TOUGH LOVE & PSYCHOSIS

“How on earth did the mantra of tough love ever make its way into the realm of psychiatric illness. I have a family member with a heart condition, sometimes it acts up…do i give him ultimatums to get with it, or to stop having heart problems? of course not, and it shouldn’t be done for a person with a psychiatric illness either. Its an ILLNESS not a misbehavior.”

Struggling with a lot of resentment tonight. Tough love is not quite the best approach for someone who is going through psychosis. At the first delusion, you should have known that. It back fired royally. I got help, but for many other reasons – tough love not even being one of them. How on earth do you expect to toughen someone out of psychosis…when they are completely out of touch with reality?

I still don’t have the answers and I wish I did, but I do now know what not to do.

“On curing mental illness I don’t think so at all. Smart love probably does help a great deal. I don’t think there is a clear cut answer for your question. I’ve seen people who thought they were using “tough love” but all they were doing was alienating and pushing the person away… making things worse.
For addictions it would depend on the definition of tough love and how much wisdom was mixed in with the “tough.”


“Tough love is over rated and extremely ineffective. The only way it works is allowing people to make the mistake and recover from it. But as being an active observer and providing an element of safety and not alienating the learner. You cannot learn to overcome mental illness, you need to heal with support. And mental illness cannot be cured, it can be treated. The scars are always there, the torment is lurking, and the grief from it is real. Whom ever left you with “tough love” didn’t know what to do for you. So they pushed you in the garage and locked the door hoping the car would fix itself. And we all know how productive that was. For you, may I suggest stating what it did to you to your “tough love teacher or teachers”. Sometimes the obvious escapes even the most brilliant. Take care and Heal properly. The limp will be there regardless but the rest of the system can become stronger to compensate.”

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