I’ve just been sent here after posting on the “diagnosed” forum. It’s a shame, because I got some amazing advice from someone who suffers schizophrenia and he was able to explain his experiences better than most doctors could.
As you read more of the book, you’ll learn that it’s not denial - it’s called anosognosia and it’s a common symptom. It’s not that they’re in denial. They truly can’t see their own symptoms, even if they can recognize them in someone else.
Our family is familiar with LEAP and if your loved one has no insight you can spend your time with what seems talking to a brick wall. We did not have a lifetime to rely on LEAP and time was passing our daughter by. We had our daughter arrested for theft, got her a good attorney regarding that issue and hired a attorney for us to get guardianship. We succeeded in our effort, she has no criminal record, we mandate a monthly shot, she worked for a year approximately, no absences, finished her college degree and just got a full-time job with benefits. NONE of these positive recent events over the last 1.5+ years would have occurred simply relying on LEAP. She has insight as a result of her medication. She of course doesn’t like our guardianship but privately shares her concerns about her illness with siblings and understands success was a result of our aggressive approach. Again doesn’t like it…but does understand it. This approach worked for us. JMHO
Nice work. Seems like most people don’t have the knowledge to move that fast. It sounds like it is working. My son was arrested for injuring me and we kind of did the same, got a very good public defender who was able to get him a successful NGRI plea. He’s living at the State hospital nowe but is getting excellent care and treatment and has a very good prognosis. If he had gone to jail his life would have been ruined. At least now he has a chance- and the meds DO give him an understanding of his illness.
Our daughter got a doctor’s order to get outpatient treatment which she can’t refuse or she will be brought to the hospital by police. She got a social worker who helps her with her life problems (getting disability, getting a place to live). Looks like things are getting better for her.
We had failures, but learned all we could about the laws, systems in place locally and then set about how to make it work for us. It was never easy…but we did learn we had to be aggressive and ultimately very tough with her. Lucky too law enforcement and judge in our area willing to understand the situation, understood mental illness involved, understood treatment was crucial and finally a couple of physicians were found that understood the problems.
I think Dr Amador’s book “I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help” is highly beneficial as a starting point.
First of all, many people have trouble understanding that their family member isn’t refusing treatment out of stubbornness OR because they are in a state of denial. The family member is too sick to realize they are sick. The book and the free videos on Youtube really can be a breakthrough moment for family members.
Just getting people to stop arguing with their relatives with scz about whether or not they are sick, would be a godsend in many situations. I have talked myself blue in the face with some people who just don’t get what anosognosia means - until they do, they cannot help their family members in any way. Because they continue to plead with their family members to take meds or go to a doctor - they just dig the hole deeper with these actions.
People whose family members with scz and the symptom anosognosia should read the book and use LEAP, and sign up for the free course Family to Family to familiarize themselves with the options available to them. Often these options are horribly, incredibly different from locale to locale. Some of us get “less than no” help.
LEAP and Amador are a starting point. Understanding anosognosia is step one to getting your family member help. Often you will have to wait for weeks (or months in our case) for a new Family to Family class to start. A Family to Family class will put in your hands the contact information you need and be able to tell you what exact kinds of help are currently available in your area. If you can track down a NAMI support group in your area in the meantime, they will have the same crucial information about your area - or will at least know how to put you in touch with someone that does.
The saddest thing, I think, is when people have the area resources to get their family member medical help and they don’t do so for various reasons of their own - this is why the caregivers need therapy as well - to get help sorting things out. Scz can spin a web around an entire family and leave people unable to help their loved ones.
Just a reminder, an important quote.
“The opposition to involuntary commitment and treatment betrays a profound misunderstanding of the principle of civil liberties. Medication can free victims from their illness - free them from the Bastille of their psychoses - and restore their dignity, their free will and the meaningful exercise of their liberties”. Herschel Hardin 1993
Yes, he does say “can” free them, we know that many just receive some relief from meds and some receive no relief at all. We family members can’t even begin to imagine how much some relief is to our family members with scz.
Some family members continue to trudge never knowing if eventually there will be a pay off for their efforts, or not. Trudge on, my friends, trudge on!
If a person comes into contact with any type of treatment, the best thing we can do is support our family member and trust the treatment providers and still listen to our family members and be truly empathetic as we advocate for both the person we love and the medical treatment they do not believe they need, unless somehow it works really well, which can happen over time. It’s an impossible balancing act if it ever does happen.
I have watched people fight AGAINST treatment for their family members who had psychosis. I think that might be the only situation of true denial I have witnessed.
The doctor here told me guardianship would only get me control of his finances. He said there isn’t any way I can force meds on him besides the court order. I am in Colorado. Perhaps he misspoke?
My daughter has a social worker who makes medical decisions for her, basically agrees to the treatments that her doc prescribes. She begs every member of our family to become her medical decision maker and to reject her meds, but we all refused as we are not doctors.
Guardianship varies from state to state. Here in Texas when my husband was appointed guardian over person and property of his parents, he would not have been able to force medical treatment. Guardianship in many states is more limited than people realize.
A guardian here can have access to medical records and can appeal to a judge for forced meds.
Sometimes I go through the posts in that section just to get insight into different perspectives. If you have a specific question you could try the search function (the little magnifying glass at the top of the screen) in that forum to see if the topic has been discussed before. You won’t be able to directly communicate, but you might be able to find some answers.