Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My 15 year old son has been diagnosed with schizophrenia


My 15 year old son had a neurophysc evaluation done and I got the results last week.
His behavior has always concerned me and has progressively gotten worse
so I had a hunch he had this or something similar but, after finding out
and having it confirmed I am having so many emotions about it. They
are recommending that he be placed into a group home or somewhere where
he can be treated because he has had violent thoughts and outbursts in
the past. This devastates me, he has been against ever taking
medications up to this point and because of his violent tendencies they
are suggesting this. I need some support, I feel so sick, sad and guilty. I dont even know how to explain myself. I guess I am making this post in hopes of finding any hope for him and myself.
Thanks for listening.

  1. Get a copy of this book and read it and have your family read it, as well. (Torrey can be a bit totalistic and unwilling to see exceptions to his “rules” at times, but most of the book is really worth the effort to plough through.)
  2. Get him properly diagnosed by a board-certified psychopharmacologist who specializes in the psychotic disorders. One can find them at… and
  3. Work with that “psychiatrist” (or “p-doc”) to develop a medication formula that stabilizes their symptoms sufficiently so that they can tackle the psychotherapy that will disentangle their thinking.
  4. The best of the psychotherapies for that currently include…
    DBT –
    MBSR –
    MBCT -
    ACT –
    10 StEP –
  5. the even newer somatic psychotherapies like…
    MBBT –
    SEPT –
    SMPT –
  6. or standard CBTs, like…
    REBT –
    Schematherapy –
    Learned Optimism –
    Standard CBT – & scroll down
  7. If you/she/he needs a professional intervention to get through treatment resistance, tell me where you live, and I will get back to you with leads to those services.
  8. Look into the RAISE Project at
  9. Look for mental illness clubhouses in your area (which can be hugely helpful… but may also pose risks). Dig through the many articles at to locate and investigate them.


First off none of this is your fault u shouldn’t feel guilty (though there is nothing wrong since guilt is a natural response), what has happened has happened and u can either go against the tide or move with the stream. Im sorry about ur son. I hope he gets good help soon. What u can do as a parent is continue the love and patience u have with ur son, know hes still the same boy u gave birth too and love unconditionally, know he has difficulties such as this schizophrenia and educate yourself on working with this disability. Knowledge is power and the more u know from researchers in this field the better arsenal u will have to work with ur sons illness. Also for violent tendencies, what helps is partaking in peaceful activities like art or listening to music like the beatles or elton john. Some sort of mindful structure helps a great deal steering away from those violent thoughts that all people might go through. Things that dont help are playing 8 hours of grand theft auto everyday when ur already having violent tendencies.
U can work through this and help ur son by helping urself and letting go of all the guilt frustration and confusion that u have and gain knowledge over the situation to better help ur son and urself. The hardest part is getting someone to help themselves and i wish i had the answer to how to make a horse drink water, but there isn’t. But someone can help themselves from any situation and ur son is just like us who has the capability of coming out brighter. It will take work and dedication from both sides but recovery is possible. I wish the best for u and ur son and i hope this helps


There is absolutely a lot of hope for both him and you. We have many people here who visit our forums who work part-time or full time, or go to school or college or university part of full time and live good lives. So don’t get too down.

The more you can learn about this illness and what works and what doesn’t for your son - the better you will all do.

Here is another good book:

Also - I recommend you review the news section of this forum to keep up on the regular progress being made and join in the discussions. YOu’ll find this is a warm and supportive community:


And some other news that might be of interest:



Dear Andrea, Welcome. It’s good you are here. I have learned so much from the forum.

I also attend a family support group through NAMI.

Hope is real. Many, many people recover.


I sometimes look back and think when did I first become unwell and come to the same conclusion.

Some of these problems are hormonal and part of growing up! I have no idea how I got through my teens :smile:

Have you ever heard of the stress vulnerability model of psychosis? As this explains or helps me understand why I became unwell.

Does he smoke weed? As this is a risk factor.


