Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Assault/and smoking - son

My schizoaffective son has been smoking pot. Now when I refuse to give him money he gets physical with me. He is now in jail for violating his probation by assaulting me a second time and now he has another charge for the same thing.

Before going to jail.
He lives in transitional housing and refuses to smoke outside on porch. He smokes
in his room. The manager will suspend him if he does it again. He doesn’t seem to care.

What would you do if you were in my shoes???

I want to help him but I may not be as lucky the next time he gets physical.

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All I can speak from is my personal experience. The only time my son either refused to comply with regulations or got physical with me was when he was unstable and his illness was very active. It happened again a couple of times when he was on the wrong medications.

I tolerated my own son’s outbursts because I didn’t see the courts as caring about my sons safety or mental health. I knew that he was not well and was not completely in charge of his own actions. I knew before my son got sick he was very loving, kind and gentle. I tried to hold on to that image and it was very hard to do.

My son was also using pot and other off the street medications when he could get his hands on them. The drugs also made his recovery very rocky and take longer.

I went to probate court and got full guardianship of my son and also of course applied for Social Security disability for him (he could not maintain any job) and I was named his representative payee.

None of this was easy and he was extremely angry at me most of the time. He was also still very ill and unstable all the while too.

Once he started getting on better medications and he began living with me full time and I made it clear that I had just a few rules. He had to smoke outside and cigarette expenses were limited (1 pack a day) He had been chain smoking up until then. He also had to take his medicine every day on time, (I had to give it to him) and he couldn’t go anywhere without me knowing exactly where he was and what he was up to.

It took a long while and getting my son on the right drug to see real significant improvements. That was about 10 years ago. My son still lives with me and still can’t hold a job, but he is an excellent room mate and he is back to his kind, caring and loving self and he no longer hears or sees things that aren’t there anymore. He handles his own medications and appointments. He helps with shopping and cooking and all household duties. He prefers to be alone or to do things with me but he has hobbies and interests and for all intents and purposes is a very happy man. You have to use his standards and not ours. I as his mom am just beyond overjoyed to know he has been clean and sober and pot free for 10 years and has a stable mind. We live in harmony and peace and have fun along the way.

Through out his recovery I tried various things, him doing some kind of work, him living elsewhere (even like a group home) and no matter what we tried he would devolve and become unstable and extremely stressed out.

My son was diagnosed with disorganized schizophrenia. He is also on the autism spectrum (but that was never formally diagnosed) and he has an unspecified seizure disorder which is controlled with medication.
If I was not in the picture and my son had his own money back again, he would find pot again and smoke it every day no matter the outcome. He has a credit card but always checks with me before using it.I think the only thing keeping him away from the pot all this time is because he is sane again and he loves me and he knows how disappointed I would be. That kind of response can only happen with stability.

The thing that helped me most with understanding my son’s illness was the free class I took from NAMI called family to family. It really changed my outlook and my perspective about my son’s illness, treatment and my role in his life going forward. I hope sharing my experiences and thoughts on my experiences are helpful. I wish you and your son the best.

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