Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Afraid of medication. Even other peoples


#1

My friend is currently untreated and is very resistant to treatment and medication in particular. She has a strong belief the pharmaceutical industry is working with the NHS and mental health service to distribute medication as a form of mind control for human experimentation.

Approaching the subject of medication is impossible, as it’s extremely triggering. Although a particular problem is if other people are taking medication too, she insists they have to stop taking them for their own protection. This is becoming quite problematic. I’m a trans woman and I take testosterone blockers and estradiol. I’ve tried explaining that it’s my choice to take them and that no one is forcing me too. Or even pointing out that the NHS has blocked or denied me from taking them in the past but nothing seems to help.

I believe in personal choice. I don’t want to push medication on her. But her telling me to effectively stop transitioning is extremely upsetting for me and perhaps if she could accept that i choose to take my medication, she’d be more receptive to the idea of treatment herself.

Anyway I don’t really know what to do. Anyone have any advice or suggestions?


#2

Are you taking medication as sanctioned by doctors/the NHS or have chosen to circumvent that route. I ask because of -

Where there reasons you were blocked that have now been rectified hence an NHS change of heart or have you stepped outside the NHS and their medical advice?

If the latter that is ultimately,for good or bad, your choice and your friend should try and respect that, if not necessarily approving.


#3

The Standards of Care have since changed and I’m now prescribed them by the NHS. I was previously buying them off the internet a couple of years ago. The reasons I was blocked were both the Standards of Care at the time, and on one occasion where I was in hospital they were actually taken off me.

I dunno if any of this information helps with my friend though. I doubt it.


#4

Wow - its really hard to get treatment when the delusions are around the mental health system and medications specifically.

A good start would be psychotherapy - I know that the UK has some good programs related to CBT for psychosis that might be helpful.

Also - some other resources:

Please look at these sites:
http://www.leapinstitute.org/ - under resources are free videos on using LEAP
LEAP is a way of communicating to build trust. Listen-Empathize-Agree-Partner.

http://dramador.com/ - Dr. Xavier Amador is a clinical psychologist whose brother had schizophrenia. He is the founder of the LEAP Institute. Wrote the book: I’m Not Sick I Don’t Need Help! Can buy from his website.

Search Xavier Amador and LEAP on youtube.com and you should find some long videos
http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/index.php - under problems you will see anosognosia

Anosognosia looks like denial but is different.
http://lesswrong.com/lw/e25/bayes_for_schizophrenics_reasoning_in_delusional/ - helped my understand delusions


#5

Its very hard to convince someone who is delusional until they get on medication. It might be better for now to step back for awhile-or just tell your friend you know whats best for you…
Good luck


#6

I don’t challenge her on many of her beliefs. Often it seems her delusions are based on very real and valid concerns that get spun out in anxiety and psychosis and stuff. I don’t want her to feel like she’s always wrong or that there’s no one on her side. It seems the medical staff involved with her aren’t really listening. She’s frequently complaining about pain in her legs making it difficult to walk but whoever she sees focuses only on mental issues. It’s difficult for her to articulate herself when she’s anxious and anyone medical makes her very anxious.

I think medication she’s prescribed previously has had negative effects. She says it made her worse. I think what she wants is some kind of therapy that doesn’t focus on medication. Medical staff tend to treat her as naive, which I think is excacerbating distrust of medication when they neglect to explain it. Many resources seem to emphasise that medication is really important but i kind of get this feeling it’s really easy to say that when you’re not the one who has to take it.

She’s getting better about my pills. I stress that it’s my choice to take them and I’ve done research and checked everything out and that they aren’t prescribed for mental health reasons


#7

Thats good that you aren’t challenging her on her beliefs - that generally just ruins your relationship.

We have some good tips on how best to interact with her when you’re dealing with her fixed beliefs - here:

http://www.schizophrenia.com/sznews/archives/005561.html