Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Psychosis Not Otherwise Specified

Son has had diagnosis of " Psychosis Not Otherwise Specified" for several years. Has been hospitalized twice. He is 24. I think its because he smokes pot and it is hard to tell what is causing what. He gets suspicious and paranoid occasionally We are meeting with his Psych Doc next week. How important is it to get a diagnosis? I have heard that a diagnosis is subjective and can change over time and due to different conditions or stresses.
His moods change a lot, and he gets very irritable, and other times sleeps. He has a really hard time making decisions or organizing and following through on a plan. His longest job has been 3 months and has had a few jobs this year that only lasted 3 days to 2 weeks before he was let go.

He doesn’t want to take meds. Does CBT work? Are there any meds that don’t make people gain a bunch of weight and ruin a young man’s sex drive? If I encourage the doctor to tell us if he sees an emerging diagnosis, Could this freak my son out and make him not want to seek treatment. Can being labeled cause more harm?

It was important for my son to have a diagnosis so he could have access to medical care and ssdi. My son wasn’t officially diagnosed until he was 32, we realized what the actual problem was when he was 31.

Is your son aware he has some sort of problem?

I have heard that one before for my wife, 20+ years ago, they see which meds work the best, then they can diagnose… It hit her hard a fast and she knew something was bad wrong, she understood completely to eat meds…

If your son won’t take medicine, I don’t think there’s any reason to push for a diagnosis at this meeting.

For your son, the best thing that can happen is for him to gain trust in the doctor. Ideally, he would see the doctor one on one and then the doctor would ask your son whether he wanted you to come in at the end. This is how the doctor can build a therapeutic, trusting, respectful relationship with your son. Time with one good doctor is a way that your son might accept treatment and could also lead to diagnosis.

Since your son is not accepting medicine, chances are he would not be interested in a diagnosis. Leaving psychosis nos as the diagnosis on paper allows the doctor time to make a good diagnosis and your son does not have to face the heaviness of what he would instantly discover is a long term diagnosis if he looked up sz on the internet.

I know how hard it is to see your son developing an illness and be unable to help. If your son can begin to trust a doctor, that is huge.

Also, if you have any control over his access to money and are willing to do so, stop giving him money as long as he is using marijuana and tell him that marijuana use is why you stopped. If it’s his money from work, obviously you can’t control that at all.

You are right about diagnosis being subjective and changing.


Would he be willing to see a psychologist in addition to a psychiatrist? A psychologist will talk to him a lot longer, spend much more time getting to know him, establishing a relationship with him, and helping him to untangle delusional thoughts. Depending upon how high functioning he is, CBT (and its spinoffs) can help a lot. It helped me a lot. Make sure the psychologist you use specializes in CBT. Not all of them do. I still see a psychologist once month, I used to have weekly appointments. I haven’t seen a psychiatrist in years.

Good luck!

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Look at orthomolecular or homeopathic mostly vitamins and supplements so maybe he will take those. Read the book I am not sick I dont need help by Dr Xavier Amador