How to tell if a Loved one should see a Psychiatrist

How can you tell if your loved one needs to see a psychiatrist? It is not always easy to detect mental illness that might require psychiatric intervention. It is also hard to get a person to the psychiatrist once you have determined your loved one needs to see a psychiatrist. People when they are mentally ill also have civil rights and civil liberties and the right to privacy. Therefore you can tell if your loved one needs to definitely see a psychiatrist, if he is a danger to himself or other people, but can you get your loved one to the psychiatrist?

The psychotic

There is sometimes no way to tell that a psychotic person is in fact psychotic. A psychotic person can hide his mental illness and behave in a total normal manner and even plan ahead his terrible deeds. Psychotic individuals while in mental institutions can control their behavior to elicit discharge from the institution, which then will enable them to commit a further terrible act.

Sociopathic illness

Sociopathic illness is easy to detect when you know your loved one is lying all the time about almost anything which is a symptom of sociopathic disorder. It might also be easier to get a sociopath to see a psychiatrist. He usually knows that he is indulging in delinquent behavior such as stealing, burglary, and other types of crime against society.

Dissociative personality disorder

Dissociative personality disorder is also not easy to detect, but it appears as mood swings due to changing personalities within the person. The person might always behave one way with one person and another way with another person so that you will not recognize his changing personalities. It is easier to detect if he shows a multitude of different personalities with one person.

Dissociative personality disorder comes about two ways – either through severe trauma experienced as a child or young adult in a bad marriage, or through controlled brainwashing.

In the case of brainwashing, the person will be okay if they are deprogrammed. This person needs to see a psychiatrist or a deprogrammer.

The type of dissociative personality disorder that started in childhood definitely needs psychiatric intervention.

Easier to detect mental illnesses

Alcohol and drug abuse are by far the easiest to detect mental illnesses and do require psychiatric intervention. However getting the mentally ill person to the psychiatrist is another story – they really have to admit their illness and want to get well. Other easier to detect mental illnesses are

* obsessive compulsive disorder

Obsessive compulsive disorder may not require psychiatrict intervention unless it is severe and possibly asssociated with another mental illness such as schizophrenia or paranoia.

* manic depression

Bi-polar or manic depression is characterized by mood swings from high to low – from depression to feeling like they are on top of the world and can do anything. People exhibiting this mental illness often think they know more than anyone when they are up – they will not listen to any words of advice and think they know it all. When down they may have thoughts of suicide or actually try to commit suicide.

* phobias

Most people have some phobia about something, but phobias can get so bad that the person may not be able to live a normal life. When phobias are extreme they need to see a psychiatrist.

* anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders can be mild or extreme. Persons suffering from anxiety will need to see a psychiatrist for extreme anxiety disorders that interfere with normal living.

Case study of a woman who needs to see a psychiatrist

It might be easy to detect mental illness in a severe case such as the foregoing, but for a person to get their loved one to the psychiatrist might be extremely difficult, because rarely will an extremely mentally ill person know they are mentally ill and accept being told to see a psychiatrist.

This young woman who was told by a very caring relative to see a psychiatrist. The young woman’s response was “You’re just like him. He was always telling me I’m crazy too.” She was referring to her recently divorced ex-husband. This young woman has a variety of symptoms including lying incessantly, changing personalities and mood swings, suicidal thoughts, suspected mild drug abuse; and psychotic behavior such as breaking things and blaming it on other people, or pulling tantrum and screaming stunts on the people she cares for, going into violent rages and outbursts, forgetting how to get to locations when she is driving, projection of her problems on to other people, picking fights with people and then accusing them of being argumentative, behaving in an abusive manner toward people she loves and than switching to a loving manner . In the case of this particular women all of these symptoms are marked changes in personality that she did not have previously. Her retort of saying “you are just like him, calling me crazy” appears to be a paranoid reaction.

Case study on trying to get help for a mentally ill person

In this case, it was obvious that the husband was mentally ill and his condition was deteriorating rapidly. He was already seeing a psychiatrist and getting his Thorazine for the condition. But he was also taking other drugs – Demerol, STP, LSD, and heroin. His condition was increasingly psychotic and the wife was desperate and called his psychiatrist. The psychiatrist merely said, “take him to the emergency room.” The wife was baffled. How was she going to get a deranged, psychotic man to the emergency room with him weighing 250 pounds against her 125 pounds. The case ended up with the husband trying to kill the wife in an insane spree. The wife was able to escape. It eventually took eight policemen to get the husband to the hospital. The psychiatrist had to resign his position after this incident.

Here is another case:

A mother had a grown-up child who needed psychiatric help due to a combination of drug use, schizophrenia, and anorexia. The subject in question had already been in and out of many mental institutions and had been to many psychiatrists all to know avail. The mother felt over-whelmed at how to get help for her loved one. So she brought this loved one to a self-help therapy session. However the subject did not take the therapy session seriously and sat there not listening, smiling, giggling, and totally disinterested. In some cases it appears that even if you know a loved one needs psychiatric help you can not do anything for them.

Another case:

The young man came back from Viet Nam, practically out of his mind, thinking that he was from another planet, thinking he was Jesus, thinking the color blue was very important so that he bought and even stole blue things. Having gone AWOL from Viet Nam he was eventually picked up at his familial home by the military police who put him in the stockade for a year where he was given psychotropic drugs that caused further derangement. He was eventually released from the stockade due to the intervention of a Senator. He was much worse after being released into the custody of his parents and even went so far as holding the family hostage and doing things like cutting holes in his skin and saying he was dead. This young man was not sent to a psychiatrist by his parents and he was eventually cured through his own will and the help of his parents, but however still receives his military disability because he may not be totally cured. He can however now work again, has remarried, and lives a comfortable life.

Once you get a person to the psychiatrist

Here is another short case study of a woman who is manic-depressive, but she never tells the psychiatrist that she was sexually abused as a child. Many people once going to the psychiatrist don’t give the psychiatrist pertinent information that will help them. They engage in manipulating the psychiatrist.

Caution when dealing with a mentally ill person

If you are not a professional, it is very easy to say and do the wrong thing with a mentally ill person. You know that your loved one is mentally ill, but how do you know what to say to them that will not tip their scales, causing them to commit suicide or some other violent act?

What if you can’t get help for your loved one.

Getting psychiatric help for your loved one after you have determined your loved one needs to see a psychiatrist can be difficult. And if you can’t get help for your loved one, you might be in danger yourself, and the person could be a psychological time bomb like the Virginia Tech murderer. He committed suicide and killed 31 people. Suicide is a violent act and is really the same as murder. If someone is threatening suicide, they are really a very dangerous person and it should be important to get psychiatric help for this person before he does the bad deed. However, although the Virginia Tech murderer was getting psychiatrict help, the help was not sufficient to prevent him from committing a horrible act. This may have happened because psychiatric patients often don’t tell the psychiatrist what he needs to know to help the person. As explained above, they manipulate the psychiatrist.

A psychiatrist may not always be necessary

A good dose of love from family and friends might be the better cure in many cases, but the best way to know if a person needs to definitely see a psychiatrist is if he is a danger to himself or others. If the condition is mild, it may work itself out with good nurturing and supportive friends and family. But as in the case of the psychotic, he may show no outward signs of being a danger to himself or others, and you won’t be able to determine that this person needs psychiatric help.