Off With Her Head!

When my kids were little and in a different room, I would sometimes feel as if I were missing a piece of myself—literally—like an arm or a leg. Now with my older son so ill with schizo-affective disorder, I feel as if I am missing my head, and truth be told, I wish I were. How much easier it would be to not think about anything, have nothing to worry about, cry about, to feel as empty as a fishbowl minus the fish. Yes, I’d like to take a flying leap into that empty bowl and disappear or be sucked into the black hole of oblivion and feel nothing.

He just called and as often happens I needed to take an anxiety pill right after to stop obsessing. I expected him to bring up a subject I suggested to his guardian: for him to see a holistic doctor as an adjunct to his psychiatrist at the local mental-health center. One of his problems is anosognosia, the inability to recognize something is wrong. Since he thinks he is not sick, he hates his psychiatrist and taking medication so I thought he’d jump at the chance of seeing a holistic doctor or neuropath. Strangely, he didn’t mention it so I suspect he already forget that he talked it over with his guardian, saying he was interested. This illness has robbed him of so much including his cognitive abilities. Years ago when he joined Mensa his IQ was in the 150s; now I wonder if it is even half that. His memory stinks and he’s also turned into a one-trick pony with his only interest being religion. Don’t get me wrong; I think it’s nice that there is something that gives him peace, but he used to have many interests: science, language, music, everything, but now his life has shrunk to the eye of a pin. So off with my head, please! What a lousy, stinky illness this is.


About waywardweed

I am a consumer and parent of two sons, one with a mental illness and the other a third-year law student.
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2 Responses to Off With Her Head!

  1. My brother is also very smart, but the schizophrenia has robbed him of much of it. His doctors though said his high intelligence is what keeps him functional at all, as his symptoms are quite severe. Someone else may have given up or lost touch with any reality – his doctors said. My brother also goes through phases of feeling he is fine and will refuse his meds. Not much we can do, but let him stop taking them. We can usually convince him to taper off, he understands the dangers of stopping cold turkey. And then when he reduces his dosages, the symptoms get so bad that he quickly wants them back again. He does not seem to remember doing this each time, so each time he must learn for himself again. It has been years though since he last did this, so it seems he is accepting it or making peace or something. I also remember in the early years, he would mistrust us and the doctors and would think his meds were actually poison. So I guess he has come a long way since then. I understand your anxiety completely, and wanting to hide from it, but just remember your son feels the same way inside and needs you to be strong for him. Once he finds the right balance of meds, he may expand out to some of his other interests again. It took us a while to find the right doctors and caseworkers to really listen to him and us, and we all work together.

  2. waywardweed says:

    My son became ill almost 20 years ago. He is forced to take meds at this point due to a conditional discharge from the hospital. The CD will end next year but it may go on since his public guardian will push to have it continued. My son is adament that he doesn’t need meds. I have given up in trying to convince him that he does since it is counterproductive to our relationship. I will leave it to the professionals. I have basically no hope for my son in terms of living a “normal” life. The best I can hope for is that he is relatively happy. Thank you for commenting and good luck with your brother.

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