How to convince a patient that he/she has scizophrenia and needs medication

My 25 year old cousin had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and she has been on medication for 4 years.
However, recently she is hell bent on not taking medication. She feels nothing is wrong with her and that medication is ruining her life. She refuses to visit doctors or counselors and gets extremely agitated if we ask her to take medication.

It is also becoming tough to slip the medicine into her food/water.

How do you convince a patient that they need medication if they refuse to listen to you and are almost always talking to themselves?

Please help, we are out of ideas and clueless of what to do to help her.
Also, does homeopathy and non-antibiotic (anti-psychotic) medication work?

Thanks, and best wishes to everyone recovering/ dealing with schizophrenia.

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Only antipsychotics are clinically proven to be effective for treatment of psychosis. Nothing else is equivalent.

In my experience you can’t really. Insight is something a person with psychosis has to find for themselves and sometimes this is impossible when in the depths of an episode. It took me nearly 2 decades of illness to develop insight.

Some people end up involving police and get it court mandated their loved one get medicated (usually an injection rather than pills) and treatment. Very tough decision and does not guarantee the person will continue it once the mandate period ends.

Maybe you could recommend your cousin come on this website. Many of us have had similar struggles w meds and have found different techniques and remedies to help w side effects.

Thanks for you reply Anna.
If she would only listen to me, that would be great.
She has developed a deep animosity towards us and the family because I guess we couldn’t understand her earlier and she thinks we gave her meds and ruined her life.
Anyway, I will try that.

Also, do you know if there are any regional forums.
For example, maybe if she spoke/met to people with similar struggles around her, it could help her realize the problem?

Thanks again :slight_smile:

Hello,@howdoesitmatter. I’d like to encourage you to join our forum for Family and Caregivers that can be found at:

While this is a peer support forum for people with schizophrenia and other closely related psychotic disorders, the Family forum is specifically for people like yourself, who have a loved one they are concerned about.

Also, please let your loved one know about this forum as they may find it helpful.

Best of luck,

Volunteer Moderator Treebeard

I feel sorry for you. Its almost impossible to convice someone to take pulls. Even pdocs dont know how to do it. Sometimes if you try to help and you cant …leave it to God.

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The only thing you can do is wait. If they refuse to take their pills there’s not much you can do. and if you force them to take them it’s only going to make them not trust you. So honestly wait she might notice she’s not ok and willingly take them. And if she starts going down hill maybe take her to a hospital. That’s what I would do.

One of the common symptoms of a sz is that they can become paranoid people are drugging and poisoning them, especially in their food. And it turns out in this case it is true, so not a paranoid delusion or a symptom of schizophrenia which could be used against her.

If someone won’t take their meds and they are uncompliant then tricking and decieving a sz patient is the worst thing you could do. If they have a psychotic break from not taking meds then so be it, however, once hospitalised they will be forcibly medicated and will probably be given a depot injection instead of pills in the future. That is the path that will inevitably happen and should be carefully explained to her, so as to avoid it in the long run. Using this argument is more likely to influence her decision to be compliant rather than disgustingly drugging her without her knowledge.

Discussion and debate, I would encourage, but I certainly find it abhorrent that the girl is drugged against her knowledge and consent, when “being poisoned” in her eyes with antipsychotic drugs deceitfully is the very thing she probably needs medicating for in the first place. How can she trust you when you trick her in the first place? And findiing people to trust is very important for anyone diagnosed as schizophrenic.

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