Schizophrenia: Three Moms in the Trenches

I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help! How to Help Someone Accept Treatment

October 22, 2021 Randye Kaye Season 2 Episode 3
Schizophrenia: Three Moms in the Trenches
I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help! How to Help Someone Accept Treatment
Show Notes

If you care for someone with a diagnosed serious mental illness (SMI) , you know that it isn’t easy to help them begin, or continue, treatment.

You hear “I’m not sick! I don’t need help!”

That phrase inspired our guest to find a way, write a book, and create a movement.

Dr. Xavier Amador is a world-renowned clinical psychologist & forensic expert, and a Family caregiver of relatives with schizophrenia and bipolar. He founded NAMI’s Scientific Council, helped to launch Family-to-Family, Peer-to-Peer  & In Our Own Voices, and wrote the book I AM NOT SICK I Don’t Need Help! 

We talk about:

  • Dr. Amador’s family story: his brother Henry, and his son, with Schizophrenia
  • What do we do when our loved one says I am not sick, I don't need help?
  • Listening: without judgment, and with respect.
  • Anosognosia, and how to approach someone who has it
  • The Henry Amador Center on Anosognosia  
  • The power of your relationship
  • Changes - and changes needed - in the mental health system
  • Takeaways from the input from families and also people with mental illness?
  • Diffusing Anger
  • 3 A’s: Apologize, Acknowledge, Agree (to disagree)
  • Crisis Communication v. long-term communication
  • The LEAP method (listen, Empathise, Agree, Partner) and how families - and law enforcement - can be trained
  • Role-play: Addressing Covid Vaccine reluctance with relative with SMI 
  • LAI (long-acting injectables) vs. pills every day


“You’re not going to make a delusion worse by listening to it and letting your loved one know that you’ve heard him and that you understand his anger, you understand his fear.” - Dr. Amador

My brother never believed he was mentally ill...but he stayed in treatment for the rest of his life” - Dr. Amador


Henry Amador Center on Anosognosia:

Book: I Am Not Sick! I Don’t Need Help: 20th Anniversary Edition:


Who Are the 3 Moms?

Randye Kaye -Broadcaster, Actress, Voice Talent, Speaker, and Author (Ben Behind his Voices”)

Miriam Feldman – Artist, Mom, Author “He Came in With It

Mindy Greiling – member of the Minnesota House of Representatives for twenty years. Activist, Legislator, Author (“Fix What You Can“)