Posted by: Caro | 2009-03-23

Son with Paranoid Schizophrenia

Hi there
I have asked before and had some positive advice, but now I need more, because the professionals are not answering me. My son is in a mental hospital in London, UK, he was diagnosed with " Paranoid Schizophrenia, with Delusions of Grandeur" . He has been in this hospital for 2 years. He is 30 years old, and sometimes he phones me and cries like a baby, because what he had planned for his life was not to be locked away in a mental home!
My problem is that none of the professionals will give me any answers - even though I have a written letter from my son, saying that they can discuss his case with me. How must we treat him when he talks about all the things that he perceives are happening to him? Do we tell him he' s talking nonsense? Or do we play along? Will he spend the rest of his life locked away? He seems to be getting hold of Dagga, which obviously agravates the situation, why are they not dealing with his drug habit? Does he have a shot at leaving there, and holding down a job?
I am truly so very lost and confused and heart-broken, I want to help my son, but have no idea how. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Our expert says:
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I am surprised that the doctors caring for your son in the UK are not more helpful or prepared to correspond with you -- they should do so. Paranoia does't always respond as well to the usual treatments as do some other varieties of schizophrenia, but with modern drugs they ought to be able to help him, maybe even to the point of him managing to live outside the hospital, perhaps in sheltered housing, shared with other people with similar problems, and with a responsible person there too, to help with any difficulties that arise. Such facilities are rare to non-existent in SA, unfortunately. They certainly should be getting to grips with his drug abuse, as that could be seriously disruptive to his condition and treatment --- alas, that, too, is even more common in SA facilities.
They should aoso be able, even if he stays in hospital, to enable him to take on some forms of work, depending on his skills and interests. There should be a social worker who knows him, who may be better to communicate with than the doctors.
As for dealing with the delusions, one can often find a mid-path between aggreeing with them ( which is usuallyunhepful, though occasionally needed ) and arguing about them ( which isn't useful --- they weren't reasoned into their delusions, so they can't quite be reasoned out of them ) --- a position of not accepting or agreeing that they are true, saying one finds that sounds odd or hard to believe, but not rejecting them actively. Maybe even asking some questions about some of the most improbably aspects of the delusion, seeking clarification.
Thanks to Sister for a very useful comment. I'd find i hard to decide if he would bebbetter off returning to SA -- most of our hospitals can be really gruesome, and the care much more expensive and less accessable and supportive, awhile community resources may be non-existent

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Our users say:
Posted by: James | 2009-03-31

I have a brother who suffers from schizophrenia. I' m assuming his condition was brought on by marijuana use. He was seeing a psychiatrist at on stage and was diagnosed with mild schizophrenia but my father felt there was no improvement so cancelled that.

Is there any treatment which does not require medicine? If this was brought on by substance abuse I would prefer he is not put on any drugs.

I would really like him to get treatment again.

I understand my question is a bit off-topic but i' d appreciate any advice.

Reply to James
Posted by: Sister of a Paranoid Schizophrenic | 2009-03-24

Sorry, forgot to put the name - her name is Lynn

Reply to Sister of a Paranoid Schizophrenic
Posted by: Sister of a Paranoid Schizophrenic | 2009-03-24

Caro, if you want to talk - My moms number 084 764 4640

we have been dealing with my brothers problem for the last 16 years - she will be able to give you some advise or at the very least some emotional support

Reply to Sister of a Paranoid Schizophrenic
Posted by: Sister of a Paranoid Schizophrenic | 2009-03-23

Hi there

My brother also sufferers from the same thing your son does, he is in a home here is SA though.

What medication have they put him on? What kind of care is he currently recieving? Are you sure he has been diagnosed correctly? My brother has Paranoid Schizophrenia with manic depressive tendancies - this requires different medication and a different approach to treatment

I know at first the family used to play along with my brothers delusions because it was easier than arguing with him as he would get violent and we had to have him arrested a number of times. The problem was it just fueled his belief that there was nothing wrong with him and we were all out to get him. Of course he hardly ever took hs medication and he is now way too far gone to be reached and we will never be able to get his condition under control. So dont play along with the delusions - it doesnt help!

Also you cannot mix the medication with any other drugs - no drinking and certainly no dagga! That will make the problem worse!

If your son is on the correct medication and he takes it as perscribed and he visits his pshychiatrist once per month then he does have a shot at managing the problem and perhaps even holding down a job (if the pshychiatrist agrees) - but he will never be cured - it is important to understand that. This condition is managed not cured.

It is also important that he understands and he knows what triggers him and that he knows when he might be having an episode so that he can go to his psychiatrist as soon as possible - so the psychiatrist needs to be understanding and they need to develop a good working relationship - he needs to be able to trust him.

It is also a good idea to have him come back to SA (or wherever you are) as he needs the family support and you will be able to monitor the care he recieves and make informed decisions.

If you like I can give you my moms number, being a mother with a son like yours you wil be able to talk about the situation to someone who understands what you are going through.

Just submit a new post with your email address or other form of contact and I will get her to get in touch with you.

Reply to Sister of a Paranoid Schizophrenic

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