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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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concerning our son from my previous question, he has been seeing

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concerning our son from my previous question, he has been seeing a psycologist for the past couple months but is opposed to taking any medication. He hasn't eaten a meal since July 1. and since then has only eaten a few snack intems (chips, salsa, seeds, crackers). He does consume pop, beer, and liquor on a regular basis. The past two days, he has not gotten out of bed except to use the bathroom. What are our options here and should we be concerned about dehydration or other physical effects from not eating? He has been able to answer basic questions when I have asked, but then goes back to sleep. He is not working and lives with us full time.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I am still waiting for an answer. Thank you

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Before I can help, I needed to ask a few questions:

Did the psychologist he sees provide you or him with a diagnosis? If so, what did he tell you or your son? When he went to his first appointment with the psychologist, the doctor should have completed a full evaluation and also recommended that your son be seen by his family doctor to rule out any medical issues which could interfere with his therapy.

Also, has your son lost weight? If he has, that could indicate an eating disorder as opposed to other mental health disorders and it would also affect treatment.

Thank you,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I know he has had some evaluations but we do not know the results and may not be privy to that information. He has seen a medical doctor and nothing physical was found. That doctor prescribed an anti-depressant which he took for a short time and then stopped. Jon believes his body is constantly fighting a bacteria that is found in many foods and therefore witholds food. I feel he is definitely functioning under a delusion or paranoia about food and it effects on his physical and mental functioning. What are our rights here and what kind of help does he need? I don't think a once-a-week session is going to do it, especially if he refuses meds.
I agree with you, once a week therapy is not enough for your son at this point. Maybe in the future, but not now.

It sounds like from your description of your son's symptoms that he might need screened for Schizoaffective disorder and a depressive disorder. Although he is refusing medications, he might be self medicating with alcohol. The belief that there is bacteria in his food sounds like a delusion and therefore he may need much more intensive treatment than just a once a week appointment.

At this point, your son is an adult so unless he intends on hurting himself or someone else, you can't force treatment. But if you do notice that his health is declining and that he is losing a lot of weight, you can petition for a 302 at the local ER. A 302 is an involuntary commitment that forces a person to get an evaluation at the ER. If the doctor feels the person is in danger, they can force the person to be admitted. It is helpful to keep that option as a back up if you do notice him getting worse.

Other than that, you can only monitor your son and suggest he get more help. A partial program might be a good option for him. The local mental health agency may have some good suggestions for you, or even have a program he can attend. And you can try learning more about Schizoaffective to see if it fits his symptoms. Here is a link to help you:

I hope this has helped you. If you have more questions, please let me know.

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Category: Mental Health
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Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

That's a pretty gloomy picture. Should I call his physcologist to let him know his condition at this point and see if he has other programs available or can see him more often? I foresee we are headed to the ER and maybe he could be of some help there.

It may seem that it is gloomy and I understand your concern. But when it comes to your son not eating and believing that there is bacteria in him, it can affect his health eventually. It is good to know all the options just so you are prepared. I am not saying he has Schizoaffective for sure, since I have not seen him face to face and cannot diagnose him without seeing him, but the diagnosis should be ruled out.


I would call his therapist and ask about more intensive therapy options. He could be seen more often for individual therapy, though a more intensive program might be a better option. It would be very helpful to you if you could find out what his diagnosis is so you can do some research or ask about options for him based on his diagnosis. If he is willing to sign a consent, then you could get a copy of the evaluation. At least with that, you would have a direction to go in. It is like medical symptoms you are trying to treat but you don't know what the problem is. Knowing what your son's diagnosis would help provide you with some answers.



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