Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Squid Catching Up...Older Boy Worries


#1

There were a few people that I was about to respond to, and then we lost our house internet for a few days (construction workers broke the street line). Each (in my mind) required more than a simple response…so please allow me to apologize for not getting back to each of you…and thank you for the kindness and understanding that you each show daily.

We are the parents of the 14 year old boy who is dx Early Onset.
We also have an older boy by one year, who is in High School here.

Back Story:

Older boy has been struggling with anxiety and panic attacks at school. We have an appointment for a full physical coming up. We’ve added vitamins, and boosted his dietary intake as he has literally grown so much in the last year we can see that his body is barely keeping up with his growth. (Sooo skinny, no drugs, he’s 15, just very worried about his future: caring for his brother, what happens when we die…etc. Too many big worries for a kid, in my opinion.) Dad increased the amount of time he spends with him, and has joined into our daily conversations to help son navigate these teen years and high school. This has helped a great deal…we have always been close, but when son began to express that he felt overwhelmed by worry…well, we needed to do something. He is asking about seeing a pdoc, to ensure that (in his words):

  1. if he “get’s scz” they will catch it quick
  2. if he has “real” anxiety, he can get help and not derail educationally
  3. apply some techniques to help manage what is probably a genetic predisposition to anxiety

With the recent school shootings, (his school had a chemical lock down just last week, we had a serious shooting at a Middle School in our area the week prior) the school counselors have notified the parents that all the kids are dealing with anxiety, as well as staff. Sooo, counselors have reached out to him and are working overtime to help all their students. Additionally, he is the “new” student, as we have only recently moved here.

Short and sweet update:

He is now enrolled in a weekend law prep program through the local University. This has done wonders…he struggled the first two Saturdays, but has now made friends, participates regularly, and has a pathway in mind. The teachers have been fine tuning some of his character traits, which has helped tremendously. He no longer worries that his shyness is the same as being a “loner”. He’s no longer the one who hangs on the fringes in his hoodie. (NOT good in our public schools right now!) And…drum roll please…

he made “Lawyer of the Day” this last Saturday! (Edit: and…Honor Roll!!!)

This program does NOT grant “participation ribbons”. You must argue your case before a real Judge, real Lawyers, and all the support fields. Wow…he set a goal, worked hard and…he DID IT!!!

I can’t smile enough…to do this, he had to work with others…talk to others, reach out and most of all: be friendly despite the tightness in his chest and trouble breathing.

He learned he can breathe. That others are worried about things too. That other teenagers have anxiety, and still pull through. That, in spite of these things, you can still smile, laugh and reach your goals.

He is doing great in High School as well. He has made friends, and is actively socializing. He is also in JROTC, and is having a blast with that. He NO longer wants to join the military…but work towards being a lawyer instead, so he can acquire his education while still being at home. His grades have improved, and he’s the one who did it. HE wrote emails, chased down teachers to meet with them, met with counselors again and again…waiting in lines, or with mobs of other students…all those “stressors”, and he’s doing it…to bring those grades to college bound levels. He’s also enrolled in a community outreach program called “Brothers”…for high school students to help their local community.

(Still have drs appointment and pdoc established.)

Just wanted to share some good news…
he pulled himself through this.

Whew!
I have honestly been scared.
I know that life is hard right now. I know that he has a lot of worries that, although not normal for all kids, is normal for kids who have these dynamics. I never realized how much strain is put on teenagers academically though…util now.

Best of all? Dad is involved over and beyond what I could ever have imagined.
For our boy? Best. Medicine. Ever.

I’ll write about younger boy next.

Thanks for caring…
Only here, would another person understand the worry when the sibling of one dx child says “Mom, I think something is wrong with me”.

That’s been us for about 2 months now.

UC Irvine
Saturday Academy of Law
(no privacy issues, as these photos are released through the Academy)


#2

This is the best news I’ve had all year. Beam away. Congratulations!