July 31, 2018
So Joey (23) suffers daily with the positive symptoms of his schizophrenia. Mostly voices that only have negative things to say about him. Then there’s the demons that control his body for him against his will. It’s been a long hard road this past year and we still have not been able to find the right meds to give him some relief. He’s extremely forgetful and has to be observed during his waking hours for his own safety. Most days, it’s like I have a young 10 year old again and hours in between, it’s like he’s just another teen in the house alongside my two other teen sons living with us; ages 16 and 17.
Anyhow this post is about my son Noah (17). Noah has only started to open up and share his symptoms with me about 8 weeks ago in July.
One afternoon he came to me and said he’s very angry and annoyed with his older brother Joey (23). He says he is upset with his brother’s random laughing and outbursts. He feels like Joey is laughing at him. He goes on to say he hates how he has to watch certain shows at the same time each day. Noah complains how Joey switches between shows a lot while watching and there’s really no point in watching. Besides, he can’t stand the shows he’s watching anyhow. He is so angry he want to punch him or somebody.
I sat there at our backyard table just listening in disbelief. Noah’s never showed this kind of frustration/agitation before about this brother. I first expressed that I could see how he would be irritated by his list of complaints. I told him I was glad that he pulled me aside to talk about his feelings. Then I reminded him that his Brother Joey is sick, his schizophrenia causes him to hear voices in and out of his day. Many times these voices will distract him when he’s trying to watch something or while he’s trying to have a conversation. Theses voices also show him funny images to get him to laugh or shout. I told Noah to please realize these are symptoms of Joeys mental illness and he should not take it personal. I then suggested he give himself some space. Go to his own room when he feels irritated or hey go hang out and do something with his girlfriend maybe. (He sees her about 2-3 times a month). Noah then looks at me with a blank stare and says, “He’s not the only one that hears voices.” I did not expect that response. I asked, “what do you mean?”. He lowered his voice and said he hears voices that want him to do bad things sometimes. Then he says, “Joey just has to be strong like me and control them!” He says he wants to go to his room and then leaves me there sitting in the backyard perplexed as ever!