Son being content with no outside life ;no work no friends does not go anywhere/ He was diagnosed at 18 with schizophrenia.. he could not hold a job down.. he self medicated got caught went to prison and since prison no meds he is quite content just exercising and listening to head phones..he thinks when his parole is over he can in the army my fear is… Is that going to make him finally realize he is sick or will it cause him to go back to psychosis or depression ..I am just trying to prepare myself..

A. He may want to join the army but if he’s actively symptomatic he may not be eligible. At this point, it’s unclear what will happen to your son. Without more information, it is difficult to know.

Generally speaking, among individuals with schizophrenia, changes in life circumstances can trigger psychotic episodes. For instance, a death in the family, moving, beginning college, and other stressful situations have been associated with an increased likelihood of psychotic episodes among individuals with schizophrenia. Not taking medication can also increase the likelihood of psychotic episodes.

Many people with schizophrenia live successful, productive lives but it is a struggle. Given his diagnosis, and his refusal to take medication, he is at risk for psychosis. Individuals with schizophrenia who do not participate in treatment have more psychotic episodes than individuals with schizophrenia who actively participate in treatment. In that regard, you should be prepared for the possibility that he will have additional problems.

Continue to encourage him to accept treatment. It would also be advantageous to connect with others who have schizophrenic family members. People in similar situations can provide emotional support and may be able to share strategies to help with your son. You should also educate yourself about the disorder. I would highly recommend the book “I’m Not Sick I Don’t Need Help” by Xavier Amador, and other similar materials. The book might help you to better understand why your son refuses treatment and what you can do to help. If I may be of additional assistance, please don’t hesitate to write again. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog