Lionel sat in his dark brown Lazy Boy and took comforting puffs off his pipe. He began to think about his son, Garry. He hated to admit it to himself, but, at times, he tried to forget that Garry even existed.
Garry had just turned twenty-eight. He had often lived with his parents for brief periods of time. Garry would leave the home, temporarily, when he decided he wanted the freedom of living in his own apartment. At other times, living with his family would become too stressful.
Things would usually become intolerable when Garry decided that either there was nothing wrong with him, or that he thought he was cured from his schizophrenia. The positive symptoms of schizophrenia such as hallucinations and delusions would start to manifest in a few days after Garry stopped taking his medications. As these symptoms exacerbated Garry would frequently experience a complete psychotic break.
During his last psychotic break Garry went running up and down the stairs screaming that he knew that both his parents were reptilian creatures from outer space and that he could see them changing from their human forms into their reptilian forms. He would then try to place phone calls to the CIA and FBI to inform them that two aliens were living in his house.
The last time this happened Garry went outside the house to the street. He stopped cars to warn them that his parents are aliens and even knocked on their neighbors doors to deliver the same message. One of the neighbors became very afraid and called the police.
In a few minutes the police arrived at the Hardy’s door. Garry had walked a short distance, a little further down the street, and was still trying to stop cars and warn the neighbors about his parents. Two police constables arrived at the family home and spoke with Lionel and Edith Hardy for a few minutes.
“Our son, Garry is very ill with schizophrenia. He must have stopped taking his medications and is experiencing a complete break from reality,” Edith explained.
“That’s right,” Lionel interjected. He is having hallucinations and delusions that are telling him that my wife and I are reptilians from another planet.”
“Thank you,” the female constable said. Constable Myers and I will restrain Garry, as gently as possible, and take him to the hospital so that he can be promptly treated.”
Garry was medically stabilized at the hospital and would be ready for release in about five days. This situation created a moral dilemma for Lionel and Edith Hardy. They were both in their sixties and had to deal with the stress of Garry’s medical condition for approximately ten years. The cycle had repeated itself too many times. Garry would experience a psychotic break and would be released by the hospital into their care. Garry would be compliant with his treatment plan for a couple of months and would take all his prescribed medications as directed by his psychiatrist. The positive symptoms of his schizophrenia would either not manifest or be greatly reduced in intensity. The negative symptoms of the disease, however, would still be prevalent. Garry would have very little energy and would sleep until the late afternoon.
Garry would be very lethargic and not be motivated to do much but sleep, smoke cigarettes and drink coffee. During these times Garry’s parents found that they were still able to manage living with him.
Then after a few months Garry would decide that he no longer needed to take his medications. He would lie to Lionel and Edith and would tell them that he was still taking his pills. After a few days off his meds, Garry’s positive symptoms of schizophrenia would manifest once again and he would suffer another psychotic break. This crisis situation would necessitate another trip to the hospital to have Garry’s medical condition stabilized.
Lionel and Edith talked the recent incident over and came to the conclusion that they could no longer tolerate Garry’s residing with them. Lionel called the hospital to set up an appointment with a social worker to discuss alternative housing options for Garry when he was released from the hospital this time.