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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5334
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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A Psychiatrist diagnosed my friend as being a "text book schitsophrenic."

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A Psychiatrist diagnosed my friend as being a "text book schitsophrenic." He gave her an RX to take for this diagnosis. She claims the meds didn't agree with her. She stopped taking them. Meanwhile she has a problem as an alcolholic, that she hasn't conquered, though she has an AA sponsor, and has attended a few meetings. She is now going to a hypnotherapist (sp?) hoping this will help her stop drinking. I would think she should find THE RIGHT, (agree with her body chemistry) meds to address her mental condition, before she can expect to address, and hope for success with stopping drinking. I am not a professional...I don't know how to give her quality advice. She says she "self-medicates"...I assume she means with drinking. BotXXXXX is tragic to see her so messed up, I don't know how to give her quality advice. She is highly intelligent, and when sober, a wonderful person. I hate to see her go to waste, or, something suicidal, whatever...How to I best advise, help her??
I hope you can give me some insight. Thank you, Ann
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.

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

First, let me say I can imagine how frustrating this situation must be for you. You are clearly a caring person and she's fortunate you're concerned for her wellbeing.

You are more than likely right about the alcohol being the self medicating. At least let's hope she's not mixing it with any other street drugs. I'm going to assume that we're dealing with a straightforward case of schizophrenia given the doc's statement. Self medicating, then, is a common problem.

One of the problems here is that with many schizophrenia 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 know some people don't go for his style, but 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 daughter, treatment is always going to be only for others' sakes: family, doctors, etc. Not for herself. The meds probably cause whole sorts of side effects she doesn't like.That's why she's sticking with the alcohol.

So this approach can help you very much. 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 your daughter probably in some aspects.

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

So, read whichever one strikes you and digest the idea and then see if you can use the approach to help her.

I wish you the very best!

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