Since my adult son has been stable on clozapine for a number of years now the only things I encounter is some long standing beliefs or thought processes that I put under the “negative symptom” category. They could also be a little bit because of him being somewhere on the autism spectrum (not severe). Even as an infant he had tactile issues, hated to be hugged tightly, hated certain materials in clothing, actually did not ever like to sleep without a shirt. In addition he was very late to walk and talk at almost 3. So late that I had him in classes offered by Easter Seals to help him along.
Amongst these long standing beliefs or thought processes is that he has to have shoes on in the house at all times, for him there is no kicking off your shoes and putting your feet up -ever. He also has to wear socks to bed which is not very odd because I know other people like that, but there was a time when he got athletes foot and the doctor kept saying you have to air out your feet and let them stay dry (no sweat) and it was next to impossible.
Since then he now blow dries his feet with a hair dryer to insure that they are very dry before putting on his socks. He also sleeps in his street clothes. I have (for years) tried to encourage him to try men’s pajamas, specific shorts and tees, anything and everything and no, he will have none of it. Sleeping in his clothes shortens their life I found out because eventually on the shirts the neck pulls apart and they are always more stretched out. Plus i think of all the days pollutants going into bed with you…yuk. I tell him and he ignores me.
Today I said please pull out the clothes that have holes in them so I can see what needs replaced and he says I am still wearing them and I said I know but put them in my room and next week we will get replacements, and he said they can stay where they are until we get replacements.
I bought him 2 new shirts and asked very nicely if he would please not sleep in them and you would have thought that I asked him to cut off his arm and wear it like a hat. He actually became visibly stressed out because I asked him to pull out some old clothes out of his closet. I would have thought his age (he is 34) and time of being stable which has been at least 8 years or more would have made simple requests easier for him but not in this category.
He has 2 or 3 pairs of jeans that the bottoms are all ragged and the rear near the belt loops are all torn so much that his underwear sticks out. I said we need to get new versions of those and he said my shirt covers it and I should be able to keep them. I say true—very true, but I think to myself he is a grown man not a teenage boy.
There is a dignity to wearing clothes that are somewhat kept up and in decent condition. We are not rich and we are not fancy. But wear clean well fitting Tees and jeans with no holes in them. Is that really too much to ask? Like I said, small problems, very small in comparison to all we have conquered. I think I will simply take the old clothes out myself and give him the new clothes and I am guessing I will very hear little about it there after. I was trying to involve him and make it important to him and that is not going to happen. I still don’t get it though, not entirely.