Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Silent Schizophrenic

Something was off in Thomas yesterday. I couldn't put my finger on it but I felt it. My sister and nephew are in town and up until about 2 days ago Thomas had been very social, spending lots of time with family and being so patient and kind with his brother. I saw the storm brewing in him over the last few days and I thought to myself that I had better keep an eye on him once my sister left because I felt like he might start isolating and maybe even sink a little.

Then yesterday, when I was out and about, I called Thomas to invite him to lunch with the rest of the family. He waffled about whether or not to go and I told him that we would love to have him but that if he didn't want to go, he didn't have to. He chose not to go which was a surprise since where we were going was one of his favorite places. Again, his mood was concerning me and as the day wore on I got more and more stressed and concerned for him.

I called him again later and he admitted to being depressed and bored. He had lost all interest in the things that have kept him busy and happy over the last few days and then I knew for sure that something was off. He also told me that there had been no anti-depressant pill in his pill case that morning so I rushed home to dig the pills out of hiding and get him one. I understand that missing a dose of anti-depressant for a few hours doesn't then induce depression but he thought that might be the cause.

When I got home I found him slouched in a chair and all of the curtains in the house were closed. This was a huge warning sign to me that something wasn't right. He wasn't talking though so I don't know why he did that but in the past it's been because he felt someone outside was watching him. I didn't like that they were closed solely for the reason that I knew that meant that something was awry but since he wasn't talking, I had no idea about what might be going on in his head.

Earlier I had promised him a new cell phone and when I brought it to him he was completely uninterested in it. I felt like a cell phone sales woman trying to convince him to take it. He had been asking for a new one for days and his refusing it was another red flag to me. I put it away and made him dinner and sat down with him. I didn't want to leave him alone inside himself anymore. We sat in relative silence until it was time for him to go to work.

After work I asked him how work went. His response?

"It was work."

I tried to get a little more information out of him to keep him talking but again he wasn't talking so we rode home in silence listening to classic Christmas music on the radio. When we got home I put some things away and did other busy work and when I went by his room I found him on his bed slouched against the wall staring at the ceiling. He looked so depressed. I asked him how he was feeling and he said he was tired so I asked him for a hug and he slowly got up for one. I held him so tightly, again trying to hug away his pain and I told him to just get some rest. I went to bed and lay there awake praying that he would be ok.

The thing about Thomas is that he is what I consider a "silent schizophrenic." With a couple exceptions, he has mostly kept his pathology to himself unless I have prodded him for information. He quietly writes his now 2 huge notebooks full of schizophrenic musings but he never speaks of them. He has always silently suffered inside of himself fighting a valiant fight against the delusions and hallucinations. I know so many of you with "louder" loved ones feel helpless to fix your loved one when they are out of control but I, too, feel so helpless because I know the storm that rages inside of him and I know he goes it alone. He is silent but the lack of words and actions speak very loudly to me and like all of you, I pray for calmer, happier days when the symptoms subside and there is peace for a little while.

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