Tuesday, October 15, 2013

When you realize you have empathy

I never could have guessed what was going to happen. I saw another person for the first time with voices and delusions like my son. Last school year I home schooled a 5th grader with autism. I was told he had mental illness too but I never saw it. His mother told me of anger outburst but I don't think I ever witnessed anything that I would consider abnormal.

Yesterday I was called and asked to home school this boy again. I said we could do a trial week and see how it goes. I could not believe my eyes and ears. This boy was talking of spirits. He worried the teapot on my stove was a caldron. He worried the small witch standing on the table was a voodoo doll. He stood on the furniture and screamed to God that he wanted to do what was right. He tearfully cried that he didn't want to have this illness. He called it bi-polar.

I was shook up for hours after he left. I have the same reaction when my son has psychotic moments. It was comforting to know that others also have this problem, but very sad that people have to suffer for voices and delusions they cannot control.

I am left with an emptiness of not knowing how to help. I feel I am more equipped than most to deal with the mental illness of this child but I don't know that my son should hear the screaming of someone else's suffering. This boy is on lithium. I question how long he has been on it and if its had enough time to work. I know my son continued to hear voices on zyprexa. It seems latuda has worked best for him.

My son has not had a psychotic episode in 3 months. I totally understand the seriousness this family goes through with their child. I understand they've had police called on their child and he's only 11. It's a long hard road but maybe I am entering a new level by working with someone else with mental illness. I do know I understand.

1 comment:

  1. Susan Grindle GreenOctober 16, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Angie, I can't begin to understand your pain as a mother watching her child being tormented by schizophrenia. However, as a mental health professional, I have watched others go through the same cycles you are experiencing - one day having a child who is seemingly "normal" (whatever that means) and the next day having this same child experience the ravages of this awful illness. Your son is so very fortunate to have parents who love and nurture him in spite of his illness. So many just give up on their loved one and the results are devastating. I think you are doing the right thing by working to find the right medication combination that works for your son. It is often years of trial and error, but I know you have had some successes and will be persistent until the right drug is found. My prayer is that you will find the medication that will work for the long haul and that God will give you and Paul the strength you need to endure the process. While I can't imagine the extent of what you go through on a daily basis, I have had a glimpse into this world through the eyes of some past clients. Your blog has to be an inspiration to many parents who are dealing with these same issues. Thank you for sharing your life.....you may never know the impact this will have on others.