Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Do I tell my son I know he is hearing voices and offer help

I’ve offered help before but I have not specifically addressed the voices. I don’t see my son much as he isolates himself in his bedroom until we go to sleep and then is up all night. I can text him or leave him a note. Thoughts?


Its so hard to know what the right thing to do is, I would talk to a professional first about the voices.
Is there anyway to get him out of his room? Try getting him out for a drive even if it just a drive through Mcds and sit in the parking lot and eat. Getting someone out of their own world and thoughts often helps them to feel better. try to think of a “fun casual” to do.
We can never use force tactics but sometimes giving them the opportunity to join us works, this would be a special treat, in order to have this he has to go with you, not bring it back for him.
“I’m going to drive thru Mcds for a quick burger and a shake would you like to go?” and stick to the plan, do not try and force things like going to a grocery store or conversation about his illness, other than how good the fries are with ketchup! keep it light and fun


@AnnieNorCal - I’ve tried pizza, ski pass, movie, everything. He comes out when we are sleeping. Occasionally he will come to the kitchen when we are up but it is rare these days. This all started 3 or 4 months ago. He finally has it dialed in to avoid us completely. Good advice on not talking about the illness and offering some type drive through treat. I’ll have to offer and see if I get anywhere. He is paranoid sz hence the not wanting to leave the house. Per him “I’m fine, it’s everyone out there”.

We (he and I) are moving back to our condo next Summer so it will be just me and him.

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Our daughter isolates when she visits us and stays over, as she did at Christmas. We were advised many years ago to let her get on with what she wants to do, even though it may seem bizarre to us. In her mind, what she does is perfectly normal, like listening to Disney songs for hours at a time (she’s 30). It’s ok, as long as she’s not harming herself or anybody else or any thing. Her sz seems to come in waves, so sometimes she’s in a world of her own, and other times she’s very sociable.

When they’re in the same house as you, you notice everything they do that isn’t aligned with what you think of as normal. We all became far more at ease with this illness once our daughter moved into her own apartment many years ago. We keep a very close eye on her to make sure she’s coping, and help her when needed. We’ve accepted that she lives her life differently to us, and that acceptance means we’re all far more relaxed. So we invite her out, for example to McD drive thru for coffee in the car park. Sometimes she says yes and we have a great time, other times we get a no. why would I want to go out with my parents, but either answer is perfectly ok.


@shop1uk Thank you. This is very helpful. I don’t see my son very much as he gets up when we go to sleep and goes to sleep some time after we leave for work. I’ve been thinking of getting up in the night and walking to the kitchen just to see what he’s doing. (pretending I’m looking for the cat).

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I may not be the best parent to give advice to you, but I do know that it is not good for anyone to hold up in thier room and be alone. I would seek the advice from a professional on how to approach your son or maybe you are already consulting with someone.
My son was 30 and living on his own when his problems became full blown. unfortunately my son was in an accident that led to a permanent hospital commitment.


If he is isolating, I would not bring up mental illness symptoms if I saw him.

My family member isolated for only one month before a break down. When the symptoms are worse is when my family member REALLY does not want to talk about current experiences possibly coming from mental illness.

Politeness and care. Also, do you need anything from the grocery store? (a question I ask everyone in my family)

If they seem open to any time at all together, connect on common enthusiasms and experiences.

This is just my opinion.


@Hereandhere - I am trying to make our reality more interesting for him so he will come out of his isolation. He came out 4 times on Christmas - I guess we had some interesting stuff going on that day. He didn’t visit or say too much. I think he is concerned we’ll judge his behavior (not that we have in the past, ut hum - well we did but that was before we understood what was going on). So now I’m hoping to re-build trust.

I will take your advice and ask neutral things. Usually, I don’t get much of a response to the grocery list. Perhaps if I ask him his cookie preference. He does like the sweets.


@AnnieNorCal I agree with you that it’s not good. From what I’ve been reading I need to make the outside of his room more interesting than the inside. He’s out when we’re not here or are sleeping. I’ve also read to let them do what they are comfortable with and his psych said not to push it. I’ve somewhat successfully got him looking at new photo albums I’ve made of his childhood. So that is something.

I’m so sorry about your son. I read about what happened in a previous post. This could happen to any of us. We too were turned away by many many psychiatrists. Everyone was full. I am glad you are able to talk to your son.

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I think Dr Amador’s key point that we need to listen for what they want is crucial. Took Jeb two years to think of something he wanted to work towards. In the meantime he just existed.

Amador wants us to use their desires to get them to take meds. For those who are on meds, I would hope the family members could use those same desires for some kind of motivation.


@hope So, do you think I should let him isolate. It’s either that or break his door down and haul him to an ER. He’s got his routine down to avoid us and still be able to be in the house and not just his room while we are out or sleeping. My intuition tells me to just let him be. He is safe and not a danger to others or himself. He will have to deal with me when we move - in 6 months. (That should be interesting).

I’m almost finished with Amador’s book and have seen his Ted talk, so I get the use their desires to get them on meds or even supplements. Hopefully, I’ll have an opportunity to use the Leap technique at some point.

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@DianeR I think its so individualistic. I really think you need to follow your instincts. Some caregivers have success with persistence, it would never have worked with Jeb.

When I have had moments of choosing “do this or do nothing”. I have gone with my instincts as Jeb’s mom every single time so far. I am not saying that what I did was right, we don’t get clear choices in this business.

When it was time to do something for sure, like making it possible- actually encouraging and helping Jeb to move away- I knew it had to happen. His delusions about his dad and now myself have become imbedded too deep.

I have heard and read about so many people who say their loved ones cannot live with them. I get it.


If a direct approach about his isolating won’t work, then I’d probably try to phrase things in a way that takes the focus off of him and his habits. Maybe you could phrase things in a way that motivates him. For example, if he likes to be helpful or if he’s willing to do favors for others.

Example: “Hey, I’m going to the store. Can you come with me to help carry a few things?”

Example: “I really want to go see this movie (or go for a walk or try a new restaurant), but I don’t want to go alone. Would you mind going with me?”


@calicakes Thank you for your ideas. Both good ideas. He is paranoid sz. so if I can get him out of his room with me in the same room that would be a miracle. I am going to offer to get a milkshake through a drive-through.

I agree totally. Any family or professional dealing with a person who does not acknowledge their mental illness absolutely needs to read Dr. Amador’s book “I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help”.

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Our daughter is 30 also and lives on her own but we are her guardians and make sure she has what she needs: caseworker, therapist, psychiatrist, family that loves her, a dog to be a companion, her meds, etc. She’s very happy. Counting our blessings every day that she is still with us after all she/we have been thru on the journey. :metal:t2:


Just wishing you all a peaceful new year. Our journeys of discovery continue. It is a different life than most. But in truth, there is no such thing as a normal life.