Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Civilly committed NGRI info please

BACKGROUND: My 22 year old son has been struggling with schiz-like symptoms since early 2015, maybe longer. He had some psychosis at that time, was treated by a psychiatrist and counselor and cared for at home. He was doing well until late 2016, when he had a second psychotic episode and injured me badly with a knife. This resulted in arrest and a year spent in the county jail, where he got medication for his symptoms and no other treatment. He successfully pled NGRI to first degree assault with a deadly weapon and was remanded to the state hospital for an undetermined time.

He is doing well now after 6 months of care and treatment and really, it is the best place he could be. He is amenable to medications and working hard with the therapists and staff. He still has a poor understanding of his illness and what will be required before he can even think of being discharged, but he’s absolutely a delight to visit with right now. He doesn’t talk much, if at all with me about his symptoms, etc and we have not yet discussed the knife attack except he knows I forgive him and I love him.

I visit weekly and we talk by phone several times a week. While it is a pleasure to see him so happy and well adjusted (on the outside), I don’t know much about the process of restoring sanity so he isn’t considered a danger to others.

QUESTION: Are there any others out there with similar stories? I’d like to learn more about just how the process works. I know a bit about the routines and levels of independence that are in place, but am curious about medications and how they ready someone for life outside the hospital and how long that may take.
We live in Washington state.


Hello, I too have a son in who is serving a commitment to a state hospital in california.
My son (L) is a ward of the state, he is 31 yrs old. He was living on his own when he suffered a horrific auto accident and then an assualt.

As the parents, the privacy act HHIPPA protects our son and does not allow us any info about his health, he would have to release that to us and he is not competent at this time.
I have been able to speak with his doctor and the social worker, which is limited, but at least we know he is well and being taken care of. I can talk to him, visit have to be okay with him. We live in NorCal so it is a drive for us to visit.

I find alot of my information by reading the website where lou is currently committed. I also find it very helpful to talk to the social worker.
My understanding about release time and programs to reenter a patient into the community is based on each individual and the evaluations that will happen within the hospital. It can take years.
For now we pray and wait. Take care annie

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If you want some answers on the legal side of things you might try calling the Treatment Advocacy Center - they have a numbers of lawyers on staff and I’ve heard that they frequently answer questions for people who call.

200 North Glebe Road, Suite 801
Arlington, Virginia 22203
Phone: (703)294-6001


Hi WAmac,

I’m glad you found your way here. Its my opinion that it is here that you fill find the answers to many of your questions, but I’m not sure anyone can tell you exactly how to restore sanity in someone with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. The danger to self and others is often in the back of many of our minds.

He sounds like he is really responding to the medication and therapy he is receiving. That is wonderful!
You stated he is in for an undetermined amount of time. Have here been any ‘hints’ at when he might be released? He is in a hospital, responding to medicine, is delightful to be around - sounds to me like some of his sanity is being restored already.

Lots of love and lots of time. Hang in there…



First, I am so sorry that that happened but I am glad he is getting help now. I think with this last hospitalization I have come to realize that my son is just not going to be able to live on his own or by himself and he really doesn’t seem to want to right now. Perhaps that’ll change as he gets better but he’s he has been at home since he got out the hospital. I really think being around people is what he needs to so we’ve adjusted the best we can. It is a challenge to keep him busy and active and Some days we are better at it than others.
I’ve started a ritual at night of reading one of Wendell Berry’s books via Audible and it’s a nice way to relax before bed. Right now our son is on our schedule and that’s nice. I don’t know how long that’ll last but I’m appreciating it.
He has a bit of the shot still in him and is also taking Seroquel at night mostly but I also offer him a small dose if he is acting anxious. He always takes it.
Thank God the weather is getting nicer and we can be outside more. On my days off, I’m going to find some interesting places to visit. We did that last week and we enjoyed it. He likes driving in the country and we have a lot of that around us. I wish your son’s journey to be the best it can be. Someone said that sometimes it is like one step forward and two steps backward but I think we are making a little progress with routine. I think it is helping all of us.