@Andrea, I hope your son gets the help he needs.


People do recover. I kinda doubt that anyone recovers completely. I think once you’ve been sick for a couple of years that it takes it’s toll and that there is damage done that can never be repaired. But there’s definitely hope. And if for some reason you’re feeling guilty because he became ill, I would stop because it’s probably not your fault that he became schizophrenic. You did nothing to cause it, it just happens.

People recover but not overnight. The sad truth is that it can take many years, and schizophrenia can last a lifetime. People with schizophrenia can have normal lives but it takes a lot of hard work. I got diagnosed in 1980 at age 19. My case was severe for the first two years. I lived in a group home for a year and suffered constantly. I had nothing going for me. After the group home, I spent 8 months locked up in a psychiatric hospital. But I got out and got a job. I got a car, I lived independently, I enrolled in college. I socialized and I had one or two friends.

I’ve had a life but nothing comes easy. I’ve had plenty of help and support and I’ve gotten many lucky breaks. You can’t magically make him better, but you can certainly make a positive difference in his life. It’s been proven that the prognosis for people with schizophrenia who have family support is markedly better than those who don’t.

Group homes are not always that bad. If I would have had a choice to go in one or not, I would’ve definitely chose not to live in one but once I was there it wasn’t that bad. It’s kind of comforting to be with people who are going through the same thing you are going through and understand a little bit about your problems because they have the same problems. Also, there can be people your own age there and you can pal around with them. But, I must warn you, none of the group homes or many hospitals I’ve been in will tolerate violence. They understand that a client can be angry but laying hands on another person is a good way to be asked to leave and if you hurt someone it is possible to be arrested or be sent to a worse place with other violent people and your 15 year old son does NOT want to go to those places.

I understand your sadness because my parents were sad when I was suffering. I know it’s painful for any caring parent to see their child have this insidious disease and not be able to fix their child. But I will repeat, it’s not hopeless. If you browse this site you will see people working, going to school, getting girlfriends or boyfriends, living on their own and even having fun. But if I were you I would go online and look up every mental health resource in your area. You might get lucky and find some day program for your son to be in to be with other people. People with schizophrenia do better when they have something to occupy their time besides just sitting around and thinking about our problems.

Well, I hope you got something from this. My parting words are to suggest that you take care of yourself. You need to be physically and mentally healthy yourself to be able to best help your son. Go out and have some fun, its theraputac and there’s no sin in it and nothing to feel guilty about. I wish you good luck.


My son, now 18, was diagnosed about a year and a half ago, I can relate to the range of emotions you are feeling. At first I felt devastated, fearing that the child I knew and loved was “gone,” lost in this illness forever. But he isn’t, he is only lost to himself sometimes. With the right treatment there is always the very real and promising hope of recovery. My son is still struggling to find the right meds and therapy, and we have had many ups and downs in this process, but having knowledge and support are what is making the all the difference. Don’t give up hope, and take care of yourself too! I only recently found this sight and am so grateful for it! There’s are many wonderful, intelligent, insightful and brave people on here as well as invaluable information. I find it to be a gift, no one here is alone in this! Stay strong, and best of luck! : )


Hi, thank you for your response. I have not heard of stress vulnerability model of psychosis…

He does smoke weed, daily I think. His usage of it has progressed in the last year…


Weed is really bad for people predisposed to psychosis - here is some of the research:

Also - more info on the stress / vulnerability (Diathesis) model of mental illness:

More info on how to prevent schizophrenia - for the rest of the family and relatives:


hoping for recovery


my dad has schizoaffective disorder, he was diagnosed after me when he was 48. He copes by smoking cigs and drinking beer he use to smoke weed but due to his copd he can’t anymore. There are times when he’s perfectly normal but then his paranoia rears its ugly head and he becomes mean and sometimes violent. He stopped taking meds because his doctor told him he has to quit drinking beer… I don’t know what to tell you other then recovery is possible. I reaching for recovery now I know i’m not there yet but maybe someday.