How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Mark Your Own Question

Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5106
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. Mark is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Our family is certain that my son has had a complete mental

Resolved Question:

Our family is certain that my son has had a complete mental breakdown. He has a saga of stories where people are after him and he is being harrassed by them and it is to the point he lost his job, and was living out of his car going across the US to get away from these people. With everything he owns in his car (that is not legal) and no DL he was in jail in Ill...on his way to find a "job" in Chicago. His Brother gave him money to come back to Texas...somehow he ended up in W. Virginia on his way to DC...to take all of his "evidence" to the FBI about these corrupt police harrassing him in Texas...local county deputies. He says..."and they have harmed you too Mom"...but they have not of course. He is in jail in W. Virginia for traffic violations and DUI...but he swears he was just moving from sleeping by the river to a better location and was half asleep. Who knows. We desperately want to get him into a mental care facility, but he is 41 and in Texas has to be a threat to himself or others. Living out of his car, driving all over the us with no license or legal car and possibly drinking and driving...is a danger to self and others. What can the family do to get help for him? He does not believe anything is wrong with him and says "yall don't understand." He is forceful, almost frightening and a highly educated, intelligent young man is being destroyed while we are powerless. What can we do? Mom
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.


First, let me say I can imagine how frustrating and worrisome this situation must be for you. On the one hand your son is an adult and needs to be treated as one and he legally is allowed to be delusional and dysfunctional without having treatment forced on him unless you, the family, go through the sometimes difficult legal proceedings of having him ruled not mentally competent. But on the other hand you are clearly a very loving and caring parent and you know he needs help and it feels so helpless.


And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. Your son almost certainly has a thought disorder such as schizophrenia. And he desperately is need of professional treatment.

Your observations seem correct. You are right that his attempt to be independent is only hurting him and not helping. But it is important for you to not become adversarial about this. To have him feel that you are on his side. Why?

Because taking meds, staying true to treatment, and staying stable, is his lesson to be learned and he will not learn it from having people telling him he's sick when he believes with 100% certainty he's fine and everyone else is wrong. He will become defensive. So it is vital for you not to take your son's situation personally and to always make him feel as if he is in charge of himself. This condition is called anosognosia and is unfortunately rather common with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.


Because of the mental illness one of the problems here is that with many schizophrenia disorders sufferers, manipulating the situation to avoid medication or treatment in general is part of the disorder. It is very pernicious and very difficult to treat. I would like to recommend to you the work of Dr. Xavier Amador. I think that in this area of treatment resistance he has been invaluable to all of us working with schizophrenia. I have found it very valuable and I think you will see its value as well. His whole approach is to find the way to make treatment a win-win situation. Because for your son, treatment at first may be only for others' sakes: family, doctors, etc. Not for himself. The meds probably will indeed cause whole sorts of side effects he doesn't like. And this is going to be true of any meds the doctors come up with. Because resistance is often part of the illness and all meds have side effects.

So this approach can help you very much. But not only you personally, but the whole family. Here are his two most known books:

I am Not Sick, I Don't Need Help. This is the book that made Dr. Amador famous. It details a bit the story of his brother, who will remind of you of Leo probably in some aspects. Amazon page for it:

http://www.amazon.com/someone-mental-illness-treatment-Anniversary/dp/0967718953/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1289946492&sr=1-3

The other book is I'm Right You're Wrong, Now what? Break the Impasse and Get What You Need. Amazon page:

http://www.amazon.com/Right-Youre-Wrong-Now-What/dp/B001Q9E9OC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1289946492&sr=1-1


Here is his organization's website that has wonderful resources available:

http://www.leapinstitute.org/index.html

Okay, I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5106
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
Dr. Mark and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education