Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

“Wish You Were Here

The song Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd written by Roger Waters and David Gilmore holds a special place in my coping with my son’s SZ.

From Wikipedia-
“Lyrically, the song is often considered to be a direct tribute to Syd Barrett (a founding member of Pink Floyd thought have developed Schizophrenia in his 20’s). However, on the documentary The Story of Wish You Were Here, Gilmour and Waters separately describe the original concept that differs from this interpretation. Waters, who mainly wrote the lyrics complementing Gilmour’s initial riff idea and subsequent joint composition, describes the lyrics as being directed at himself, as his lyrics often are. Being present in one’s own life and freeing one’s self in order to truly experience life is a main topic in this song. Gilmour, on the other hand, recognizes that he does not ever perform the song without remembering Syd Barrett. Waters later adds that the song is nevertheless open to interpretation.”

Here is a link to David Gilmore performing it live, acoustically-

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Thanks for sharing this. I’ve done a lot of reading about Syd Barrett, and I’ve watched a lot of his early performances with PF, as well as read the lyrics he wrote after he became ill. I can totally relate to what you’re saying.

It’s interesting that many people just considered Syd a “casualty of the drug era”. As parents of children with this disease, we know there was way more to his fall into darkness and isolation than just drug use. It was the same horrid disease that took our children away from the lives they were supposed to have.


My son smoked weed in his teens. Today’s marijuana is not like it was 40 years ago, it is bred to be much potent. Any drug use during brain development is detrimental I believe. I don’t think pot caused his PSZ, but it was later an attempt to self medicate. He no longer smokes. If not a contributing factor, pot is a secondary problem which compounds the effort to diagnose SZ.

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True. Pot is way more dangerous now. It can’t be trusted.

Our son self-medicated with a ton of pot, but mostly just during the prodromal years before his first major psychotic break, the break that abruptly ended his college experience.

It was just a few more months later that he was able to make the connection that smoking would make him 1000 times more paranoid than he already was. So that ended his pot-smoking days, hopefully forever.

And of course, like many parents, we went through the phase of hoping that his psychosis was drug-induced from the THC, but that dream faded with time…


Oh wow. Thinking of this song brings back memories. My sz ex husband was a Pink Floyd fan, and introduced me to them. The song is beautiful and haunting.
Also, one of The Beach Boys, another of my ex’s favorites, struggled w mental illness.

There is a pretty good movie about Brian Wilson (Beach Boys) from 2015 called “Love and Mercy.” The movie shows the struggle with mental illness.

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I did see that! I forgot Brian Wilson’s name.

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