Sticky situation

Hello all,
I wonder if anyone has any guidance, advice, comments or just words about this. My son, 26 yrs old, has a diagnosis of schizophrenia, ADHD and neurodevelopmental disorder. He has been in hospital a few times but is now in supported accommodation on a Community Treatment Order. He is on various medications. The thing is that over the last few months, from where I’m sitting, his condition has got worse. He has very fixed ideas about the world and himself, can’t listen to any counter-arguments, and gets very insistent if anyone disagrees. He believes, on the basis of very indirect evidence, that he has saved lives, and that therefore he should be off the CTO. He does not accept that he is ill, or that he needs help. He also thinks I can get him off the CTO by telling the psychiatrist to do that. He has unrealistic ideas about living with a friend, getting a job etc. At the moment he can’t manage his money at all, and his self-care is quite deficient. The psychiatrist has increased the anti-psychotic medication, and the staff where he lives says there has been an improvement (previously he was arguing with them, smoking in his room etc). The situation has become quite tense now, and we are arguing - because he wants me to get him off the CTO. This is affecting my mental health, my work, and my relationship. I feel like he is not going anywhere and the only treatment he is getting is the medication. Does anyone know anything else? Therapeutic communities? Cognitive training? any advice greatly appreciated. P

Patrick, is he under a MDT? Psychiatrists seem to only prescribe meds, whereas psychologists are able to offer a range of talking therapies including CBT. Sorry if I am only telling you what you already know.

Thanks Melly.
No you’re not at all! what is an MDT?
the problem with therapies if they are available is that my son does not think he needs it and would not go of his own accord.
I guess it may change.

Multidisciplinary team ie a team made up of a variety of professionals - psychologists, Mental health nurses, counsellors, often occupational therapists etc

There are others on here who know a lot more about Mental Health - they should be able to advise further.

thanks Melly - that makes sense.
No there is just the psychiatrist, but they do work with OTs etc.
not psychologists as far as I am aware.
anyway thanks!

He may be persuaded to engage with talking therapies as a way to move on with his life. In his mind that will be to get off the CTO, live with a friend and get a job etc … That doesn’t matter as it will be the psychologists to tackle how realistic this.

Hi @Patrick_2208 I don’t have a lot of experience of mental health, but a fair bit of experience of neurodiversity. Not sure that any of that experience would be useful in your situation and @Melly1 has given the main advice I’d be giving: ask the psychiatrist about getting other professionals involved.

The only thing I would otherwise do is ask if he’s actually taking his meds. Chances are if he’s convinced he doesn’t need anything, he’s at least trying to avoid taking his meds and disposing of them.

That’s a good point Charles. My daughter was prescribed pills several years ago and has never taken a single one! They were to help with her anxiety and keep her on an even keel. She says she doesn’t need any medication.

Good luck Patrick.

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Hi Patrick

My son has a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. In his twenties his behaviour was very challenging and he was often sectioned. As he improved the hospital would move him onto a Community Treatment Order and let him out into the world. As I understand it this is rather like a prisoner wearing an ankle tag: if my son didn’t take his meds the hospital had legal powers to recall him.

Does your son take pills, or does he receive injections? My son was expert at concealing his pills in his cheek like a hamster, but these days he has an injection every 3 weeks without any trouble. Wise health professionals would prescribe a soluble version of any pills.

At one point he had a number of sessions of talking therapy, but never seemed to gain any insight or change his way of thinking.

He is nearly 42 now and much calmer, but he still gets agitated if people challenge his ideas. I’ve learned just to agree to everything he says! I find that the less I say the better. For instance, if I tell him it’s time for me to take him to his flat he usually says he doesn’t want to go. I don’t go into any detail about why he has to go, I just stay silent.

I’m sorry I haven’t much advice but please know you’re not alone in this.

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