Friday, April 11, 2014

Desensitization Therapy For Thomas

I posted a Twitter message last night that I thought desensitization therapy was cruel. I did that because I sent my boy off with his therapist a highly highly anxious and paranoid young man. I was not happy with the whole plan and poor Thomas looked like he was going to jump out of his skin.

Before we got to his therapist's office I had a little talk with him about his feelings about the local police and his (what I call) walkabout planned for the day. From that conversation I learned that he is right back where he was just 2 weeks ago, all of his delusions securely entrenched and paranoia at an all time high. Just last week he reported that his paranoia had dropped to a 1/10 and yesterday he reported that it has since become a 4/10. That's a huge increase in just a week's time and I am starting to blame the lack of clozaril in his system. It's funny how quickly I drop from "caregiver mode" to "everything's alright and now I can relax mode" and go right back to "caregiver mode." I have to admit though that I feel a bit dazed right now because I guess I really had convinced myself that he was fine and I didn't have to worry anymore. Apparently I'm not used to schizophrenia yet and it's changes. You'd think I was, after all this time, but this change caught me by surprise. It's not like I haven't been here before, what surprises me though is the change in focus on his part. I never knew that the local police caused him anxiety until just recently so to me this is new information.

Anyway, he went on his walkabout with his therapist. I waited for him to get back and when he walked in the door he seemed fine. I was surprised. It turns out what they did was go to the police parking lot and stand by a police car until his anxiety level had dropped. Apparently he started at a 4/10 anxiety-wise and ended up a 3/10. That's all well and good until it dawned on me on the way home that a car is just that. A car. No biggie. A car can't arrest you, a car can't judge you, a car can't do anything to you. Of course he stood in front of a police car and only reached a 4/10 max! That's not to say 4 isn't high but what I discovered in the drive home is that the real test is to have Thomas talk to an actual living, breathing officer. That, he promised me, was never going to happen. There it was, though, the real problem and the one, if his therapist would be so cruel as to do this, that would be the real test of Thomas' resolve and healing. Actually talking to an officer would be serious desensitization therapy and might be what needs to be done at some point. Would I suggest it right now? No way, uh uh, not on your life. The young man I have now, the worsening schizophrenic kid, needs only to get back on track with his medications first and foremost.

All in all, my takeaway from yesterday is that Thomas is sick again. There is no getting around it. He's agitated, evasive, untrusting, and hypervigilant. I sit here shaking my head in defeat. Schizophrenia has won again, rearing it's ugly head to remind me that we just cannot escape it's grasp no matter what we really want for Thomas. I am so angry. 2 weeks. I got 2 weeks. That's it.

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