Hi everyone. I’m new to the site. I have a 24 yr old Son who has been experiencing auditory and visual hallucinations for almost a year now. He has only opened up and told me a month ago what was happening. I basically started with paranoia, then progressed to the auditory and visual. He said the voices are there 24/7 even when he is sleeping or trying to sleep, or they buzz his ear so he can’t sleep. They also tell him what he can eat or drink. He does not believe he may have schizophrenia. He thinks someone planted a chip in his head. He works but can barely concentrate on his job because of the voices. He has no ins and doesn’t make enough money for a psychiatrist. I cry all the time because it makes me so sad for him. Especially when he cries out of frustration or lack of sleep. We are in Texas and I don’t even know where to begin to help him get treatment with low income such as his. He does confide in me about what he is experiencing so I’m grateful for that, but I am afraid it will get worse without treatment,and he will stop communicating. I’m trying to be strong in front of him, but I break down alone often. I just want to help him get the help he needs. The voices are not kind to him, and want him to kill himself, and down him. I’m so upset as I’m typing because I have held this in for a month, and haven’t confided in anyone, but I need all the support I can get. Thanks in advance.
Welcome…so very sorry for what you and your son are going through. I would start with going with him to his family doctor if he has one or local clinic and make sure he has a full check up done to rule out anything physical because there are things physical that can manifest in delusions. After that either the doctor can give you a referral or better yet you can contact this group (start with the helpline number listed at the top. They are a wealth of information, referrals, support, free classes etc…I wish you the best. https://namitexas.org/
My son is 30 and was diagnosed in 2013 when he was 25. I’m trying to think where to begin. You’ve heard of NAMI or not? National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Every state has a chapter. Also Treatment Advocacy Center. And Mental Illbess Policy Org. These are all online and you’ll find LOTS of information. Right away, ASAP you should buy the book Surviving Schizophrenia 6th Edition by E. Fuller Torrey. It’s the foremost and best, most comprehensive book on schizophrenia. Dr. Torrey is a research psychiatrist whose sister in law or sister maybe has schizophrenia and this is why he’s a huge advocate. It’s written to be both extremely informative and also very readable. You should also buy the book by Xavier Amador, “I Am Not Sick …” it’s a book that will give you a clear cut strategy about how to deal with anasognosia (lack of insight) Both of these books are indispensable and you will believe me when you start reading. You must educate yourself as much as possible. Read read and read everything you can. There is lots of information right here on this website too.
If your son can’t afford you should get him on disability or something. This is all kind of technical stuff and the states differ … … there is guardianship and conservatorship and all kinds of things. Between NAMI and the other two organizations, and at the least those two books, you will find a lot of useful information and I hope things go well. He hasn’t been diagnosed at all, with anything, right? And at this point he’s denying he’s ill. And he’s an adult. The HIPAA laws may be an obstacle for you if your son won’t cooperate and sign a consent so that you can have access to his medical records etc. Those organizations and this website will help you. I hope this is a helpful start anyway. Welcome. And good luck. We’re here for your emotional support and we all know exactly how you feel. I can say that because it’s true. I mean you can’t always say “I know how you feel,” about everything but since we’re all in the same boat then we have compassion and empathy. And believe me, we DO know what you are going through. I have been crying for five years now. I’m not even the same person. This is all consuming. But we’re here. I’m sure you’ll get lots of helpful information from other members. Xo and hugs to you momma and to your beautiful boy.
Hello, I’m sorry you and your son are going through this difficult time.
Here is a link to some places to call in Texas:
Depending on where you live, there will be more or fewer resources available. There will be a clinic somewhere where your son can receive free or sliding scale treatment. Since he does not believe he is ill, he may not accept medical treatment at this time.
Call the crisis line people in your county and see what they recommend.
Best to you.
I am a mom of a 31 yr old. First of all, I just want to say, I did not understand what my son (Lou) was experiencing, it sounded so odd, wasn’t sure what I was dealing with, but knew it wasn’t right. I feel for you and everyone here who has had similar situations.
