Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Aftermath of suicide attempt

Hi Steadfast. I think that is a good start for some “leverage.” He has a goal (his job) and assure him he can accomplish this goal with shot compliance. Hopefully, he will feel so much better after a few months he will stick with it. My sons counselor says many of his patients never get the insight we assume they need to follow treatment. All they know is the shot makes me feel more relaxed, or more like themselves, or I can work when I comply. I had a hard time believing that, but in my sons case it has been true. Stay strong!!

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oldladyblue - An involuntary mental hold is exactly what I am praying for today. I just can’t imagine that a judge will rule in his favor when he has festering self-inflicted wounds. I did not know that a judge could order injections.

I like the way you put things Grace. "All they know is the shot makes me feel more relaxed, or more like themselves, or I can work when I comply. " In fact I am copy pasting your words into my notes. I have been going over and over in my mind how to leverage his desires and your words give me something to work with.

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Well my son won his appeal. We are to pick him up tomorrow at noon. The psychiatrist has never called me and I imagine now I will not be hearing from him. I am frightened for what the future holds.

Just updating here. My son was given a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder. I am taken completely by surprise by this and can only imagine that the psychiatrist did not take into account his complete history. He has been prescribed aripiprazole (Abilify) and fluoxetine (Prozac) as well as antibiotics (his arm is quite infected at this point). I am going to ride this horse as long as possible because, even if the diagnosis is incorrect, it gets our foot into psychiatric care. I have read many stories of people receiving changing diagnosis over the years. I think perhaps this diagnosis even makes my son more amenable to continuing care.

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My son was once given a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder. He had gone to a public mental health clinic at his employer’s request. They had him answer questions on a paper test and spoke with him briefly.

At that point he was hearing voices yell at him in grocery stores, in his home, and when he was driving - he thought there were people everywhere actually yelling at him. (He has anosognosia) Soooo, he never told anyone he was “hearing voices”.

When my husband and I met with a psychiatrist that specialized in severe mental illness we handed him the paperwork with the MDD diagnosis and he just smiled nicely and crumpled it up.

Yes, I agree with you, you just have to work with whatever will work.

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I’m getting here a little late, but if you and your son haven’t already filled out a psychiatric advanced directive, please do so asap. It is a legal documentation that if and when a person becomes unable to make sound decisions, they can assign an ‘agent’ to make these decisions in an emergency situation. It is becoming more popular, not sure what state you are in and this is not available in all states, but please google this and download/fill out the form asap, if available in your area. The doctors will legally be able to communicate with you w/in HIPAA guidelines. I’m going to link you to the NAMI site where you can find more information below, but you really need to have this document ready and available for emergencies. If someone already told you about this, awesome, I’m not on here everyday and I miss some information. Also, find out the pay phone number of the hospital floor that your son is on. I would call my son every single day (the phone would ring for a while and sometimes nobody would answer it, but when someone would pick up, I would simply ask them to get my son and they always did) - I would play DJ on the phone for hours for him. Music is his number one form of therapy, as with many individuals with these conditions, and the hospitals did not provide music. It is a fond memory and he loved this! Just some thoughts for you! Xo

https://www.nami.org/Advocacy/Policy-Priorities/Responding-to-Crises/Psychiatric-Advance-Directives

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More importantly, here is the actual form in California. I only needed 2 witnesses for this to be a legal documentation. Please do research, but if legal in your state, go to the hospital and have your son sign this document asap - bring your witnesses. I know there are notaries that actually go the hospital as well. Best of luck, Xo

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skyler.hayden - Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me about this. I looked into it and there is a form like this for our state. I am going to have to wait to get my son to fill out such a thing - he is not very cooperative at the moment. I am planning on filling out one myself and getting my husband to do it too - that way it is a family sort of thing when I introduce the idea to my son. It truly makes a lot of sense and I am hoping he will see that it is for his own protection. I really appreciate your sharing your hard won experience with me.

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I feel obliged to give a further update here, just to keep things clear. I finally got a chance to read through all of the paperwork my son was given on his discharge, and it clearly states that the discharge diagnosis was Major Depressive Disorder AND Unspecified Schizophrenia Spectrum and other Psychiatric Disorder. I do not understand why the social worker only mentioned the MDD. The second diagnosis is of course quite vague, but at least it is noted.

So far I am learning what I already knew. The medical system is only a tool. It is not THE solution. It is just part of an ongoing process and requires continual vigilance. Yesterday we went to the ER to have his wound checked. My son was being most uncooperative and did not want me to accompany him. I was trying to let the staff know his situation, but all I got was the HIPPA brick wall treatment. We left the ER room after he had been given an antibiotic and a prescription for more (his wound is infected). He was already on very strong antibiotics. Fortunately, I called the advice nurse and drilled to the bottom of that one. She had his consent to release form on file from our very first ER visit and freely talked to me about the situation. The doctor then said just stay on the same antibiotics he was already on. Just a small example of what I am talking about.

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Yes, mine was definitely family uniting on this document, try to get it done asap. Xo

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You are learning a lot and becoming very wise! You are also determined. Having supportive family is a key factor to significantly increase chance of recovery. This is a marathon not a sprint. Look up other posts on this site about “anosognosia” (lack of insight). Read the book “I Am Not Sick; I Don’t Need Help” and get connected with a NAMI Family Support Group in your state. NAMI.org Take their Family to Family class when it is available. Take one day at a time, recognizing that this is the ILLNESS, not your son. You likely need to establish some boundaries that will ultimately help both you and him.

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