COMMUNITY CARE / The vulnerable people who find themselves facing a future of change: The schizophrenic: Mother's concern over son left to fend for himself
Monday 29 March 1993
David (not his real name) is 26, and schizophrenic. When he becomes ill, he gets violent and agitated and strange ideas fill his head. Strong doses of drugs - 1,400 milligrams of Lithium and one and a half tablets of Carbamazepine each night - help calm him down and bring him closer to normality. When he is in a stable state he does not think he needs the drugs. When he stops taking them he becomes violent.
David, from Peterborough, has been locked into this cycle for nine years. He been compulsorily detained in psychiatric units four times since his first attack in 1984. The attacks have been progressively worse and during his last year-long stay in hospital he was given electric shock treatment to quieten him down.
The illness struck suddenly. 'I just went haywire,' David said. 'I started talking to everyone. I didn't have any inhibitions any more. I got some funny ideas into my head. I thought everyone had lost their train of thought except me. I thought everyone had been capped by the tripods so that they only acted on habit and what they had previously learnt. The tripods are three-legged. It's something I invented. Capped means your powers of thought have gone, as if a cap is put on.'
His mother recalls: 'There was a bit of a struggle as the police and ambulancemen took him away. Since then he has become more violent. The last time he thumped me. Once he grabbed me round the throat. It's very frightening. But he doesn't remember a thing.'
After a year in hospital, David decided he had been in long enough. He found himself a bed-sit where his landlady cooks dinner. Once a fortnight he sees a social worker who asks if he is taking the medication. His mother worries he is not really able to look after himself. 'If he stops taking the tablets, as he seems determined to do, it will just be a matter of time.'
- 1 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence nude photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Isis terror threat: Leading British Muslims issue fatwa condemning terror group
Israel-Gaza crisis: YouTube footage shows scale of destruction after 50 days of shelling
iPhone 6 'hidden code' could indicate sharper screens or bigger phones
Ebola virus: It's ripped through towns – now the deadliest ever outbreak of the virus is heading for Africa's teeming cities
Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence nude photo leak
A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
£24000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Are you a Marketin...
£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education have cover supe...
£70000 - £75000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Katie Robinson +44 (...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: BSL teachers required to teach in a...