Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Should I visit my son or not


#1

My son is now in a secure care facility. He has just restarted monthly Invega Sustenna injections after a lapse of almost a year. The staff psychiatrist tells me that he will not benefit from group therapy, psychiatric counseling or the rehab programs that are available until he has stabilized. He is experiencing debilitating paranoia and delusions.

I have always been very close to my son, and whenever he has been hospitalized, I visit with him on a near daily basis. His psychiatrist tells me I should reduce my visits with my son to no more than once a week, otherwise he will remain dependent on me and will not benefit from therapy because he believes I will eventually get him released and he will come to live with me. I don’t believe this is true.

It would be very difficult for me to see my son so infrequently. I’m really the only person in the world that he talks to. He is estranged from his mother and friends. I think I should continue to visit with him four days a week as I have done for the past six weeks, and only reduce my visits when he shows indications of being stabilized. I am terribly conflicted.

Does anyone else have experience with a similar situation?


#2

I think maybe you should listen to the Drs. but they are only trying to guide and help you,
They are pretty smart people and turned on about things relating to MI that most people don’t pick up on.
but that being said, you can always just ask your son if he wants you to visit because it is technically up to him at the end of the day. I know from personal experience I would want someone to visit me when going through that instead of being in a bad place mentally with no one around that I know.


#3

I would say to stay away. I’ve started destabilizing recently and I fantasize about saying all sorts of horrible things to my family which I know I would never say if I was better. Think about how he would feel if he does or says something to you he doesn’t mean.

I can also see the dependent thing. We need a strong social network, not just one person. Heaven bless you, you’re doing all you can but he needs to be in a situation where he’s forced to make friends and socialize.

If the drs say it’s for the best it’s probably for the best. I left a therapist once because she said things I didn’t want to hear/it was hard for me to hear but if I’d stayed I’d probably be in much better shape (mentally) than I am now.


#4

When I was locked up for 8 months in the psychiatric hospital my parent visited me every day. It was the bright point of my day. But those doctors who told you that said it for a reason. It must be their experience with patients. I don’t think the visits hurt me; I still went to group therapy inside, I saw the psychiatrist once a week and took a bunch of classes.

I didn’t feel too dependent on my parents. It was nice to have visits for an hour when the rest of my day was spent suffering for 12 hours a day. It was nice to get a little break every day and they brought me candy and raisins and other treats. I think their visits were positive things. This was in 1981, maybe they’ve done some new research since then that says daily visits are not good for the patient.


#5

My first hospitalizations occurred in my teens, and my mother (to whom I’d been very close) was understandably very upset. She tried to visit but I’d often behave coldly and wind up telling her that she should go…

Somehow I knew that what was happening to me was something that ‘Mommy and Daddy’ couldn’t fix. I had to face it myself, without their influence and attempts at protection. It made me at least a somewhat stronger, more self-reliant person, I believe, than I’d otherwise have been.


#6

Im on both sides! I used to visit my son everyday whenever he was hospitalized. Sometimes I didnt. Those were the times when he told me he didnt want me there. I know its hard, but maybe a combination of both.
Ask your son! Listen to your gut.
He may only want short visits, or just to bring something for him.
Ask your son…


#7

I don’t really see any reason for keeping family apart other than if one doesn’t want it… And he can tell you that… if he just gets abusive, or doesn’t want you there he will tell you and you must realise that that is because he is unwell
I was in hospital for nine months and was visited most days by my mum… Or exchanges weren’t very complicated or deep or fruitful but sometimes I felt safe enough to talk little a few words anyway
I think the dependence argument is a very silly argument ready… You’re not sitting on top of him for 10 hours a day! I see my mum most days now several hours a day when I’m not with my husband for doing an activity I’m generally with my mum I’m married though, so if the person is still looking for a partner they need to get out of the house a bit but only when stable
I think on the other hand the people he might get to know in hospital could be druggies and bad for him anyway although if he doesn’t seek that out he should be fine


#8

I think you should just ask him what he wants. It may help him in the short term to get involved with group therapy, but eventually he will be released, and when that happens he has to know he can still trust you. Even if you do decide to cut back, explain to him why, so he knows you are trying something that could help.

Another option is to still visit him every day, but for less time each visit.


#9

I am sorry to hear of your situation, it sounds very difficult to deal with. Care is the best medicine, keep looking after your son regardless of what lab coat might say. Through conflict will come an answer, weather the storm and once your son is stabilized, take time for yourself and make the best decisions for your loved one.


#10

I spoke to my son about me going back east for a few weeks. He said he would be OK with that and that he would be fine. I won’t know if he’ll continue to feel that way until it happens.

I get conflicting reactions from the staff at the facility. Some agree with my son’s psychiatrist and conservator, others think I should continue seeing him as I have. These are people with many years caring for people with my son’s illness.

I’ve decided to back off for a few weeks and see how things develop. If things don’t go well for him, I can return within 24 hours. We had to work many months do get him into conservatorship and into a secure facility. This is his best, perhaps only, chance. There is so much at stake.

Thanks to all who shared their thoughts, I read every posting closely. I do wish you all the best.

John


#11

Considering his present symptoms, that is pretty likely correct (see below).

You have a right to believe whatever you wish, but given the laws of behaviorism (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behaviorism), you will reach your goal for your son more quickly by doing as the p-doc suggests. You may also want to look to see how your son’s presence may organize your life and fulfill your needs to the exclusion of his. However well-intentioned they may have been (and or were normalized to such by their own parents), some parents of sz pts are too close and over-stimilating for the hyper-sensitive sz child to be able to handle.

“Too much of a good thing may not be.”

Yes, actually; with more than 50 of them.

Strongly suggested:

  1. Get a copy of this book and read it. Have the entire family read it, too.
    http://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Schizophrenia-6th-Edition-Family/dp/0062268856

  2. If he needs further professional intervention, tell me where you live, and I will get back to you with leads to those services.

  3. If you want a second opinion by a board-certified psychopharmacologist who specializes in the psychotic disorders. One can find them at…
    https://psychiatrists.psychologytoday.com/rms/

  4. Work with his p-doc to develop a medication formula that stabilizes hus symptoms sufficiently so that he can tackle the psychotherapy that will disentangle his thinking. The best of the therapies for that currently include…

DBT – http://behavioraltech.org/resources/whatisdbt.cfm
MBSR – http://www.mindfullivingprograms.com/whatMBSR.php
ACT – https://contextualscience.org/act
10 StEP – http://pairadocks.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-10-steps-of-emotion-processing.html

  1. the even newer somatic psychotherapies like…
    MBBT – https://www.newharbinger.com/blog/introduction-mind-body-bridging-i-system
    SEPT – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somatic_Experiencing
    SMPT – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensorimotor_psychotherapy

  2. or standard CBTs, like…
    REBT – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rational_emotive_behavior_therapy
    Schematherapy – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schema_Therapy
    Learned Optimism – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_optimism
    Standard CBT – http://www.beckinstitute.org/what-is-cognitive-behavioral-therapy/About-CBT/252/


#12

I don’t know what a conservatorship is but I didn’t realize it was this dire. My caterpillar army and I wish you and your son all the best.

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#13

onceapoet, this link gives an overview of conservatorship:

http://www.sfsuperiorcourt.org/divisions/probate/mental-health-conservatorship


notmoses, the facility where my son is being treated uses Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

Thanks for the links you provided.


#14

THE gold standard, IF the pt gets on board.