Mental Illness question (What can be done?)

I’m just wondering, I know a former friend of mine who has been erratic the past few years… accusing people of a conspiracy against him… I can’t get into too many details, suffice to say he thinks people are watching him… saying lies about him… hacking his computer… sitting outside in cars tapping into his conversations. What I’m wondering is, what can be done? He doesn’t have any family to speak of and he’s well into his 30’s. I was discussing this with a friend of mine and he’s of the mind that the only way you can even do something for the person is if they do something outwardly bad that can be proven. Is this true?

He needs to see a professional.

Does he trust you enough that you could suggest that you’re worried about his health and would feel better if he would see a physician?

It had been suggested in the past by many of his former friends. Heck, they even had an intervention of sorts two years back. He just turned into a recluse and only now is starting to surface again around town and online. Is there anything to be done with a person who has basically alienated everyone, is obviously… I guess schizophrenic is the word here… who does not think there is anything wrong with them (even though to everyone he has alienated who has tried to help him has told him there’s no conspiracy against him and that he really ought to seek help)?

No, there’s not a lot that can be done. The symptoms you describe are very commonly associated with paranoid schizophrenia.

To get medical intervention, one must have a lever. These days that tends to mean the patient must be judged a threat to themselves or another (and frankly, most schizophrenics really are not big risks for acute harm to self or others). Or the person must have strong enough ties to something external (family, job, professional license) that the legitimate threat of removing said external valued thing is enough to get the person to seek help (sometimes happens, but not for most).

Many schizophrenics do end up in prison for anti-social behavior that’s not a risk to themselves or others but definitely breaks laws. In prison they have access to psychiatric evaluation and meds (at least in my prison system they do), but cannot be forced to take it without a court order, which is usually not sought.

If compliance with medication-taking is a condition of their parole, many are more amenable to being released to the community on meds as opposed to staying in prison with the right to refuse them.

Unfortunately, once their monitoring period is ended, many of these folks go off their meds, and return to florid psychosis which is a stressor to their families. I’ve encountered more than one family who hopes their loved one gets in enough trouble to get put on probation and be mandated to be medicated for the next 40 years to stay out of prison, but not so much trouble that they end up in prison for lengthy periods.

Well my moms said it’s very hard to get help for people who are not a risk to themselves or others (that’s the boilerplate). She’s said watch him. See if he’s not talkng about suscide . If he 's not talking about about violence.
He’s obvoiously talking about violence but no more more than whan I say “fuck that guy” means I want to fuck that guy.

But I’m saying someome forcacable intiututionalize for just anyting. Watch them. Talk to them. Dont confront them.

Help them.

What Qadgop the Mercotan said.

To which I would add that a substantial percent of those of us who have been dx’ed as paranoid schizophrenic and have taken the meds (voluntarily, pseudo-voluntarily, or involuntarily) have found them to be extremely unpleasant; clinical tests have shown many ofthem to be rather dangerous to neural tissue and other organs, doing permanent damage as a side effect; and the general thrust of such meds, with regards to schizophrenia, seems to be symptom control from an exterior vantage point, i.e., they weren’t developed in accordance with what labeled schizophrenics have reported to be of the most benefit to them but rather in accordance with what family members and hospital staff have reported to be of the most benefit in reducing disturbing behaviors.

Having seen this behaviour in both a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic and also a chronic crystal meth user – I have to ask if it could possibly be drug abuse? If so, then the police can be brought in, and yes, he would have access to psychiatric help in the prison system. Just a thought, since I once watched my siblings shooting pistols into the trees around my father’s house (yes, in town) because they knew that there were people in the trees spying on them. This was after only having done crystal meth that one night – imagine what long-term use would do. Oh, and for the record, as soon as the pistols came out, I left the house and stayed at a friend’s until they had run out of meth.