“So I discovered him in his room one morning, curled up in a ball in the cupboard with the doors closed. And I said, ‘what are you doing in there?’ And he said, ‘I’m hiding’. I said, ‘what for?’ He said, ‘people out there are trying to get me’. And I said, ‘I can’t see anybody, where are they?’ He said, ‘can’t you hear them?’ I said, ‘no I can’t hear anybody’. So took him by the hand and we went for a search, couldn’t find anybody. So I said to him, ‘look why don’t you sleep in Craig’s room?’ And so he slept in Craig’s room and then I found that all my socks were disappearing. And I discovered that he had atken them and put a pair of my socks in his mouth. And he had a stack of them under the bed, and the idea of putting socks in his mouth was to stop his thoughts getting out. And then he used to wear five or six hats, to stop his thoughts getting out. And he’d walk around the house with a radio with the music playing full blast to sort of drown out the voices.

“I took him up to the hospital and the doctor examined him and the psychiatrist examined him. And he said, your son’s got schizophrenia. And I said, ‘what the hell’s that?’ So that started me on the road, on a steep learning curve… When he was admitted he became paralysed down one side as a side effect of some of the medications. He became absolutely terrified of the medication. It became a struggle where the health system was concerned, in my experience, it was almost impossible to get him into hospital because the hospitals were full and overflowing. And what I found that when you did get him into hospital, it was a very short stay because there’s pressure on the doctors to discharge and admit new ones, the police are bringing in more all the time. And they discharge them prematurely, then there’s no sort of rehabilitation.

“It’s only a short period of time before they’re psychotic again. And generally speaking they go through a period of years before they start to develop any insight into their illness. They won’t accept they have an illness. They think that the problem is with everybody else and they don’t see the need for medication. And even if they do take the medication it only partially reduces the hallucinations and the other symptoms, it doesn’t eliminate them.

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