My Mom's Attempts at Helping me to Function Better

My mom is an occupational therapist and she has been pushing me more recently. Tonight I made chicken cacciatore and the other day made vegetable barley soup from recipes. She calls it complex meal prep, which means following a recipe. Two years ago this wouldn’t even have been thought of. I’ve come a long way. I was pretty proud of myself that I could make such yummy dishes. She’s also pushing me to be MC at our Buddhist meetings which I wrote about recently. The only thing I still can’t do is go to the store by myself. But she’s patient. Without her support through the years I don’t know where I’d be. Before I got sick I was living with roommates and shopping for my meals, cooking, working, going to school, and pretty much handling my life independently. I’d love to get back there, but it takes baby steps. I’m much more withdrawn then I was before. I’m even writing on this forum more! Before I got sick I went to Montreal with friends and even spent a day wandering the city by myself. Now I have trouble leaving the house by myself. But I’ll get there. I’m only where I am because of the ECT. It made a huge difference in my life. If any of you are still struggling with symptoms I highly recommend it. I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia four years ago this March. Do any of you have relatives pushing you to be more independent? Or is there a level of functioning that you’ve recovered since being diagnosed?


I was highly functioning during the time of my diagnosis, but not functioning to my ability and I was inept in certain areas of my life. I was primarily asocial, with one friend. I was an alcoholic. I was also an honors student on a full scholarship to college, and I kept above a 3.0 and did not lose my scholarship.

Now I have more friends, I am sociable, and I am no longer an alcoholic. I made all A’s last semester and I go to a powerlifting gym and am training on my own before I have time to join the gyms competitive team this summer (I have night classes now). I am already pretty strong, just not as strong as people who’ve been competing for years…they can squat three times their weight. I squat twice my weight. This is all due to success with medication, I struck gold and found the right meds regiment and now I am symptom free.

I still don’t like doing things alone though. I only go to school alone, and I do my best to make friends there, it’s nice to introduce yourself to the people who sit next to you and chat with them at least. My parents, whom I live with, do the grocery shopping and stuff like that. They are very supportive and proud to see my outstanding grades and are a little amazed at how strong I have become. They buy me protein whey and supplements and pay for my gym membership.

My parents don’t push me, they see me push myself and they warn me not to try too hard in both school and in the gym. Stress can trigger episodes and powerlifting is a great way to hurt yourself, so they often tell me “don’t overdo it!” as I head out to class or to the gym.

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That’s great you’re doing so well and have come such a long way. It’s a terrible illness. I didn’t respond to medication. ECT is the only thing that has helped. Don’t you ever have the desire though to be more independent. That desire is what made me “awaken” to my mom’s prodding. Without her support I would still be letting her do everything. I’m also doing school. I attend online. I don’t think I could do campus classes. That’s impressive you could keep your scholarship right after getting sick. I couldn’t do school when I got sick. Well good luck to you.

I do look at my friends who live in apartments and I feel like it’s my illness which is partly responsible for me living at home and being taken care of…that and finances, I would have to work to support myself with a job and that would take too much time and prevent me from working out. Thanks for the kudos, I just have an unusual resilience to behaving symptomatically. I studied behaviorism in my first semester and I told myself that I could not control what was going on inside my head, only my output, my behavior.

It sucked and I drank myself to sleep and started the next day with more drinking and cutting class. I coped, but I had suicidal coping methods. I also used tobacco heavily, I smoked a pack a day or went through nearly a can of dip in 24 hours. I found myself drunk, dipping and playing xbox alone in the dark a whole lot. I would hit the gym a few times a week on stimulants (too high of a dose of preworkout drinks) and cram for exams and papers, but I am no role model- I survived, but I was far from healthy. Cutting down on the tobacco and outright quitting drinking and getting on meds was a huge adjustment and was not pretty, I might add. I remember the alcohol cravings were maddening.

Good luck with the online courses- I have heard of lots of people having success with them! And that is neat that ECT works for you- it’s old but I have read about it and I am glad to hear that they anesthetize you before they fry you! LOL

I’m pretty much working on my own. My parents seldom spend time with me. Yet I feel comfortable progressing at my own pace. Recently, I walk into big shopping mall and supermarket again. I just do it when one day i feel like to do it again. I expected myself to get lost but i didnt. I feel comfortable spending part of my daily income on food.

It takes me a few months to get myself a new pair of glasses. I find myself a shop with great discount. I watched on the tv that you can bargain for a good price for eye glasses. I have never done that in the past and now I did it a few days ago. I’m not going with my mother. I think she will get me an expensive one, like what we did in the past. So far, I’m making progress.


There is so much a relative or loved one can do and say. Sure there is always that support and caring, that is so important in the healing process. There was a point in my life where I was very dependent on my loved ones for almost everything. What turned things around for me was the right medication mix. Not so much therapy or family support.
You have to remember that schizophrenia is primarily a biological based illness, psychology and support can take someone so far. Its the meds or in your case ECT that is going to fix things and make things better for yourself.
I am not 100 percent - but in much better place now with the right cocktail. The right diet, exercise, family support, therapy, all play second fiddle - medications are what is needed first and foremost when it comes to treating SZ.
I dont want to downplay the importance of family or friends in the healing process. You are lucky to have such a supportive Mom helping you along the way


I’m currently trying to figure out a way to nicely nudge my son into being more independent and starting a live for himself. It’s not easy. Compared to 9 months ago he has come a long way. Although he is slipping a little bit right now as he has been drinking or smoking pot or both pretty much every day for the past 12 days so some negative attitudes are starting to come back. He has a PACT team ready to help him do whatever he wants including helping him get his GED/high school equivalent. But he doesn’t want their help. He had asked for a month off from studying and I have given him 4 months.

Just wanted to say that I’m glad that you are seeing the benefits of having someone push you a little bit to be more independent.


I am really happy for you. I am still struggling with learning how to cook and being more self supporting. I’m glad you have your family with you. A supportive family makes all the difference in the world.

I already know where I’d be with out my family… 6 feet under. My preservation team is pretty big and my parents are a huge part of what got me this far. My sis is a huge part of why I want to keep going.