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Extended family involvement


Not for nothing, if your family cannot understand or accept your son’s situation then the hell with them. We shouldn’t have to hide behind curtains because we are afraid of how people will react or how they may feel. This is a disease like any other and should be treated with respect from your family. Your son is your son, he comes first no matter what.
My husband is the one in the family that has SZ. When he first started having issues, I told everyone on both sides of the family. My family has experience with SZ and were very understanding, but my husbands family just doesn’t get it and I don’t care that they don’t “get it”! I am currently separated right now, and he is in jail due to his illness and I have not bothered to call my sister in law to tell her; she has washed her hands with him. She will not speak to him or interact with him on any level and she is a social worker if you can believe that Eventually, they will find out so why not tell them about his illness now! Best of Luck and God Bless you and your family.


In our case, the extended family has been integral to my son’s recovery. They have been informed about his sz and have been so supportive once they knew what was wrong. My son works in a family business and his boss is a family member who watches closely. One if our nephews stepped up and has become like a big brother/best friend to my son…thank God💛 because he really didn’t have any friends when he got sick. Family can be a gamble…if they are open minded people, you may have a great support system but if they aren’t, you may get grief from them. I hope it’s the former for you.


This is wonderful and the way it should be with family. I also have found that illnesses of all types can bring people closer or separate.
I also know that in the beginning I was almost like a mother bear (and still am somewhat). I isolated and wanted to protect but and withdrew from a lot of social activity right along with my son. It was not good for either of us and a few wonderful friends emerged who made a safe place and loved me through it. I realize how much my son needs extended family and work hard to preserve those relationships.


That is so great the way he stepped up for your son. My cousins stepped up for me. I think there is something special about the cousin relationship-- you’re closely related, but you don’t live in the same house, so it’s like having built-in best friends that you can go see and hang out with, and gives a huge incentive to get out of the house. It makes my life so much fuller and interesting, having friends in it, and there’s always somewhere to go, something to do, and friends to do it with.

And having an employer who is accepting and understanding of the disease like that is so important. My boss at the movie theatre can see when I’m having a bad day, and he takes it easy on me rather than yelling at me or threatening to fire me.


It’s a fine line you have to walk. Your son does need some social interaction but healthy boundaries are also needed. My daughter has a small circle of family and friends and that’s all she can handle.


We were lucky my son loved being around people but was occasionally quiet or slightly paranoid sometimes. Everyone in our extended illness knows he has a mental illness. To our faces, everyone is supportive. And be assured everyone has a mentally ill relative be it anxiety, bipolar, or schizophrenia. If everyone admitted this it would be a much less lonely road.


Hello and sorry your going through this as we all are…its terribly difficult and sad. I dont discuss this much with my family as nobody understands or even seems interested which only further saddens me as then I feel I am the only one who cares for him. About all I ever say is ****** is in the hospital again…to which I usually dont even get a reply as nobody knows what to say or they aren’t interested…and mainly-they dont understand. I had a houseguest-young guy with a baby-for a few months…my husbands family-we were at the table eating the food I had cooked while he held his baby up after we had discussed my sons schizophrenia and said…”Well my son will never have any mental problems!”…this was ignorance speaking and not understanding that schizophrenia is something that usually comes on in teen or later years like my son…but I still cannot forgive that statement even though he meant no harm. People are ignorant to this illness unless they are faced with it. Don’t be embarrassed by it-be proud to be with your loved one and share in their outlandish ideas sometimes…who cares what some silly stranger may think anyway?


I applaud your courage and use of creative ways to cope! Take one day at a time!


For me, nope not at all… I broke all family ties on both sides over 10 years ago, the ones that run their mouths and pass judgement: F*ck them, the ones that truly care don’t need the added stress…


Sorry but thats funny as hell, did you laugh inside at the time?


GSSP–I didn’t laugh, but the room got real quiet. My uncle was giggling, though. It’s exactly what not to do at Gma’s birthday party!


I saw occasionally extreme responses to mental illness and SZ in particular like the one you have to endure LBR, before. I think it transpires that some people just can’t deal with certain realities, and it tells much more about them than it tells about your son’s illness of course. It just shows that some people are too scared, overwhelmed, ignorant, to react appropriately. That drives me nut and pushed me in the past after the death of my daughter to organise charity fundraisings and events about schizophrenia to open the dialogue and attempt to educate people. Let’s have some hope that in some years time, things will change progressively and that what happened to you and your husband’s family will become more rare. They are just ignorant that’s all, and when people are ignorant they ofen are scared and sadly when some are scared they chose to push away the fact scare them. My advice would be to try to concentrate about your side of the family, your husband and of course your son, and forget about them. Good luck and big hug. x


I asked my son’s permission and just told those who were not trustworthy the bare minimum , This is a serious discussion and can cause rifts between you and your son so protect that relationship first, ask his permission as to what and how much to share, it will go a long way in cementing the fact that you are on his side first and foremost


Pretty much the route I’ve taken. Thank you!


Honestly, I am with GSSP on this one, I would have laughed like hell on the inside if it were my Grandmother. My Grandmother is very prim and proper and that would have just been WRONG. When my father in-law died, my husband was in full blown psychosis as the stress was just too much for him and he was medicated at the time. So during the wake the priest was doing his service, my husband started talking back to him and not in a positive way. I tried to quiet him down and everyone just stared at him. It really didn’t bother me, but it bothered my sister in-law because she mentioned it to me in a fit of anger over a conversation we had nearly a year later when I was trying to convince her to let my husband back into the house and she refused. That just told me that she was totally not willing to understand and held a grudge against him and she is a social worker for the county we live in and deals with this on a regular basis. But I guess because it is her brother, she is not willing to deal with or accept him. I am not concerned with what family thinks, they will think what they want and it really doesn’t matter to me.


This is a tough call to make. We have confided openly in a few immediate family members, and let them inform others. Our son values his privacy and we have conveyed this wish to family. So far, so good. He is schizophrenic and 33.