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Old 07-22-2011, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Texas
565 posts, read 773,134 times
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Sorry if this has posted before but I didnít search much. I have some questions about metal illnesses maybe someone can answer. I need some other perceptions on this issue besides mine and a friends differing opinion. Here is a little background info about our friend who has a mental illness. She hasnít been diagnosed yet with anything but we think it might be paranoia issues. She always thinks other people are out to get her and in this conspiracy against her. She thinks the government is after her for some reason. Also she canít keep a job because she thinks her coworkers are spying on her. She doesnít think she has a mental illness or that anything is wrong. She wonít go get help because of that. Sheís 33 still living at home with her parents because she has no money to live on her own. She has no desire to search for a job or actually get one.

Now to my questions, does a mentally ill person know they have a mental illness? Do most mentally ill not realize they have a problem? Thatís why they donít get help because they donít think they have a problem. I was talking with our other friend we have. He was saying that she doesnít realize she has an illness. Thatís the reason why she acts the way she does. Letís just say she might be really mean to you one day and he goes thatís because of her illness. She canít get a job because of her illness. Iím not so sure if all of it is her illness. I donít think you can blame everything on her illness. It seems to me like my friend want to say all of this is because of her illness. I understand she has problems and part of it is her illness. Sheís not willing to get help or do anything about it. Weíve tried to get her help and even her family has. There is not much you can do if she wonít go get help herself. My friend was like if you had a mental illness you wouldnít know you had it. Iím just wondering does a person really not know they have a mental illness. Not all metal illnesses are the same. Some mentally ill do know they have a problem and get help for it.
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:11 PM
 
1,083 posts, read 1,393,189 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txmusicgal View Post
Not all metal illnesses are the same. Some mentally ill do know they have a problem and get help for it.
You answered your own question right there. Some people have insight into their own mental illness and some don't. Something like paranoia and other types of psychosis can be tricky and very difficult for a person to gain insight into.

You are probably right that not everything can be blamed on your friend's illness, but it sounds like she really needs help if she is not able to live on her own or keep a job. It can be difficult to impossible to function in life with a serious mental illness. I wish I had a suggestion for you that might help. Maybe some kind of gentle, supportive intervention can be coordinated with her family, friends, and a mental health professional? Good luck...
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:38 PM
 
Location: FL
1,717 posts, read 1,248,725 times
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I believe they can know. I live in a world of extreme paranoia, probably way worse than your friend. Someone's always out to get me, I'll keep binoculars on my fence and gates in the middle of the night, won't run to many electrical appliances at once for fear the house will burn down, dread answering the phone (it must be horrible news), etc.

The tough thing about seeking help is again, the paranoia because what happens when if I decide to go get help? They could decide to keep me and not release me....a very scary prospect.
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Old 07-23-2011, 01:53 AM
 
Location: Texas
565 posts, read 773,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marmom View Post
I wish I had a suggestion for you that might help. Maybe some kind of gentle, supportive intervention can be coordinated with her family, friends, and a mental health professional? Good luck...
I did sort of answer my own question but I want to see other peoples opinions on it. She could live on her if she was able to keep a job but she can't. She can function day to day and you wouldn't notice she had a problem unless she told you about it. An intervention would not work for her because she's past the point of having one. Her parents got her a court order from a judge to get her help. So she talked to a psychiatrist telling them all about her paranoia issues. Since she is not a harm to society or herself there was nothing they could do about it. She has past family history of mental illnesses too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt. Buzzcut View Post
I believe they can know. I live in a world of extreme paranoia, probably way worse than your friend.

The tough thing about seeking help is again, the paranoia because what happens when if I decide to go get help? They could decide to keep me and not release me....a very scary prospect.
When did you come to realize that you had a problem with paranoia? Have you ever gotten any help for it? My other friend seems to think she doesn't know she has a mental illness. That's why she won't get help because she doesn't know something is wrong. How can she not know something is wrong when she can't keep a job? Most people don't get fired or quit a ton of jobs without something being wrong even if it isn't a mental illness. I want her to get better but she's not thinking clearly or in her right mind. She has so much potential but her mental illness is taking over.
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Michigan--good on the rocks
2,544 posts, read 2,113,195 times
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The hardest part of dealing with a mental disorder is helping that person understand that there is a problem. Some people realize something is wrong, some don't. If your whole perception of reality is altered, you very possibly would not realize it.

As you said, if she is not a danger to herself or others, then the courts cannot force her to enter treatment. If she voluntarily talked to a therapist (Psychiatrist or otherwise), then she might begin to understand the depth of her issues. Even that can take years, and then "flareups" of her illness may contribute to her lack of understanding even after she has gained some insight. This is why many go off their medications.

