Home – NEW › Forums › Module 2 – Care for Early Psychosis Fall 2023 › What challenges have you experienced when involving families? › Reply To: What challenges have you experienced when involving families?
What a great conversation! When we cannot agree on using a diagnosis, or other Western Medicine terminology, sometimes it’s helpful even to get specific with a client or family about what’s working and what seems to be giving them some trouble. We had a strong opposition from parents in once circumstance where they did not want their child labelled with something that would bring stigma. We stepped away from insisting on a label, and focused instead on what we could agree on. We all wanted this young person to be able to live a good life, to engage in some activity outside the home that felt meaningful, and to have the good judgement to do so safely. In the context of what we called a psychotic episode, the youth had been sleeping a lot and would wander outside in a questionable neighborhood after midnight as they were disoriented and not sleeping when parents would sleep. Ultimately, after this youth acted on some delusional thoughts that they should engage in sexual activity with people they didn’t know well, parents and the EPI team and the hospital acute care team all agreed that whatever we called it, this was not in this youth’s best interests. The youth was unbothered by the behaviour, and could barely talk about what was happening, except to say something that was pretty non-sensical. Even within parents’ understanding of what was happening, there was agreement about the importance of their child being able to exercise some good judgement and they could see this was missing. Sadly, after successful LAI treatment and full clearing of positive symptoms, parents decided to remove their child from treatment again, only to discover a repeat of the risky behaviour some months later and the child seeking emergency assistance by sneaking out of the home. There was a lengthy hospitalization before the confusion cleared. I believe this individual was starting on Clozapine last I heard, after about 2 years of on and off treatment. As a parent, I can imagine it be quite alarming to trust a team of strangers. I had compassion for parents and for the team – we all agreed we wanted this youth to be well and live a good safe life. Phew, this is important and sometimes very difficult work. Thanks all for your heart and compassion you’re bringing to the work.