My Sons Struggles With Bipolar Disorders and Schizophrenia
Unfortunately my son has bipolar disorders and schizophrenia!
Let’s talk first about his symptoms of bipolar disorder. If you don’t know bipolar is mood swings from really low to really high in a very short period of time without any known warning. So how does this play out in life?
For my son it means that he may hibernate in his room for days coming out sporadically for the normal human needs like food, drink, and restroom. If you try to talk with him he is almost non responsive. In his case he is not suicidal nor does he do anything that would cause harm to him or others. Although I mentioned he comes out for the necessities he will not do things like take a shower or brush his teeth.
On the other hand when his mood swings into high he may take four showers in one day! In addition, he is looking to walk to a friend’s house (which he only has two of) and hang out with them. He communicates better with us; however, it is rarely a conversation. More like a police interrogation where we ask questions and he gives as short an answer as possible.
So when dealing with bipolar disorders and schizophrenia together it looks like the above description; however, you must add in that he talks with himself. We are not talking about how most of us talk to ourselves. We are talking about full conversations with laughter and body motions. When you observe him you can almost imagine a group of people standing around talking with each other. The only problem they only one you can hear is him.
Understand that he is not asking questions and then answering them himself. He is responding to a conversation similar to ones everyone has. As an example if someone were telling you a story you may comment from time to time about the story as they told it. Your facial expression while they are telling the story to you would follow the story, i.e., laugh in funny parts and serious expression when it gets serious.
That is bipolar disorders and schizophrenia mixed into one.
However, when he is depressed the schizophrenia translates into him sitting up in his bed starring off into space as if he is looking right through something. The schizophrenia voices are very limited during these times. Getting him to respond to you is even harder during these times. He will do this for hours and hours.
As a father it kills you inside to not be able to make everything better. I will ask him to go with us wherever we go, but he won’t. I will ask him to go shoot some pool, but he won’t. He is stuck in his own little world and only shares it with the schizophrenia voices he hears and communicates with.
Someday, someone will find a cure for this crippling disease! I only hope it is before his mother and I die so that he can continue on after that. If not, he will most likely end up in some type of group home or on the streets.
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