychiatric hospital now,
and the psychiatrist is on board with him getting the MRI and it will probably be done this week.
Then we can go to CC.

I don’t know how they can say that something the size of an egg that is filling up the space
where his brain should be, in an area that controls behavior and inhibition, and that causes
hallucinations in OTHER people who have them is not causing this in him!

I had given in to the “fact” that he has a mental illness. Now that he is in the hospital and
not responding to medication and is as delusional as ever after more than a week, I’m just
not buying it anymore.

Does anyone here have a family member with a cyst in the brain who is experiencing

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Yes, and doctors respond as if I am totally mistaken and misinformed when I bring it up.

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We live in a podunk town. They haven’t seen things like this here. My son fell and hit his head
a few years ago and symptoms of psychosis started within the week. Our family doctor ordered
an MRI and the cyst was found.

I’m going to have a hard time trying to get him on board to get well. There’s nothing wrong
with him, as far as he is concerned. He heard the two neurologists say the cyst is inconsequential,
so that’s good enough for him. We’re all delusional. He’s firmly planted in reality, reptilian aliens
and all! We’re all just too stupid and blind to see them.

Sorry, but I’m pretty angry right now. Just got off the phone with him. He called to scream at
me some more. Frankly, I’m tired of the abuse. If I wanted to be treated this way, I would
have stayed married to his dad. I know he can’t help it. He has nowhere else to go. Nobody
else would put up with him.

Anyway, I think I’m doing the right thing, pursuing this. I’ll drag his ass to Dr. Phil if I have to,
much as I loathe the idea. He wants to be famous. If it takes going on tv to get him the right
kind of help, I guess I’ll have to suck it up and do it.

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I’d be very concerned & very mad too.

While we haven’t had an opportunity to take advantage of it yet, we live near a teaching hospital that does a lot of research. They have people there who specialize in schizophrenia & another department that specializes in traumatic brain injuries.

If he started having psychosis, suddenly, a week after a fall, I’d be looking into traumatic brain injury in addition to the cyst - especially if he’s not responding to medication.

My son had a couple bad falls as a small child. Most were just from being a kid, but I did put him in the middle of a bed & he rolled off onto the floor & hit his head while I wasn’t looking. I was just feet away & it happened really quickly, but I’ll carry the guilt of that and whether or not it caused or contributed to his psychosis with me until the day I die.

As far as the suddenness goes, my son “suddenly” stopped sleeping & had his first psychotic break at 15, but there were isolated things I can pick out that happened years before. If you didn’t have any of that, make sure the doctors know.

And, if they don’t seem to listen, keep telling them. Tell the nurses, tell the case manager, tell the social worker, just keep on like you’re a broken record. I seem to get the best results when I get a case manager who listens to me - then, the doctor listens to them.

Please let us know what happens with the cyst & with your son.

Edit: I had to go read a little on the subject & found this case report. You’ve probably read it, but thought I’d add the link in case you’re not an OCD Googler like me:


Thanks. I saw that article. I’ve read many. I stayed late at work on Friday and printed a bunch
of them and made a folder.

His diagnosis is actually traumatic brain injury with psychosis. He was being cute and walked down
the porch steps on his hands. I watched him do it. I told him, “Don’t go down those steps! You’ll
break your neck!” He got to the sidewalk, lost his strength and fell right on the top of his head and
he DID break his neck. It was a small fracture of his C7 vertebrae. He didn’t have to wear a brace
or anything. It wasn’t serious. The doctor also said he had a mild concussion. Within a week,
everyone new he encountered was a reptilian alien. He never mentioned anything like that before.
Perfectly average kid. Very kind and helpful. Now he says that helping people is for
suckers. He’s mean. He sucks up all the air in the room. Wants to have conversations, but
won’t let anyone get a word in edgewise. It’s maddening and exhausting.

I’m not letting up. I’m going to keep going and going and going. I think this psychiatrist who is
treating him in the hospital is concerned about it, so there’s that. He was in two other hospitals
and they completely blew me off. I finally feel like I may be getting somewhere. At least he’s
ordered the MRI.

I’ll let you know how things progress.

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Go with your gut instinct and keep researching…we have to be an advocate for our children, especially our children as they are the closest to our heart. And chances are, you are right…no one knows your son better than you. Good Luck and I hope everything works out for him and you.

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The doctor wasn’t as onboard with doing the MRI as I thought he was. He was just
placating me to my face. They held a meeting and since the report from the MRI
that he had in 2013 said “benign” (all arachnoid cysts are benign), they decided not
to do it.

He’s still in the hospital and not anywhere near ready to come home. They are
giving him lithium and it is doing NOTHING. They added Seroquel, and it quieted him
down, but it did nothing to make the delusions or anger subside. He just said he felt
paralyzed. He’s refusing it now.

