Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Finally admitted himself

After nine months of homelessness and traveling across country following delusions of a government job in D.C., a dream shelter in Bangor, Maine and another delusion of work at the Cyber Command Center in Augusta, Georgia, my husband was finally too tired and worn out to go on. He was going to go through with a threat of jumping off a bridge but decided to check himself in to a psych unit. I have one last email from him that says it could be 72 hours or longer. I am hoping the staff and doctors will recognize how poorly he is doing, but he has always been able to convince doctors he is OK without medication.

I have not been around him (or anyone) in a voluntary hold before, not sure what happens. I am still 5,000 miles away and visiting hours, when I could call, are only one hour and while I am working (except Sunday, when I hope to call). I am guessing there will be no contact with me for the time he is on hold?

Part of me is relieved, because he has been on a decline for several years.


Can I ask what state he is in?
Even if he’s voluntarily checked himself in to a facility, it’s correct that he will be held for AT LEAST 72 hours. In your husband’s case, possibly and hopefully more, though it depends on the doctors, the facility, your husband, and his insurance situation.

My understanding is that your husband has the right to take phone calls, even outside of “visiting” hours, so even if you are working during the facility’s visiting hours, he should be allowed to take a phone call during business hours, as long as hes not supposed to be participating in a group or one-on-one session. Phone calls are generally less restricted than visits, so there’s more flexibility, just be aware that he’ll have to take the call in a public space.
He also has the right to receive mail, so perhaps that is a good option, especially if there is anything you might like to send him if you can’t go to see him personally.

Depending on your situation, you can also call and give the hospital information that you think might be helpful-- the responsibility to inform the hospital of his history is on your husband, since he checked in, and he may or may not have done that accurately. I cannot guarantee that the hospital will take your information in to account, since it depends on several things (do you share insurance, are you still legally married, will you act as his guardian if he is incapacitated, has he listed you as a contact or personal connection, or has he described you as a someone he DOESNT want contact with, etc)

I’m so glad you feel relieved. I hope things continue to move in a direction that seems like improvement. <3


My daughter admitted herself when we took her to the hospital in her first psychotic break… she was there for six days… I do not know what the minimum stay is…

I am glad that he did admit himself…this sounds like he had some level of insight to realize that he needs some type of help. Will be praying!

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Glad he decided to give himself another chance, rather than jump!
I hope he knows that he is a worth while person and he deserves to keep seeking the kind of peace of mind and comfort we all desire. Regardless of the hardships.

You must be relieved to know that he is being evaluated. It’s up to him if he wants to be honest about how desperate his thinking became and how hard his life has been.

I hope he knows that he deserves to try treatment, especially if he feels like nothing is working out for him.


Thank you, everyone, for replying! It really warms my heart that this forum exists. I feel so alone, otherwise.

laughingsteps, right now he is in Atlanta, at the Emory psych unit, which is relatively new and seems to have good reviews. I talked with him for a few minutes on my lunch break. He agreed to take medication but will probably not comply once out. He is resting, having real meals, isn’t allowed to smoke (thank goodness!), sounded very calm and kept apologizing for his past behavior. I have contacted his daughter, who wants to call him as well. I can’t even imagine how low a person feels to want to end their life. If he stays more than the 72 hours, I will write to him. That is a great idea. I definitely can’t go to see him, more than 5,000 miles away, at least $1,000 round trip airline fee only. We keep our finances and insurance separate and he has full disability coverage and Medicare.

I believe the minimum stay is 72 hours. He says he wants to leave soon, but I hope he stays longer. Like I said before, he was so tired and hungry and was finally willing to admit himself. He is such a sweet man when he’s not delusional; it is difficult to see him in that state. Thank you for your prayers, Windyhill63! I pray for your daughter every day.

And wrecklus, yes, peace of mind and comfort is so important, That is what I need, but my husband is fed by the delusions and fantasies. It will take a lot for him to abandon those. He wants to move back to where we lived in CA, where the delusions are strong. I can only hope!

Today at work I was not feeling well, physically. I’m not sure if it’s stress or severe allergies. Ha ha. It was tough to get through the day. My family member was at the ER Monday and they are still weak and recovering, although surgery was not necessary. I feel that I am under too many stresses at once. I am practicing deep breathing and trying to get enough sleep. I don’t want to lose my job, which is temp for now but may turn into permanent if I don’t screw it up. Thank you everyone, again. I am going to sleep now and hope the extra hours will give me the advantage to carry on.


Stress is a sneaky problem.
I know for myself, I only ever realize in hindsight how much stress I had been carrying.
It is worth while to address it directly, whether that’s taking up yoga, or target practice at the shooting range, or venting to us here on the forum (if all three, have at it!)
I think if you feel like your job might be at risk due to your external stresses, it’s a sign that you might really benefit from taking action to ease that level of stress. Blow off some steam.

Anyway, glad your husband is taking medication and getting solid meals. You might be able to encourage him to stay committed based on hot meals and a comfortable bed. But I know a lot of sz/sza people don’t really value those things sometimes. Still, it’s reasonable to think that might help persuade.
Either way, he did decide to give himself a second chance and accept some help, knowing he couldn’t fix things on his own. That might not mean he’s willing to do what he has to in order to prevent ever feeling that low again (treatment included), but it’s worth pointing out if you speak to him again.

I live in Georgia and I can confirm that the Emory facility is great! They are a wonderful community, with some very gifted people working there. I really hope his experience is positive, and that he lets himself stay to get the help he needs.

Thank you, laughinsteps, that’s good to know. If he leaves after the 72 hours, he will be back on the street with no money, so I do hope he decides to stay longer.

Thanks, wreklus. I have had yoga on my mind lately, having practiced for years in the past. It was very helpful with stress.

