Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My schizophrenic son is shy and wont mix

any tips on how I can get my son to mix…hes typically isolated at home…he suffers from social anxiety as well as schizophrenia

Hi ! Most people with schizophrenia isolate themselves shy or not , does he have insight of his illness ? if yes , there are peer support groups at Nami and if he is willing to go he may feel comfortable there .

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thanks linda for posting

My sons counselor has said that virtual reality games and computer games for autism can greatly help teach social skills for SZ . He plays World of War Craft with his friends from H.S. and they work together as a team. He has severe social anxiety and this works very well in keeping up with his friends
( friends were made before he got sick) and building his confidence.

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How old is he? And how long since onset?

For about the first 5 -10 years we are really capable of very little

He is probably still in there but psychosis like with schizophrenia when it’s so long term, takes quite a long time and they can try too hard and become unwell again

Very important to lower expectations which is the most painful thing for us and for family members of people with this illness

My sister who is 7 years in and unmedicated will never have the same resiliency
She was such a hard worker

I was gradually worse for 15 years then gradually better for the next 15 (largely) with intermittent hospital stays till I was 33

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@cara from my experience becoming more comfortable with going outside and mixing was best achieved by gradually building up tolerance and being goal directed. I had a therapist who kept encouraging me to do things, and I kept shooting her down.

Eventually I became interested in learning to sing and making contact with girls, so I took a voice class and joined a choir. Because of my interest, I started going to concerts and musicals mostly alone. I also made friends with the gal who cut my hair, and went to a couple events with her and her mother. Over time I became more confident and took other classes and tried out for some plays and so on and built a network of friends from there.

Bottom line to me was, I had to be motivated to leave the house and interact with people and have support available to guide me through various hurts, perceived rejections, mistakes etc. It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t until I found friends who supported me that I truly felt comfortable.

I’d ask your son about his dreams past and present and try to find some way for him to slowly pursue them. Surely he had some dreams before he got sick, or may have had some delusions of grandeur while he was sick. It might be some place he always wanted to travel to, or something he wanted to do or someone he wanted to meet etc. He may not be practical about any of this, but if you help him toward making various dreams partially come true, every success builds on another.

I think of this a little like a personal ‘Make a Wish’ foundation where wishes aren’t just handed to you, you have to work for them. For example for a long time I wanted a cat, but I couldn’t have one in my apartment. So I made friends with someone who did, and we went to a couple cat shows together. My mother eventually decided to get a cat and I could visit it at her home. Later I dated someone who had a cat, and even helped her rescue and tame another one. Fast forward many years and now I own a house and have three cats and two dogs. I would never have gotten to this place unless I went through gradual steps, gained confidence along the way and learned to accept help and advice along the way.

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Part of SZ , may be fine with close family, but outside, doesn’t have friends anymore, very sad.
New Iife for all, but could be worse…
Been there, whenever he went off his meds, ended up in the hospital.