Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) empowers the court to order an individual with certain mental illnesses to receive treatment while allowing them to live in the community.
AOT is a less expensive, more proactive and more "humane" option than involuntary hospitalization. Anosognosia is one of the biggest reasons why people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder refuse treatment. Sometimes it is necessary to enlicit the help of the court to make sure a person receives help, before the person becomes a danger to themselves or others.
Obtaining legal guardianship over a loved one provides a family member or caregiver the ability to make decisions about that loved one's healthcare, treatment and welfare.
Guardianship should be sought when a person is incapable of evaluating information and making decisions to the extent that they "lack the ability to meet essential requirements for physical health, safety, or self-care". Anosognosia often causes a person to meet these criteria and seeking guardianship may help caregivers enforce treatment when necessary.
There are many resources available for caregivers who want to learn more about anosognosia, understand the current mental health policies or find local support groups.
The more we understand, the more empowered we can become, to make better decisions, understand options and have compassion for those suffering from this disease. Click here for a list of frequently asked questions about anosognosia and click the button below for a list of websites, books and other helpful information for caregivers.
RESOURCES TO RESTORE HOPE.
Caring for someone who does not want your help can be a very frustrating experience. Caregivers are left exhausted, feeling helpless and somewhat hopeless that their loved one will ever get better. There are many opportunities to improve the current mental health system, but thankfully there are a few programs that provide solutions for caregivers and family members of people with anosognosia. Below is a list of resources that are helpful in understanding and fighting against this disease.