Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

The boredom factor

If you search for boredom on this forum you’ll notice it cropping up time and time again. So often I read that the person with sz does something crazy, and how often I wonder is it because they’re just so bored. How often is boredom the cause of them taking drugs, abusing alcohol, spending too much, getting in trouble with the law, or worse.

When our folks with sz are well, they get bored, they have nothing to do. They’re not capable of full time work or study because they’re unreliable and employers aren’t willing to take the risk on profits, but they’re too well to sit in a room drawing/painting/doing hobbies, and want more than volunteer work. They need to feel they are contributing, to their own lives, and to society.

The medical folks and the politicians don’t seem to recognise this, or if they do they don’t take any action. If having something positive and worthwhile in their lives keeps them out of hospital, surely it’s worth it.

So what can they do, what can we do? Note I’m in the UK.


I disagree with this. My husband is extremely high functioning and has a very good paying job - so much so that I can be a full time mom. He has hobbies and socializes with coworkers outside of work occasionally.

I’m not really sure what you’re asking, but not everyone experiences the same symptoms with the same severity when it comes to sz, and it’s important to keep that in mind. My best advice to you is to accept the things you cannot change and do the best you can for yourself. Much love. :two_hearts:

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@shop1uk - I get what you’re saying, but don’t have any answers.

My son kind of lingers in the condition you’re describing when his meds are working.

For him, his social anxiety keeps him from doing a lot of things. He’s in an intensive program designed to help him with that. To get him out & doing things in a safe environment. The problem is he won’t participate.

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I so agree with you about boredom being a huge problem for those with sz. My son plays video games, watches videos and goes out with me to run errands. His social anxiety keeps him away from many family parties and he doesn’t t hang out with friends anymore. I try to do stuff with him to keep him busy and get him out of house. It can get exhausting for me and I think he would enjoy the company of peers, if he could get over his social anxiety. He always says he might get a part time job, but then he has an episode or feels anxiety, so he doesn t try. Any suggestions?

We’re so in tune Irene. You could be talking about our daughter. She lives in her own flat about 10 miles from us but is constantly on the phone as she’s so bored. My wife and I take turns taking her out for coffee or doing her grocery shopping with her. All her mental health team can suggest is joining arts and crafts groups, but she’s tried it and the people there are in a much worse mental state than her, so much so that it makes her more depressed. She plays video games, watches videos etc. She too would like a part time job but she collapses into a quivering wreck at interviews due to her anxiety. She had to leave school at 15 so has no qualifications.

I can understand so well why she sometimes feels suicidal, that the world has turned its back on her and those like her.
It’s hard to not think that our society only accepts the mentally ill as long as they’re ‘Not In My Back Yard’. I’ve yet to find any employer who openly employs people who are known to have sz. If anybody knows different, or has a relation with sz who does work, who do they work for, what work do they do, do they have qualifications etc etc? Please help us, please give us some advice, some hope.

My son said he wanted to go to church yesterday so I found a 5 o’clock Saturday evening service. It was A contemporary worship service not very well lit great music and we had been there before. We sat in the back and The message was good in music helped also. It was good for me because I have been very emotional at church yet I didn’t feel like anybody saw that I had tears in her eyes and running down my face.
After church he bought some Coors and smokes and we headed to Cosco. Which was closed.
We went to Olive Garden to eat and came on home. I dropped him off at his place and overall I felt it was a pretty good outing. I did talk to him about the shot being due and he said he wasn’t going to take it and it did get heated in the car until I dropped it. I told him that no matter where he was he would have to take his meds. One day at a time.


I spend a lot of time planning and doing things to get my son out of the house and into the world outside of his room. Many times we go into stores and restaurants when I am very tired , just because he shows interest and wants to go…I work part time luckily, but I will come home from work exhausted and go out places with him because I know he has been sitting in all day. Other times we will drive somewhere and he won t get out of the car because his anxiety hits. I.also feel guilty when resposibiities get so busy that I can t spend time with him. Any thoughts on this?

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Irene, I hear you and I think all of us here can relate. Their worlds are so small that we think they couldn’t possibly be happy but I don’t think they are necessarily sad either. Sometimes I have to take a nap and then we’ll go somewhere. I did this on Saturday just to have the stanima. I try not to run all the time because I’m no good if I’m exhausted. Thank God I’m a fairly social person. How often do you get out?