I will be calling my husband during the visiting hour again today and gave his daughter the information so she could call as well. Yesterday he was saying he wanted to leave soon but I am hoping the longer he is well fed and rested (and when the medication kicks in stronger), that he will think about staying longer.

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Its good to hear your husband made a choice in his own best interests and is someplace safe and being cared for. Like others, I hope the staff has the ability to hold him longer than 72 hours, if for no other reason than to keep him somewhere where he is getting cared for.

When my son has been checked in, the weekend hours didn’t count toward the 72 hours, so they might be able to hold him longer based on that!

Its a strange mix of feelings when a loved one is admitted - at least for me - it is a different kind of stress than wondering where they are and what trouble they might be experiencing, but still stressful. And mixed in with some relief that at least for a few hours that person is safe and monitored.

I should get back into yoga too… it is good for stress and is also recommended for ADHD…

Hello, Lifeishard,o
So glad to hear that your husband checked himself in. It shows he has in site to his illness.
Not sure if you are allowed any contact with him or not. I think it depends on the situation. What you can do is talk to the social worker appointed to his case. At least he/she can relay a message to your husband. Your hubby may have to reach out to you, so make sure the social worker has your info.
Give us an update, AnnieNorCal

Hi AnnieNorCal,

I am not sure if my husband has insight to his illness or not. He will say he’s MI when it is to his advantage but most of the time says he is not, was mis-diagnosed.

I had a rough day yesterday. My family member needed to go back to the ER. We were there most of the day and I received a text from my husband that he had been discharged. I wasn’t able to find out until I got home and had time to talk. It turned out that he refused to take medication and that is why they discharged him. They had paperwork from his psychologist in CA, who recommended he take medication and when they mentioned this to him, he told them, “Psychologists can’t prescribe medicine. You are idiots.” He got his full meals and shower and that was enough for him, apparently. I had high hopes for this voluntary commitment, but he is quite determined to not take meds. I am guessing he did not tell them he was going to attempt suicide or they would have kept him a few days longer anyway, but I’m not sure how it works in GA.

And then, of course, right away he was asking for money again or a bus ticket back to CA. When I told him the money I wired him last week was all I could do until my next paycheck (which I had warned him last week), the barrage of insults and hurtful words began.

I am not sure what to do now. I know getting him back to CA would help in some ways, but he would still need money constantly.

Not that I’m saying this is the right thing or even a good idea;
But it occured to me that you could bargain with him that you will send him money again after he cooperates with treatment in a facility for a set amount of time for you to be sure he is med compliant and the meds and therapy have fully taken effect.

Again, not trying to convince anyone to act in any way. Just thought it could be a point of dialogue you might want to discuss.


Everyone here on the forum is in such turmoil about their loved ones. Wish I had the right answer for you. Wish I had a cure. So sorry to hear about your hubby.
The only thing you can do right now is encourage your husband to go back to the hospital and receive the meds and they will help him. So sorry for you. AnnieNorCal

I hope for his sake they do keep him. I know from experience some people have convinced them they are ok and released, it is a revolving door at times. My son will be homeless at end of this month from his 3rd and final resource, refuses to believe anything wrong with him so nothing on his end is changing. So hard to watch our loved ones go thru that and they can be so abusive on many different levels which doesn’t make you want to help them but we do. Just venting and feeling very hopeless about his situation at the moment and deeply concerned. I hope your husband gets the help he deserves.

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If it is voluntary they can leave after 72 hours. Regardless of the treatment plan or lack thereof. . Involuntary they can make them stay…or at least until the insurance cost containment personal deems the stay no longer medically necessary. There is a huge push by insurance companies to move mental health responsibility to the communities and outpatient care. Although some states mandate better coverage than others.

Sadly the mental health system is as broken as the people it is designed to serve. I am so sorry.

So many of us understand the feeling of not knowing what to do next.
In the case where your husband is"

Refusing treatment;
asking for/demanding money that is beyond your reasonable means;
speaks abusively to you;

I found the only response I could feel okay about was to:

Express concern for what your loved one is experiencing;
express your belief that getting treatment will help, and a willingness to help him get help;
set a fixed limit of what you can provide and express it clearly;
cut off any communication that becomes abusive.

In addition,

Communicate that at any point you have any concern that he might do harm to himself or others, you will not hesitate to contact authorities to intervene.

Suffering thru the constant badgering for money and abusive responses is horrible.


Thanks, vallpen. It has taken me a long time to gather up my strength to be both willing to help my husband and also unwilling to put up with his abuse. The distance has helped, even though it makes me sad and the longer we are apart, I do not see a chance of us living together again. It’s funny you mention setting a fixed limit of what I can provide because I always do that, yet he seems to think credit cards are magical and that I can send him money at any time. (His mother floated multiple credit cards when he was younger and he has never forgotten how she always had enough money to buy the luxuries she wanted with the cards.)

Tonight he will probably be arriving back in the town where we used to live in CA. This is the only place he feels comfortable and it is also to my advantage because I know who to call if I fear he is getting too delusional again or is threatening me.

Thank you everyone for all the kind comments. I’m hoping some day I will have better news to share about our story.

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I just know how horrible it feels. My son was, and sometimes still is, the same way about money - and it is way beyond frustrating to give what you can and then immediately get a demand for more. I wish I could offer more than a few simple suggestions and kind words to help you.

It also took me a while to have the ability to cut off any communication that became abusive. But eventually I was able to say, ‘You are being abusive to me, and I am going to end this conversation now. Good bye.’ I would sometimes then block his number for a while. Maybe an hour, maybe a day. It would often convert to text messages, but somehow those seemed easier to handle. If after I unblocked the number the same behavior would begin again, I would repeat.