Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Best Christmas Gift...Have Hope!

I want to start by saying never give up hope! My youngest son who is 25 has schizophrenia. He has struggled with mental health issues since he was a young child. He has one older brother who basically ignores him and does not include him in his life. His older brother is 30 with a young family and lives 6 hours from us. My son who has schizophrenia lives with us.

A week before Christmas my oldest son sent me a text saying let “A” know he is more than welcome to come for Christmas. I was shocked, but thrilled. I showed the text to my youngest son and he said I’ll be there. It was a long drive and we all stayed 3 nights with my oldest son and his family. My oldest son told my youngest he could use his son’s room to sleep in and when he needs a break from being with people.

My heart was filled with joy. They have been at holiday events together before, but this is the first time my younger son was explicitly invited and included. Best Christmas gift I could have ever received.

Here is the back story. A year ago my son with schizophrenia was unmedicated and to complicate matters he also has anosognosia (no awareness he is ill). He was so paranoid he would not leave the house. He had no friends, no life except the one in his head. He had fired his therapy team a year prior and deteriorated over several months to the point of an isolated existence lost in delusions. Then last Spring he lost it and pushed me. I called the police requested crisis intervention trained officer and he was taken to the hospital. He has been on medications since May 2019. His delusions are gone, he has friends and gets out nearly daily. He just applied for a part time job doing inventory and stock. He is actively involved in narcotics anonymous which gives him daily group therapy, structure, goals and peer support. He used marijuana heavily in his young adult years and hard core drugs here and there when unmedicated, but still well enough to leave the house.

So we have dealt with paranoia, destruction, threats, violence, drugs, arrests, isolation, living walking on egg shells…anything you would hope your child would never do, he has done. I am here to tell you…have hope, you never know what the future will bring. We are enjoying every day of stability and life as a family. We know it could end at any point, but while we have it we treasure the present.

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Thank you so much for sharing the gift of your positive story, Elsa. It was something I really needed to hear today.

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How beautiful to hear. I am so happy for you and your family. And for your son to be doing so well, what a gift. Embrace each day.
Happy New Year to you and your family.

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Thank you for your story @Elsa . I appreciate your post and am glad for the happy holiday your family just enjoyed. Hope was almost all gone for me when an arrest, compassionate judge, 5th forced hospitalization, good doctor at the hospital, and court ordered medication got my daughter onto a medicine that worked in Dec 2018. Her recovery and new normal seemed like a miracle at the time, and it continues to get better as she has stayed on the medicine. Most delusions/hallucinations and paranoia are still gone.

You are so right, if I’d given up hope, she would probably still be lost in her own crazy world. Hope drives us onward toward possible solutions and opportunities.

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Elsa, your story gave my chills. The relief of a loved one ( sibling )showing some care and interest in the sz sibling is huge to us as parents. My daughter who is 5 yr older then my sz son ( 23) had been very hard on him in the past before his diagnosis and I thought I would never have her support or understanding in this very lonley and scary parental journey… BUT … I just signed up for a workshop that NAMI is giving on Jan 11th and she asked if she could go with me ! There is hope… it not always on our timeline but it does come as long as we dont give up, stay strong and keep close.

Its so nice to hear your son is doing so well and you are a family again.

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Great news Elsa!
Our 30 year old daughter has schzophrenia-affective disorder (latest diagnosis). We to, as parents, have been through the ringer with her disease. Last Thanksgiving, we found out that she is pregnant. When asked who the father was, she told us “some homeless guy”. She was unmedicated before Thanksgiving and involuntarily held in the hospital for suicidal ideation for 5 days. Then she was given a 90 day treatment plan including counseling and medication.
She immediately told us that she wanted to kill the baby(fetus). She scheduled an abortion. Then she decided to have the baby. We as her parents will more than likely raise this baby! I am 67 my wife is 64.
The good news is that her older brother, with his wife and 3 kids, seems to be finally communicating with our daughter. Our daughter finally has a medication plan going and seems to be stabilized compared to where she was. Yes, with her disease, our life has changed forever, I have developed a heart condition, my wife Has a deep depression. Yet through it all you grasp for the light in the darkness. Our son and daughter communicating with each other is a light in this ongoing darkness.

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Congrats. Same story here my grandson was also doing heavy drugs. He is now on Clozapine and living life. He has a fulltime job. If I ask him about his delusions they are still there but he knows he is sick. He takes his meds and he is doing great.

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Thanks for sharing your hopeful story. Glad your son is doing so well. I’d like to know what meds he takes. My son has been on meds over 3 years. Sometimes they work, and sometimes, they don’t. He struggles with depression when the voices are negative/relentless. It just breaks my heart to see him struggle so much. He has trouble holding a job, but wants to work. It’s often hard to know how to help.

Medication effectiveness is so individual. The same med could work well for one person and cause increase symptoms or not work in another. If your sons meds seem to work sometime and not others, are you sure he takes them consistently?

We saw the biggest sustained change when my son was on monthly injections for over a year. Consistent medication made a world of difference. He’s more compliant now with the pill form of same medication and is off the injection, his choice not mine. He’s doing ok, so I don’t push it. He currently takes abilify 15 mg (antipsychotic) once a day and wellbutrin (antidepressant) 150mg twice day. Both are pills.

One other thought if your son wants to work but is not able to, consider volunteer works… doing something he really enjoys, which won’t be so stressful and will get him engaged in something productive.

You are truly blessed.i pray my son will have a miracle one day.

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