Please help me find answers

Hi all , i am a mother of a 21 year old male schizophrenic son whom i adore and love and was diagnosed just over 2 years ago so i am trying to educate myself to help in in every possible way . I do not understand the isolation , he barely talks to me and keeps saying he wants to be alone and that he’s tired , he leaves his apartment only to buy food and spends most of the day on his xbox i believe. Can anyone please explain to me why the isolation ? is he scared ? is he content ? he has no insight but is med complaint . My heart breaks for him and i want to help him in any way i can . Can anyone give me some good advise ? much appreciated and bless you all …

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There is a family forum you can visit.

yes i know and thank you but i wanted to get some insight on this forum .

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Hello, @dexy! I’d like to encourage you to join our forum for Family and Caregivers that can be found at:

While this is a peer support forum for people with schizophrenia and other closely related psychotic disorders, the Family forum is specifically for people like yourself, who have a loved one they are concerned about.

Also, please let your loved one know about this forum as they may find it helpful.

Best of luck,

Volunteer Moderator Treebeard

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Is he on medication?

Schizophrenia drains all of your motivation out of you. I would get familiar with negative symptoms, it is what comes along with hearing voices and delusions. He likely won’t have the energy to do these things or be in the right state of mind to have conversations.

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yes he is and was recently lowered

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What the doctor says?Do you visit his dr. with him?Usually it takes more time for some young people to adopt to their new condition.Two years is medium time,you should focus on finding him right meds and engage more about finding help from people who live with same problem.If you want to talk about my experience with my parents,please PM me because of rules of this forum.

my parents would never do this for me, thank God for you. Much love.

I think like the others said on here, withdrawn and negatives.

Invite him to come here, if he wants to engage.

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Thank you for your response , he has no insight and will get very angry if i suggested this forum . Its just very hard …

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21 is young. I was 27 and still didnt want to admit it.

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Doctor has said he is schizoaffective and is trying to gain his trust , i go to all his appointments with him . We tried changing meds twice and both times almost got him back in hospital . He insisted to lower his meds from 20mg to 15mg Abilify and its been 3 weeks now , he does seem less anxious about one obsessive delusion which is great but is very much isolated in his room . No work no college , no friends , my heart just breaks as i feel Ive lost my son .

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Don’t expect things like that.I don’t know much about sza,accept it could have depressive symptoms and maybe your son does.I thought a lot about your problem,maybe it isn’t to good to expect miracle,and let him alone for a while.He’s already functional in some way,you said he goes to buy food and such,many of older sza people still function that way.I don’t know why you insist so much at time to make him more functional.Maybe it’s better if someone with sza answers you.

Congrants. You seem to be a lovely mom. I was 20 year old when i started to take antipsychotics. I got better but i had a second relapse. Now i’m fine. I’m 25. Think positive, he will get better certainly. He has your support. That’s awesome.

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The ability to socialize can be impaired with someone with this illness. I take sarcosine and a high dose of fish oil. Does seem to help somewhat.

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It is common for people with schizophrenia to isolate. Part of the problem is that because of the disease it makes doing the simplest things hard. While you wake up in the morning and throw on some pants and a shirt and dart out for the store for a gallon of milk and maybe hit the post office afterwards and maybe stop at the dry cleaners on the way back and think nothing of it, for us doing just one of those things is a big project for us.

That’s a typical morning for you and you don’t think twice about it. But we’re battling symptoms that at the least, make us self conscious in public, and at the most it can make us extremely uncomfortable and paranoid. And anyone, schizophrenic or not, does not want to feel uncomfortable in everything they do. And knowing ourselves what is going to happen when we go out just makes us try to avoid those situations.

And the problem in fact doubles when (to us) we look at everybody around us and they seem so together and normal and at ease in everything they do. Of course most people aren’t doing as good as they look like, but they sure look like it.

Sure fear plays a part in us wanting to isolate. Lot’s (or even most) of us are paranoid and fearful of other people. We perceive danger where there is none.

I’m making everything sound gloomy and hopeless but for most of us, life is not always that bad. Good thing can still happen for us. Despite our illness, many schizophrenics can do the following things. We may be only to do one of them alright or a combination of these things. Schizophrenics: can marry and have kids, attend college, hold down a paid or volunteer job, drive, exercise, travel, go to concerts, live independently, help others, take care of pets, go to parties, babysit, clean, cook, have a hobby, read…And the list goes on and on. You’re son may not be there yet to do these things but he has a fighting chance.

