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destinylv 07-08-2009 02:06 PM

Stressing over what to do and what not to do to help my son
 
I have a 25 yr old son who was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia about a month ago after having a "psychotic episode". He almost cut off both of his pinkies with a pocket knife and says that a ghost had been attacking him and did it. They put him on Seroquel. When I brought him home from the hospital he said he wasn't seeing things anymore but that he was still hearing things- voices, knocks and thumps and stuff. Then he started having hallucinations again so I increased the seroquel to 700mg as there wasn't a dr available to see him. He seemed to do ok for about a week or so but now is back to having a lot of hallucinations and hearing voices and now says he can feel things touching him sometimes. I don't know hardly anything about this and am having trouble getting him into a psychiatrist so don't know how to help him. He's started having "panic" like attacks where he thinks the ghosts are after him again. I've done all I know to do to try to help him including having our house blessed which of course did no good so now he thinks he's possessed and in need of an exorcism. Im having trouble getting him into his psychiatrist that the hospital set him up with so feel like I'm on my own in dealing with all this and I don't know the best way to handle things. I have so many questions that I want to ask without my son hearing as he doesn't believe he's schizophrenic and will stop talking to me about what's going on with himself if he thinks I dont believe all this stuff is actually happening to him. Please is anyone been thru something like this? Can you give me some advice or options how best to handle any of this? Thank you for any possible help.

Swamp56 07-08-2009 03:02 PM

Re: Stressing over what to do and what not to do to help my son
 
Never, ever, ever play with dosages of medications. If he is still doing bad and hearing voices and is delusional, I would have him committed.

destinylv 07-08-2009 03:17 PM

Re: Stressing over what to do and what not to do to help my son
 
They won't commit him unless he's actually harming himself or others- I don't have authority to do so my self and he won't go willingly because he doesn't think he's schizophrenic. He BELIEVES his hallucinations are real. So what would you have done if you were in the same position and was unable to get into a doctor for help? What are other options available to me? I would love to talk to someone who's been thru this already to ask some questions about the best way to handle things and whether I should ban certain things like some shows he watches or whether it's ok to put crosses up because he says they help protect and stuff. By the way, I didn't adjust his dosage without researching the medication and dosages for an adult. I had to do something because doing nothing the last time ended up with him hospitalized with injuries. So if you have any advice, I'd sure be glad to hear it.

Swamp56 07-08-2009 03:42 PM

Re: Stressing over what to do and what not to do to help my son
 
[QUOTE=destinylv;4032411]They won't commit him unless he's actually harming himself or others- I don't have authority to do so my self and he won't go willingly because he doesn't think he's schizophrenic. He BELIEVES his hallucinations are real. So what would you have done if you were in the same position and was unable to get into a doctor for help? What are other options available to me? I would love to talk to someone who's been thru this already to ask some questions about the best way to handle things and whether I should ban certain things like some shows he watches or whether it's ok to put crosses up because he says they help protect and stuff. By the way, I didn't adjust his dosage without researching the medication and dosages for an adult. I had to do something because doing nothing the last time ended up with him hospitalized with injuries. So if you have any advice, I'd sure be glad to hear it.[/QUOTE]

It doesn't matter how much you research these things - you're not a doctor and you can't play doctor with these types of things. Medications affect people differently; remember that.

I don't have schizophrenia, but I can relate with what you're going through. I would describe what I have (schizoaffective disorder) as mild, but still painful to go through at the same time.

light the world 07-08-2009 04:07 PM

Re: Stressing over what to do and what not to do to help my son
 
Hello destin. I have psychosis and have been at a hospital before for psychosis and depression. It is definitly a bad thing and I wouldn't encourage it to change med doses but your intention at the time wasn't to hurt him though. So thats good. I'm really surprised they didn't admit him when he tried to harm himself. What I would do is go to his psychiatrist and ask to put him on a notice to get admitted into the hospital and see if that works. Its kind of like a waiting list. I don't know whether they would accept it but its worth a try though. If he is a possible threat to himself then I suppose it would be an appropriate thing to do.

