Hoping Maggotbrane can respond to this post.
My question is about pathologizing what is not Neuro-typical. My son is very intelligent and creative. He reads a lot about philosophy, history, Buddhism, Method Acting etc. He graduated from film school 7 years ago, ( along with two hospitalizations for psychosis and suicidal ideation.)
He does not have a formal diagnosis, just Psychosis NOS. Smokes pot and nicotine to deal with anxiety. He refuses psych meds or seeing a Psych Doc. Has a therapist he occasionally talks to on the phone. He is having a hard time “Adulting.”
I know his thinking is not neuro-typical. I don’t know if he is actually “Schizophrenic” or what that even means. I have read that diagnosis are needed for Insurance purposes and possibly so Psych Docs have an idea of what types of medications to try or to avoid. But really, how accurate is a Psych diagnosis?.There is no blood test for Schizophrenia. A person may have symptoms, or characteristics that cause them emotional distress, but you can not pigeon-hole and label people. There is really a spectrum of symptoms which overlap with many different DSM-5 diagnosis.
I looked up positive symptoms of Schizophrenia which include
Disorganized Speech: Probably, he goes off on tangents.
In the past he has heard voices but it is infrequent, and intermittent. Or else he doesn’t talk much about it anymore. While I wouldn’t necessary always call it “Paranoia”, he is overly sensitive to any perceived criticism. Even an innocent question or comment may make him think that we are judging or criticizing him. Most of his attempts at interactions from people are over social media and he often feels rejected, Ghosted, or misunderstood. He is often afraid that people are looking at him and judging him.
I am not sure what qualifies as being delusional. Is wanting to move to LA to become an actor and film director delusional? Especially now during Covid, with very little money, and no real acting roles since high school (except for a few parts as an extra.)
He has been working on an animation film for years which is very creative but completely incomprehensible to anyone else as far as story-line. Lots of young people want to make a living as an actor or film maker, but we don’t call them delusional.
He really wants to connect with people and especially have a girlfriend but has a hard time meeting people, interacting and accurately reading social cues . His Dad and I are really trying to honor his need for independence and separation from us. He is 27 and has not been able to support himself completely, but has moved out of our house and is renting a room in the next town.
Since he got some money from the stimulus, he has decided to move to LA. We have been told by therapists to allow him to make his own choices and mistakes. And not to keep rescuing him (especially financially.) The good thing is that he wants to be self sufficient and has not asked for money, (though he has not succeeded at employment in the past and has a hard time realistically making a budget and determining how many hours he would have to work to support himself.)
Currently he is doing low paying free-lance video editing from online websites. (He was doing Uber but the Auto Insurance is too expensive.) I do occasionally buy him food but he never asks for it.
I am not sure what constitutes delusional or disorganized thinking is. For some people, it is probably obvious but our son is very smart and I think his brain just has a lot of ideas that he is processing at the same time, that I can’t always follow.
He can talk about philosophy and art, method acting, political theory and history etc. all in the same conversation. He gets into these loops for example, where he will discuss the idea of “Resistance”, and the idea of “What you Resist Persists.” He must have been researching the term “Resistance” on the internet and came across a fringe group who believes that “the Jewish uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto was an over-reaction.”
I think he gets into conversations with people in fringe groups because they will talk to him and he is lonely. He also likes intellectual sparring. Here is an example of something he wrote in response to reading that post. Is this an example of disorganized thinking?
*Been thinking a lot about what happened to Bernie and the discrepancies between Communism, Socialism, and the idea of [#Resist]. When Donald Trump was first elected, the idea of [#Resist] was suggested to people who feared deportation and asked “what do we do?” It all sounded familiar to me… and whilst this is an extremely biased article, it is important to understand how the current views essentially parallels what happened in the past… criticized as an “over-reaction.” (note; I do not agree with this article as it is biased in the information it reports, and lacks a fundamental understanding of why uprising would occur. To be more specific about what I mean, an actress who habitually fluttered her hands was once asked to have her hand tied by a light string to the set. When the emotion was triggered by her scene partner, her hand moved involuntarily again and broke the string, and this was thought to be the appropriate use of the gesture…(From Strasberg’s “A Dream of Passion.” )
So is this creative thinking? Or disorganized thinking? Not being “Neuro-Typical” would be fine
if he was able to have friends, relationships, live a meaningful life and be self-sufficient. So far it has been a struggle and my heart aches for him. All I can do is Love him. I can’t fix him. I don’t know how to help him. But what to do if he moves to LA and it doesn’t work out…