Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Sz and airport travel

Haven’t been on in a long time, and I’m sure most don’t even remember my son and I. For the few that do, we are doing well, but as always there are ups and downs. The last stretch of downtime was longer than normal and it took alot out of both of us but the clozapine is still doing its thing and we are finding our new normal. The reason for my post is that I am looking for some advice after losing some sleep over worry about an upcoming flight we are taking. The first since he got diagnosed. My other son is graduating as a Naturopathic Doctor in December, and I have purchased tickets for my Sz son and I to travel to the opposite end of Canada so we can be with him.(this means no customs which is great), but we still have to go through security. Of course my sons fixed delusions are still there, the government and police are constantly watching him, it’s just not as strong as it used to be. My fear is that this will be like when we went through security to see a local band in concert. He got sweaty, paced for 10 minutes before he could do it, closed one eye to block them out visually I guess, and turned his body partly away from them to complete the blocking. Can’t imagine how that will fly at security at the airport. I have already arranged to get a note from him p-doc explaining that he has schizophrenia, just in case, but am wondering if anyone else has some other advice for me? Thanks for your help, hoping to sleep through a night between now and then :slight_smile:

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Hi Leiann,

I am sure many people will remember you and your son - some of those folks who were on the forum when you were do visit less frequently.

Wow! Congratulations on your other son’s graduation!

Someone else posted recently on the forum that they were arranging a practice day at the airport for their family member. Do you think that might help? How long ago was it that he went to the concert?

Sometimes we worry and they do just great when it comes down to the clutch moment. Do you have a back up plan of someone who can take him home if he can’t bring himself to go through security or get on the plane?

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Practice day is a great suggestion!

I always try to prepare my son for each step. Even tho he has flown in the past, I think if we ever fly again, I would spend time discussing each step and what he thinks and feels about it.

I’d also try to get something from the doctor to calm him for the flight. And maybe something for me too! My son picks up on my anxiety so easily.


Hi Hope! Unfortunately we live too far from the airport to do a practise run, and he is not well enough to be on his own yet so he has to make this trip. I think you might be right about worrying too much though as many of the things that I worry about, don’t actually even happen :slight_smile: Hope that all is well with you and your son. Is he still living away from you, and if so how is he doing with that? The last time I was on, he had moved off your property.

Thank you Vallpen! I will do the run through of the steps with him, and see if I can get him to talk about it. I am going to look into something to keep him calm too when we go for our next Dr. appt. Hoping that I am worrying for nothing here :slight_smile:

Maybe you can get some Valium from the doctor. It’s pretty mild and may take the edge off while traveling.
Good luck!:airplane:

Hi Leiann,

So good to hear that things are going well enough for you to attempt the trip with your son.

My knowledgeable friend said she did get an extra med from her son’s doctor for air travel and she found if her son was motivated to take the trip it would go well. Her son loved Half Price Book stores and a promised visit to a store he had never been to before would motivate him.

Thanks for asking:) Jeb is doing well. He is working part-time - just a few hours a week, which makes him very happy. He schedules his own hours so he doesn’t have any pressure to work when he can’t. He did his annual driving and hiking trip again this year. He communicates very rarely with me. We hope that he will move again before he builds up delusions there to a crisis point. I tried to get him to move at 6 months but he refused.

Have a wonderful trip!

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Hi Jan, thanks for the reply. Am definitely looking into that.

There are some you tube videos that go through the process. My son watched them before his first flight and found them helpful. Maybe have his dr talk with him and prepare him too. Congratulations to your family and this could be something for him to hope for- maybe a fun vacation if there is something nearby that he would like to see.

Thanks @Katherine. Both trips have happened over the past 9 months and he did amazingly well. A little stressful on the first one last December as we had really cramped plane seats and that was overwhelming for him so I learned from it. The second trip was just a couple of weeks ago for my oldest son’s wedding and I chose our plane seats ahead of time, paid the extra, so that wouldn’t be a problem for him this time. I prepared him well both times for what he would experience going through security and even though twice he got flagged to go through the extra security twice, he handled it like a pro. More stressful for me I think :slight_smile:

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