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My son has schizoaffective disorder (schizophrenia and bi-polar) poss Triggering

(32 Posts)
itsoknottobeokok Wed 08-Aug-18 15:18:00

As title says.

He's 24, his journey has been a long one and continues.

Bombardier25966 Wed 08-Aug-18 15:24:27

Is he happy with you discussing his condition on a forum?

itsoknottobeokok Wed 08-Aug-18 15:28:32

I've not spoken to him about it. At the moment he doesn't have the capacity to agree or disagree due to his illness.

HollowTalk Wed 08-Aug-18 16:35:33

What has your life been like with him, OP? When did you realise there was a mental health problem?

itsoknottobeokok Thu 09-Aug-18 09:38:28

@HollowTalk. It's been an absolute rollercoaster. As a child he was always different in that he displayed behaviour which aligned with Asperger syndrome amongst other things. He could often be angry and lash out for no particular reason. He had two fairly traumatic incidents occur around age seven and after that he received counselling and help via a CPN.

No diagnosis was made until two years ago. He self medicated with drugs and alcohol through his teens and early twenties. If I look back now I'd say he was born with some degree of mental ill health (unsettled baby, difficulty sleeping as a child). Of all my children I always knew he'd be the one to suffer with his mental health.

HollowTalk Thu 09-Aug-18 09:58:00

That's very sad. I hope he's receiving help and that you are, too. It must be so difficult to be the parent of a child with problems like that. flowers

SavannahSky Thu 09-Aug-18 10:12:01

Does he live with you?

RedNed Thu 09-Aug-18 10:20:18

I studied a book called 'Tell me I'm here' in year 12 about schizophrenia and the mothers journey through it with her son. It was heart breaking yet she was an amazing mother.

Does your ds live with you? How has it affected your other dc?

itsoknottobeokok Thu 09-Aug-18 11:47:09

@SavannahSky no he lives in a council flat which is sheltered housing. It's a block of four, downstairs tend to be people with mobility problems or elderly people, upstairs younger people. He's lived there 18 months which is the longest he's lived anywhere since leaving home at 18.

He stays with us in times of crisis though.

itsoknottobeokok Thu 09-Aug-18 11:53:40

@RedNed I'll have a look for the book.

It has definitely affected other dc. At times they were angry with him and couldn't tolerate his behaviour. After two very serious suicide attempts they realised he was actually ill and although struggled to understand him, were much more sympathetic.

As a family we had a care support worker assigned to us and the DC also had opportunities to attend groups or speak to the CSW but they declined. One drank heavily for a year (he witnessed the suicide attempt - DS slit his own throat. Other DS suffered PTSD wherever blood was concerned for a long time afterwards). That said they are very close and remain supportive and in contact.

As children they didn't have the same level of attention that poorly DS commanded and poorly sons behaviour controlled the mood at home most of the time. We spent years walking on eggshells.

I have times when I feel like I don't cope. I've accepted that he will always need support and if ever me and DH are away we always have a back up in place...other family members will check in with poorly DS or have him to stay. He has a care co-ordinator who sees him weekly too.

vinoandbrie Sat 11-Aug-18 22:30:51

Does your DS take his meds? Which ones is he on?

I really hope things get better for him.

PitchBlackNight Sat 11-Aug-18 23:08:40

Do you think the drugs and alcohol made a big difference?

Does he have friends.

What’s he good at?

How often do you see him?

Takiwatanga Sun 12-Aug-18 07:29:35

I have a son with asd and I often worry he will grow up with similar mental health issues, as I work in the field I know there are often mental health issues associated with autism, but I'm unsure autism makes schizophrenia any more likely? Do you know, Op? By the way massive hugs, very un-mumsnet of me, but I feel your pain. Particularly for the siblings of a DC with illnesses. I feel very sad for my daughter at times and worry about her a lot. I do all I can to be attentive etc but my DC with asd can be so challenging it simply demands a lot of the attention in our home.

