First time in mental health facility and it is a gut punch

My 25 yo son has been slowly declining for about two years. The last year it has gotten worse and he also turned to some drugs as part of some risky behaviors. While we realized things weren’t right in his head, we attributed it to drugs and went the path of “tough love”. When he finally hit rock bottom and accepted our offer for rehab on January 1, I had guarded hope.

He was sent to a nice rehab facility and did well at first in detox. After about 11 days he was caught going into a girl’s room and was put on a behavior contract and sent to their PHP facility. I didn’t think he was ready for that. At PHP, you live in a group setting and have full access to your phone; etc. 10 days in detox and intense therapy didn’t seem enough.

It was during the week in PHP that his mental health issues started to become clearer for us at least. We had not been sure what was drug-induced and what was a mental health issue. He started saying “they want me to leave”, “they are bugging this place”, and “they hacked my phone”. He said one of the other patients punched him. I finally received a phone call the next day saying he wasn’t meshing well with the group and would need to be moved to another group’s facility.

He was at the new PHP location for not even 24 hours when the staff there called me and said, “Your son is delusional”. They did more in 24 hours than the so-called higher-end facility did in 19 days. I’m still at a loss as to why the counselors and psychiatrist at the first facility couldn’t detect the delusions. I was blessed to have a really great clinical director at this little facility work with his team to find a facility that specializes in mental health (and rehab) where he would be put on medication and get regulated. Yesterday was the worst that I had ever heard him - saying “i pay your mortgage, this place is having a new roof put on and my insurance is paying for it, I pay my friend’s mortgage” It was a long, sad day for me.

When he was admitted to the new facility, I finally felt a little better last night, thinking he is going to be put on medication, finally working towards some kind of diagnosis…I thought it would get better.

Somehow today, my son was able to have access to his phone. He called me and said he was leaving (he didn’t) and said how could you do this to me, I will never forgive you, you spit on my grave.

It was just awful. I said, “I’m not doing this” and hung up. I called the facility and found out he was still there and they would investigate why he was able to have access to his phone.

I guess I thought when he went into the mental health facility, they would provide his medication and when I spoke to him, he would be evened out. Now I am on the roller coaster ride just sitting here obsessing over it.

My question - is he going to stay angry at me for this? Will it get better as the days go on? He is furious.

I joined Nar-anon when he went into rehab. I really liked it bc I felt like I finally found so many people that faced the same issues that I am facing. Now I have this whole, new mental health diagnosis (still unknown but many symptoms of schizophrenia) and I feel a little like a fraud going to the meetings.

I’m very pessimistic. I know my son is just the type that won’t stay on the medication. I already feel that he has anosognosia and does not believe anything is not right.

I’m sorry, I’m exhausted. I’m overwhelmed. I want to scream to the world that they are wrong about mentally ill people. They are just like you and me - they just got taken off track with an illness. I am sad for my son’s future and the lost dreams.

THank you for listening.

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I am so sorry, I do remember how hard it was to realize there might be something different with my son on a mental level.

The possibility that your son has a dual diagnosis (neurodiversity and addiction) could make anyone pessimistic. When you are less tired, you will need to work yourself toward rationalistic - a fine place to be- it’s somewhere between optimistic and pessimistic.

You ask whether or not your son will stay angry. Parents who have faced this anger before HAVE come out on the other side and said their children who gained clarity through meds and therapy were grateful to them. Maybe it’s no different than when we made them angry when they were young by simply telling them “no”. Often to be a good parent, we do make our children angry.

Take some time for yourself, the first lesson is that your life and the lives of the rest of your family, must stay on track and healthy. Good luck, hope

