As long as we have memories, yesterday remains ….

As long as we have memories, yesterday remains.
As long as we have hope, tomorrow awaits.
As long as we have friendship, each day is never a waste of time.
As long as we have love, today is a beautiful day.

If a relative suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, there are symptoms that are difficult to deal with. Our whole family had to learn to deal with something that was ‘bigger than us,’ something we’d
never come across before; something it took years to understand.

We soon learned that it was easier for our son if we stood or sat next to him when talking to him. Standing opposite and making direct contact, upset him. I think it helped him feel less threatened as he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

Disagreeing or arguing with him was a useless exercise. No matter what we said or how logically we explained things, we were unable to get him to change his beliefs, so, we tried not to rationalize. Why? Because a person suffering from paranoia is unable to think rationally, so what’s the point? He often said; “I’m not ill.”

He was badly affected by the stigma associated with mental illness which made his life even more difficult. My husband and I gave him all the support we possibly could, but what he wanted most was peace of mind away from the voices he heard, a worthwhile job and a girlfriend.

Our son was an adult, and in regular circumstances would not have welcomed his parents interference, but we needed to speak to his psychiatrist sometimes but, we were only able to do with our son’s agreement. And that made the situation even more stressful. If he were suffering from cancer, for example, his attending physician would not have thought twice about imparting the relevant information but psychiatry? No. I feel that there should be exceptions to every case. Our son was sick for many, many years with chronic, paranoid schizophrenia and not one medication, old nor new, helped as he appeared to be medication resistant.

After 16 years, he realized that his demons would never leave him, that he would never hold down a worthwhile job nor find the love he craved, so he went to a place of peace, fit for the surfer he was.

Rest, David


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