Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How does your day to day communicating go?


#1

My daily back and forth conversations with my son have changed ALOT and wondering if you all have similar times like this… kind of concerned…

My son and I would speak/text throughout the day, He lives in an apartment and we always texted each other goodnight, sometimes with a photo. We would go to lunch or dinner at least twice a week, and see each other on weekends. Conversations are hard, sometimes a smile or a laugh, but they at least flowed for a short time. And sometimes he would bring up something to talk about.

This past month it all has changed. Little texting, no more nightly texts. Questions I ask come with a one word reply, if any. We do not see each other as much. I know about the ‘flat affect’ but it has not lasted this long. To me he seems mad. When I ask specifically about noticing a change he simply says, ‘I am fine’. He has never shared about hearing voices…he said that is personal. He does see a counselor and we have spokenabout this, however he said he does not see the change that I have seen.

I would love to how your days and communicating go with your loved one. Difficult and trufhfully feel hurt, but remind myself not to take in personally.

Thanks so much!!


#2

Sorry I did not read your first post about this being your girlfriend. So sorry


#3

If my son did not live with me I would never hear from him, I know this would not be because of anything personal–it is the disease…the negative affects…apathy, lack of motivation and follow through,…and when he is alone he gets too much in his own head…There are good times when he does talk more like your son did for awhile --but those times are fleeting…your son may think of you every single day but just never makes it to actually completing the communication process. Even with my son living with me there are days that if I don’t initiate communication with him, there would be none. My advice would be to try harder to bridge the gaps in whatever way you can-if you can visit more or more regularly that would probably be ideal…it can improve but you will likely have to do more on your side to get a little from his side…or at least that is how it is with my son and I…it’s also similar with my son in California…he is not sz but he is high functioning Aspergers…and reciprocal communication is very difficult for him too,…I guess I am use to ‘carrying the ball’ on communication…because I can’t live without it where my boys are concerned. Good luck and happy new year.


#4

When my son won’t talk to me, it’s a big sign that he’s becoming ill.

Sometimes, I’ve been able to help him at those times. Other times, not so much.

When he gets really, really ill, he has a compulsion to talk about his paranoia/delusions. In the past, the compulsion to talk to someone, anyone, other than me is what got him to a place where they did an involuntary hold and got him back on his meds.

I’m hoping he doesn’t learn not to do that to stay out of the hospital when he needs to be there.

Right now, his meds are working and he’s in a good place, so we have nice daily conversations.

(He lives with me, and many days, I’m the only person he talks to.)


#5

My communications with my son (34) at this point are nearly always text based. He is unmedicated. At one point, all of our communications were phone calls. As he worsened, he ended up having to live next door. Verbal communications are hard as the illness has him hearing me say things I’m not saying and he would be visibly mad. Texting helps with that issue. Sometimes he will have a text conversation with me. Other times he won’t respond to my texts.

My son’s version of scz progresses very slowly. He used to have periods of being nearly normal. He doesn’t have those anymore. In the beginning he knew something wasn’t quite right with him. He lost all his awareness of that years ago.

I do treasure the occasional funny text that reminds me of the old him - or maybe I should say the younger him.


#6

My daughter often times is silent, unresponsive with bursts of rage and anger. It is definitely the illness talking and not her. Try not to take your son’s behavior personal but I know how hard it is. I’ve also felt hurt, sad and also angry at her for her treatment towards me. The illness can be unpredictable especially when he or she starts fooling around with prescribed medication. At her absolute worse she can behave catatonic or rage all day long and of course accuse me of being a horrible mother.

If you can take your son to all his appointments that could help with receiving consistent treatment and if he’s been with the doc for a long time the doc can gage if he’s on or off his baseline… My daughter skipped many of her appointment because she was very afraid to take pubic transportation. She found it too loud and distracting for her plus she believed everyone on the bus or train is whispering about her.


#7

Thank you all for sharing your experiences. I went with my son this week for his Invega injection. While there I mentioned my sons lack of communication, and was told that this a normal things with schizpohrenic patients. Sometimes they are just quiet and then later on might be quite talkative. She also mentioned that if he is not harming himself or others then let it go…so to speak. She also said that this is a telltale sign of schizophrenia and often starts before they are diagnosed. Thought i would share with you this info. Have any of you heard the same thing?


#8

@Rosebuds Yes absolutely I have heard of it and experienced it.


#9

YES! My daughter is typically not talkative and even before her diagnosis was a very quiet girl especially compared to my other two daughters who are both very social – in fact one of my daughters was my wild child and the other wanted to save the world.

She was quiet from the moment she was born. Never cried much and very close to me. At 12 years of age she still wanted to sit on my lap.


