I posted recently (and your answers were so invaluable - thank you again) that I convinced my son (who did not meet his university’s criteria for staying enrolled this semester) to come home for the fall and get treatment. Now he’s here - and things aren’t quite like I expected…
Well, in a way, they’re better.
My son has always been an odd duck and we’ve long suspected Asperger’s. I had him tested in 3rd grade, and they said not - but mainly only because he had one good friend that he cared about. He told me a few years ago that he remembers the evaluation, and actually lied on some of the answers because he perceived (even at 8 years old) that the truth didn’t sound good. As a young adult, he self-identifies as Aspergers, and I can’t disagree with his assessment.
All this is to say that he’s always been kind of anti-social, never having more than one or two good friends. He’s always had his serial obsessions with things which he pursued exclusively - then moved on to something else. He’s kind of blunt and tactless and yet charming (to me, anyway, and to many who know him) because he’s not actually mean-spirited, just a little clueless.
Anyway, he’s never been super communicative, but he basically fell off the face of the earth this spring. It was terrifying. I felt like my son was completely gone. He went from somewhat antisocial to hermit, never even leaving his house. He refused to answer texts, emails, calls. After a desperate welfare check, he ended up in the hospital and that’s when I found out he’d been hearing voices.
Bringing him home, I feared the worst. I was ready to hear some weird things, I’m a little ashamed to admit I put a stronger lock on my bedroom door. But since we got home, he’s… well, he’s him. Still odd, still obsessed with his “passion of the moment” (currently the stock market) and able to talk about it endlessly. But as far as I can tell, he doesn’t really have any odd delusions.
He is still hearing voices. I asked him today, and he doesn’t really want to talk to me about it, but he waggled his hand in the air - yes, he’s hearing them (sometimes? all the time? I don’t know - I don’t really want to press my luck too far at this point, as he’s still kind of angry about being home…). But he knows that they’re not real, he wants them to go away. He’s dismissive and skeptical about the whole psychotherapy route, but accepts that he needs treatment (if nothing else so that he can get re-admitted to school).
I’d kind of labeled him paranoid because he felt I was trying to harm him, but now that he’s home and he’s somewhat forgiven me on the whole credit card issue, he doesn’t seem to think that any more. I’m wondering if he’s suffering more from anxiety. The reason he suffered so much from losing the credit card was because it turns out he’s terrified of using his bank card. Which is not rational, I realize, but it stems from fear of being denied and then judged by cashiers and other patrons - which is at least something that might actually happen.
Still waiting to hear from the FEP program in town (they called today to say they did get the fax and are working on getting his records). In case they say No, I’ve made him a few other appointments (MD, therapist) - including one with a local sleep clinic (his sleep is really awful, and has been for years).
Really, this is already too long, and I’m not even sure what my questions is. I suppose it’s this - does it sound like schizophrenia? He’s got dismal sleep habits and anxiety at the very least - can these things cause auditory hallucinations? He may have substance abuse problems too. I know he still has pot in his system, and given the chance to drink, he can go to excess pretty quickly. His voices do sound fairly classic, though - nasty and judgy, telling him he’s sub-human and worthless. It breaks my heart.