How likely is that a second episode will happen?

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Lucy2010

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#1
Can a woman, my sister, who had only one schizophrenic episode due to marijuana abuse (early 20s) accompained by a suicide attempt and diagnose of bipolar when discharged from psychiatric hospital, lead a normal life without any treatment AT ALL since? She suffed childhood traumas, today 35 years old has always been dificult to relate emotionally unstable and accumulated several conflicted personal relationships in all aspects of her life. How likely is that a second episode will happen? She does not accept psycological help and distance herself when family try to help. Any advice for family members?
 
Mayflower7

Mayflower7

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#2
Hi,
Welcome to the forum
It's difficult to say, if the drugs caused her first episode. Hopefully she won't have any further episodes.
Just be there to support her.
Take care
 
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Lucy2010

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#3
Thank you! But that is the issue... she does not accept help, neither from therapists. Many years ago, whe she saw a therapist she stoped as soon as the professional mentioned that some of her behaviour was not "good for her" - she blames everyore around her, does not take ANY blame or constructive criticism (does not matter how careful you put it). When she is completly by herself, feeling down, she seeks my company until she decides to accuse me of umbelivable things - betrail, lying to her, the smallest thing is a massive issue - basically gets really paranoid when she is into any kind of relationship, even work.
Is this a sign that she may, depending of the trigger, fall into another episode?
 
Kerome

Kerome

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#4
Maybe it would be good for her to talk to an ‘expert by experience’, someone who has gone through it all and is trying to help others? You can often find them at recovery colleges, there may be one near where you are.

It might be a stigma thing, that she takes the criticism as an indication that there is “something wrong with her” and that she is unwilling to accept that? In that case it’s important not to imply that there is anything wrong with seeking help...

Anyway, best of luck with your sister :)
 
Cazcat

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#5
Hi,

When my husband was first diagnosed with psychosis I asked his mental health team a lot of questions like this about prognosis and the future. I was told that some people do indeed make a full recovery and do not need medication to stay well, some people never fully recover and continue to experience symptoms even with medication and everyone else is somewhere between the 2.

Has your sister's behaviour recently changed or is it staying consistent? Paranoia and deliciousness tend to be amongst the warning signs that my husband is getting unwell, but my main concern would be if things have changed recently in this respect. You could speak to her GP about your concerns so that they are aware, although unless she is very unwell it is unlikely that they will be able to intervene, but at least they will have a better picture.

There is also a good book called I'm not sick I don't need help by Xavier Amador, which you may find useful.
 
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Lucy2010

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#6
Thank you for your answer! I just saw a ted talk by Xavier Amador, after googling your suggestion regarding his book - and wow! It makes total sense for me!

When young, before her episode of schizophrenia the was real rage when someone would confront her paranoia - outbursts of anger, some violent verbal and fisical behaviours. After being released from 4 weeks treatment in mental health hospital the paranoia has always been the same, followed by extrem and unecessary ations against herself and those who she is paranoied about. eg. walk out from jobs, dumped a boyfriend out of the blue (that really loved her) without even an explanation, moved houses several times because her housemates were "ganging up" against her, accused me of having romantic intrest on another boyfriend and spent 10 months without tallking to me, etc... For the last 10 years or so her behaviour is pretty much the same, not great but not better or worse.

I could not see her first episode coming, we were not educated about - I do not know what may be a sign FOR HER that she is getting unwell.

BTW - we are both born in South America, been living here for 8 years - we do not have family here.

It just like a constant worry for me, every time that "we argue" as we do not live toguether and she oftens stops all contact with me for months (she blocks my calls, move house, move work, etc)
 
Cazcat

Cazcat

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#7
When we look back now we recognise that my husband had been experiencing a low grade grumbling psychosis (paranoia and voices which he always attributed to workmates, neighbours or passers by) for years prior to his delusions becoming bizare and getting a diagnosis. During that time, he struggled to hold down jobs, moved house frequently and often got into fights. He was frequently picked up by police in a distressed state and was regularly seen by crisis team, who didn't pick up on it. It wasn't until he was started on medication and these things stopped that we realised how unwell he had been for so long. The difficulty is that whilst your sister is managing to function at a relatively high level she is unlikely to feel she needs help and is not unwell enough for Drs to intervene.
 
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ramboghettouk

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#8
one gp said the longer you go without a breakdown the less chance of a breakdown, having been out of hospital for a long time and avoiding said breakdown, i'd ask about a normal life and whether i'd lead one
 
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ThingsiExplore

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#9
I have had similar attitudes towards getting help (meds/hospitalizations) but in hindsight that's exactly what i needed to get the episode under control. I would suggest not backing away completely... Hang around and just monitor this person. Nobody likes being forced into getting things, and maybe there doing OK right now.