Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How did your loved one get Schizophrenia and their age?

My father got infectious meningitis when he was 30, I was 2, contracted from a tooth infection. Patients 90% die. God saved him. He suffers severe paranoid Schizophrenia and thinks he is Jesus Christ and gives everything he can to Benny Hinn or another Christian leader known nationally, he also mentions Moody, but I’m not sure who he is. Thanks to everyone

So sorry about your dad.

My son was 20 when he had his first psychotic break. He’s 27 now. But looking back, I’m pretty sure he was in the prodromal stage around 18. Started obsessing about odd things and had reckless behavior at times which I attributed to normal teenage stuff.

He was smoking pot back then and dabbled in other drugs too, like shrooms and synthetic pot. I guess I’ll never know for sure if the drugs kicked in the sz, but I feel in my heart that they did.

I wish you the best in advocating for your dad. It sure is hard.

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@lovemyson I am so sorry to hear your son is so young but he is blessed to have you! I’m in criminal law and have feared for children and the use of synthetic Marijuana and this being an effect from it. Do you believe that the synthetic pot often times extremely addictive caused the Schizophrenia in your son. Again I’ve been living with my father ill for 30 yrs and now I’m his caregiver and it’s harder the more I read and learn about the disease.

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My son was about 14 when the really odd behaviors began but because it coincided with the onset of drug and alcohol use, I thought it was an addiction issue and he was in and out of rehab until the age of 21 when he was admitted to the hospital for a pill overdose and he actually admitted to an ER Nurse that “he did not mean to but the voices made him do it”…up to that point no mention of voices had been made either to counselors or myself even though he muttered to himself a lot and thought I talked to him when I didn’t…Thankfully, it was the very beginning of getting the right treatment from there on.

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Its really impossible to know what it is that triggers, or earlier in development sets up a person for schizophrenia - because there are so many factors. Street drugs like Marijuana can trigger it in some people research suggests, and make things worse once people have it.

I recommend you read these parts of the web site if you want to know more about the causes (and how to prevent) schizophrenia:


How to prevent Schizophrenia:

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My daughter was diagnosed with sz at 20, but I wondered about her much earlier. At age 5 she talked of death. At age 8 she wanted to die and was diagnosed with ADHD. After meeting with a psychiatrist for a few months, he said she was a well adjusted child. She performed well for the professionals and still does! I just love when she meets a new professional. I’m just kidding but it is kind of funny how she manipulates them. Throughout her school days she did a lot of quirky things. Some mental illness is found on my maternal side cousins, but nothing immediate. I read once that if a pregnant mother is exposed to measles it could cause sz, but I don’t know if that is a known fact. My test showed that I had been exposed to measles but the next day the readings were normal.
That is a long time for you to struggle with your father. I am so sorry. It must have been difficult growing up. Does he live in the home with you? Or are you able to have breaks. Sometimes my daughter just wears me out.

@vscjunk2261 I live in the city now, for financial reasons and have taken over his care. I haven’t been prepared to handle this until now. I have let him care for himself and supported him financially. Now I’ve taken over completely. He had wrecked the car got for him & got a DWI and his cousin moved in and messed him up real bad I was grieving for my mother and lost control of him. Now I’m back better than ever and can’t ignore his disease. He will be at a senior community with home health and be staying with me weeks each month. So yes I get a break but never mentally and from his verbal abuse.

No, none of us get a break mentally, for sure. I’m so sorry about the loss of your mother. My husband died 6 months ago and it’s hard to grieve and be mentally fit to deal with my daughter. I am so glad that you can have some help, but still with a career and education, you must be exhausted. Luckily I am a retired teacher and have my special ed roots to fall back on. Best wishes and keep coming back to this site - it really helps.:relieved:

My son is 27. He had his first official psychotic break at 15. I knew he wasn’t sleeping, but he never slept much as a baby. The school called for me to pick him up (I’d offered to let him stay home that day, but he actually wanted to go - that should have been my first clue something was off). They were sure it was drugs and kept asking him what he had taken & who had given it to him. He tested clean at the hospital.

Of course, I noticed things earlier, and there are people on both sides of the family with mental health issues, so he’s got the genetic tendency. He has a cousin who’s 4 years younger with similar type things.

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Our son went to college and then had his first major psychotic break. We believe it was caused by marijuana or LSD or some drug that he tried when he was 18. We noticed the isolation when he was a young teenager hiding out with video games — true there is a relationship with video game addiction for hiding out and being different than you are. And, the marijuana and whatever addiction took his life for a few years and remains a major risk.

I hope this helps you :slight_smile:

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Synthetic marijuana is the devil. It’s the worst thing that anyone could take, mentally ill or not. I started finding empty “spice” packs in his living quarters downstairs after he became ill. I’m pretty sure he didn’t start the spice until after he became ill.

To add insult to injury, I discovered soon after that he had been charging the spice at a local smoke shop on my American Express card. This is about the time when it dawned on me that I could no longer trust him at all.

