She doesn't want help, but I want to help her.
December 24, 2012 9:26 PM Subscribe
How to convince someone who may be schizophrenic to seek help?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am home for the holidays. I have a cousin who I used to be very close to but have not seen much for a few years, as I now live far from most of my family because of my job. She's in her mid twenties and was acting very strangely. She was never like this in the past, but she was brimming with conspiracy theories; a lot of it typical right wing stuff (Obama is a muslim who was born in Kenya), but some of it regarding people in our family (that one of our family members did not actually die of cancer but was killed by another family member, for one).
She was just acting a lot more paranoid than usual, so I told the cousin's mother, my aunt, that I was worried about her. This cousin still lives at home so my aunt has probably seen her the most out of anyone over these last few years. My aunt broke down, saying that's it's actually much worse than it seems; my cousin hears voices and believes that she can control spirits to harm other people. My aunt has tried to get my cousin to seek treatment, but hasn't been successful. My cousin has an enormous disdain for medicine and doctors, which doesn't help anything.
In the past my aunt hoped that my cousin's behavior was due to illegal drugs, but my aunt is now almost certain that my cousin is not doing any drugs and the odd behavior is still very bad.
My cousin is definitely smart enough to hide most of the things people would think are crazy. I want to help my aunt and my cousin, but I don't know how. How can you help someone who doesn't want help? My cousin is also pregnant and I worry about the welfare of the coming child. My cousin also owns several guns. I know that most mentally ill people are not violent, but the possible untreated mental illness and guns combo definitely worries me.
My aunt is afraid to push too hard because my cousin is distancing herself from almost everyone, and my aunt is the only person she still trusts and confides in (the child's father is not in the picture). She asked me for advice but I was completely at a loss.