Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How can I get my son to ride in a car?

My son has a doctors appt tomorrow but this past week he has developed a fear of riding in a car. He says he feels uncomfortable inside. He really needs to go to his appointment. Any suggestion?


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Give him a Valium or some other calming medicine

He is pretty independent so he’s not going to go for the ice cream or the valium. This is a new issue for him. Some how I have to convince him that he’ll be ok to ride in the car. I believe his increased marijuana use is contributing to the paranoia.

Oh my well I think I would start by reassuring him of his safety. And also tell them how important that appointment. I would stress that you’re going to drive slowly and he can tell you how you did when you get home. Then I would throw in a trip to DQ or his favorite burger place. Maybe tell him that you’ll hit the back roads if it makes him feel better. Good luck

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Is he collecting SSI, I always use that as leverage to make it to doctor and caseworker, etc appts. I say that you need to go to keep up your SSI, which is true, I think.


Someone told me it’s not a hard & fast rule, but I use that too.
And, the lady in the SSA office was quick to tell us both to record all his appointments so we have them ready for his 3-year review.

As hard as it is to get SSI with all the medical files, I can’t imagine what people do to get it without some kind of documentation.

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I know, I would think you need that documentation.

How are things going with getting your to ride in car?

I’m just throwing this out there for what it’s worth, maybe sitting in the back seat with a pillow or a blanket, or the front seat but reclining it back–or dressing differently or wearing sunglasses or a hat or carrying something with him that he really cares about that comforts him, or reading a book or listening to something with headphones, or listening to a certain kind of music on the radio. Ask him what about riding in the car bothers him and if he can think of anything that might make the ride easier for him that you could help him with, but tell him going to the doctor is really a ‘must’ either way. My son sometimes use to gain comfort from certain clothes or other items that made no sense to me but they worked for him. Good luck to you.


Catherine has a good point.

My son does the hoodie & sunglasses thing with headphones on.
When he’s really sick, he’ll either recline back or lay down in the back seat.

It’s not the car that makes him feel unsafe, but that other people can see him.

I just let him do his thing - not that I could stop him anyway.


Things are better. I got him to go to his appointment. Today he asked me to take him to the barbershop. He says he was scarred but he did fine.


My son had the same fear we got him noise cancelling head phones because he said the noise of other cars made him nervous, these have helped a lot we got them off Amazon for under $100 and they have been worth every penny