My son seems to dislike being with me or seeing me most of the time. This makes me feel sad and depressed. Can anyone advise me?

My son has schizophrenia and has been sectioned several times. (diagnosed 10 years ago). He doesn't live with me. I try to be supportive and good to him, but he seems to dislike me and only sees me when he has no money. I won't give him money any more, but I will buy him a cup of tea and provide the basics of food if he hasn't bought any. The last time I saw him about a week ago he refused to even look at me. He said he had no money so I bought him a coffee, but afterwards he used his own money to buy alcohol. I let him know I was displeased about this. His social worker and all my family and friends say he has access to all the professional support available to him if he chooses to use it. At the moment he won't even answer my text messages and phone calls. Even though I have only said that I love him even if he doesn't want anything to do with me. I feel upset, sad and depressed most of the time. I have my name down on the waiting list for counselling. I also go to the Carers Association for support. I work part time and do yoga / breathing exercises.

Can anyone tell me why he treats me this way?

8 Replies

  • I can't tell you what is going on in your sons head but I can sympathise with you. It is very difficult to be on the receiving end of someone who has schizophrenia. My experience was a friend of my then boyfriend - who when he was taking his meds was really sane but there were times when he didn't because of the side effects and at one point - when my boyfriend moved out of the house they were sharing at the time and in with me - he really did take against me - got awful hate mail addressed to me at work ... fortunately I got a lot of support from colleagues there - including the director who had a nephew with schizophrenia himself.

    It must be even more difficult for you though because he is your son.

    There may be someone else who can comment on what it is like from the inside of schizophrenia but on one level I doubt the person that is treating you this way is really your son - he's in there somewhere but trapped in a really strange and confusing world. You are doing the best thing you can for him - which is letting the people that are really qualified take care of him - and I really think it is the right thing not to give him money if you are aware that he is buying alcohol with the money he has.

    Really hope that the counselling works and that the Carers Association can support.

  • Thank you for your reply. I can let you know that from January until the beginning of April he would not take his medication, however much myself and his father tried to talk him into it. He ended up doing something silly under the influence of alcohol and had to go to court where he was fined and given a one year probation. I did manage to persuade him to take some medication before he went to court, but I have no idea if he has continued to take it. Maybe in time he will come round. It is his birthday soon, so I am hoping he will agree to see me so that I can let him have his card and present. In the meantime I am asking his 19 year old brother (who does live with me) to phone him once every few days. He will answer his younger brother's calls and that way I do know that he is alive and functioning. A few days ago he made arrangements to see his younger brother, but on the day they had arranged to meet he went to visit another town nearby instead. His behaviour has always been unpredictable so I think I will just have to wait and see how things pan out. I know that if he becomes very ill he will be sectioned, but it would be such a shame if this happened. The Carers Association have been very supportive, but I haven't felt up to speaking to them in person and have communicated with them by email. On a positive note - he did recognise mothers day, he met me because he had bought me a card and a present and we spent a lovely afternoon looking round some art exhibitions. If this was possible on mothers day then I know it is possible again at some time in the future.

  • Good to hear that you do get some positives that show that your son is still in there, and that he does manage to keep in contact with his brother.

    I think its probably quite common for schizophrenics to not take meds as there can be a lot of side effects and many feel that the medication makes them sluggish and sleepy ... and I think it does - sister of a school friend is schizophrenic and on the odd occasions when I have seen her in recent times she has been very sleepy.

    Know it is all really hard but it sounds as if you are doing all the right things and all you can do is carry on doing them.

    There may well be a support group specifically for relatives and friends of schizophrenics - don't know if you have tried an internet search - which might be more relevant than the Carer Association (though I'm just assuming that is carers in general but may be it is specific to Schizophrenia :)

    Big virtual hug

  • Hi, Thank you for replying to me. You seem to be a very caring and supportive person yourself. There is a charity called Rethink, which was previously called the Schizophrenia Fellowship. I have been in touch with them since my son was diagnosed 10 years ago. They have been very helpful in the past. There are two aspects to Rethink - one is to provide care and support for people with mental health illnesses like schizophrenia and bi-polar and the other aspect is to provide support for family, friends and carers. However, due to local government cut backs they have lost the funding to provide support for carers and are now concentrating on providing a communal house in the area for people who need care in the community. There was lots of effort to keep the funding, but unfortunately we lost it. However, one of their workers has transferred to the Carers Association and I am liaising with him by e-mail at the moment, because I don't feel like talking to people about it (cos I get weepy). He is very supportive and puts a lot of effort into helping me to cope. There is a monthly meeting at the Carers Association for carers of people with mental health problems and I will try to start going again soon - but because I feel weepy I am avoiding going at the moment. Thank you once again for your interest and reply.

    Its a lovely bank holiday weekend here. Been doing the gardening. I'm delivering some church magazines today (I'm not a regular church goer, but I'm trying out the local churches one by one). There's an open garden nearby (£1 entry which goes to charity) - been before so know I'll enjoy it. Coffee and home made cakes as well !!

    Have a lovely Bank Holiday yourself.

  • Hi

    It can be really difficult for people with a family member who suffers from schizophnreia, it's hard to come to terms with particularly when it is your son. I imagine you feel really rejected. Can you perhaps get some support from people who ae in similar circumstances? It may be worth asking either the local mental health team (CMHT) or the local branch of Mind.


  • Hi, Thank you for your response. I have now discovered a very informal church (which runs from a Unit in the local shopping precinct) and they have a support group for people with mental health issues and their carers. I have just been to see the Lay Preacher this morning and he is arranging for me to have some one to one support very soon with a lady who has an understanding of mental health issues and can help me with my spiritual side as well. With a view to calming me down with reflective time and possibly meditation and prayer. I am looking forward to this, because I think it will help me to help my son. I have always been more of a practical person and I think this lady will help me reach my son's emotional side a bit better.

    I sent a text message to my son yesterday asking how he is and he replied asking if I had seen the dawn equinox and the night time big honey moon. I have seen the moon and it is quite big at the moment. But I have never heard of the dawn equinox. I will search the internet to see if there is such a thing. If there isn't then I will have to communicate this to his social worker because it could be something delusional.

    However, it has lifted my spirits that he has replied to my text message - and I wlll very slowly and tentatively try to arrange to see him soon.

    I do like this website, because I feel depressed as soon as I awake in the mornings - but as the day goes on and I become more active I begin to feel a bit better. I know there are people on this website who suffer from much worst depression than I do - and reading their stories makes me realise there are other people who understand how I feel because they have experienced it much more deeply than I have.

    Again many thanks for your response

  • Hi

    I'm glad you are finding some support locally.

    I wouldn't worry about whether the dawn equinox is real or not - people with schizophrenia often have ideas that we don't necessarily feel are real and often they are talking symbolically - i.e. about something new happening within themselves or their lives. They are thinking aloud but in their own language which does have meaning but we just don't understand. So long as he seems to be taking care of himself and isn't saying things which indicate self or other harm then he's probably fine. I guess the social worker may be able to reassure you about that.


  • Thank you very much for your reply. My problem is that I do worry probably more than I ought to. I think because I am more of a practical, down to earth person I find it difficult to deal with my son's "language". Your message has calmed me down a lot - you seem to have more understanding of mental illness than anyone I have spoken to at the carers centre.

    Thank you once again.

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