There came a point in Matthew’s illness that his doctor flat out said, “It’s time to get guardianship.”
I drove down the mountain from the veteran’s hospital and started applying for guardianship that same day. It was rough. The tears, the uncertainty, and the sadness were heavy. I want to thank everyone who helped me when I walked into the courthouse and asked, “How do I get guardianship of our son?”
The doctor had been telling us we would have to do this, but it’s a difficult decision to make for an accomplished adult. It’s heart-breaking to stand nose to nose with a veteran with serious mental illness and take his rights away. He’s survived so much and still is, but we weren’t going to let our son die with his “rights on.”
Anosognosia, also called "lack of insight," is a symptom of severe mental illness. It impairs a person's ability to understand and perceive his or her illness. It’s the single, most prevalent reason why some people, with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, refuse medications or do not seek treatment. Our son has anosognosia.
(Anosognosia according to Wikipedia: Anosognosia results from physiological damage to brain structures, typically to the parietal lobe or a diffuse lesion on the front-temporal-parietal area in the right hemisphere, and is thus a neurological disorder.)
Double click on the link below if you want to better understand the impact serious mental illness has on families, especially mothers.