06-03-2015 07:41 PM
Hi, am really pleased to have finally found an online forum that is Australian based where not only can I vent but also ask questions and advice!! It has only taken me five years to finally find this 'safe' place! My partner of five years has schizo effective disorder, of course I knew this when I met him but had no idea of how much of a roller coaster ride it can certainly be from time to time, especially when he begins displaying those early warning signs!! Although this illness is nothing new to him....he has lived with it since he was 17, he is now 43 but even now after I have been through two major episodes with him, both ending in three months stays in a pysch ward, 6 hours drive from where we live, I do not feel he fully understands the impact it has on us as a family, not so much financially but it can be extremely emotionally draining as the one left at home to go in what I call 'damage control.' From the get go his extended family always told me I should never tell him exactly what he has done and said when he has been unwell but my therapist (as OMgoodness I have certainly needed one) has said it is okay to talk about the things that happened as she agrees that he does need to be aware of his actions to help him gain some insight and give him more reasons to stay well, this of course needs to be done in a calm repectful manner. However, that is not my reason for writing tonight. My partner has had the same GP for the past 15 years and he really likes him as basically any reduction in meds.....this GP will give it to him!!! This is despite the community treatment orders that have been put in place, although I know a GP has the power to reduce meds but one would have thought the moral thing to do would be to check with the mental health team and physciatrist first!!?? But no not this particular GP, he is known for hanging up on the Guardianship board and just doing what his client requests, regardless of whether or not it is in the best interests of the client and the client's family who are left to pick up the pieces. I would have thought the very least the GP would do was at least give me a call to see what my thoughts were on a reduction, and how I thought my partner was faring seeing as I , and my 15 year old daughter, live with him. But NO not this Doc he just does what he wants to do even though my partner's parents have complained to the medical board on numerous occasions. I guess my question is , has anyone else had these difficulties with doctors??? And if so, what more can I do??
06-03-2015 10:23 PM
Welcome to the Forums, glad you feel pleased about joining. I hope you find the forums supportive and informative.
In response to the first part of your post, I think talking to your partner about the impact of his behaviour in a clam and respectful is a great approach. It helps raise his awareness, and shows him that there are consequences for certain behaviours.
Now to your main question. Hmmmm, I can't say that I know of anyone that has had this issue. But perhaps I can invite other carers who care for partners that might be able to offer some insights into how they deal with medication and health professionals. @Cazzie @Tatsinda and @3forme any words of advice for Attahua.
You might also find this thread about carers experiences with medication and the health care system interesting too.
09-03-2015 02:32 PM
hmmm the conundrum!
Would your partner be open to you jointly attending appointments with the GP? I guess this could be part of the reflective process, in the hope that you could feedback the observations you have made, both when he is slipping, and during an episode, and that your partner would be open to this feedback as part of his overall recovery. I also agree that feedback is important. Ideally this would be done when he is well and receptive to the idea, in planning for future episodes, and what his and your expectations would be during this time.
Perhaps this might be better done with a therapists, the practices then applied to the GP appointment?
Alternatively, I am wondering if you would think about seeking further advice on this situation from, 'Mental Health Advice Line', which is in Victoria. It provides telephone advice, information and referral 24/7,
1300 280 737
or Vmiac (Victorian mental illness awareness council)? They have a strong advocacy role,
Check out the site here;
Hopefully this will be the next step in your relationship, and opens the way for more dialogue about moving forward.
09-03-2015 09:10 PM
11-03-2015 05:13 PM
It sounds like you have been through a tough time. I would think it would be a good idea to attend the GP with your partner so you can get the family's point of view across, he needs to see the effect that your partner's illness has on the family.
It sounds a bit unusual for a GP to adjust medication without consulting with the mental health team??
I also agree that your partner should know what happens when he is unwell. I know it can be a difficult conversation to have and there can be issues with guilt and wanting to protect our loved ones. I think its also important to know they are still loved, even when they are unwell.
I'm not sure where you live but your partner may want to complete an advance care plan when he is well? He can decide in advance what type of treatment, medications he would prefer if he becomes unwell. An advance care plan could give you some leveredge as the GP would need to justify their actions if the care plan is not followed.
11-03-2015 07:53 PM
08-10-2015 08:36 AM
Dear Attahua ... you kindly wrote to me on 27 Sep 2015, but I have so much difficulty locating the thread of messages. I still can't find my postings and the responses, so I typed your name in the search bar, which led me to a different set of messages. From this I see that you are dealing with a difficult situation, and yet you so kindly wrote to me with support. Thank you very much. You take care... Ruth x
08-10-2015 09:23 AM
Hi I have a parent who suffers from Schizo-Affective Disorder and the scenario you are mentioning is eeerily familiar to me. My parent has a long history despite her illness of manipulating doctors into reducing her meds shortly after discharge from inpatient stays, which then usually leads to a very quick deterioriation in her mental state. My most recent experience is with their psychiatrist/ GP who after her last inpatient admission decided to reduce her meds within 2-3 months of discharge and remove her ITO, and we have been living with a roller coaster ever since. In this case, I would have hoped for a Mental Health Tribunal Meeting so we as a family could formally address our concerns, but this doctor was able without informing any of us to write to the Tribunal directly and have the ITO withdrawn with there being no accountability. Myself and another extended family member have since spoken with and written to this professional, indicating our concerns including that they have appeared to be quite unwell, and have been told that although they are still his patient that quote "It is not their problem", "That she didn't meet the criteria "(what criteria?) for maintaining her ITO status, and that if we have concerns that we will have to go through the whole process of having her involuntarily hospitalised all by ourselves all over again. A friend who is a nurse and had some experience working in mental health has told me previously that threatening or taking legal action is the only way to make these professionals modify their behaviour. Health Departments are notoriously useless for dealing with this issue in my opinion, but someone else reading these comments may have some useful advice.
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