Thank you for providing this article!
I am new to this forum and interested to read this article, as well as the Elyn Saks. We have a 20-something son with primarily negative symptoms of SZ who is not medication-compliant who disappeared a month ago. We know he is traveling and living out of his vehicle in NJ/NY which is many states away from our home. It’s a long dramatic story (aren’t they all?), but he seems to often park at the transit station and often takes the train into NYC. So we are navigating this sad, painful, frustrating journey. We filed another report when it seemed all his activity had stopped, he was located, and I actually talked with him. Says he is "fine"and doesn’t know when he might come home despite the fact the he signed a lease for a new apartment but never moved in (another issue). I suggested he might want to get a P.O. Box and he said “that is probably a good idea”. I desperately want to hook up with a lawyer who can help us determine if we can obtain guardianship or take advantage of a forced treatment law. A lot has to happen at the right times, I know, for the desired outcome. I think that Ms. Saks has a point. For example, there is optimism for using the LEAP (Listen, Empathize, Agree, Partner) methodology, which we just found out about. Wish we had known that a long time ago. (“I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help”…read it ASAP, if this applies to your situation), but for us, it may be too late unless we have an opportunity to USE it, which very well may require forced medication at least to start out with. For a person with anasognosia (“lack of insight”) as our son has, he may never be able to see himself as being sick. There is a place for both views, in my opinion, but perhaps we need better ways to look at each unique situation for the best outcome. I will absolutely take away our sons rights temporarily, if it means he can regain the ability to have a conversation with us to determine for HIMSELF that he wants to take meds. Otherwise, we have little hope. Meanwhile we’re paying his toll violations (vehicle registered in our names) and last hospital bill, gathering evidence, and praying he isn’t taken advantage of or go into a catatonic state without the ability to get help or anyone to notice he needs medical attention. WE ARE IN FAVOR OF FORCED MEDICATION WISELY ADMINISTERED.
There are many people who do not need involuntary treatment and some people who need it to save their lives.
Yes, there ought to be a method of discerning one group from another. At this point in time, too many people who desperately need medical treatment do NOT receive it and it is imperative that the system finds a way to get people who do not know they are ill into involuntary treatment before they are homeless, incarcerated, victimized, or dead.
I don’t care if it’s medication or not. Just ANYTHING to keep people safe and alive and out of harm’s way.
I don’t remember which thread recently discussed lack of insight being a justification for “forced meds”. Dr Amador says the hospitalized patients learn to play the system and say what is necessary to get discharged. If the magic words to get released were “Yes I know I have schizophrenia and I don’t want to be medicated” wouldn’t the patients learn that also?