My son has been in a psychosis since July 25th. We live in Panama and I could not afford to bring him back to the States until the first of the month. The second I was able we flew in and had him immediately hospitalized. We truly hoped in that first month that he would simply get better, which has happened in the past. However, he progressively got worse and worse. To the point I had to physically cut his food and feed it to him, help him bathe (dad got that job!) he slept next to me under a different blanket holding my hand because anytime I went away from him he would just stand in the hallway or try to follow me out of the door and cry. It was horrific. Now he has been in the hospital 2 1/2 weeks and is showing just the barest hint of improvement. He eats by himself, though he was eating honey mustard with nothing the other day. He has no memory of where he lives or what his siblings/puppy’s names are, nothing. It’s as though he is just blank. And yet he played checkers for about five minutes tonight, then he went away again.
Today was the first time they have definitively told me that they are diagnosing him with schizophrenia- he is only 17, he will be 18 in a month and is terrified. He thought we were going to kick him out at 18 and we reassured him that he will always have us in his life, as long as we are on this earth. He’s still staring, pacing, repeating/echoing, all the stuff he’s been doing for weeks now. He’s currently on Injectable and oral Invega, though they have lowered his dose they felt it may have been too high, they also have him on Artane, and on Klonopin 1mg 4x’s a day, which seems like an awful lot! I think I’d be feeling little pain or feeling little of anything if someone gave me that much Klonopin!
I cannot stop crying. Whenever I have to say the word schizophrenia and my son in the same sentence I find myself just falling deeply into depression. I’m not blaming myself for his condition but I’m so sad for him. And scared. He’s not even an adult yet and he’s been settled with this and he’s so vulnerable and I am so lost. I want to do what is right for him and I have a tremendous amount of guilt about the fact that I live in Panama and he has lived there with me/us. He had been happy as well, on and off, his last hospitalization was in April for jumping out of a moving car and in Jan/feb for ending up on life support after a very serious OD. Having gone thru all of this I am so overwhelmed and scared. I want him to have a successful life, whatever that looks like to HIM. Which I understand may be different for me. But it’s his happiness I’m concerned with. He wants to go back to Panama with us when he’s released, and we will take him. But right now, at this age I feel like I’m already losing my child, which I am, as he becomes an adult. But with this disease he is less of an adult then he should be and I’m terrified. I know I keep saying that and I’m sorry, I just don’t have other worlds in my lexicon to describe how frightened and sad and overwhelmed I am. The dr’s don’t have any idea of when he may go home, I have been asking them if perhaps they need to consider a different cocktail to make things work and have not had luck. I will take any advice anyone can give. We also did not realize he was not on disability so his check is going to stop until he is formally approved for disability as an adult which is going to have a huge financial impact on our household and the ability to get him the care he needs. Does anyone know of any organizations that can help out for that in between time> Or if there is a way to expedite thing with SSI? And I haven’t even discussed Guardianship yet, which I believe I need. We have been dealing with mental health issues his entire life. It’s just never gotten this bad. Help please. Even just moral support would be welcome at this point, I feel so incredibly alone right now.