Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Baseline as a medical term

#1

I’ve heard this term used a couple times in relation to my son’s mental health condition. He’s been diagnosed as schizoaffective bipolar type. He’s also very medication resistent as well as refusing to believe he’s ill. The first time I heard this was the last time I tried to have him committed. He was very manic and extremely delusional - all the typical symptoms of extreme psychosis along with being very aggressive, belligerent, etc. I had a medical evaluation (called the police) done and the EMS folks took him to the hospital for a mandatory night’s stay. I then had a lawyer draw up the necessary document(s), a judge signed, and he was given the three day evaluation period. During this time, the hospital administered some medications (Xanax, or some mood stabilizer), and my son calmed down. During the hearing with the Probate Court, the Judge and the state’s representative/lawyer claimed my son was “baselined” and therefore they would not commit. What I don’t understand is how can a person with a brain disorder such as schizoaffective disorder bipolar type be “baselined” when the very nature of the illness is cyclical? In my son’s case, he alternates between manic and depressive states almost daily. He is always delusional, has hallucinations, talks to imaginary people, etc., and these conditions are then worsened by the mood disorder. He becomes calm in the hospital setting, but within hours of release, I can see the mania building and the delusions are evident even during the hospital stay. So, I’m hoping someone can help me understand what is meant by “baseline” as I see it as a cop out by the “system” to address the very real problem of serious mental illness. If I’ve offended anyone, or if I have gone where I shouldn’t go, my heartfelt apologies. My desperation is only exceeded by my frustration in trying to help my son.

0 Likes

#2

I believe that this is the problem in our health care system. It just doesn’t work. My son has been in the ER for three weeks awaiting a bed in a group home. There are no psychiatrist there yet they can’t send him to a mental hospital because right now he is not threatening himself or others. But he is crazy acting and the reason he is there is because he attacked a caregiver at his previous group home :thinking:
I think he needs to be re-evaluated and medicines need to be changed before he goes to another group home. He was only at that group home for five weeks with being in another prior to that etc yet for the past 6 months he sits in ERs, and jails but they don’t send him to get the real help he needs! It’s a BIG problem our health care has.

0 Likes

#3

Tuck, I too have a son with SZA bipolar type and a second son with BP1 or SZA. I have a medical power of attorney over the eldest. As a last resort I will take out guardianship if necessary, that way I will retain parental rights over him. My son is also quite treatment resistant. Out of the past 12 months he has had psychosis for 6 and been in hospital for 4-5 months. Right now he is improving with Haldol LAI. If he did not have the injection I doubt he would be med compliant. I don’t know about the term baseline but I do know that they did not keep my second son in for long as he fooled them but he was very sick. Luckily he was med compliant and it took him 2 1/2 months to return to a normal place.

0 Likes

#4

You’re right. They can’t know that in three days.

I’m sorry you are going through this and your son is ill without effective treatment.

Many of us on the forum have gone through similar. Medical treatment is often denied to our family members and the people denying it will use whatever terms they choose. It’s just rhetoric. What none of them will usually say is the truth: this person is really ill and needs medical treatment, but there are not enough resources to treat even a small percentage of the people who need this medical treatment, so we are not treating this person.

0 Likes