@caregiver1, I was wondering, please forgive me for asking, does your family member have the symptom “anosognosia”?
No, I don’t think so. He sees a psychiatrist and is taking his meds. He keeps some books he asked me to bring him during his last hospital stay by the front door. He says it’s to remind him that he doesn’t want to go back to the hospital again.
Yes. Anosognosia for sure… very limited understanding of why his life changed 11 years ago. We have talked about it in a gentle way, and I have given him books to read.
Anosognosia can make it difficult to convince our family members when we are addressing thoughts and delusions that are irrational.
While I think we never know sure what may work for our family members,- for my son- questioning his delusions put up a wall between us. (My son remains unmedicated)
Using LEAP techniques can help us help our family members with anosognosia with all of their struggles.
In one of the Amador videos he asks a roomful of mental health professionals if they have ever talked anyone out of a delusion. None of them had.
The more I spoke rationally to my son about his delusions, the less he trusted me.
I don’t try to tell my son that he is sick, he currently trusts me when he needs help. My conversations with him are a tricky business, I feel as though I am walking on a tightrope.
When he was receiving medical treatment, he told me the people were laughing at him and he wanted to know what to do. (They weren’t) I suggested he tell them he was feeling sensitive as he was having a bit of a rough day. He was very pleased with my answer.
In my personal experience, my ex husband (full insight, paranoid type schizophrenic, heard voices, would literally ask on occasion if I, the clerk, or if there was somebody in the house, had said something, checking himself, then declare that it must be ‘time to take a pill’ [clozapine]…’” after my soft answer was always ‘no… there’s nobody here but you and I… he’d get himself a pill and take it…
Fast forward… he is successful in career and life with his wife (she a second marriage with four or five children… god bless them all )
Me with my current partner… 10+ .
Zero insight. (Not paranoid type. SZA)
When he’d have episodes or ‘tantrums’ it was absolutely no use to try and tell him otherwise (obviously, tried and true. Dimentiated patients of mine were similar. I come in with a ham sandwich and crackers and they scream ‘ I don’t eat that shit!!’ Then… I take it away and turn my back, cut it diagonally, come back and present it spread out on a plate and only give a single or two crackers displayed easy and uncomplicated… “HOW’D you KNOW?!? This my FAVorite!! )
So, back to… after years of me describing to him, my current partner’s ‘choices’ became just slightly different that one night when, looking him in the eye after he’d busted mine out completely and I was sifting blood out of my orbital… I calmly kept and held pressure and whiped…quick butterfly and saying THIS is exactly the behavior I have been talking to you about. It is EXACTLY as I described. please LOOK at the clock… you’ve been by yourself for X# of hours… nobody and nothing is actually happening to you. It’s ok…
he looked at the clock and apparently that one day, at that time, in that moment, he SAW and understood to a very small degree… blood spilling down and coating my face as I calmly talked…) in that moment … insight.
And then he never had it again.
Insight. It’s a funny thing honestly. When we talk here in this forum about ‘insight’, it’s not the same as you or I or many other folks might consider as ‘personal insight’. It’s an entirely different condition. It is very literally the inability to see disease in ones own body. The brain will not process this.
An example would be that somebody that lost their physical and literal legs. But that somebody keeps trying to get up out of bed and walk, and gets angry, and somehow they keep ending up on the floor and it’s Your fault that their elbow is bruised and their hip is sore where they just landed on it.
Delusions are, as we see them, as family and caregivers, full on beliefs in alternate realities.
How many of you are bare foot right now?
If I told you, you certainly are NOT and you have shoes on your feet, would you believe me?
Does it actually benefit any of us to tell you otherwise? How?
Leave the shoes out, not in the closet maybe, where they can be seen?