Showing posts from 2014

How to find a needle in a very big haystack

I have two sons. One is 25, the other 18. The 25-year-old is probably OK now. Bright and sensible, we would be extremely unlucky if serious harm were to befall him. For the younger one, though, there remains some cause for concern. Though equally bright and sensible, he is yet to live through the main age of risk for developing the most common and serious illness to affect young people. By and large they are a healthy bunch and serious illnesses are very rare. But schizophrenia is not rare at all. Upwards of half a million people in Britain will develop schizophrenia at some point, mostly between the ages of 18 and 25. I've met hundreds of them myself. And each time I do I am aware not only of the patient in front of me, suffering terrible psychotic symptoms or confused and rambling, but also of two parents who once, like me, had a lively, promising child but who now face a future as "carers" of an adult with severe mental illness. Although factors such as stress