One of the tragic truths of psychiatry is that the sickest patients more often than not either don’t realize they are ill, or are convinced that treatment will do nothing. No group of patients better exemplifies this than those with schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses. A common presentation in Dr. H's office is an older adolescent or young adult, often male, who is descending into psychosis and also completely unaware of the illness or need for treatment. Meanwhile, the parents are telling of frightening threats, explosive outbursts, bizarre behaviors, profound social isolation, and/or paranoid beliefs.
This episode today is the first of two parts— in part 1, Karen, the mother of Sam, describes the progression of his illness and how she has grieved and coped and parented him. In part 2 in two weeks, we’ll hear from Laurie and Dave, who also have a son with severe mental illness. The two stories are both the same and also different in some key ways. One thing they both share is that their sons, after some very scary times, both finally agreed to engage with treatment.
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