Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Help for my violent SZ son

My son is in prison. He is 23 years old. He attacked a man with a knife in 2016. The man survived, thankfully. My son will be released in March of 2021. He does not accept that he is mentally ill. He has stayed out of trouble in prison, as far as I know, but he is also unmedicated and not being seen by the prison psychiatrist (because he refuses to see her).
He thinks he will be able to live with me when he is released, but I am afraid of him, and my husband won’t let him live with us. He needs to be in the care of a nice facility, where he won’t be treated like a sick criminal, and where people can help him. Unfortunately, I cannot find a facility that will take him with his history of violent behavior. What should I do? These places only want to help those who are EASY to help. We are very fortunate to have the means to be able to afford a nicer facility, but do any of them accept someone post-prison? If we find one somewhere in the US, our lawyer says we can probably get a court to agree for him to leave the state.

That is your best bet or move yourself…

My son is in prison too. He is 29. He got into a fight at a bar then got in his truck and unloaded his gun out of the window of his car. No one was outside but shrapnel hit the bouncer at the door. He got 10 years in 2015. Since being in prison we found out he has schizophrenia and his odd behavior since he was 19 was not from drug use but early signs of the disease. Having Schizophrenia in a Texas prison is “Hell on Earth” . My son has been segregated in a cell 23 hours each day for 2 years with no treatment. He has progressively got worse. He now has PTSD and is suicidal . I have filed grievances , called Wardens, mental health staff , for the Unit and every person I can get to listen and it’s hopeless. The staff have cold hearts and no problems sleeping at night with the things they are seeing and doing. I see my son every other week and drive 3 hours one way to only be devastated by what I see. The last visit , my son had a gash on his head from bashing his head in the wall. He was suppose to be on suicide watch! The next morning I called the Warden to tell him about my son and he told me my son was in medical right then because he was not cooperating and they gassed him. My son has asthma and skin allergies in addition to every thing else, this caused a severe allergic reaction and I just lost it! I can’t take much more of the suffering! My son cannot help that he was born with this disease. The prison system is the last place you want your Mentally Ill loved one to end up. I know it’s hard caring for them at home but watching them suffer mentally and physically in a Texas Prison is the worst case scenario. I would love to find a post on how someone else is dealing with a situation like mine and something that could help my son. I’m praying for us all and expectant for God to hear our cries and bring us help.

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I here your pain. Puts tears in my eyes. My 25 year old son was just arrested last week for shooting his friends BB gun out of his friends car, and he will likely be charged with a felony even though he didn’t shoot anyone. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar and was just recently out of mental health clinic. He was put on medication, but it wasn’t apparently helping him. Maybe because the medication takes tome to activate in his system. I also suspect using cannabis and maybe street drugs and alcohol was interfering with the medication. I tried to call the jail to let them know that he’s on medication. At first they weren’t very helpful. But I got his lawyer involved. Apparently she made them aware that he needs to be on that medication. But there’s no certainty that he’s even on it right now.I don’t know. The jail doesn’t tell me anything because he’s 25. The lawyer is going to try to make it a mental health court issue. So hopefully the judge will send him to treatment and not jail. But after hearing your story it doesn’t seem like the system really cares. They look at our sons as criminals. This is very scary. I feel very alone with this whole thing. I don’t live with his father, but we are amicable and share concerns. But I don’t tell anybody about what happened. I’m afraid people will judge me. I don’t even tell my parents. I was told that I could possibly get guardianship of him. I’m going to probably try to work on that. The last I heard from the lawyer was that they had him in isolation. Which means that they might have him on a suicide watch. That’s very scary I’m not even able to visit him. Because my son didn’t put us on a some kind of visitation list. So I don’t even get to talk to him on the phone . Why do they put the parents through so much torture. I should at least be able to talk to him . This whole thing is just been so devastating it’s like a nightmare. If you need somebody to talk to you about your son… I will listen. I know how it feels to not have support. For you I think there might be some kind of advocacy resource that can help you get through to the jail that your son needs treatment. I am just discovering these resources myself. Have you tried the Nami Website? If you want to contact me privately share your number and we can connect. Blessing to you and your son. May angels watch over you and home throughout these devastating times.
M.Gardenia

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My brother was charged with felony assault about 35 years ago and was place in a California state hospital, after he pleaded guilty by reason of insanity. He has always understood he’s is schizophrenic. He’s had many chances to leave the state hospital under a probationary release program, but he knows and feels he can’t function in the world. So remains incarcerated in the state hospital where he can’t hurt anyone.

When I was about 13 he told me voices would tell him to kill me and my family. In the early stages of his schizophrenia he was able to control his actions, but he knew he was getting sicker. In time his delusions got worse; until one day durning one of he’s delusions he got away from us and attacked a lady in an apartment and was charged with felony assault.

After this incident, he knew he couldn’t control himself and meds may not help control his potential violent delusions. He knew being incarcerated would be safer for me and my family and other people.

Bottom line, hard core cases of schizophrenia which causes one to act out violently needs be taken very seriously. If you need to keep your distance from a violent schizophrenic family member there is no shame or guilt in doing so!

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Sorry for the late reply, I would love to exchange numbers and discuss the issues we are facing. I know that now, in Texas, they have a jail diversion program for offenders with mental disorders. This was passed into legislation after my son was incarcerated so it doesn’t apply for him. I’m not sure what state your in but have your lawyer advocate for mental health court if available. And most definitely present proof of his illness and the need to keep him out of prison. My son went in at 25 yrs old. Your facing exactly what I faced and feeling the shame in telling family members and friends. My family still doesn’t understand or know what to say. My church Family has been a tremendous blessing through all of this. I feel no shame in telling them about the horrible things that we are going through. I would love to talk to you more .
I’m going to try messaging you.
My name is Gayla.

I am so sorry. My son has gotten in trouble, and is now in “secure housing” (new euphemism for solitary). He has had privileges revoked, so I cannot see him. He won’t sign HIPPA form so that i can track his care and hold caregivers accountable. Losing sleep over this…

I just want to love him and make him better, but he’s not capable of understanding and receiving this love. My heart is just broken.

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If I were in this position, I would be knocking down politicians doors at every level I could reach, trying to find that one sympathetic ear that would provide assistance.

I understand exactly what your going through. It took a year for my son to sign the Hippa release form. He was paranoid and didn’t think he was sick. He would get so mad at me for constantly asking him to sign the form. Finally , he got the flu and wasn’t being treated , so I convinced him to let me talk to the medical staff and he signed the form. But be encouraged, I’ve been where you are and I can tell you what to expect so you won’t have to make the mistakes I did.
It’s been battle after battle for 4 years with him finally realizing he was sick a year ago. Now, my battle continues with the Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice , to get my son out of “ Restricted Housing “ , which is like you said , Solitary ! No privileges, no mental health treatment. Just left to deteriorate . This type of inhumane treatment would make someone without mental illness start to have loss of sanity.
It’s common to place the mentally ill in solitary all across the U.S.
How is this legal? It’s criminal.
My son comes from a big loving family and was raised in church and taught to respect others . He was a wonderful son before this disease attacked his brain. I try to understand why God is letting us go through this and sometimes think it’s because of the evil that needs exposed in the Tx. Prison System. There’s corruption in prisons across the U.S. It has given me a cause to fight for. I plan on going to speak in front of the Texas Legislature about prison reform. Our loved ones having this disease is a cause God puts on all our hearts. To speak out and get resources that are much needed. Just like this family forum is a resource that someone started. We need to join together to make a difference for our loved ones with SZ.
I pray blessings of peace over all who read this .

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