Hi. I have lost my daughter 3 and half years ago and basically need to talk. She was diagnosed with Schizophrenia at the age of 14 and was in psychiatric hospital for teenagers for a period of 6 months. We had barely the time to realise what she was diagnosed with that she was gone. She went at the age of 15 and 4 months. I wondered is anyone had a similar experience. Thanks.
To some degree we all have lost our children due to this illness but my heart goes out to you. I’m sorry your daughter is gone. I am a believer and think she is in a better place. This world is incredibly hard on someone with a mental illness especially. Tell us about her spirit and who she was as a person. Love and hugs
I’m sorry for your loss. My family member with sz is, thankfully, alive, but I lost my daughter during her infancy.
The loss of a child is the most difficult loss. I like Mom2’s idea of you being able to share about your daughter here.
Schizophrenia is an illness with a mortality rate from accidents, suicide, and untreated physical illness. Sadly, sadly, you are not alone…
Please feel free to talk here. I spent a great deal of time at Compassionate Friends https://www.compassionatefriends.org meetings. People who understood what I was going through helped me a great deal.
Thank you Mom2 for your answer and your like. I completely see what you mean when you say that in a way family of sufferers have to some degree lost their children. And if that really happens like in my case, there is no hope anymore, at least not for the child who went, and their family. In a way I know she faced a very difficult ordeal by receiving this diagnosis, because like you say, this world and the people living in it can be really hard on mental illness, especially schizophrenia. But I still have to deal with her loss every day I wake up, every new morning, with a sense I have failed as her mother. It is completely stupid I know, there was nothing more I could have done to save her, but I can’t help it, I am a mum and feel like a failure in not having been able to help her get through this. She was an amazing girl, very artistic, she loved creating, loved the Lord of the Ring, Harry Potter, had a wicked sense of humour, was a terrific big sister to my other younger daughter, had her unique sense of fashion, was very bright at school. was very mature for her age, and I believe was a beautiful girl. I understand the weight she had to carry by batling this illness that left her exhausted, because of the voices, because of her delusions…She became a shadow of herself when she became very ill, had dark circles under her eyes, couldn’t sleep, was scared of the outside world, of the other human beings, and I couldn’t help her…
I know what you mean. I really hope that one day all of us can get our family members back.
Even if we haven’t lost a child, I think everyone here has feared that loss.
I’ve had several periods where we watched my son 24 hours a day to make sure he didn’t just leave, I’ve had to pull him off railings when he was sure he could walk them, we’ve removed everything sharp from the house right down to forks at times, I’ve seen him the aftermath of cutting and burning and I’ve checked to make sure he was still breathing when I knew he’d taken too much of one thing or another more times than I can count.
I’ll continue to do what I can to keep him alive, but in the past 12 years I’ve came to terms with the fact that I may not always be able to do that, and if he passes for whatever reason, at least I’ll know he’s no longer living with some inner nightmare.
You couldn’t help her, but at least you know she’s not going through that anymore. Regardless of your belief system, you have to hold onto the idea that she’s at peace now.
Thank you Hereandhere for your answer. I have shared a bit of how she was like to Mom2, I don’t know if you can see my answer to her as I am new on this forum. I have known the forum and website for over 3 years but could only find the strength to write now. I feel that I struggle with 3 things since she went: People struggle to talk to me when they know what happened, as if me and my husband were contaminated. They just change the subject and act as if they knew nothing, and that happened since the day she went. Basicaly I feel we struggle with the loss of a child, which is one thing people are scared of, then serious mental illness which not only scares people of, but they don’t have a clue what this illness means. At last we struggle with a word that I don’t even know I am allowed to use in this forum, but that describes what she did to stop her struggles.
Thanks slw for your comment. I don’t believe in anything in particular, I am not religious, but one thing is for sure, I believe she managed to stop this nasty illness forever. I also know what you are going through, having gobe through the same things with her when she was ill. Hide all knifes and blades, healing her cuts and bruises, going to emergency in hospital after she took too much of some medication, staying always alert , nights and days. What I struggle with is that she was so young, and the illness was so strong, the psychiatrists never saw such a case in their entire career. She didn’t respond to any medications, and the negative symptoms were really strong.
Thank you Doctor for your answer. I really wish that your loved one will manage to get better, or at least that the medications will help and that one day things will get easier for everyone.
Thank you, same here. Try getting her something she can play with, like a puppy or a cat, but I think a puppy would be great if she could pick it out herself and she could get excited about it. Keep trying new medications. It’s literally impossible that in the last 3 years she has tried ALL of them.
Sorry, I didn’t realize that she was actually dead. I thought you meant that it was the age that she was mentally gone where she just wouldn’t respond anymore. I’m very sorry to hear so, I wish there could’ve been something more that would’ve saved her back then.
Is she young Doctor? If you don’t mind me asking
Oh sweet mum, you did all you could. I’m so sorry and realize how painful that burden must be. Your daughter sounds like a joy to be around and no wonder you miss her so much. I bet she was smart too. Did she let you know she loved you? In what ways? My son has never been very good about remembering Mother’s Day but I never doubted that he loved me and every now and then he would tell me he was glad I was his Mom. I had him late in life and wanted a child so much.
