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mother of schizotypal 18-year old

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mother of schizotypal 18-year old

Postby mother » Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:44 am

Hello - I'm reluctant to invade your forum, but I am seeking practical advice and finding only clinical information.

My son (18) has recently been diagnosed with a Severe Schizotypal Personality Disorder. He has just moved back home from his first semester of college, where he deteriorated significantly. He hasn't had a psychotic break yet, but the psychologist believes he is at a high risk for having one in the near future. Additionally, he is suffering from depression and has some self-destructive features.

Right now he isn't functional - we are enrolling him in a local community college in order to keep him on our health insurance, but I'm not sure how much he can handle. He's not employable or functional, by any means.

So, I am here, asking for advice from those who have been through this. What does he need from me right now? What do you wish you had gotten from a parent at the time when your personality disorder made itself known?
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Postby mother » Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:45 am

**I don't know why that posted as a smiley face, above - I was trying to list his age as 18. ? Anyway.
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Postby norunnin » Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:53 pm

you need to bond with him.
it may be too late but i find that the more i
interact with my family the more stable i become.
dont force him to interact tho. i need time alone to recharge i would imagine he does too.
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Postby QuietStorm » Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:29 am

Let him know that you're there for him and that you care. It took me a long time to realize that my parents do care about me. I've found emotions are especially hard to relate to anyone else. He might not be ready to talk about such things, if ever. It would be good for him to talk to someone (if not you), though-- a counselor or friend. I know I definitely need some space as well. For anyone, having independence is important. It would be good to encourage that as much as possible.

I dropped out of college when I was 19, the same year I found out I had Schizotypal Personality Disorder (I thought it was 20, but looking back I was 19). School was a lot of work and stress and on top of that, I was living in a different place. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. There are probably some classes he will enjoy.. an art or creative class maybe? If I'm really interested in something, I will continue to grow and expand on it as much as possible.

Of course, I'm just talking from personal experience. Your son is an individual, so it might not be the same for him. It's great that you've decided to join this forum! It shows that you care a lot about your son and you are supportive of him.
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Postby QuietStorm » Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:38 pm

Oh, and I just want to add.. if there's any way possible for your son to work (if not now, then something to work towards in the future). I think it would be very beneficial to him-- on a social and mental level.. even if it's just a few hours a week or some sort of work study program at the college. Or maybe some volunteer work. When I was first diagnosed, it was really difficult for me to find and keep a job. I've been working full-time for several years now, though. Just something to keep in mind.
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Postby mother » Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:06 am

Thanks for the encouragement and advice!

He was away at college in another city, but it didn't go so well, so he's home now. He did NOT want to leave the peace and quiet of his little efficiency apartment, but that's part of the reason why he failed 4 classes - he never left his apartment.

Anyway. He starts seeing a psychologist tomorrow, and her partner is a psychologist, so he can get medication if need be. He joined a gym, and he's going to be enrolling in community college. Our health insurance requires him to be a full-time student, but we recently found out that he doesn't have to FINISH 12 hours, as long as he initially ENROLLS in 12 hours, so he's planning on completing 2 courses and dropping the 2.

I think he is reaching out to us, in his own way...instead of holing up in his room on the internet, he brings his laptop out to the living room, puts on his headphone, and uses the internet out there with us. So I think he's seeking out our company, at a level of involvement that he can handle right now.

I'm sure I'll be back with another question, once he starts getting some help!
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Postby albie » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:35 am

I hope I'm wrong, but going by my experience I don't think there is anything you can do. Nothing will work because the illness is a part of the mind that does not live in your reality. It is not affected by anything you do. That is the nature of it. Already he will have a seperate identity that is fuelled by any bad experience he has had, that will downplay any good experience he has had happen to him.

It will suck him into a fantasy world that thrives on being uninterrupted by other people.

The only way he will ever feel truly happy with people is if he feels he has complete power over them and can switch them off and on like machines. Which is never going to happen.

If you give his other personality the chance to completely segregate your son it will take it. If you found him a flat you would probably never see him again.

You are going to have to pander to him for the rest of your lives if you want to keep him close. Even then he may just decide to go away and be alone and not even know why.

Don't piss him off by reading his diary or spying on him. That would be an unforgivable invasion into his other self.

Remember: you have two sons in one person. And one of them is not even anything like human and probably has no notion of love like you know it. Nor can you debate with it. Its sole function is to keep your son safe by keeping him seperate from the world. It will do whatever that takes.

I hope I'm wrong, but that is the brutal honest truth of the condition from my experience.
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Postby albie » Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:29 pm

It would be interesting to know if you went to your son when he cried as a baby. Or if he cried at all. My mother said I didn't cry. I later found out that babies that don't cry have learnt that it does not bring the mother so they stop. Neglect as a baby is one of the probable causes of this disorder.

It would be also good to know if you regulary argued with your partner in front of the child. What better to ensure the child backs off from reality and you?
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Postby mother » Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:21 am

Albie, he seldom cried (at least with me) because we were always in the same room - I had him in college, and we lived in an efficiency apartment, lol. I nursed him for a year, we co-slept, and aside from going to daycare we were always together, since I didn't have a dime to go anywhere.

However, later I got married, and his stepfather was a complete tool and abused both of us, then after I was finally able to leave him, I was so depressed and just...broken...that I wasn't very "present" to him for a year or so.

I really appreciate your insights, though, about it being as if there's a second person inside him, protecting him. It's so hard to know what's going on in his head, because he doesn't show emotions very often. I'll always love him - I don't necessarily need him to love me back, although of course it would be nice. I just want him to be able to be happy, or at least content, and make a living in some way. It would be great if he could find a way to be in relationships with other people, because I can see that he DOES get lonely, he just doesn't know how to interact with us anymore. Like, the rest of us (me, husband, younger son) will be together in the living room, watching a movie, and he will come out with his laptop and headphones and do his internet stuff in the living room, too. He's not "with" us, but he's near us. He's been doing that a lot.
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Postby mother » Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:33 am

I have another question, that I would appreciate everyone's opinion's on. His birth father really wants him to go into the military. He thinks having a high degree of exernal structure would be very good for him, and that he'd be happy there.

I don't feel negatively about the military, but I don't have a good feeling about this, since he has a really high need for personal space and alone time, and difficulty with doing things someone else's way instead of his way. I can't envision him having a good experience there.

HE really wants to go into the military, and was in ROTC in college before we brought him home. (It wasn't one of his original goals, but he got interested in it at registration, when the ROTC people talk it up and try to recruit them.) He didn't really make any friends there (or anywhere), and had to be pressured to participate in activities, like the (mandatory) ROTC banquet, but he seldom missed PT - it was the only thing he'd leave his apartment for.

What are your thoughts on this?
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