Ask A Schizophrenic


They said that she was in danger of hurting herself. She denies it. She crossed the street in the wrong place. That’s all.



My insight came gradually and really out of sheer necessity. Back when I was still trying to work, I was under stress, which increases my symptoms. I was hallucinating, both visually and auditory, plus my paranoia was horrible. All it took was one person to laugh and I would get outraged thinking they were laughing at me.

My pdoc at the time wouldn’t put me on disability. I was on an insufficient amount of Haldol. So I was stuck. I had to constantly stop what I was doing and ask myself whether what I was experiencing was real, or could be my illness. It’s really hard to figure it out for yourself, but I got better at it over time. It really interfered with my ability to hold down a job though. I had frequent callouts from not being able to handle my illness in a public place. (Finally I couldn’t handle working anymore so I changed pdocs and got put on disability).

I still have good insight. That doesn’t mean I always act in a healthy way when faced with my symptoms - but i have the support of an excellent husband and that helps immensely. Your being there for your loved one helps, even if it may not always feel like it.


Thank you so much! My son has been involuntarily committed twice now , which is the most painful thing I have ever had to do but knew it was the only thing I could do in order to protect him. He is married and very functional when on his meds. Unfortunately tho he has no insight. I hope and pray that he gains insight and will continue on his meds. Any trust I have gained with him I lost this last commitment. However we continue to see each other and I will continue to support him however I can. He will be returning home in two weeks after being hospitalized since Memorial Day. His wife is wonderful and I just pray for continued healing and insight. Thank you again and don’t be surpized if I have more questions. You are an amazing person for opening up your life to help others understand what one goes through with this illness. :purple_heart:


Thank you so much for doing this!

I was wondering about my son’s lack of remorse for things he breaks or for threats he makes towards people. He is takng a high dose of Geodon, but still has so much anger, and feels justified in destroying things or makng threats.

He used to feel worried about his aggressive impulses, but now seems to think of them as just part of who he is.

Does that sound like a result of psychosis? Depakote has helped some (in addition to the Geodon).

Thanks for any insight!


A more personal question, if you don’t mind trying to tackle it:

How do I help my brother seek employment, continue forward with one-on-one therapy?

My brother has recently “graduated” from group therapy. He has decided that his next goal is to start one-on-one therapy and begin job searching. Only, he is concerned about a coming change to his medication and how it will likely interfere with his capability to accomplish those goals, however temporary the effect might be.
So far, I have been reassuring him that he will accomplish his new goals eventually and that waiting for a medication change and feeling it out is probably not a bad plan.
In the meantime, he is growing anxious about his goals partly due to building anticipation and partly due to starting to question his capability.
To combat this, he is working on refining his resume.

Is there more I can recommend for him to do to stay positive and motivated?
Is reassuring him that some hesitation / stagnation will be okay a foolish thing to do? Or should I encourage him to strike while the iron is hot?


Thank you so much for your time and thoughtfulness and helping family members to be Of better help to our love ones. I can only hope someday my son can pay it forward in the way you have.
I have a few questions. Answer what you can. First of all my son Strongly believes that his friends have done something to him mentally and planet something I believe and he hears their voices screaming at him constantly. He is afraid that if he tells us about it or eats all his meal something bad will happen to his family. Does not want to hear that it’s from any disease or His head traumas. How do I help him to understand this or will it always be this way? He says no medicine is going to help him but he is currently on Zyprexa Depakote. Zyprexa obviously is not helping with voices but the Depakote is keeping him calm.
Also have you ever tried or has anyone ever tried any natural supplements that helped a great deal? I have been looking at Lithium Oratate, Higher doses of Plant-based omega 3. Cannabis CBD oil and trying to get him off of gluten. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thank you so much


Hi, unless he acted like this before psychosis this sounds to me like he is still actively psychotic. When in psychosis the world you live in can seem like a very aggressive and scary place and you eventually will act accordingly. When I was properly medicated and out of psychosis I felt a great deal of remorse for all of the cruel things I had said to my family. If you can I think you should make his doctor aware of his aggression as the doctor will probably see this as a sign of a need for a med change.


Thank you so much for responding. I remember a few years ago, he used to tell me that when he broke things he was feeling scared.


@wreklus Not sure where you are but we have a few services available here that help people with mental illnesses get work. One place is called Windhors. My son attended some classes there for job readiness. They actually did get him a job with a group at a hotel folding towels. The counselors went with them and supervised their work. This did not work out for my son, however, as he was in psychosis and they said he had to go on meds and he would not.

They also had a weekly dinner and a volunteer program and a social club that were $25. Maybe you have something like that in your area. Here is their website linking to the calendar. Just a thought.



I have heard that those types of behaviors in men can be due to untreated clinical depression, especially anger. Just thought I would mention that in case it helps. If Depakote is helpful, perhaps an anti-depressant might help even more?



I think it’s definitely a good plan to wait until the med change happens before actually starting a job. Those can really throw me for a loop, which in my case means I take to my bed to wait out the changes. Your brother is smart to recognize that it would be good to wait. If he strikes while the iron is hot and the med change doesn’t work out for whatever reason, it will really shake his confidence. He should be in a good place right now, proud to have graduated group. That’s an excellent accomplishment. Don’t do anything to jeopardize that.

