Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My son doesn't want to be healthy


I’m having trouble understanding what is motivating this type of thinking.

It seem’s murphy’s law keeps interfering every time I think we are going to make it through. A week ago he went off his Olanzapine, cold turkey. It’s been a struggle but I have managed to keep alcohol out of the picture for now and he was managing. He was taking multi-vitamin, Omega 3 and even NAC.

Two days ago he decided to stop taking his Omega 3. Yesterday refused taking a multi-vitamin because he doesn’t want to have extra energy during the day.

I think part of this is from before his big break in Sept-Oct and his defiance was in high gear and he didn’t want to take medications that were going to make him want to be production while living with me. I think he tends to get confused when slipping and all of his psychotic experiences become like one.

I’m not pushing any of the supplements and letting him decide on his own to take or not take as if I push then he will become more defiant and not take just because I’m asking him too. Thankfully he is still taking his Invega although without another medication the dose isn’t high enough so now he is slipping.

As of yesterday he is going down hill. Laughing with his voices a lot more. Up and alert this morning at 5:30 which means he wasn’t in a deep sleep.

My question is does anyone have an idea of what motivates this type of self destruct thinking or behavior? I can get my mind around his voices and even most of his delusional thinking patterns but not statements like: I don’t want to be healthy. Unless the voices are telling him it’s poison etc and he doesn’t want to tell me that… What else could cause it?


Perhaps he is suicidal or is trying to hurt you? Or perhaps he just doesn’t want to be told to do things?


He wants health, he has schizophrenic and is not healthy though.

We are faced with a dilemma. Be sick and die or be sick and die.

We usually implode and squirm.


probably the latter…

as for being constantly told what to do, I find his reaction normal, as it is what I would have (and have, at times) chosen to do, your concern is normal also, but this illness is so strange that, obviously we tend to find extreme (in other peoples mind:insane) ways to cope…

The fault is, when you see it as a personal attack, it doubles the trouble…


I don’t think he is suicidal however I will certainly keep an eye out for it.

I don’t let him see that not taking supplements or medications upset me because it’s not something that I want as a point of contention between us. I don’t force him to take either or even argue with him about it. I don’t tell him to take them. I put them out and he takes or not, it’s up to him.

I have not pressured him to take anything in probably two years and I’m not going to start now :wink:


Did I indicate in my post that I have been telling my son what to do or forcing him to take anything? My apologies if I did.


Is your son open to eating healthy foods?
I mean supplements are important but eating healthier is more important.

Does he like seafood? or is he open to eating low carb?
Healthy foods carry all the necessary nutrients - supplements are sometimes over rated.
More veggies, healthy herbs and spices etc… Green tea etc…


I cook fairly healthy now to get and keep us all healthy. Fish once a week. Lots of salad with spinach and kale. Herbs and spices, flax-seeds etc in almost everything I make that is geared towards upping nutritional content. Whole wheat pastas and bread to limit gluten. Rice…

I’m not so much worried about him not taking the supplements as I am worried about the thought process behind not want to be healthy.


That part is puzzling… have you asked him why he doesn’t want to be healthy?

This is just me and my strangeness… please enjoy with a grain of salt…

From your writing… a thought popped into my head… I used to get tired of minding my health… it took a lot of work… and there were times I just wanted to go about my day and NOT think about Sz… and having to watch my health… made me think about it.

Is there anyway to take a day out of the routine? I don’t mean the meds… I mean like if his day is in a rut… he might be frustrated and that could make him feel like nothing is working…

again this is just me… I don’t think suicidal… but it does sound a bit defeated.

If your keeping the alcohol out of the picture… (congratulations on that… no small task) he might be at a loss for what to do… if that’s his go to activity… and he can’t go to it any more… ???

Good luck I hope he’ll at least give you an idea why he doesn’t want to be healthy.


Since the switch from Haldol to Olanzapine my sons been doing good with those meds. He’s recently been diagnosed with stage 3 kidney disease. No meds other than lisinopril for high blood pressure. So treatment is mostly diet. His father and grandfather had the same, so he knows full well what this means. He goes from being hyper vigilant with his diet to binging on all that he isn’t supposed to eat. During the binges he says that it won’t hurt him that much, or that it doesn’t even matter. I think it comes down to the sz taking control of his thinking, and the fatalistic view that neither one of the diseases will ever actually be cured.
I hate that at those times we can only wait it out. It is painful as a parent to watch and know we can only do so much. Hoping that this passes with a quickness for you both.


