Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Frequent moves, escaping, travelling etc

Hi, I’ve read in a number of different places that one of the symptoms of schizophrenia is frequent moves, trips etc. My brother is socially withdrawn and spends little time with family and yet he will travel long distances to be with a friend for a day and night, before moving on to another friend. When we ask how he enjoyed himself he says he didn’t really.

Can someone shed light on what the frequent travel/moves are about?


I wouldn’t be so quick to pick out ones and twos of any disorder to try to place a label on anyone.
It is entirely possible that he feels the need to travel, explore and figure out what he is looking for.
There is an instinct in a lot of people that drives us to find a place where we feel “at home”, or a place that is thrilling, or somewhere that has opportunities for career.
The is doubly true if he is between 20 and 30.

Perfect example, after I left my parents’ home, I never lived anywhere for longer than 2 years. Whether I was moving across town, or to a different country.
Certainly doesn’t mean I have any sort of disorder.
For me personally, it was in persuit of the lifestyle and work that would satisfy my need for change, challenge and freedom.

So, maybe there is more to your brother’s story.
But travel, even if disappointing (as it often is), isn’t necessarily a problem. We all need to feel like we are comfortable, engaged, challenged and satisfied with our lifestyle.

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Thanks for your reply. I think I phrased my question badly. My brother has been diagnosed some months ago and has many traits that are common to schizophrenia. What has puzzled me though it this restlessness mainly because he isn’t interested in exploring the place or even spending time with friends. He went to Paris last year with friends and didn’t even leave the hotel room. I have told him that he shouldn’t feel the need to fit in just because others his age are travelling but he still keeps going here, there and everywhere without wanting to leave his accommodation.

I don’t think I’d be worrying if he was curious about his surroundings and hanging out with people but he just sits in a corner of the room on his phone.

Do you think he may be trying to re-capture the feeling he used to have when he spent time with his friends?

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when my son was in college in Virginia between 2010 through 2015, he wanted to travel to see a friend in East coast even though I told him that our budget is tied. I was supporting him during his college years but he lied to me and traveled to see a friend like 4 hours away and he asked me to fund his trip to Europe with out any plan on what does he needs to be in Europe.
I used to send him to be with his grandparents almost every Summer in the middle east and I think he start liking to travel a lot.
He has his first episode in June 2015 when he started driving from Virginia to California and his car was impounded in Kentuchy and he hid his laptop and his cell phone and was asking people to call me and call my brother. it was a high stress year for me. I had to meet him in Kentuchy and traveled back to his home in Virginia and later he was evaluated in Virginia and get on zyprexa medicine for few weeks but did not want to continue. things started getting worse for him and get hospitalized in my state for 5 weeks and again did not want to stay on his meds and it has been a rollercoast·er since that time.

When my son get off his medicine two years ago about April/2017, he was with me in the Midwest but he did not want to stay with me. He wanted to stay in California where my brother is and another family friend. he traveled like 3 to 4 times between April to June taking Greyhound. he complained about a strong headache and I think it was the medicine withdrawal symptoms. I did book him a flight to come back to the Midwest to be with me but he wanted to leave within a week and go back to CA.
I was worried about him since he was traveling and taking greyhound…
He was medicine non-complaint and he ended up so sick in California and hospitalized few times.
I was in a panic mode last December trying to find where he was. he disappeared for almost 2 weeks and I had to file missing police reports several time in 2017.

I am not sure if excessive travel is a Symptom of schizophrenia but in my Son’s case he wanted to travel without fearing consequences of being stranded somewhere without food and money. He was irrational and putting himself at risk… danger to himself.

I am glad he is now in a Facility and safe and medicated.

Is he medicated and still feels the urge to travel?
Or was this happening before he was medicated?

The travelling is something he does when he’s not medicated.

I would think so when he is not medicated or he is having episode, then he wants to travel. when medicated and rational he does not think about traveling

I meant in in my son’s case.

Hi, thanks for your reply but can you explain why he wants to roam, or travel when unmedicated?

Does he get off amd on medication frequently?
Reminds me of akathasia

He’s only recently been diagnosed and so has just started meds. it was for my own interest to understand why in spite of finding everything boring he would jump on a train and travel 5 hours so that he could sit with a friend and play on their playstation. It’s not like he’d even leave the house.

It’s the dopamine
Look into the science of why people get bored

So did he stop the urge to roam and travel nowafter being medicated?

Yes he is less bothered about roaming around now.