My son--diagnosed with schizophrenia in November of 2005--has now been unmedicated since April 4, and is relatively stable. From 11/2005 until then, I was (on the recommendation of four different psychiatrists, although only two actually saw him) medicating him without his knowledge...first Olanzapine, then Risperdal, and for the last eight months, Abilify. They were all nominally helpful. (On April 4, he found out about the medication and stopped taking it cold turkey.)
His symptoms in November 2005: uncontrollable anger, disinterest in hygiene, inability to concentrate, insomnia, refusal to consume anything besides water from 4 p.m. until the following day, lots of other restrictive eating habits (and resulting near emaciation), hypersensitivity to "noise" (anyone talking) touch (he simply didn't want to be touched), and light, magical beliefs (he started seeing a psychic and nearly got arrested several times while trying to convince people in hospitals to abandon "useless" conventional medicine), strange smell perceptions (he would say, "Can you SMELL that?!" when, according to the rest of us, there was nothing to smell)...voices in head (he told his sister that a friend was sending him jokes), and hallucinations (he insisted that he could "see death" over his left shoulder, and that we could too--if we concentrated a little harder).
During the year and a half that I was secretly medicating him, all of that subsided--but not completely. His moods stabilized. He left the psychic but got involved in a very strange cult based on the belief that a Columbian "philosopher," long dead, has the answer to all of life's mysteries. (But...many "normal" people seem to believe that this is the case.) He was able to establish social ties and went back to school part time. The Olanzapine was too sedating, though. Switched to Risperdal, which helped him..but even at a reasonably low dose (4 mg/day), it gave him tardive dyskinesia. Switched to Abilify, which I had to combine with Akineton because it gave him the shakes. Apart from that, though, I thought it was working quite well.
Until...he found out and said, "That's the end of that." (He was very understanding and says that I was doing what I thought was right--but that I was wrong.) I assumed he'd have a psychotic break, but the hallucinations and delusions have not returned AT ALL (except for the religious business, but each person has a set of beliefs and that isn't symptomatic), and his moods are just fine. He does have trouble concentrating and sometimes "spaces out" in the middle of a conversation.
I have absolutely no idea what to think. He refuses to see a doctor, and I REALLY CAN'T BLAME HIM! I started researching the possibility that someone could have schizophrenia and be "functional" without medication. IS THAT POSSIBLE?
But I wonder why the hallucinations haven't returned...? I don't even see him fighting to control them, because they simply aren't there. It was totally obvious when he was "seeing things"--and he isn't.
Thanks so much for any ideas y'all might have!