A “bad” situation isn’t always bad

Jennifer’s situation isn’t all bad, but I can’t tell her this if I’m hoping to gain her trust. She wants me on HER side and I’m afraid she’ll shut down if I tell her what I would do if I were her. Now that I think of it, I can be a little more forthright when she complains about the Haldol. I can agree with her that it’s an outdated med and the trembling it produces is unacceptable, but I can also slip in that the newer antipsychotics are terrible for weight gain, and I’ve heard they are harder to withdraw from. I don’t want to “tell” her she’s wrong about the Haldol, because she isn’t, but, at the same time, I want to encourage her to adopt a more “radical acceptance” attitude. She’s been involuntarily committed. Her attitude in future may keep her well and out of the hospital.

Maybe if she also changed her attitude about her state appointed guardian, she’d might get some doors to open. According to Jennifer, he’s an idiot out to get her, nothing he says can be trusted. Why should she play ball with him? etc. It’s obvious to ME that he holds the get out of jail free card, but this doesn’t seem obvious to Jennifer in her present state. I believe, and I may be wrong, that, in the past, by rebuffing all attempts by the state to encourage her to take sheltered training, the guardian decided she was a lost cause. She is no longer entitled to training. That’s my understanding of the situation, anyway.

My years of experience dealing with my own son tell me that Focused Listening may be her best chance to get off the drugs for good and become rational enough to hold down a job. I’m not sure how much, if at all, she’s doing what I feel she should be doing to achieve what she tells me she wants to achieve. (I’ll accept that the last sentence is a bit of a mind bender.) The only strategy I can think of to get her to do the Focused Listening is to be on her side. It’s a complicated dance we’re doing.

5 thoughts on “A “bad” situation isn’t always bad”

  1. Hi Rossa, keep up d good work. It’s very thoughtful of you. Give me some tips for my son, he is much better now but I want him to complete his MBA n start working, which he is still not keen on.

    1. Hi, Sheela,
      I’m glad to hear that you son is much improved. My advice? Don’t push him. When other things have improved it’s the negative symptoms of schizophrenia that are the hardest to crack, and motivation is one of those symptoms. The only hope I see for increasing motivation is to increase brain energ, and by that, I’m referring to the music therapy that Laurna Tallman advocates that I’ve been writing a lot about recently.
      Best regards,

  2. The difficulty with schizophrenia is that the person has been forced by the illness into a level of brain function much like a pre-school child and needs an advocate who can respectfully take on that parental role. Jennifer probably is not capable of maintaining a routine of Focused Listening unless someone is there to do the reminding and insisting and hand-holding. The medication makes her that much less able to think or act with self-control. Then, as she improves, the medication should be tapered. That strategy requires an observant adult with the authority to take those steps and the knowledge to have confidence in the strategy. I live for the day when the people running mental hospitals find other employment.

  3. My 26 yr old son is homeless & doesnt think anything is wrong with him. Ive taken him to a psych & the ‘ologist & they wont treat him til he goes to rehab. Im probably going to kill him & then myself. Please help

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