Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Thinking about daughter’s graduation

My wife and I were working on an ad for my daughter congratulating her for her graduation for the school yearbook… and we couldn’t help feeling a little sad how this illness could potentially affect her future… I mean as a parent you have all these high hopes for your kids… like going off to college and everything… her graduation is so different than our son’s… he knew what he wanted to do, where he wanted to go… we still have no idea what my daughter is going to do… she is trying to figure it out…she had ideas, but is unsure which direction to take… we are people of faith and we know that everything is in His hands, but it is still easy to feel a little blue about it.

On the other hand, because of the illness, she has so many panic attacks and anxieties connected to school… I do feel so proud of her because she has had to deal with so much more than most people to get where she is now. She is a wonderful creative person.

I know. All of us here really understand this. We are so very happy when our loved one makes small steps of progress that in other people’s lives are just ordinary things. But we are saddened by the limitations the illness can impose on them.

There is such a broad range of response to treatment for schizophrenia. You are providing your daughter with awesome support. Elyn Saks, the author of ‘The Center Cannot Hold’ is often held up as an example of someone with schizophrenia who has made great achievements in her life. She herself has made it clear that such success may not be possible for everyone with the illness.

There is a FB group called ‘Students with Schizophrenia’. That might be a place for your daughter to get some encouragement and support.

I recently watched my son playing with the children of a friend of mine. He has made so much progress, and I felt such joy in seeing my son interact so well with the young kids. I watch and continue to seek out things that will help him develop his strengths that could become sources of accomplishment and pleasure. We must continue to support where they are now, and gently nudge them forward when we see an opportunity.

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It’s rough I know for sure. They say it’s the same stages of grief. These days I’m just glad my son is working at a grocery store. I’m hopeful some day he will be out on his own and have a few friends. He was so popular and quite the athlete and very smart as well (he really got Sociology - which I think messed with his head).

My next big thing is to see if he can take his garbage to the trash bin outside and if he cleans up his room, I will consider that huge progress. You are very fortunate that your daughter has insight. Take that as a huge plus. I try to also see how my parents saw me when I was my sons age. Were they pleased with the way I was? They were very accepting but I don’t think if they truly knew what was going on for me at 29 they would have been pleased.

We have already told her that whatever she decides, she has our support.

All three of my kids have both a UGMA and a 529 saving accounts set up by grandparents for their college education when they were younger … I wonder if my daughter would be able to use them even she doesn’t end up going to college?

A quick not on the saving account - you will be able to get the money out of it if she is not able to use it for schooling, though it will get taxed.

Congratulations to your daughter! That is a huge accomplishment! As a mother of a creative son with the illness and creative myself I can only tell you that I thought art college was a waste of my creativity. So if she doesn’t go to college it wouldn’t stop her creative talents. A course here and there at a community college would be good if she could manage it and surrounding her with other creative people and places where she could get inspiration. There are individuals who teach music and art to the mentally ill, too.
Having faith will guide you through this. God has given me strength beyond what I ever imagined and has kept me calm as a zen master which is what you need. I appreciate all the daily little joys my son gives me. At 29 he hugs me and tells me he loves me - every single day. I must admit my 32 yr old son who went to a high priced college doesn’t do this - so tell me who is "dis-abled and what is important? Today my son told me that despite the plaster dust all over me from painting the living room, I’m beautiful. Our children are extra sensitive and can see real beauty more than most if we love them unconditionally and accept them the way they are and always be proud of them.

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PS - My son also had a lot of anxiety and panic attacks around school. He had to stop in 10th grade then later when he was doing better studied for and received his GED. I was so proud of his tenacity. He has taken two art courses since in community college and is self taught on five instruments. We have been through hell over the years until they found meds that worked and he became committed to stop using MJ. But he’s in a good place now. His biggest dream is to go to England and he has been saving up for five years so this summer I am finally taking him. I don’t have the money like he does but somehow, it will happen. Good luck to your family and to your daughter in fulfilling her dreams.

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I think this is very true. My son is very sensitive to others and never a gossip.

At 29 he hugs me and tells me he loves me - every single day. I must admit my 32 yr old son who went to a high priced college doesn’t do this - so tell me who is "dis-abled and what is important?

This is great! I also paint in the livingroom : ) every day (for the most part).