How to get Schizophrenic son involved in community

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by chris_jo, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. chris_jo

    chris_jo New Member


    We've had a really rough year, and now it's time to focus on my son.

    He is 22 years old, and a really sweet kid. He didn't talk much from 6th grade until we figured out what was going on about 3 years ago. He started taking Abilify and did better. About a year ago we upped his dosage of Abilify and now he smiles and laughs and can hold a normal conversation and learn new things. His biggest problem is that he is really shy and its hard for him to get involved with kids his age. He's lived with a number of roomates, but it hasn't worked out very well because he wants to spend alot of time with them. Now he lives at home with me which makes him feel less lonely, but he really misses interacting with kids his age.

    There are different kinds of schizophrenia, and he always explains that he doesn't have the kind that makes him kill people, he just thinks other people are going to kill him. He also said that he likes his dillusions and would like to keep them (that was a few years ago, now they have mostly faded and he realizes that they weren't real, but he often has to double check if something he is thinking is real, or if he is just being paranoid - mostly very mild things like getting in trouble for being on the internet). Abilify is great!!

    For a while he thought ghosts might be real (maybe they are), but then he wasn't sure until he was very sure he saw a ghost rat dissappear into the wall and he was very upset about it. Upon investigation we found a very small hole in the wall that a rat actually disappeared into (he was very relieved). He mostly sees things the right way, he's just not completely confident in his ability.

    His constant emotional pain is the very hardest thing in my life. He can force himeself to be happy for a few hours a day, but every few days he doesn't want to live. He knows enough to know that he isn't completely normal and really wants just basic friendship.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I don't know about the US systems...

    Here - they have non-profits that have a specific focus on mental health issues - like your son, or severe anxiety/depression/Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)/etc.
    They plan outings and teach social stuff and generally create a safe atmosphere to be involved with.
    Surely your doctors would know about such resources?
  3. chris_jo

    chris_jo New Member

    No, I have insurance, so they will give him medication but are not helpful in our community

    He is on SSI, and if I didn't have insurance they have team that would help him with community involvement. But becuase i have a job, and i don't want to completely trust public insurnace, there are no resources avaialble to him in our community.
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Do you have a mental health unit with you Human Services dept either at county or state level? Here, they can make referrals to day programs similar to what Insane was kind of talking about and will even pay for it in most cases. Does your son, as an adult, have medicaid or anything like that? You could also contact your local ARC chapter and see if they know of anything like their program for people with mental health issues in your area.

    Sorry you and he are going through such a tough time. I am glad Abilify works so well for him. Most times the right medication can be life-changing. Does your son receive any kind of services in any form like Voc Rehab, therapist, etc. Sometimes they can also be good resources.

    Welcome to our little corner of the world. You have found a wonderfully supportive group here. Others will likely be along in the morning. {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}} to you and your son.
  5. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    With mental illness, public insurance (medicaid) can often open doors to services that private insurance doesn't want to pay for (although, in this economy a lot has changed). Have you checked with your community mental health facility? Besides providing mental health care, they often have people who work specifically with helping patients get the right services beyond psychiatrist/therapist care, and will know how to go about doing so.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome. Sorry you are having problems getting help for your son. Does he have an attainable goal?
    You mentioned he had roomed with others and that makes me wonder if he is in college now. If so has he chosen an appropriate major which may lead to a career? Employment opportunities with-o college may be more limited but the Voc/Rehab services are required to find him (or assist him to find) a job that is suited to his capabilities. Through Voc/Rehab I was able to connect with Volunteers of American in our small community. They have free and low cost apartments available and at one of the two locations they have a rec room where residents can visit until 11 PM with an adult on premises. Most of the residents are in their twenties and have various MH issues that limit their potential growth but does not preclude part time employment. I'll be watching for an update from you. Glad you found us. DDD
  7. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Special Recreation!!!

    Many people think special recreation is just for kids with mental retardation but it isn't. Tigger loves it and his IQ is normal; a boy on his Special Olympics track team got a 33 on the ACT. We have at least 6-7 young men (early 20s) in the program with normal IQs but significant problems with 'basic friendship'. Just contact your local park district and ask for information on their SRA-special recreation association-(often 4-5 park districts join together to form one SRA).
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome to the board :)

    Have you ever asked social services about the resources in your area?? I live in Small Town Wisconsin and there are TONS of resources here. If they have them here, they must have them there. You just don't know about them yet. There are a bunch of Special Organizations from special olympics (no, you don't have to be mentally retarded) to assisted living, to places that find "differently wired" adults jobs, which REALLY helps them feel a part of the community. My son is eighteen and loves all the services. Some of the adults he interacts with are more abled and some more disabled, but he enjoys them all. Oh, yeah. There is also a Special Choir and Special Scouting Group.

