Drug induced psychosis or not?


I can relate to that. My daughter’s hands began sweating profusely at about 16…she lived with her over controling father. He took her to a Dr who said it was over active sweat glands. When she started hallucinating and came to live with me the first thing I noticed was her hands do not sweat when she is doing well.


Hi Hope , I don’t know , he didn’t when i was married to him but i know he had some sort of hard time and went on meds but i have no idea why or for what . we are not in touch at all . All i know is when i was married to him i was dealing with impossible behaviour and didn’t really think about a name for his condition , i was young and all i knew that he didn’t seem mentally right . Now i think about it and look back on it i believe he had and still has bipolar .


Please don’t be curious and please don’t try it . It is not worth the risk , trust me .


My son used to blame me for everything and now on meds is much better . I am not even sure if he tried spice once from the gas station , I’m so mentally drained to think what could have caused this or if anything did cause sz … i just need to take day by day as it comes and pray …i wish you and family all the best , hang in there , no body could possibly understand what we are going through unless they go through it …thank GD for this site . It really helps .


You aren’t missing anything special. Not worth the risk.


Please don’t. It isn’t worth it in my opinion. You have too much going for you to risk it.


Yes, exactly. I wonder if I was to look at a film of our lives here, and reverse it far enough back, if there would simply be an open kitchen cabinet door as the first sign of his illness. I can’t remember when he started leaving cabinet doors open. I wonder if the film from our past would show our busy home life - maybe when my boys were in their late teens (?), everyone moving around getting sorted out in the morning. The kitchen would clear out and there would be a cabinet door remaining open.

I could stop the film and say - there, right there it started.

CLARIFIER - I don’t believe an open cabinet or cupboard door means someone is mentally ill. It just would have been a change from a usual behavior for my son.


Hope, that’s Interesting that you mention open cabinets. When I find these at our house, it’s a sure sign that heavy anxiety is brewing. In addition to cabinets, we sometimes get drawers open, curtains down, and windows open. The “rationale”, if you want to call it that, is that the “air needs air”.


Day-by-Day - we get the curtains down here as well and the windows suddenly being opened. I have never asked him why. I don’t know why I haven’t asked him.


I am sorry to hear about your son. My 25 yo stepson has sz and used some of the same drugs you mentioned as a teen. My husband and I have gone to many educational meetings and some nami meetings as well… and your question is a popular one. One doctor at a large hospital seminar, topic being sz, said regarding drug use and onset of sz. He said " it is not known what came first, the sz or the drug use?" similar to “what came first, the chicken or the egg?”. He also said that it seems likely that teens are self medicating early symptoms of the disease, but that the drug use could be inducing psychosis. ? So we are left with the same answer and that is… we don’t know. Same way we can never answer what came first the chicken or the egg. I guess my reply is not really much help, but I have never forgotten that analogy the doctor used and somehow have found it somewhat helpful. My opinion on it, is I believe that some people feel symptoms and in turn try to shut them down with drug use. But in reality, we will probably never know the answer to the question… what came first the sz or the drug use?" I hope things get better for you and your son and family.


Something I often think about is how many young people experiment with illicit drugs, abuse them, or even become addicted and never become psychotic, not even drug induced psychosis.


There is absolutely no sense in continuing to blame “chicken or egg”. Why was my son drawn to trying so many substances but he never was “addicted”? For so long I did the tough love nar-anon approach but at a certain point, I realized he was permanently seriously mentally ill and he was not experimenting with substances any more, he was trying to fix himself because he started having constant auditory hallucinations, delusions, talking to inanimate objects, paranoia, OCD and anxiety. He finally is medication compliant on very high doses of two antipsychotics and other medications, living with my husband and me. He has insight but the psychosis is still there although he is now relatively stable and manageable but went from a brilliant young man with a bright future to being permanently disabled and dependent.

For so long my husband and my younger son, blamed my ill son that he caused his illness but at this point, I think they realize, even through his religiosity and rituals, he is trying everything to get better and make amends. We have to be grateful he is calm and loving and helpful and sometimes we even see glimpses of his sense of humor or interest in world events. This is a far cry from the deep untreated psychosis, bizarre behavior and mania which was frightening and nearly impossible to be around.

We can’t go back in time and even if I could, I don’t think there was any way I could have convinced him that what seemed like “fun” would eventually damage his brain beyond repair even though he knew I had an Uncle with schizophrenia who had lived for many years in a state mental hospital, I don’t think he would have the common sense to realize he was playing Russian roulette with his greatest gift and now it is too late.

Here is a link to a study on the relationship between drug induce psychosis and serious mental illness:


Hi Dorinda ,

Thank you for your reply , it makes sense , its just so hard to digest and just so difficult to think if my son didn’t use drugs there could be a possibility he would be ok … so painful to think about it and i know i shouldn’t focus on that but i can’t help it , just so upsetting .:frowning_face:


Hi , your right there about not being able to convince him , i tried and begged and cried to my son to stop all drugs and i told him he could develop Sz (even though we don’t have it in the family , i know his father has some sort of mental illness) but he just didn’t comprehend and didn’t care and now we are dealing with Sz and meds and the whole 9 yards … so hard and painful to think what if …


I know it is tempting to keep ruminating about what could have been and why the dreams you had for your child’s future did not go as planned. Every single person we meet will eventually have some challenges they will face that we know nothing about. We just have to pick ourselves up and try the best we can to help our loved one recover all the while remembering to take time for our own needs and happiness because our lives matter too and tomorrow is not promised.


I was keeping my focus on the holidays and enjoying the time with our older son. My older son surprised me by showing some resentment that I wasn’t more upset about his brother with scz not being able to join us. Here I am trying to be strong and have a holiday.

It doesn’t do our loved ones with mental illness any good if we just sit around and mourn all the time. I tried to tell him that Jeb’s psychiatrist says Jeb has purpose in his life which is huge. We have to keep ourselves mentally healthy, too much mourning will lead to depression. Maybe I need to share less with my older son.

@qutepi says its really well.


Hope, so glad you could enjoy Christmas with your older son. Any grandchildren on the horizon?:blush:

Sometimes we need a little normalcy to keep us from losing ourselves in endless grief and worries.


Not from our older son, he made it pretty clear years ago that he avoided relationships with women who wanted children.

We do have a “velveteen” grandson. A friend of our sons from childhood asked us to be grandparents to his grandparentless child. You are right, the normalcy from that relationship is quite rewarding for all of us.


My daughter starts cleaning and throwing things away because of a spot on it that I do not see. Then I know it is time to give her medication to calm her.


My son does this too…