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How to deal with a psychotic break


PS – I would ask the police to contact my son if they had anything they wanted to tell him. Why are they comfortable putting you in this position, but they won’t help? Especially since your son is having delusions of you and his father abusing him; then you ask him not to call the police? That doesn’t seem like a good way to work around that particular delusion.

Sorry, I am actually very pro-people in blue and this all just boggles me.


Hereandhere, IMHO, the officers mentality would pretty much be in agreement with Amador. The person with mental illness has to be agreeable to take the meds, or they will just stop taking them.Compliance can be achieved through insight, fear of a judge, fear of going back to prison/jail, sometimes they take meds for the sake of a relationship - could be nearly anything I suppose.

Those of us dealing with unmedicated family members have the struggle of finding the motivation that will work for our loved one . Bribery, restricting funds, always listening for what will inspire them to get and stay on meds.

A person with scz who spoke to our FTF class, said he only takes his meds because otherwise his wife would throw him out. That’s what works for him. The threat of being thrown out doesn’t work for everybody.

While it could be that a court order from a judge could be the magical bean we need, I’m sure the officers have seen enough of the failed attempts to feel rather discouraged about the process. They probably don’t get the calls from the times its successful. No one is calling 911 to say - “hey the court order for meds is working great” :slight_smile:

I really preferred that they called me instead of bringing out the SWAT team. We’d had to cancel a visit from our grandson because we were concerned Jeb would call 911, as you can imagine, it can be a bit to sort out if they send a SWAT team. No need to frighten the baby.

Jeb has been quiet since, I think he was satisfied that the sheriff had called us. We did piece things together and believe that the online game he mentioned to the sheriff was the problem. This particular game has trouble with cyberbullying. Someone bullying him for real in the game could totally have caused this recent episode.


@hope - I respect your decision 100%, but I think I’d have to go for the court-ordered meds.

I’d try to maneuver it so that I could say it wasn’t up to me, it was up to the judge - like I wait for my son to ask to go to the hospital.

Then, I would hope for some clarity while he was on meds that would make him see the value of them. Maybe just not being as scared as your son seems to be would be enough.

How’s the therapy going? or do you know? Hopefully, the therapist is establishing some trust so that he or she can gently guide him towards more treatment in the future. If it makes you feel any better about that, my son’s treatment team makes it sound like the right therapy is just as good as, if not better than, the meds anyway. They keep telling me meds only make things more bearable and therapy does the rest.


Since our family member wound up in a terrible situation unmedicated, I think my own anecdotal experience might be too much for me to be objective.

The injections are easy to enforce with court order. After a few months, the changes are so positive that I am sad our family member wasn’t treated years earlier.

Prior to the courts stepping in, I fully abided by the choices our family member made and only involved crisis team when criteria were met. So I remember using the LEAP method instead of trying to force medication. I remember exactly why I did it, because I love my family member and my number one priority is a good relationship.


my prayers are with you hope.


do you have any friend or relative that can talk to him and convince him to go pdoc or to ER to be evaluated?
I know it is hard to to but you need to try.
I had called Police on my Son in the past few times because he stopped taking meds. he escaped many times and I had called police when he is out of states and homeless. I was able to hospitalize him from far away. it is very difficult to manage long distance treatment but He was hospital for 2+ months at a Hospital in California.
He is now with me and off his meds because he want to follow up with a Neurologist and find out the cause of his headache. he just does not think he is mentally ill.
I gave a warning and told him that if he becomes hostile toward or if he try to harm himself, I will be force to get him into Hospital.

Good luck to you and will keep you in my prayers…


He doesn’t trust anyone and besides that, he doesn’t have friends and family members are too scared to deal with him although he has never been violent.

I’ve dropped everything and my focus is totally on him. Which is not good bc our bills still need attention. But I can’t do both by myself!! If I notice the tv is messing with him then I change the channel. I’m trying to get him to eat at least a popsicle. Trying to get him to rest. But all with a gentle hand and calm voice. Last night he told me how much he loved me and thanked me for not giving up on him. Then he said he needed to go talk to his pdoc!! He called today to make the appointment and found out that his medical dr is no longer there!! It has thrown him into a fit!! He has not stopped pacing and talking and most of his thoughts are really scattered!! I’m just reassuring him that when he goes to see his pdoc wed (which is at the same clinic as his mdoc) that everything will be explained and figured out.

Side note :memo: does anyone else feel like they are taking care of an altheimers (?spelling) patient? My son doesn’t remember anything!! And with no outside connections, I feel like it is wearing off on me!!

It has taken me almost an hour just to type this out!!! :confused:


Psychosis looks a lot like Alzheimer’s to me.


My son doesn’t qualify under our state laws for court ordered medications.

My number one concern is not maintaining a good relationship with Jeb, we don’t have a relationship at all. He responds to me when he is in crisis, but that’s based on a relationship from years ago.

Jeb is not choosing to be unmedicated. He suffers from anosognosia a symptom of his scz.


Update… I basically had to stop everything I was doing and completely focus on my son. However he finally told me on Monday that he needed to go see his dr! Praise God!! So we went on Wednesday and he has started taking Vraylar again. He has taken it for a week one time before and did well but that was when he was living alone and wouldn’t continue to take it. But as of right now, he is being compliant and I can already tell a big difference in him. But more importantly, so can he!!!

