Something’s not right
05-07-2022 03:44 AM
Psychosis: What to expect and where can we get long term support?
Hi! I have so many questions and am realising that I probably need to consult with someone professionally to work through them.
My mum has had 2 psychotic episodes that she is now on an anti psychotic since the 2nd episode in 2018. I came on here to ask a question of what I should expect in the recovery and how to access the best help for her but I am realising that I have ao many more questions which might be a bit more than what this forum is for.
My concerns are:
- Since the 2nd psychosis, my mum has lost interest in all of the things she used to enjoy
- I worry that the GP is not reviewing her mental health and she puts on a great facade at the GP so the GP is none the wiser that she isn't leading the engaged life that she used to eg she no longer is an early riser and will easily sleep until 10am whereas she has always been up at 6am. This has stopped her gardening, going to the beach for her morning swim but she hasnt replaced it with other interests either. So I guess the concern is that the medication is numbing her so much so that she isnt participating in life. She relies on us to provide her with companionship which of course we do and love to but she isnt seeking external friendships either.
- My mum works as a receiptionist for my business and truthfully clients have made comments that they have noticed a change in her personality eg no longer as bubbly, is quite vague and unable to confidently answer questions. She gets jittery which seems like underlying anxiety and she generally just gets flustered when dealing with clients. She seems to be getting more migraines this year which I believe is stress induced. She lacks the ability to self assess and reflect on how she is coping. Almost like a learnt coping mechanism. I no longer feel that she is able to fulfill this role without it continuing to impact the business to some degree. She tries so hard and it breaks my heart to see her lack confidence and stress over things but not actually be able to see for herself that she is worrying. It always ends in her getting migraines and having time off work. We have loads of training, 1:1 support and catch ups to check but she always puts on a facade that everything is ok when clearly something is worrying her.
- I believe she may have undiagnosed PTSD which is contributing to the above however because she wont access a psychologist, she has never worked through to get an understanding of whats happening for herself. I worry that how she presents now is all because she is not being supported approiately with the correct diagnosis. She experienced the loss of her dad when she was 16 whom she was closest to moreso than her mum, she came out of a DV marriage as a zingle mum with 3 kids and made a big move away from family to escape my father. She had to do alot on her own which is stressful enough. She also had 2 major physical trauma - the first a car accident which she had significant head injuries and the second she was hit by a car crossing the road. She has had other little things in life which impacted her self esteem as well. Her 2 psycotic episodes were stress induced however the Acute Mental Health team told us it may be Late Onset Schizophrenia. I am not concerned about the diagnosis persay however they really did not do any real therapy to try and dig deeper.
So after all of that, I realise I need someone to talk to, to get a better understanding of what to expect as well where to access a Mental Health Care team that touches base and supports Mum to access better care? We are trying to support her as best as we can however I feel that given the way she is responding to stresses, I feel I am out of my depth and I dont believe her GP is able to support her and help her move forward ina more healthy way. There has never been a review of the medication and whether it impacts her day to day routines and quality of life.
Any suggests and advice is greatly appreciated!
05-07-2022 11:58 AM - edited 05-07-2022 02:16 PM
Re: Psychosis: What to expect and where can we get long term support?
Welcome to the forums. My name is FloatingFeather and I am one of the peer support workers at SANE. Thank you for sharing your story with us. It sounds like you and your mum are going through a very challenging time right now. I can also see that you care for your mum deeply - it sounds like she is lucky to have such a caring child.
I wish I could give you the answers to your questions but my knowledge of psychosis is very limited. I may be wrong but from what you have written about your mum's lack of interest in things she used to love sounds like either her medication is affecting her mood (as you suggest) or she may be depressed? Have you told your mum's GP about this? I understand what you are saying about your mum presenting differently in front of her GP. It would be difficult for her GP to really gauge what is going on with your mum unless she is being transparent with her doctor.
It a shame your mum wont see a psychologist - I think if she would you could both get a better understanding of what is going on with your mum, maybe get a diagnosis and a treatment plan in place. I know it is difficult when you want your loved one to seek professional help but they wont go - it's a bit like having your both hands tied behind your back.
It sounds like your mum has gone through a lot in her life, some of which would have been quite traumatic - I really feel for her.
Have you tried calling your local State or Territory Mental Health Line for help? Maybe they could offer you for some advice, refer your mum to her local mental health service, or at least point you in the right direction.
You may notice that I have added the tag psychosis to your post. That is just to ensure that your post goes to the right thread. If you are looking for other posts relating to psychosis (or another topic) just head to the bottom of the forum page and you will see tag words. Just click on the one you are interested in and it will link you to further information. I have also attached a link here https://www.sane.org/information-and-resources/facts-and-guides/psychosis which is information about psychosis.
I would also encourage you to reach out for support for yourself. Being a carer for someone can be a lonely place to be. If you feel like you need support please reach out to your GP. Alternatively if you do feel like you would like to talk to someone the SANE Support Centre is available to support you from 10am-10pm Monday to Friday. We have counsellors and peer support workers available to support you via phone (1800 18 7263) or webchat.
A carer also needs support as it is a lot to emotionally carry another person. Trust me, I know from my owned lived experience.
Hopefully some other wonderful forum members can also help you. A lot of our members can share experience and wisdom from a lived experience - I'm sure you will find them very supportive and caring.
Wishing you and your mum all the best,
05-07-2022 02:11 PM
Re: Psychosis: What to expect and where can we get long term support?
Your love for your mother and intelligence and follow through shines in your post. @Lotsoflove8
There are Carer organisations eg Tandem which may be of support for you as you support your mother.
There are different Lived Experience focusses organisations out there like VMIAC.
Keep doing what you do.
Re "antipsychotics". I am not a doctor, just someone who did a little bit of science and has lived on the edge of mental health issues since I was a little girl ... so done a lot of thinking etc. Both parents were on earlier medications. I tend to call them neuroleptics ... they are marketed as anti-psychotics which holds the premise that they cure psychosis ... I am not agin understanding biochemical realities ... but think the best way forward ... is to adopt a "Psychosocial" approach regarding all things mental health, rather than pure meds.
Getting the best out of her health care team ... might need a few prods here and there.