It infuriated me that a smoke shop was selling this awful stuff that was so damaging to my son and other kids. So my daughter and I went on a couple of “sting” operations at this smoke shop and turned over our evidence to the county sheriff. About this time there was a teenage boy from a wonderful family in the Atlanta area who died in a hot tub after smoking spice for the first time. Eventually they arrested the owners of the smoke shop. That sure was a nice feeling. Son no longer smokes spice.


I was 35 when I had my son. He had a normal childhood but he was always different. Our son had his first psychotic episode at 16 when he did mushrooms with his friends. I believe he used marijuana early also. He thought he was a Shaman for several years and experimented with hallucinogens. He has been diagnosed with scizoaffective and then paranoid schizophrenia since 19. He is now 22. He is extremely smart and we knew he would be going to college so we saved and he earned Eagle Scout and a scholarship. Our gut told us we needed to be closeby. He was not able to attend past two semesters. His anxiety would not allow him to go.

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Same with my daughter. She was accepted into the honors program at George Mason University near DC. She was the only student chosen from her high school to attend a Youth Leadership Forum in DC. She had a bright future ahead of her and then she tried to commit suicide. We kept her out of the university and put her in community college but she couldn’t make it. Then she got married and went out of control. We didn’t know how bad she was at first because she stayed away.

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I believe that my son’s Sz was triggered into psychosis because of his pot smoking and also a genetic predisposition. He was diagnosed in 2013 at age 25. In looking back, I believe he was in the prodrome stage when he was a junior in high school. He ended up having to drop out because he simply could not pass the required math. He did pass the GED test with no problem whatsoever!

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Synthetic marijuana is what my son used ( at least that is what he told us ) on the night that he had his first break. It is the devil @lovemyson, I agree.

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Genetic predisposition with environmental stresses; late teens.

I had to comment on your handle - momwithbeautifulson. I feel the same way. My son is day 7 in a mental health recovery facility after his first psychotic break at age 24, with a prodromal period of about 18 months (of course I didn’t KNOW it was prodromal, just that something was terribly wrong) but maybe even longer as more general symptoms started appearing in his late teens. I have posted the full story in other threads so I won’t repeat it all here, but I keep saying “my beautiful baby boy” over and over as I begin to sort out what has just happened.

So your handle caught my eye.

It is the most heartbreaking, devastating diagnosis that just steals the minds of young people right in the prime of their lives.

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My son was diagnosed at 26 but had a long and ruinous prodromal phase from about 18 in which he dropped out of university and never really managed to get back on track. I thought he was just being antisocial at first but couldn’t understand it. It was like a very late and aggressive adolescence, But he was a divine and trouble free teenager. I was actually living abroad when he had his first psychosis. I was talking to him on the phone through part of it, and looking up his symptoms and booking a flight home on the internet as I spoke to him!
My son has never drunk alcohol, never smoked a cigarette and only once in his life eaten a dope brownie (he said it made him feel ‘funny’) so his was not triggered by drugs. He didn’t comply with treatment fully for the first couple of years and kept having relapses but he was detained for 10 days under the Mental Health Act 18 months ago and has been fully cooperative since then. He is now quite well and studying as much as he can (programming). He is still very withdrawn but he lives alone and looks after himself. He had his clear diagnosable psychotic break when he was on a zero-hour contract and his employers didn’t pay him (for an administrative reason), so he couldn’t pay his rent and his landlord gave him notice. Fortunately we live in the U.K. where there is a good Early Intervention programmed in the NHS do he ended up with a great medical team xnd support worker who helped him with housing and benefits as well as treatment.


Daughter, born 3 months premature in 1987. Had fits and a hole in the heart but recovered and grew into a lovely normal child. Started having minor social dysfunction issues from about the age of 5, we put it down to her personality. Voices and delusions appeared when she was 15, diagnosed with sz after 3 months. There are a couple of people in both my wife’s and my ancestry with mental health issues. However, we were contacted by a Cambridge professor specialising in mental health who was trying to identify a link between too much oxygen given shortly after birth in premature babies, and development of sz later in life. He believed he had discovered that high levels of pure oxygen interfered with development of the hypocampus at a critical time.

My son suffered a critical episode at birth. He breathed early (before being born) went into distress and inhaled his meconium. Spent several days in infant intensive care on oxygen.

He was a normal, smart, healthy, athletic guy who loved spending time with his friends. He did suffer a crisis at age 18, when he found out he had a kidney disease that would result in a future transplant.

His prodromal period was quite gradual, at the very least 7 years starting at age 20, possibly even 9 years at age 18 - some really light oddities that bothered me at the time and showed up before the kidney situation. He graduated from college, his first two years of college were basically normal. He started smoking cigarettes at first, then pot, his early symptoms were there before he started smoking so I can’t conclude that pot was the instigator, but it didn’t help and later when the psychosis started at age 27, the pot became a real problem.

His first psychosis that we can confirm, happened the evening of his kidney transplant. He also woke up from his transplant surgery “acting all crazy and disoriented”.

It was all so gradual we had no idea what was actually happening for a couple of years. Some of the doctors blamed his immunosuppression drugs for a couple of years - until he worsened. At age 30 he was fired after having an episode at work.

I sometimes mess the years up and think he was 29 in 2009, but he wasn’t, he was 27. I have two sons with kidney disease and both have received transplants. The other son is two years older.