Praying he stays on this one!!


Exactly - that’s what we all hope for.

I’m so happy he finally agreed so you didn’t have to force the issue. If they want the help, it seems to work so much better than forcing them.


One thing that stood out to me in this thread, was the position the officers took…or the opinions that were shared by an officer about court ordered treatment.

It is hard to know all the details, and even to grasp the full context of your experience…so forgive me if I missed something, @hope, but in my own case…and I think for all of us…I remain deeply concerned about officer training as it relates to the nature of Sz, and the complexity of it. I live very rural and remote and I was so struck by P. Earley’s information about the absence of crisis training…even in very large population districts. In my own case, I called the Sheriff to ask him about the exact training his officers have had and learned that no one had had any, other than 16 hours of mental health related information when they went to school to become an officer. I then called the deputy that serves most often where I live and I insisted he come and have coffee with me and we discuss what could happen. I know that is unrealistic where many of you might live (I am in rural MT), but at the time I was living with my son in what was a not-medicated, never had been medicated state, and he was in varying stages of complete paranoid psychosis…along with all the other awful things that come along with housing someone who is very ill.

I think it is very important for all of us to find out what experience and training the officers that will respond to your need have…and I mean, a complete description of the type of training the police/sheriff/deputies have had…and if it is not adequate, NAMI can help with that. In our case, and in our area, I not only am trying to work on training for the small department that serves us, but the volunteer first responders that serve our small communities (volunteer fire/ambulance/emt). In the meantime, every sheriff’s deputy that could have an interaction with my son has had a discussion with me, and thankfully…the Sheriff has been gracious in that.

When I think of the first call I had with our Sheriff about this…and how I struggled to get the words out of my mouth of what I was trying to share…and I blurted out, “I just don’t want you to shoot my son!” At the same time, trying to keep myself from vomiting out of the emotional upset of even mumbling those words, as this was all still so new and fresh within 3 months of his first hospitalization and a refusal of any medication.

Ultimately, I was given the personal cell phone of the deputy that lived most close to me (It is more than a 2 hour drive from one side of the county to the other), and ended up calling him late one night and that ultimately resulted in my son’s most recent hospitalization, and involuntary medication. The officer was prepared, and he did an outstanding job at keeping the situation calm. He is a 27 year old young man, and I was so grateful I laid that foundation ahead of time.

Like I said, it is not realistic in all situations…but I can’t help but think if I was living in Brooklyn, NY, that I wouldn’t hunt down every officer that might respond there too…and make sure they knew what my son looked like just in case they ever had an interaction.

Oh, this life we all live :disappointed:

Wishing all of you, and your loved ones, safety…and some peace.


@jmarie1067 - my county has a course available that anyone can take.

Here’s a link that describes it.


Maybe your county can find something similar? or borrow the curriculum from them?

Our police officers are being trained as well, and they have been extremely understanding on the few occasions we’ve came into contact with them recently. The support group I go to has pushed them really, really hard. I only go on random occasions, but the family members who formed it had several tragedies, including an adult child being shot to death by the police who responded & were unprepared for the situation.

In previous years, my son had came into contact with police officers who did not recognize him as mentally ill and weren’t as kind to him. Thankfully, he was never hurt or arrested.

The founders of this group have made a huge contribution to our community by pushing for education & training.



That is a great help! I would like to see one of the mental health providers (one that contracts for a lot of state related care) to sponsor something like this. Thank you for forwarding the link.


I did the same thing. I contacted the main officer for my neighborhood; no less than ten different officers have been to my house for various reasons. I told them about my family member’s illness.

Many of the officers here are CIT trained, so I would always ask for them if police are involved for any reason.


My coworker’ father has dementia and she has mentioned the similarities with my son’s illness.


I am so glad, t his is such great news.


I keep asking myself why I don’t advocate more in our area. Since we don’t have a NAMI group in our county or the next county (the closest NAMI is 2 counties away) and my county only funds the one CIT officer there is certainly plenty of work to be done.

The idea of taking something like that on would have been right up my alley once upon a time. Now it just exhausts me to even think about it. I know our sheriff went to the capitol recently to make his case for more mental health funding for our county.

The most terrified I have been in my life was facing down that SWAT team last year. I can still picture the face of one of the younger deputies. They were all holding guns on me, but he was so frightened, the mom in me wanted to tell him it would be okay. When I realized he was afraid he was going to have to shoot me, my body had a very human reaction.

Oh this life we live indeed.

Wishing all of us and our loved ones better days ahead.


Sadly I am also going through this with my 26 year old daughter. Although she has been taking her meds they just stopped working. It’s impossible with the laws to get them help. My own motto has been … Stay strong and remember you are not alone in your battle our kids are worth the fight.


Yes, we are all fighting the good fight. I just posted on another thread that we are starting week 3 of this current episode. We are starting to show some stress, it really does feel like we are under siege here. We are trying to figure out how to record his rants to make sure he isn’t threatening us in them. We can hear the yelling we just can’t make it out.