Can anyone help?

My sister was diagnosed with SZ a while back. I do not think she has come to terms with it yet and is completely refusing all treatment. I am looking for advice from others who have possibly been in my shoes and have gotten over the first hump, so to speak. In order to be treated, it has to be voluntary since she is an adult. Anyone trying to help her scares her. She thinks they are out to get her. She has severe paranoia and has been barricading herself in her home. When I have tried to calm her down, she will listen for a short time before starting to believe that “I am in on it”. I believe that it would be for her own good to be hospitalized until they can stabilize her medicine and calm her down. I would really like to see her get some help before she does something to hurt herself or someone around her. Because of her age, Patient Privacy Act and HIPAA make it extremely difficult to intervene on her behalf. It is unfortunate in this situation that the SZ has gone undiagnosed until she was an adult. Is there anyone out there that has a POA or something that allows them to help their loved one? Is there anyway to get one involuntarily since she is not cooperating with anyone? When I call the hospitals and the police, they say that unfortunately, it will go untreated unless she is arrested. Has anyone else ever dealt with a similar scenario?

My son is legally an adult and I don’t have any type of guardianship. I did have him involuntarily admitted. Where I live there is a crisis outreach team that I can call and they come to my home to assess. To be involuntarily admitted I guess they need to be in immediate danger of hurting themselves or someone else. If she is able to keep it together while talking to a police officer for a short period of time then I’m not sure what to tell you. If she is having an episode and unable to keep it together then I guess that would be the time to perhaps call 911 and explain that she is having a psychotic episode could they send someone who is trained to deal with these types of situations. If they are able to confirm psychosis symptoms than they should take her to the hospital for an assessment.

We have a crisis team here as well. They sent out people to her home but she refused to speak to them. She lives alone and wouldn’t open the door. The police have picked her up before and took her to the hospital but she just checks herself out. It really hurts to say, but she is a threat to herself and others right now. It has been very bad for the past two weeks. The police basically said that they did not have the right to break into her home, but if she came outside it would be a different story. Recently, she cannot keep it together for any short amount of time. If anyone were to talk to her for 1-2 minutes, they would definitely be able to tell she was unstable. From what I understand, when she is involuntarily admitted, they can only hold her for 72 hours. That is just simply not long enough to do her any justice. As soon as she’s gone she won’t take her medicine and she needs to take it for a week or two before she shows any signs of improvement. The entire situation is overwhelming and seems like a catch 22.

I guess they probably can’t forcibly enter unless they have probable cause and would have to see for themselves that she is unstable. Certainly a catch 22. I’m sorry you are in such a tough situation. It’s hard when the laws seem to work against getting help when needed. My son has checked himself out in the past so I can see how that happened. The 72 hours hold can be extended when involuntarily admitted. My son’s was. The 72 hours is for observation and if symptoms are showing then they can extend that for longer. I don’t know if arranging to have the crisis team come by when you are already there, visiting, to let them in might work. However if she is extremely paranoid and could harm you I would not recommend that. Wish I could be of more help.


Yes - I’ve been there. I recommend these pages where we discuss the issues and provide resources:

WOW! That is a lot of information! I’m sure there has to be something in all that which can lead me in the right direction. Thank you both for being supportive.

…my mom has gone untreated and nonmedicated for over 30 years for paranoid and disorganized schizophrenia. She is living in another state alone having paranoid and manic psychotic rages.she’s also suffering with a skin wound for over 5 years that I’m pretty sure it’s a carcinoma (cancer) that she refuses to have evaluated. I just flew to her for a week to try to help her see a physician without any sucess. I’m now home~to far to drive to her~ She’s alone without any friends, my father is severly disabled in a convalecent home,i have no siblings or other family, and she’s in this very bad condition…I just don’t know what I can do. It does feel like a hopeless situation. she’s had one previous involuntary hospitalization which did nothing for her was extreemly traumatic because of the physical force and just discharged her to a homeless shelter. I also am considered an enemie at times and then the only one she’ll trust…it’s an emotional rollercoaster. I don’t know what to do.

Hello thatdizzyedge i just read your post and feel so terribly sorry for YOU You have a huge burden but there are some times in life when you just have to let go/// of guilt blame My sister has been ill for 30 yrs too on and off meds but a confirmed drug user and we have been through hell as she refuses to help herself .It is sooo hard but i can only deal with it in tiny pieces at a time .My son also has schizophenia he is still only a child and i take each day as it comes I wish you well and hold on in there

I am in a similar situation with my partner, I’m looking for answers as to what I can do to help before it comes to involuntary hospitalisation although I’m trying to find a way seems like I’m losing the battle the more I try then at the same time if I do nothing he spirals out of control just as much. I’ve contacted a support group in my area to try getting some advise and tips that might help my situation if I learn anything that may help others from it I will be sure to pass it on