How can I convince my husband to attend treatment?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. My husband was diagnosed with bipolar and refuses to take medication due to he can not hold his license for his position at work. He has been with the company for 25 years – are they under any obligation to place him in a different position or will he be able to access his retirement pension with out penality – he is 50 years old. He says he is misdiagnoised – he is in complete denial because his job has provided us with a very comfortable life – we have a adult aspergers child and a teen bipolar and I have ADD – so our medication alone is $800 a month. He is also afraid to accept treatment because if he can not work at the same company we will lose our medical. Where can I go to get help – our therapist don’t have these answers.

A. I am sorry to hear about your difficult situation. My advice in this situation would be to contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to inquire about what your husband’s right’s are with regard to mental illness, taking medication and job related issues. There are laws in place, federal and state, that make it so he cannot be fired for simply taking psychiatric medications, or not being able to perform you job role due to a diagnosed mental illness. In other words, individuals cannot simply be fired because they have a mental illness. On the contrary, if your husband is having mental health symptoms, and he is displaying them at work and disrupting the work environment, and refusing treatment, this could have a deleterious impact on his job performance and possibly lead to him getting fired. In the latter scenario, your husband could be justifiably fired.

I would advise contacting the EEOC to inquire about your husband’s rights. Maybe once you and he learn more information and facts about what his rights are and what his employer is mandated to do in this situation, it may make it easier for your husband to take the medications that have been prescribed to him. I know this issue is complicated but I hope that this advice can help, even if just a little. Take care and please write again if you have any more questions.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2007

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2007). How can I convince my husband to attend treatment?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/04/30/how-can-i-convince-my-husband-to-attend-treatment/