Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Does yours make odd food combinations?

My son has been making this odd mixture - I think it is his herbal tea, milk and a lot of coffee grounds. When I find it, I leave it for a few days and if it’s still there I will toss it. I can’t imagine drinking it. He still seems ok making simple meals.


Years ago, I was asked to translate for a woman who was homeless. She was deaf, and had scz. The police needed to communicate with her, and asked for me to assist.

No biggie…I’m familiar with both sign language and scz.

Anyway…she was clear from what I could tell. Did not trust anyone, but that’s understandable.

Over the months that followed, she would occasionally talk with me.
When she entered a delusional state, she came back.
Brought a water bottle with both water and cigarrette butts.
She would shake this bottle (thank goodness the lid was on) all over the place I worked.
All over my car in the parking garage.

She said it kept the demons away.
And I needed protection.

(Apparently I did…my car kept getting broken into. She also SAT by my car to protect it.)

Much later…my son is now dx.

Okay…so I wake one morning, and several other mornings to strange mixtures on the counter.
Some were in a thermos…yeah, it was gross.
Older boy said nothing, younger boy said “it’s to eat later”.
I thought…“oh nooo, no, no, no…we are NOT going down this road!”

Turned out that his older brother wanted to be a chef. A scientist chef who invented new things.
He needed his brother to test the concoctions.

I started waking earlier.

And if you gave me herbal tea…
I’d look for the coffee too.

Serious answer: no.
But he does get taste hallucinations.
That’s NOT fun.
Pizza should not taste like applesauce.
And fresh food should not taste like blood, mold, or people.

That’s what we get so far.


Wow, I wonder if my daughter has issues with olfactory. On meds she’s eating, like she is starved (and might have been). She frequently says she doesn’t like the taste of foods but on meds she will eat almost anything - even steak! Previously she would not touch meat except chicken nuggets (not sure that is really meat? Lol!)

Gosh, this is so eye opening. Mental note, discreetly talk to Libby about food and tastes.


My son also went through a phase of drinking coffee grounds. I’m pretty sure he was doing it for the “high”, to help his brain feel different, to escape from the hell. During one of these episodes, he became terribly nauseous and vomited. That was the end of the coffee grounds. Such worrisome days for us.


@Squid - Pizza should not taste like applesauce. I’m sorry your son is going through that. I think you posted a picture of him - cute as a button!

Last summer when my son really had hallucinations, he came back from Home Depot and said people were trying to get him so they could take his organs and sell them. I asked him about that later and he realized it sounded a bit far-fetched. If I only knew then what I know about sz and how to talk to him about it I would have been able to help him more.

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@Day-by-Day - Ah interesting. I don’t know why he doesn’t just make some expresso as I have a huge back of it that work didn’t want. Thanks for letting me know that it has happened to others.

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I think he’s cute…
but I am biased a bit!

When he was first getting settled on his meds, he LOVED Monster drinks. They actually made him feel better. (Back story: Dad bought them for work, he got one from the fridge without asking.)

For a kid who had only specific interest (video games, fruit loops) this was different.
We really had to watch what he selected after that, as we were concerned over the caffeine. BUT, he felt better every stinkin time he drank one. It was that noticeable.

Then a man dropped dead at husband’s job…and company (huge company in heavy duty construction) said he was drinking a Monster when he fell over at work, so no more Monsters on job site. We said same at home. (Company Insurance said another man had died as well.)

Now…it’s coffee. Not overboard, but every morning.
He’ll ask at night too, but of course it’s a “no”.

BUT, now that he is aging, he says he doesn’t like the rapid heartbeat.
He’s been getting that more and more.
Not from the coffee, but throughout the day.

Frankly, the heart racing scares me…
Anyone else with the racing heart?

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We had HUGE food issues.

The hallucinations!

Basically, food did not look like it was supposed to. Especially fleshy things. Meat was often interpreted as being from humans.

Yes…body parts in the school lunch.

OR…worms. Lots of worms.
OR…feces…yes, poop.

Strange thing is, he would look, blink and blink repeately, then cover the lunch tray with a napkin.
He would be “out of it” for the rest of the day. He would say nothing at school, but come home and tell me that they are feeding the students “people”. (We had to work a great deal with the school about this, as he ate two meals there. Well, tried to. He also worried that he needed to tell the other kids. They would get sick.)

At home…he’s quiet in general…but at home he’ll speak up more of course. He’ll fuss with complete honesty that this taste like that, etc. He will NOT eat if it’s “bad”. Sometimes he’ll tell me later, sometimes…

That’s it…he says I made it taste like something really bazaar, he was hungry, now he’s peeeeeved, and I did it. Wow…he can glare! Those large brown eyes change…, and I did it. I betrayed him.

For us…there’s always PB and J’s. I tell him to go make one if he’s still hungry.
Otherwise, husband and I just look at each other silently.

What else can we do?
I certainly cannot take it personally.

Extended thought:

I would have to say that the single most exasperating part of this illness (for me, right now) is that he believes certain things are true. Food is an example of this. Smells as well.

Yesterday he believed he has only had psych issues “a long time ago, like when I was little”.
Nooooo, it’s still happening, just not as much.

