New to the site, but extremely happy I’ve found it. I’ve been reading threads for the last 2 or so hours and am very grateful for all the resources shared.
I married my sons father when I was 19 and he was 29. I didn’t know he was diagnosed as an adolescent with SZ and MPD until after we were married. He was very high functioning. Had a job for 5+ years, had a home (though sparsely furnished), he had a life with friends. Nothing that would have indicated anything truly amiss.
Throughout the first year of our marriage, things became more obvious. Over time, he told me about the people who lived in his head. They were his multiple personalities, who also made themselves known to me. They all had names. One was my favorite.
The first 2 years were fine. It was kind of like living with roommates in one person, but manageable. We worked, paid our bills, tried to start a family. You know, regular things. Then when I was 5 months pregnant, a close friend of ours passed away unexpectedly in a car accident. He has a small family and had never dealt with a close death. He started drinking heavily and just never stopped.
I realize now that it was a breaking point for his psychosis, but I was young and uneducated at the time. We stayed together for another 2 years. By that point he was jobless and we were living with my mother. He was blackout drunk for most of the day and had started to get confrontational.
We separated at my request so that my son could grow up in a healthy and stable home. For 12 years he rarely called or acknowledged his sons existence. When he did call, it was usually to accuse me of keeping our son from him, which wasn’t true. I would make trips to see his parents and sister, and stayed in contact with his family. They’re great people and I want my son to know them.
Two years ago he passed away from liver failure due to the heavy drinking.
My son is now 15 years old.
He suffered night terrors as a toddler that was managed with regularly scheduled naps and bedtimes per his pediatricians recommendation.
He saw a therapist for 3 years, ages 10-13 due to a really nasty breakup with my fiancé who had been the only father he’d really known since he was 6. In the end she thought he was doing well and recommended ceasing treatment.
He was diagnosed with ADHD at age 11. He took medication for a while, but it didn’t help much. They upped his dosage and he hated the way it made him feel. At one point he felt like dying, like the world would be better off without him. So his pediatrician recommended trying diet, vitamins, and exercise. It didn’t work for school, but it works pretty well for homeschool. We’ve been doing that for the last 3 years.
You can see him shut down and check out when you try to talk to him about things he doesn’t want to talk about. He’s done that all his life.
I don’t live in fear that he will develope SZ, but I have been mindful and aware. We have a good line of communication. The older he gets, the more capable he is of explaining his thoughts and feelings.
Over the last couple years he’s been mentioning that he sees things out of the corner of his eyes but when he looks nothing’s there.
There’s a shadow about the size of a cat that follows him around.
When he tries to go to sleep, there is a shadow that he has to not look at in order to fall asleep. If it he looks at it, he can’t sleep.
He keeps his laundry basket in front of his closet and refuses to use the closet at all. He gets very uncomfortable when I use it.
He has to shower/bathe/use the toilet with the bathroom door open or with a cat in there with him.
There is a shadow that is “darker” than regular shadows that lives in the corner of the room. It creeps him out to look at it, but it’s okay if he doesn’t look.
Over the passed couple months, things have started to become more “active”.
The sleep shadow has become a woman, and this week he’s decided to name her Stella after a special cat we used to have.
He’s always been kind of a night owl like myself since birth, but has complained about being unable to fall asleep at all until the wee hours of the morning.
He told me today that his shadows have become more colorful. Like, Stella is white-ish now.
He’s become more protective over me when I leave the house because he’s worried something might happen to me. He’s admitted to me recently that he has separation anxiety with me. The only dreams he can remember that I’m in are ones where I’m abandoning him somehow. Leaving him with my mother (he’s not a fan), letting him roll down a hill in a car to his death, etc. He tears up when speaking about this.
He’s starting to show signs of inappropriate responses to situations. If I get hurt, he laughs like it’s the funniest thing he’s ever seen. When I ask him why, he gets upset with himself that he responds like that. At his father’s funeral, I got up to say a few words and cried a little. He marched himself up to me at the podium and started doing little things and making jokes to try and make me laugh.
He gets very anxious around people.
There’s probably a lot more, but it’s usually little things that you don’t notice until you sit down and look at it all objectively that it starts to add up.
I’m wondering what were the clues you had that lead up to you taking your child/teen to a doctor that lead to an eventual SZ diagnosis?
What are real things I need to look for? I’ve read a lot on here of parents saying their children came to them and said they heard voices but in hindsight, what were some subtle red flags that were missed because they weren’t blatant symptoms, like hearing voices?
When should I seek professional help? I don’t want to freak him out or make him feel like something is wrong with him. I just want to keep setting him up for success, no matter what the issue. I’ve read a lot about higher success with early diagnosis, but is there a too early?
I’m sorry this is really long, but I am starting to worry a little bit. It’s taken me an hour just to sort it out and type it. Any help, advice, it insight is very much appreciated.