All I can tell you, is what your son is going through, he believes that it is real. There is no convincing them otherwise. Try to reason him with concern about the possibilities of maybe he needs to talk to a professional.
We are just parents, dealing with really confused circumstances, and we need the help of professionals. It may help him come to terms with he has a problem.
And last advice is to be safe, if he is acting or talking about violence, you should call a hotline, they will help you to decide what is best for your son.
I Did not recognize the warning signs, unfortunately my son is in a state hospital, awaiting competency results.
Take care, AnnieNorCal
Thank y’all so much for your replies! I am so glad I found this site. I’ve been feeling so alone with this since he confided in me. I needed a release, so I appreciate all of you more than you know! I had no idea something physical could be wrong, so thank you for that info! Also thank you for the book recommendations. I’ve been trying to read anything and everything I can find on the internet about it. He does say that he will go to the Dr, but thinks it won’t help because he knows who is doing this, and they planted a chip in his head and can read his thoughts. They also won’t even let him take meds he said. He went to the Dr last week for a skin rash, and got antibiotics, but won’t take them because the voices tell him to “stop taking dope”. He is mentally drained and so am I Him worse than me though because next month it will be a year since the voices started. They are driving him crazy he said. All this started all of a sudden, out of nowhere it seems, although I did see some paranoia a little while before the voices and hallucinations started. I don’t care what it takes to help him. I am going to do it. I hate seeing him so unhappy and find no joy in life. Thank you all for your advice. I’m so sorry that you all have to go through this too, and your children. It’s heart wrenching. I’m here to learn from you all and this place is exactly what I needed. Thank you all again!
I know it might be very difficult to get your son to the right doctors, even knowing how hard that can be, you need to try to get the physical check up done as soon as possible. If your son does have scz and its early into his illness, getting him on the right anti-psychotic meds as soon as possible is crucial. 25% of the people with scz can fully recover with early treatment.
Texas can make it tricky, I am from Texas as well and some parts don’t have the resources available to help you. Best wishes, Hope
I had to get him to the ER. He was having panic attacks from the voices and wanted to go. So we are here now. They are doing some testing, and there is an inpatient ward here for mental illness crisis. So maybe we are on our way to help! Waiting for another Dr. but it’s a long wait here. Please keep him in your prayers that he can get the help he needs. I know this is the first step, but it’s better than no step at all. He is willing to get the help and I am so happy about that!
That’s so great that he reached out for help. Good luck. I hope this can be a positive experience that gets him what he needs.
Have you both in my prayers!
Thank y’all! We are waiting on a room so he can go up. He is scared to go, but he is going to go. He got a dose of haldol, but it doesn’t really seem to be doing much, he is agitated that the voices are calling him a "dopehead for taking the med. The Dr is saying Schizo- effective disorder. I guess I will know more after he is on the psych floor after a few days. I don’t know anything about schizo effective disorder. So I have a lot of reading to do. Thank you all for being here for me. I will update when I can!
Schizoaffective is schizophrenia with a mood component. Basically, it’s a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar.
My son was recently diagnosed with it, after previously being diagnosed with straight schizophrenia.
Based on what my son’s last hospital psychiatrist said, schizoaffective disorder is not worse than schizophrenia. It’s just different.
So nice to hear your son is getting help!
That is great that he was willing to go. I am in CO. I have a 28 year old with sz. Or as he says the doc told him disorganized thinking and anxiety. (which can be a bit easier for a person to say they have vs sz). He was involuntarily admitted by me to the hospital. I had no idea what or how it worked so I will tell you briefly what happened in case it may help you. First ER for one night, then the Behavioral Health Unit (15 bed - they only take people short term - like a few weeks). At first they thought he’d need long term so tried to get a bed in a bigger long term hospital in Denver. They may think your son may need long term and then that can turn around on a dime. He stayed in short term for 19 days we got him on court ordered meds (Invega Sustenna - which is a monthly shot). Then they had this 1/2 way or transitional house where he is now. (except he is at home today for an overnight). The transitional house helped him get a caseworker, a doc, start to apply for disability and group classes (which he hates). He will come home full time on Wed. until he can get state assistance for housing. He’s also had one interview. This all in 6 weeks - and he was severely paranoid and had isolated for a year. If he won’t sign ROI (release of information ) form for you - which it sounds like he will, you can get info out of the nurses and actually other patients as well. You are heading in the right direction. We’re here for you.
