Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Why does my son wear winter clothes in the summer and summer clothes in the winter?


My 27 year old son diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic will wear long sleeved shirts or sweatshirts, long pants in the summer and then in the winter he wears shorts and tees! At one point before he was hospitalized and diagnosed, he would wear the same swim trunks all winter and they were filthy! I ask him, “Aren’t you hot in that sweater?” He would say, “Nah.”

Also, another puzzler: When he was I guess decompensating or psychotic, pre diagnosis, he threw stuff away! His clothes, CDs (his and his sister’s, boy was she mad!) all the eating utensils, furniture, almost everything went in the trash or to the curb! What in the world?? He says he doesn’t remember doing any of that.

Also, he wouldn’t sit down. The psychiatrist at the hospital said Nate explained that if he sat down, somehow the back of his pants would become attached to the chair and he wouldn’t be able to get up. Oh, and he never wears underwear and only wears sweat pants, alternating between two pair. Before, when he was about 16 he was really “into” Jim Morrison and grew his hair long and wore tight, black leather pants. No way would he do that now! And he keeps his hair very short, buzz cutting it himself. Can anyone tell me if they’ve experienced any of these behaviors with your loved one, or perhaps yourself?


I can just say that the brain is a weird thing and as people with schizophrenia we get weird ideas and as people with schizophrenia we sometimes act on them. There are as many weird behavior’s and actions as there are schizophrenics. I’ve heard of a lot weirder behavior than your son is doing. In slang terms, the “wires in our brains are crossed” and we can’t help but act strange sometimes.

I have paranoid schizophrenia. I have worked for most of the last thirty years. I drive my own car. I need only four more classes for my degree. I’ve lived independently since 1995. At the present time I am renting a room in a middle-aged couples house.

About an hour ago I heard a noise. I thought the husband was dragging something across the inside of his bedroom wall repeatedly to intimidate and control me. I came out of my room semi-angrily to go to the bathroom. I discovered the noise I heard was coming from outside the bathroom window; it was a tarp being blown across the outside wall by the wind!
The very definition of our disease is delusional thinking. So does this help explain your sons behavior?


Not really. I mean, I do understand that everybody is different and maybe there is no other explanation other than what you said, and I appreciate your response. I must say, I commend you for your accomplishments and I can only dream that one day my Nathan might have a job, or a girlfriend, or friends of his own. It’s so sad to me because he’s not the same boy, it’s like he’s someone else. I am not ashamed at all! And I just love him so much, I guess that’s why I feel sad, because it’s like he has no life. But as it’s been explained to me, I am the one who is really suffering, he seems to be quite content and happy enough, so I guess I should count my blessings there that he’s not suicidal or violent or whatever, not in trouble with the law. He even gave up driving. He never goes anywhere, but yet he seems happy. So strange, isn’t it?


I’m sure he thinks of these things and he wants them too some day. Maybe, right now, he is just satisfied with what he has.


Um, me too.
It was common to see me wearing up to 6 shirts (layered) and 2 pairs of pants (at least) even when it got over 100 degrees.
everyone always thought I was overweight until wintertime came.

My Reason?

My (ex) husband used to keep the air conditioner at 66 degrees in the summer, and the heater 79-80 degrees in the winter.

When my (ex) left me to go live in another state for 5 months, I got into a de-cluttering mood that lasted around 14 hours, and out to the curb went 17 of those very large black trash bags.
Never felt more free than that, but when I mentioned this to my pdoc, she threw me in the hospital thinking I was suicidal.
I wasn’t.


I do that with my clothes because it’s comfortable. I also shave my head because it’s efficient and cheap. Sometimes, we just like being different. With the Morrison thing, sometimes we just want to copy something we like. I remember buying all the things Patrick Bateman used in the shower in the opening scene because I wanted to take care of my body like he did.


I’m very med compliant now… in therapy… 7 years clean and sober… have a job…

But when I was at my worst… I was told I threw a lot of stuff away due to it being contaminated… tampered with… or bugged.

It took me a long time to get up and moving… in fact… some of my motivation a few years ago was a direct result of a med change.

when I was on Seroquel alone I was in a deep negative symptom swing and I barely got out of bed… much less went anywhere outside the house. (my body felt too heavy and it felt like it took a lot of strength to move)

But when I ended up with a med change… I felt some of my get up and go come back to me.

