Hello, welcome to the forum.
Quick note: EPS symptoms sometimes resolve on their own after a few weeks; if they don’t improve, is it cogentin your son won’t take orally? Hopefully the doctor will be able to resolve this if the symptoms don’t disappear on their own.
Yes, I second @Mom2: This is a medical illness and not your son’s fault or yours or anyone’s.
Also to establish boundaries for everyone’s safety and physical health.
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Educating myself about the illness, local services, and crisis resources was vital. Finding emotional support from a group of people going through similar also helped me: nami.org
Only one of my close family members was really able to show up and help at first. Slowly, over the years, there has been more help and day to day support from one other close person. At first I was angry and felt we had been abandoned; now I understand that some people do not comprehend mental illness and cannot or do not have the time and emotional capacity to learn. If possible, create a strong support system of family and friends for your son.
When something does not work, I learned to move on. A doctor kicked my family member out of an entire practice for “non-compliance” and I spent too much time trying to fix the situation. Found another, way better doctor who understands the illness and that people oftentimes won’t take medication. I learned to spend my limited energy on positive, forward motion. I learned to leave behind what wasn’t working and not look back.
Day to day life is easier with calm, low stress environment. Eating, drinking water, and sleeping are priorities.
I learned to prioritize safety and health and “not sweat the small stuff” so to speak. A psychologist told me to lower expectations, actually to drop all expectations for college or work for my family member. That helped me and created less pressure for person with the illness. Whenever my family member expresses interest in positive activities, I support and facilitate as much as is wanted.
The vast majority of doctors and other professionals know what they are doing and are doing their best for our family members. I felt a lot of anxiety when reading about drug side effects and not knowing what was happening during crisis. My anxiety got in the way of my family member’s treatment when I questioned a drug protocol; I know now that my own ignorance was not a reason to doubt medical treatment. But also trust yourself if you think your son needs medical attention.
With every medication, there is a risk/benefit analysis for each person who takes it. A medication trial usually lasts six to eight weeks if there are no “black box” side effects or other cause to discontinue.
There are good days and bad days, just like in regular life, but with a broader range. The good days are meaningful; I hold onto these and try to let difficult times go. I try not to anticipate bad days; I try not to worry about things that might happen.
As far as interacting with a person who has positive symptoms of psychosis, sounds like you already know from your aunt to leave the person plenty of time to respond.
The person who has the illness is the same person they always were, though also changing due to normal development as a young adult. It’s really important to me to be able to see the growth as well as the struggles.
As difficult as the illness is to witness, it is way harder to have it. Our family member’s bravery and strength in the face of this illness is incredible. I am extremely grateful to him for being here.