It’s important to understand that diagnosis is not an exact science. If he were to be evaluated by 10 mental health professionals, it’s possible that he could receive 10 different diagnoses. They would disagree on the exact nature of his condition, but their treatment recommendations would likely be similar. Thus, in some respects, diagnosis isn’t as important as treatment.
When it comes to psychotic disorders, medication is usually the treatment of choice. It often takes a good bit of trial and error to find the right medications. Even when the right combination is found, adjustments will likely be needed over time. It’s the norm.
For you, the focus should be less on diagnosis and more on ensuring that he continues treatment. Among people with psychotic disorders, it’s common for them to stop taking their medication. Because they feel better, they often reason that they no longer need the medications. Predictably, when they stop the medications, they relapse. It’s important to be vigilant about his continuing treatment.
It’s good that he participates in treatment. It is a positive sign. It will hopefully prevent him from experiencing future psychotic episodes. Be certain to report his progress and your concerns to his treatment team. The more information they have about his condition, the easier it will be to treat his symptoms. For instance, they should know that he is continuing to experience anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and delusions. Medication may not be responsible for all his symptoms, but a medication adjustment may still be necessary. Having open communication with his treatment team is vitally important to treatment success.
You also might consult your local National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) support group chapter. This organization provides psychoeducation and support to individuals caring for loved ones with serious mental illnesses.
I hope this helps. If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to write again. I am glad to help in any way I can. Good luck with your efforts.
Dr. Kristina Randle