Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

I feel constantly in despair due to my brother

Does your son tell you he is lonely?

He is very guarded and doesn’t speak about his illness. I hear him talking online only and he has told his doctor that he wants to work on a cruise ship but cannot get to that point.

Hi Marg, Rose Kennedy’s daughter Rosemary was institutionalized a good deal of her life and was given a lobotomy. In regards to your deep sadness, Rose Kennedy is known for the quote (which has been posted on this forum previously):

“It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”

Some people in our situation object to being called “strong”. We do carry our anxiety and sadness along with us always, I guess that might look strong. It takes time to learn how to carry it with us, but it will get easier.

Its okay to lean into the grief -that’s the easy part, stepping back from it after leaning takes practice. There is a thread on the forum here where many parents have shared their pain. Enter How to deal with my sadness of my sons schizophrenia* into the search box at the upper right of your screen. Since we are told our biggest struggle as parents is dealing with our grief, that is probably why its a very popular thread on the forum.

Taking walks for exercise will release natural endorphins that will help you. No need to overdo at first, just walk for a couple of minutes and add a minute each time you walk.

Have you been using Dr Amador’s LEAP methods when you talk to your son?

Thank you. I will have a look at that thread of conversation. Yes, I do use the LEAP method and have watched many of his YouTube talks. He is a positive force.

Many people with SMI struggle with the stress of social situations, as well as anxieties about their social status, lack of employment, what to say, how to act, whether their illness will “show”, how they are perceived etc. It can be easier to stay at home and avoid anxiety and overstimulation or interact online as a result. They can also have elaborate and compelling internal lives, and for some it seems enough.

Keeping pets can help bridge the social gap, and provide motivation and focus to their lives, while providing support and companionship. They can be a built-in conversation starter, online or in real life. While there’s some inherent stressors of care and feeding, and pets can make hospitalization and travel difficult, on balance they reduce more stress than they create. From my own and my brother’s experience, I think you can chart improved satisfaction with our lives before and after keeping and living with pets. Threads sharing pictures and antics of pets are common on the DX forum.

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You are a good mom! You have done so much to learn. Your feelings are normal but not if they prevent you from managing your daily affairs. Keep doing anything you can to take care of yourself. I know some people have found meaningful help especially in regard to acceptance in a group called FreshHope. It is Christian based. You can find more about it online and they have groups that meet around the country.