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Q of the Day - 4.18.04


guigsy
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if you had a friend who was losing their mind, and needed help, what steps could/would you take to get them help? understanding their delusions to be absolutely false, regardless of their insistence that they are not. factor in a strangely religious family, and the possibility that they also could misinterpret a need for serious help, as an infection of the devil, or god's wrong doing, making it difficult to deal with them.

anyone?

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all i know is i had a freind, who something like was happening to. everyone just sat around and figured someone else would deal with it. by the time people tryied to get him help it was to late and he jumped of the balcony of an apartment and died

so all i can say is if you know someone who needs help get them it whatever it takes no matter how stupid or not responsibility you think it is, you could be saving one of your friends lives

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i think that this isn't something one person can tackle on their own, but if he wants to make the effort to help his friend, he could try getting ahold of some of his other buddies to do some kind of "intervention"... the more support, for everyone, the better. the family situation obviously presents a huge barrier... but i have to agree with jared that sitting idly (sp?) by and/or humouring him isn't going to help if he's got a serious problem (and it sounds like he really does). also he could try checking out the canadian mental health association website for more information... dealing with friends with serious mental problems can be hugely draining as i'm sure anyone who's been there (including myself) can attest.. but to wait for somebody else to do something probably isn't the way to go. best of luck.

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Assuming he/she is a close friend,

- try contacting a brother or sister who doesn't live w/ the parents (if they have one) to deal with it.

- network w/ friends and family - maybe one of them is or knows a mental health worker that can help.

- bring him/her to the hospital yourself - have em' checked out without telling the Bible-bangers; your friends' health is more important than his family's "beliefs". (assuming he/she is an adult)

If this person is in their early to mid 20's, it could possibly be the first signs of schitzophrenia, but it may also be something more serious... hypothetically speaking ya?

I've had the misfortune of witnessing 4 full-on human mental breakdowns due to various reasons - shitzofrenia (2), encephalitus due to Hodgkins disease and nervous breakdown. All of them resulted in some seriously fucked-up behavior....very sad and frightening to witness.

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Weezy's right based on the age it could be schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Or just run of the mill delusion (but usually there's a more overarching illness at work). Bear in mind that if a person is in a state of psychosis or delusion they will have little or no insight into their own condition (in fact this lack of insight is a symptom of the illness). People tend to have delusions that are related to their belief system, i.e. if you're Christian you'll interpret the disturbance in those terms or buddhist, or conspiracy theories etc. I think the suggestions in terms of contacting brothers or sisters or friends is a good call but I am weary of the whole intervention idea. Bear in mind that when in the lure of these sorts of delusions you likely already think it's you against the world and that you have a 'true' insight others lack, the whole sneak attack intervention can seem like people ganging up on you rather then caring about you. There's no silver bullet here but the quicker you get some medical help for your friend the quicker they can assess him and possibly medicate him- which will ween you out of the crisis stage you're in. To be certain there is danger in trying to address the situation and more danger leaving it unadressed. Any way that you can empathize while trying to introduce the idea that things are not right would be a step forward.

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