Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Old member Savanna returning--hello!


I started posting here in 2008, unsure what was going on with my son. He was 24 then, now 32, lining with me. This site helped me through great traumas and to understand his illness with sz. We’re in the middle of yet another long psychotic phase of several weeks, and I’m waiting for his shot of Abilify 400 mgs taken last week at the psych ward to kick in–likely to take several weeks still. Just saying hello in case anyone recalls us, and hanging in there all these years.


Welcome back Savanna! My son just started the 400 mgAbilify but isn’t able to be released yet. He is also taking the pill until it kicks in. How long does it normally take? He is getting impatient to come home but clearly isn’t stable yet.

Hello to you, Mom–

Abilify the shot has proven to be the most effective drug for my son whose diag. has been schizoaffective. It can take 7-9 weeks before the calming sets in and the psychotic symptoms abate. Unfortunately, the psych wards here in California do not keep people long enough to await that stage of stability. So for now my son’s home with full-blown psychotic behaviors despite that shot he took.

Once the meds do take full effect, the next challenge will be the follow-up shots, the dose of which tends to be lower, say 200 mgs. But the laws here allow a person of age to refuse the meds, so it’s a big problem!

Sorry you, I, so many and our kids especially have to contend with all of these great troubles.

Best to you all,


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I wasn’t on this website at that time - my son’s illness was just beginning to manifest then - but - hello and welcome back.

Thank you. Yes, my son will also be discharged tomorrow with a second shot before discharge. The hospital told me that they are starting a clinic to deliver that shot. One day at a time. Take care!

Thank you both for replies. Mom2, good luck! Good he’s had two shots and I hope they help.

My son N was once again today given a psychiatric arrest–just 8 days since the last one. He was released last week from the psych ward in a full psychotic state, so–their bad, as we say. Past two days had been starting FIRES in his room, in OUR home, which I proudly own. And I had top argue today to the ward keepers that YES, he is a threat to self & others.

Give me a break!


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Savannah, thank you. I’m so sorry. How scary that is for you and your family. You will have to take lighters and matches away and hide them.

So, we are on week two of the Abilify shot and I pick up our son today. I’m going to have to hide our knives here. The thought just occurred to me.

I just got a call from my son and he said he was attacked by a nurse there. He isn’t ready to come home and it is so sad. He wants out of there but knows and says isn’t feeling well.

I’m thinking they were giving him his injection and it went south. He sounded really defeated and said “I guess I’ll take these damn shots” the rest of my life. My son always manages to “let it be known” when he needs to be in hospital. I have mixed emotions but mostly just sad.

Welcome back! I also wasn’t around here back then, but I have really appreciated the advice and support here during my daughter’s illness too.

Aw, shoot! I’m sure the hospital was being pushed to release him either because he ‘no longer met inpatient criteria’ or because he was ‘at his baseline’. The system is certainly stacked against real recovery.

Has your son been successful on Abilify before?

Hi Vallpen,

Yes, Abilify has worked for my son in terms of lifting psychotic behaviors and thought patterns, but it has not relieved the negative symptoms of sz, so he gets very low-spirited on that drug.



You have one very important thing going for you and son: he agrees he will need the meds. Many sz people like my son do not accept this need. Give your son kudos for being compliant, let him know he’s being his own hero, even if it’s so very hard. Champion him.

Best wishes,


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Savanna, thank you. I wish it were so but he is reluctantly accepting the shot in order to get discharged. I’m going to praise him nonetheless and hope that he can gain insight particularly since he’s had two hospitalizations almost back to back. I may even use your exact words. Thank you for your encouragement.

He now blames the guardianship for having to stay in the hospital so long. He wants to get that removed as soon as he gets home. I don’t know how that’s going to go but hopefully he will let it rest.

I know when parents talk about guardianship here I’m tempted to chime in and say it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be however in terms of life and death it is sometimes necessary. What I want each of you to know is that it is not a cure-all for the legal system. We still have to ask for the information and the state hospitals are the hardest to get to listen to their background.

After this hospitalization I’m going to gather each of the discharge papers with the medicine that was given upon discharge and ask also for the medicines that was tried within the hospital so that means getting all hospital records. I’m planning to put together a portable document that my son can put in his wallet in years but could also be printed out and faxed to the hospital appointed mission. I believe this will get him care quicker and perhaps the right type of care and I’m surprised that hospitals don’t go back and look at their own records.

All in all it’s up to my son to be the best he can be and manage his illness. God bless each and every one of us with the strength and fortitude to meet this enormous responsibility.

Its pretty sad isnt it. My son is on Clozaril (Abilify was a disaster!), and he also struggles a lot with the negative symptoms.

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My son has been on Abilify before but not the injection. It amped him up before but if he can stay active it might be good. Who knows, we’ll see.

I don’t mean to imply that Abilify can’t be a great medication for some people - just was not the right one for my son.

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