My son developed adolescent-onset schizophrenia. He was already developmentally delayed which made him dual-diagnosis. At age 16, after two hospitalizations, I couldn’t let him come back home to live because it was too dangerous to my daughter and I. He was placed in an adolescent treatment center until he was 18, then was able to enter a supported-living situation with full-time staffing. I became his legal guardian as soon as he turned 18 and he is now 33. He used to come home one weekend a month, but it was too exhausting, so now he comes home for a 24-hour visit every two weeks. He has seen the same psychiatrist for years and is stable on his meds. He still has hallucinations and obsessions, but last time we tried to change his meds he became violent again, so the dr. and I have decided it is what it is, and he is mostly happy. His meds are administered to him, so I know he is taking them.
The problem is that he is very dependent upon me and doesn’t stop talking from the moment he gets home until the moment he leaves. He is unable to carry on much of a lucid conversation; going from talking about someone at his sheltered workshop, to a staff person he thinks is using drugs (not), to someone at the store who looked at him funny. You can only believe half of what he says. When he says something that’s not true, you can’t disagree with him, but you can suggest other possible options. But he requires constant interaction. If I ignore him or tell him firmly to stop, he starts muttering to himself and gets angry.
He won’t watch tv or engage in any other activity except to talk to me. He follows me from room to room chattering away and expecting a response. He does get tired and go to bed at night and generally sleeps through the night. The next morning it starts over. By the time he leaves the next evening I am exhausted. He knows he talks too much and if I ask him to be quiet for a while, it lasts about 10 seconds. Because of his intellectual limitations, we can’t do many activities and going out doesn’t stop the constant talking.
I know I am so lucky that he is stable and living in a supported-living home. He also talks the staff to death, but at least they get paid and get to leave. I’m getting older and this is exhausting me.
Has anyone else experienced this with someone who is schizophrenic? Is this common? Any advice?