- A therapist who thought my son had a bad case of "failure to launch" and completely missed the fact that my son was developing schizophrenia. (My hand to God ... it's true.) Even better, when my son had to be taken to the emergency room and the psych ward, we were unable to reach him because his office phone had been cut off for nonpayment. Thanks, Cigna.
- A therapist who talked my son with schizophrenia into not taking his medicine. (Surprise! His ideas about the illness being the remnants of drug use were wrong.)
- A psychiatrist whose wife/office assistant got me mixed up with another patient's caregiver, yelled at me, realized her mistake and said, "Please don't tell my husband."
Nonetheless, it's important to partner with your loved one's social worker, case manager, therapist and/or psychiatrist. I've found there's a natural period where they assume that you are part of the problem, but it can change over time. And, even if the therapist is unable to tell you things, you have every right to call the therapist with important information.
We've been working for 3-1/2 years to get my son moved to a good counseling center where he soon will have a case manager who I personally know from many months in a support group where he is the social worker. He's heard me bitch so much about the other social workers and therapists that I think he's a little worried about working with me. I got that from this direct quote: "You're going to be mad at me now."
Probably not. The issue with schizophernia is that the illness begins at about age 20, when the young person is trying to get away from Mom. That makes trying to get the person to do what you know they need to do all the more trying. I do look forward to having a strong thoughtful social worker take on the role of my son's advocate.
The biggest issue is keeping a good relationship with a case manager or therapist in place. Lots of people change jobs, and, when that person is your loved one's link to sanity, it can have a serious impact. Like I said, I know appreciate that my daughter's psychiatrist worked with her for 14 years. I think that had a major impact in helping her grow into better mental health.