Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Emotionally immature son

Hello. I’m wondering if anyone elses adult child seems to be stuck in adolescence?
Last couple of months my son fluctuates between a 30 year and a 12 year old. Today he was a 12 and called me 26 times, only answered a couple of calls. He’s angry, frustrated and wishing I would do what he wants. He just started a part time job which he can walk to. I know that can add extra stress but it also is giving him some structure and time with others. He has been dealing with SZ, bipolar, and OCD for 10 years.
Takes meds and manages his Type 1 diabetes most of the time.
I’m just venting. Not a great day.

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Hey ! sorry to hear , This is the place to Vent ! yes i have the same situation, my 22 year old behaving like he’s 14 ,Sz bipolar , BDD , gets angry and frustrated often and usually with me , calls me many times only when he needs something , i am trying hard to work on boundries with him , exhausting !!! and stressful !!! i get it ! One day at a time . What does he want you to do ? Does he live with you ?

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No he lives nearby in an RV park. Not ideal but can’t seem to handle roommates. Rent is too expensive in our area to live alone. He lived with us for about a year but became too difficult to deal with all the fluctuations in his moods. He’s tried school and different jobs. Right now he is working at a fast food restaurant. I know he’s trying but his attitude towards his family is terrible. No friends. I sometimes think it would be better to move far away. We’re spent tons on therapy, doctors and programs, Different meds over the past 10 years. As you said, boundaries are necessary but hard to enforce. Maybe this is as good as it gets. It’s hard to have a life away from mental illness. Your son is still young I hope he can find his way to some happiness.


My husband is in late middle age. I’d say that he’s always been in touch with his inner child and an in-the-moment sort of person. But since the onset of his sz symptoms and especially while experiencing active symptoms, I’d say he alternates between a toddler and an adolescent.

I think it’s the lack of connection with his emotional experience and so the corresponding tendency to act it all out that makes him feel so childlike to me.

I’d say that the lack of connection with inner experience pre-dates his symptoms (and is probably part of the reason that he developed symptoms in the first place) - whereas the acting out is more connected to the intensity of the emotional experience (which he does not have during periods when he is more symptomatically stable) and the corresponding frustration.

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Thank you and i hope and pray things gets better your end too . My son’s moods are terrible also , they make me run from him then when I’m not with him i worry about him , can’t win ! no friends , barely works , i can not tell you how much money i have spent so far for doctors , therapist , food , apartment , list goes on , im sure you know . This is a debilitating illness for them and us as caregivers , i believe we suffer the same , its crazy But i have to say i really appreciate the good days , the peaceful days and i just take one day at a time as its too much . Bless them , i have learnt so much and i continue to educate myself and yes you are right boundaries are necessary but hard to enforce, but don’t give up with it as it does at times work when you are firm . Hope you had a better day today !

Hi Woody, I talked to my Family to Family instructor this morning about this subject. They addressed it in the classes, I wanted a refresher before writing.

First, she said what they told us about emotional maturity in class is basically anecdotal. Many families have reported that a their family members seems to not make emotional growth - they seem to be “stuck” at a younger age and remain stuck.

When my son’s psychosis showed up in his twenties, he began displaying behaviors from a younger age. He had had a traumatic medical situation and the doctors wanted me to know they believed he had regressed because of the emotional trauma from the illness. At the time, I responded immediately, "I can see he’s regressed, he’s back to age 14, he’s returned to “I hate Dad” stage, something that had been gone for several years.

Years later we found out he had scz and heard at FtF about the “emotional age” freeze that many parents have reported. My son didn’t freeze at the emotional age of the trauma and psychosis starting (20’s) - he reverted to age 14. I still find that age interesting as his first personal struggle had happened briefly around age 14 and I have wondered since if that was the beginning of his prodromal stage.

Like yours, mine fluctuates with the behaviors. Sometimes like a twenty-something, sometimes like a naive young teen, never like a mature male. Maybe its cycling with the scz cycles.

I think psychosis, his last relapse in 2018, had a profound effect on maturity. During this episode he jumped off our second story deck and ran off with a broken ankle which landed him in the behavior health hospital for a month. He did work his way through it. I think stress or worry he experiences now seem to send him back to adolescence but thankfully not psychosis. I think what’s most confusing is not knowing where he’s at until something is said and he responds like a 12 year old.
I too did Nami’s family classes years ago. I’m glad I found this forum. It’s very helpful for all who live this life. Thank you all for your insights!


My son is 25 but acts very immature and narcissistic. He says dumb jokes that make no.sense. I assumed it is apart of schizophrenia.