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I Am Not Sick, I Don't Need Help!: How to Help Someone with Mental Illness Accept Treatment Paperback – Jan 1 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Paperback, Jan 1 2007
CDN$ 85.42 CDN$ 47.79

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Vida Pr; 2 edition (Jan. 1 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0967718929
  • ISBN-13: 978-0967718927
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14 x 1.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #308,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


I strongly recommend this to families and therapists of seriously mentally ill patients. -- AARON T. BECK, M.D., Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Department of Psychiatry

The focus throughout is on building mutual understanding and trust, so involuntary treatment can be avoided,if possible. -- LAURIE FLYNN, Executive Director, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill

This book fills a tremendous void in the literature on schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. -- E. FULLER TORREY, M.D., Director of the Stanley Foundation Research Programs on Schizophrenia and Manic-Depression;Author of Surviving Schizophrenia. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Looking back, the strangest part was not the omnipresent government agents, the agonizing radiation weapons, or even my own super hero-like capabilities. What frightens me most is that my manic depression gave me an immovable certainty that it was the world around me that was convulsing but that my perception and judgment of it were unaltered. Thinking of this time leaves me frustrated and embarrassed as well as apprehensive that it might come again.

I read Dr. Amador's book and felt better. First, he concretely and understandably establishes that most denials of treatment are but manifestations of the illness and that it is the illness that is the enemy. Dr. Amador then presents a powerful game plan for penetrating, or at least circumventing, sickness induced lack of insight that will maximize the cooperation with treatment of those affected. When I first became ill, I wish this book had been in the hands of someone who cared about me.

JONATHAN STANLEY, JD Assistant Director, Treatment Advocacy Center and, a Consumer diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder

There are several publications that address best practices for clinicians treating persons with schizophrenia. These are written from the perspective of the practitioner. There are a few books written from the perspective of the consumer or of the family member, but these do not incorporate the values of clinical insights, particularly those reflecting recent research findings. The great value of "I am Not Sick, I Don't Need Help" is that it incorporates both the consumer's perspective and that of the clinician. It finds common ground, pointing out where the consumer and his/her clinician can work together in partnership. It is practical, easy to read, and hopeful. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in helping those who, like myself, live with the condition we call schizophrenia.

FREDERIC J. FRESE III, Ph.D. Summit County Recovery Project and, a Consumer diagnosed with Schizophrenia

At last we have a volume for those individuals most closely associated with the mentally ill. In a very readable fashion, Dr. Amador addresses the nature of patients' unawareness of their illness and their need for treatment. He also clearly outlines the relevant research and gives clear prescriptions to help families and therapists deal with patients' obliviousness to their condition. I strongly recommend this to families and therapists of individuals with serious mental illness.

AARON T. BECK, M.D. Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Department of Psychiatry

This is the first book to address the elephantine question running roughshod over families of individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: Why won't the sick person take his/her medicine? Amador, a psychologist who has a brother with schizophrenia, has pioneered research on poor insight into illness, a.k.a. anosognosia, for the past decade and is an acknowledged authority on it. He blends clinical vignettes skillfully with his erudition, and the resulting mix is both edible and edifying. Most important, Amador provides families and mental health professionals with a concrete, step-by-step plan to improve awareness of illness. This book fills a tremendous void in the literature on schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.


Author of Surviving "Schizophrenia."

Of the myriad of problems presented by serious mental illness Dr. Amador has focused on the single most critical factor. Breakthroughs in treatment will not be effective unless we deal with medication noncompliance and the related issue of poor insight into illness. Dr. Amador takes this issue on in "I am Not Sick I Don't Need Help" and deals with it head-on, providing vital information and practical advice for both families and therapists of patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This book will be immensely helpful to anyone dealing with the problems of medication noncompliance and poor insight.


Director of Mental Health, State of Iowa

This is a wonderful book bringing together the personal experiences of a psychologist and a lay person who have relatives with serious mental illness. Dr. Amador's research and clinical experience makes this book a rich source of information and practical advice. It is one of the salutary characteristics of our culture that people who experience pain convert that pain into something productive. People who are victimized by, stressed by, and dismayed by serious mental illness will find this book enormously helpful. It contains information about new research and concrete advice that will be of enormous help to both the families of the seriously mentally ill and to the mental health professionals who care for them.


President, New York-Presbyterian, The University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell and, past Director of the National Institute of Mental Health

For so many, it is very difficult to accept the notion that people like Ted Kaczynski or Anna-Lisa Johanson's mother have medical illnesses. It is easier to somehow cordon them off in our minds, just like they have been walled off from society through the centuries, as somehow less human than the rest of us. In this book, Dr. Amador breaks through these walls with personal courage and brilliant science.

