What Happens If You Stop Taking Medicine

Question

Asked by someone who cares

What Happens If You Stop Taking Medicine

My son was diagnosed at age 20 in January. He will only stay on his medicine for 3 weeks at the most. He has ended up hospitalized involuntarily 3 times since then. For the past 3 months he has refused to take medicine and stays indoors almost all the time. He has little interaction except with online contacts. He is pretty intelligent and remembers everything he reads up on or watches online, as long as it interests him. But he says he doesn't want to take medicine. Is this putting himself in danger of going into some kind of irreversible mental deterioration? Although his behavior is strange I don't think he is in any physical danger, am I right?

Answer

Hello,

The short answer is, the longer someone with schizophrenia goes without treatment, the worse the symptoms will get to the point of the person not being able to recover and have a functional life.

Carolyn answered your question right there: He may only be 20, but that is when schizophrenia routinely strikes, and giving up on your son's recovery is not an option at this or any stage of the game. People with schizophrenia need to take some form of antipsychotic or they will deteriorate in short order. You cannot afford to "wait-and-see" if he gets better on his own. He will not get better on his own.

By the way, you answered your own question: when your son stops taking his meds, he gets sick to the point of needing to go into the hospital.

Is that a life? You cannot afford to let time slip by. One thing is sure: it may seem like he can function now. Yet you must be honest with yourself: is he really competent to meet the demands of life when he's not taking his meds?

Regards,

Christina