Its hard for me to go and see a psychiatrist about this sort of thing. In fact I had to be encouraged to go. My parents would do this by buying me my favourite treat or something. Whether this is a good thing to practise probably not but in my opinion the safety of someone and there mental health comes first. I no longer have to be encouraged but this is probably do to the fact that I'm more stable now than I was in the past.

I hope I answered your question nicely.

destinylv 07-09-2009 06:13 AM

Re: Stressing over what to do and what not to do to help my son
 
Thank you for replying. Your response was helpful. They did put him inpatient for two weeks but he kept denying having any hallucinations so that he could get out. When they discharged him, they didn't set him up with any kind of psychiatrist and I've had a hard time trying to get him into one before his medications run out. Am working on that still. He's really over focused on religion now to the point that we have crosses all over the house (in and out) and have had our house blessed because he seems to think this would help protect against the ghosts. Of course none of it helped. One of my freinds told me I shouldn't do this as it would encourage his delusions but like I said before, doing nothing ended up with him hurt so I felt I had no choice and that it wouldn't hurt to try. If it helped to make him feel safe, then it was worth a shot- even if it only lasted a little while. He's also gotten really into watching ghost and paranormal type shows which I'm not sure if I should let him continue watching. It seems like some of his delusions MIGHT be stemming from some of the shows he's watching or it might just be that he didn't know what to call some of the things he's seeing until he saw something like it on one of the shows. I just don't know if it might be better to block the shows/channels or not. And I am hoping that someone could give me advice on how to get him to be more social. We can't even get him to go with us ANY WHERE- not out to eat, not to the grocery store or anything. He complains of being lonely with no friends yet won't do anything to have a chance to make any. Is there any way to get him to come out of his shell. And what is the best approach to get him to accept his condition? He denies being schizophrenic and so won't "open up" to me any more about his hallucinations and stuff because he doesn't think I beleive him. This is all so confusing and frustrating and seems to be overwhelming to the point that it's taking all I have just to deal with even a small part of it. I really need to hear from anyone that's gone thru this and can give me some advice on the best way to handle things. Thank you again for responding and for anyone else that has any ideas for me to try.

red7204 07-09-2009 07:49 AM

Re: Stressing over what to do and what not to do to help my son
 
Everything you describe sounds like definite schizophrenia, it is unfortunate about the ghost and paranoia shows. People without mental illness can have minor problems with that type of stuff. I can remember that myself when I was young. My guess is he won't want to see that what he is doing is unreal, so try to continuously convince him may not work, it may cause him to find even more reasons he is right. The shows may not be the source but they continue the beliefs and only encourage him, and he may see the need to increase "protecting himself". I don't know what it is like to tell your kids No or have to take charge, but that may be worth it. I can remember seeing on tv how a parent wanted to stop their 5 year old kid from climbing into bed with them. So they had to set the kid in his room and they had to set him there over a hundred times before he finally gave up. Your son is 25, but my point is that you may have to keep turning off the tv until he gives up. I imagine he may be very upset about this but the less of these ghost ideas in his head the less he has to go on.
What I don't understand is that he was committed yet they did not set him up with a psychiatrist or give him a prescription. Doesn't sound like they tried that hard to diagnose him. What medicine is he on. Setting him up with a psychiatrist sounds really important if his prescription runs out. . Medicine and counciling are the main treatments for this. If you can find a medical social worker or councilor who deals with mental illness, they see and deal with all sorts of things. I know this is not free, so your son is 25. Your son may be eligible for medicaid or SSI if he has ever had a job. The medicaid could cover the pills and treatment, you get a limited amount of uses though. What you get is a medicaid identification card that you take with you and use it as a sort of"payment", where they bill the ID number to Medicaid. Depending on which medicine he is on, some anti psychotic drug companies have special programs that help people who can't afford their medicine. The company that makes risperdal has a program where if eligible they will give you 3 months of the medicine free before evaluating whether you can get more. But I would have a psychiatrist prescribe the medicine before doing this. Does he claim they speak or talk to him, maybe trying to convince him to take the medicine and they won't talk to him anymore. So you are in GA? The reason I bring that up is that the DUKE, UNC area is usually considered the number one area for mental illness, they conduct a large amount of studies on mental illness. They finally opened the new hospital. But yet again if you have followed the news in that area they are ironing out a lot of problems. So maybe looking up some mental illness clinics or mental illness related places that help people in that area. If you really are on your last leg it may be worth it. Have you looked in your area for any mental health clinics, places like this can have a psychiatrist and a few clinical social workers as councilors.
Not going anywhere and staying alone is not good for a schizophrenic!!! Being alone to his ideas can be what continues them. But that is a telltale sign being one.
One other thing, is there something that your son liked before he got into this ghost stuff, something from when he was young, in his teens, a place that he liked to go or something he liked to do. Maybe if you could remind him of this and he might divert his focus temporarily or completely. If not directly remind him, try to remind him of it without being obvious. Maybe something really simple like fixing a favorite food of his, bring out pictures of past events. He sounds like he is trying really hard to avoid help so you may have to think about doing this.
As far as making friends maybe he could find some internet forums about things that he likes, video games? movies? sports? He doesn't see the people, they don't know him, and a great way to slowly make friends. But that maybe needs to be supervised in someway, because of he may try some forum about the supernatural.
Finally if I may ask what shows does he watch, does he watch the show TAPS, Outer Limits? People try to prove them fake and cite evidence of it as well, maybe finding some proof they are smoke and mirrors might make him reconsider.

