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My cousin went missing for two days and we finally located her in the psych unit after a good samaritan brought her there. she had just come back from her 4th or 5th retreat and was behaving rather oddly in the days upon return. Any help would be appreciated.
I work at an emergency psych hospital --last 8 years. Before that I was called into psych hospitals as an exit counselor after someone was kicked out of a cult after a psychotic break and admitted. My role as exit counselor was only to help staff better understand the odd language and beliefs of the cult so as not to confuse that with idiosyncratic delusions, etc. It is nearly impossible to exit counsel anyone with active mental illness because it is an educational process that demands a functional thinking ability.
I recommend that you let the hospital staff diagnose the problem and treat till stable, then consider exit counseling or arranging to talk with an ex-member who has been out of RSE for some time.
If there is a prior psych history, that might be a factor.
Let me know if you have more questions.
or email me privately
I am sure that Joe has a wealth of experience, and can be of valuable assistance to you.
I am speaking not as a mental health professional, but as a former patient. Twenty years ago, I spent time in the Psych ward of a major hospital.
So, I offer the following advice, because you obviously want to know what you yourself can do, or other family and friends can do to help.
- Involve yourself to whatever extent is possible with the care and treatment of your cousin. The staff there are more knowledgeable in general, but you are more knowledgeable about her in particular.
-Visit as often as possible, when and if that is permitted.
-Let her know by whatever means you can that you are there for her.
-Whatever her diagnosis, find out what it means, educate yourself.
-If she is on medication, find out all you can about it.
-If and when it is feasible,take her on day trips.
-Try to make arrangements for a good place to live once she gets out. It may not be great if she goes back into the same living situation she was in.
-Encourage her to make choices for herself when she is in a position to do so.
Yes, there is a lot you can do. I hope everything works out for her.
would like to thank both of you, at the moment they do not want us to see her-she was quite manic/delusional upon arrival and they had to administer anti-psychotic meds. during this last "event" i know she did not eat much, but have seen postings about drugs at the ranch. her behavior was really odd in the 4 days between returning from Yelm and her disappearance. thanks again.
Kate -- good luck to you and your cousin. My mother and sister and her husband are all involved in RSE.. This board has been a tremendous source of information and support for me... People whose lives or loved have not been affected by a destructive cult don't know what to say and look at you like you're from outer space when you talk to them about it!... If you have questions, ask, someone here can usually address your concerns.
I cannot stress how grateful I am for the very helpful replies, i love my cousin dearly and the only reason she had not shut myself and her mother out is we listened to her rants and accepted her new belief system. One thing I did not mention, is her VERY strong belief that she and RAM were soul mates. She was/is convinced of this and I am wondering if this is a common belief?
I don't know how common it is, but I do know there are women in the school who "think they're going to have Ramtha(TM)'s baby.
They actually fall in love with the persona, and I've seen JZasR kissing women on the lips as she as "he" entered the arena. Man, they were lining up, the belief is so strong, in fact, she as "R" said, "if you don't think I'm a man just ask one of these women."
I wish the best to your cousin.
I agree re the 'transference' syndrome of cult members onto the leader as a spouse or sex partner. This is a common, almost ridiculously repeated phenomenon---ever wonder why so many cult leaders [like rock stars] have sex with followers? It is an atavistic [herd animal] response of the primitive self to want to 'mate' with the strongest or most attractive, and the leader to percieve himself as "lead stallion" [or in case of female--"temple prostitute." Once a strong moral code is eroded by group ideology, or a leader establishes double standards ['I am enlightened, therefore I am entitled']this almost always happens in totalist cults.
The worst cases I've seen in mental hospitals is when a cult member patient believes that he or she is "the God".
If mania with psychosis is the diagnosis, the facility's docs probably administered or treated with Haldol/Cogentin or Risperdal, sometimes Geodon [more expensive]or Prolixin, depending on what the patient tolerates the best. Manic psychosis responds well to most of these. If she took a newer antidepressent at RSE [unprescribed]like Prozac, she may have had a reaction that looks like manic psychosis. Blood lab results will help the staff determine some of that.
Privacy laws will keep family from knowing too much but the patient can sign releases when she is ready or "sane" enough.
I wish you well, Kate. The advice above to give her support, as much as she will tolerate, is excellent. Hospitals tend to treat and release to out patient asap, and it takes social support to keep people involved with their treatment.
all the best to you and your cousin Kate.
It's a rough road, but your just being there will help tremendously.