How to help my daughter - afraid to talk to people

Hello, I was hoping someone might be able to help me, my daughter has some degree of schizophrenia. Her biggest problem is talking with people, she has some disorganized thinking but almost no positive symptoms. ( No voices etc… ). I don’t quite know how to explain this, been dealing with this for almost two year. She has been to doctors, therapy etc… but no success on anything tried. She will say she will try things - like getting a job, volunteering, take a college class - but when the reality settles into her and going to these things get closer ( first day of the class, etc… ) she refuses to go. Even going to the doctors is a battle - the day of the appointments she always does not want to go - comments like " I don’t know what they want me to say" etc… and she gets in a panic and fearful of going. Then eventually calms down once she knows the appointment time has passes. If anyone has any ideas they would be welcome.

When did your daughter start having signs of social anxiety? Was there a “before” time when she was comfortable with new situations?

She is 21 yrs old, I think she always was a little “shy” in hindsight. She played sports, excelled in school, did activities. It became bad when she went away to college and COVID hit. Now she won’t even try to do anything and just say’s “NO” to all the programs we tried to get her to get involved with

Is there anything she is interested in or enjoys doing? Were some of the doctors she saw psychiatrists?

She was at a therapeutic treatment program for 6 months. I was told she was able to do her assigned work everyday for 6 hours - Mon through Fri. She convinced me to let her come home saying she was ready to “do” things. She has been home one week and is behaving like she did before she went into the treatment program - she just seems like a zombie and is terrified of talking to people.

Do you have a NAMI group near you? NAMI groups offer the “Family to Family” course that can be incredibly helpful in learning how to help your daughter. The course has also become online since Covid - that helps as it used to take a long time to wait for an opening.

Has anyone suggested the possibility that your daughter is suffering from some sort of depression?

Is there any sort of family history that has you thinking that schizophrenia is a possibility?

We have done the NAMI - Family to Family course. - She is on medication for depression also. Wellbutrin, The doctors believe it’s schizophrenia, she is in a first episode psychoses program - but nothing is really getting better - she just basically sit’s down all day like a zombie.

Not sure if this helps but I did recently read that the patient is often exhausted after being in these programs and might even go through depression after they have ended. My son just got out of a treatment program. I now have to figure out his after care program. It’s very exhausting for everyone.

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@HopeAlways as @Healinginside mentioned, this is an exhausting time. At the Family to Family I took, they told us that the most we could expect from our family members -for a long time- was one thing a day. The room got very quiet at that news.

Have you read Dr E Fuller Torrey’s “Surviving Schizophrenia A Family Manual”?

I’m glad she is in a first episode psychosis program, you really have gotten her some excellent help.

The other “room quietening” news they gave us at our class, was that we needed to realize that it could take years for things to improve. I think we all put our pens down and just absorbed the idea that we needed to look at a lot longer timeline for improvement.

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I was sent this years ago - it did help me.


Thank you, for these responses…