Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Son worried about managing his own meds someday

Hello,
Thank you to everyone here for being so helpful. My son either has bipolar with psychosis or possibly schizoaffective, depending on who evaluated him.
He is only 16, but recently been worried about how he will manage, living on his own. He looks up apartments all the time, and shows me the ones he likes.

His main worry is that he either wouldn’t take his pills or would take them all at once. I told him there are living situations with a nurse there to help with medications. But now I’m thinking that a monthly injection might be more realistic.

How do most adults with psychosis handle this. On the Diagnosed forum, it seems as if they all handle their own medications.

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Yes I handle my own medications. Is your son prone to forgetting to take his medications? If so, monthly injection would definitely help. You say he wouldn’t take his pills or would take them all at once, but it seems he is currently taking his medications ok? Is he worried that he will try to suicide by taking them all at once? Does your son help out with chores around the house? I think for him to live on his own, he should definitely help out.

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Injection sounds ideal here. No pills to fuss with.

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Hi Link,
He is worried he would attempt suicide. We have a safety plan (well, we are on probably our fifteenth safety plan, after having seem so many counselors!) where we agree to lock up all medicines, poisons, sharp knives in case he gets suicidal impulses.

He does do chores (very reluctantly) and can cook pretty well.
I think it is just that he worries about lacking a support system some day.

Thank you for replying!

I probably wouldn’t make him live on his own then if he has these impulses, not to mention it will save you some money. He is still young and got a long road ahead. I am not sure how he is doing at school. I suppose he is in high school and if his diagnosis is bipolar with psychosis, there is still a lot of things he can do. It is definiltey possible to go to university and still find a nice job, provided the right support is in place.

Injectables seem a way to go here. I’m wondering if Amazon’s pillpack or if maybe there are blister pack packaging alternatives. Not sure if people realize that blister packages both deters drug diversion (think methamphetamine) and overdosing. I believe there are also time lock pill safes.

My main problem with self-administering medication early on was anxiety over missing doses. I recall anxious times going home from work and counting tablets and doing mental math or taking half doses just to be sure. Eventually you become confident that missing a dose won’t cause an immediate psychotic rebound.

Per concerns about suicidal tendencies, I’d be frank that attempting to overdose on AP medication will very likely fail. And it might leave him disabled and in pain. I would discuss this prospect with his psychiatrist and get his input on practical solutions.

In the meantime, I’d consider doing what my mother did to me: charge him monthly rent while he’s employed and living at home. While it may anger him, it may slow him down a bit and teach him the financial part of living on his own. Progressing him to self-administering his medication with supervision may be helpful too. Easing people with SMI into situations with training and supervision builds confidence and can motivate additional steps at independence.

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Thank you so much for your reply. You are helpful to so many people on this forum. Rent is a good idea as I look ahead. He needs to adjust to having more responsibility and maybe he’ll be less worried.

I think 16 years of age is way too young to live on his own especially with his concerns . I think you would be worried sick about him . Charging him rent, bills is a great idea and hopefully it will put him off . My son is 2 2years old lives 5 min from me with a room mate , he calls me every day at 6pm on FaceTime and i watch him take his pills. I pay him a little pocket money every week for calling me on time . He puts his alarm on lol . On another note injectables seems a great solution too

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My son was so worried about moving out when he graduated athfrom high school etc an I told him no one had ask him to move out an he was needed at home to help me, He was pleased an we have been together for last 22 years, He chose to take the shot for his mental illness an it has worked out, He refuses to change his clothes, He takes a bath each day but will not change his clothes, some times I hide his dirty clothes an replace w/ clean ones, I am thankful for each day I have w/ him

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Our son was able to get on disability and work through a county CCS program. His team is incredible. They monitor and help manage his meds while helping him work toward being more independent. They make sure he gets his injection every month. I would keep advocating for your son and seeking out more resources. We are not going to always be around for our children and to get others involved can made a world of difference.

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Thank you for all the replies. He definitely won’t be moving out on his own anytime soon. I think he may worry about it because we are older parents.

He recently started Haldol and knock on wood it seems to be helping.

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