His expression when this occurs…absolutely shocked that I don’t see things the same way. This goes beyond kid-ville parent stuff…this is belief.

I really think he’s entering a new phase that I haven’t seen before.

@Squid - Wow - poor kid going through all that with the food. Do you think the racing heart is from the caffeine? A friend of mine just developed a product called cofo. You add to your coffee to get extra energy and it takes away the jittering feeling you get from coffee. It’s all natural, a bit pricey. You can find it on Amazon Prime if you are interested. I have yet to try it but people in our office like it. It has mushrooms and other things in it. She said to use 1/2 the packet. I’m wondering if my son would like it. I should take the sample home for him. It’s a superfood.
Here is her website. (not a sales pitch : )

He only drinks coffee when he first wakes up, as he’s so “out of it” still.
The heartbeat has been happening at far different hours. The last time was a few days ago. He came into the living room an hour or two before bedtime and said he was going to lay down, his heart wouldn’t stop racing. There were no triggers that we could tell, nor could he. We just agreed and he laid down. It’s odd, and has happened several times now. We’ll see…

I have IBS, and really shouldn’t even drink caffeine.
BUT, we’ve been such loyal friends for decades!!!

I did quit the cigs finally.
A “friendship” I didn’t need!

@Squid - Hummmm well that is a mystery.

I had stomach issues for about a year (ibuprofen and wine the likely cause). I gave up the ibuprofen and finally got off coffee for about a year. The stomach got better. I’m able to drink it again.

Congrats on the cigarettes! That is a big accomplishment!

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NOT meat!

What is in those things though? I don’t know a single person who can resist…not even me, and I’m one who doesn’t like to eat “fake foods”!!

Their just…
perfectly fake.


I had kind of forgotten what my daughter made during the time when she was not feeling well. Now that you mention ground coffee, a number of my daughter’s “recipes” came back to me. She had ground coffee in some kind of drink mixture, ground coffee as cake toppings, not just sprinkles, more like a thick layer of it. At that time, I thought she is experimenting with her recipes and may have gotten some of the ideas off the internet. Mind you, after a bite, I had to quietly throw the rest away. What I do now is to let her know if there are things that she does that seemed odd/unusual so she is aware and remind her not to miss her medication. Just 2 weeks ago, I found a wet doona in a bag outside the house and I found out that she wanted to paint it. Giving my daughter feedback seems to help her. I guess if she doesn’t have schizophrenia, I would have thought she is just being eccentric and let her be.

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My husband had weird food issues, too. If something tasted off to him, he automatically assumed it was poisoned and would not eat it. Nothing could convince him otherwise.
From reading here, I now know it was an olfactory delusion(?).

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My daughter has food issues as well. It’s very subtle and we only just discovered it. She has always been a picky, moody eater yet no diagnosable eating disorder. Now she tells us when food tastes funny or in a way it shouldn’t. I often hear it tastes like rotten eggs or poisoned. She doesn’t often make combinations, she tends to avoid things that look strange. She has a lot of paranoia about food because of past issues. Smells can also be off as well. Essentially SCZ can affect all five of the senses and it takes some investigating to understand it. I try to ask non-leading open ended questions like, “What does that taste/smell/look like to you?” We are still working to understand all of my daughters symptoms. She can seem so normal sometimes if you don’t ask the right questions. She volunteers nothing, so it’s also figuring out the right questions to ask.

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I forgot about this odd food behavior, as it’s our normal.

Our son is quiet. Except when he’s not.

As we walk through the grocery store, if he is not quiet as he is at home, he will begin to ramble on. RAMBLE on. Particulary as to what’s in the food on display.

The tomatoes are staring. There’s feet in the canned good. The snuggles teddy bear is particularly wrong. Everything is analyzed, and is not “seen” as we do. Sometimes he’ll begin laughing, mostly fixated.

Walmart has those signs with a smiley face. Not cool…those in particular.

But the food. I forgot, as he hates to go now. I admit…I HATE to take him if there’s going to be a running commentary, that others will not enjoy, of his describing what each and every item looks or tastes like. It’s not a good things unless I can get him over to the sweeties department.

(dwerp! me!! this why he really hates it? We had to go yesterday, he only said that he knew he would see “all these women with too many kids, all around them…really, they pushed out all these little creatures, and now they are surrounded…” on and on. That’s usually what he complains about.)

MEAT Dept? Wow…that used to be a big one.
I forgot…

How can I forget these things? I must be getting tired.

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@Chong - What is a doona? The coffee thing is odd and odd that it’s a common thing for some of our loved ones.

Apologise the slang. Doona is a quilt or a duvet. Not the cover which can be embroidered. It is the inside layer that my daughter wanted to paint on :frowning:
Now that she is better and on meds, my daughter could tell the things she made was unusual. She is now on maintenance dosage, i.e. lowered to minimize side effects. So, from time to time, she may do things that would make a good laugh many years later :slight_smile:

@Chong I looked it up and it said baby carriage, then I thought you meant doughnut - so I was confused why she would want to paint a wet doughnut. I am on and I’ve seen a lot of people’s paintings of doughnuts but not wet ones :smile: Are you in the UK?

I am in Australia. We get quite a lot of fun with the slangs.