Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My heart is missing my son

I walked in from work tonight to see my son just sitting in the living room, just sitting where he was when I left today, I looked at him and I miss my old son, Handsome had dreams, Marriage and a family he wanted to buy a house and all that has been taken away, Day after day I wonder why they cant fix this! Am I giving in to this too fast is there better doctors that can bring my happy go luck son back to me…My only child is lost somewhere in his madness, now its what can we do today mom, no drive no ambitions, Its kinda like watching some one with cancer just slipping away …The hardest thing a mother has to do is watch some one she love fall apart and you cant stop it…Heart Broken…


I have compassion for you.

Try not to give up hope. He may not be who he used to be but he is still in there. Sometimes I think we need to grieve the person that is being left behind but have hope for the person that can emerge from this. Maybe a different person but still your son. If I could show you the difference in my son from September of last year to now… In September he had a full break. Now he is stable. He is so much more then sz. He has a wonderful sense of humor. He shows affection. He does his own laundry and makes his own coffee. He is learning hygiene. We are looking into some type of schooling. All this could change in a heartbeat, I know, but for right now, for today, I have my son. Not who he was 3-4 years ago before all this started but who he is today. I remember a year ago thinking he may not make it to his 20th birthday. Well he made it. For three plus years it was symptoms and marijuana. Recovery/remission, whatever you want to call it, is possible. Don’t give up on him. Don’t give up hope.

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I wouldn’t say that’s been taken away as much as just put on hold. Once I got stable and the med got adjusted just right and I really got with the program with my meds… I got a better job, I got a place of my own.

Yes, I live with my kid sis, while she starts college… but we’re not at our parents house, we’re in our own apartment. As far as a wife? Relationships are hard enough with out mental illness, but a few have come my way. Just not the MISS Right.

As far as no drive or ambition… there are many of us who are diagnosed and we are getting better and moving on. This isn’t the end of the line, it’s just a detour. Elyn Saks is not the only one any more.

I have a cousin who is 32 no mental illness at all, but still lives on the basement sofa in my Aunt’s house. He’s a self professed slacker and is perfectly happy being a slacker. It kills me that he is like this and has no mental illness at all… he’s been tested, and talked to, he’s just happy living on my aunts sofa at 32. That just kills me. I have been fighting my head circus and my lack of formal education due to my head circus and I was able to get a job, my own apartment, learn how to take care of myself better. No mental illness is no guarantee to living a productive life.

He has much more potential and had perfect grades, and sounder mind and body then I ever had and do, and he wastes it for no good reason because he can. Who’s going to tell him to get his butt off the sofa?

Please don’t give up hope or think that your son is lost forever and his life is forever sad and over.

Keep with the meds, ask questions about other therapies, get help from as many pros as you can and keep at it. Remission is possible.

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I sympathize with how you feel. It is such a heartbreaking thing at any age, but I would imagine that at your son’s age, it would be even more difficult. I hope things will get better for you all.

My husband and I have been fighting tooth and nail to get our son back for four years now. After the initial shock and numbness wore off from his first break and diagnosis we were so full of hope and determination. We could not have imagined what a fight was in store for us. This is such a tough disease and has fought us back at every opportunity.

About three months ago I went through a major grieving process, cried for a solid week. It finally sunk in that we will never have our son back like he was, and I had to accept it. After picking myself up by the bootstraps, I feel we are now in a different phase. He is older now too, 25, and has naturally pulled away from us which makes it even more of a challenge to help.

I am still hopeful for all of us, that one day we will be able to get some semblance of our children back.

Take care.

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It’s about acceptance and adjustment. I have had paranoid schizophrenia since 1980. Some of us were where your son is at and make unexpected progress and actually make measurable progress in our recovery. I understand your anguish. The day to day reality of schizophrenia is painful but things can improve.You put in the footwork now and hope it all pays off later like it has for many of us. I was diagnosed when I was 19. For the next two years I did not function. I lived in group homes and hospitals, I had no friends, no money, no girlfriend, no job, no schooling, no sanity, no independence. I suffered horribly. When I lived in a group home I spent months sitting in a chair by myself in the backyard fighting to keep my sanity.Now, I live on my own, work part-time, take online classes, drive my own car. I came from nothing but now I have some things. No one who knew me back then would have predicted I would be where I am today. My life today is bad in MANY, MANY ways, but it is also good in other ways. Not to discount your pain, but there is hope.

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I have also been declared “too far gone” by the doctors to ever have any hopes of leading a life not inside a locked ward.
Little did they realized those really crappy symptomatic years I “wasted” were actually prolonged by the labeling and dismissing me and giving up hope.
I can’t stress how important it is, no matter how limited the response may be, to not treat your son as a helpless child. He is not. He may not be able to do the things as well as expected, but if you give up hope that he can, so will he.
I lead a pretty independent life now, much to the surprise of everyone but me.

It doesn’t just get better overnight thats for sure. When I got SZA it was a shock. Everything seemed to go downhill. However the light hit me, not necessarily the one from god. But gradually, over I’d say 4 years I was learning how to recover from my illness, not in a way that heals one completely. But in away that brought me out of the funk.