I can’t do tight clothing any more either… tactile hallucinations… (feeling like hands are on me all the time) act up when I’m in tight clothing. Those have decreased with meds and time too…

I once spent over a year living in my pajamas. I’d go out in my jammies… I’d walk around outside in my jammies… they were loose… and sometimes it wouldn’t dawn on me to wear something else again…

I’m glad to hear your son is happy… good luck and I’d also suggest…
They have chapters and support groups all over the nation. That might help you get more answers and resources. It was a lifesaver for my Parents and my Sister.


Thank you! Very enlightening. Makes sense about not wanting to wear tight clothing, but I still don’t get the seasonal clothing . . .


I am somewhat similar about clothing, at least the winter clothes in the summer part. I want to wear sweaters all year long. There are all sorts of reasons for it: I think winter clothes are prettier. I don’t like to be looked at and I don’t want people looking at my arms or legs. I have scars on one arm from cutting, and even though they’re so thin that they blend in, I feel better with them covered up. The more clothing I’m wearing, the safer I feel. I don’t tend to feel overheated in heavy clothes; I don’t know why. I like loose clothing, too. Too tight of clothing makes me feel trapped and dizzy.

I can’t tell you exactly what’s going on in your son’s mind. It’s probably several different things that add up to feeling more comfortable in unseasonal clothing.


Well, okay than LOL! I guess it’s just something he does. Interesting. Thank you to all responding :smile:


Lol, sorry if that came off as terse! I didn’t mean for it to. Just that I bet my mom wonders the same thing, and there’s no one good reason. It all adds up to me being a contrarian, and she probably figured there were other battles more worth fighting :smile:


Not terse at all, actually answered my question.


I wear t shirts all year round - just feels more comfortable this way.


My son seems to do that very thing sometimes. He gets notions that are weird to me, but to him they are perfectly normal. He too wears the same set of clothes forever, then all of the sudden he will wash everything he owns. He will wear a certain style of shirt or pants, then sees one of the college kids in town wearing the same kind. He’ll tell me they are copying him, and that he can’t wear that piece of clothing again because he is original. One time we were sitting on the porch and the birds were chirping and he told me they were crying for help. He had to go inside. I don’t think any of these are terribly big things when you look at the big picture. And most of all I have quit trying to figure out why, there is no rhyme or reason, and it’s not hurting him or anyone else so I let it go.


Perhaps of interest:


My son does the same thing. He has so many sets of sweats now…showers occasionally and hardly ever brushes his teeth…loves Star Wars.


I’m sorry this is so long after our last conversation! I got so caught up in all my research and with my FB groups that I almost forgot about this forum! I wonder constantly what he thinks about. It sound like you didn’t lose too much (or maybe nothing) cognitively. My son was cognitively impaired before his first episode. I know this now from reading things and in looking back, I do remember he had flat affect before. Do you take an antipsychotic? Probably a stupid question. My son is on the invega sustenna monthly shot. But he doesn’t talk much, and when he does it’s in response to yes or no questions. Sometimes the answer is “nothing,” or “listening to music.” How can I get him to open up, tell me a little bit about what he thinks . . .I mean, I need a specific question LOL! Also, I know schizophrenia is a thought disorder as opposed to a mood disorder. Something I’m confused about, though. Is the thought “disorder” always present, even when AP meds? It does seem like he has some disorganized thinking.


OMG! How is throwing stuff away suicidal? Since I was last here in this forum, I’ve learned a lot more about Sz. For instance, there is a thing called dysregulation of body temperature. Some people were telling me they layered because it made them feel more secure, so I said, but that doesn’t explain the shorts and tees in the winter! Haha! True? I still don’t know why he threw the stuff away, but also since, I’ve read so much and that topic has come up. It was a paranoid thing. Maybe he thought the stuff was contaminated with bed bugs?? I just don’t know specifically why he did it. He doesn’t remember it.


Just joined but was surprised to read your post. My 31 yo son does the same thing!! He was diagnosed with sz when he was 19. And he does the exact same things you mentioned. I’ve asked him over and over why he does that and his response is just that he’s comfortable in it. He used to wear sunglasses all the time. Said it made him invisible. But the looks we get when I do manage to get him out I’m public make me want to scream! If they only knew how much it took just to get him out of the house!! You are not alone and neither is he!! Hugs!


My son dresses pretty normally, but I worried the last time we went out on a warmish but rainy day and he insisted on wearing his winter parka - I thought people might see him in an unseasonably heavy coat and suspect him of concealing something. But there was no use arguing. I did have him pick out a lighter weight jacket to wear in similar situations next time.

My son also is very impressed with brand name clothing, but I have found that visiting the thrift store regularly I can supply him with the brand he likes at a reasonable cost. He of course just thinks I have washed things before putting them in his closet.