Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My son feels he doesn’t remember how to interact

I don’t post much because my son is only 14 and has only had a diagnosis of Psychosis NOS and other vague things. I feel so bad for him lately because he struggles socially so much.
Today he told me that he is having trouble interacting with people and doesn’t feel right.
I feel like I see him going downhill, but we just keep doing our best. There are still kids that reaach out and want to socialize, so that is a really positive thing.
I am not sure if this is the forum I should be on, but it s the closest thing I can find right now

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If you have not already, I suggest you go to the (National Alliance on Mental Illness) website and see if there is a support group in your area. Especially helpful is their Family-to-Family class. And they have groups specifically for families of the children and adolescent population with mental illness. You will also find links to other resources.

Is your son going to any kind of talk therapy? He can learn coping skills. Is he on medication? Illnesses may get worse but eventually tend to taper out after several years, as I understand it. I’ve heard people describe their family member improving, also, but many times after years of trying different combinations of medications and/or treatment. Keep hope and take care of yourself!

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@Hummingbird I lived with my BF and his son struggled a lot socially and didn’t have a diagnosis. He finally got comfortable enough to have some friends. You are at the right place here. There are many folks with adolescent children here. Welcome to the group. I’m sorry your son is having a hard time.

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Thank you for the replies. He takes Geodon, which really helps. He has been going to therapy, but so far does not open up much. When he was honest about command hallucinations, he ended up getting hospitalized, so he won’t talk about it now.
Considering what he deals with, i really admire how well he handles it! When he gets older I think he will have more peers going through the same thing.

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I’m glad you are here, hopefully you can find some information that will help you and your son. I too have a different situation with my son than most. We all grieve for our children and loved ones. This is a safe place for you to be, hope you find some comfort, AnnieNorCal


@hummingbird - my son is about to turn 29, but he had his first psychotic break at 15. Looking back, there were earlier signs that we thought were social anxiety.

I don’t know if this fits your son or not, but it took me a long time to figure out he was hearing voices - but not like voices telling him to do things. His version of voices is hearing people who are really there say things that they don’t say. And, the more anxious he got, the worse that symptom would get. It was awful for him and prevented him from socializing for years.

He can recognize some of his symptoms, but not that one. I had to just pick up on it, then observe him enough to see it a few times to confirm what I thought. Just wanted to mention that.

Also, our county has some really good programs for people of all ages who experience severe mental illnesses and a big part of what they do is help their participants socialize. My son is struggling to do that now, but it seems to be working just a little. He just went on a day trip to a local zoo with a group the other day - even 6 months ago I would have thought that was impossible.

Maybe your county has something like that? I resisted seeking any kind of treatment from ours for years because I thought it would be a clinic of last resort with sub-standard care, but I’ve been very pleasantly surprised.

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I think an organized program like that would be good! I’m glad your son is giving it a try!
One thing I have noticed about my son is sometimes he’ll think I said something really negative to him, when I didn’t say anything. Once he thought I told him to kill himself. I think that also happens at school when he is stressed.
My big hope right now is that he will get comfortable enough to be honest with his psychiatrist. He likes him a lot, so I am crossing my fingers.

That’s exactly how things would go with my son. As far as I know, he never heard me say things that I didn’t, but he’d hear his father say he was going to kill him - or random people in a store would be talking about him, when I could see & hear everything that was going on.

He may not be able to be 100% honest if he doesn’t realize it’s a symptom. To my son, some things are 100% real and there’s no shaking it.

Psychiatrists, for the most part, know how to read between the lines. And, hopefully, they’ll accept your input as well. My son’s pdoc was very clear that he didn’t want to talk too much about our son without him there because it could cause him to not trust him, but when things would get really bad and I didn’t want to blurt something out, I’d write the doctor a letter so he’d know what was going on.

I’m curious how talking about hallucinations landed your son in the hospital. Did that make him a danger to himself or others so they forced it?

He said a voice was telling him to kill himself or sometimes others. He didn’t get hospitalized at first, but after a bunch of medication changes they recommended it to us, sort of as a last try at figuring things out. I don’t think it was that helpful, but everyone was worried. Since then things have been manageable if he takes his medication and keeps stress low. The school has really backed off on expectations, which helped.

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@Hummingbird - Hi. My daughter just turned 17 and will be a senior in high school in the fall. She was hospitalized three times in the 5th grade and has the same diagnosis, but it wasn’t until a doctor asked if she was hearing voices that things began to change for us. It was similar to what others have described; a male voice telling her she’s stupid, she doesn’t deserve a family, she should just kill herself . . . Today the voices are mostly gone unless she becomes anxious. They finally gave up on all the possible drugs and put her on clozapine. She has to go for bloodwork once/month and is other meds as well.

Social interactions have always been the hardest part and lead to all the other drama and outbursts. I swear, since high school it’s like she living some tv drama. Your son should be given accommodations in school. My daughter is in a program within the school district that is geared towards students with varying emotional/psychiatric issues. It has helped a great deal, but I have to monitor her as much as possible. And her diagnosis is schizophrenia.

Thank you so much for your reply. Fifth grade was also when my son was hospitalized. Since then it has been very confusing, mostly because he can sometimes act all right, especially for short periods of time.
This week my son is a little calmer, but I think it is because I am asking hardly anything of him. Right now I mostly ask him to speak respectfylly and take his medication.
The school has gotten a lot more cooperative as it gets clearer that something is really off.
My husband and I both get pretty excited when we get a friendly reaction from him.

I hope things keep going okay with your daughter. It is so exhausting! They want to be social, but then that triggers so many intense reactions! I will be thinking positive thoughts for you and your daughter!