As for finding a job, look for a good vocational rehab program. My county health services board offers this. They do groups to help with things like interviewing skills and resume writing plus they often maintain job listings to help look for a position. If your brother participates in this type of program, it can help keep him motivated until he’s past his med change and can look for a permanent job.

Hope that helps!



My best advice for the first part of your question is to talk to your son’s psychiatrist about a med change. It could just be that the Zyprexa isn’t the right med but something else would work better. Im not sure what to say about helping him understand his illness, but I’m also feeling highly paranoid today and scared to say the wrong thing. I hope someone else replies with some help with that for you.

As for natural supplements, there is nothing out there that begins to compare with regular antipsychotics, much as we all wish there was. I know everyone would prefer to take something natural, but the fact is that we with sza and sz need our meds. The best thing you can do is to encourage regular med compliance. I take melatonin for sleep, but have crashed too hard from reducing or eliminating my AP meds. Sorry that’s not what you probably wanted to hear but it’s my truth anyway.


Thank you for saying that. I wondered. I’ve seen my daughter on and off anti-psychotics and on and off vitamins (Lithium, CBD, etc), and the best she ever was, was on an AP shot.

Xyprexa never helped with the voices or delusions (2nd hospitalization). Haldol and Trileptal stopped the voices and the delusions (4th and last hospitalization). But I cannot get her agreement to continue either meds or supplements. She had a job while on meds, but has lost every one when off meds.


You are doing great by supporting him and encouraging him. There really isn’t more you can do. Just keep up the encouraging even when he feels scared of the future.


Apologies if my posts end up reading disjointed. I think my shot wore off and am having bad times right now. Haven’t gotten to unmanageable yet and my next shot is due Friday morning. May need to start getting them every 3 weeks.

Just goes to show even the best managed illness can make a comeback.


@Shmookitty, thank you for replying!

I think you are right that part of my son’s aggression comes from depression. He has tried two anti-depressants that caused him side-effects he couldn’t tolerate. Hopefully he will figure out a better combination of medication over time.


Hugs, hope you can hang in there till Friday’s shot time.


Thanks for the advice!
I will bring up the option of vocational rehabilitation and keep supporting his decision to handle this next attempt at job searching in a low-pressure way.
Super grateful for your help!!

Sorry to hear you are experiencing symptoms. I’m sure that’s concerning, if not flat-out difficult. I think your plan to bring up your symptoms and discuss more frequent regimen is reasonable.
I appreciate your input in this thread and I will definitely follow your advice.
To be honest, your responses have been very helpful and your writing is very readable. You have nothing to apologise for!


Hello my son is 23. He has not been diagnosed and he will not reach out for help. He had hallucinations 2 years ago. We as parents did not know what was happening or why at the time we were not familiar with it. He was definitely paranoid at the time. He lives with his father and I at home. He is not able to work he has been wearing the same clothes for the last 6 months he does not have any friends( he had good friend) his sister and brother are very kind to him which is wonderful. He does not drink he does not smoke pot or do any drugs we just can not get him to reach out. I have been reading the book that was recommended it’s the popular one. I have asked him to write things down and he did once which was great. He is not violent he laughs lots I ask him to share with me but he does not. He is on a good schedule sleeps at night up all day. He does drive usually once a day to go to town to DQ. He loves it. Iam not sure what my question is but if you have any thing to share on what I wrote I would appreciate it. Thank you


@Lovemom I’m not sure how you can convince him to go get help. Sometimes you might could work it into conversation that getting on meds can keep him from going to the hospital. Or that a psychiatrist can help prevent him from needing to be hospitalized. That is a real fear for many of us and we’ll do a lot to avoid it because a hospital stay can be traumatic for some people. My last stay was therapeutic but the one before was really cruddy.

As for hygiene you might buy a good scented body wash and mention that it is there for him. Leave it up to him if he will use it, but pick one you like and mention every once in a while how much you like the scent. You might work in things like how good it kills harmful bacteria- some of us really hate the idea of bacteria or germs.

For clothing, try the same thing. Get him a few tshirts that are the same and some soft pants like joggers. Keep the color the same or similar for each. That way he doesn’t feel overwhelmed with choices. Get him his own bottle of detergent and pick a nice dryer sheet. Vanilla lavender is relaxing and men often enjoy that smell. Ask him each day to wash his clothes. “Can you do wash today?” is nicer than " You stink, wash those filthy clothes".

If he really does smell and he doesn’t go for any of this you might have to tell him he smells and that his body will begin getting sick from not taking care of it. Suggest a shower schedule. Start off with once a week and then move up to twice a week after a month or two. See what he can deal with. He may enjoy the clean feeling after just one shower and keep it up himself.

If he does shower, make sure no one rushes him. One thing that really sets my illness off is to be rushed. I feel as if I am wasting water, soap, shampoo, and conditioner that could be better used by others. Anyone coming into the bathroom makes me rush and forget the order of things. It sounds silly but is very important to a sick person.

Good luck!