Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My son before the accident

Our son was your typical kid. he played sports, had a good circle of friends, had a few girls on his arm.
As a young boy, he always had a problem with his focus, especially if he was not interested. in his early pre teens, he became a little more distant. Teachers said he day dreams alot or is lazy, he was never a trouble maker or even out spoken, our son has always been and still is a very kind, well mannered person. in his teens we started going into the classrooms to pick up homework and help him. All the teachers said he is very capable but did not follow through, he’s intelligent, but lazy was the word often used. so we continued giving him support, helping him follow through, we were very involved as parents with all of our children, sports and functions.
I would often go to the office in hopes of support for our son, expressing that I felt he had a slight learning disorder that was undiagnosed, especially as he became a teen. He became more distant and quiet. Computers seem to fill a void for him. not gaming but writing code, there was nothing wrong with his intellect, if any he was above average, he would self educate and learn on his own. so we managed through high school. Our son was always very conservative and kind, was always very polite to the family and never disrespectful. but there was always something you just could not put your finger on, something not right. there were moments that were so disconnected, he was constantly in another thought. When you grow up with your kids you accept each one individually for who they are. Never did we think anything was wrong.
At 18 years old he left with a friend, moved to Oregon where he lived for a few years. we only had an occasional visit from him. he returned to his home town briefly and worked for us at our business. He moved to southern California. we had little contact with him, a phone call here and there. we had an address and his sisters would see him, but the visits were minimal. so we accepted this as part of kids growing up, boys doing their own thing. 12 years pass and our son is 30 yrs old.
During this period of time while our son was in southern California, we would receive strange phone calls from our son, his cousin said he was acting strangely. we would see him on the occasional visit to our other children’s homes. he was very distant, his weight had dropped considerably, he never used any drugs, he was alway very sober and hardly ever drank, even a beer. you could tell something was wrong, but whenever I confronted him out of concern he would not talk about it. He was never diagnosed with any mental illness. our visits and phone calls became very strained. As parents we prayed and worried alot. one of the last phone calls and contacts from him was right before the accident. he told me he was having memory problems and was confused alot. said he couldn’t get it to stop. I was very concerned but was unable to help him. It was very sad.
We were contacted about a week later, one day in September by a social worker. Our son had no ID, and in a coma on a feeding tube and ventilator. when he woke up he was able to say his name, the Officer involved said he fell off of a moving flatbed pickup truck towing a cement mixer, as he stepped off the truck. he suffered a brain injury and was in ICU for 3 weeks and moved to rehab. we were in a facility after that. Our son made this amazing recovery. within 8 weeks, he was back to his almost normal self. he had no broken bones and his head seemed to heal up amazingly fast. little did we know the damage that was done from the accident. I continued to live with him for 2 months at his residents. I must add at this time, we were not allowed any information about our sons condition, the privacy act in california protects the patient. Our son does not remember anything about the accident and he would not sign any medical release forms for us. 3 months have past and our son went back to work and I went home for a visit. I returned 2 weeks later is when it al tumbles. to be continued


Annie, I’m sorry to her about your son’s accident. I’m sure that emotional roller coaster was terrifying. It sounds like you are describing my own son’s adolescent years. I did get involved and he has an IEP through school but was able to stay in the classroom.
I went rough his papers at night and tried to keep him organized. Every now and then I would get to his locker and find all the missing assignments. It was so gradual but definitely something going on.


Exactly same early history here. Bright child, respectful and well behaved, but always off in a dream it seemed. Thought it was ADHD and provided support (nagging) for organization. Made it through school well and then on to college where it eventually fell apart. Confusion, extreme anxiety, strange movements, failing classes, isolating, getting lost while driving and eventually obvious psychosis. Diagnosed with sz at age 21.


Yes, the same here but also gravitating to hallucinogenics to explain away the symptoms and give a brief reprieve. He would rather people think he uses drugs than have a mental illness. So sad.