Still, maybe trying some of the information about medicaid to cover meds and psychiatrists, and finding one that will see and treat him with meds
We are not supposed to do research so I encourage you to research some mental health clinics in the UNC area at least for some help and info. Maybe giving them a call would be a start on the right path.
Good Luck

EDIT: I hesitated before adding this, but when you get medicine, maybe a psychiatrist. There is a place in carborro NC called caramore that is a place that helps mainly young adults with mental illness get things together. People are given a job on the grounds crew or cleaning crew and are paid enough to cover room and board, when they have done this well they are helped getting a job in the town of carborro,. The patients start out in a house with other people with mental illness. They help clean, cook, and spend time with other people with mental illness. There are councilors and people there to help. Next they move up to a two person apartment, and then move up to a single apartment of their own. I didn't write this the first time, because your son still doesn't think he has a problem and because you may want him to stay will you and that is definitely understandable. But if at some point in the future, a few years, this is a place designed to help. I don't know how many there are but, I added this so you know about it. If you are interested, spending some time researching will help you learn more.

red7204 07-19-2009 07:45 PM

Re: Stressing over what to do and what not to do to help my son
 
I thought I would add this because it might help, but I did my own research about symptoms to remind myself, and I can across something called perception of persecution, sounds complicated but what it is really referring to is the symptom of thinking people are out to get you, sabotage you, talk about you, harm you in some way. If you would like more information, researching NIHM or National Institute of Mental Health. They have a few sites about symptoms and getting help. But if people with mental illness have problems thinking about people harming them, imagine what stuff religion brings into the matter with invisible beings, supernatural, that might amplify ideas like that.

destinylv 07-20-2009 06:16 AM

Re: Stressing over what to do and what not to do to help my son
 
Thank you Red for replying, the information you gave was really helpful. We got him into a really good psychiatrist that seems to really care and whom takes the time to actually talk with him about what hallucinations he's having. My son is still a little dis-trustful but at least he IS starting to open up to the doctor about whats going on a little. Before he would always tell them he wasn't having any hallucinations so this is a great improvement. My son has times when he acts almost normal and then times when he's back to being withdrawn and having lots of hallucinations so Im not sure if the medications are right or if this is normal even with the medications. Right now the dr has him on SEROQUEL- 100mg, 3 times a day and 500 at bedtime; EFFEXOR- 150 mg a day and HALCION- .50 mg at bedtime. He just started taking the Halcion two nights ago and it seems to really make him "stoned" to where he's hearing things more. Not sure why it does that when it's suppose to put him to sleep. Maybe just the "tired" state is causing the hallucinations and not necessarily the medication. We're gonna call and ask the doctor today about that. Thanks again and I'll check out the website you provided for more info.

