Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Refusing treatment

Sometimes a person may be showing signs of a mental illness, but will not to seek help – by seeing a GP for an assessment, for example. Sometimes they have a diagnosis, but still refuse to accept treatment and support.

There are a variety of reasons why this happens. The symptoms of psychotic illnesses such as Schizophrenia, for example, may involve delusions, hallucinations, and disturbance to thinking processes – these can make it difficult for the person to realise or acknowledge that they have a mental illness and need help. The person may have stigmatising attitudes towards mental illness, which make it difficult to acknowledge the need for help. Or they may accept they have an illness, but not want to take medication, with the possible side-effects involved.