Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

New here, introducing myself and our story


#1

hello
This is my first post here. I have a question but I think I’ll just give our story first and ask the question in a different post.
My son is almost 25. In the past 3 years I have come to accept the idea that he is schizophrenic. I realize in looking back that this is something that has been happening to him since high school, but at that time our thought was that he was smoking too much pot and needed tough love and firm boundaries to force him to step up his game. He moved to the city and when he told me he felt fearful or paranoid I chalked it up to the change from small town life to the big city and also to too much pot. He socialized less, had fewer friends, was hostile and extremely unpleasant and anxious when he visited home. But again, we chalked it up to being a kid in transition and he just needed time to get his act together. Over the last few years he has told me of many delusions and fears. I was so very reluctant to concede that this could be schizophrenia, it broke my heart and more than anything I wanted to find a way to help him that would not involve telling him his life was totally crap. I also read about the debilitating effects of the available meds and to me it almost seemed better to leave him be, as long as he was holding a job and had some very basic autonomy. I fantasize that he might be a basically functional person and that he could learn to cope.
But over time his level of functioning has dropped. Roommates are trying to frame him, co-workers are plotting against him, he is a police informant and is at risk from ‘gangs’ if he goes outside, people on Facebook are trying to steal his accent, people are using his mind to video their perverted sex acts. Also, he is famous and everyone knows him and are jealous of his fame and want to hurt him. People whisper his name as they pass by, they whisper the names of his sister and his nephew. He is consumed with the idea that everyone is a pedophile and wants to molest his nephew. He seems to be looking at someone who is doing something funny because his eyes move around and he snickers.
But he only tells me these things, not his father or sister. So it took me quite some time to convince them that something was wrong. Of course, now that he is 25 he is an adult and must voluntarily report to a doctor. But he believes he is fine and that we are trying to undermine his life by saying he needs help. I’ve tried various ploys…go to a therapist for anger management, for learning skills that would help him get a date or get a better job, figuring that any therapist who lays eyes on him will see the real problem and steer him for help. But he never follows through. (I kick myself every day that I didn’t take him to a doc when he was in 8th grade when his teacher commented that his schoolwork was going downhill, but I chalked it up to teenager-itis.)
About a month ago he showed up at my door late at night. The latest roommate had abruptly asked him to move out so he came home. We decided to use this as leverage. As a condition of staying with us he has to see a psychiatrist and take the meds they give him, even if he thinks he doesn’t need them. I finally got an appointment for him on Tuesday and so far, even though he screams about not going, he still says he is going. We’ll have to see how it plays out. My hope now is to get an actual diagnosis on the records and get him started in treatment, and then maybe social security can be considered.
I’m sorry this has turned out to be so long . I actually deleted several paragraphs. I’m glad this group is here. It’s hard having a child who is sick.


#2

I hope things improve for you and your son. The fact that he is seeking therapy is good. Its not a good idea to ignore the problem. There are many anti psychotics that can help. Also spirituality helps aswell. Keep being supportive, and ;earn to be forgiving as this illness can cause stress.


#3

I’m sorry you’re going through this, it was awful and painful for my mom as well when I was psychotic. Luckily the meds worked and now I’m functional again and practicaly symptom free, so there’s hope.

Hope everything works for the best. My advice here is if he keeps being non complaiant to meds and therapy, try to force it. It was the only way it worked with me, first I agreed on going to a psychiatrist, but that one was terrible, didn’t even sit through the whole appointment and in the end prescribed me an anti-depressant, after that I completely denied trying another one. Had to be cumpulsively hospitalized, and I thank whatever force moves the earth for that. Psychosis is a terrible thing, and if it’s like me, built upon lots of years of not realizing the symptoms, the beginning of recovery is going to be hard. I just got out of denial a couple of months ago, and was diagnosed only one year ago. Been living with the illness all my life. But I’m better now, and on the path of recovery which I take very seriously, so there is hope.


#4

Hopefully he’ll get the help he needs when he sees the doctor. Be prepared though, it might not be easy if he thinks he’s ok, i.e. he has poor insight. He might reject what the doctors say or refuse meds.

Stick by what you said, i.e. him taking meds is a condition of him staying. Remind him of that.

Just my humble opinion. I wish you the best of luck.


#5

Your words are encouraging. I appreciate it.


#6

Thanks for the encouragement. Also, I really like your User Name. Letting him stay in the house with us is effective for the time being, so I’ll continue to use it.


#8

Welcome to the forums! I hope things work out well for you and your son!


#9

You came to a good place. My son is soon to be twenty, and although we are at a different place than you and your son, I’ve found that many of our journeys tend to be similar. Becoming educated about the illness helps. Reading the stories from other caregivers can be validating. Just confirmation that you are not alone.

I like to follow the News forum as well. It helps to be updated on latest regarding this illness, and I feel it helps me better advocate for my son. I have found that medical professionals tend to value my input a little bit more when I (somewhat) know what I’m talking about.

I wish you the best…


#10

When I was delusional and not on med’s I used to say things intended to scare people away from me - to make them back off. I think a lot of sz’s do that if someone is getting near them in ways they don’t like. You need to realize it is you son’s illness talking when he does that.
They have timed released shots of different anti-psychotic medications. That might be appropriate here. That was the only way I would be med compliant when I was psychotic. You’re doing the right thing in looking for help. Schizophrenia is too much for a family to handle unaided. You’re always welcome here. Don’t hesitate to voice your concerns.


#11

Crimby, interesting perspective on what was behind scary things you said. My son gets right in my face and screams. I had never thought of that explanation. Thanks for sharing.


#12

**Welcome to the forum!
My son is 38 years old and off meds for over a year. He lives in his own house. He has never taken meds voluntarily. Even though Zyprexa helped so much in the past, he doesn`t remember. He was on Prolixin injections for a long time-and it helped, but later started causing seizures. Not sure what happened there.
It would be impossible to live with him at this point.
He is very paranoid and delusional-but I can do nothing about it.
There are no answers that I could give you.
@crimby *thanks for that insight!!!
I believe that is what my son is doing. He will not talk to me, or his father.
All we can do is financially help him at this point and leave him alone. *


#13

sending you some love bridgecomet, as someone who understands…


#14

You’re a real good person @bridgecomet


#15

Our hearts go out to you and we are glad you’re here. Thank you for sharing your story. Is your son compliant on meds now and stabilized? I pray so.