Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How can I tell if my daughter is getting the right treatment?


#1

My 31yr old daughter had her first serious psychotic break last month, was hearing voices, self harming, irrational thinking. She was in a university teaching hospital for three weeks on a court ordered hold. Released, volunteerly commitment herself to a smaller community hospital within 24hrs. After evaluation, the hospital determined they did not have an appropriate program, contacted county mental health to put her back on a court order hold (she was refusing her meds and the voices/dislusions were back) and arrange to have her moved. Today I learned that she was moved to a private for profit facility which, looking at their website specializes in drug rehab. My calls today didn’t get past the operater - “can not confirm or deny that she is a patient”. Will be work on that some more tomorrow.

What I see happening is she will be stablized with meds then released at the end of the two weeks, just to repeat the process again. What type of a treatment program should I look for? How can I tell if this new facility is giving her appropriate treatment? I appreciate any advice on how to advocate on her behalf?
Note: she is in Seattle, Washington on state medicaid.


#2

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#3

Your daughter is getting the right treatment if her illness is lessening and she seems improved.

I almost hate to write that, but I do because everyone with the illness is so different that different doctors, treatment centers, and supports/services work for different people.

Anecdotally, our family had a terrible experience with a psychiatrist who is beloved by and helps a close friend’s adult child with the exact same diagnosis as our family member. But going through that experience helped us appreciate the doctor we found who has helped so much.

Unless a professional or treatment center does something truly against your daughter’s well being, hope for the best in every scenario and observe what does seem to work for your daughter or doesn’t.


#4

My son was non-compliant a year ago, after being compliant for 6 or so years. He had lost insight - either the disease progressed or his old meds quit working and he slowly got worse - it’s hard to say.

But, he went into the hospital, they put him back on the meds that had worked, released him in 2 weeks, then within a week, he stopped the meds. They weren’t working well anyway - I got them into him anyway for a month & there was very little change.

A month & a half later, he had to go back in. This time they put him on Invega Sustenna & released him in 2 weeks. This time, he seemed perfectly well, but it didn’t last.

As regular as clockwork, he would go in for 2 weeks every 45 days for the next 4 months as they upped his dosage. The outpatient doctors would try to work with him, but he’d go manic again way too fast for them to handle.

On the fifth trip, they put him on Clozapine and sent him home in about 10 days. This worked well for him, and while he’s not thrilled about taking meds twice a day, he takes it when I give it to him. On his own, I think he’d either forget or purposely not take it. He hasn’t been back to the hospital over 3 months.

So, if she’s going to the hospital time after time, you have to hope for some little change for the positive each time - or that it will all lead to a good solution. My son had been ill for a long time, but this was the first time he had been hospitalized, and it seemed to be more of a process for him than a one-shot solution. Hopefully, they will find something that works well for your daughter in time.


#5

Thanks for the insight. Did make contact with my daughter last night she had no complaints about the facility or treatment. I am still working on making contact with her treatment team, no one is returning my calls. I live on the East coast trying to manage things as best I can long distance.


#6

From what I have been reading I am preparing myself emotionally for a very long and bumpy journey. My daughter has been living independantly for the last four years, not very successfully but still on her own. But the illness has now taken charge of her life. I don’t think she has accepted the full scope of what she is dealing with. In the hospital as she gets stable she talks about wanting to put her life back together (ie, getting an apt, finding a job, rebuilding freindships) all very good goals but not ones she can accomplish without some serious support. She is resistant to taking meds and refused a supportive group home that the hospital had set up, choosing to stay at a friends house. She was back in the hospital within 24 hours - now starting a two week hold. Spoke with her last night and she is saying the same thing I just need to get stable so that I can be released and get on with my life. It is very difficult as I do not live in the same state. On the plus side I have found the mental health court to be very cautous about releasing her too soon.


#7

I hate to say it, but I think you should go out there and check things out for yourself–if only chastize the staff for not returning your phone calls. GGRRR! That makes me so mad😡
Make a list of all the questions that you need answers to. Does your daughter need to give consent to the medical staff so you can be informed of her treatment decisions? Take care of that, too, while you are out there.
She also might need some things, like a change of clothes, toiletries, cash for vending machines or phone calls. These were all the sort of things I used to being to my husband when he was in the psych hospital.