How do I get my mom help

About two years ago my mother started having intense paranoia that progressed to her talking to people who are not there and doing some other strange stuff. She breaks stuff for no reason, and she used to just take off down the street for no reason.

Last year she had a brief stay at a hospital (About a week and a half) but she has never been diagnosed. She refuses to see a doctor, and every professional we could think of has said the same thing, that there is nothing we can do without her consent unless she becomes a threat to herself or others, or she stops taking care of herself.

It’s come to that point. She’s not taking care of herself. I had no idea that things had gotten this bad. I go over there every Sunday to spend time with my dad who is very lonely these days. Things have progressed from my mom greeting me and giving me a hug before she disappeared to her room. She would come out several times to smoke a cigarette. Then it was like I was not even there. She would just go out to smoke, and maybe toss away the latest thing she broke. Then for about four weeks, even though I visited every Sunday, she would not come out of her room. She took to smoking in her room. I thought she was just having one of her episodes (if it is all right to call it that. Please correct me if this offends anyone).

My sister who just returned from college for the summer told me that our mom looks ragged and skinny, that she is nothing but skin. She’s not eating or bathing. My dad had made a doctor’s appointment for her, but he could not get her to it. She refused. My sister told her we can get her to a doctor, but my mom insists that she does not have health insurance. Not true. She’s had insurance through my dad’s work for years.

I don’t know what to do. I think maybe my dad is in denial or scared or something because he had mentioned something to me (before I learned that my mom was not eating) about not being able to stay with her. My day was pretty crappy at work today since I could not stop thinking about it. All I could think about was, my mom is going to die if she does not get help.

I don’t think I can handle another “there is nothing we can do. She’s a grown woman,” response. So if anyone knows how we can get my mother help…A name to a facility, a phone number, website…please let me know. We are in the San Diego, CA area if that helps.

Welcome to the forum.

Getting help for someone who is legally an adult and doesn’t think they need help is not easy.

Some of these links may help:

Can also find some very useful information here:

Early Psychosis Treatment center information in these two links

Psychiatric Treatment Centers affiliated with Medical Schools in the USA

This link may help you find a psychiatrist in your area - National Alliance on Mental Illness.

I don’t know if you would be able to have her involuntarily admitted by proving that her inability to take care of herself like not eating and losing so much weight is harming herself. Try calling a crisis line for your area:

Your dad is probably having a rough time withthis also.
If he and your sister could all get together on this, maybe an intervention-you could get your mom into the ER. They will check her over there. Barbie gave you a great site for a crisis team. Good luck. I hope you can get some help for your mom.**

Thanks for the info. We will definitely look into it. Just a little update. My mom had my sister get her some food from McDonalds and Taco Bell. So hopefully she ate something. From what I hear it was quite a bit of food that she took into her room and never put in the refrigerator.

We are also planning to go to lunch with my dad to talk about what we can do. Apparently no one wants to talk about it with my mom around for fear that she will overhear.