Thursday, 19 May 2011


Schizophrenia is a devastating illness that affects hundreds of thousands of Canadians each year. The cost to the individuals and their families is extensive. The onset of the illness can be rapid, with the start of the symptoms over a few days or weeks; well others will develop their symptoms slowly over many months or years.

In 2004 Angus began to exhibit behaviors that were unusual for him. A young man of 20, he was a caring son and brother, a student studying at the University of the Fraser Valley, with the hope of entering into a social work program. But the gradual onset of schizophrenia grounded his hopes for a number of years.

The following selections come from journal entries and letters written by me; Angus' mother, through-out the gradual onset of his mental illness.

Dr Seiman: G. P. 
Diagnosis: Depression 
Effexor 100 mg.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

February 10, 2005
Angus never sleeps anymore. Awake day and night. For days! He wanders in circles at home; he wanders in circles on the streets: always with loud, angry music playing on his Ipod with the head phones on. The look in his eyes is so different; my son has become a stranger to me. What is happening?

March 11, 2005
I am a wreck! My ability to focus on my daily tasks is challenged minute by minute. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture and none of us sleep these days.
Angus and I spoke today; he admitted he is not doing well but is not ready to get help. He does not wash or change his clothes, he hardly eats or sleeps. He spends a lot of time alone in his room having heated discussions with the voices in his head. As a result, his voice is raspy from all the work he gives it.  When Angus looks at me, a stranger looks into my eyes. Clearly he does not know who I am. I can no longer touch him, I miss being able to hug him. I miss his company. I miss my son.

Please remember that this is original work that can not be reprinted without the consent of the author. Blog entry Copyright 2011.

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