Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Driving with Sz

What are people’s thoughts and experiences about driving? My 18 year old son with sz has his drivers permit and wants to get his license and drive very badly. I want that for him too but am concerned about safety. I know it would be a huge step towards his independence and boost his self confidence. I’ve told him that if he continues to be compliant with his treatment/meds that I will support and pay for him to attend drivers Ed classes. Thoughts?

I’m taking my drivers license, I think that with that arrangement, with him being med compliant its a good deal. I don’t see why not, it’s good for him to focus on something other than the illness, and also it’s good to be able to drive.

I drive nearly everyday, if he takes his medication as prescribed and isn’t actively psychotic he should be able to be a safe driver.

I didn’t drive until I was 23, and my son, who also has sz and is 21, doesn’t drive yet. But if your son is stable and ready then he should. I appreciate that you’re holding him accountable. We’re all living with sz for all or the bulk of our lives, and the more accomplishment and normalcy the better. Best of luck to your son!

Thank you for your thoughts on this! It’s the question of the psychotic symptoms that seems to be a gray area, as I know it varies, but I will have to trust him to decide when he should and shouldn’t be driving. I def want him to have the opportunity as long has he is being responsibly for managing the illness the best he can. : )

I agree, thank you! : )

Driving with sz just takes responsibility. I have to trust myself to know when I’m too psychotic to drive the same way other people have to know when they’re too drunk to drive. As long as he is following his treatments and holding himself accountable for his actions, there isn’t any reason to stop him from driving.

Just keep an eye on his symptoms.

I’m probably a different situation, because I have some fucking weird ass spectrum disorder and brain damage, but when I started to get sick I was often sleep deprived from 60 hours work weeks as a pizza driver, and I ended up totaling my car.

The roads here for the most part are pretty easy though. If it were more crowded i’d have a lot of trouble. I’m very bad at merging

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I’ve been driving for 16 years. I’ve never had a problem. Got 2 or 3 tickets in my early-20s which were all non-moving violations. I was in an accident in 2009 - I got rear-ended on the freeway. I’m a defensive driver, and like another poster said, it’s critical to know to not get behind the wheel when unstable…much in the same way as an intoxicated person shouldn’t be driving. It’s critical for independence to be able to drive. Driving also leads to other recovery-oriented tasks such as going to work/school and going to the doctor and pharmacy. As long as the driver isn’t a threat to others on the road, more power to 'em!

Thank you, and stay safe! : )

Thank you! I want for him to drive and have independence. My concern is his ability to determine for himself when he is too psychotic, as sometimes he is not aware of his illness. I suppose a signal that he is stable enough is when he has awareness, which is why I’m making drivers Ed conditional on complying with his treatment/meds. I’m hopeful!

They would only give me a year at a time then have to renew it. The last time I went to they revoked it and said my medication was too sedative, as I’m on 15mg Olanzapine(ZYPREXA)!

I’d love to have something like a moped or bike just to get around, but because my driving licence got refused on medical grounds I have a bus pass!

This means that I can get the bus into town each day and the stop is only 10m from my front door :smile:

If he is on meds, it should be okay.

Not on meds and I would say probably not okay. I myself don’t drive when I have to for some medical reason fast and not take my morning antipsychotic. I had my mom drive to get blood taken today, actually.

I am 19 and have my drivers permit! I don’t have schizophrenia but psychotic depression.

Very very very good idea to get him his drivers permit. My confidence is definitely up since I got mine. I would also make sure he is aware enough of his surroundings to drive. You know him best and can make that call.

I’m getting my license sometime in the next month or two and I’ll let you know any further thoughts I have about this.

I’ve driven in the past, but now I consider my concentration to be too poor to drive, so I’ve grounded myself. I’m on meds.

i drive every day. usually just 10 -15 minute ride to work. sometimes longer if i am going fishing. On 2 occasions this year i had to take the exit off the hiway to travel the back roads because i kept getting thoughts to crash the car. it was very frightening. so instead of crashing i got off.

Driving is essential for him to be independent. I don’t think sz incapacitates as far as driving is concerned. I would have reservations if he was an alcoholic or had a history of substance abuse, but not because of his sz.

i’m med compliant now but I still don’t drive. I’m too scared to drive.

if he is sensible
non wierd
med compliant ( if he needs them )
not an idiot
and well trained
why not.
i have been driving since 21…legally since 25…
and have had driving :truck: jobs which have fitted in with my luxurious sz lifestyle !?!

take care :alien:

I still haven’t got a full license so I still need supervision and learner plates on, it’s been a t least 3 years now and I want to tell the driving authorities that I take meds just in case anything bad happens and I am fully covered by insurance