Swamp56 07-20-2009 11:14 PM

Re: Stressing over what to do and what not to do to help my son
 
[QUOTE=destinylv;4041087]Thank you Red for replying, the information you gave was really helpful. We got him into a really good psychiatrist that seems to really care and whom takes the time to actually talk with him about what hallucinations he's having. My son is still a little dis-trustful but at least he IS starting to open up to the doctor about whats going on a little. Before he would always tell them he wasn't having any hallucinations so this is a great improvement. My son has times when he acts almost normal and then times when he's back to being withdrawn and having lots of hallucinations so Im not sure if the medications are right or if this is normal even with the medications. Right now the dr has him on SEROQUEL- 100mg, 3 times a day and 500 at bedtime; EFFEXOR- 150 mg a day and HALCION- .50 mg at bedtime. He just started taking the Halcion two nights ago and it seems to really make him "stoned" to where he's hearing things more. Not sure why it does that when it's suppose to put him to sleep. Maybe just the "tired" state is causing the hallucinations and not necessarily the medication. We're gonna call and ask the doctor today about that. Thanks again and I'll check out the website you provided for more info.[/QUOTE]

He should see definite improvement with the 800mg of Seroquel daily. It may take a little while to work, but as long as he takes it, it should calm down the hallucinations and help with the paranoia and delusions.

kathyIS54 08-14-2009 12:33 AM

Re: Stressing over what to do and what not to do to help my son
 
Testing as I just wrote a long post and it was refused!

Kathy

kathyIS54 08-14-2009 12:39 AM

Re: Stressing over what to do and what not to do to help my son
 
Destinlv, we have been going through a very familuar senario with our 22 years old. He was put on effexor for depression and tipped into a full mania delusional state. Now in for his second stay in 6 weeks on 800 mg seroquel doing better but a slight bit of mania/parinoia. He could be there for another 2-4 weeks.

I wrote a long post but it did not post, I hope you check in here soon and I'll elaborate.
Hope you too are getting help to get through this.
Cheers
Kathy

janelouise 10-04-2009 11:26 AM

Re: Stressing over what to do and what not to do to help my son
 
My son was diagnosed just over 3 years ago and to this day he insists nothing is wrong with him. He was hospitalised and came home with the same symtoms you described of your son. It is so hard to deal with but we have an Early intervention service close by who helped my son begin to regain some confidence and me with all the emotions that came with dealing with a son who you care deeply about but is not some one you recognise or understand. We took my son from university when he was having his first phsycotic episode and thats when he was taken to hospital they did put him on medication that did actually help(olanzapine) but he soon stoped taking it as 'there was nothing wrong with him' He returned to university in our home town last year and did complete his first year but had a lot of help and support. He is now about to start his second year and is having his second major phsycotic episode, however he still insists nothing is wrong. He no longer recieves help from the early intervention service and the only advise we get is 'contact the police if he is dangerous or accident and emergency if not----very helpful and sympathetic!!!!! its a very lonely place!

janelouise 10-04-2009 11:35 AM

Re: Stressing over what to do and what not to do to help my son
 
I have been through all this and in my experience with my son and with others you cannot do anything to make him accept his diagnosis. I know this is tough but once I had realised this I just had to try and sort myself out so that I could deal with it for both of us. I contacted the hospital and asked if there were any other parents that would be interested in getting together for a coffee. If you can find even one other person who understands what you are going through it will help. Remember that 1 in 4 people have some sort of mental problem so a certain percentage of these will be schizophrenia. The lonliness that I felt drove me mad, I quit my job and lost some of my friends as I strove to understand and cope with it alone. It really does help if you can find some one to talk to that understands. good luck

sweettea2 10-05-2009 02:38 PM

Re: Stressing over what to do and what not to do to help my son
 
My son has had the same thing for 15 years and has been on many medicantions. He is now on abilify and klonipin and has been doing well. It is very scary to see this in your child but sometimes only the hospital can help him. I wish you well and you are not alone with this problem. Call the Helps Center and get him help as soon as possible.

Sweettea


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