Thanks to everyone…just having someone to give me a hope is a big deal for me.I also put to use something someone had posted about how to address cleaninest.SO to day after cleaning he was sitting on the couch with the clothes he has had on all week, un shaved too,I said when you go get a shower just give me your clothes so I will have a full load, He said why do I stink? I said no just need more clothes to make a full load, about 10 minutes later he was in the shower and shaved,helped me hang the curtains back up and called a friend and went for a visit… so today is a good day for us both…

When i was first diagnosed, i sit for hours staring at the corner my back to everyone. I had a child’s train of thought, “if i can’t see them, they don’t exist”. I gradually got better after med adjustments and tweaks. It’s good he showered, shaved and visited a friend.

he has good days more and more…today he showed his sense of humor…he has been doing a bobbing thing when he is watching tv,i think its his new meds and will address it at the doctor when we go.He was laying down on the couch and started moving his arm up and down ,I said what are you doing he said moving my arm,all got quite and he busted out laughing and said mom I am just pulling your chain…today was a great day

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I’ve gotten better over time. It’s been years, but I’m learning how to handle my symptoms better.

Glad to hear that your son seems to be improving. The right medication helps.

Hi my name is lann. I know what your son is going throw.I was sz for 10 years before I was finaly diagnosed. I lost everything the place I was living my good job I even ended up divorced. Plus family relations are not that good because it changes you. I started to get better when I started taking my antipsycotic. You see there is to much dopamine in your sons brain so that is what that medication blocks. There are allot of resepters in your brain so you will see improvement over time. I know it is not fare but they are starting to get better and better treatments. They did this study they took a rat and put stem cells into the brain of the rat. It cured the rat from sz. the dopamine levels went back to normal and made good new connection in the brain. So there is future hope for us and family members

Welcome to the forum Iann. :smile:

@joelsgirlkathy…maybe you could adjust his medication. Anti psychotics can leave a person with the side effects your son is experiencing. Ask your psychiatrist about alternatives or maybe cut back a bit on the medication. Trust me, schizophrenics do not necessarily need that high a dose. Olanzapine is prescribed in doses of 20mg daily. I personally take just 5mg and it does me fine. Taking 5mg does not mean you are any less ill, nor is it a less effective dose, actually in truth it is the dose that may help your son the most, because it offsets the negative symptoms.

A dose of 20mg does not mean you are any more sick than a person on 5mg of anti psychotics. Anti psychotics are a hit and miss affair. Sometimes a little is way more effective. Your psychiatrist will admit this to you.

Anyway, I want to offer you my compassion, for your trials at this moment. It will get better. It just takes time and patience.

@joelsgirlkathy…also, Id like to say that before I had schizophrenia, I had all plans/dreams of being married, owning my own home and getting on, but it takes time and patience to overcome this. So, Id advise you not to put pressure on your son, but be tolerant. He is just going through a period of adjustment. He’ll be in a better place in time. Just be patient. And carry on posting here on the forums. We schizophrenics like to help.

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thank you so much, I am trying to understand what it is he is going thru…I have all the time in the world if he stays true to his meds…@Karl you have helped me alot

I know how you feel - but you can’t jump to conclusions that how things are today, are how things will always be. Things get better. Don’t give up. Keep working on improving things and they will get better. Here is a good slide to keep in mind:

From this presentation:


I can’t imagine what my parents must have thought of me at 18 when I had my first break. But just because you sit in the same place all day does not mean you did not fight major battles during the day. Haldol was terrible back then with side effects too but at least I was able to suppress the screams.

I was a mental vegetable but I was healing. My confidence was crushed. I eventually got it back by playing the old Atari game I had. I could even beat my younger sister so it gave me a glimmer of hope. I had 4 brothers and sisters and just tried to be part of the family that helped. Usually I was able to do nothing.

The doctors told my parents I would never graduate from college. But that only made me mad to prove them wrong. I had to withdrawal again 3 or 4 times but I switched to an easier school and eventually graduated. Hanging around normals taught me to try to pretend and be like them so I would not stand out.

My parents did not give up on me so I did not give up on me.
It took a long time but eventually I was able to get jobs I love.
So just keep hoping and praying. Time and love can heal old wounds.

Now that I’m a Mom I can sympathize with the lack of sympathy you get from friends and family when the diagnosis is mental illness with no bleeding wounds to display or x-rays of tumors. I was eventually able to get that house I was dreaming about too that just seemed like impossible at 18.


What a great person you turned out to be… not letting others keep you back. I see small improvements every day, Just the sitting around doing nothing to me seem lonely and I know he is but I do not push him on it. He has made plans to go out with a friend Saturday night as I will be gone Saturday and Sunday… I told him I am only a phone call away he seems good with that…We talked a little tonight about when we go to see his doctor and I said I was going to tell them about his bobbing, he said I can stop that just the urge is great I guess I am just bored he said ,We went to eat out last week and he did not bob I said you did good, he said I had to fight the urge, Mom please don’t say anything to the docs because they will change my meds and it could be worse… what do I do???