Spouse who refuses medication

My husband is refusing to take his medication. He thinks he doesn’t have schizoaffective disorder. He has been off his medication for 8 months now. He is feelings things that are not really happening to him and hearing voices etc. I have tried to bring it to his attention that maybe it is because he needs his meds. Every since he stopped his medication he has become a different person almost someone completely different. He is mean with his words and down right ugly and hateful. He also has been being unfaithful online. I don’t know what to do if I call anyone to get him help then he said he will divorce me. I take care of everything for him cooking, cleaning, bills etc. I do love him i feel lost and afraid.


How familiar are you with the symptom anosognosia? There is a lot of experience on the site regarding family members refusing medication. Use the search box on the upper right to find the information. Have you read Dr Amador’s book, “I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help”?


I have been reading up on anosognosia, LEAP. I been looking for LEAP training online. Haven’t read his book as of today.

There are various Dr Amador videos on youtube and at least one on TED. Were you with him when he started taking meds after his diagnosis?

For many of our family members with anosognosia, our relationships break down if we tell them what they are hearing and/or seeing is not real. LEAP is crucial to maintain the relationship and create trust.


LEAP stands for Listen - Empathize - Agree (where possible) - Partner

The Listen part in this case is to find out why he doesn’t want to take the meds. Side-effects, dangerousness (e.g. dopamine supersensitivity)? Why? What does he think the pros and cons of taking drugs are?

Point out to him what you said here: ugly and hateful behaviors without drugs. That in order for people to live together there has to be a peaceful environment. If the meds help him to be more peaceful, that would be a plus.


I am so sorry that your husband is refusing to take his medication and that his behavior towards you is deteriorating. You are in a tough spot.

It was the situation with my adult daughter too: that she didn’t recognize she was having mental health issues. I eventually did force help on her despite her non-cooperation. She never moved out for more than a short time and eventually stayed on her meds.

Only you can decide what to do, but I do recommend reading Dr. Amador’s book to try to get his agreement to partner with you to improve things. I had to read it 3 times before it fully sunk in how to use the LEAP method to change behaviors (not just ageement to take meds).

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to just add to @caregiver1 's - Agree can also be “agree to disagree” that was the magic phrase for my son when I began using LEAP

and as @oldladyblue said, you have to read the book a couple of times and practice using the conversation methods - it will get easier

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