Someone I know came to me yesterday to ask advice about how to get help for someone she loves who is exhibiting signs of psychosis. I really didn’t know what to tell her. I’ve been through it, of course, on the other side, but I have no clue how to encourage a smart, thoughtful, proud, and recalcitrant paranoid person to seek help. And then there’s the fact that “help” comes in very different forms for different people.
She’s been calling around at public health entities in the city in which she lives. I advised her to find an excellent therapist in her area and try to get this person into their office. She asked how to know if a therapist is good enough to discern whether this person is ill when they are acting like everything is okay.
That’s a really good question, because there are so many bad therapists and psychiatrists out there. I gave her the name of a psychologist I know is excellent and requested that this therapist recommend another psychologist or psychiatrist to my confidant. I’m not sure this is even useful because the paranoid person doesn’t even go to doctors for physicals or other ailments. And, also there is an issue of shitty health insurance and not enough money for private support.
Mostly I told this person to make sure she has her own personal support network and backup.
Here is a good article on NAMI’s website about the signs and symptoms of psychosis, but I couldn’t find anything in particular about how to get help for someone who won’t even admit there is an issue. I know the real answer is that you can’t. As cliché as it is, someone has to be willing and interested in getting help to actually get it.
If anyone has suggestions, or personal stories they want to share — on any side of the issue — please write your comment in the “Leave a Reply” section. Thanks.