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Question
Posted by: Boipelo | 2010/09/19

Mental issues

My mom and stepfather divorced in 1998 and since then there has not been much contact with my step dad. I however have been getting calls from former neighbours reporting that my stepdad seems to have lost his mind. Some of the disturbing reports are that he walks around naked. There is a history of mental disorders in his family, with two of his brothers having had similar problems. I would like for him to get professional help, he is 60 years old and unemployed. How can I go about getting him the necessary help. He is based in Soweto.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

OK, as with many physical illnesses, with psych illness as well, a strong family history almost always raises the risk of someone developing the same sort of condition. Has your stepfather been living alone ? If so, this is presumably why he doesn't have someone with him to have noticed the problems and to have encouraged him to get help much sooner than this. I wonder whether he has a GP or a doc at a nearby clinic who knows him and could help.
If his condition really is so strange and obvious, I'm surprised that the neighbours haven't yet called the police, as police have some authority to deal with someone found in public and obviously mentally ill, such as the right to take him, even against his will, to the nearest hospital or clinic to have him assessed and treated if necessary.
YOu as possibly his nearest next of kin would also have some legal rights, if he doesn't voluntarily agree to go to the clinic or hospital, to arrange with a doctor for a compulsory hospital admission for proper assessment and treatment. There are so many possible causes of such problems, that finding a way for him to be properly assessed at a hospital, is what is most urgently needed.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/09/19

OK, as with many physical illnesses, with psych illness as well, a strong family history almost always raises the risk of someone developing the same sort of condition. Has your stepfather been living alone ? If so, this is presumably why he doesn't have someone with him to have noticed the problems and to have encouraged him to get help much sooner than this. I wonder whether he has a GP or a doc at a nearby clinic who knows him and could help.
If his condition really is so strange and obvious, I'm surprised that the neighbours haven't yet called the police, as police have some authority to deal with someone found in public and obviously mentally ill, such as the right to take him, even against his will, to the nearest hospital or clinic to have him assessed and treated if necessary.
YOu as possibly his nearest next of kin would also have some legal rights, if he doesn't voluntarily agree to go to the clinic or hospital, to arrange with a doctor for a compulsory hospital admission for proper assessment and treatment. There are so many possible causes of such problems, that finding a way for him to be properly assessed at a hospital, is what is most urgently needed.

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