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.