I wish I could give you some good advice but I just wanted to give you a little hope for your sons future. There is no overnight cure for schizophrenia, it can take many months or even years to show progress. But being medication compliant is a big hurdle for lots of schizophrenics so your son is lucky in that regard.

I’m 58 years old, I got diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when I was 19. The first two years were hell and I barely functioned. At 19 I was put in my first group home. For the next year I was psychotic and did not work or go to school. I had no car and no money. I had no friends or a girlfriend. I spent most days hanging out in the kitchen or walking to a used book store I discovered and browsing books for a couple of hours.

I took walks and I was lucky enough to have two sisters who would take me out to coffee with them. (maybe that’s an idea for you and your son, or maybe a quiet library). I was often suicidal and felt hopeless and the disease just tormented me every waking moment. I was symptomatic every minute of every day for a year. After the group home my next stop was inside a large psychiatric facility for 8 months with many shady, dangerous people. I should say here that the reason I am telling you my story is to show you where I came from and where I am now.

I want to show you what is possible despite having schizophrenia, but I’ll get to that in a minute. I should also say here, I was a very naïve 20 year old. I grew up in a nice city and my family was middle class and I had a childhood of playing sports with my friends and hanging out in front of our houses talking and fooling around and doing fun things like riding our bikes to go fishing or hiking.

But anyways, the hospital was hell too, I never felt like it helped me. The day I moved out to live into a nice group home my parents found, I felt as crazy as the day I walked into the hospital.

I’ll cut to the chase. At age 58 I am looking back on being employed for the past 35 years albeit mostly part time. Even at my age I am still taking classes to get my two year degree. My degree will not get me a job but I am doing it for my (and my families) satisfaction. I have owned a car and driven since 1998. I lived independently for 20 years and six years of that I lived alone in a nice studio.

I have flown across the country coast to coast three times and a few other places. I was best man at my dads wedding. I used to drive alone to Sacramento to visit my dad, a trip that was 190 miles away and took me two hours (one way). I’ve done many fun things. Right now I am living in a nice apartment and I’ve been at my janitors job for 5 years.

I get myself up three days a week and drive through traffic to get there. I take care of myself fairly well but my sisters give me a hand sometimes. I manage my own money, I pay bills and I don’t owe anyone a dime.

But anyone looking at me when I was twenty and living in the group home and the hospital would never have dreamed that I would ever do anything in “life” again. In the group home I slept in a small room on a dirty mattress thrown on the floor. I was usually dirty.

For those first two years there was no sign that I would ever be able to function again; I was seriously, seriously ill. I saw no light at the end of the tunnel. I never planned for the future because it seemed impossible that I would ever do anything. My story is why there is hope and that no one should give up on someone with schizophrenia.

Looking back on knowing and living with mentally ill people for most of the 1980’s and half of the 1990’s, I found that most schizophrenics have potential. It may not be apparent for a long time but I have seen too many fellow schizophrenics who looked hopeless but they end up getting jobs or girlfriends etc.,

I have seen this too many times to give up on myself or others. If you have schizophrenia and you are still young I would just advise not to rush things. Start off small and take small steps. Do things that you have a good chance ofv succeeding to get a little confidence in yourself. Than gradate to bigger goals.

I’m sorry you and your son are in this situation but many, many schizophrenics have some kind of recovery. It just takes time and support and patience. The progress might be in increments but recovery is a reality. I wish you good luck and I hope you get something out of this. Good luck.

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Thank you for a detailed reply , Happy to hear your doing well and thank you so much for giving me hope and insight, i really appreciate your time .

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Makes it harder for some of us diagnosed to participate with family members mixing in. You’re messing with people’s recovery.

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Sorry to hear, I came down with powerful delusions and my first hallucinations at age 30 which was 5 years ago. With steady treatment the delusions went away after a couple of years. Now I just deal with hallucinations.

The most important thing is to get him good medication, and you can ask to sit in on the appointments with him, my mom did this for me starting with my first episode and it really helped me get the right meds, I’d just hang my head and say everything was fine if she didn’t come in with me and tell them how I was acting around the house.

It’s a horrible disorder but partial recovery is possible. Also, my 21 year old brother is on League of Legends on his PC all the time and he doesn’t have a mental illness. A lot of people that age isolate, it would be cool if he could go to some meetups and make friends to meet up with though, just to get out.

I wish you the best, sorry you have to deal with all this. Nobody deserves it.

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