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How can I help someone with psychosis who doesn't want help

H

health_is_health

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Joined
Jul 29, 2018
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Hello, I have no idea how to help someone very close to me. If anyone on here has experienced psychosis but didn't realise and didn't realise and how much it was affecting your life, please let me know how you started your journey to recovery. How did you come to the decision you needed help? Someone very close to me has been experiencing psychosis for about a year - on and off - very strong beliefs plus feelings of superiority that no one else understands what he is talking about. He gets very aggressive, will talk briefly about his beliefs but then doesn't want any questions on them. He gets aggressive and walks off whenever he feels stress - then I worry what he might do to himself. Being aggressive is his answer to stress and any other uncomfortable talks or emotions. He was in another car accident yesterday (it's his 3rd one in 2 years) and I think this has set it off again. He wasn't harmed, but now he is talking about his beliefs. I don't live with him - when I called to ask him how he was he acted like it wasn't a big deal at all and he didn't want to talk about it, didn't care if I was upset etc, but was going to phone me to talk to me about one of his beliefs. I have my own mental health problems around an eating disorder and am a qualified low intensity CBT therapist no longer working in therapy. I have tried to tell him that I didn't want help for a long time when I needed it, have explained that psychosis is a horrid word but it's very common and just means you're experiencing things that other people aren't experiencing, but it's affecting his mood. I have phoned our local psychosis service and they have suggested A&E or the GP. He won't go, or forced referral through the police. They can't help him if he doesn't want help and doesn't recognise there's a problem. Please help.

Thank you
 
Cazcat

Cazcat

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Hello and welcome to the forum,

I am unfortunately very familiar with the position that you are in, having spent years in a similar position with my husband. It is very common for people experiencing psychosis to have no insight into this, it's part of the condition. There's a very good book called I'm not sick I don't need help by Xavier Amador that explains this well and how to help people accept help.

I also went to a talk on the Mental Health Act and Mental Capacity Act run by the legal person from my husband's mental health trust recently. She explained that if someone lacks insight into being unwell then they do not have the mental capacity to make a decision about their mental health treatment and so do not need to consent to assessment by the professionals, the professionals must act in their best interests. It looks like this is being made more clear in the revisions to the mental health act which are in the pipeline at the moment. I would go back to the GP or mental health team and explain that you do not feel your friend has the mental capacity to make an informed choice about his medical care at present and that you are requesting a mental capacity assessment.

Your friends nearest relative (which is likely to be their spouse/live in partner, eldest living parent, or eldest child but is explained in more detail on the Rethink website) can also request a mental health act assessment from the local mental health team. See the Rethink Website for more details and draft letters regarding this.

Nearest Relative - Rethink Mental Illness, the mental health charity

It's an incredibly frustrating position to be in. Also make clear what your concerns are regarding this person's risk to themselves and others (if they are psychotic they shouldn't be driving and it sounds like driving safety is an issue)
 
T

Tonic

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If they are a danger to themselves or a danger to other people, seek advice from the GP. If not there is really not much you can do.

Maybe ask them if there is anything they would like help or support with and start from there.
 
T

Tonic

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When I first became ill with psychosis, I didn't realize I was ill. I also didn't want help.

But I became determined to get better. I did this without medication or mental health services.

Mental health services do not help. They only prescribe anti-psychotics.

Anti psychotics have very negative and sometimes severe side effects. So most people are reluctant to take them. Doctors know they can make you very ill. The anti-psychotics with the least severe side effects will give you high blood pressure, high blood fat levels, high cholesterol and rapid weight gain.

People can live with psychosis. Just as someone can live with untreated depression.

With all illnesses there will be differing severity to each person who has that conditions. So some people with psychosis will not be able to look after themselves, won't be able to work, may be a danger to themselves or others.....whilst others will be able to work and live fulfilling lives and will never be a danger to themself or anyone else.

......


I do appreciate that you care about this person who is very close to you.

It is important.

Can they look after themself?

Are they washing and cleaning and eating and drinking and sleeping?

Do they work?
 
Cazcat

Cazcat

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I think that's a good point, there's not a one size fits all solution with psychosis. For my husband he is much happier and has a much better quality of life on medication. He finds the support from his mental health team very beneficial too. He is lucky that he doesn't get severe (if any) side effects from his current medication. It's something that each individual has to weigh up for themselves as to what gives them the best quality of life. Unfortunately when people are too unwell to have insight, it's not possible to weigh up the pros and cons realistically. It's best if these decisions can be made whilst people are well. I believe the review of the mental health act is going to look at emphasising the importance of advance planning and the importance of this being led by the service user whilst they are well.
 
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