Convincing Him to Seek Help for Psychosis
[Home] [Bipolar News] [Bipolar Disorder] [Medications] [Treatments] [Bipolar Disorder/Job/School] [Disabilities] [Ask the Doctor] [Ask David] [Self-Injury] [Personal Stories] [Graham's Column] [Steven's Column] [Storm's Column] [Columnist Archives] [Suicide] [Community Support] [Family Members] [Expressions] [Greeting Cards] [Books] [Awards] [Links & Rings] [About Us] [Contact Us]


Q:  Convincing Him to Seek Help for Psychosis

My husband has bipolar disorder, which he feels comfortable acknowledging. What he refuses to accept, however, is that he seems to be having psychotic episodes. He has a textbook case of delusional parasitosis that causes him to stay in the bathroom for over 8 hours a day, washing himself. He digs at his skin, burns himself & occasionally hears voices. I am concerned for his quality of life as well as the future of our marriage. But when I try to encourage him to seek help for the psychosis, he goes into a black rage & says that I am accusing him of insanity. Please tell me how to convince him that he desperately needs help.
Thank you.

Dear Maggie --
Eight hours a day in the bathroom is not quality of life in anybody's book, no matter what one is doing in there. Would he reject his psychiatrist, if he has one, were the psychiatrist to comment on this problem? (e.g. if you were to call the psychiatrist and leave a voice mail -- no release of information is required for a doctor to take information -- describing this problem and wondering if it could be incorporated into the treatment).

Or, if he doesn't have a psychiatrist, maybe he could get started with one, targeting just the bipolar disorder he acknowledges, then pursue the above strategy over time?

You must wonder if there's some connection between the bipolar disorder and the parasite-delusion (or I wonder if this could be some variant of "body dysmorphic disorder", which you might check out for comparison). I would wonder that too and nurture some hope that treating the bipolar disorder might target the skin issue indirectly. Good luck with all this.

Dr. Phelps

Published November, 2003


Bipolar World   1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Allie Bloom, David Schafer, M.Ed. (Blackdog)
Partners:  John Haeckel, Judith (Duff) 
Founder:  Colleen Sullivan

Email Us at Bipolar World


About Us  Add a Link  Advance Directives  Alternative Treatments  Ask the Doctor   Ask Dr. Plyler about Bipolar Disorder   Ask The Doctor/ Topic Archives  Awards  Benny the Bipolar Puppy  Bipolar Chat  Bipolar Children  Bipolar Disorder News  Bipolar Help Contract  Bipolar World Forums  Book Reviews  Bookstore  BP & Other mental Illness   Clinical Research Trials & FDA Drug Approval   Community Support   Contact Us  The Continuum of Mania and Depression   Coping   Criteria    Criteria and Diagnosis  Criteria-World Health Disabilities,  DSMV-IV   Dual Diagnosis  eGroups  Expressions (Poetry, Inspiration, Humor, Art Gallery, Memorials  Family Members   Getting Help for a Loved One who Refuses Treatment  Greeting Cards  History of Mental Illness  Indigo  Job and School  Links  Manage Your Medications  Medications   Medication and Weight Gain    News of the Day  Parent Chat  Pay for Meds  Personal Stories  Self Help  Self Injury  Significant Others  Stigma and Mental Health Law  Storm's Column  Suicide!!!  The Suicide Wall  Table of Contents   Treatments  Treatment Compliance  US Disability  Veteran's Chat  What's New?