I'm reading a blog that a reader here sent me a link to. It is the father of a 6 yr old girl with severe Schizophrenia. I have found great comfort reading his story. Their little girl has been hospitalized for a very long time and their struggles with insurance and finding a safe solution for their family is horrifying. He is a wonderful writer that talks about his own flaws and the many mistakes he has made along the way. He is very good at explaining what his family is going through. I have spent a good deal of time crying for his child and mine in the last 2 days. They all have such a hard life in front of them.
I have learned more about the illness through his blog than I had from our many professionals. I had held out a tiny bit of me hoping that my children were not Schizophrenic. I had hoped they would heal. Perhaps they were lying for attention. I was in denial. There is no doubt in my mind that both Michael and Patches have it.
It is different for everyone afflicted with this horrible illness. Patches has more of the other symptoms and her visual and auditory hallucinations are minimized with her meds. What I thought was her social anxiety really is that she thinks everyone is talking about her. She truly thinks that when people are laughing at her EVERY time she hears a giggle in public. Both kids have a thought disorder, actually Ruthie has many of the symptoms including this one. These children can not tell you a simple thought. It comes out all mixed up and jacked around. You have to commit to listening for a long time to figure out what they are trying to say.
Their rages are for no reason. Their reactions are inappropriate for the situation. They are triggered by nothing that I can find, most of the time. They are unpredictable. They are irrational. I talk calmly until they come back to me. The video I have shown of Patches is well into it when I am certain she is coming back to me. I haven't been able to get a decent one of Michael b/c he is so violent that I have to hold him until he calms. Ruthie is the same. Hers are not as frequent since her meds but she goes the farthest away with her fits. She is not there. I can't explain it any better than that. She becomes someone else. All three have psychotic episodes that they can not control. I can not get through to them during these. I can not rationalize with them.
They have no interest in developing friendships. They will on occasion play with others but not in an interactive way. It is a little different at home. They feel understood, accepted here and will make some effort to join in. Until they lose control and then all bets are off.
Personal hygiene is foreign to them. I try to engage them in age appropriate things like washing themselves, using toilet tissue, brushing their hair and teeth but they seem to care only in waves. When they are having a difficult time, these are the first things to go. Patches begins to wet herself day and night. She smells like she has rolled in doo doo. Her hair is not brushed and her teeth and breath are nasty after I repeatedly ask. Michael and Ruthie are a little better at this but it is an ongoing issue. As their meds and behavior improves, so does this area. I do not feel it is to upset me as it once seemed. I feel it is just truly out of their capability to care.
I received the results for Patches brain scan a few weeks ago. It proves she has damage that she was born with. She is chemically not functioning. Her brain is also functioning very slow like it is asleep. We have to speak to the specialist to fully understand what is happening but the short version is that Patches brain shows she has issues that are causing psychotic episodes. We can do some repairs to her brain but it will never function properly. She will be forced to remain on medication to control her outbursts and hallucinations.