There are some helpful videos as well that are free. They are of Dr. Amador giving lectures. I will tag you in the one the admin posted. And @Hope178. I will tag you as well.
Thank you. I would love to view them.
You don’t need to go to a training. I believe the training is geared toward mental health professionals. You can read the book and watch the video on the LeapInstitute.org website of Dr. Amador in a mock setting where he is using LEAP. Then practice it with someone else in your family or a good friend. I’m not saying it is easy, but I don’t think it is hard to start with the first and second steps. You just have to follow the psychology of this strategy and stop thinking logically. I actually find the first two steps pretty easy to do now. Even those two steps have helped in our situation. Maybe it depends on the person, but you won’t know until you try and I AM DETERMINED to learn it and use it. It’s better than the alternative. Our loved one has been on meds for over 5 months now and I attribute that in part to LEAP (I gained his trust and he believes I care about his thoughts and ideas, which I truly do) and to his being hospitalized and my insistence upon his discharge that he could not come home because he would not get better there and would just end up in the hospital again. I threatened to drive him to a homeless shelter more than once or to drive away and leave him behind. He had enough sense to know that he did not want to be in a homeless shelter so his option was to get treatment. It has been a journey interspersed with hospitalizations of residential treatment programs and a personal care home. We have other problems with his illness now, but he IS going along with meds AND has stayed out of the hospital for over 3 consecutive months which is phenomenal given his history, including being missing and living out of a car, over the last 15 months. We took him out to dinner tonight and had a good time!! Best wishes!
I am so pleased to hear that you were able to go out to dinner and have a good time with your loved one. I have had some small successes with LEAP and agree that anyone should learn to use the steps, especially L and A (listen and agree) as I was NOT inclined to do either with my daughter until I read the book. She is also not doing behaviors warranting hospitalization anymore, and police no longer come to my home on a regular basis. So there are improvements even if she won’t stay on her meds. I hope that things continue do progress well for your family and that you have more pleasant dinners in the future.
Thank you. I have watched most of the videos if not all of them at least once. I am now reading the book. I am open to whatever will help me to help him live a better life. It is a constant struggle but worth those you love. My son just called me and we had a nice chat, he thanked me for listening and agreed we will talk later to possibly meet to walk the dogs together. I also wrote him something last week that he said meant a lot to him, he reads over and over and carries with him. Said he might share it with his therapist whom he sees regularly 1 to 2 x week. She is wonderful and is aware of the LEAP. In reading a lot of these posts, my young man does function as far as driving to his appt.s and probation, he just cant seem to hold a job with his paranoia of everyone and thing, he gets frustrated and then can get aggressive at times. We just recently discussed how he could speak to a Dr. to possibly fill out some paperwork and apply for disability, he was listening so I hope he continues to be receptive. He is a kind, caring young man with so much potential but with his past of being abused and in the system his entire life has taken a toll on him. He is hardest on himself.
My heart goes out to you as you listen to and care for your son. Does he take any medication? Or is that your goal to help with the paranoia? I am thankful your son has a good relationship with you and I really do believe that LEAP can play a big part for many of us in our relationships with our loved ones. You can also help him file for disability in case that works better. I think you file the claim directly with the SSA and then they contact the doctor to get medical or mental health information. Some people use a lawyer to do that but you do not have to.
Thank you! And I hope that your daughter has more improvements in the future! Don’t give up on meds if you think they would help her live a life that she would better like. I know we cannot force it, and there may be a time we need to back off and take a break, but perhaps in the future your daughter would see a counselor(?) or there could be other reasons that SHE believes are helpful that she might be more willing to stay on meds(?)
My son (unofficially adopted at age 22) been in the system his entire life, is not on meds but should be. He is Anosognosia and as Dr. Amador explains, he does not feel he needs it as nothing is wrong with him…Ugh… He is now 28 and last 8 months or so has become delusional and paranoid, he has always suffered from this as far as I can tell but it has escalated recently. I had to have him removed from my home as his behavior was starting to get scary, this has been difficult for both of us as he has no family or friends to speak of and this traumatized him further. He currently is staying with my mother close by and monitored closely. After watching the videos and now reading the book, my approach to him is different and he is most times receptive, day at a time. His wonderful therapist and myself work closely together and are hoping he agrees to meds eventually.
Thank you for the info. on SSA. I work with former foster youth in transitional housing which has given me access to many resources that I use every chance I get, however it is still challenging to navigate the system. Sometimes it takes years to qualify and receive benefits for this type of disability. The system has been most frustrating with little to no help for these types of situations, leaving the caretakers with little help or assistance. I appreciate this forum immensely to know we are not alone.
I am so sorry, but yet hopeful for you and your son! How wonderful of you to adopt this young man! There must be more to that story…you may or may not want to share. I just commend you for sticking with him even in the hard parts of this journey. And how wonderful for your mom to be involved in his oversight! There are some good tips under another post about applying for SSI. Stay encouraged with using LEAP! Perhaps there will be a day when you can share some good results of that, also!
