Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

I will share a rare glimpse into what I call subdued insanity

When my son starts laughing like that, it’s to himself, as if someone inside his head is telling him the funniest joke ever.

If I ask him what’s so funny, he’ll tell me it’s nothing - once he finally responds.

It’s very pleasant for him, and that’s what bothers me. I think it would be very easy for him to turn inward at that point and not come back out for awhile - maybe that would be catatonic?

If he was interactive like GSSP’s wife, it wouldn’t bother me at all. By the way, cigarettes are really important to him too - he says he could just live in the hospital that lets him have smoke breaks, until he gets there anyway. He’s always happy to come home.

His great sense of humor is very obvious right now, so we both laugh a lot and he makes jokes very often - but, it’s not the maniacal, manically happy laughter that makes me very scared for him - and sad. That is exactly like what they depict in older movies about the mentally ill - that’s why I say I can’t leave him there.

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I agree with you about the hospital, but my son gets to the point that nothing but medication is going to make him sleep. Last time we went in, they made him get checked out physically before they would take him to psychiatric because of his heart rate and blood pressure. He calmed down, but that’s how much distress he was in.

If his Pdoc will talk about Clozaril, it might be a reason for one more hospitalization so they can bring him quickly up to a good dose. Otherwise, it’ll be really slow going at home.

They only started talking about Clozaril for my son because the Invega Sustenna just didn’t work, and then I had to remind them about it when he went back inpatient. I didn’t think letting him go totally manic every other month to the point he was a true danger to himself was a viable solution - I still think it’s crazy that he had to go back to the hospital 3 more times after he was med compliant because they wouldn’t react to his symptoms fast enough in an outpatient setting.

If he’s sleeping, then he’s in a good enough place for now.

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At this point, I guess I’m just so relieved that it’s laughing that’s going on with my son. I’ve read so many posts on this site that suggest the voices can be frightening as all hell. That would absolutely break my heart to see my son have to experience that kind of fear. I’ll take the laughter…

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My son’s voices for the most part have been comforting or friendly.

For me, the heartbreak was when he had a delusion paired with hallucinations that something tragically bad had happened to someone he cared about. I’d take the laughing over that too.

And, it’s not the laughing itself that’s so hard for me personally. It’s just another sign that he’s descending into true madness once again. About that time, he’ll also do other things that aren’t typical for him. He’ll randomly take off all his clothes - thankfully, that’s only been inside the house so far. He may walk out into the middle of the street and just stand there. He’s tried to get out of moving cars before. I may have to physically move him so that he’s looking at me and repeat something over & over before I get through to him and he responds. This is his form of mania - it takes over 5 days absolutely no sleep or over 7 days of sleeping no more than 2 out of every 48 hours for him to get there.

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My son listens to music a lot too - and he’s very sensitive to any kind of noise that he doesn’t like.

The other day, he told me sometimes he could hear the kids next door when he was inside his room.

The kids aren’t there all the time - it’s their grandparents house. I don’t know if he can really hear them or not, so now I have to pay attention to what’s going on when they are over there.

On one hand, they’re loud. Way too loud in my opinion. We have one acre yards and if I’m outside, I can hear all of them like they were over in our yard. His room is closest to their yard and he does have a crack in his window from a stray rock from the lawnmower. So, maybe he does hear them.

He kind of got offended when I asked if he only heard them sometimes or if it’s all the time. He was like, so now you think I hallucinate everything? I told him no - but I needed to know how often they were that loud so I could address it if I needed to. I’m hoping once I get a new window in his room, it’ll be quieter - they’re the nice insulated double window things and most of the house is really quiet.

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Exactly, at least he isn’t being tormented which is something I totally feel powerless over as I imagine he does too. He has had those episodes daily before but not so much lately. He was diagnosed with PTSD.

One thing I have learned over the last 15 years is to never give up and try anything.I hope the new window works.
I’m trying to get him to go on a regular vitamin routine now. There is a lot of evidence that they work on some
so I will try. It takes about 2 -3 months to get a good reading on whether they work.I’ll let you know if I come up
with anything new.

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While your son was in the hospital all those times, did he ever voluntarily choose to take AP meds? Or, was he just sent home with a post care plan of some sort? I have to say I agree with you that there may be no point to hospitalizations, especially if there is no self-initiated med compliance. Ultimately, the decision for my son to manage his health remains within him. I can only try to keep him safe in the mean time.

