There is nothing wrong with me..how to help son who says this


#1

Does anyone have any advice for us? Our son is in a state mental hospital with Schizophrenia. He insists nothing is wrong with him and tells us he doesn’t belong there. We visit him twice a week. We have run out of ideas on how to handle the same conversation over and over again. He tells us we are lying to him when we tell him that he is there because he has a brain disorder. We have tried to allow him time to figure things out. But he has been there for awhile and it looks like he won’t be released anytime soon because he is still refusing treatment. We aren’t aware of all of the details of his treatment because he won’t allow it. He is 24 years old and we have been dealing with this for the last 3-5 years. .


#2

I think he insists there’s nothing wrong with him because he can’t trust doctors.


#3

Sorry to hear you are going through this!The best book I read(and still practice)is by Dr.Xavier Amador titled,"I’m Not Sick,I Don’t Need Help."My story is different in that my son is still a minor and I have some control over things.He is better on his meds,but still often thinks nothing is wrong with him.I have to try+get him to work with me on our common goals.We had a horribly traumatic inpatient stay in Feb.I remind him when he doesn’t want meds of our goal of staying out of hospital.It’s also really important that you listen to him+acknowledge that you are trying to understand how he feels.I can see that if he were off meds,I don’t know how well anything will work.Get this book-it is worth the money!The tools I learned have really made a difference in my relationship with my son.Hang in there!


#4

I’m sorry to hear about your son being stuck in the loop like this. I’m so sorry he won’t include you in his recovery yet. My brother’s anger phase also went on for quite a while. But when he finally let go of his resentment and anger, things started moving very quickly

Unfortunately lack of insight is sort of classic.

http://www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Mental_Illnesses/Schizophrenia9/Anosognosia_Fact_Sheet.htm

I’ve also read the book by Dr. Xavier. I found it to be very helpful in finding a way to communicate with people who have lack of insight. My brother who is fighting Sz has been doing so for quite a while now, and he’s doing very well. This book has helped me with my other brother who just got diagnosed Bipolar, and he too is sure he’s fine. It’s not him, we’re all wrong.

I hope the doctors you son is with can start to make some head way and open the door to recovery.

please check out these web sites as well if you didn’t already know about them.

www.nami.org

http://www.schizophrenia.com/family/sz.overview.htm

http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/problem/anosognosia

I hope things get better for you very soon.


#5

Has he ever taken meds on his own? Or does he quit as soon as he is released? You will find alot of post here about family dealing with the same thing, and on nami website discussion group. All deal differently. My son didn’t have insight and it finally sunk in with me after several years. One hospital told me this several times, as my son was hospitalized 4 x a year. I just didn’t understand how he couldn’t recognize his own symptoms because everyone else could, and they seemed obvious. My son would become angry because I continued to try to get him to take meds, see his psychiatrist and go to the hospital. We were doing alot of commits at the court, and many times the E.R doctor would do 72 hr hold because he would almost kill himself. It didn’t get easier, it got tougher, Court, police, E.R. and the hospital was all saying no, go to the other one to get him help. I decided the only way to help him was to force him and chose guardianship. My son wouldn’t be making progress today if it weren’t for the guardianship. The police taught him how to stay out of hospital and what they wouldn’t do, it wasn’t lawful but they taught him how to not get help. He would lie. My son signed agreed to the permanent, so it wasn’t that expensive. I found most do agree to it. Deep down they know you have their back. That is why my son signed it. I had temporary guardianship and at the last minute he agreed to the permanent. He signed it at the last minute, but I thought he would fight it all the way. It is also a catch 22, if they never get better, they will never gain enough insight to understand they have an illness.


#6

Welcome to the forum @SADMOMMATT

Here are some links for LEAP and Dr. Amador
http://www.leapinstitute.org/ - under resources are free videos on using LEAP
LEAP is a way of communicating to build trust. Listen-Empathize-Agree-Partner.
http://dramador.com/ - Dr. Xavier Amador is a clinical psychologist whose brother had schizophrenia. He is the founder of the LEAP Institute. Wrote the book: I’m Not Sick I Don’t Need Help! Can buy from his website.
Search Xavier Amador and LEAP on youtube.com and you should find some long videos

Lack of insight or anosognosia can make things a lot harder since they can not recognize the illness.
http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/index.php - under problems you will see anosognosia
Anosognosia looks like denial but is different.
http://lesswrong.com/lw/e25/bayes_for_schizophrenics_reasoning_in_delusional/ - helped my understand delusions

For a long time my son was not med compliant or was smoking weed daily so meds didn’t work. Following Dr. Amador’s guidelines helped me a lot to cut down on us arguing over sz or even medications. We rarely discuss schizophrenia. We discuss his medications in terms of anxiety as that is something that both my son and I can agree that he has a problem with. I have tried to research as best I can what medications do. They help to regulate neurotransmitters in the brain. I believe my son’s brain produces too much dopamine. Once I had one of his nurses discuss this with him. We are not trying to fix him because he is not broken. We are just trying to help his body function better just as I need help with my hormones for menopause.

As @btrfly36 said listening and acknowledging what he is going through can go a long way in establishing trust in your relationship. Listening does not mean agreeing. Having empathy does not mean agreeing. I can tell my son that I don’t think, feel or see things the way that he does and he accepts that just as I sometimes have to accept that he thinks, feels and sees things differently then I do. Not right or wrong, just different.

I went into some detail regarding LEAP on this post:
http://forum.schizophrenia.com/t/falling-for-a-girl-with-schizophrenia-and-drug-issues-and-could-do-with-chatting-about-it/3229?u=barbiebf

Sometimes the relationship is the means to an end.