Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Out of hope for my son


My son is 21. He was diagnose with schizophrenia when he was 17. He doesn’t accept that he has the condition so he refuse to take his mess from time to time.
I am very exhausted emotionally and I don’t know what else to do to help him.


The best thing you can do is to take care of yourself. You need time and space to recharge your batteries. In time he might get insight in his illness. If you don’t take care of yourself you will crash and that is no good for you or your son. Take time to do things for yourself.


Welcome to the forum @Maggiegutier. My son is almost 21 and was diagnosed at 17. Some of the below links may help: - under resources are free videos on using LEAP
LEAP is a way of communicating to build trust. Listen-Empathize-Agree-Partner. - 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 and you should find some long videos - under problems you will see anosognosia
Anosognosia looks like denial but is different. - helped my understand delusions - National Alliance on Mental Illness. - Schizophrenia Society of Canada

Can also find some very useful information here:


Thank you so much “comatose”. I wish I can take time for me. He stays all day long in his room. He eats there and leave all the trash in his room or call me to get him things to eat because he is hungry and he claim there is nothing to eat. Sometimes I say NO but I feel guilty because he say “please I’m hungry”. I get home and also go straight to my room because I am so stressed and don’t know how to help him. We live in Orlando, Fl. Last night he refused to take his meds AGAIN. :cry:

Wow “Barbie” thank you so much for those recourses. I will look into them.


Some other threads that may help you cope:

Sorry I know that was a lot…

If I let my son he would have me do everything for him. There is a part of me that says: If he can’t perform minimally at the age of a 6-10 year old than that needs to be looked at. If he is capable yet not doing it because mom will… Mom needs to stop doing it. A lot easier said then done when your heart strings are being pulled at.

The 3 C’s: I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it and I can’t cure it. You have nothing to feel guilty about.


I would encourage him to get a job. That might help him.


Being tormented in our minds and no one knows.

Very scary stuff.

We’re being murdered, it’s not a disease.

Insight my fucking arse!


This is a great idea if the person is capable of holding a job. My son’s delusions would make working most jobs, certainly the types he is currently qualified for, absolutely out of the question.


Thank you again Barbie. It is comforting to know that there is support out there and moms that I can relate with and can truly understand the ache of the heart to see your son this way.

Joshua wants to work but nobody will hire him because he doesn’t have experience. Also in his own world he feels that nobody wants to give him a job because he didn’t graduate from high school no matter if I tell him, that at many place don’t look at that. Not to mention the fact that he will not look at anybody’s eye when they are talking to him, that he doesn’t stay focus and that he doesn’t like anybody too close to him at all time. Those things make it difficult to find him the right fit job for his condition.

I just want to help him, he didn’t chose to get this condition but I think he knows how to take advantage of the situation. He is a smart man. I think I need to learn that he is not completely disable, but how can I?


maybe he can get his GED on the computer? It might give him a sense of accomplishment, and he can always try to pick up odd jobs. My son did a lot of painting and yardwork for some people.
It is very heartbreaking and a long road.
I wish you luck**


Why do people say “Take HIS medication” rather than say "Take THE medication ?

This gives the person a strong feeling of isolation from everyone else.

It’s sort of like saying “Your on your own …buddy.”.


my son is 18 and just diagnosed and still in acute psychosis after one month. I’m already exhausted and mentally fragile. I can’t imagine what you feel like after four years. I hoped it would be easier. My son had been hiding in our basement since February and has now left us mentally as well. Thanks for sharing.


His/her medication as opposed to someone else’s medication I guess. Medication is prescribed to a specific person and it says so on the bottle. You don’t speak quite the same way when it’s over-the-counter stuff like aspirin. It’s did you take aspirin? Not did you take your aspirin? Sure there’s an implied contract that a patient makes with the doctor, here you take this (I prescribe you to do this) because you came to me with an ailment that I’ve been trained to help you with. It’s that lack of ownership of the disease and the medication or any other therapies that often gets people into trouble.


I did yard work for money for most of my life. I was doing it in high school and I did it until I was in my forties. My “clients” were mostly people from my families church or neighbors of theirs who saw me working and hired me for themselves. I did anything from mowing lawns to splitting wood for firewood. It doesn’t take a vast amount of knowledge to do yard work. I learned as I went along. Dish washing is not a tough job either. Usually when you are a dishwasher you are basically working semi-alone at the dish washing station so you have your own space. And restaurants have a high turnover and are frequently hiring. I really don’t know if your son is employable but I have gotten jobs while I was very sick. I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1980 at age 19. I didn’t work again until I was 22 or 23. Here in California we have several resources for becoming employed. I’ve been to two vocational programs.One of them started when I was fresh out of an 8 month stay in the hospital. There were about ten or 11 people in the program at any given moment. We met 4 or 5 days a week and there were several counselors. They led classes and we did yard work and mailing projects. It was all VERY low stress and it led me into getting a job. We also have employment agencies whose clientele are all disabled people. They help you become employable, coach you in how to get a job and actually help find you a job. Restaurants often train people with no experience. By the way, when I first got sick my illness was VERY severe for the first two years. I could not function for that time. I had no money, no friends, no job, no girlfriend, no schooling, no independence. Now I’m 53 and I live by myself, work part-time, take online classes and drive my own car. I take care of all my own finances and make and keep appointments. When I was realy sick, I saw no end in sight to my suffering. I saw no light at the end of the tunnel. I had almost nothing going for me. Medication and family support is what I credit any of my success to. If only your son could turn that corner and start taking medication then he stands a chance. I too did not think I was sick at first, it took me half a year to gain insight that yes, I was schizophrenic. When I got that insight it didn’t change my life overnight but it was a start. Anyway, I wish you and your son good luck.


Nick, You give me a ray of hope. You are right if he can ONLY turn that corner. Here in Orlando I have had a very difficult time finding programs for him. he was in this adult center trying to get his GED but because he was not consisting in taking his meds then he was asked not to go back. He can’t focus working on the computer on his own, again I believe it is because he is not following the treatment as recommended. He is completely isolated. I don’t think he is employable yet. People are very afraid of hiring a person with schizophrenia because of all the incidents out there and it is unfortunate that they all have to suffer those consequences.


I would like to thank everyone for giving your opinion and your advices regarding this condition. I don’t feel so alone anymore.

Have a great holidays all and best of luck!


Same to you!..