Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Court Ordered Medication Commitment

Yesterday I submitted paperwork for Involuntary Commitment to Treatment. Our son has been out of control in the past couple months. It started in early summer when he refused his injection of Invega. In July he received a restraining order from his ex-girlfriend where he said he planned to kill her and her mother. In early August he attempted suicide by overdosing on his meds and was hospitalized. They put him back on medication but not in the right combination with under dosing his Abilify and Trileptal (mood stabilizer) and overdosing his Sertraline at 75 mg. This has left him still somewhat paranoid, delusional and definitely very manic. I went with him to his psych appt and he refused to make the recommended changes. Because he has been voluntary there is nothing they can do. They started him on Buspar for anxiety and he ended up snorting the entire bottle! In the past couple weeks he threw a rock through a window of an ex-friend who he says sexually abused him and has verbally threatened to kill him. He has been kicked out of every place he has tried to live this summer and now is in the homeless shelter. We have documented all of this behavior and are praying that it leads to court ordered treatment, but also know that it is a very high bar to get this approved.
Plus, lately he has been back to functioning better but also know this never lasts. Has anyone had success in court ordered treatment?

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I have ! i Marchmen acted my son as he was smoking weed in his car and to cut a loooooong story short , we went to court and i explained he was unwell and the judge court ordered him to a facility for first time psychosis and had to comply with meds there for a year . IT WAS VERY STRESSFUL but can be done . You need a lawyer .

Thanks, Linda. Helps to know it worked. I will keep this topic updated as we proceed. Since then he came over for dinner and was extremely manic. He was ranting about different people he would hit in the head with a baseball bat or wanted to shoot with a gun. We recorded the conversation to further demonstrate he is a threat to others. Hope they will listen to us.

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Thats great you recorded him , i hope all goes well :pray:

Hi @HelpingT . I understand your war to win your son back to sanity. My daughter is 3 years successfully medicated after court order and my pro-active actions to get her involuntarily (at first) consent to continue monthly shots when the court order wore off. There 5 total involuntary hospitalizations and 2 arrests. Once I stopped feeling guilty about it, every time she threatened harm to self or others I called the police during the 3 years of her psychosis. Mostly she was calm by the time the police were involved, but the last time she was arrested, I went to court the next morning for her arraignment and asked to speak to the judge (which is unusual). Once he understood she was psychotic (it isn’t always apparent) the result was a court order for medication and involuntary commitment at a local hospital from the jail. Thank God! It was a miracle for all the factors to come together but now she is almost 3 years stably on meds, working, a pleasure to be around, if not totally her pre-sz self.

I don’t know what state you are in, but find out the involuntary commitment rules and USE them to your advantage. Court orders for meds have been successful for numerous loved ones whose caregivers are on this site. I would never hesitate to call the police at EVERY threat of harm to self or others, as those threats need to be taken seriously. If your son breaks the law, like throwing rocks through windows or threatening someone with harm, call the police. Assault and battery are crimes and can lead to mental health court or court orders for medication. It is VERY hard to call police on a loved one, or initiate court action, but ONLY those actions saved my daughter (and my own sanity). Now she is able to caregive to me, as I am newly fighting a breast cancer problem. I wish you the best to get your son’s psychosis broken, but take EVERY action you can to force medication compliance. That is my opinion.

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I agree with @oldladyblue. If a person is suffering from psychosis, do everything you can to get them to agree to take meds. If you can’t, get a court order.

I am diagnosed with sza. I don’t agree I’m delusional or hallucinating still but I’m told I am. I take my meds because even though I’m still being followed and recorded, other things since getting on meds have improved a lot. So I think med compliance is essential.

I happen to think I need an AP but that I really am being followed and recorded but because the guys who do it are professionals no one else notices it. It’s very frightening for me.

Just my thoughts on it

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Thank you for sharing your experience! Do you think an adjustment in your A/P or even a different A/P could bring even more improvement? No one WANTS to take meds, but when the benefits outweigh the side effects, it can be SO worth it!

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I’ve tried everything. The dr says I have treatment resistant sza. I think I really am being followed and that’s why nothing makes it go away.

I’m not sure what gave you the impression that I don’t take my meds, but I assure you I do. Before finding my current med and dosage, not only was i being followed and recorded, I was getting a visits from Satan and getting messages from crows and bunnies. I don’t deal with the animals or Satan anymore. That’s why I take my meds. I even have med alarms I use so I don’t forget.

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I never suggested you didn’t take meds. I asked if you thought an “adjustment” in medication might be helpful. I’m glad you have seen SOME improvement on the medication you are taking. I applaud you in trying so hard to combat this unfortunate illness!

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I’m sorry. I misunderstood what you meant because you said no one wants to take meds. I apologize

Thank-you so much for sharing your experiences. I agree it is a very stressful situation and I can’t imagine what you have already been through. God Bless You in your fight with cancer! I will keep you in prayer.

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Yes, I do. Right now he tolerates his current A/P and is taking it but it is a low dose and he will not agree to up on the dose. In addition, his mood stabilizer is only at half the effective dose and he refuses to change that. And his sertraline dose is too high for someone who is bipolar and is making him manic. I am very familiar with all these meds because I worked at a nurse practitioner for 35 yrs and prescribed most of them. If he can get his meds regulated, he will be a whole new person.

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Thank you @Zannah for posting that it is OK to get a court order if needed to have someone get on meds to stop their suffering from psychosis.

I’m sorry that you are frightened sometimes, and hope you can learn to cope. I am glad that your meds help you.

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Thanks @oldladyblue. Yes, I’m scared all the time. It would be nice to get some relief.

Court ordered meds don’t make you popular, but most sufferers can see they were sick and needed help if they get the right treatment. Just explain you love them and want to help them and that’s why you did it.

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Long story short, my daughter has severe anosognosia, and has only ever been treated involuntarily. She had a period of stability (5 years!) after an extended hospital stay and court ordered injections. Unfortunately, she started not showing up for her meds and rather than following up and sending her back to hospital, Mental Health basically shrugged and closed her file. I have had her committed since, but despite acknowledging how very sick she is, they will not keep her past the required legal review date. Which means she stops her meds, gets super sick…and around we go. All to say, my advice is to do all you can to make sure there is monitoring and follow up to the court ordered medication compliance! I stupidly trusted the system, and not living in the same area it took some time for me to realize she had stopped her injections. I’m currently considering another committal in the hopes that it might help ‘this time.’

This is so frustrating, isn’t it? I understand your battle. You only want what is best for your daughter. You were not stupid…you just did what you thought was best at the time. We learn as we go. Don’t give up hope. I know that change CAN happen, although there are no guarantees. Also, have you tried using the LEAP approach to communicate with her? It’s harder to accomplish when the person is not physically present (lives somewhere else).

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this, Zannah. You have a lot of life experiences to share. I am sorry for the difficult road you have had to travel and pray things get better for you and your illness.

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I wanted to share an update on this thread that I started. Our son was picked up last week on Wednesday and taken to the psych hospital. The pre-trial court hearing was on Thursday afternoon. There were about 9 people on Zoom including the judge, 2 lawyers, a psychiatrist, my husband and myself, our neighbor (who our son had lived with), the county representative and one other person I didn’t know. It turned out our son right away stated he did not want to contest the court order to treatment (both pretrial and the trial scheduled the following week). So, the court order was put through for 6 months. We will see how it goes. I will make sure they monitor him when he is discharged that he takes his meds. It is somewhat bittersweet because he still has his illness but hopefully it will be better treated and followed.

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Thanks @HelpingT . I’m glad your son is getting help. I hope during those 6 months he finds a good med regimen.