Lack of insight in people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder is the major cause of many of the worst aspects of their illness, and may be the most recalcitrant since it is difficult to treat someone who thinks that nothing is wrong. Dr. Amador has spent the better part of two decades conducting research on this topic and has been the world's most influential scientist in this important area of work. In this book, he prescribes detailed interventions to help families and therapists deal with lack of insight and the many difficulties it causes people with major mental illness. Yet Amador is not an academic preaching from an ivory tower. His poignant personal experiences with people with schizophrenia, including his brother and close friend, are laced throughout this thoughtful, moving, and indispensable book. "I am Not Sick, I Don't Need Help!" is an essential guide to anyone who knows, loves or treats someone with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

RICHARD KEEFE, PH.D. Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center and, author of "Understanding Schizophrenia." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is really a poor book and I'm sorry I wasted the money on it, for this main reason: there is really very little information to be gleaned from it. I believe the amount of real information and guidance offered would be more suitable for a pamphlet, not an entire book. The little bit of information there is, is strewn throughout, and the remainder of the book is puffed up with anecdotes of different patients and reiterations of patients and their symptoms already met with in the book. It is also written in a discursive, teasing manner, attempting to encourage the reader to keep on reading ("Some readers may be tempted to skip this section...however, I strongly urge you to go back... and read the three chapters" p. 1). Many times the book is annoying for its inability to get to the point succinctly. Once again, I believe this stems from the fact that there are so few points to be made, and if these points were set out at once, there would not be enough to fill an entire book.
For instance, in Chapter 6, Dr. Amador tells the story of Samantha, "a patient who had been admitted to the hospital four times in the past year" (p. 60), so that most of the hospital staff have a poor prognosis for her future. However, Dr. Amador "is optimistic about stopping the revolving door Samantha was stuck inside," because, he says, "I had been doing a lot of listening and what I had learned gave me a foothold with Samantha and good reason to have hope." He then immediately ventures off into what it means to listen, and offers his important seven guidelines for good listening. In the next 20 pages, he further explores these seven guidelines and puts them into scenarios with 2 other patients, Matt and Vicky.
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Format: Paperback
Dr. Amador's book is a must for any family who is experiencing their first encounter with schizophrenia. Dealing with a son who definitely suffers from anosognosia and has also been deemed NCRMD (not criminally responsible due to a mental illness) twice it has been a god send. I have recommended it to numerous families. By it's nature the illness is complicated enough, to be able to understand even a small part of it in the beginning gives these families an advantage they would not otherwise have had. It is written in layman's language so that anyone can understand it. I believe that every mental health professional should have access to Dr. Amador's book. I have donated several copies to our local Schizophrenia Society Chapter so that those who cannot afford it can still benifit from it. It is also about time it is easily available in Canada.
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Format: Paperback
The title says it all. As an advocate for people with mental illness, daily I get calls from family members asking, "Why won't my loved one accept--seek--help." Amador's book answers that question: Because the person is suffering from a brain disorder, they think, "I'm not sick; I don't need help."
Mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are brain disorders. As such, they may impact the person's ability to make viable judgement about treatment and, in many cases, even preclude the victim of the illness from recognizing they have a treatable medical condition. And, if you do not think you are ill, why would anyone accept treatment?
Amador's book explains in layman's terms the aspects of mental illness known as "lack of insight". At one time, lack of insight was considered to be the results of stigma, and indeed there is stigma surrounding mental illness. Today, science recognizes in some people lack of insight is the result of brain dysfunction itself. Simply put, the brain can recognize when the leg is broken, but the leg cannot take over for the computer of the body and recognize when the brain is not functioning correctly.
Amador does not stop with the explainations. Instead, he gives easy to follow advice on how to help someone you love with amental illness who does not recognize his/her own need for treatment. This book is a bible and a tutorial for people trying to help their very ill relative.
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Format: Paperback
Having heard nothing but accolades for this book, I scoured it for "new" information on helping consumers gain insight into their illness and thus accept treatment to hasten their recovery. I learned a new term for a particular type of "poor insight"--"anosognosia"--a neurological syndrome similar to the lack of self-awareness found in people with serious mental illness. Dr. Amador's message tells us that such consumers are not so much in denial or using defensiveness to dispute their illness but, rather, have neurocognitive deficits that prevent them from understanding they are ill. My criticisms are threefold. "Treatment" is equated with taking medications and assumes a competent & caring clinical framework. Overly simplistic advice for interactions with consumers merely encompasses what any informed family member and especially what any trained clinician should already know--employ active, empathetic, and reflective listening using a checklist of optimum conditions for productive dialogue, such as setting a time, agreeing on an agenda, listening to the consumer's beliefs without interjecting reactions or creating chaos, and echoing and writing down what you have heard. Dr. Amador suggests his prescription may open windows of opportunity for mutual goal setting and patient partnering in treatment planning and adherence.
The book's heralded reception as eye-opening shows just how desperate caregivers are for probable "fixes" and how seriously deficient are the outreach and education programs of professional and advocacy organizations who deal with serious mental illness.
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