Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

What's the big secret!

I don’t understand why my son doesn’t want to talk about his illness or symptoms. I told him that he can’t be given the right treatment if he’s not honest about his symptoms. Any thoughts on this?

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I don’t think there is one simple answer for this, and it’s different for everyone with this disease. It could be that, like many, they don’t actually believe that they are ill…that the people around them just don’t understand that what is happening to them is “real”…and it is to them. It could also be, as in my son’s case, that if he discusses the symptoms, then there is a better chance that he will get thrown back in the hospital. No amount of reason can change this. It’s just not worth taking that chance to them. Could be that the voices are telling them to not discuss it with anyone. There are many more reasons, these are just a few that I have experienced over the past few years. Just recently my son explained why he makes a particular gesture when near a dog. Makes absolutely no reasonable sense, but I knew he was testing the waters so to speak, so I just nodded my head and thanked him for explaining that to me as I often wondered why. I believe that for him, this will be a long process of him figuring out what is safe to tell me. He is probably worried that I will tell his Pdoc and the Actt Team he is involved with. I am sure that my son desperately wants to confide in me but the disease itself stops him, and I in no way am able to rush this process. Hope that helps a little.


This is exactly why I censor what I tell even the people who I feel the closest to. I’ve learned through experience what to say and what not to say to keep me from being hospitalized, etc.

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My son is 35 and has never talked about his friendly voices - he has endlessly complained about people calling him names all the times -those are voices too - he just believes its the people around him at the time calling him names.

According to the research, 60% of the people suffering from scz have anosognosia as a symptom of their illness. Anosognosia is a lack of insight or awareness. The illness itself makes them unaware that they are ill.

Personally, in my experience, just as the other elements of scz tend to cycle through heavier and lighter periods, insight seems to be more present on some days than others. Every now and then my son will say something that implies some insight, but its pretty rare.

Interestingly enough, the research says that 40% of people suffering from bi-polar suffer from anosognosia also.

My son is paranoid sz.

When he is not sleeping he shares everything at all hours. The rest of the time he is very cautious about what he shares. He sometimes will stop mid sentence and listen to some internal dialogue then say, sorry, I cant talk about that.
Remember though what we see as symptoms, they might see as normal and no reason to discuss.

Sometimes he trusts me and sometimes he tells me he can’t and then gives me a reason why. I don’t often agree with his conclusions, but I respect that is the way he thinks. I try to remember how it would feel if someone tried to tell me my firmly held beliefs were wrong. Yes, I know there is a difference between rationale and irrational, but the feelings are the same I think.

However, you can share with his doctors what YOU observe and that is more helpful than you might be giving credit to at this time.


My son is the same.

It took me years to figure out he was actually hearing voices.
He doesn’t think he does - it’s all very real for him.

The only symptoms he can acknowledge as symptoms are the anxiety, the lack of sleep and the paranoia - and only the paranoia when it’s over.

He is on a new med and had periods now where he questions the delusions, then kind of reaffirms them. I’m being as non-committal as possible and letting him work it all out for himself.

Yes, this is like my son. He will admit to anxiety, trouble sleeping and at times has agreed to having paranoia. Okay, also mine admits to depression.

Mine will admit to depression too - it’s just been a long time.

I think the voices & delusions are 100% real to them.

My son is actually questioning his delusions from time to time now.
That scares me, because they’re better than suicidal depression.

But, I don’t want him to hold on to them forever if they can go - they just need to gently go.
So, when he asks me, I tell him that I don’t know, but I don’t understand how some of the things could have happened. And, that maybe they could have just been a very vivid dream during one of his early psychotic breaks.

He doesn’t recognize that he didn’t have those memories until just the past year - even though they’re from when he was very young.

So, he questions - then reaffirms - then questions again. I’m just trying to wait it out & hope for the best if & when things come crashing down on him. I’m sure some amount of pain as he lets go of that fantasy world will be inevitable.

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I think mine doesn’t want to because he wants to appear normal. So if he doesn’t talk about he feels normal

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Similar here, till recently we thought our son didn’t hear voices till he started asking us about whether we heard other people’s inner speech? He said he could and did we hear our thoughts in our own voice or others? I’ve asked him again and a few nights ago he heard a female voice saying “lovely” and another saying “get lost”

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My son won’t even admit that he is ill. He truly believes he is talking to God and his angels. I guess we are just lucky he has a very positive relationship with his voices. At some level he must think he is ill because he is med compliant but the meds have never done anything for the voices, just helping him sleep.


I can tell you that I have long recovered from positive symptoms. I do not like to talk about hearing voices or paranoia or anything like that. I don’t find it theraputic what so ever. Time to move on with my life.


What I am getting at here is that you could be trying to force someone to talk about something that is very unpleasant for them to talk about. Much like someone who was sexually abused may not want to talk about what happened to them.


Is it the stigma of mental illness? My son refers to his hallucinations as trips and would rather you think he was on drugs than have schizophrenia.

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No because hearing voices for me was a very scary unpleasant time

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Thank you for your response.

He has anosognosia lack of insight. Happens to a lot of people afflicted with this disease. Watch on you tube Beyond the Glass ceiling by Dr Xavier Amador also read his book I am not sick I don’t need help. Also Dr Michael Dipaolo on you tube has some good videos. Good luck


You should certainly be allowed to give the doctor your insight. That is allowed by law in California if you are a close family member or concerned friend.

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