Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Holidays and SZ

How do your loved ones, who struggle with Schizophrenia, do during the Winter Solstice Holidays?

This year my 49-year- old son decided to have dinner at the group home he has lived in for the past 3 years.

He decided not to make a big deal of Thanksgiving.
" It’ s just a day," he said.

The first winter storm dropped over a foot of snow.
I was relieved not to make the hour drive.

I was relieved not to have to cheer lead him into normalcy. Coping with SZ is not normal.


I am concerned that the meds he takes now have side effects that have have stolen his JOY and Creativity.

He used to draw and make music all the time.
Not any more.

Yes, he is subdued on meds;

less violent, still has times of swearing uncontrollably, still has psychotic episodes with homicidal ideation.
Gets very scared and very angry.

Recently he opened up to me during a psychotic episode and talked about the harsh voices he was hearing, paranoia with staff and wanting to kill someone.

After asking many times over the years, he has never given permission for me to talk with any health care providers.

He doesn’t feel well many days and struggles to get through the hours.

Appreciate the support here at
Look forward to hearing from the community.


Hello old friend :heart:

Have you had a chance to read the book “Hidden Valley Road”? The book covers decades of a family with multiple cases of schizophrenia. Several of the family members were on meds long term. They do go into details describing the condition of the family members after decades of being medicated.

I am sorry that your son is still dealing with harsh voices and thoughts of killing. I’m glad that he was able to share it with you. While they say that burdens are lighter shared, we parents end up sharing some harsh burdens for our family members.

Usually my son gets out enough even in cold weather for his walks. He has some other issues going on that are making walking difficult these days. Its harder on him when he is cooped up. Those daily walks make a big difference. Thanksgiving went well, fingers crossed for luck, on to the holidays…


Merci beaucoup for your kind words.

I learn a lot from the Community.



So sad that after all these years you still cannot talk to Dr’s about your son treatment. But you should call the Dr anyway and leave messages or send email with info about your son that u think is relevant, like meds killing his creativity, or what meds have worked better. Things are not perfect with your son, but it could be much worse. Keep seeing him and giving him your support. That is all you can do right now. Also teach him how to be a better advocate for himself, since he does not give u access to the doctors. Hope Xmas is better.


Hi Vermont. A foot of snow already? How festive!

To reply: my brother, who has had the brain disease schizophrenia for decades, seems lately to at least enjoy the festive nature of how other people behave at this time of year. As his sibling I no longer pressure him to partake of “normal” activities or have or show joy the way others do. I struggled with this for SO many years. Enormous sadness, including seeing my parents strive, nearly give up and abandon traditional activities and yes, that optimistic holiday attitude everyone is supposed to have. What for many is a time of rejuvenation became for us–and surely others on this forum–a sad and draining season of misery when you start to compare. So, don’t.

Gradually, I let it go and voila. Lately, I look to my brother’s situation as a tonic to all the holiday excess that also exists this time of year. Stressing out over the perfect gift? Not for me. What a silly pleasure that would be. I focus on kindness, charity, sincerity, sacrifice.

I married into a celebratory family though and do have a son and we do celebrate the holidays normally, whatever that means. My elderly parents have a deep if buried holiday spirit, too. And I drink it in. But I cannot push my brother to join or do what the season suggests.

He also could draw, like your son, and once played guitar, too. Does your son like to talk about those activities, at least? Maybe some day he will resume them. I think this month I’ll ask my brother to sketch me something as a gift to me. I will hand him the paper and wait, then accept whatever he gives me. That is truly enough. Wishing you a peaceful winter.

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Merci beaucoup for your words.

I have called CWs in jail, hospital,rehab, group home many times.

They are required to tell him when I call.
He gets really upset and tells me not to call “them”.
He wants me protecting him/on his side. He abhors the SZ diagnosis.

So wait and watch cry and pray.
Navigating him through the bad days
hoping he can rest when it passes.

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Merci beaucoup for your reply. I feel hope now.

My son lives a very cloistered, monk-like existence
which includes coffee and take-out. LOL!!


I wish I could offer some great advice. What I can offer is comfort and prayer. I will say that those of you who have children with this disease I have the utmost admiration for. There is a bind with a child unlike we have with other family members including our own spouses. You are brave and deserve my respect. Prayers.

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Merci beaucoup pour votre réspons.

Thank- you for your response.

It gave me support and hope.

From snowy Vermont​:snowflake::snowflake::snowflake:

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