Threema, I am so glad your son is in a good place, working and loving his job, I love hearing when things are going well for our loved ones.
My son’s prodromal period was pretty typical. I should have explained what prodromal is, sometimes I forget that we should explain medical terms. The prodromal phase is the period before psychosis shows up. Jeb began to change in little ways. He began avoiding his friends at college, and he was always a really social guy, even from babyhood, he loved spending time with his friends more than anything. That’s why I remember that day so clearly, at the end of the phone call from Jeb, I sat there thinking how odd the call had been. Jeb called out of the blue to tell me that his friends were mad at him. I asked him why and he said “because I don’t want to do anything with them anymore”. The last year of college he left his dorm where he lived with all of his friends for three years, to move into a different dorm. As the years passed he continued to change, always slowly, and he suffered some periods of depression. He graduated from college and began a series of jobs that never lasted very long. As time progressed the jobs became lower and lower paying. Jeb graduated college in four years with a 3.2 average, 1 major and 3 minors and did a term abroad. Even in prodromal he would cycle, having good periods and not so good periods.
Best we know, he began hearing voices at age 27, 7 years after the first sign we saw of him being “different” than his usual self. Supposedly 7 years is the average length of a prodromal period. Jeb didn’t say “I am hearing voices” he said that people were being rude to him and calling him names. They weren’t really, but that’s what he was actually hearing. Studies have been done to show that during psychosis what they hear registers in their brain exactly the same as real sounds.
I am sorry about your mom. My husband’s mom and her sister had schizophrenia. His mom took a lot of abuse from his dad for her illness.