How do I help him?? He’s been doing so well… stable with his meds… but he is so lonely and so afraid he will be single all his days. He’s 26…my heart is so sad for him… he did start going back to church… when he can get up on time… and he’s been going to the college night they have for a couple months… I keep praying… he knows he’s different he understands his diagnoses…just wish he had a good friend
I recommend active rather than passive activities. Going to church is a good step, but more active work within the church is better. For example helping build homes for Habitat for Humanity. Going to classes is good, but being in situations that force class participation and lab work is better.
Low pressure activities in civic groups where participation goes begging are also good practice. Any environment where participation and effort put in is more important than the quantity or quality of the work tend to be more forgiving and patient of rough edges and quirks of people recovering from SMI. I prefer open environments to the Clubhouse model, but clubhouses can serve as a refuge or transitional oasis to build skills for non SMI-only social groups.
My son is also 26 and has no friends. I am happy that your son goes to church. My son sits in his room all day every day. When his father and I are not at work, we try to encourage him to do SOMETHING outside of his room. His anxiety level is so high that to get him out of his room causes even more anxiety. His communications skills are severely lacking, so I also do not know what to do. It is very sad knowing he has no one except his parents to talk to, and that is very limited. Interaction is very important and hope that you can get your son to become more active with church, or volunteer work somewhere.
Sorry to hear this @Tippy. My experience is slowly building up tolerance to social situations can help. It’s important to facilitate it deliberately and allow unquestioned escape paths and support. Finding motivators to risk exposure to social situations is often tough and pandemic precautions definitely added to this difficulty. But even simple things like running errands to the store or going out to the mailbox to pick up the mail, can be steps toward larger goals.
I hope going to church helps your son! My son and I just joined a gym. Day one went okay. It might not lead to friends, but the people who work there are very chipper and encouraging which I think will build his confidence.
It’s so hard to see them so lonely, but we just keep trying!
Nobody should be lonely and friendless.
I’m on the other end (my mother is schizophrenic), but I often feel the same.
I agree with maggotbone above. Participatory activities are great but in my case the distance from his apartment to the activity can be huge. I start with activities I know he likes- lifting weights bike club volunteering etc… my son is also dual diagnosis and has been med compliant this time for over a year… I also often suggest aa or Alanon as he is an alcoholic as is his father…