Getting through to someone who rejects treatment

Hi guys, a good friend of mine came to me wondering if I could help him out. His brother is struggling with apparent delusions and paranoia. He isn’t making a lot of sense and has a considerable level of paranoia. His primary care doctors recommended he go on antipsychotics to help with his symptoms. He has already seen a psychiatrist but he still doesn’t want to take his meds.

My friend knows about my mental health problems/diagnosis. I have made progress by taking meds and accepting treatment. He is hopeful that I can somehow get through to his brother and help him.

I was just wondering if any of you guys have been put in a similar situation. If so, does anyone have any tips on how to approach this? I’m obviously gonna draw from my own experience and stuff. but am a bit nervous that I won’t be able to help. His brother is very stubborn.



During an episode he cannot be reasoned with. Must wait till he comes to his senses. Until then he should be watched closely because he’s a danger to himself.
An alternative would be to conceal medicine in his food at first, but I personally dislike the approach.

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Why not call 911 and send him to mental hospital? Then he will be forced to take injections by the law.

If he goes on medication willingly it could help ease the paranoia. Let him know its normal for people to breakdown and that not everyone who has a break is chronic schizophrenic. Some people due to stress have temp psychosis and the medications bring them back. For me, it really did work to get rid of the symptoms but they pretty much never came back. Not everyone is like that.


Give an inch to take a mile. I would find that if I gave the other person an inch then I could take a mile. Tell him that he’s right about one or two of his delusions, and the relief of being understood should calm him down a lot. You might then be able to gently lead him into treatment.

It’s like trying to calm down a wild horse, you have to gain their trust first, The best way to do this is to tell the patient that he’s right about something.

The longer the person stays psychotic the worse for them. I was delusional for half a decade. Mother cared for my bodily needs but ultimately it was futile if I didn’t get better mentally. One must make the victim somewhat reasonable first.

If attempts of their close family members to reason failed, I can only see the option of feeding him hidden medicine. After the medicine takes effect, then talk to the person. Since you have access to a doctor they should be able to give you the safe medicine option.

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dont tell them to drug him that will only lose his trust in the few he still trusts. tell them to set up an interventon and ask him to go willingly if not hell evntually get to the level to where he will try anything to make it stop. in that regard keep him under close supervision to prevnt suicide.
or if you want to be shady tell them to ask him questions like if he wants to hurt himself or others if he has a plan etc and record it then theyll 5150 him and force him to take perscriptions if he wants release

It seems like a contradiction to me that people argue against concealed medicine by parents but argue for forceful intervention by strangers.

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study ethics 12345

study ethics

For the sake of original poster, enlighten us.

It’s common people don’t think they are sick. I get tired quickly of people who say we’d be shaman’s or mystics or such. We have a brain disorder that affects roughly 1 % of the population.

It’s a curious concern. I think it’s good there’s long acting injectables these days. People often don’t know they are sick and early intervention with appropriate medications really is a good thing. Certain places have bills of rights and things and you can deny your treatment. That is where the ethics lies. Still. I’m a fan of enforced treatment orders. Lets not turn this into an argument. Be kind to each other and lets keep the topic healthy so others can form their opinions.


for the sake up time enlighten yourself

It may be necessary to intervene forcefully. I haven’t seen the guy.

Calling a bunch of strangers into your house, having them tie your relative to a table, maybe electrocute him, definitely have a forceful injection, is not and will never be more ethical than quietly slipping a pill assuming it was prescribed by a specialist that they supposedly have available. That is hypocrisy and attempt to avoid responsibility.

Shove your ethics .

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I appreciate your worry with romanticizing mental illness, for it can be quite detrimental to those afflicted. But you present a false dichotomy unfortunately. Roles in society are not handed out by examining brain deviations. The same brain state in one place or time may give rise to behaviour that is appropriated quite differently depending on the context. We need something better than this fallacy to help stay sane.

I think a good approach might be to tell him, with regards to his paranoia, that his fears will lessen severily if he took meds. Be honest with him, side effects will suck for the first month, but he will feel so much better in the long run. Don’t sugar coat it, but do make sure to let him know how and why he’ll feel better. Focus on the positives, but be realistic.

1 im referring to an intervention with immediate family and friends not strangers
2what your proposing is illegal in every place I know of because of ethics. mayby consider taking a law class as well. lol

Thanks for the advice guys.

Turns out he’s agreeing to take his meds and continue seeing a psychiatrist. My buddy informed me of this and I will not have to help.

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