There was a civil commitment hearing on Thursday. The judge asked me if I had
anything I wanted to tell her. I thought I’d flub it up, but I did pretty well. I told her
about the cyst and their refusal to do the MRI because it was “benign,” and that
all arachnoid cysts are benign. That doesn’t mean they’re asymptomatic. The judge’s
reaction was, well, I’m gonna say she was kinda pissed. She said she couldn’t order the
doctor to do the MRI, and I asked her if she could strongly suggest it. She asked
the social worker why and the social worker told her about the meeting and that
the dr didn’t think it was necessary. The judge was not pleased. Very not pleased.
We all agreed that he was not ready to be released. We also discussed guardianship.
The hearing ended.

The social worker and I were standing in the hall talking, and the judge came over
to tell her to tell the dr that he might have to come in and explain to her why he
didn’t want to do the MRI. I gave the social worker 4 case studies that a dr in
Spain sent to me about patients who returned to normal after cyst removal. SPAIN!
I emailed about 6 different dr’s… 5 in the USA, and the only one who responded to me
is in Spain!!!

Anyway, he had the MRI at 6 pm today. Now we can move forward to the next step.
I’ll keep you posted!

Good for you for getting the judge on your side!

Thanks! I didn’t have high hopes going in.

Even if it’s benign, it could still have either shifted or taken on more fluid when your son fell & hit his head - and, that could put pressure on something it shouldn’t.

Logic would say that they should take a look, and it’s great that they have an earlier MRI to compare it to.

At least the judge had some common sense.

This is all very interesting. My son fell off the top of a swing set when he was 7. He was knocked out with a concussion. His schizophrenia came at age 21. I never even considered that they could be related. He is 30 now and won’t have anything to do with us. I really wish he would let us help him.

Has he had an MRI of his brain? If not, is there any way you could talk him into getting one?
My son is still of the mind that his cyst makes him special. He saw a show about a medium
who had a cyst or brain tumor that made her “psychic” and he truly believes he is psychic. He thinks he can read minds, and his “readings” are always so far off. According to him, he always knows what I’m thinking. It’s really annoying to have someone telling you all the time that they know what you’re thinking when you’re not thinking anything at all! My resting bitch face is pretty bitchy these days, so I imagine people think I’m constantly pissed off when I’m really not. LOL!

My son won’t even take a vitamin let alone have a MRI. He doesn’t think anything is wrong with him. He says we are the sick ones.

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This is very interesting because my son had an MRI done back in 2011 when he first came down with symptoms and the doctor said “possible arachnoid cyst” but said it was not causing his symptoms. I have often wondered if we should repeat the MRI since he had gotten much worse about 2 years ago but he would not cooperate. He also had a MRSA cellulitis near his brain in high school too. He also took a lot of very powerful techno club drugs as a young adult. I also have an uncle who had schizophrenia. At this point, it is what it is, but once in a while I wonder if there is something treatable in his brain or if he fried his brain on drugs or which came first chicken/egg.

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They ALL say it’s not the cause of the symptoms. I’m so disgusted. The medication helps only slightly. He has symptoms that are not mental illness too, yet they still won’t do anything about it.

My mom also has an arachnoid cyst and psychosis. On top of that she has a pseudo tumor which also puts pressure on her brain. Her psychosis has just presented itself this year and has rapidly increased. I find it hard to believe that a cyst on the brain can not have any mental effects.

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Hi, new to this forum, my son had a bad fall at the local skate park, he had a MRI which discovered a left temporal lobe cyst, shortly after he had his first episode. The neuro surgeon is convinced that the cyst has nothing to do with the phycosis. This was over 2 years ago and he’s now on a cto from his last (6th) admission. He self medicated with cannabis which is preventing him from recovering. A hopeless situation but I do believe that the cyst is the underlying problem.

My family member with arachnoid cyst is responding really well to medication and wrap-around treatment. So, I now believe the doctor who told me the cyst has nothing to do with the psychosis, but that doesn’t mean it’s the same case for everyone.

Sorry to hear about your son,
I too have an arachnoid cyst and a history of severe mental illness but managed to get better and no longer take any medication, work part time 2 jobs and actually enjoy my life with my girlfriend and look forward to the future. If you’d like to see how I did it my short essay is interesting I think

Also I’ve also done some videos on my channel explaining why psychiatry is fraud.

My son was born with Dandy Walker, which is a cyst like formation that sits in the cerebellum. We discovered it after he had a MRI when he was 17. He has had psychosis starting at age 17.
We think it is from the Dandy Walker. I’ve tried researching this Dandy Walker/ psychosis and there is very little information. Interesting that you asked this question.