My son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder at age 19. We struggled to help him. He was a wonderful son. He ended up taking the meds, and that is what killed him at the young age of 46. He took multiple meds and two were prescribed at higher than recommended doses and caused lethal toxicity and sudden cardiac death. His death was over four years ago, and we still mourn his loss and miss him so much. I read these comments and it saddens me to hear how family members struggle with sons/daughters who have similar conditions to my son. The best advice I can give is do not try to do this alone. Get family involvement.
The family should not solely rely on the psychiatrist to properly treat the patient. Instead, the family needs to be fully engaged with the mental health patient’s treatment plan. The family should insist on a multi-disciplinary approach to the patient’s treatment to regularly include communications involving the: patient, family members, psychiatrist, mental health counselor, pharmacist and primary care physician. The family should be aware of the medications, the indications for use and the risks, side effects and warnings associated with the medications. The family should ensure that the health care professionals are regularly questioning the patient’s physical as well as behavioral condition with these concerns in mind. This team approach should be in effect until the patient no longer requires psychiatric medications.
I know from personal experience it is difficult to do this. But instead of fighting this alone, try to get a team approach. There are programs available such a Navigate, Open Dialogue, and the Epic Program. Google, find one that is close to you. If none is available, just start your own team with the health care professionals listed above. In reading all the comments by family members on this thread, I get the impression that many are going alone in coping/dealing with family members having this condition. You will get burn out trying to go this alone. You need a team approach to help you.