Takiwatanga Sun 12-Aug-18 07:30:32

*illnesses - don't mean to offend with this term, I know asd is a condition and not an illness, sorry for the typo.

fortifiedwithtea Sun 12-Aug-18 08:20:59

Does your son have mania? If so, can you tell a manic episode is coming ? Can you do anything to avoid or minimise it?

My daughter is 15. She has had 2 manic episodes. Was sectioned and now has a dx of Bi-Polar. She also has a learning disability. We think the last 4 weeks she has not been so well. CAMHS are dismissing our concerns . They put a lot of emphasis on her learning difficulty. But her personality has changed , we never had challenging behaviour until a year ago.

Wildboar Sun 12-Aug-18 09:13:11

What was your parenting style when younger? Did his illness change the way you wanted to parent?

itsoknottobeokok Wed 15-Aug-18 20:04:04

@vinoandbrie

My son stopped his meds earlier this year. He has sadly relapsed and had to be hospitalised and restarted on them.

He has an injection of palperidone.

itsoknottobeokok Wed 15-Aug-18 20:07:54

@PitchBlackNight

I'm sure the drugs and alcohol made things worse yes.

He has a couple of close friends and some others who come and go.

He's good at lots of things, bit of a jack of all trades. He's hardworking and practical rather than academic.

We see him fairly regularly and when he's well usually at least once a week.

itsoknottobeokok Wed 15-Aug-18 20:10:08

@Takiwatanga

I'm not sure wether autism makes it any more likely but I'm sure there's a link. My son is on the spectrum.

Thanks for the massive hugs....back to you too, it's a lonely and often isolating road!

itsoknottobeokok Wed 15-Aug-18 20:16:35

@fortifiedwithtea

No he doesn't tend to have mania. We can tell a relapse is coming though by his presentation as he gets suspicious of us, starts having intrusive thoughts. The bi polar aspect of his illness is probably a quarter of it, the schizophrenia three quarters of it if that makes sense.

Minimising relapse means complying with medication and avoiding alcohol and drugs. He seems to be sensitive to caffeine too. Doesn't function well if he's overtired or stressed, these are all triggers for him.

Sorry to hear about your daughter. If you think she is a danger to herself or poses a risk or danger to others then ask CAHMS how they are going to keep her/others safe as you can't....put the emphasis for care on them, not you. Ask for a carers assessment and insist on help and support. Depending on the section she was on, there is a legal obligation to provide after care. Also PALS can be really helpful in my experience.

Dancer12345 Wed 15-Aug-18 20:19:01

What types of behaviours did he present either as a child?

Dancer12345 Wed 15-Aug-18 20:19:11

*present with

itsoknottobeokok Wed 15-Aug-18 20:19:30

@Wildboar

What was your parenting style when younger? Did his illness change the way you wanted to parent?

I was consistent and fair, insisted on manners, good behaviour, taking responsibility for actions etc.

His illness definitely changed the way I wanted to parent yes, it mean other siblings often didnt get as much time and energy spent on them. It also meant we were often enemies and clashed which wouldn't have been what I wanted or chosen.

itsoknottobeokok Wed 15-Aug-18 20:27:40

@Dancer12345

As a toddler in a pushchair he lashed out and growled at another child (totally unprovoked)! This is one of my first memories of him acting unusually.

He was often a frustrated, angry child but equally very loving and caring.

He had very fixed ideas about things and could be obsessional with things (taking them everywhere, sleeping with them, be it new shoes, a football etc).

He was not very tolerant of his peers if they didn't take winning seriously or see his point of view.

From the time of me and his father separating, which he reacted very badly to, he spent a year st school and coasted and achieved very little. Following that he suffered a very serious traumatic event which continued his downward spiral.

From that point on his difficulties escalated and although he settled at a different school and made friends, his behaviour at home became more challenging. He began to self harm, lash out verbally and physically and was very tortured mentally.

itsoknottobeokok Wed 15-Aug-18 20:30:48

@Dancer12345

He had very low self esteem and lost all confidence too.

He was brilliant at sports and popular with lads who were older than him, who nurtured his abilities and helped him to channel his aggression. (He was say 12 and they were 17 perhaps and coaching him). They all had lots of time for him.

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