Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Help! her mental state is becoming a cause for concern

Honestly, that is THE most difficult thing to do when trying to help someone with a severe mental illness. They often won’t seek help, won’t accept help, won’t take meds. There is no simple answer to your question.

I recommend you read a book by Dr. Xavier Amador, (and several lectures on the net), called “I am not Sick, I Don’t Need Help”. You could start your research there.

Hey there Eric. That’s a tough one. A really tough one. I’m not sure if you’ve spent some time reading through any of the other threads but there’s something known as anosognosia, which reports say seems to afflict more than half of all diagnosed SZ. The condition means that somebody is literally incapable of seeing recognizing or acknowledging disease in their own body or within themselves. You often hear it referred to here as having ‘lack of insight’ when they suffer this. Many urge reading the book “I’m Not Sick; I Don’t Need Help” to better understand this phenomena as well as an excellent tool called the LEAP method to help you in engaging in a positive or productive manner to somebody in crisis.
Great to hear the update. You seem to be a person of strong empathy. The best you can do now is educate yourself, and remember not to sacrifice your own health or well-being in the process.

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Ok, so I found online the website that handles situations like mine in Los Angeles County, here is the link http://file.lacounty.gov/SDSInter/dmh/240555_FROBrochure.pdf
I believe the Assisted Outpatient Treatment Outreach and Engagement Team is the best option and that they will determine if she needs to "voluntarily consent to outpatient treatment or, if the individual is unwilling to consent, AOT may petition for a court order to begin outpatient treatment. "

I wanted to run this by you all first before doing anything so please any advise you think I should know, I would love to hear it.

Also, thank you for the reading material you have provided. Although, I dont think by me reading it will provide her any help, it will help me and I will read it once I get some time.
Thank you

Today I had to call the police, I tried to not do this unless absolutely necessary but she has made it unbearable and started causing a scene outside with neighbors, yelling as loudly as she could saying that I murdered her father and other horrible things. I asked the police dispatch to send a MET team but they told me that there are none available and they would send an officer. They sent 4 patrol cars to my house but before they arrived she took her belongings and drove away. This just happened 15 mins ago, there was nothing the police could do but told me to call again if she comes back. I never seen her this bad before. She was truly in a state of panic as she left, I hope she doesnt do any harm to herself or anyone else. I dont have anyone to talk to about this and thats why I came here to tell the community and any words of advise you may have. thank you

Sorry you’ve had this experience, @Eric_Michael, and I hope your housemate is safe. I think you did the right thing in calling the police and asking for the MET team. Difficult as it can be, it’s absolutely necessary in some circumstances. It doesn’t sound as if your housemate shared any contact information for family or others who might be able to help her. I agree with all of @oldladyblue’s comments above.

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I, too, am sorry you had this experience, but I think you handled it correctly and as best as you could. Remember, she has had this illness for awhile and it is a lifelong illness. Most likely, she will be fine. Whoever is helping her will probably continue to help her, and hopefully get her another place. Since she took all of her belongings with her, in my state, that would be legal grounds for you to change the locks on the house and her room to keep her from returning, if you choose that. I’m not sure how it works in CA. I do feel sorry for her, in the midst of a panic, but nothing will calm her down except time and herself, if she is not on any meds. If she comes back, and you then call the police, she may or may not be taken involuntarily depending on how she is acting when they arrive. It is a call that only you can make, as only you know your situation from all sides. I wish you the best going forward.

This is a long overdue update…

From my last post my roommate drove away while in a panic. That night she crashed into a parked car and totalled her car, the police drove her back to my house. From that point on she has been completely dependant on me for food and other things she needed to live comfortly. It has been very difficult for me and disrupted my life with financial burdens since she no longer contributes any money. It continued this way for months and still unable to get her any help.
Because of the pandemic, trying to have her evicted was, what I felt, impossible without hiring a lawyer of which I could not afford so I did the best I could living with her. Unfortunately, her condition and delusions got worse and one day when I left with a friend to go fishing she took my car keys and stole my car. When I returned after fishing for a few hours I saw she had left and I immediately called the police to report she had stolen my car and that I feared she could be a danger because of her mental state. The police found her 5am the next morning parked infront of the Court house and told me I could come claim my vehicle. When I arrived she was still in the back of the police car screaming and crying hysterically. It was heartbreaking too see her so scared that it made me cry also but what could I do. I informed the police about her condition to which the officer replied, “shes fucking insane”. She was charged and booked with a felony and released the following morning without any medical evaluation. I had all her belongings out on my porch and told her she could not come in my home and I called for the police to come again. Someone I do not know or seen before had drivin her from the station to my home let her gather her things as the police made sure she did not come back inside my house and they drove away. She has not tried to come back or contact me since and I do not know where she is now.

I just wanted to share my experience to let others out there know that the system will not provide any help for anyone in my situation. I had the mental health evaluation team come to my house 3 times, each time they came they were unable to provide assistance because my roommate locked herself in a room and would not consent, because ofcourse she didnt think she was sick. I was forced to basically throw her out on the street after she stolen my car and became a danger to others. I feel that I was alone to deal with this even after reaching out to this community for help and also the MET team for not following up after knowing I had a person with a serious MI and needed professional help that I could not provide. People could have been hurt and the saddest part is that she is still untreated and suffering.
What would have helped me in this situation is: After the mental health evaluation team confirmed she needed professional help and knowing she would not comply, they have to come back and talk to her and atleast try to help her understand that she can be helped. I would be afraid too if there was police outside my door and an ambulance with lights going and 10 other people outside with a gurney with straps on it, all this happening at the same time shes in a panic state of mind was too much for her. They should send one Dr. a day or two after just to talk to her without any threat and I really feel this could have helped her and maybe she would have gotten help.

Good luck to those in situations like mine, good luck.

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