Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

I need advise please

Hi I am in Australia I also found it difficult to get help from the crisis centre, so I called them every time my son would behave with his symptoms. It ended up I was calling often throughout the day every day until someone helped. My opinion is that 2 days hospital is not enough and obviously not treated appropriately…don’t give up, you know your son the best so make sure treating teams know what’s happening. Sending hugs, I do hope things are improving since you first posted.

I opologize for the late response. I have had quit a bit of challenges with my son.

Thank you so much for your information. I am going to file an ex-parte. My son need something drastic at this point. I do everything for him, drive him, feed him what he will eat, he is disoriented and went to make mashed potatoes and almost burn the kitchen twice. He burnt the pot, left the the stove on with things on top of the store. Good thing I went into the kitchen. He never cooks for himself, he just began doing odd things. I make appointments for him, go grocery shopping, pick up his medications and he hasn’t left the house for 6 months. All he does is walk back and forth, look out the window because something bad is going on. He fears for his life and mine. I stay strong, but at times I cry, I want my son to come back at least to what he was 8 months ago. I guess is a battle for him and myself seeing him go downhill

@Mysty1 I believe from what you are describing that ex-parte involuntary commitment is probably the right thing to do. When you write the papers up, please don’t hold back on how unable he is to care for himself. The judge must see exactly what the situation is, and ex parte is for those who are not caring for themselves and are thus a danger to themselves. Not eating, inability to operate a stove, burning pots etc. must be stated. It may take more than one ex parte to get him on the right medicine. But the first one is the hardest. Hopefully he will not be able to “fake” it while in the hospital so the doctors see his true condition and hopefully start him on the right medicine.

My daughter was hospitalized 5 times by the police, twice after an arrest, before she was successfully medicated (and still is). I am grateful daily now for almost 2 years that the psychosis is over for her.

My friend had to ex parte her son twice so far.

It is a long hard road for caregivers and our loved ones. Each life and situation is different and has to be managed in an ongoing vigilant fashion. Keep hopeful and do what your heart says is right.

Thank you so much for the information. It’s been a long hard road. I am just happy I found this group, I don’t feel so alone. I am definitely going to go for the ex-parte. I am desperate at this point. My biggest fear is that, I see my son all day and even nights so I know what’s truly happening., but my son is very soft spoken, so of course they see him and speak to him and I don’t think he is being evaluated properly. But he has been 4 times in the hospital. 3 in New Jersey and 1 in Florida. Arrrrr this is so frustrating.

I’m late in responding, but here is what happened in my case -

One of my son’s illness started when he lived in another state, with his dad in charge. He received some care there, but had stopped medication, and for various reasons, his dad put him on a plane and sent him to my care. As soon as I saw him departing the plane, I could see the illness.

After one of his earlier crises, he was taken into a public mental health hospital, and a savvy doctor, who knew all the tricks, kept him there for months. While this was not the end of the matter, it was this doctor who first suggested to me that getting guardianship would have the best results for my son.

After multiple other crises and hospitalizations, I began pursuing guardianship, and it went surprisingly smoothly. Following that, although my son at times resented it, I had power to make more decisions. He was tried in several living centers, and returned to the hospital several times. By that point he was receiving care from another pdoc, who I trusted, and with whom I could communicate. Eventually, my son was sick enough to qualify for what, in my state, is called a ‘Level 2 Facility’. This is a locked unit with 24-hour supervision. This is didn’t cure him, but honestly, as a working mother with no other support system, I needed that at that time.

EVENTUALLY, the doctor got around to trying Clozapine. We were both hesitant because my son did not have good habits of compliance. BUT - he is now living in a house I have been fortunate enough to be able to provide for him, with some daily support from me.

Its a long, hard road, and I feel for you at this point in the journey.

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Agree, Ginger! I call it our ‘miracle drug’ for my son who has SZ. He was on every anti-psychotic med and hated them all. But, now on Clozapine for 1-1/2 years, he too actually wants to take it. So grateful!!

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My son spent a year in a SMRF(Specialized Mental Health Rehabiitation Facility)…basically a group home/nursing home for mentally ill adults. Luckily he had a wonderful doctor who worked with my son and got him stabilized. It is the key. If you have an adult mentally ill child at home who is not stable my suggestion is to look into getting him/her into a group home. It was then that we were able to start talking about what he wanted for his life. Some mentally ill adults need to live in a group home…and as a parent you need to access resources for yourself. A therapist who specializes in working with families with a family member with serious mental illness. Will help you set boundaries and figure out what is best for all. The system basically sucks. You have to be an advocate for your adult child. Noone else will do that.

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@momlove1 When you say,

A therapist who specializes in working with families with a family member with serious mental illness

I’m thinking that could be a psychologist or a LCSW. Finding such a person is very hard. I think I’ve come around to looking for such a person first, instead of a psychiatrist who doesn’t think meds are the be-all and end-all of treatment. I’m hoping this person has a good psychiatrist in their network and can refer my son to them.

I’m sorry you are going through this. I know from experience how frustrating and scary the process of getting adequate help can be during a crisis. My daughter was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and bi-polar 1. The bottom line is, your son is an adult and makes the decisions at this point. You can accompany him to doctors visit, if he allows, and he can sign a release of information ROI so you too can speak to the doctor about your concerns. If he does not want to sign an ROI you can still leave messages/letters about your concerns with staff. Also, some medications take time. My daughter had to change medications often because of side affects. Her previous medication was working but the new medication may take a month or more to show the affects. Finding the right medication is difficult as everyone is different with different needs.
My daughter hears voices but and she finally realizes she has a long term mental health disorder. If your son is a danger to others or himself you can have him hospitalized again. My daughter was hospitalized 3 times before they took me seriously. I also paid for a clinical psychiatrist report which my daughter agreed to. She wanted to prove she was okay. She was diagnosed with a laundry list of issues but on the top of the list was schizophrenia spectrum. She finally seemed to accept this and started to talk more freely about her visions and auditory hallucinations. I distributed the results to new doctors so they were all on the same page. We had to fight that one at first.
All I can say is please take care of yourself through this process. NAMI has groups and is in almost every community. They are a wealth of information and support. I know how frustrating and scary this all can be. You are your son’s best advocate but only if you remain calm, strong and connected. So glad you found this site.