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I get out a fair amount, and I socialize at my job, I feel like he is missing out on so much. I sometimes get so sad when I see other young people his age running with their active lives. It takes a while to get used to the new normal in our lives. I am slowly adjusting, I guess.


It seems everyone is in the same boat. You think it’s just your own son that you think is being lazy, not getting a job, watches tv all day. It’s the disease and I think side affects of medication that he is the way he is. But is a sweet , considerate person who didn’t ask for this disease, and must accept himself as he is and so must we.
Off medication isolates, hear voices, crash his room and become paranoid. So never want to go back to those times. We enjoy certain things together and loves being with his nieces, who love him.


Wow. My son’s problem is not just the boredom but he is using drugs on top of everything.
He has no hobbies, his room look like it was hit by a cyclone. Will not put any sheets on mattress. He wiill shower occasionally. He tells me I am bored, I am tired of my life. He will not go to detox and does nothing all day. On the weekends I ask him do you want to do anything his answer is no. The only things he has done this year so far is go to the movies once and played basketball once. He also will not go to NA meetings or groups. I am so tired of all this and I see no light at the end of the tunnel. All your stories sound like mine. We are all in the same boat. I try to enjoy my life but sometimes I wish this was all a bad dream.


Yes, the new normal and then there is acceptance and realization that we have our lives to live and they have theirs. This illness sure does muddle it all up, doesn’t it? God bless.

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I’ve noticed that my son does this. Whatever he is feeling he projects onto others. If he’s anxious, then the reason the waiter made a mistake is because the waiter is anxious.

Consider yourself and your husband very fortunate. I think your husband is probably the exception to this illness and not the norm from what I’ve read on this forum and others. Most people who have the illness, my 17 year old son included, are not high functioning. I wonder if my son will ever have a job, more friends than one, have a long-lasting relationship with a female, live independently from us. These are the things that cause me worry because, as a mom, you certainly want your children to experience the joys of life and the independence that growing up brings. My son, unfortunately, is one of the small percentage who is violent and agressive. I don’t know if this is due to the wrong mixture of medications and perhaps once the correct mixture is found, he will stabilize. Wishing your husband continued good progress with his illness.

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Before my first psychotic break, I had lots of friends, I was very involved in the performing arts at my high school-- drama, dance, music. When I got back home from the hospital, all I wanted to do was stay in my bedroom.

I think what helped me the most were my cousins who live nearby. I was very close to them, and they were my best friends before my first psychotic break, and they did not abandon me after I got out of the hospital, unlike most of my my other friends. They kept coming over to see me, even when I didn’t want to see them, and they wouldn’t take no for an answer and eventually wore me down. They didn’t let me isolate myself. My parents also forced me out into social activities, even at sometimes great embarrassment to me and to themselves because of my behaviors and the things I said. And the inappropriate laughing to myself about what the voices were saying. And talking to the voices. It was just a given that no matter what, I was not going be left alone. I was going to have visitors. I was going to go with my family wherever they went even if I didn’t want to go with them. And if I absolutely refused, as I did, then I got locked out of the house to let me know that it would not be tolerated. They were not going to tolerate me isolating myself in my cushy comfy bedroom where I felt safe and never wanted to leave.

The constant stimulation of always interacting with cousins on a regular basis, always going places with my mom, on errands, always knowing I literally had to go with my family to social events and gatherings whether I wanted to or not, it was just a given, that helped me so much because it kept me from completely withdrawing from everyone, everything, and isolating myself like I so desperately wanted to do.

As for jobs, that’s not easy. I knew someone from high school whose dad owned the business I currently work part-time at. And his dad had a sister who had schizophrenia, so he is sensitive to my needs. I’m also training with an uncle, as an electrician’s apprentice, learning the electrical trade.


Was, thank you for sharing and giving us some hope here. God bless our journeys.

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Wes, your shared wisdom about how your family and parents helped you is invaluable to me. Thank you for sharing this great information as my who’s in a MH commitment right now is in a CSP program which kind of has the same goal of encouraging my son to get out into society again like you described your family doing for you. My son also is living with my husband and I (was in a group home for 4 months which he disliked) so your information gives me a good perspective on what we can help our son with. THANK You again for sharing!

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