Jeanette B was a 22 year old woman who four years earlier, had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. She was extremely dependent, had never worked, and lived in another state with her parents. When her mother became ill, her parents felt they could no longer supervise her at home. Her brother and his wife, living in New York City, agreed to oversee Jeanette. She would move to New York and live one block away from them. They’d obtained a lovely one-bedroom apartment for her. She would be closely supervised, with her brother and sister-in-law checking in on her; and with arrangements for Jeanette to attend a day-care facility.
Jeanette, her mother, father, brother and sister-in-law came to the initial consultation. It was evident Jeanette was quite infantile, and despite taking powerful anti-psychotic medication, presented with the hallmark signs and symptoms of her disorder.
Her family was quite supportive. We spent nearly two hours discussing the new living arrangements; the day-care facility; Jeanette’s feelings about being away from her parents for the first time; and the concerns of her parents, brother and sister-in-law were openly explored.
I anticipated a rocky beginning for Jeanette as it was her first attempt at semi-independence. She would be in a new and strange city. I wondered how she would adjust. On the plus side, she was stable on her regimen of medication and a well thought-out game plan seemed to be in place.