I wish this was it. He doesn’t mind his health. Physical or mental. He has zero responsibilities right now.

He is in a rut. It’s been almost two weeks since he last had alcohol. He currently doesn’t have any because he has no money to buy it with. He has tried to get benzos and other avenues to get money for alcohol but so far that hasn’t happened.

He said he doesn’t want to be healthy because he doesn’t want any energy… I’m pretty sure it’s tied into his last break and not wanting to be on medications because they were making him feel like he should get up and do something and he doesn’t want to feel like that. He very much enjoys his psychosis and voices when he is like he is right now.

He wants a better life but he doesn’t think that he should do anything to make it happen. He thinks were we are living which is a three floor, three bedroom townhouse with a backyard is nothing special. It’s the best place I have lived in most of my life…

The best I can figure is that he is searching for an environmental solution for the reason he is feeling the way that he is when it’s addiction and schizophrenia that is causing him to be unhappy.

As always thank you for your input though :smile:


This is probably the biggest issue…

I’m sorry your son was diagnosed with kidney disease. :purple_heart:


I’m so sorry for that. I wish I had an idea that would help. Being here… and looking back… I can’t think of anything good about my times when I was crumbling.

But I’m ashamed to say… there have been times in my life… I was pretty happy living in my head instead of outside it. It took nearly my entire family a lot of energy to pull me out of myself… if that makes any sense.

Congratulations on such a nice place though.


Yes it makes sense.

My husband tries but he is limited on his understanding. He wants so much better for my son and can’t understand why others don’t help me more. His treatment team is limited as they have to work within their structure of it being voluntary. So for the most part it’s me struggling to keep alcohol at bay and keep him stable while not forcing him to be med-compliant. Have I whined enough for one day? :blush:


Of course its impossible to know for sure - but perhaps he feels like it doesn’t matter if he makes the effort, ie. its not going to make much difference. Perhaps he dislikes not being in control of his life right now and resents that you are “in control”, and doesn’t see a way where he can really be in control - so this is one way he gets some control.

Perhaps is easier to experience the psychosis than to fight it and the psychosis is more enjoyable than reality.

Perhaps the side effects of the medications are bothering him.

These all seem like possibilities.


He has to tell you why he is 100 percent serious about not wanting to be healthy. Somehow advantages to talking to you have to be outlined, shared.

You may have already tried this or thought about something similar to this suggestion. But what about bringing a mentor into your home (that meets your criteria) who will work on projects that your son has either excelled in in the past or currently has an interest in? This mentor does not have to interact with your son until you son makes the move to interact. But as a guest and with your son’s approval, the mentor works on a goal-project, works the bugs out of it, oversees the project over time, etc. For purposes of inspiring your son to expect one’s own work to be well maintained.

I did not have support. It was easy for me to direct self-hate at myself to not care. Inspiration is a poster perfect word, but I have read about others in isolated places being inspired because they develop a relationship with someone whom they respect. This is how I picked myself up.

I don’t know if your son can tolerate others. But maybe there is someone out there that can shoot the breeze with your son and then inspire him to maintain those projects he is interested in and then oversee his own health.


It sounds to me like the impetuousness of youth. Try to inform him in a non-threatening manner that he will eventually come to regret neglecting his health. Try to get him to understand that he has a lot of life to live, and he will enjoy it much more if he is healthy. Just try to reason with him about the med’s. I don’t know what more you can do.


Sometimes I just didn’t know how to speak to family and friends . . .



On this same theme - perhaps drive around an area of town where you see the homeless people congregated and go to Schizophrenia Society of Canada meetings where parents discuss losing their children to the street due to lack of treatments taken.

I don’t think telling someone who is increasingly psychotic is going to have much effect - but showing them might.


lol not to make light of this however you would have to know my son…

He would want to stay. He wouldn’t see the dirt and deplorable conditions. He wouldn’t even feel the cold. He would see people congregating without walls or rules who just might have some drugs or alcohol that they would be willing to trade for whatever he has on him.

Then when it’s all used up he will call me: Mom can you come get me now…

Thank you though for responding :smile: