Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How to deal with a psychotic break

My son has been in a downward spiral for a week now. He is not sleeping or eating. He is talking out loud to all his personalities as well as speaking to other people who are not there. Very restless. Can’t stop pacing. But so far, he hasn’t said anything like he is going to hurt himself or someone else. He just keeps asking why does he have to be this way. Why can’t he be normal? Blaming others for how he is. I’m just sitting around listening to him and making sure he doesn’t try to harm himself. He is off all his meds!! And I’ve asked him twice if he wants to talk to his psychologist or dr and he is very adamant with a loud NO. Also the tv is talking to him. Any suggestions on what I can do to help calm him down?

Concerned mama!!

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This is where I get incredibly frustrated. He needs help and you need someone to help him but the parameters of danger to himself isn’t met. Yet keeping someone awake and starving them is considered torture. Why this does not qualify as hurting himself I just do not understand.
Is there anyway you can unplug the tv without him knowing? And pray he does not have to capacity to consider that is why it stopped working? Just a shot in the dark, but maybe what the TV is telling him is aggravating him.
Other than that, I really don’t have any ideas, but know there are a lot of us who feel your distress. Thinking of you.


We are in a crisis mode today also. His distress has got him contacting relatives he hasn’t seen in years to tell them we are abusing him and stalking him.

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Funny you should say that about the tv bc I turned it off and it helped for a moment. But it just started back up moments later. He simply has not stopped!! I’ve asked him twice if he wants to go to the emergency room and that irritated him more so I won’t ask that again. But he is concerning me!! He is talking to everybody in his head and the tv. Making all sorts of odd movements with his head and hands. Very irritated and nothing is calming him down. I’ve tried to upload a video and a voice recording on here but it won’t let me. I’m/we are so alone!! Im in my bedroom now with the door locked bc I thought he had tried to go to bed. I was wrong. I can hear him in the living room sitting in the dark just talking to his voices. My heart is burdened :heavy_heart_exclamation:️:broken_heart::pensive:

I’m so sorry to hear you’re living this same nightmare tonight!! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your son!! :pray:t2::pray:t2:

And mine with you and yours - these days are frustrating. So difficult when ours are in such distress. Today he must be working on the “court order” he told me about yesterday.

My heart is with both of you and your loved ones as you deal with this. I wish I had words of wisdom to offer. It is so much easier if they willingly go to the ER. When they won’t, things get beyond difficult.

Is there an emergency psychiatric crisis line you can call? I would call that right away. A professional should have some suggestions for you to help your loved one.

I feel the laws need to change so that there is some ability to take an adult in to be looked at, even if they won’t go. When someone is psychotic, the danger factor is unpredictable. Maybe not a danger right now, but ten minutes from now? I am so sorry and I wish I could help. I feel your frustration, your pain and your sorrow. All of it.

So far in my experience there are way more questions than answers and the law is not on our side unless the patient is willing.

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My son hears people talk to him through the TV too.
Sometimes, he sees people come to the front of the screen & talk to him.

I always have to wait for him to get really, really afraid. Then when he verbalizes that he’s afraid, I’ll calmly ask him if he wants to go to the hospital where it’s safe. Eventually, he’ll say yes.

But, I think the key is for me to appear calm through the whole thing so that I don’t work him up more.

Once we get to the hospital, he often wants to leave. But, even if he doesn’t, they TDO him.
He does not threaten to hurt himself, he does not threaten to hurt anyone else, but he is not capable of protecting himself from harm (this would include not having the capacity to stay out of traffic as well as not eating, etc.) and he lacks the mental capacity to either consent to or decline treatment. It’s kind of the “not of sound mind” thing with a will. My son is once again in the hospital on a TDO (5th time in 10 months) - he’s fully compliant on the meds, but they’re not working and he was probably just as sick as your son is now.

If you have a crisis team there, they may be able to come to the house to evaluate him, but that comes with risks. If they send non-trained police officers, it could escalate things. And, you do break a certain level of trust. And, it also depends on how good your area is about hospitalizing.

You’ve had bad luck with them keeping him, so if you can bear it, I would let it go on until there is no question he is very ill. At some point, he wouldn’t be able to hide it even if he tried.


We don’t have a crisis team where we live. Our sheriff’s office has one officer trained in crisis intervention. We had him on one visit, he was great, the other call we got the SWAT team when we asked for the CIT officer. We haven’t called back since.

The sheriff’s office called me at 1:16am this morning, to ask me to ask my son to stop calling 911.

Over the phone, the officer took down the details and relayed some of what my son had been saying. No threats to anyone, my son just wanted them to do something to stop us from abusing him. The officer asked if my son was on meds. I told him that he refused to take meds. I also told him about the last visit when I had promised the officer in charge of the SWAT team that I would apply to the county judge for court ordered meds.

I relayed how that previous officer had called me back the next day to share his experiences with court ordered meds and to strongly suggest we NOT apply to the court. He said that in a case like our son’s it would only escalate with each encounter and end tragically.

I concluded with last night’s officer saying “he said court ordered meds don’t work”. The officer last night gave a very deep sigh and said “No ma’am, they do not.”

Easy to understand his response, they don’t want to get into a situation where they have to drag my son out of his home. Jeb’s not threatening anyone, he’s not threatening himself, he’s doing all of the things he needs to do to avoid us having grounds to do anything. hereandhere sent me the link to the laws of the states, I read them carefully as they had changed since the last time I read them. He still does not meet the requirements of the state we live in. Not even close.

I asked him (since I had him on the phone and my attempts to get local information have been less than satisfying) what would happen if I managed to get Jeb to go with me last night to the one hospital we have in our county. He said that if my son went there willingly, he would sit there and wait for the local county program folk to show up later the same day or the next day. He stressed that my son could leave at any time.

Jeb wouldn’t pick up his phone last night, he finally replied to my texting. I used the Amador stuff and went a little off subject and suggested that maybe he was having a panic attack and needed to go to the ER. I did offer to take him. He said he would continue to report us to the authorities until we stopped abusing him.

And I did as the sheriff asked and relayed their request that he stop calling 911.


That is what I’m trying my hardest to do!! Last night our neighbors decided to shoot their automatic weapons at 12am!! My son had just settled down on the couch and I was almost asleep. He got up and ran outside hollering at them!! I called the sheriff Dept and the lady on the phone heard the shots as well. But when the officers got hear…nothing was done. I called them back and asked them what happened and she said that if there was anything to report they would get in touch with me. I explained to her that my son is sz and it has really upset him!! She didn’t care!!!

Now we are up and I feel like we’re trapped in ground hog day!! I’m loosing my strength to keep going!!

If that happens again, ask them if the officers can come to your house to explain to your son & help calm him down.

Maybe they’ll see the situation.

And, if they ask you if there’s anything they can do to help out, you tell them what you need to happen.

Maybe even now you could call & explain & see if they could come to talk to him as if they needed a “witness” to the situation?

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If you get him on the shot or any other type of meds again, find a reason he has to stay on it, even if you have to stretch the truth.

Maybe tell him they’ll be re-evaluating his disability & things are getting so tight they’ll look for any excuse to cut off his check, but if he’s in treatment, they won’t be able to say he doesn’t need it.

I think I remember he didn’t like the weight gain? If that’s the problem, fill him up on fruits & vegetables & get him walking or doing yard work. They also have some meds that combat side effects - maybe they’ll have something that helps with the weight gain.

The think is you know he can do so much better on the right meds. Once he gets on them again, you need to fight tooth & nail to keep him on them.

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I did just that and they said they couldn’t come out unless there was a problem! Smh!! I feel like they say “oh it’s THEM again”!! Because they have been here too many times and they know my son has a mi!! They think we are just crazy! But I was so glad the operator was on the phone and heard the shots too even though she said this time of the year it could be fireworks!! Ugh!! I went out there just now and looked everywhere for evidence of fireworks. Nothing!!

I wonder if you start asking for names, badge numbers, report numbers with each call if they’d take you more serious - or consider you a crackpot.

It’s so sad when things escalate to the point something really bad happens & it’s reported on the news. People ask why didn’t the family do something and they don’t realize how hard it is to get them help.

If you asked for stuff like that, you’d at least have documentation of how hard you tried to get help if you ever needed it.

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Sheyelo, We really did have similar nights. I looked at the current phase of the moon - don’t laugh but my son’s psychiatrist actually said he has noticed the phases of the moon can cause an increase in phone calls from his patients and their families.

It certainly does not cause a problem like this for my son every time there’s a full moon, but we have had trouble as a full moon approached to see his severe psychosis drop off when it wanes.

I don’t know. Yes, another day of the same here also.


I will start observing that for sure! And I won’t laugh at anything no matter how quirky it sounds!! I’m willing to try anything at this point! It’s been over a week now of nonstop talking to the voices the tv the walls. Not sleeping or eating. Bouts of historical laughter for no reason and then crying. And then for a split second my son breaks through and apologizes for the way he is and thanks me for loving him!! Breaks my heart! I tell him of course that he shouldn’t apologize for being who he is and I will always love him no matter what!! And I will never stop fighting for him!!!

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That’s exactly what my son does - sometimes, he’ll cycle through the laughing, then the crying, then seem just kind of out of it, then kind of normal - all in an hour.

It’s awful to watch & I can’t imagine how awful it is to experience.

For my son this time, it took another 3 days before he just suddenly told me he was scared.
That’s my opening - I very calmly ask him if he’d like me to drive him to the hospital where he can be safe.

When he gets there, he’ll eventually want to leave - but he can’t hide how sick he is then and he has an urgency to talk about the delusions. This time he was kind of quiet, so that was just as bad - it’s unresponsive. So, they’ll TDO him for that too. He finally told the nurse he no longer talks with his mouth - in other words, she should just know what he’s saying even though he doesn’t say it. There was no question he needed help.

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I’m sorry you are experiencing this today. “Why do I have to be this way” is at least some insight. I think I would be quick to follow up with. "Let’s get in the car and go talk to someone together. If he is evaluated, they surely would admit him hopefully???
hang in there and take care of yourself.


Sometimes HMOs have mental health crisis lines. Mine does. I have already called it once. The person on the phone had very helpful suggestions about how to handle my agitated son who was entering the danger zone.

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I don’t understand why officers of the law don’t believe in court-ordered meds. I do believe they don’t want to be involved in the process, but there are monthly injections of medications, even quarterly. They might not be operating with the best information.

Next time they say that, ask them why they do. Maybe they have had an anecdotal experience, but if they knew the results of studies about assisted outpatient treatment, they would know that it generally has better results than non-treatment.

I am genuinely curious as to why they say this. My instinct is that most police officers have a huge work load and don’t want to increase it.

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