I am in the same boat. My son just won’t do anything. Won’t take meds, see physiciatrist. Insists there is nothing wrong with him. Thinks there are demons all around him and IN him. I feel so hopeless and frustrated!
It can take a long time to make progress with scz. Don’t give up, learn all you can, figure out which suggestions may work for your family and give them a long time to work.
@Richgirl and @Katty I agree with Hope. It may take a while to get them into treatment. When my son was in psychosis I just kept thinking something has to happen before we can start to turn this around. Almost 2 years after his first big break and he finally crossed a line with me that got him into the hospital. @Richgirl Mine didn’t have demons but he thought people were after him for his organs. They can get stable - how old is your son, does he live with you, is he isolating?
Have you tried LEAP (LEAPInstitute.org and book “I Am Not Sick; I Don’t Need Help”)? This is the most cited strategy (similar to Motivational Interviewing) different from regular counseling for convincing someone to change behavior based on reasons that are important to him or her but that align with reasons you believe the change is needed, even when those reasons for each of you are different. I have read the book and used some of this and today just listened to a webinar from a prominent residential treatment program giving highlights of this. Parts of it really are not hard, although depending on your current relationship with your loved one, can take time to be effective. It has evidence-based results. We have seen results with our loved one to the extent we have been able to use it so far.
He is 44 and lives with my husband and I. He has had depression and been bi-polar since 14, but had his first psychotic break in Feb ,16. He was hospitalized and when he came home he seemed pretty stable, but almost immediately stopped his meds. It’s been like a roller coaster since then but is slowly getting worse. He is isolating for sure. We have been to NAMI F2F and go to support group every week,which is great, but no one else’s loved one seems as bad as he does. He wants to go to CA where he says there is someone to cast these demons out
As @hope4us mentioned, Dr Amador’s LEAP work is your most likely tool. They would have covered it briefly at your FtF classes (they don’t cover it nearly well enough at FtF) If you would work the LEAP techniques - seriously- they will work.
BUT you already know something he wants. He wants to go to CA. Bribe him with a trip to California if he stays on his meds for one year - make sure you understand and use the LEAP conversation techniques before making this offer.
There is the sad chance that he is one of the cases that will just continue to worsen. BUT:) a woman in my support group thought her son was the worst case in his 40’s. They finally got him to stay on meds. Don’t give up.
The worst cases tend to be sitting in prisons. It is so horribly sad for their families.
My husband and I have the book and have read it twice. I’ve watched most of the the videos he’s made and they are realy good. We keep trying, I guess maybe we just have to be more patient.
Have you been able to use the conversation techniques? It’s a little tricky at first, but it does get easier.
Sadly, one family I know has read the book and still insists on telling their daughter “you are sick, you have schizophrenia”
Sigh. It’s been 3 years and they keep doing the same thing.
I have and so has my husband. I feel as if we are patronizing him. It doesn’t yet feel natural. We try to talk to him as if there is nothing wrong with him. I listen to him about the demons and other delusions respectfully. I never say they are real or they are not. Just mostly listen and tell him how sorry I am that he is going through such a rough time. He goes from spending hours talking about them to saying nothing at all. He has said nothing at all for a week now. I don’t know what’s going on. The silence makes me more uncomfortable than listening to him. At least I know what hes thinking when he talks. I never tell him he is sick or needs help. Is that wrong? We tried that and he just raged that it’s us who needs help that nothing is wrong with him. I don’t see him ever getting any help.
It will never feel natural, but I think you get used to it. Currently my son is tolerating a few people outside of family. A friend listened to a recent conversation and was amazed how we talked about some weird stuff in what seemed to be in a normal conversational tone. The term validating is used by some. That to me is patronizing. Instead I am truly interested in what he is talking about even if I don’t agree or even get it. Sometimes I ask questions, sometimes I listen and sometimes I tell him I don’t really understand his point. And yes I would rather have him talking than silent.
To use LEAP, I think that each person is different, so it is helpful to know the person well (and of course, all of you do). First you listen to the person and do not argue. In the Empathize phase, you can say things like “That must be very frightening” or “I can imagine that must make your life very challenging” or “If that happened to me, I would not want to leave the house, either.” When this is repeated over and over again (some persons it will take more time), you build trust. Our son will immediately respond by saying “Yes!”. So I know he appreciates my listening to him and acknowledging his feelings. And he definitely trust us. He just recently told us that it is not meds that is helping his speech (he has Formal Thought Disorder) but that he is taking medication (required at the personal care home where he is for now as he is getting better) “for his parents”. Which means he still has complete anosognosia, but at least he is med-compliant for now until we can move to the next step. For persons like this, it will do no good to tell them that they are sick. It could be helpful to do this in conjunction with a therapist or psychiatrist who will use this method. It does not happen overnight. We are still working on this (Agree and Partner) with our son and know we have a lot of work to do ahead. But we are determined because we know that without success with this, his chances of any kind of quality of life are almost non-existent.