Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My son lacks total insight

My son has been involuntarily hospitalized about 13 times since 2007. He has been so ill in the past. How can I get him to acknowledge his illness. He tells everybody he has faked his illness for social security payments which is very convincing to people who are unfamiliar with him. He is 100% better on the shot but he totally lacks insight.

What kind of medicine shot he is taking?
my son is also on Shots and he still lacks insight. this may be normal with people with this illness.
my brother Oversees in Middle East has been on medicine for almost 20 years and he still thinks that there is no problem with him. He takes the medicine because my Dad ask him to do so.
My son is currently Conserved in California and I prefer to keep him there and I just go and visit every few months. I had lots of Anxiety when he was out. He was between 3 states and his travels costed me quit a bit of money that he was homeless in the past 2 years because he would not want to live with me and take his medicine.My son still thinks he is OK and nothing wrong with him.
I know some people on this website has tried “Clozapine” and they get better but my son still would not take oral medicine to try it.
he is taking Invega-Sustena and seems to help him but I think he needs to get supplemental medicine like Depoke or something similar.
I am thankful that he is safe now and taking the shots.
Try to make sure that your son does not skip shots, otherwise he will get so sick.
My son had horrible withdrawal symptoms last year after stopping the shot cold turkey.
This is really we can do is to manage the symptoms.

Good luck for you and your son.
keep hoping for better tomorrow.

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@difficulttocope I was just going to start a new post asking if when on meds/shot is your loved one symptom free. Mine is on invega monthly lowest does and clear as a bell, working two jobs. He’s been on meds/invega for four months. When your son is on the shot is he totally symptom free and which shot does he take?

Tell him not to tell people he faked his illness to get social security. Someone could report him for fraud.

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What is the lowest dose? I’m on invega suatenna 78mg.

You may never be able to get him to acknowledge his illness. It is called anosognosia and about 50% or those with schizophrenia have that. It’s awful.

@jassy22 - You must be small in stature. The lowest usually is 117. My son isn’t huge but an average size.

What were some of the withdrawal side effects? What dosage is he on?

Well I am kind of average in size. Having weight gain from the medication though. My Dr kept lowering the dose to try to stop me from over sleeping. Didn’t really work though. I actually think their is a lower dose than 78mg. I was wondering if anybody was on it?

He was on 234 Invega-sustena. I think this was high. He took only for 2 months at State Hospital and did not want to continue.
He was experiencing Headache and suicidal toughts. I think the headache was a delusional. The doctor prescribed strong headache medicine, it did not help then he was given steroid medicine and it did not help either. He later went to California and after few months the headache went away…

a Doctor told me once that the shorter the time he spent on medicine, the more severe is the side effects and the longer he stays on medicine, the less side effects…
He is now on Invega-sustena with 117 mg ( maintenance dose). I can tell that he is not well enough. he does not think he is sick and keep saying that he does not need medicine.

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does your son accept the hot and take it without any argument. Does it acknowledge that he is sick.
does he takes any other medicine with Invega-sustena shot.
My son had improved. he has been taking the medicine now for about 5 months but he still not acknowledging that he is sick and he keeps saying when I talked to him on the phone that he does not need the medicine…

Many people with schizophrenia do not acknowledge that they are sick. That is the very real struggle with lack of insight called anosognosia. Maybe your son will gain insight on meds, or maybe not. Have you read Dr. Amador’s “I am not sick, I don’t need help”, I suggest that.

I know that he may never admit. As I said in my previous post that my brother in Middle East has been taking Clozapine for almost 20 years now and he is more reasonable he does not think he is sick but he takes the medicine because my Dad is asking him to do so. I guess as long as he is under Conservatorship he will take the shot even though he does not believe it is not helping him. I heard about this book. I will read it.

I meant to say as long as my son is under Conservatorship he will take the shot even though he does not believe it is not helping him.
Time will only tell if he gets more insight in future or he may need a stronger medicine like Clozapine but still there is no guarantee that he will his insight will improve.

A question in here, does anyone knows if schizophrenia will get better with age?

@CAAR2016 - He is on a court ordered shot so he has to take it. And he goes back to court for a speeding ticket in Oct so the doctor agreed with me to continue the court order until he finally is competent to go to court. He probably is now but they have to test him. He is on 117 dosage and takes something for stiffness. He doesn’t think anything is wrong with him so he may refuse to take the shot when the court order stops. If I bring up the psychosis he will say that didn’t happen. i.e. One doc asked me (in front of my son) when this started and I went on about the time his neighbors had hacked into his tv and were telling him they were going to harm him and his parents and he watched over the fence for at least a month writing down peoples license plate #s. He said - that never happened. Well - I can tell you - it did. I don’t use the word sz I just say - you had a lot of disorganized thinking and anxiety back then. The doc does say sz but also refers to it as his condition. I still am hoping this was drug related and when and if he goes off he will be ok. (this happened to another i know of). He has been on invega since May/June and is now for the most part without symtoms and works two jobs (about 55- 60 hours a week). With not a great sleeping pattern. Perhaps you can talk about the symptoms vs saying hey - you have schizophrenia.

he may refuse to take the shot when the court order stops.
it is not good for him to stop the shot. Make sure that he will continue taking it. he may get really if he does not Continue taking it.
I know regarding the denial. My son tried this technique when I took him to ER after I was awarded Guardianship and nurse and doctor would believe him and not believe me until I showed them the guardianship court document.
I hope your son does not have Schz but time will tell. if he does not then stopping the shot will not impact him. send me an update.
I know my son has it and he is getting better on 117 Invega-shot but still has delusions. he thinks that I am in California ( this is where he is now in a Locked facility) even though I told that several times.
Also, he is cursing me every time I talked to him about being compliant on taking the required physical exams at the facility like blood test, urine test, etc…
he is now contesting the Conservatorship and he will see a judge by end of October. I do not think he will be released. He has behavior like trying to touch nurses and also indecent exposure in the Facility.
I am just hoping he will get better on the Invega shot will time.
His social worker has been asking him to deal with his mental illness and to try Clozarine. I see many people are getting better on Clozarine as reported on this Forum.
Please keep me updated on your son progress and wish both of you the best

I am just worried that your son may get really sick if he just stop the Invega shot cold turkey. it would be the best to see his pdoc and he can get it off of it gradually by giving him low dose of Paliperdone ( the oral invega pill).
The withdrawal symptoms may be overwhelming as I indicated before.
keep me updated.
praying for you

Schizophrenia is a life-long illness. There is no cure. I was told in a NAMI Family-to-Family class that SZ tends to plateau in 5 to 10 years. I also know that the illness can get better and it can get worse. And I know and know of persons living with SZ whose lives have improved, some dramatically, on medication (and to a lesser extent using other therapies). @difficulttocope As long as your son has his own believed reason for taking medication, that will suffice as long as he continues to believe it! There are residential treatment programs around the country that can help a person gain insight. Typically, the person has to be medication-compliant or agree to be. The ones I know about cost a lot of money and may or may not take insurance that could cover a portion of the cost. There may be partial scholarships offered. If you want the names of some, let me know. You might encourage him not to tell others that he faked his illness, however! It could just be “your secret”?? Hopefully, you would have documentation of his continued illness to prove it is legit, or if he is better and able to work, that would be even more wonderful!

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