Thank you so much for your story! Since yesterday I have been wondering what’s next, because I just don’t know. My Son and I are close so he will let them know that I am his advocate, and be privy to his info. Thank God for that. I just don’t know what to expect when he comes out. I will see him tomorrow evening at the hospital, but it’s early in his treatment so I hope I see some sort of change. He has a job and hopefully he can keep it. He gets real depressed if he doesn’t work. He said a man should work. Is he being unrealistic in thinking he can return? He said he doesn’t want to live off of ssi or any government help. He had been working even with the voices and delusions. Will the meds cause him to be sedated? I have so many questions and just don’t know. He hasn’t seen the Dr yet where he is now. Hopefully I can talk to the Dr tomorrow and see. Who knows. They may not even let him go back to his job. Mental illness is so stigmatized. Again thank you for your story. It had helped me to realize that this could be a very long battle, and that there is no quick fix to all this. I will pray for your son and family. I will pray for everyone that has to deal with this.
So glad to hear your son is getting some help. If your son was able to maintain employment while ill, he should be able to return and probably be better able to function after starting treatment. If he responds well to medication and is compliant in taking it, he should improve. It will make him tired and he may sleep more but that sedated feeling should go away after a period of time. My son is 24 and was diagnosed at 21. He takes medication regularly and has been working and even finished college this year. He is different than before but has a life and future. I do hope that your son improves and can get back on track. Best wishes.
Tag…that gives me so much hope! Thank you
In my case as I think with most, they keep them until they are stable. So here mine was in the regular hospital then in the locked unit (total 19 days). Which was amazingly nice and the staff were great. They had group discussions, meditations and games (he didn’t really join). They put him on risperdal (pills) which he was not willing to take but due to his state of mind legally they could give him a pill or a shot of that. He chose the pill. After a week we went to court and the doctor stood trial to get him on court ordered meds. He wanted to give him a shot that lasted for two weeks but because of this forum and there is a slim chance my sons sz is from pot or other drugs I wanted him on invega Sustenna. Due to some other stories I had heard. That is a monthly shot. (He would need to take a pill for a week or so to make sure he (your son) is not allergic to the drug. In the Behavioral Health Unit my son paced a lot (which can be a side effect) and now he just seems really fuzzy to me but at least is able to be around people and talks. Keep asking questions at the hospital and it will get clearer as you go. If he goes to a Behavioral Health unit - there will be visiting hours and likely you won’t be able to bring him things with strings or any thing sharpe (even forks you get at a to go place). Strings will need to be taken out. I would think your son would still be able to work. His employer doesn’t need to know why he is in the hospital and if your son isn’t violent it shouldn’t be a problem. When working my son heard his customers tell him that he should kill himself, so that didn’t work out well.
What meds is your son on and how long would you say that sedated feeling lasted for him?
He is not violent and I am grateful for that. Although he does yell and beg the voices to go away, or yell in frustration, begs God to make them go away, or to help him when he is home or we are alone. At work he has the auditory hallucinations, but not the visual. He does have both when he goes to stores etc. I am going to make sure he gets a Drs excuse to return to work, and your right they don’t need to know why. He is a good worker, and has never done anything bad at work. Or any other place for that matter. I’m sure if he would not have gotten help then it would have driven him mad and no telling what might happen. I prayed to God so much to help him. On my knees praying for relief for him. It has come. I pray he can live a normal life, under his circumstances. All you woman are so strong, and I strive to be like all of you!