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Something’s not right

Senior Contributor

And just when we thought things were going well...

I haven't been on the forum for a few months because things have been going well with my teenage son who has schizophrenia.  After 12 months of hospitalisation, suicide attempts and psychotic episodes, we finally found the right medical regime for him last December.  Since that time, he has been great.  He attended school everyday in term 1 and is achieving his potential at school.  He has found a part time job and was playing baseball.  As parents, we became complacent, even thinking at times that perhaps he was just a difficult teenager last year and wasn't really ill.  His case management team were also pleased with his change and progress.

i was wrong.  Things do change.  In the last few weeks, we have seen some subtle changes and warning signs that have again led to crisis.  He is withdrawing again, angry and recently had a situation where he got lost and didn't know where he was.  He is agitated and angry a lot of the time and says his voices are starting to come back and say negative things to him.  He is demanding we buy him alcohol which we refuse to do because he is 16.  He wants the voices to go away.  We are not convinced he is telling us or his case manager the truth all of the time and don't know what to believe.  

He doesn't want to go back to hospital, but would rather go back to STEPS.  We are not convinced that this will be helpful to resolve issues, but rather make things more difficult.  Last week he had a major meltdown at his psychiatrist appointment which too us 3 hours to convince him to come home.  Home is safe, yet he finds it traumatic because he associates it with his thoughts.

I just needed to talk.  Feeling very angry, lost, confused, scared and sad.  





Re: And just when we thought things were going well...

Hi @Boo13, sad to hear. Last time my son had a relapse, I was surprised how quickly the "early" warning signs cascaded into psychosis. Have your son's meds been adjusted? We've always had to increase them, then gradually reduce once he starts to stabilise. Hospital is an option, even if the patient is unwilling to go. 

Re: And just when we thought things were going well...


The brain is a wonderful thing... when things are going your way. I am always on my toes, fully aware the medication for my son's Sz is just a bandace which can come off at any time. 

Like patientpatient, my son's medication has been adjusted many times, when it goes well, reduce, when it doesnt, increase. (only as per Psych. instructions!) Telltale signs are sleeping a lot during the day, up all night, smoking and drinking more, withdrawn, sighing, head down.

Such a long road ahead of us.... Do you have any more children? 



Re: And just when we thought things were going well...

Thanks for the advice.  I have two grown step children as well as my son.

The ups and downs are so hard, especially after what seemed like 5 months of good health.  Part of me was hoping that he would be one of the very few who actually recover fully.  Still hope for good prognosis.  He is smart and u der earth a really lovely person.  I just hate it when he is not well.  So hard to not take his comments or behaviour personally.


Re: And just when we thought things were going well...

Boo sorry to hear things have gone south after doing well.  We have a similar situation with our teenage son and like you we've seen it go very quickly from travelling well to heading into another bad episode.  I hope you are all weathering the crisis.  Is he back in hospital or has he gone back to STEPS?


Re: And just when we thought things were going well...

I just want to say you sound like you’re doing an incredible job in a very difficult and painful situation. My heart and hugs go out to you xx
I have a young daughter on the autism spectrum and similarly, things go well and then boom! it’s all on again, back to square one needing a new addition to the already complex map of treatment.

Re: And just when we thought things were going well...


A few more weeks and thing kept spiralling.  My son had psychotic episodes where he was covering his head with a blanket and yelling at me not to touch the house (I couldn't even turn the heater on), closing his eyes so he couldn't see them and not allowing anyone to touch him because he thought it was 'them' grabbing him.  I called his case manager and eventually he had a PRN dose to calm him down and he slept for 13 hours.

A few days later and I received a call from his school to say that his friends had reported that he had emailed them to say sorry for existing, was hitting his head gains a metal pole and had eaten a small amount of nuts which he is highly allergic to.  His case manager saw him that night and we finally got him to agree to go to hospital the next day.  That was last Friday.  He was admitted to the short stay unit and is still waiting for a bed in the mental health ward.  My son appears to be a lot better, but is now getting very angry and frustrated at being in hospital.  He is telling us that he is fine to co e home now and that none of the medical staff are listening to him and his views.  The day after he was admitted the nursing staff called me to say he could be discharged.  I told them that they needed to talk to my son's case manager because the intent was to have him admitted.  Following further discussions, this view changed and yesterday (5 days later), the hospital psychiatrist thought he should stay a few more days.  This was supported later last night after the Chief Psychiatrist, who has treated my son for over 2 years, agreed that a further stay in hospital may be beneficial to him, based on his experience with my son.  This news sent my son into anger.  He is stressed about missing school as he is in year 11.  He has a drama performance due tomorrow which is an assessment piece.  He is very upset that he will let them down.  The school is supportive and have advised that they will support him, but this has not eased his fears.  He just keeps saying that he needs to go back to school.

this situation is breaking my heart.  I want to do what is best for my son and have mixed feelings.  Is he manipulating because he doesn't want to be in hospital or is he really feeling like he can cope and nobody is listening to hi A?  I can't tell anymore and am very worried that he will no lo her trust us if he stays in and may cause more harm to him.  On the other hand, if he comes home, will he just spiral further downwards n a few more weeks, sending us back to the beginning of the hospital waitin process?

this is causing enormous stress for his Dad and me.  My doctor has now given me 10 days off work due to stress levels with my son and work.  Help!  This is tearing me apart and I don't know what to do!



Re: And just when we thought things were going well...


I am so sorry you have to go this. I hear you. 

Good you have gone to your Doctor and asked for stress leave. I have done the same in the past.

It is impossible to focus at work when this is going on at home. 

Do something nice for yourself today and let me know what it was.

Hang in there, it will get better, sorry I can't do anything more then write to you that you're not alone in this sometimes heart wrenching 'caring' task. Just be there for him and tell him you love him is all you can do until meds kick in. 

You're doing such a good job.


Lots of love


Re: And just when we thought things were going well...

Thank you for your kind words of support.  My son is transferring to the ward today.  He is still unhappy and thinks people don't care.  I am so sad and torn.


i did manage to catch up on a to show this morning and fell asleep.  I must have needed it.  I am exhausted physically and emotionally.  He is my only child and I feel that he hates me at the moment.

Re: And just when we thought things were going well...

@Boo13 I am sorry you are going through such a hard time with your son it must be exhausting. i dont think he hates you maybe he is just upset and confused and doesnt knoww how to feel with everything that is goinng on. 

I have Schizoaffective disorder so i can relate to many of the things your son is going through and i have been in and out of hospital for the last 2 years it is hard but if things have got better before then they can again just give it time. try and make sure you do some self care things for you too to make sure you are still looked after. 

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