Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

In laws, BIL hospitalization

Hi - I just joined this site because my BIL (30) is in the middle of his second psychotic episode and I found the discussions here trying to find more information about schizophrenia. I guess I am just looking to be “seen” and I don’t feel like I can fairly lay how I’m feeling on my husband right now, because that would feel self absorbed and selfish. There is a lot of mental health stigma among my in laws, and my BIL was kept from seeking help by his mother for years. His first psychotic episode involving hospitalization was 8 years ago, and he was hospitalized for two weeks before being released into a day program. His mother pulled him out of the day program so he “wouldn’t be spending time with crazy people” and he has had any mental health support since then. From when this happened, I advocated for him to be seeking treatment and I felt uncomfortable with my children being left alone with him because he had been hearing voices commanding him to commit violence. My stance was always that I would re-evaluate if he started getting help. I have close friends with serious mental illness, including schizophrenia, and if BIL was stable I would feel very differently. Insisting that he needed treatment and setting a boundary to not have my kids alone with him led to me being enemy #1 among my in laws, and my DH receiving a lot of pressure to divorce me. DH has tried to block out the pressure but stopped short of actually setting boundaries and it has taken a huge toll on our relationship.

BIL had a serious psychotic episode and asked DH to take him to the ER. It took DH 8 hours to get BIL to stay in the ER long enough to be admitted, and I’m really proud of him that he did. Now BIL is hospitalized and it’s hard for me to know exactly what’s going on because I haven’t spoke with anyone directly but it sounds like the hospital wants him in long term care. I wish I knew what BIL wants. DH hasn’t been able to see him again yet. Both MIL and other BIL were initially furious with DH for bringing BIL to the hospital, but after DH spent an entire day procsssing with them they have apparently forgiven DH…, They are no longer mad at DH, but In the midst of all this crisis they still found the time to complain about and attack me, and to try
Convince my husband that I’m not right for him, etc. MIL and other BIL want to block the hospital from having authority to make decisions for BIL, which I feel will lead to him being yanked out of care again and next time I’m worried he will either hurt himself or someone else.

I really don’t know what to do from here. I don’t know how to support my husband or BIL and I don’t feel safe or welcomed interacting with my other in laws. I don’t feel comfortable with my children being alone with my in laws when they are being so virulent in attacking me, and they do it with my children if I’m not there, and I don’t want my children being stuck in the middle of the crisis either - but I also don’t want to keep my children from their family, and I have no idea how they would react to or treat me if I showed up with the kids, or if I feel like that’s something I feel comfortable doing. I don’t take it personally how they feel about me, but I also need to have healthy boundaries and protect my children. It makes me want to scream to think they might try to block BIL from getting treatment again. This time he was violent when he was brought to the hospital :(. Thanks for “listening”


Hello Heriam. I think you need to trust your instincts. It sounds to me that your instincts are the only ones that are based on reality.

I’m so sorry that your BIL is so ill, and that ignorance and foolishness are keeping him from getting the help he needs.

Keep trying. You are his hope.

1 Like

Thanks for this response. Apparently the hospital wants to make him a ward of the state. I wish I knew if that is what he wants. If it what he wants, i think iT might be positive for him because of the toxic family dynamic. If it isn’t what he wants, then I don’t know what to think. I don’t feel like DH and I could take in guardianship because the stress from becoming enmeshed with his other family members would be too much.

Ward of the state is best current option. If your in-laws keep that from happening, that’s life. Do not attempt to become a guardian unless you are willing to spend a huge amount of time and effort trying to get your BIL to adhere to treatment that the state can simply require and impose. It’s best for him even if it is not what he wants.

1 Like

I agree with @Hereandhere. This illness is nothing to be taken lightly. It’s beyond serious.

Your BIL’s family clearly can’t manage your BIL’s very significant needs, especially since they can’t even acknowledge them. At the same time, your BIL isn’t able to either, due to his illness. It’s not his fault.

Whether he “wants” this or that is irrelevant at this point. He’s too ill to take care of himself. He’s too ill to make choices for himself. He needs protection.


I wouldn’t attempt to become the guardian and I am hopeful my DH is clear that it’s really not an option. Can my in laws block him from becoming ward of the state? I don’t know very much about how these things work. Does being a ward of the state automatically mean long term in patient treatment? I guess that’s what I’m really referring to when I say I wish I knew what BIL wants. If he wants to be in in patient care so he can be protected from the family dynamic, that would lead me to want to fight for him being ward of the state. I don’t blame him, I just want him to get help. Tbh I wish the whole family would get the help they need but I have had to let go of the hoop that would happen :(. Thanks for responding.