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Trying to help my adult son, who has schizophrenia and just attempted suicide

I've just heard of this site, and am seeking advice.

My 30+ year old son has schizophrenia and has been seeing a psychiatrist for several years.  This seems to be more or less under control, in that he does not have psychotic episodes now.  However, his behavour is far from normal, which is blighting his life.  He's losing friends, has no girl friends, and he is now hardly able to look after himself.  

Three weeks ago he had a serious suicide attempt, following a number of set backs in his work and domestic life which depressed him.  He had previously told his psychiatrist he was depressed, but his psychiatrist did not think he was.  

He spent a week in hospital to fix his physical problems after his attempt, and in now in a private psychiatric hospital.  I'm now told that they don't feel that they can help him anymore and they are planning for his discharge.

However, prior to this incident, he had a job, and had done for several years.  Now he talks in ways that I don't understand: he does not see any point in a job, but wants to sit on a mountain top somewhere and to travel the world.  His psychiatirst says "this is not mental illness - this is just him".  I'm at a loss as to know what to do and how to react to my son, and don't feel that I'm gettting any support or help from the hospital, and I'm far from convinced that my son is getting much help either.

My son has this vision - but does not appreciate the risks and challenges, nor has any grasp on the practical matters that need to be sorted out.

Do I let him go - which will probably not go well - and he will either come home defeated, or have another attempt...

Or resist his wish and try to stop him.  This will be a struggle - and I really can't stop him.  My family think it's up to him to do what he wants to do.






Re: Trying to help my adult son, who has schizophrenia and just attempted suicide

Hi @Rayden,


Welcome to the Forums. I'm really glad you found us. Sadly there are many carers who are going through, or have been through, similar situations to yours.

Firstly, it's a huge achievement that he's not experiencing psychotic episodes. Though I'm really sorry to hear he had a suicide attempt.

I hope you don't mind if I throw you a bunch of questions to help me and other members understand more about the situation.

You mentioned your son is being discharged - how does he feel about this? Does he still feel like he has depression?

Is the hospital working on a plan with him post dischaged (community support etc)?


There are some great tips on having difficult and honest conversations with loved ones here. While the circumstances may be different - there is some great practical advice.

Again, welcome to the Forums.

Re: Trying to help my adult son, who has schizophrenia and just attempted suicide

Hi @Rayden

Welcome to the forums and thanks for your post.

What you have mentioned is something that we hear all the time when it comes to people caring for their loved ones. It must be incredibly hard to weigh up the options of when to wade in and when to let them go. 

It is important to give the people you care for the dignity of risk, by that I mean let them learn the lessons, sometimes its okay to fail, that is how we grow as humans. 

I am sure there are plenty of carers here that would be happy to offer some advice!



Re: Trying to help my adult son, who has schizophrenia and just attempted suicide

Is there a path you can tread that honours your beliefs but still keeps connected to him as a loved adult child .. that is not let things become either / or or polarised about work choices.

There are many ways to walk on this planet .. my ex husband and son were both very anti work at times .. but have reluctantly accepted its need at levels to support a lifestyle that they honestly personally approve of ..

I have met people who went to India come back and start up festivals and develop import companies .. there are so many different ways to be .. working 9-5 is no longer as common.

Re: Trying to help my adult son, who has schizophrenia and just attempted suicide

Hi, I'm not sure how I managed to click on the carers forum but maybe there was a reason. I'm 30 and have schizophrenia. I totally get the work is pointless thought. My only carer is miles away and I have 3 kids who I have to remain responsible for. For me that means a career change. I'm going from marketing and graphic design to conservation and land management. I think being out in the fresh air and connecting with nature will be good for me both physically and mentally. I'm not sure how I'm going to get into this field but I'm going to try. Anyway my point is maybe you could help him find something that has more meaning. Nursing, community services and conservation are a few things I've thought of. Maybe he can come up with something while he's contemplating on the mountaintop.

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