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So sorry you are going through this. Since this is new to you, I will say that for your loved one, the medication is intended to ‘even them out’ if you will, but that doesn’t erase their memories or their firmly held delusions, etc. I can’t speak for how your son will be, but if it is any consolation I’ve personally initiated 3 of my mother’s hospitalizations and she’s been plenty angry about it at the time but doesn’t dwell on it. You will need to go through the stages of the grieving process for what you had imagined for your son and the loss of those dreams. However, if you readjust your expectations to what your son is capable of, rather than what you thought in the past, then you can appreciate him for who he is. As hard as this is for him, he doesn’t feel it as acutely as you do. Once you realize this, you can let go a little and stop obsessing over it. Your son can’t help having this condition, and often part of it is not being able to recognize you have it and that you need the help. My mother falls into that category. I suggest you focus your efforts on learning the legal requirements to have your son receive the monthly injections under a community treatment order, if you know that compliance is going to be an issue. Focus your energy on what your son is capable of, rather than what he’s not. In hospital, my mother was telling the Psychiatrist that he wasn’t a real doctor, that he was Gates (yes, that one) and that she was Queen of the Universe and that she has five husbands and eight soldiers. Believe me, they have heard everything. Look after yourself and your own mental health, and do what you can to assist your son but don’t let his condition drag you down. There is no quick fix, this is a long term lifelong condition of ups and downs and you need to save your energy and keep mindful of what you are grateful for, rather than feeling hopeless and overwhelmed. Best of luck to you and your family. Come back as often as you need to seek encouragement.

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Out of my 4 now grown kids 2 of them suffered with this diagnosis. My heart goes out to you as I know all too well what can happen during these times. My son was in patient for a total of 4 yrs before he came to live with me. He was totally psychotic & after finding the correct meds & counseling he did well for a time. One night he didn’t return home & the next day I found out he had gone off his meds which resulted in a setback for him and a rather long hospital stay. I would like to try & encourage all oof you here to not lose hope as I now have a daughter that has come a log ways & is living a useful life. My heart will always go out to the families & those who suffer from this illness. I have known all too well the ups & downs of this illness. It has brought heartbreak to my family. To those of you who have kids who go off their meds you have my heartfelt condolences. My life has been ravaged by this illness & the main reason I am here is to provide encouragement to those of us who are in the struggle. I haven’t heard from my daughter in a while & its my concern as to how she is doing. This diagnosis is relentless. I have come to this site over a period of years.

Back in the 1990’s I used to come here on a regular basis. There are a few people here ai recognize however all of you have my heartfelt condolences to those of you who are in the struggle as I am. I go to bed with a heavy heart as I don’t really know if my daughter is ok. I am trusting God that she is still safe & is doing the best she can. I usually hear from her on a regular basis however this is the exception. I have been down this road before.

Take care all & hopefully things will turn around for at least a period of time.

Take care,

Kathy

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Thank you for the wonderful responses. I have shifted my focus to being rationalistic, signed up for the nami family + family course, reading books, listening to audiobooks and YouTube. I watched a short master class by Xavier Amador, author of “I’m not sick, I don’t need help” and purchased his book. I am trying to learn his recommendations on how to communicate with my loved one when he is saying things that don’t lake sense instead of arguing about it with him. I’m very, very slowly learning.

My son is still covered by our insurance through the end of the year and our state has a program that he may qualify for that extends that so I am definitely looking into that.

He called me last night and was in good spirits He was no longer mad at me. He was saying he can’t wait to get out, but he said positive things too. I am guessing this is the easy part - him getting treatment then come the set backs, tests and emergencies. I feel his biggest hurdle will be the marijuana use. I feel that it triggered this but I am thinking that he thinks that it is his lifeline. I am also wondering how vaping nicotine plays a role in this.

I am a cancer survivor and on my journey with cancer I say that there are good days and bad days with cancer and when you get a good day you take it. I can now say that about this journey. There are good days and there are bad days. Today’s a good day because he is safe, he’s getting medicated, he’s getting seen by doctors, he is getting his first diagnosis, and that’s a huge step forward. Ironically, this probably would’ve never happened if he wasn’t in rehab for drugs.

Thank you again for the wonderful responses in for welcoming me to this village. :heart::heart::heart:

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@Healinginside

You are off to a good start with your shift in focus. Dr Amador’s book was a keystone when it came to helping my son. I was surprised how well his communication methods worked, it is slow learning to work toward changing our own communication habits. Even after all these years, I still can lose track of LEAP methods on a day when my son’s conversation is more normal sounding.

