Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Do any of you have a loved one who isolates/ or have you gotten them out of isolation?


#1

Mine is holed up quite a bit. He sleeps in the afternoons and is up during the night. He only comes out to cook or go on the front porch, take a few drags of a cigarette and use the bathroom. Any ideas how to get him out. I imagine if I make what is out of his room more interesting that would work but I have no idea what to do. He has a tv and computer in his room. Another member on here said use remote control cars. That didn’t work either.

He has a court date this Friday, I’ll be curious to see if he goes (his father can take). I’m guessing he’ll go to that.


#2

I have no idea about the question, but I would try to see if my family member who spent little time in the sun would take a supplement of Vitamin D3. I know you are really good about healthy eating choices and have probably already done this.


#3

Oh that’s a good idea. I had not thought of that. I got him other supplements like folic acid and others that were recommend which he won’t take. But I can get some and give him the information. We’re close to gluten free now (don’t know if that is happening as I rarely see him face to face - sometimes I see his back). Thanks for the idea!


#4

My son shares more now what goes on in his head. Sometimes the isolation is due to meds and the side effects of sleepiness ALL the time. Sometimes it is because there is too much stimulation going on in the outside world. My son is paranoid, so everything, and I do mean everything has to be examined. Sometimes he may handle the situation fine, but months later, takes it out and “recycles” the event. I really don’t know if there is any truly innocent activity for them to do which may not trigger some type of adverse reaction.

He likes sitting alone outside by a fire or watching the dog. He likes to garden but it is not always so successful because there are periods of time he cannot take care of it properly. Even when he might not be doing anything physical…the mental activity goes on and on and on. I would just reinforce the activity he is doing positively and once in a while ask him if there is anything he is interested in doing. If he says no, let it be for now. It is hard sometimes to step back, but I will tell you ON HIS OWN my son came to the conclusion he needs to visit the extended family a bit more and not be so reclusive.


#5

Mine does this as well.


#6

Truthfully the only way my son is out of isolation is by me taking him everywhere I go, he is 95% willing to go anywhere with me and so off we go. People speak to him and I all along the way as we run errands, shop, and walk in many local parks, occasionally he runs into someone he knows, we’re in a relatively small community so it allows for a tiny bit of interaction now and then. I still do things for myself just on my own, most often in the mornings, but the rest of the time we are a duo stepping out of our respective shells together at least 5 days a week.


#7

My son will run errands with me or go for a walk with our dogs nearly every day. We go to Best Buy and Target a lot and he looks at video games and electronics and sometimes asks the salespeople questions. We go to doctors apps also. He never goes anywhere without me lately, and it can be exhausting for me to always go out to these places, but I do it so he can have some social interaction. Other than that he isolates himself in his apt. He does play video games online with a high school friend sometimes, but he never actually sees this friend. He used to see this friend once in awhile some months ago but has stopped because he said it caused him anxiety.


#8

Sounds like my son he only leaves the house to get beer or vodka when he has money


#9

Diane, I can’t imagine what you and your son are going through. I know in my own life, I have lived like your son. I had blankets on the windows, would sleep to ease the pain, and was afraid and felt anger for the world around me. One of the things that pulled me out of that place was mental health support groups. NAMI offers those types of groups where your son can be with people that have shared experiences and they support each other, and they have a safe place where they can share. I now facilitate a meeting in Omaha and we have people with schizophrenia, and other mental illnesses. NAMI also offers a class on how to help support your son called Family to Family.

I wish you well on this journey because of the trauma that can result in your life as well.


#10

@Rodder how did you get out of isolation? Did you have insight? My son has none. He has no interest in support groups. I think I may have to involuntarily put him in the hospital. Today he had court. He made it there late and kept walking in and out of the courtroom and was gone by the time it was his turn. We were able to get another court date and put off a warrant - which seems inevitable.


#11

The walking in and out of places was something my family member did when he was more symptomatic.


#12

My brother has a habit of pacing back and forth. When we need to wait in lines or at the doctor’s office, I’ll offer him a handheld gaming system or let him play games on my phone so he has something to busy himself with. I don’t know if that might work for a little while for your son? I’m not sure what’s allowed in a court setting.


#13

Yes, isolation is a frequent symptom. But I have learned it is best to leave her alone. After all, truthfully, she is very busy talking to her “people”. She talks more to invisible people than to real life people by about 20 to 1. If I knock and ask if she wants to go ______ (fill in the blank), she often says yes. Many times no.

If yes, my next question is: When? Then I knock again when it is time.

If no, I then leave her alone. I will knock again sometime/someday later with a new question: "Do you want _____ (dinner?, to go for a walk, to play catch? etc)

Sometimes days go by without her being willing to go anywhere.

She will almost always open the door if I knock and say I have food prepared. She doesn’t like to cook.


#14

The isolation is perhaps the toughest thing for me to handle with my son. He rarely responds or speaks to me. I’ve learned to not take any of it personally, but I have moments when that’s really hard to do. I made a routine for myself to check in with him morning, noon and night. I often reinforce the fact that he can call me ANY time day or night — (he’s currently living at a temporary transitional home offered by the psychiatric center). He DOES go to work part-time (mostly). So I am grateful he does that & they are aware of everything, very accommodating for him. Other than the few hours he works he’s wandering by himself.


#15

My son isolates himself also from all of the family but me. It is very sad for me to see him sit home every in his subsidized apt. He watches tv or occasionally plays video games. I don’t know how he can stand being in the house alone all day, except for when I come over to visit a few hours a day. I wish he could work, but I don’t see that happening.


#16

I’m new to this forum and forgive me if I mess up the thread. My son is Paranoid Schizophrenic and was diagnosed about a year ago. After two in patient stays and 2 different meds he is on Invega 4.5 mg. a day. He was going to group therapy, but he quit going because many in the group he thought used Meth and he might pick up residue from the furnishings on the offices.
He was staying at home just watching tv, but my 88 year old mother is out of rehab for a broken hip and now back home. He goes over to help her and mostly sits and watches tv with her. An improvement.
We recently got guardianship and conservativeship of him. He did not contest it.
He is 28. The Invega is a God send. The support from the medical/therapy staff has been excellent.
I won’t waste time describing the delusions before settling out on Invega. The paranoia was extreme. No voices but TV would speak to him.
Getting him interested in helping (grandma) and chores helps. His isolation is getting less and less.


#17

Forgot to mention. My son tested very low on Vitamin D and received a script weekly supplement. Better than the over the counter.


#18

My almost 23 year old son’s isolation has been getting worse. He rarely wants to leave his apartment anymore and doesn’t want me to stay long when I visit. Last year at this time he was able to take a short trip out of state with my daughter and I and he went to a baseball game and would occasionally go into restaurants for lunch. Not anymore, he is very complacent with sitting home watching tv all day. He is med compliant which is good, but always says he is too tired when I ask him to do anything. Don t know if there is much that I can do about this, it causes me great concern.


#19

Hi Irene. If you invite your son back to your place, for a short visit, a day, or an overnight, will he take you up on the offer? This must be so worrisome for you.


#20

Oh, that is nice to hear, I would say that is quite an improvement. I wish my daughter would watch TV with me, she used to, but doesn’t anymore. When on meds, she was 100% symptom free, but wouldn’t stay on the meds.

Welcome to the forum @doc503pir . I found this forum to be quite a help for me personally. (By the way, don’t worry about posting, better to post than to just lurk. Posting helps all of us.)