My son is in the hospital for the first time, diagnosed schizophrenia. Reading here is making me very anxious about what to expect when my son is discharged. From everything I’ve been reading it looks as if schizophrenia is still a mystery and the docs are still treating the symptoms and not looking for a cure. Who is looking for a cure and where can we find information about current clinical studies and how to get involved? I feel for those of you here dealing years and years with this disease and looking like you are still at square one. I’m freaking out that this is what I have to look forward to. Any advice for this newbie? I’ve told my son he is not alone anymore, that this is our problem and we will all deal with it together, but I have to admit I am freaking out at what it looks like in the future…
Hi and welcome to the forum. I’m sorry it’s under such circumstances. The best thing I can tell you is to use this time to learn what you can about schizophrenia. In no way does have to be looked at hopeless.
Please look at these sites:
http://www.leapinstitute.org/ - under resources are free videos on using LEAP
LEAP is a way of communicating to build trust. Listen-Empathize-Agree-Partner.
http://dramador.com/ - Dr. Xavier Amador is a clinical psychologist whose brother had schizophrenia. He is the founder of the LEAP Institute. Wrote the book: I’m Not Sick I Don’t Need Help! Can buy from his website.
Search Xavier Amador and LEAP on youtube.com and you should find some long videos
http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/index.php - under problems you will see anosognosia
Anosognosia looks like denial but is different.
http://lesswrong.com/lw/e25/bayes_for_schizophrenics_reasoning_in_delusional/ - helped my understand delusions
http://www.nami.org/ - National Alliance on Mental Illness.
http://www.schizophrenia.ca/ - Schizophrenia Society of Canada
For the most part it is treating symptoms but try to remember that underneath it all is still your son. My son was diagnosed 3 years ago. Even with the ups and downs I don’t consider us at square one as I have learned so much. I have adjusted what I think is important. The doctors treat symptoms while I guess scientist look for answers as is the case in other things as for now that is all that we can do. I won’t tell you that you have an easy road ahead of you. More like a roller-coaster ride. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Learn some coping tools like maybe mindful meditation. I find keeping myself calm and nonreactive can make a big difference. Depending on where you live see if there is an early intervention program in your area. The hospital should be able to help you with this or the psychiatrist that is currently overseeing your son’s care. They can help both you and your son understand what is happening. You will find a lot of support here.
I am a psych major and in remission due to my medication, and I can tell you that they are working tirelessly on new antipsychotics. Treatment in the priority, but there is also plenty of research on the nature of the disorder which may give clues as to a cure.
He will need medication for the rest of his life, and he will most likely never be cured, I am sorry to say. Treated and in remission and “cured” are two very different things. He can be treated and enter remission. That’s where I am- on medication and virtually symptom free, as good as one could hope for. For the psychiatrist, I am a great success and my case had been fantastic- I got on meds and learned about myself by being a psych major, so treatment and insight have brought me as close to “cured” as doctors dream of.