Medical team not helping?


#1

I’m wondering if somebody can help with giving me advice please.

My partner/ex-partner is back on meds almost 7 weeks now. Positive symptoms have improved but the negative symptoms are active. He is still very much up and down in his behaviour and although I can see some improvement, I have noticed paranoia and anxiety as new symptoms.

Whilst we are not in a relationship (his choice), he still appears to see me as his partner the majority of the time and has agreed to his medical team dealing with me. I followed up on this request but doctors were not responding to me. I persevered in following up with the team and finally met with my partners psychiatrist today.

My partner has been finding it difficult to attend sessions with his team and has told me he can’t get the words out when he meets with them. He specifically asked me to pass on details in relation to his thoughts as he can’t express them when he himself meets with the team. Also things he has told me when he is very down are worrying and to me, are a cry for help. My partner is only opening up to me and doesn’t want to discuss things with his friends or family,

I tried to explain all of this to his psychiatrist today but I was basically told it wasn’t healthy for my partner to be seeking support and solace in me as I’m not family and no longer a partner. I explained the situation to them and said he can’t seem to open up but they refuse to deal with this unless he expresses it himself and speaks the words for himself. I’ve told them I am trying to encourage my partner to attend meetings with them and talk to them about how he is feeling but he doesn’t appear to be able to at the moment. I asked about me accompanying him to appointments and waiting outside the room if this would encourage him to attend and try open up, without me being involved. His team don’t want this either, they feel as I’m not family and no longer a partner, I shouldn’t be involved in any way as it’s unhealthy. I’ve explained that only a few days ago my partner said he forgets at times that we are no longer in a relationship.

Has anyone had any similar experiences with medics trying to create a barrier such as this? I think it’s very strange and I totally acknowledge the need to create independence etc, but think this isn’t the right approach for his psychiatrist to take. I am trying to help my partners voice to be heard and feel its unfair that whilst I’m not family or partner, I am still the person he is opening up to and asking to help. He always tells me he knows I will get him the help he needs but right now, I feel if his medical team won’t deal with me, I don’t know how I can help with getting him to open up.

His team also advise that they will be advising him to deal with the situation himself and not rely on me as I’m not family or a partner. I expressed my concerns that saying something such as that could isolate him and may make him feel more anxious or paranoid.

I’d be grateful for anyone’s thoughts on this situation.


#2

I’m sorry you are in such a dilemma. The problem with doctors, and many don’t admit this themselves, is they are human and fallible. It takes a certain kind of personality to be a doctor. Doctors can be wrong and they have the same prejudices and wrong thinking other people have. Sometimes doctors decide on the outset ‘This is the solution’ and anything that doesn’t fit with their solution is wrong. Doctors can be closed minded just like other people.

There is probably a reason they are trying to keep you out of the loop. It might be because they are worried you are not a stable support system for your ex since you are no longer together. If your ex digs in and relies on you more and more and then you decide you can’t deal with it anymore it could be devastating.

The crux of the problem for you is they are the only option. Your ex needs a doctor. He needs their help. Is it possible to get him to another doctor? Maybe one who is more understanding of your situation. Has he signed a release allowing you to be let in on his diagnosis? It depends on what country you are from I guess.


#3

@Futomimi thank you for your reply. Yes he signed all release papers so there is no reason for the team not to speak to me about all matters.
I can understand if they would be concerned about me being a stable support system in his life, but I’ve told them previous to us being in a relationship, we were friends for many years and will always be there to help.
You made a very good point and it was the same thing I had been thinking myself - that they may feel theirs is the only solution. I felt my questions about new symptoms I had noticed and questions about his meds weren’t being addressed and answered adequately.
I have explained to my partner the situation as best I could earlier and raised the issue of trying another medical team, but even the thoughts of that seemed to stress him. I’m at a loss because obviously, I just want to work with, and not against, his team to help my partner get the best possible help. And I don’t think removing the only person he is opening up to, out of the situation, is the right thing to do. It’s frustrating to say the least.


#4

@DesperatelySad You are in a horrible position and unfortunately it sounds like you are doing all the right things. There is hope though. In schizophrenia there are certain barriers. For instance a person in the middle of psychotic break can not be reasoned with. When a schizophrenic is in the middle of one the best thing to do is get him to a place for treatment.

Without medication dealing with a schizophrenic can be impossible. It is with me. I, for instance am not dangerous to people but I run away. So technically the only person I am a danger to is myself. So try to make sure he always keeps up with his meds. Also meds, even the new ones, can be detrimental to you from a physiological standpoint. Zyprexa is giving me high blood pressure for instance and a increased pulse. Try to help him keep himself healthy.

But despite those rather sobering truths having someone truly support you might be the most important factor in dealing with schizophrenia. If you are willing to go through this with him, and it sounds like you are, that is an incredible thing. He is very lucky to have you. So the only advice I can offer is read up on schizophrenia so you know what you are in for and just be there for him. Despite what the doctors may tell you, in my opinion it is a very good sign that he trusts you so much. It is a good sign he trusts somebody.

If he isn’t willing to change doctors maybe just do as best you can with the ones he has. Talk to them even if they don’t talk to you. It may be unlikely but maybe seeing your determination will click with them. In my opinion, giving them the information will still help him.

Finally make sure to take care of yourself. You can’t help him if you don’t take care of yourself.


#5

Honestly I’m a little shocked at his doctor’s resistance to you. Having any type of support is a good thing. I think looking into another psychiatrist is a good idea however I know that can take time and be stressful for your partner.

This link may help you find a psychiatrist in your area
http://psychiatrists.psychologytoday.com/rms/prof_search.php

In the meantime I would try getting your partner/friend to write down what his concerns are. A lot have trouble talking and remembering what to say during appointments. If his doctor sees it written out by him then maybe he will pay attention. I don’t think it needs to be as black and white as his doctor or team is trying to make it. Go to his appointments with him for emotional support. I’m pretty sure they can’t stop you from doing this.

If you can find another psychiatrist in your area then let your partner know that you will be with him so that he isn’t doing it alone.