#10

My son is very much like yours, Catherine. Although I am still learning what his baseline is, he is often in his own head, requires me to seek his attention repeatedly when trying to communicate with him, he has a very flat affect, and because his thoughts consume him and interrupt him…even when he has moments of agitation, or anxiety, if he is left alone he will forget how he feels from one moment to the next. He rarely initiates any conversation. I could literally count the times in the last month on one hand. Between his inability to complete a thought, poor memory/recall, and an absence of motivation, he never quite gets past thinking about something…and actually executing/doing something. One of the things I have noticed recently is the poverty in his thought. The absence of complexity and inability he has to even seek out his own opinion. Even the questions he asks strike me as very elementary, and even odd. For example, when trying to get an idea of what he wanted for Christmas, he could not come up with anything. He did a Google search for, “What do I want for Christmas”…and recently, “where is it warm” when wanting to get a bus ticket out of our cold weather we have been experiencing. His logic is also deeply compromised, and his thinking is truly grandiose and deluded, like “I could cure AIDS in three weeks.” What is hardest for me is that he blames me for his poor lot in life, and is very angry with me most of the time. Although he is not often verbally abusive, when I ask him why he is rude or surly, it is because I am “stupid.” I truly am viewed as the obstacle and what has ruined his “life dreams.” Of course, he could not itemize what it is he is being prevented from, or what steps he needs to take that I could help him with…so I take it all with a grain of salt. I also put this all in context with me being the person that initiated the 911 call that caused his first hospitalization in July, the one who prompts him for change, makes the rules, and I am the parent that initiated and secured temporary guardianship recently.


#11

My son can be like this, he too is having invega depot , been having it for 6 months now.
Sometimes he will talk fine, other times its a straight Yes, or no/
He walks about the house an awful lot, he spends most of the day doing nothing, all day long nothing.
This time he hasnt been out for about a week now.

At times I will go upstairs, he will come up after me and follow me, I have to say at times, please give me some time to rest, I use it as my “rest time” I tell him Im going to my room to watch my iPad, and blogs and blogs I follow . Otherwise he would just be constantly going around doing nothing and making me not relaxed.


#12

My son, even in texting, still has the occasional talkative day. I usually stop everything and enjoy the communicative texts because it doesn’t happen that often. I have heard of other parents whose kids texted nonstop making work and life difficult.

I can usually tell if he wants me to do something for him as he will be quite nice in the text and inquiring about me or my interests. Just like he did when he was little and was trying to sweet talk me into something.


#13

Thst was definitely the case for my son pre diagnosis. He was away at college and began answering my texts with “yea” to everything. I remember thinking that something was wrong. Fast forward 3 months and it became very obvious. Poor kid’s brain was so out of control.


#14

Isolation can be a big symptom in mental illness and is a tough fine line to walk when someone is an adult. I like to think of it this way, “Know when to hold em, know when to fold em.” While it is a poker quote, it’s about knowing the right move to make in the situation. Sometimes they need space, and sometimes they need us to care just a little more. Sometimes you have to step forward when they are unable to step toward you. It’s okay to say to your son, “Look, I am worried about you and miss you. What can I do to help? Are you struggling with anything right now?” It could be illness or it could just be the stress of life. You won’t ever know if you don’t ask.

Good luck!


#15

This sounds like my husband, we sit in the same room in the evenings. I am ignored, I try to start a conversation and he just gives me short answers and continues to ignore me. I have lost the intelligent, conversational hubby I had. Very seldom will he hold a conversation or even reply to a text. I have done research and read the forums here and realize, this is just the norm. I talked to my brother who is a psychiatrist and he said, yes this is possibly the new norm for our house. It is hard, I feel like I’m invisible most of the time. I am thrilled if he will talk in a couple of sentences to me now. My life just is at this point. I’m sorry you have to go through this with your son. It is hard, it makes you wonder what you did wrong. Nothing, we just love someone with sz and have to learn to adjust to our new life. :frowning: Hugs!


#16

My 22 year old son often drives in the car with me and neither of us talks, I try to initiate conversation, but his responses are yes or no and he seems irritated. I have gotten used to this. He recently got his own subsidized apt. very close to me and I visit him about everyday. Some days we run errands and other days I just hang out at his place and help him clean and we eat a meal. He can often be quiet and irritated when I come over and want me to leave, saying he needs time alone. I think how much more time do you need alone, as you don t socialize any more at all. He does answer all phone calls from me and I call him 5 or 6 times a day and sometimes he is talkative,mostly about video games or what he wants to buy. It is a different life than what we dreamed for them, but we have to make the best of it.


#17

My son and my husband.
The house is so very quiet.
And then I find myself wondering if they really are “okay”.
With son, who is clearly dx I can usually tell.
Husband has always been quiet, dx by some drs but not all, and is heavily medicated for depression, etc.
The house is so quiet.
I talk, they might nod, and if I push it, they will respond with a “yeah”.
Their greatest fear? That I will leave.
I have never, ever heard anyone describe the same scenario.
THANK YOU!!


#18

Girl, you gotta get some girlfriends and get out for some conversation and wine🍷

Many “normal” husbands are reticent to engage in small talk. With a mentally ill spouse, it’s always a crapshoot as to what kind of mood they will be in from day to day.

I hope you can take some time for yourself and be around social people for awhile.


#19

I was just thinking how long it has been since I’ve been to an art museum.
OR a botanical garden.
I’m in LA…
it’s not impossible!!
Thanks!!! Needed that.


#20

Go for it! If you were in NY, I’d take you to the Met to see the Peace Tree. Botanical Gatdens is a no-go here; its 19 degrees!