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KansasTherapist
KansasTherapist, LSCSW
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 565
Experience:  17 years experience with depression, abuse, and borderline.
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My daughter who is 28 years old was recently diagnosed with

Customer Question

My daughter who is 28 years old was recently diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. she vacillates bewtween psychotic nd depression. she was seeing a psychiatrist and taking seroquel and abilify. he was humoring her through treatment and the minute he told her she was "sick" she stopped seeing him and taking her meds. obviously she is now much worse and refuses to go outside of her small apt. she lives alone and likes it that way. I need to hospitalize her but until she realizes that something is wrong, I cant get her near anyone to help. My understanding is that she must do something pretty drastic before I can send EMT to pick her up. I have been told that she must be either a danger to herself or to others and that a sign might be "not eating, not getting dressred, not bathing, etc.. Do you agree ? Is there anything else we can do or are we just in a wait mode at this point. We live in Las Vegas but would be willing to send her anywhere that has had success.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  KansasTherapist replied 2 years ago.

KansasTherapist : Hello
KansasTherapist : I'm very sorry to hear that your daughter is so ill. It is heartbreaking to see your child suffering. I agree with the information you've been given.
KansasTherapist : Difficulty following through with treatment and lack of insight into the illness is quite common in her disorder. And it's true, often things get very bad before any action can be taken.
KansasTherapist : Since she isn't going out of her house, how is she getting food and other things she needs?
Customer:

we do not see any action that we can take at this point until somehing more drastic occurs. she has staed that she does not want to live (not said suicide though) and I thought the police could pick her up based on that. They said no, she actually talked them out of it. I guess she has to do something like walk down the street nude before we can get help. Just want to confirm because the system seems ridiculous to her entire family. Any other thought about getting her back on abilify ? That seemed to make a tremendous difference evn in the 3 days she was on it. The doctor did say that it could be hidden in her food. My husband and I check her every couple of days to make sure she is eating and alive. We bring her groceries, etc.

KansasTherapist : You can increase the pressure in the situation by not bringing her things. She will either force herself out of the house, or stop eating. If she stops eating, community mental health can do an assessment.
KansasTherapist : Dealling with community crisis services may be more productive than the police. A mental health worker is quicker to see the dangers than an officer who may not want to deal with the situation.
Customer:

we were advised to call EMT next time not police. They will take her to psych ward in ambulance rather than police car. while we wait for the big downturn we are very concerned about suicide when we see the depression side of the disease. we have alerted her friends as well so that everyone is on high alert.

Customer:

It seems to me that you are advising not to keep her on an even keel but to let her sink to that lowpoint so we can take action

KansasTherapist : The next time she talks not wanting to live, ask her if she has a plan and the means. That is the key to intevening.
KansasTherapist : I am suggesting you make the crisis come sooner rather than later. The longer she is in this state the harder it is on her body's Ns brain.
KansasTherapist : I meant, body and brain.
KansasTherapist : Being in a psychic state is damaging to the brain. Getting that under control and keeping it that way will prevent further damage.
Customer:

Her doctor did ask her if she was capable of commiting suicide and she said no she could never do that or had never evn thought about it. She just wants to die which I think is the depression talking.

KansasTherapist : Can she talk rationally to you at all?
Customer:

about some very basic subjects such as tv shows, etc. her psychosis is that she is god come to save the world and that we are going to die soon and ascend into heaven with her. prior to our realizing that she was sick, she was a university teacher teaching nutrition, biology, chemistry etc. she has been spiritually inclined since she was a young teen but we never saw that as troublesome.

KansasTherapist : Rreligious delusions are very common for people with this illness.
KansasTherapist : It doesn't sound like her delusion would cause her to kill herself unless there's a change in her thinking. Something you could do that might help is to have a heart to heart talk with her about your fears that she might hurt herself. Let her know that you realize she is very sad sometimes, and that you don't want anything bad to happen. When you use words like sad and bad, you're not using mental illness language and she might listen better.
KansasTherapist : Ask her to promise that if she makes a plan to hurt herself, that she will call you right away. If she can do that, it may provide some safety.
Customer:

I will do that. She has had several crying breakdowns since this all became public and always called me - although the last time I called the police who met me at her house because I was so sure she meant to hurt herself, Not sure she will call me next time.

KansasTherapist : That makes the conversation even more important.
Customer:

It is very hard to not run to her everytime she needs something (like food, money, etc.), but if that is what it takes to get her back into treatment, I can give it a try. That is the thing about tough love and it is very difficult for me to follow through.

KansasTherapist : I can certainly understand what you mean. It is very hard to see her do without what she needs.
Customer:

My husband and I are wondering how we can get back into chat with you ? I have been seeing a therapist since all of this started in January. It is taking a toll on my own health now and I have been advised to start to distance myself before I get sick and of no help to her. I will have that "sad" talk with her though and hope that it makes a difference. She has one sister and we probably should advise her to have the same conversation.

KansasTherapist : If you ask a question starting with kansastherapist, I'll see it.
Customer:

I was reading about a clinic in AZ where they believe that they can use nutritional changes to affect brain chemical imbalance. I have trouble believing that but my daughter puts a lot of credence in nutrition and I wonder if that is something i might research or just consider it another waste of money and energy.

KansasTherapist : If you know the name of that and google it, you should be able to find some information about it. It's always hard to know about that kind of thing. So much depends on the thinking of the patient, sometimes that makes it work.
Customer:

thanks very much. I will be back in touch.

KansasTherapist, LSCSW
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 565
Experience: 17 years experience with depression, abuse, and borderline.
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KansasTherapist
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17 years experience with depression, abuse, and borderline.