Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Just when you think you have it figured out

You’d think after 15 years or so, I’d gotten a grip on this.

I have learned to lower my expectations. Be flexible. Take joy in the glimpses of my son prior to the illness but embrace who he is without grief.

He has been unmedicated but coping. Was learning to let go of some delusions…not all but some. Beginning to trust. Even relaxing his need to be constantly on guard. Not optimal, but not terrible either. But then the darkness started to seep in. I should have known the last time I saw him more was going on beneath the surface. His constant “something is going on” should have alerted me.

Almost 2 years to the day of the last crisis it begins again. He is now in jail. I could post bail as it is very low and really a misdemeanor offense. But jail got him evaluated and routed into the mental health system. I may get to see him tomorrow. The officers have been kind they assure me he is isolated from general population and safe. However he is having food issues (not surprising) and clothing issues (a new one).

But I learned tonight it could be months before he is moved from jail to a facility. MONTHS!! My friends feel bad for me, but don’t really grasp the depth of the worry and frustration. His brothers are supportive but they are my children too, so I try not to fall apart in front of them. But this…this is breaking me.


I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Your poor son. It’s just awful. I can only imagine the pain you’re feeling. I’m praying for you all.


Thank you for understanding.

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I don’t think I could let my son sit in jail for months. Speaking for our situation, it would make my son worse, not to mention the heartache & agony everyday for months. I understand your reasoning for keeping him there, but it really seems drastic to me. I don’t have any answers, most often, I just let my heart lead me, not my head.

Another example of how our system has failed the mentally ill. Some of us pray for our loved ones to end up in jail, sometimes as the only way to get them help. Sickening all around.


I live in a large metropolitan area and if it were here, I would not be inclined to consider it. He is in a small town and isolated for his protection. I wont know until I see him how he is handling it though.

I thought yesterday I would hear where they are transferring him and was surprised that had not yet been decided. Tonight hearing it could be months was devastating.

But my biggest fear is if released not only will he not show up for the next court date, he will not comply with treatment and worse, run.


And go homeless?? Our worst nightmare! Makes me so angry our children are treated like criminals for showing symptoms of their illness! Bless your heart. And his :frowning:


I am not sure that we can really get a grip on this… it is always hard knowing our loved ones are suffering…


Yes. He has a mobile home he would love to put on an acre or two of land but there is no money for that plan. He loves the woods, so I think that is what he would try to do…live in the woods, not on city streets.

I do not have a problem for some type of punishment–restitution and apology, for his offense when he is clear headed. But to sit in jail for months when they know there is a severe mental illness that is exacerbated, just saddens me. I am not upset with the people but the system.


I am so sorry. This is devastating for both of you.


I’m really sorry this is happening. My child was in jail for months and went in very, very ill; there was eventually medication while in jail. The experience was traumatic. The medication eventually given there (Zyprexa) helped with sleep and was changed out to something more effective upon release.

Things are okay now here and I hope everything goes as well for your family. I can barely express how difficult jail was, but our child was so ill and there was no hospital option. Jail was the only way to know where they were, however punitive and untherapeutic. Yes, jail exacerbated the illness.

My advice to you is to contact the jail medical department or social worker DIRECTLY. The courts’ and lawyers’ processes are long and drawn out. Records and court orders don’t always get where they are supposed to go. Especially if you have any old prescriptions or records they could use to help with prescribing medication, if that is a possibility, try to find out who to talk to at the jail itself. Fax or mail records and keep originals. Sometimes a person can go to a doctor while in custody if they don’t have the needed professionals at the jail.

Once again, I am really sorry your son is going through this and you are too.


If we were facing this option for our son someday, I hope I would have the strength to leave him in jail. The opportunity to get him on psych meds and stabilized, well, this is what we are down to hoping for at this point.

The process to get them on psych meds through this route can take months (or so I have been told). I am relieved that your son is not in the general population.

It’s a messed up world for our kids


I am so sorry to hear this is happening to you and your son. As someone who has a newly diagnosed son, I was able to find something positive in your words. “He has been unmedicated but coping”. And that you had 2 years between crisis. I am learning to find glimpses of my son, but am still at the I-Can’t-Stop-Crying stage.

I wish you all the best as you maneuver through this next situation with your son. The feeling of breaking is awful, and I am so sorry you are experiencing it right now.


As he is pretty much segregated from the general population even visits will have to be at a time no other inmates are present. They realize interaction with others possibly will not go well for him and he could get hurt. I am so very grateful for that.

I did see him today. His face lit up when he saw his brother and me. He did ask about the weather and said you know I cant see outside. That about broke my heart. He is in the midst of delusions about oppressors and the oppressed but not agitated if that makes sense.

His court appointed attorney said they hope in 2 weeks to get him evaluated for a move, but acknowledged the process is slow and he will likely spend far more time in jail waiting for treatment than he would for the jail time for the misdemeanor. He is not hopeful that court ordered medication will actually work. He said it pretty much is counting pills and it is simple just to present a bottle of pills which should match his dosage. It works better if someone is misusing and they are short the number of pills they need to present. They could order and follow up on therapy a bit better, but non compliance would land him back in jail. Bubble burst.

For now though we are in a holding pattern hoping two weeks from now he is still not agitated, safe and we have a better idea of when medical help will be provided.

Thank you all for your support. It means a lot to have people who truly understand the heartbreak.

I don’t know that it is strength as much as I really cant think of a better solution at the moment.

It is indeed a messed up world :frowning:

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Thank you I did not know there was a medical department in the jail.


Hello thereisalwayshope,
We are all here to offer you support. I’m glad you got to see your son. I understand how hard this is for you and your family. You are making a good decision to let your son get an evaluation and help, he is safe for now.
Take care, AnnieNorCal

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Hi. I go through this every 2 years also. But as for user name says, theres IS always hope.

You and I have been here before and come through it. You and I will every time. Keep learning. Keep haggling social workers authority etc. X


I’m so sorry you are going through this. We are 9 years post diagnosis. My sons last hospitalization was 4 years ago in June. Since then he has been on Invega Trinza. He is doing pretty well except for the whole personal hygiene issue. Its heartbreaking to know who he was and who he will never be…but through it all, he has an awesome sense of humor, and when he is doing well he is the the most loving person. He is never violent, but he does get agitated sometimes. His injection is 4x a year and thankfully it works…either his father or I go with him the ensure he gets it, and so far so good. As for later on in life…I joke that I will have to live to be at least 115. There are ABLE Accounts that you can pump money into…I encourage everyone with a mentally challenged child to do it…start now. You can have this account even though they get Social Security without penalty. My son has SSD, EBT, Medicare A&B and supplemental health through the State, which is also paid by the State. Never stop helping them ever. Be vigilant, no one else will. One thing a lady told me at SS, never have your sons name associated with an “extra” checking, debit or savings…give him a reloadable gift card or a debit card in your name only. My son is a smoker, there’s no way he could afford his rent. Utilities, car insurance and cigarettes on 780.00 a month. So…we do what we have to.


Can you get him on a long lasting injection? Most drug companies cover the cost through a special program if you can’t afford it. It’s the only way my son would take his meds pills were out.

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I am hoping the court will order it. He most likely will not take meds on his own. He wont even take tylenol for a headache at this point. If we could do it 4x a year that would be awesome. The oral meds would be hard to monitor as I live in another city.