Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Forced hospitalisation - what's the reaction of the hospitalised person?


#1

Hi everyone, I write here as I suspect my mother has schizophrenia. Her symptoms started 10 years ago when I was just a kid and her situation worsened with the years. She has hallucinations, delusions of grandiosity, thought delusions and all the other typical symptoms of schizophrenia. However, as unfortunately many patients with the disorder, she denies it. My family and I tried so many strategies to get her help, but without her willing to go to a specialist, we are faced with one last possibility: forced hospitalisation. We are from Italy and there, if you think someone is having mental problems and is not aware of them, the public health system sends a letter to the person saying to go to a psychiatrist appointment within 3 days. If the person does not do so, then an ambulance will get her by force. I must say my family and I always found it very hard to get to this step. We are very scared of what might happen. So, my question is: what are your experiences with forced hospitalisation? I do not want my mum to get traumatised and not to trust us anymore. But her situation is really heartbreaking and I want to intervene.


#2

If you are looking for a way for a forced hospitalization to be easy, you will not find it. The key word is forced.

If some one forces you to do something against your will, how would you react? Our loved ones are mentally ill, but still human. At the moment, there will be resentment and anger. You also need to know how it is handled in your area so do some research. We went through this last year and it was not easy, but needed to be done.

Best of wishes to you and your family.


#3

Horrible, awful, traumatic and something my son and us have been through twice and never want to go through it again.

I think now, 2.5 years later and 1 year 10 months later he still has flashbacks as I do.

He didn’t trust us and wouldn’t speak to us at first, that was awful but honestly it needed to come to that. I was actually glad of the respite, but now it hurts so much and never ever want it again.
Thinking of you.


#4

For us, forced hospitalization started my son on a path to recovery. Honestly, as heartbreaking as it was, I wish I had taken steps to get it done earlier.

The forced hospitalization led to forced medication. Medication led to a small bit of insight into what it feels like to feel better. Feeling better helped my son see some benefits of medication.

To be honest though, the first forced hospitalization didn’t “stick”. My son needed a second round of it to finally become med compliant. He is now on monthly injections. Hopefully he’ll stay on them.

As far as lost trust goes, our son was angry and he developed conspiracy-related delusions around the forced hospitalization. But, over time, due to the meds, those delusions faded.


#5

Pleased to hear things are getting better. Our son too developed delusions based on the event and the hospital stay. What depot is your son having?


#6

Yes Jane. Things are better. At first, we didn’t have much hope. The hospital psychiatrist didn’t either.

As far as I can tell, after 5 months of Invega Sustenna, about 95 percent of hallucinations are gone (just olfactory remain), events that look/sound like paranoia are about 90 percent gone, and only certain long standing delusion remain. Usually, the delusions only come up when he’s experiencing interpersonal stress, like when he feels he’s being criticized.

Symptoms still come and go in waves, but the waves are shorter now and way less intense. Also, things get hairy towards the end of the month, when he’s just about due for the next injection. I always worry he’ll refuse the next shot, but so far so good.

Something to note though is that there is very little stress in our son’s life. He has no job, no school, no friends to cause stress, and he doesn’t drive. Also, he lives with us in a spacious and comfortable home. I’m not sure what his symptoms would look like if things weren’t so easy for him.

Unfortunately, the negative symptoms persist…no motivation, no aspirations, little interest in personal care. Here’s to hoping those get better.


#7

Amelie, it sounds as if all voluntary methods have been attempted and therefore, perhaps the involuntary method is your next step. Like Day by Day, my experience with an involuntary committment was difficult but necessary and got our family the results we needed. As a result of the hospital stay, my son takes medication which allows him to function and to be more independent and happy. I do wish you well with your decision.