Is you manage to get an anosognosiac to see a doctor/take medication do you/the doctor actually mention the word schizophrenia and/or the reason for the medication?


#1

My wife has anosognosia and quite frequently asks me whats going on (by that she means who are the “people” doing this to her and why are they doing it, specifically why are they doing it to her).
I usually answer that I don’t know, because I don’t know what to say to her, because if I said its not real and she has schizophrenia she would deny it and probably become upset and stop talking to me.

But for the very first time last week I managed to get her to agree to go and see the doctor, I did so by saying the balance of the chemicals in her brain had been changed and they need to be changed back, and only a doctor can do that. She asked me why/how they had become changed and I said I didn’t know, and nobody else really does either, but they do know how to put them back in balance.
I was amazed when she agreed to go and see the doctor, so I rushed to the phone but unfortunately he was off that day and there was nobody else she could see her at short notice. I was gutted, but if this opportunity arises again at some point in the future I want to be prepared - she will probably ask the doctor what is going on, and if he says something like she has schizophrenia it could ruin things and she might walk out of the doctor’s office.

So I’m wondering if anybody has been in a similar situation? If you have managed to get somebody with anosognisia to see a doctor and then take medication do you and/or the doctors say the reason why, do you use the phrase schizophrenia or do you and the doctor need to be very careful in what you say the medication is for?

(This would not be a doctor specializing in mental illness, it would be her regular family practitioner. The waiting list for the specialist doctor is 3-6 weeks, and making an appointment in advance on the off chance I could get her to go on the day/time of the appointment is a million to one shot. But with the family doctor quite often appointments can be made for the same day, so the plan is to wait till she agrees to see a doctor again, then see her regular doctor that same day, then her doctor would consult with the specialist. But I’d like to know if its very important how her regular doctor answers her if she asks him whats going on).


#2

I would ask to see and speak to the doctor first ,(perhaps by phone before your appointment) thats what i did with my son , and explain anosognosia and tell the doctor not to use the word schizophrenia but to use the terms you have said to her , chemical imbalance. I also told my son if he stops taking the meds he may end up back in hospital . i wish you luck , this disease is far from easy but keep strong , i know what your going through .


#3

Mungbeans- brilliant attunement. Yes I agree w Linda- but CALL the dr before the mtg. You can leave a confidential message stating the language to use, but the dr won’t be able to call you back because of HIPPABif you’re in the US.


#4

I live in Florida and my doctor called me back … if not than try and pop in there first before your wife sees her and explain quickly to her … speak to the receptionist and tell them it’s important you speak to the doctor first . I know it can be hard but where’s there a will there’s a way ; )


#5

Yes, use the language your family member uses. We could talk about anxiety and not being able to sleep.