Emotions and love

My son has now been back home for 2 months on Clozapine (after 3 months in a psychiatric hospital). He has a weekly psychologist session and support regarding cannabis use and mental well-being. He has spent one week with his Dad fishing and that was a break for me.
He seems well but unless I remind him to take his medication I don’t think he would feel the need nor importance of it. His smiles are a comfort to me but I feel there is darkness within. I will carry on loving him, connecting with him and encouraging him as much as I am able to. I also understand that someone can only be helped if they reach out and stop the isolation but not sure that works with this illness.
He keeps watching horror films and that freaks me out.
Émotions…. How can I help him talking with me about how he feels? :blue_heart:

Tricia4,

When my son wants to talk about feelings, he doesn’t want to talk to me, he wants to talk to a therapist. I don’t think this is unusual, its the same way any other person might feel about talking about their feelings. Its natural for adults to not want to share all of their feelings with their parents.

I know there was a part of me that believed if I understood more about my son’s personal perspective, I would be able to help him more. I was really sure I could fix him - as though it was some sort of toilet training issue and he was a two year old - I just needed to adjust the method(!) The people on this forum pointed me in a different directions. I resisted, in the end, they were correct. Being neurodiverse with schizophrenia is unlike anything else in this world.

NAMI’s Family to Family class taught me that I needed to understand that small changes could take years. YEARS. That was a tough lesson for me, I was ready to charge out of the classes armed with information and move whatever mountain needed moving in order to “fix” my son. Instead of that scenario, after our NAMI classes my husband and I used to stop at a pub. Often we were pretty stunned by what we had learned in the class and just sat there a long time, slowly drinking a beer, trying to emotionally handle the disappointment and process what we had learned.

Your son is so fortunate that you are there to help him with his meds - some of our family members do need help remembering or “remembering” to take their meds.

We do more at first, hoping that gradually -over years- we will get them to the point where they are able to do more for themselves.

You could have heard a pin drop in the room when our Family to Family teacher told us that small changes could take years.

You are doing such a great job - I am envious that your son was in a psych hospital for 3 months and has continued on his meds for two months at home.

My son continues to be unmedicated, I never did mange to achieve that particular goal. Take care, hope

Okay one last thing… what has held true is the parental advice “this too shall pass”. Whatever stage or thing my son is into, it will pass and his interest will move on to something else eventually. Currently, mine is focused on trying to change his sleep schedule back around as he has once again slipped into day sleeping. He explains to me at length what plan he is going to try next. I just listen, nod and make positive responses to his plans. In an hour he will tell me all over again. The sad part is how disappointed he is the next day when his plan didn’t work. In a few days he will be interested in something else.

okay… edit #2… but he will eventually circle back around to the previous interests

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Hi I’m Elizabeth and my granddaughter Asher is on meds that I think don’t work so does the meds he is on work

Hello Hope, so comforting to read your message.
I understand. My son always tells me he is ok and smiles in such gentle way, it brakes my heart. He told the psychiatric teams not to tell me about his symptoms (even so I read so much and googled so much while he was in hospital- the book ‘The Quiet Room’ helped me a lot). He doesn’t want me to worry about him.
He is now having a weekly session with a therapist Doctor Hope (what a beautiful name).
His medication clozapine is being monitored on a weekly blood test until the end of September and then fortnightly until the end of March and then yearly. Plus ECJ yearly.
I know I have to be patient and enjoy every single day with him. I am now working from home and able to keep my monthly income.
I send you my love and support.
Always turning my face to the sun when struggling and having faith :sunflower:

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Hi Elizabeth
He is on Clozapine 159 morning and 225mg night

Hi Tricia4, one method that works to get my daughter to talk is to find my own experiences that could be related, and also to give her insights that she would otherwise be unable to draw by herself. I advised my daughter to avoid horror movies but to go with those family types which are kind of boring to her, so at least those that are more of an adventure type, e.g. going through difficulties and always with good endings. For me, there are 2 key observations that probably got her going.

  1. For many years as my children grew up, I realized that I have stopped watching horror movies and one day I realized that I have not had a nightmare that I can remember. As a child through my early adulthood, I had plenty. I was scared of the dark as a kid and am still scared of slithery things.
  2. The emotions that lingers affects what my daughter remembers and that can have either a vicious cycle or a virtuous one. So when she was having a hard time at home and had to be hospitalized, she would remember being abused as a child. When things were improving when she came home from hospital, she would remember the positive things that my wife and I did that never happen. I am sure because it is significant like planting a tree on public property together.
    The feedback helped her understand that seeking the right emotions play a part in her recovery and well being. When I talked about my own experience, she became engaging and that seemed to work.

Hi Chong, thank you very much for your reply and suggestions. I do share with my son about my experiences when relevant as much as I can and suggest accordingly. He does listen and often smiles but he has always been very quiet and doesn’t interact very much.

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Thank you Carolinamom68, for your reply. He has been on Clozapine for the last 4 months