    Whether or not you have insurance at all, he should be able to join in these great resources. We have to get used to our kids living away from us one day (I'm not there yet, but working on it). Unfortunately, we can't live forever and our kids have to get integrated into the community and services before they have to depend on strangers for help. There is also NAMI, the National Alliance of Mental could call them for resources. My son is on the autism spectrum, so it's not exactly the same thing, however he also needs services...and we have found them all. If these types of resources aren't what you want...what is it you want for him?

    Good luck and get back to us :)
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi. Your son sounds amazing. I often wonder, how tired would I get every single day having to analyze all I do and say... my son has to live like that (different reasons) and it sure sounds like you son has to too.

    Have you checked NAMI? There is a lot of support and they are able to make referrals. NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness - Mental Health Support, Education and Advocacy

    As TeDo said, in our area social services has mental health services and it is not all connected to insurance nor income. For sure case management is not. They would rather you had your own insurance so they dont have to pay! But I know it varies in different places. My son is on MA and we dont get anything denied but it all depends on what, where, etc. so you have to weigh those options.

    Another option is Department of Voc. Rehab. they have training, support, counseling, etc... and thru that he can be connected with other folks. All while working toward education and whatever level of employment they can obtain. Sometimes that is just supported work environments. Other times it is school and an independent career.

    Welcome, I am so happy to meet you and learn about your son. I admire his being willing to check things out and to try so hard. I can't imagine much worse than that, and I am living with a brain injured child! Check in frequently, it will be great to chat with you.
  10. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    hello, My 30 yar old son was just diagnosed with psycosis not otherwise specified, possibly scizophrenia. He is on respirdal. My son was out on his own for a while and is a college grad but will now live with us for a while at least but possibly for good. Like your boy mine is holding onto his delusions but is being taught how to discern if something is real or not. He also got addicted to alcohol and is due home from a rehab tomorrow. I have no answers for you but am going to try to get my son interested in a hobbie such as trains or slot cars because they are big around here. I will also get him a caseworker from the county mental health. He is hoping to go back to work and we will help him toward that goal. He loves to work but I am a little afraid of what will happen when he goes back and if people will be avoiding him because of his break with reality. I dont mean to hijack your thread just wanted to let you know that you are not alone.
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hi and welcome.

    Your son sounds like he just needs to meet a group of kids that are understanding, and educated about his issues - and would be willing to call you should there be problems that seem to get out of control. But where to find such decent people? Seems to me that as with any friends - similar interests, ideas, goals, beliefs are first - and the part about being honorable, trustworthy and compassionate would come with a true friend. Perhaps it's just my left field thinking - because as the Mom of a difficult child you tend to shadow your kids and protect them because you feel they are "different" or "won't fit in with other kids" - so you really protect them a little more - and they miss out on actually being with people that they really COULD have a friendship with but because you sheltered them thinking for the good of their hearts or broken hearts - they missed an opportunity. (I say you meaning in general )

    I know I've done that and my son missed out on a lot of parties, and gettogethers that would have been a lot of fun - and me thinking OH no it's too much for him - he will PROBABLY - (and my mind wandered) I pulled him away to protect him, and he missed a lot. Once I just kinda let him go where he felt he could try to make friends? He had common interests, and he just let his own talents and abilities shine through? He made tons of friends and a few good ones - not bad ones that have had his back. Not many - but a few. And my son has lots of issues. Special issues.

    If he's shy - there have got to be people out there that are great at pulling out the best in shy people - and ones he'd have common ground with in SOME area he's got an interest in - I'd ask him what he likes - and just kinda see wher it takes him. Archery- rock collecting, stamp collecting, trains - books , art class, astronomy - His schizophrenia doesn't define him - it enhances his uniqueness. Let him share that side of himself with others. I appreciate the things I've taken away from what you've told me about him tonight - and I loved his story about the ghost rat. Actually if he had taken some of his thoughts, and made them into stories? I would have bought the book - it was very interesting to read what he thought was and wasn't reality in a comical way - He sounds like a sweet kid, with a comical side.....and a great sense of humor.