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read the full story
I’m a mother of a son who has schizophrenia. He’s been suffering since he was 14 and now he’s 17. It’s been a very rough road of many doctors, therapist, hospital visits and medication. When we first tried to get him admitted to the hospital we went to the Emergency Room and because he was not a danger to himself or others they sent him home with Melatonin. We went back a few hours later and lied so he could be admitted. He had not slept in days and his paranoia was uncontrollable. He was resistant to meds for a while so his symptoms grew and I was afraid he would be lost in his mind forever. Thankfully, after a few years, we found the right medication. At this stage, he’s realized the gravity of his illness and that he needs to learn how to manage it. It is not all about meds but support and therapy. It’s a crucial time in his life as technically he will be an adult very soon. It’s painful to watch him suffer everyday. I see his deep loneliness and desire for connection. He has lost his identity to this illness and didn’t have adolescence. The friends he once had were from long ago and have moved on. I see a kind, sensitive, intelligent young man longing to belong. I want to help him find his greatness within this illness. He has light within although dim right now. I know he has gifts to offer the world, we just need to excavate and get them to come out and be stronger than the voices, paranoia, and delusions. He is my biggest teacher. I am so grateful for him on most days however, some days I take on his pain and I can’t move. My son is my rock and has been since he was born. Because of him, I have begun writing again, deepened my meditation practice, and am becoming a mental health advocate. Making a difference in people’s lives and educating people about mental illness is my new life’s mission. My wish is for the stigma of these illnesses to disappear and to see companies embrace them just as they do people on the autistic spectrum. I will never stop advocating and fighting with him to have the life he deserves.