My son who is bipolar and schizophrenia is sleeping a lot. He has been doing this for about two weeks now. I asked him if anything was wrong, he said no. I also asked him if he wants to go to the doctor, again he said no. He’s barely eating. Just sleeps all day and all night. Should I be worry about this. He’s has never done this before. What should I do?
From my own experiences, many medications will affect sleep and appetite. Also being mentally ill in and of itself is utterly exhausting and depending on the ‘ebb and flow’ of the illnesses there can be periods of heavy (or less) sleep and more (or less) appetite again, depending on medications but there are fluctuations even without any medications at all, I would not worry about the sleeping and appetite unless a serious health threat is presenting; malnutrition or refusal to eat anything at all or on a regular basis (like once a day-also fluid intake: make sure he is getting enough water), inability to wake or remain coherent at all or for a reasonable amount of time (like at least 6-8 hours a day give or take), obvious signs of escalating symptoms of the illnesses (mental or physical). I’ve mentioned before that when my sz son first started with medications he often slept at least 16-18 hours a day, and ate some small thing once when he was awake. Eventually he leveled out over time. He still sleeps 10 or 11 hours regularly and has a hearty appetite now. You can also discuss these concerns with his doctor and perhaps get further peace of mind.
Thank you for replying to my post. I am concern about all the sleeping he does. He doesn’t take any medicine. He refuses to take it. He does drink a couples of bottles of water a day. He refuses to go to the doctor. When should I start to worry.
Catherine’s reply was excellent. Yes, tell his doctor your concerns. I also am wondering, what does your son do during his waking hours? Is his illness getting worse, or are you just worried about sleeping?
I would seriously work on finding a way of getting him to a professional or trying to get a professional to him, some states have outreach programs for people unwilling or unable to come in for an assessment. Whether your son wants to or not it is imperative that he see someone as soon as you can find a way to make that happen. Perhaps if you contact NAMI they can offer you some further advice. Your son really needs to be assessed to know what is actually going on for sure-so you know when to worry and when not to. If he won’t agree to be seen by a psychiatrist then maybe a family doctor first to get a referral at least and to make sure that his issues are not being compounded by unknown physical problems. It is not uncommon for a person like your son to refuse treatment but remember that decision is coming from an unsound mind. Someone with a sound mind has to push the envelope. Here is a link for NAMI https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Family-Members-and-Caregivers I hope they can help.
He is never awake to do anything. He gets up a couple a times a day to eat and use the bathroom. He then goes to sleep for hours. He wakes up with a smile on his face. I can’t talk him into seeing a doctor of any kind. I don’t know if his illness is getting worst. I have never seen him like this. He doesn’t want the radio or TV on. That has never happened before. I am very worried about this. I don’t know what to do.
Thank you so much for the feedback. I cannot get him to see a doctor. He refuses to go. I still don’t know what to do. Thank you so much.
I understand what you are saying. I truly do. Sometimes mothers just have to refuse to take no for an answer and even venture to think outside the box or try to enlist the help of others who care or who are paid to care. Easier said than done and it often makes you very unpopular for awhile but occasionally the end results can be well worth the stress and trouble of it all. Start by contacting NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and see what advice they offer you. In addition getting some emotional support for yourself can go along way toward helping you discover answers and solutions that might help your son. I wish you and your son all the best going forward. please contact NAMI at 800-950-6264, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., ET, or write to email@example.com.
Again, I believe that Catherine is giving excellent advice. Also, you may just have to wait for something to happen that would show your son is of danger to himself or another. It sounds like his symptoms are more what are called “negative” right now as opposed to “positive” (hallucinations, violent behavior). People can go for days without eating, but water is a different story. If he doesn’t get out of bed for days, could be a reason to call 911. But be prepared to know what your options are at that point. Do the research now. There is a lot of good information on the NAMI and other websites.
My guess is he hears the radio and TV saying negative things about him or thinks they can hear his thoughts.
As for sleeping too much, that is better than when they don’t sleep for days. Lack of sleep usually precipitates a psychosis.
Perhaps you can get him to see a doctor by saying the doctor may be able to help him have more energy.
I have asked him over and over to see a doctor, he refuses to go. It’s not like him to sleep all day and night. He is eating very little. He stares out the window. His hygiene is awful. His room is a terrible a danger zone. He has garbage everywhere in his room. There is feces and urine from the dog. He chews tobacco and spits it out on the floor. Pop cans piled up on end table. He is not talking to anyone. He is in danger of himself. He cannot take care of himself. He needs professional help. I am going to have to call the police, and have them take him to the hospital. I don’t know what else to do. Thank you so much for reading my post. All of you have been so helpful.
I can imagine how hard this is for you to see and also to live with. Before you call the police, I suggest you talk to someone at NAMI or if you can locate a county or state mental health crisis unit and talk to them first. Laws vary by state (you can look them up on the Treatment Advocacy Center website). In my state, I doubt police would be able to take him to a hospital based on what you described, as ridiculous as that seems. Even localities vary sometimes in how they interpret the law. If you can participate in a NAMI support group, you may find others locally that can also give you advice. If you do call the police, call ahead to find out if they have aa CIT (Crisis Intervention Team). If they do, always ask for the CIT people to be sent.
Thank you so much for your advice. I did talk to a lady at NAMI, and she is the one who said to call police. She said he is in danger to himself. He cannot take care of himself. He is barely eating or drinking. Won’t shower. His room is a mess. She did mention the CIT officer. He had court today, and he didn’t go. I did go to court for him. They are putting out a warrant for his arrest. They will have him examine by a professional. Then he will go to a state hospital for treatment. This may take a couple of months. And if they can find him a bed. I hope he gets into a state hospital, soon. I am worried because he’s not on any meds. I hope this is the right treatment for him. You have been so wonderful in replying to my posts. I am glad I found support for me. Thank you again.
Stay hopeful. I have heard from several others, including two who have the illness themselves, that “hitting bottom” (getting arrested and eventually getting treatment through the state) was the path that led them to recovery. It seems that this is better than the alternative of not getting help.
I am staying hofeful. But then I am worried sick. Went into his bedroom this morning and his hands were just shaking like crazy. Please God you need to help him. I hope I am doing the right thing. I just cry watching him. I need to know if this is going to help him. I’m not going to be on this Earth much longer. Please keep him safe. I love him so much.