Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Today, My Son Asked If He Had SZ

So, that should be good, right?

Well, not so much. I told him that’s what the hospital said, but maybe they are right & maybe they’re not.
He has a manic side & stops sleeping, so maybe he has schizoaffective or bipolar.

Then, it started a conversation about how he thought it meant that everything interesting about him was a lie and how could he ever enjoy himself if he couldn’t trust his own brain or his own memories.

He’s asked little questions before, but this is the first time he’s hit me with those questions this strong. I know I handled it wrong. I was quick to tell him it was a medical condition & as long he stayed in treatment, he’d could do anything anyone else did - that thousands upon thousands of people had the same type of thing - all that stuff. And that it would be OK. He was like, yeah, right - it’s OK to be crippled.

What would you guys have said?

We’re OK right now - watching Blazing Saddles and getting ready to go for a walk. But, he didn’t sleep last night. I’m guessing he was thinking this over. So, now I’ll be watchful once again.


I also would have been honest.

Be near him and just respond to what he brings up? This is a really difficult time for him: finding out he has an illness. Stay close and do all the fun and positive things that you can together.

I think you said good things to him; it sounds like he couldn’t quite hear you yet.

I am not trying to be alarmist, but my friend’s son with sz had a really hard time when, medicated, he realized what was happening after a few years without “insight”.

I’m glad you’re being watchful and loving with your son.


I would have said the same as you, you sound so much like me in this post by what you have said. Your son also sounds like mine.
I think you did right.

Currently I’m on same time zone as you guys for once as I’m in the US on holiday :grinning:


You don’t have to be an alarmist - I get it.

Before, when he break after break, it was all paranoid delusions and he was happy enough to find out no one was coming to kill him.

This time, it was grandiose delusions and all of his self-worth is wrapped up in that right now. He’s questioned a little before this and I always tell him he’ll figure it out. If it’s a real memory, it will stay. If it was all a dream, it’ll eventually fade away. I don’t know if he could take it if it was all stripped away at one time.

There’s just nothing about this that’s easy.

Very cool - where are you guys visiting?

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We are in Orlando Florida, miss our son but he’s with his grandparents in Scotland right now and our dog is there too :dog:

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Well, at least you missed the hurricanes.

I have a friend that lives fairly close to there - he said they recovered pretty quickly.

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Encourage him to research it himself…


Yes it was so sad to see on the news back home. We complain at times in the uk about weather but in comparison to these poor guys here and in Caribbean we have nothing to complain about.


Oh my gosh, what a difficult thing for us to have to experience, all for the sake of getting our children stabilized. Obviously that’s our goal, to get our children’s brains clear, but the aftermath is also so difficult. What a harsh reality for a young person to have to experience.

I’m so happy for you SLW that your son is gaining insight, as his meds continue to stabilize him and give him clarity. You’ve had a long journey. I hope we can get there too. I have to hope.

As our children get clarity in their brains, I think we need to tell them the truth, that they have a severe illness that makes their brain “play tricks on them”, that it’s not their fault, that we love them and will always be there to help them, that 1 in a 100 people have their same illness, and that medications can’t cure this but they can definitely help. Hopefully, repeating these honest words will help our children want to stay on meds, to keep their brains clear.

Edit: I just saw what GSSP wrote, suggesting to encourage our loved ones to learn about the illness they have. If our loved ones are in a state of having a good amount of insight, that suggestion makes perfect sense to me. I know I’ve tried this…


He’s free to do that & I’m guessing he has.

But, he also finds all kinds of misinformation all over the Internet.
I can’t tell you how many things he’s been convinced he had after spending time on YouTube, WebMD, etc.

I’ll never forget when he came home from middle school after they’d went over mental illnesses in health class.
He was sure he has SZ then.
In the years since then, he’s been pretty sure he had schizoaffective, which is probably the best bet.

