Schizophrenia - my son

Morning folks - this has been a bad year, my dad died and my eldest son slipped into depression, through stress at his job, he’s 23, the gp prescribed venlafaxine and whilst it didn’t seem to work, as ciproplam didn’t either, we didn’t know where to turn, then about a week ago, he decided to get shaved, showered and pick up on life again. We thought it was a miracle but now he seems to be on a real high and going to set the world to rights, he has an answer for everything and not the person we knew and loved so much, I mean he is coming up with crazy stuff like 666 the number of the beast and how it was Satan that was in his head…we really need advice on this and his Mum is going to speak to the gp today, maybe the medication has kicked in and the chemical balance in his brain is wrong or maybe the medication is wrong in the 1st place…scary place for parents to be in!! Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated…

thanks in advance x

Hi Redman,

I can’t offer any advice, it’s way out of my league, but I think speaking to your son’s GP as soon as possible sounds like exactly the right thing to do.

It could be the drugs affecting him, I’ve had some pretty serious and wierd side effects, especially from anti depressants, and even had to be hospitalised.

Wishing you all the best of luck xxx

Hi Redman,

How worrying for you. I have been on both Venlafaxine and citalopram (I’m guessing that’s the one you meant?), and whilst I didn’t take well to either of them, and Venlafaxine, in particular, did cause me distress - mainly because of continual horrific nightmares - I did not experience any side-effects quite like your son - i.e. I was not having the strange and frightening ideas whilst awake - only in dreams.

I definitely think the GP is the first port of call. Not possible for lay people to diagnose on a forum, as I’m sure you already know, but suddenly having lots of energy and believing you can do anything, following a period of depression could be more indicative of bipolar disorder than schizophrenia, although I don’t know if it is associated with disordered thinking to the same extent. People in the “up” (used to be called “manic”) phase of bipolar can certainly have irrational thoughts, such as that they can gamble but never lose, any business venture will succeed, they are sexually irresistible, and so on… These thoughts are obviously unrealistic - dangerously so, in some cases (they might feel so invincible they believe they can do dangerous things without coming to harm), but I don’t know if they can sometimes go further than an unrealistic assessment of one’s luck, abilities, or charisma.

I’m sorry I can’t suggest anything, except to agree that whatever it is does need the help of a professional, so I think the doctor has to be the right first step. I hope you can get your son the help he needs.


Getting the GP involved sounds like the right thing. Try not to jump to conclusions about what the matter is - disordered thinking is no easier to get to the bottom of than is neurological trouble. Remember too that not all trouble, mental or physical, is either serious or long-lasting, however alarming it might seem at the time.

I hope that your son recovers his good health very soon.


Thanks folks - all advice is really appreciated…


I am no expert in the area but have some experience on therapies available.

Has your GP suggested CBT therapy (cognitive behavoural therapy). This is a great therapy that helps the individual to manage thoughts & ideas.

It has really helped in my situation and although my sessions have now ended, I am able to use the skills on a daily basis.


Hello Redman.

have you been in touch with the mental health team?

My husband is Bipolar (manic depressive) so I can identify with what you are saying. I’ve been through some nightmare times with my husband. I say me because when he finally levels out he can’t remember half the things he’s done.

To be fair and I’m touching wood now!! its he’s been well for a long time now…he’s a retired psychy nurse and has a good insight in to his illness. He does have input from a cpn since my diagnosis for support because I’m supposed to be his carer.

If you haven’t got involvement from the mental health team then that’s what you need to be doing…your gp should have the contact details.

All tyhe best to you…hope it gets sorted soon. Noreen

PS: your title is schizophrenia…Are you saying your son has been diagnosed with schizophrenia?

Hi Redman

I know exactly how you are feeling. It is awful to watch someone you love struggling in his way.

As said above it would be good if you or your wife could see your son’s GP. It isn’t always easy for the person suffering to get to the GP but if you go they tend to see how bad things are. A referral to the mental health team would be a good way to go. Although GPs seem to have a lot more knowledge of mental health than they used to.

I wish you all good luck and hope your son gets professional help and advice very soon then life should be better for all of you.

Shazzie xx

My wife has spoken to the GP and she wants to see him this evening at 5pm - possibly bi-polar, she is thinking, so next steps will be important to get him settled. He is scaring us with this change of personality - so out of character…

I’ll pm you.

Shazzie x

All the best to you all Redman. Getting a diagnosis of any mental health condition takes time. Right now you all need professional help and support. Take care, Noreen xxx