It is impossible to help when they refuse to help themselves

I haven’t been here in a while. My son was on a monthly injection for almost 2 years. He was living with us, working and doing pretty well for the most part. He moved out and was doing ok for a while but in December he went off his shot and psychosis crept back in. After much convincing I got him to go back on it and found him a place to stay for a month while he stabilized. After we got him in the place he refused his next shot and blocked me and his dad from contacting him. This after we payed almost $2k on him. He just left the place we got for him after the month ended and was told he left it completely trashed. We are now on the hook for cleaning expenses, understandably. Now he is homeless. He showed up yesterday at his grandmother’s house after walking miles. When she didn’t answer he just laid down and went to sleep in the common area of her neighborhood. We had to cops tell him he had to leave before any neighbors complained. I don’t know where he went after that. He absolutely cannot come back to our home mainly because this younger brother was and still is so traumatized by this happening to our family he is now in therapy. So here we are trying to live with the fact that our son is living on the streets alone, cold, hungry, and completely out of his mind. He refuses to go to a shelter. If he was our only child we would be more inclined to bring him home and deal with him but we cannot risk it with our younger son. We’ve already lost one, we can’t lose the other. I’m not sure how we can ever be okay like this.

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I am so sorry.

To your son I am sending nothing but hugs.

As a precaution, it might be worth putting in a security system and a Protection Order. While it is horrible to have to do so, it might ease your and your sons mind to have that guarantee in place. Even though your son is homeless, I would still rehearse some emergency strategies for managing stress and whether/if he shows up at the property unannounced. It is not your son’s responsibility to care for or allow his brother in and you must be firm about this. Especially practicing what to do, who to call, and how to keep himself safe/ worst case scenario have an exit plan and a way to send you his location, if need be. It is best NOT to comply with someone’s delusions or threats but to evade and call the police or paramedics. If available, look up if the police team has a emergency response team for mental health cases OR has an outreach line connected with Community Health Services or some other agency for rapid crisis intervention. Paramedics and your local fire department may have resources where you can have their number available as well. (Especially if you prefer calling them over the police.) I would especially include a script (writing it out yourselves and practicing it could be something you all do together) declaring he is at the house, he has a mental illness, and was/is not welcome on the property. Despite being a family member he can still be escorted off for trespassing, maintaining both your son’s safety is the most important thing.


I should add, if you see him in public OR your son is still in school, to tell the front office about him (the one with the mental illness). Without a protection order I don’t think they CAN do anything, it would be worth talking to a counselor about your other son’s rights and protections.

I don’t think they can do much without a Protection Order in place but (as I no doubt suspect) worrying about his brother’s location and mental status has put a significant strain on their relationship. Having some sort of coping strategy and other person’s aware might be worthwhile.

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I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. We have been thru very similar situation- except my son has threatened to kill me. We don’t know if he’s still in his apartment - we’ve had to go “off the grid” so he can’t find us. It’s heartbreaking but after many phone calls to police, psych hospital, and agencies we discovered no one can do anything- until he hurts someone. The mental health system is so broken and I dont have any fight left in me to try and affect change.
God Bless you…,
You are doing what needs to be done to protect your younger son.

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This is very hard and I hope you and your husband are getting some therapy as well as your other child. I have four children the younger girl and the younger boy both have schizoaffective disorder the younger boy is stable on his meds living with my husband and I, the younger girl was on medicine but has gone off her meds and refuses treatment . We have little contact with her and dread the day the police officers show up at our door . She was a productive individual a good nurse a positive force , but now she is paranoid, and it is scary being around her . We have no recourse we tried involuntary commitment but they kept her less than 24 hours and so she is so angry with everyone who was trying to help her I will send prayers for your son because at this point only God may help sincere and heartfelt hugs to your family this is so devistating in so many ways

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