Son and Crying Spells

My son is now 46 yrs old, he has been ill since 17 yrs old. He lives with my husband and me, we are his caretakers. He is doing relatively well on a high dosage of clozapine. Every once in a while he will just break down sobbing, when we ask him what is going on , he’ll just say “ nothing, I’m ok” he will not tell us what is going on or why he is so sad. It has us can we help him if we don’t know what is going on. After he calms down, and is no longer sobbing we inquire if he would like to talk about what was bothering him, he says he doesn’t remember sobbing. I talked with his Dr. about it, she did not seem overly concerned. I just want to know if anyone has any insight or experience with this. It tends to freak me out as I had a brother with schiz who was extremely depressed, and took his own life. Thanks for reading

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I haven’t had the same experience but my son (31 sza) frequently has an affect that is really not reflecting how he is feeling. His expression will look so lost or sad at times but when I ask him he says he feels good.
I think you are doing the right thing by paying attention to him and asking him how he is doing. If he knows he is supported he will feel more at peace.
I think this disorder has disrupted the mechanisms we have for managiing emotion - in fact the negative symptoms disrupt all emotion!
I guess what I’m saying is that if he is reporting that he is at peace then you can take that as a real consolation. He knows you love him and want to comfort him when he is feeling distressed and so even if he doesn’t express it to you I think that is so impactful.

Welcome to the forum, so glad you found us.

My son has had “crying spells”, not often, but they have occurred. I haven’t worried about him crying because I know there are normal people that just have times that they cry. Some people feel better after they cry, my son appears more relaxed afterwards. The crying doesn’t seem to distress him.

I don’t know if your son actually needs help. It’s good that you keep the possibility of depression in mind. When my DIL with bipolar cries during her depressed periods, she cries for a couple of days in a row. We all keep a careful eye on her, but we let her cry without asking her to explain herself.

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I hear your distress as a mother wanting to help your son as much as possible. You’re more fearful as you experienced your brother’s death by suicide. You don’t want this to happen to your son. I find as a mother of a daughter dealing with schizoaffective I first need to deal with my own thoughts and feelings. It has been easy at times for me to project my own fears, etc on my daughter. So do you have your own therapist or support group to work through these issues?
Maybe you could notice any triggers that starts these episodes? Or when he’s sobbing come alongside him and just be with him and/or if you are comfortable with this, ask him “Can you help me with my problem to understand what you are feeling during this time?”
It’s interesting that he doesn’t remember sobbing so there may be another part of him that is reacting. Oh course, you can’t be his therapist and he needs his own therapist besides the doctor prescribing his medications.
I admire your ability and desire to help your son through these hard times. We, as parents, can’t really know what it’s like to deal with a SMI. I’m learning more of what it’s like from my daughter but she meets with different friends who also deal with a SMI. If your son is willing a peer to peer support group could be good. NAMI is an organization that offers lots of helps for you, your husband and your son.
Hoping the best for you all. J-LE

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