Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Refusal to accept that she has Schizophrenia

My mother doesn’t accept she has a mental illness. She refuses to see a doctor or even take any medications. Her beliefs have sucked her into a depressive stage. She has a backache and she believes it can only be cured by bed rest, perhaps believing the voices she hear. The doctors along with her family have failed to convince her to leave the bed. She doesn’t go for physiotherapy or even a walk which is perhaps exacerbating her backache. I feel stuck and helpless. Can someone show me some direction on how to convince her?

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Something that might make a big difference in her back pain is Vitamin K2-MK7. It’s the bone remineralizing vitamin.

I used to have debilitating back pain before taking 120 mcg a day, now it’s barely noticable. I don’t exercise at all.

There are many, MANY forms, variations, and degrees… MI can be such a broad term. Have you been able to talk to a ‘professional’?

You can’t “convince” her if her illness causes her to believe that she is not sick. This is a common symptom of serious mental illness, especially schizophrenia. It is called “anosognosia”. Please look up other posts on this site about “anogognosia”. I can’t say enough that family members MUST read the book “I Am Not Sick; I Don’t Need Help” by Dr. Xavier Amador. The next step is to find a support group like NAMI National Alliance on Mental Illness, to help you get through this. NAMI Family Support Groups are led by others who also have a family member or loved one with mental illness. The support group facilitators have been trained to lead the group. NAMI also offers a Family to Family class in many locations at various times of the year. The class material provides an amazing array of information that will help you. Class availability may be affected currently by the pandemic but keep watching for its availability and contact your local NAMI. The book, and NAMI Family to Family class (and support group) are the best things I have ever done to help myself and my loved one.

There are no easy answers. It takes hard work. But these are the tools, so if you really want to help your loved one, you have to use the tools and do the hard work. There IS hope! Keep us posted!!


An emphatic agreement to the Amador book! I found it very helpful in working with my son who has SZ. You have a tough road ahead and also a long road in front of you. The idea is sort of to NOT try to convince her of her illness but first to get her to trust you and listen to what you are saying and advising her to do. Amador has some very “hands on” ideas about how you as the caregiver can do that and it’s not by telling her how wrong everything she believes is. It might take a good bit of time, but you want to keep the line of communication open and keep talking as much as you can. Keep trying to get her to tell you more about what’s going on even if it is completely at odds with what you know is reality. Good luck and be sure to stay well yourself.

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