If you want to be involved, then probably the most you can do is try to help her understand that the world is not like that for everyone. I don't think a confrontational approach (such as an "intervention") would be helpful at this point. She'd just shut down and you would become a part of her paranoia.

Good luck.
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:50 AM
 
Location: FL
1,717 posts, read 1,248,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txmusicgal View Post
I did sort of answer my own question but I want to see other peoples opinions on it. She could live on her if she was able to keep a job but she can't. She can function day to day and you wouldn't notice she had a problem unless she told you about it. An intervention would not work for her because she's past the point of having one. Her parents got her a court order from a judge to get her help. So she talked to a psychiatrist telling them all about her paranoia issues. Since she is not a harm to society or herself there was nothing they could do about it. She has past family history of mental illnesses too.



When did you come to realize that you had a problem with paranoia? Have you ever gotten any help for it? My other friend seems to think she doesn't know she has a mental illness. That's why she won't get help because she doesn't know something is wrong. How can she not know something is wrong when she can't keep a job? Most people don't get fired or quit a ton of jobs without something being wrong even if it isn't a mental illness. I want her to get better but she's not thinking clearly or in her right mind. She has so much potential but her mental illness is taking over.
It's been there for a long time since childhood but has consistenetly gotten worse over the years, I'm getting ready to do something about it now...no matter what the price. It's no way to live, I've had problems keeping jobs as well. Looking back it was things like loud noises making me jump out of the seat of my pants (for instance a kid takes a ruler and smacks it on the desk), no one else overeacts and thinks it's funny but to me it's a crisis and not funny. Anti-social behavior I believe because I trust no one, it's always been that way so having friends is not important at all.

Paranoia to me can escalate into panic which has resulted into a few trips to the "nut house" for me. Then I don't believe I should be there because there are some seriously whacked out people there and then I have to lie my arse off to get out of there because I'm not comfortable sleeping around people who have been in state prison and are getting denied discharges and become long term residents.

I believe your doing the right thing by bringing it to your friends attention she has a problem, she need to be made aware her behavior is not normal and the more people she hears it from, perhaps it will incline her to seek help. It's very difficult to come to grips and confront the problem...IMO no one want's a label or the distinction of perhaps any term that involves "mental illness", we all want to believe we are normal. Maybe if her parents would speak to her and make it clear their is no harm in just getting evalauted....sounds like they may even be enablers and it;s hard for parents themselves to confront the possiblity their own may have mental issues.
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:18 PM
 
2,820 posts, read 2,070,677 times
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Some people do, some people don't. I have an aunt with schizophrenia who lives in a group home. She does not believe herself to be ill, and constantly tries to hide her medication or avoid taking it. To her, her visions and the voices she hears are absolutely real.

On the other hand, my mother has a friend with schizophrenia. She's a very intelligent lady who has written several books. She is aware that she is ill, and that she needs medication to function. At the same time, she is convinced she has a 'spiritual lover' who visits her at night. So on one hand, she is aware of her diagnosis, but some aspects of the illness she believes to be 'real' and separate from her schizophrenia.

Mental illness takes so many forms, and every person is affected differently even within the same diagnosis. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to convince a person they are ill when they are in a crisis...to them, those feelings of being watched are valid and terrifying. I'm afraid I don't really have a good answer for you, but your friend may truly not realize she's trapped in this paranoia- or she may, and just needs support to help her get the help she needs.
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:22 PM
 
Location: California
2,058 posts, read 5,649,231 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txmusicgal View Post
does a mentally ill person know they have a mental illness?
Not always. I have a family member who has schizophrenia. It began to show in his late teens. His parents had him committed when he was in his 20's as he was talking to himself about killing people and being killed, waving his arms, talking nonsense, etc. It was determined that he was not a danger to society or himself and he was let go. He will not speak to his parents any longer. He has been a functional schizophrenic for the past 20 years or so. He's able to hold some jobs. But if you read his writings or talk in depth to him, you can clearly tell he is not well mentally. He has always denied being ill and has never received any help. In fact he blames his family for everything. They are the sick ones.

When this happens and families can not tolerate the affects of the illness in their home, some of these people end up on the streets. It's a sad situation.

I have a friend who is bi-polar. She knows she is ill and has tried for years to help herself. She's done some pretty awful things to her family and has great regret, but when she is manic, it is very hard to control. But she is aware.

So it can be either way.
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Old 07-23-2011, 04:36 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
7,611 posts, read 8,782,605 times
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I think it depends on the illness. I know several folks with bi-polar, and they seem to be aware. Those with personality disorders almost never have any idea, b/c anything that happens to them is someone else's fault. Schizophrenics usually don't seem to know. And then when it's something that's in and out, they'll know when they have awareness, but not know when they're having a spell. Tricky stuff.
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