I think he’s more worried about giving up on all these awesome false memories & delusions and stepping back into reality than any label that they can slap on him.

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I think I told you I have friends in the UK. You guys do get a lot of rain, but I’m still walking around in shorts & flip-flops when you guys say you’re freezing - and I don’t think it ever gets as hot there as where I live.

When I look at the UK on the map, I’m not so surprised you don’t get the heat since you’re so much further north, but it does surprise me you guys don’t get colder. You’ve actually got some nice, mild-ish temperatures over there.

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I never refer to this as an illness or a disorder in front of him. I always say it’s a chemical imbalance.
Even if I say SZ or SZA or BP.
I think those words imply that it’s something he can’t rise above, and I think if he ever makes up his mind to do that, he’ll be able to function very well.


I am also concerned about my son and his grandiose delusions. He seems to enjoy these delusions and his mood is more positive compared to the paranoid delusions that creates fear and suspicion. As his mind clears and gain better insight, he might become depressed about his life not being as grand as he imagined. We are not at this stage but in the past when we were close, he stopped taking his medication and it has been difficult since that time.

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Exactly. Although Clozapine is supposed to offer some protection against suicidal thoughts, etc.

I mentioned this to his case manager the very first time it came up. I’m thinking it’s going to come up more often, and last a little longer each time, before the delusions may go away for the most part.

But, what a horrid thought to think you’re X, then wake up & find out you’re really Y.


Sad but true, it would be difficult for all of us.


Best to just get over it, the sooner the better in my opinion (IMO)…

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@GSSP - I wish it was that simple.

I’m totally a just get over it kind of person for my own issues.
Or, I recognize that I don’t want to get over it & I allow myself to keep turning things over in my mind until I’m done with it.
But, it’s a choice.

My son is very different.

I do tell him he should put certain things behind him & just forget about it.
And, that he’s too strong to let a particular thing get to him.
All in an encouraging way.

I don’t push anymore - pushing him only leads to him getting so anxious he doesn’t sleep.
No sleep for over 48 hours always triggers a manic episode - which leads to acute psychosis.
He’s at nearly 36 hours right now, so I’m really hoping he’s asleep when I get up in the morning.

He’ll find his own way - he always does.
I’m just trying to not make an ass out of myself while he does it.

It can be


Smart move

That is unusual…

I meant my son is very different from me - in some ways.

But, I’ve been called a cold-hearted b---- more than once. He’s a lot nicer than me too. So, different is just different.

And, I get that it can be that simple, but that’s only going to happen once he sees it’s that simple - and that’s something I can’t do for him.

What’s unusual about the no sleep for 48 hours? I thought most people stopped sleeping when they go psychotic.

He doesn’t have a normal 24 hours cycle. He kind of does now due to the medication, but naturally and not psychotic, he seems to lean towards 24 up, 12 asleep. Even as an infant he didn’t sleep much.

The 48 hours up happens when he gets racing thoughts. I know what that’s like - I get them too, just not as bad. But, I have lots of sleepless nights because I’m mad or worried. The difference is my brain will finally shut off - his won’t. At his worst, I’ve seen him go 10 days with no sleep at all until we got him on Zyprexa. 900 mg of seroquel didn’t even phase him.

He’s been pretty good for almost 4 months now, but before then, he had 5 of those manic episodes in 10 months. Sometimes, it would be absolutely no sleep for the whole time - other times it would be 2 hours of sleep every 48 hours. The last time, he had so much adrenaline pumping through his system, the ER made him go through medical before they’d turn him over to psychiatric.

That’s why, even though he has lots of other symptoms, I’m not convinced he has schizophrenia. It has to at least be schizo-affective due to the mania. And, maybe he’s got a really severe case of bipolar. There are several people in the family with bipolar - he’d be the first with SZ. But, I don’t get too hung up on it - it’s all just labels and a word doesn’t change anything.

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There is a high probability that will never happen

Understandable, however, self control is imperative to surviving this