Journey to Recovery

When I answered the phone, my teenaged son, Patrick, was at school and sounded agitated. He told me he felt like everybody had turned against him and that everybody was talking behind his back. That conversation marked the first signs of Patrick’s schizophrenia and a life I describe as being like a roller-coaster ride full of hospitalizations and stabilizations. That was 11 years ago.

My son was a standout student and athlete in high school, until that day when “something just snapped” and everything changed. He had never shown signs of the disease before that day and that his actions came “out of the blue.” Living with the disease hasn’t been easy. He had a breakdown, and the doctor thought he should be committed. So, I had him involuntarily committed. He’s been to BayPointe, Searcy and has lived in a group home.

When Patrick was discharged from the group home in 2009, I began taking care of him. He is unable to hold a job because he cannot focus. When he is off his medicine, he hears voices and walks around carrying on conversations, alone. He is almost childlike; he is 26. I understand his behaviors are part of the disease, and knowing help is available is a great comfort. I found that help in the AltaPointe Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team.

Once my son was hooked up with the ACT Team, my life changed. They have been wonderful. The team takes intensive outpatient services to consumers in their homes, on the street, or wherever they may be, as frequently as needed to reduce the number of hospitalizations. ACT team services include therapy, case management, medication management and medication administration, all of which Patrick needed. I work full time and rely on the ACT team to make sure Patrick is well and taking his medication when I’m away.