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Why is he off meds? Our daughter has been on them pretty stable but the voices never stop. I hate it that she is on so many different meds. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if she went off of them. But it was of course pretty terrible. I just feel like they don’t do anything except zombie her out.

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My son goes in and at first they let him deteriorate further before court ordering him in the hospital. After that he is angry and sleeps a lot, hangs in his room and begs me to bring him home. He comes home and right out of the gate refuses meds or hides them and spits them out.
He said they make him feel dead and he asks me. “I died, didn’t I.” He really hates the meds and after SLW accidentally took one and described the sluggish feeling, I have to ask myself “is this the best we have”?
Of course, when he is threatening us and yelling in our face I think the hospital is a miracle, however between the people he meets and mimics from those hospital visits, it is cause for concern.

I think when they lose their intellect, it causes depression. I think my son must prefer the insanity or mania. I try to protect him the best I can. I can’t say I actually prefer one over the other. Both conditions are horrible to watch in your loved one.

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Please keep in mind that I must have the lowest drug tolerance on earth.
If I have something done where I have to have pain meds afterwards, I can only take a tiny bit.
With 5 mg percocets, I cut them in quarters.

My son, on the other hand, could (and has) take 5 or 6 of them at a pop & walk around perfectly normal.

Same with benzos. I can’t tolerate them - he can take them by the handful.

I’ve talked to doctors about it - it’s all about how your brain is wired.

However, on Zyprexa, he also had that “numb inside” feeling and that was always his excuse for not wanting to take it, although when he became psychotic back them, he would take anything to make it stop. He function for a long time upping & reducing the dosage as he felt he needed more or less - then either he got sicker or they stopped working for him.

The Invega Sustenna never made him a zombie, but it juts didn’t work. On Clozapine, he’s not a zombie either - but he’s on a very small dosage.

He is however starting to say he feels tired & week on it, so if that continues, I’ll see if he can have it all at night or even step back down to what he was taking coming out of the hospital.

I don’t want him to be a zombie either, but I’d also like him to be alive.

My aunt is on 300mg of Clozapine and I noticed she takes it every night at 9:00 pm.

Thanks - I think someone else’s family member also takes a small dose like that all at once at night.

I’m scared to ask just yet. They may want to decrease his dosage, and every time I get worried and ask for a change, something happens to make me feel like I overreacted in a few days to a week.

I think I’m going to let it sit for the next week and see if he comes out of his slump.

I understand. The last time we discussed medication, I decided to discuss medication change with my son’s pdoc. Well, he decided to leave the practice so I am waiting for them to find a replacement. If not, I will have to find a new clinic. He was so paranoid last night that he called the police to investigate his living area because he was convinced someone had come into our home. He lives in my finished basement but the entire house is on an alarm system. His irrational thinking and actions kept me up most of the night.

I have mixed feelings about my son’s new pdoc. I don’t doubt that she’s a good doctor, but he hasn’t warmed up to her.
For some reason, she seems to make him nervous and I can’t figure out why - so that means she makes me a little nervous too.

Outside of the hospital, he’s only seen 3 psychiatrists.

  1. The first one that he ever saw - a pediatric psychiatrist who saw him from 17 to 26, when he kind of got past what this doctor felt was in his area of expertise. He was great, and my son had a pretty good level of trust with him.

  2. Between that doctor and the one he has now, he saw this older Indian lady he really liked - even though he was also outside her experience level. She was very no nonsense, but she was also very motherly for lack of a better term. I liked her too - we just felt comfortable with her even though it was just a few visits.

  3. The current doctor. She’s younger than me, attractive, laid back and calm. She couldn’t be nicer to him, but the comfort level just isn’t there for either of us. Unfortunately, she’s the only doctor he can see in this intensive program - she sees everyone in it. He’s not taking advantage of much in the program, but maybe he will one day.

If it comes to a point he’s not in the program anymore, he liked one of the doctors he saw early on in the hospital. I might see if she takes outpatient appointments even though it’s a bit of a trip.

It’s so hard to find a doctor that is not only qualified but that you actually like - and liking them is kind of important. After all, I don’t want to see a doctor if I don’t like them - I don’t care how good they are.

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I understand but OMG. My best friend is concerned about me but it’s not like my son is being non-compliant with his medication this time, we just have not found the right medication cocktail to stabilize his paranoid, grandiose delusions. I lock the door at night, set the alarm so I can know when he is moving around in the basement.