Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Lost abilities!



My son has 32 years old, and he has paranoid schizophrenia!

He obtained this illness before 16 years, and all the time he has

Contact with psychiatrist, and he take regular therapy!

I noticed that other people with similar illness live normal life,

But my son with obtained the illness lost many abilities:

He can’t to drive car, he can’t to work mostly of intellectual’s jobs,

He can’t to work physical works, he can’t read books, he can’t watch

Movies etc. etc.,!

For these reasons very difficult is to find any job for him!

Why my son lost many abilities when he obtained this illness?!

How he can improve his state?!

1 Like

Welcome to the forum! I too have a son who is now 34 and was diagnosed with disorganized schizophrenia at 21 but had symptoms when he was 15. My son also takes his medication faithfully and it has made his mind much more clear and he can communicate with me very well now, where he couldn’t before. Yet even though he is stable and more clear minded now his daily activities and abilities are very limited.

I was like you at first, thinking now that he is stable on medication he can go back to “normal”…and yes others like him may do more activities than he does.

First there are no two people with schizophrenia that are exactly alike. Everyone is completely different and individual, even people having the same diagnosis.

My son can do his basic daily activities, getting up, eating breakfast, getting dressed, etc…beyond that though he looks to me for direction. With me he will go to the gym, or go to the park to walk, or shopping, appointments, etc…he happens to like TV now and movies so that is not an issue…he couldn’t watch anything when he was still very ill though. Any kind of work requirements (that he is qualified for) are way to stressful for him and while he would attempt to perform what is asked of him, his mental stability would be jeopardized and degrade over time due to stress and the illness.

If he lived alone he would likely do very little. It is hard as a mom to accept this but much of it does have to be accepted at some point. I am not saying we should ever give up on trying to positively influence our son’s behaviors or activities, not at all. I am just saying that it seems to me from my own experience that change comes very VERY slowly if at all. I do see minor positive changes in my son but at a very slow rate and I have had to very gently nudge him into things a tiny half inch at a time… success takes forever and I never hound him in a way that stresses him out. If anything I use humor to coax him into things, but it is a little here and there and it spans months and years.

In my opinion, there are 2 things you can do that may help your son and also that may help how you see your son’s abilities in the future. 1) Make your son’s doctor aware of what your son can and cannot do. Explain how he generally spends his days and see if it is maybe medicine related or if it is strictly the illness that is the cause. Maybe medicine adjustments can be made to help. If you can’t speak to him directly due to HIPPA laws then just write the doctor a letter.

2/ If there is a NAMI group in your area, they offer very informative and free educational classes on caring for someone with a serious mental illness and when I took the Family to Family class it opened my eyes to so much on aspects that I didn’t fully understand at first. I went into the class assuming certain things and came out knowing much better. NAMI itself is a wealth of information and support so if it’s available to you in your area, I would look into it. Beyond that I am so glad your son is getting regular care and other than the low and missing abilities, it sounds like he may be pretty stable and that is a good thing. He is fortunate to have such a caring mom. My best to you both!

PS: I thought of a third idea if your area has this…some places have a Vocational Rehabilitation Center or here they call it the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services…sometimes they will assign a caseworker to someone like your son and they can try to assess his ability to do certain types of jobs and then help figure out how to make it happen. I tried this with my son and it didn’t work out so well for us at the time, but we may try it again in the future–but anything is worth a try if your son is up for trying it. If not now then maybe at a later time.

1 Like

We have a place here called Windhorse where people with mental disabilities go to get work ready. My son tried this but it was during psychosis and he refused meds so it didn’t work for us (he now works - got a job after meds). Windhorse does costs but not much to go to classes and do things like participate in events/weekly dinner. The job was folding towels at a hotel.

Here is an example of their calendar.

1 Like

You also could apply for SSI (Social Security Income) benefits on his behalf if you have not already done so. Someone at NAMI in your area could help you know where to go to get help with this if you need it. Or maybe others will post with related information. (There are other also threads on SSI on this Forum.)

Tell the doctor your concerns (in person, phone, email, or letter) and ask the doctor to ask your son to sign a release of information form (if he has not already done that). Even if he does not sign a release of information form, you can give information TO the doctor.

That sounds just like my son, but he’s only 25 and has been dealing with this for 4 years. He can’t be left alone. He’s on 5 different meds that I sort and administer to him. He can even do the simplest things at home. He can’t sit still to be able to watch a movie, play a game or even eat sometimes.

I believe my son got his illness after he abused drugs for an extended amount of time. It’s hard…

My 23 year old son is the same. He paces constantly…when he was 5 his cognitive skills were more advanced. It is so sad, I try to stay hopeful but it is very scary sometimes to think about the future