You are so correct, it is like cancer days and you never know when the good days will show up and they should be enjoyed. I keep finding similarities between my son’s scz and his cancer. They taught us a Family to Family that the most we can expect our family members to do is just one thing a day. Bad cancer days have been like that as well.

The cancer support people use a lot of the same support methods. When you ask, “are they exhausted because of the chemo or the cancer?” The answer is “yes”. It’s the same question we ask regarding medications for our family members, and it’s the same answer.

They have urged me to support my son’s independence and his dependence while he battles cancer. That is the same guidance we received from our Family to Family instructor during the years my son worked to learn how to live his life with neurodiversity, he was quite dependent. Later when he began to work things out, he wanted his independence.

While immersed in the cancer world these past (nearly 3) years, I have been surprised by the number of late stage cancer patients that have severe mental struggles as they deal with their pending deaths. Many of the families struggle as much with the depression and anxiety of their family member as they do with the harsh physical issues of the chemotherapy. Just like in our world here, the family members can also begin to struggle with depression and anxiety themselves. They are urged to seek a therapist to help them cope - just like in our world here - they say “but I’m not the one who is sick”.

I wish that people would see therapists more as life coaches, there is still a lot of stigma regarding using a therapist to stay mentally healthy.

You are going to do great, hope

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I’m so sick to my stomach right now. My son was admitted to a comprehensive rehab center a week ago Thursday to get his medication regulated for delusions. They prescribed 2.5 mg of Olanzapine. It was my understanding they wanted to start on low dose. This was his first time he would be receiving an anti-psychotic.

The last several days have been HELL with my son calling and saying he wants to leave. The facility has a mental health medical section, a drug detox section then php (or partial hospitalization) where they do group but have more freedom. He was tired of being in the mental health area, was still acting mildly erratic. But then over the last few days he was saying odd things again,

But we had been doing our due diligence- learning about Olanzapine that it may take a couple of weeks to work.

Yesterday he had enough. He was going to walk to the airport and catch a cheap one way flight home and find one of his unreliable “friends” to stay with.

One of the nurses called and he said we tried to talk him into staying; etc. I asked about him going cold Turkey on Olanzapine. It is my understanding that could be negative. He checks his chart - HE WASN’T RECEIVING HIS MEDICATION. Someone entered it “as needed” and this is not an as needed medication.

I am sick and livid. We just lost 8 days of getting him on meds.

He took the meds and was a completely different person. I feel sad for him going through that nightmare with no relief. I feel bad for the nurses that had to deal with him!! All of this could have been avoided.

I had been leaving his counselor and case manager alone bc I didn’t want to cause waves since he was kicked out of the other place. Now it is time to advocate and figure out a path for him at this place. It does seem like they just want to keep the patient in the medical section bc they have good insurance.

The first of many frustrations. I don’t know what the day holds - will he be ok with the meds today or will he be walking to the airport?

Thank you for listening.

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OMG! Just hearing what you are going thru with that facility makes me angry right with you. Hopefully going forward things can get straitened out. We all hope that these facilities are on our loved ones side and taking the best care they can of them.
Don’t show them the anger or what you really think of them, its hard, but it easier to get them to work with you. So many times I think the same thing about the insurance my self.
I think I will go outside and do some yelling in anger for you if you don’t mind. AWEWW! Hugs to you and son and a hopeful future.

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Ttt- Thank you for your response and support. It actually made me smile envisioning someone yelling to the Gods on mine (and every mother’s) behalf!

You gave good advice about not getting mad at his counselor. I did make the mistake of pressing the issue about him not receiving the medication with the counselor. I went into amateur lawyer mode, then I regretted pushing so hard bc this man holds so much power over my son’s life.

My husband thinks it is ridiculous that I thought I pushed too hard as it was the counselor’s mistake for not realizing it. My daughter said not to worry as they deal with family drama all the time. I thought about apologizing but then did not. Wanted to let it sit.

I decided text the family contact manager and mentioned that his counselor had reached out to me and we had resolved it and I appreciated the rapport he had with my son. I did this bc I thought she might mention my text to him and I would indirectly help the situation.

In the future, I will try to mask my frustration. I need these people.

Thank you again for your support - it really lifted my day!

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