I do think all of our children are special, even when they are being manipulative and royal pains. They are sensitive and caring humans for the most part. My son loves animals and will just hug on our cat and dog when he is stable.
I’ve talked my son off the roof and my husband and I both lay over him to keep him from jumping out a third story window until the ambulance came. This was his first psychotic episode at 16 after experimenting with magic mushrooms.
I know that he attempted once to drag something electrical into a bathtub because I found it the next morning. I think the voices tell them to hurt themselves and there is no way you could have known that she was that Ill. It literally took me a solid year to believe it myself. Who wants to believe the child they love has this illness.
I want you to know that you have kindred spirits here and are welcome to share anything that you wish. You have helped me tonight to realize that even though my son is in the hospital tonight, at least I will be seeing his again. God bless you and your family.
I don’t have kids, I’m 18; I have a 22 year old fiancé with Schizoaffective Disorder (schizophrenia + bipolar type I), Asperger’s Syndrome, ODD, and SPD. I also have an aunt with schizophrenia locked up in a mental hospital and I had two other family members with it, one committed suicide and the other one no one knows what happened to him.
Doctor you have the wisdom of someone much older. As they say you have an “old” spirit. Have you ever been told that?
Countless times, yes, thank you.
If I find out someone had a relative who passed, and I don’t know why, and I think it could have been self-inflicted, I hate to ask unless I’m very close to them because I don’t know how they feel about it.
People may just not know how to talk to you about it.
I talk about my son’s mental illness all the time. If it makes people uncomfortable, that’s their problem. If he died, regardless of the way he died, I’d talk about that too if I felt like it.
You find out soon enough who can handle the subject and who can’t, but I refuse to be any more embarrassed of his condition that I would if he had cancer and diabetes.
And, once I start talking, 9 times out of 10, people are very understanding, and most have had their own struggles with their own MI or with that of a friend or a family member. As far the one or two who get really uncomfortable about it, they can just be uncomfortable because mental illness is a fact of life they might as well get used to.
Here are some examples:
One of our doctor’s assistants - her mother was bipolar.
My hairdresser - her mother is bipolar.
A former boss - she has a brother with SZ.
My co-worker - his father had bipolar and his daughter has been in & out of the hospital all hear for various MH issues.
The guy who came to unlock my car after I left my keys inside - bipolar
My other co-worker - her brother had something she won’t discuss, but he did what your daughter did
We’ve also known people who’ve lost children - most have been to physical illnesses or accidents. No matter how it happens it’s tragic.
I could go on & on. So talk here, we understand, but don’t let anyone IRL prevent you from grieving however you need to grieve.
You are so kind and understanding Mom2, it is really helpful for me to read all of you tonight, who share the same burden as I had before she died. I know exactly all of you what you are talking about, because I went through the same things. I remember one evening some months before she decided to go, she said to me “You know mum, I can’t promise you that I will stay alive” And by that time I knew so much what sort of torture she went through, I answered “I know Pauline, I know” I just wanted to let her know that I understood that she was living hell, and understood she would need to stop all that. She had her awkward ways to let me know she loved me and my husband. Like on my last birthday when she was still alive, she bought me some essential oils, and a soap as she knew I love so much soaps. She was not the sort of huggy huggy kid, was like you guessed very smart, very good at school, but was not the demonstrative kid She only had her way to show it. I can’t belive she only lived 15 years and 4 months…that is nothing…
I have no problem with mentioning it, talking about it at all slw. Only others are embarrassed. I even organised events after she passed away, I live in the uk and did an event for the Schizophrenia Week organised by the charity Rethink Mental Illness. I organised some talk about mental illness in my house. My mother suffers with Bipolar, I lost my big brother after he suffered also with bipolar when I was 16. So I know it is not rare at all, and have no problem talking about it. But like I said, her death means lots of difficult stuff to deal with for people : death of a kid, mental illness, suicide. This combination makes my relationship with others tricky to say the least. I tend just to avoid people, because frankly I am quite fed up with their reactions.
That is a very short life. My brother died at 15 in a car accident and I grieved him for years. He was a beautiful freckled and quiet boy and closest to my age. I missed him so much because I was 13 and he was my big brother. I have a nephew that looks a lot like him.
My son told me a few months ago that he was leaving and that we should adopt so we wouldn’t be lonely. I’m 57 so that isn’t going to happen. I didn’t get the sense he was suicidal but somewhere I read that when they come out of the hospital, they are at high risk. At my son’s last visit, the doctor said “don’t let him out of your site.” Nothing else, just that WTH.
I’m sorry - the way I read your post it sounded like you were hesitant to talk about it.
Well, shame on them for not being able to deal with it. Sooner or later, life will slap people like that right in the face and they’ll understand.
I do some freelance work with a small business in Weston Super Mare in Somersett in addition to my full-time job. They’ve been nothing but caring & considerate about my son’s situation, so I know there are some people over there who get it.
People should be able to talk about those things though. Almost everyone’s going to be touched by at least one of those things in their lifetime. You can’t just pretend these things don’t happen.