Having a child diagnosed with psychosis is often devastating. For some, it may even feel like the end of the world.
For the first few hours after the diagnosis, no reassuring words seem to help. However, once you’re through the initial shock, Psychosis is more like one chapter of your child's life is over and a new is beginning.
It is easy for parents to instantly blame themselves for the unforeseen things that happen in their children’s lives. The instinctual reaction is to jump in and try to solve the problem for them. Then, when we realize that we cannot solve it for them, we blame ourselves. Unfortunately, we cannot and should not do that either.
So, what can parents do?
Most importantly, being there for your child, no matter how angry they get or irrational they appear. Being physically with them, even if you're just sitting there while they go on and on about something you want to correct, just sit with them. They are aware that you are there. Your job is to be supportive while our job, as professionals, is to challenge them and determine the best course of treatment and medications. Let us be the tough guys in their eyes. We will take the blame and are trained to handle it.
When you are not with your child, learn as much as you can about their condition by reading. Go to support groups available in your community to network with other parents in a similar situation. Become involved in their care, work with the treatment team and provide input. Most importantly, ask a lot of questions and let the team know what your limitations are.
Make sure your child takes his or her medication. There is no amount of therapy that I or any therapist can do that will help rid them of the psychosis. Therapy is useless without the client being on medication. My job is to help them once their symptoms start to go away.
Wait before you stop reading, it is important to emphasize the following points:
- You child has not changed forever from the one you've raised.
- Your child is not going to instantly become homeless, walking the streets and mumbling to himself.
- You are not responsible for your child’s illness.
About Tom: Tom Earnshaw, LCSW is a therapist at Curis Functional Health who specializes in Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, and Psychosis. To schedule an appointment with Tom Click here.
Curis Functional Healthis a multidisciplinary functional health center that integrates mental health, chiropractic, and dietetics. Click here to learn more about Curis.