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.
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.
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.
We refused to become guardians or decision makers for our daughter. As a result, she got assigned social worker who helps her a lot. Also the treatments are mandatory, by injections, once every 3 weeks. If you agree to be a guardian, they disobey very quickly. And nothing you can do afterwards.
Just wanted to let you know that I am a patient, and will respond
Are you diagnosed with schizophrenia? Hope
Schizoaffective Disorder - Bipolar Type
It’s very similar, but is mixed with mood imbalances, like feelings of euphoria and grandeur.
Thanks for being here and offering your experiences - welcome!
I hope this encourages you,
There were a few occasions where I was taken to the hospital by police, when I was in psychosis, and it probably saved my life. It’s not fun to be running around on the streets while insane—totally out of the context of reality. But if you are insane and someone takes you to the hospital, that is a loving thing to do, even if it is involuntary. Even if the person fights it or thinks others are out to get them. I pray that if she feels that way she will come to see the truth, that she is loved and cared for. Sometimes after we learn that, then we can begin to love and take care of ourselves the same way a good mother would for her daughter
I hope that helps a little bit. My mom was also afraid for me a whole lot. It was really frightening and scary and sad all at once for her. It makes me cry to think she had to go through all that.
things will get better
I believe it
Your “welcome” made my day!
Thank you Julia for your input. Are you constantly on drugs for life? My daughter’s pdoc said for life. How long were you in a hospital before you felt better and were discharged. Are you worried that you have this condition? Do you know what triggered it?
I’m about to share some things that include my experience with being mentally ill. I have a lot of other life experiences that I would rather share, but we are talking about mental illness because you have a loved one who is hurting, and you hurt for her.
My diagnosis was given in 2010 as Schizoaffective Disorder Bipolar Type.
I think the immediate trigger was when I tried drugs. But I do not think that the drugs were the cause.
I was afraid of being diagnosed at first, because it made me feel like something is wrong with me.
“Psyche” is a word that translates as “soul” or “mind” so it scared me, because soul and mind are so intrinsic to who I am.
How can who I am be characteristically described through a diagnosis?
The Bible says to me that I am a living soul. It also says to me that I have a mind and that my mind needs to be renewed to the Word of God. These are things that I’m only learning now. It’s been a long journey.
The truth is it was my soul that was sick. My soul is still sick. Sick of the truth that I had gone the wrong way. Sick of the truth that I had abandoned the truth and I had sought and served lies instead. What can begin to heal a sick soul? Repentance can! (“Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.” -Proverbs 1:23) His Word is so true to me.
So the main thing in my healing has been the Lord, turning to him and yielding to each thing I can do that I find in His Word. And He strengthens me to be able to do things that I never thought I could ever do: like now I am working full time!—at an honest job! I am living in my own apartment and keeping in touch with those who love me.
If I could encourage you by something my mom said to me while I was in a 31-day involuntary hospital stay: she said to me “Julia, I don’t think you realize that God is protecting you” (I was afraid for my life to take psychiatric medicine, and was refusing it, out of fear).
I do still take medicine and it has been long-term for me. One day, I’m told, I will wake up and realize I don’t need it any more. One of my counselors also said that one day these meds will not be available, but I will be okay because of what I’ve learned.
Whether that day is soon or later, that is up to the Lord, and He can tell me. And I can also be honest with my doctor and let him work with me.
But, while I wait, I work out my daily life and I put Jehovah’s thoughts on my mind by reading and praying to Him. And He will lead me in the way I will go.