Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Long term court ordered hospitalization

My son 25 and homeless for almost two years suffered a very deep psychosis and broke a big window into a friend’s neighbor house and entered the house. He did not hurt anybody nor stole anything, nor argued with the owner, he just stood there. The police came. He was sent to a psychiatric hospital, possibly fir up to six months or until gaining competence as he was declared not competent for trial.
I know this is the only way my son can get treatment but there are always mixed feelings.
Has long-term court ordered commitment work for any of you? What has been your experience wit this?


If your referring to the 6 months in the hospital. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. If that what it takes for your son to get the help he needs than I would embrace it as a positive. It’s great that they are willing to keep him that long to get a better life. My son was not “ordered”. That’s what it took. We were very verbal and engaged in his progression and we felt we were blessed. He is med compliant, better moving forward. Just my thoughts. There is no time line on how long it takes to find your better self.


Can’t comment because it’s never happened, but in your case of the 2 alternatives: homeless vs. hospital I think hospital is better.

Your son’s situation sounds like this book: Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness

Earley’s son did something similar and was found in the bathtub of the home he broke into. I think his son was put in jail instead of going to a hospital.

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I hope that someone who has experienced this will be able to give you some info. From my perspective it sounds like this might be the best thing that could have happened to your son in the situation he is in. Hopefully the hospitalization will help him get out of psychosis and on a good path to healing with him eventually being able to contribute meaningfully to the process.


Some observations:

While my hospitalization was not long-term, I see parallels between the mechanics of your son’s hospitalization to mine and can point to potential silver linings. In my case my psychotic break lead me to a place where I trespassed and performed actions and expected something dramatic to happen. It was akin to a videogame quest where you receive messages and clues through the game’s narrative and you keep trying things until you get past an obstacle. What I see in his actions that might not be clear to caregivers is a possible intent to learn something or solve a problem. This says to me he hasn’t given up and thinks his problems may be helped.

He may also begin to recognize now that this particular action probably wasn’t the right solution, but may lead to something else. Another important silver lining is he didn’t freak out, he didn’t get violent, he didn’t get scared. He probably was just stunned and an bit exhausted after a dramatic event that had an unexpected and anticlimactic result. I know that feeling. I tend to think of it as a form of extreme “reality-checking” that wakes you out of your delusional system, and if people are well-trained and caring—contrary to your expectations—they are concerned about you and your well-being and while they may not fully understand the circumstances that led you here, they forgive you for your actions and are trying to help.


My son is in a long-term court-ordered hospitalization. This has definitely been the best alternative for him (considering that there is no good alternative right now). He takes his meds and has shown fewer symptoms of psychosis. He even has a glimmer of insight into his condition now – acknowledges that he is dealing with schizophrenia, when before there was “nothing wrong.” I hope your son receives similar benefits.


All this makes a lot of sense. Thanks.

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This gives me hope. Thanks.

Thanks for this reference. I am always looking for resources to cope better, to know more and how to be the best advocate my son can have I will by this book.

Thank you for your perspective. This sounds like the first time my sister went to the hospital via ambulance after a public scene in the middle of the night, in the middle of the street. She looked stunned and deflated, saying she didn’t know what she’d try next time.

My son went through something similar, housing off and on with being homeless numerous times. Felt like a terrible mother but I just could not deal with it on a daily basis as much as I loved him. Well his last homeless stint he punched someone in the face and was sent to jail. It was the best thing that could have happened to him, the magistrate that put him there knew my sister in law (which helped in my opinion) she explained to him what has been going on. He was on the hospital floor of the prison the time he was there(app. 6 months) They sent him to a pysch hospital for a week during this time. He hated prison so bad and that was the best thing that could have happened as he never wants to go back there. From there he was at a halfway house for a long time, during that time he got his social security ( he did this on his own) and now living on his own about 3 miles from me, he has been doing great for 2 years now, He recently bought a car. He regularly sees a therapist now and just told me his therapist told him he is one of his top 5 patients, :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: He will now start on his social security medicare. He has come so far in these 2 years, I am so proud of him. He has finally realized the voices he hears are that, just voices in his head and he has learned to deal with it along with all his medicine he is on. The only thing that pisses me off is when they don’t schedule his shot for exactly one month it makes it harder for him but he does deal with it. I told him to make sure he tells them it has to be exactly one month and he needs to be a advocate for himself. I pray for your son that this time of being put in the hospital helps him, just wanted to let you know my story and let you know sometimes good does come out of this awful disease they have.


Thanks for sharing your story. This gives me hope.

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First off I’m sorry that you are experiencing this. It’s very difficult. It’s also good that your son wasn’t violent - I think that helps a lot. My son was court ordered in our local hospital and did not make much progress for about a month. They then sent him to a state hospital. Within a few days they had him taking medication and showering. I’m not sure how they did it but they were just very organized and efficient and had the experience with schizophrenia. My son is part of his own treatment now - he takes his meds daily and understands his illness and what life is like without the meds. He’s come a long way. Without that forced hospitalization, where he could really get on his feet and understand what was happening - I don’t know where we would be. I’m not saying it’s been a straight perfect line since then but it was necessary in his case. As much as I love him, I can’t be what they can be to him - that safety, stability, eyes on him to keep him safe, group and individual counseling sessions, monitoring meds. It was beneficial for us.


My son was court ordered to the hospital then a separate clinic then group home then a supervised apartment complex community. He is now in in own apartment, taking care of himself. He is taking a class at a local college, golfing, and visiting with friends. The court order was so hard for us but in the log run it has been the best think to help my son get back on track with his life.


It is such a relief to hear that insight is possible. Such a gigantic hurdle to overcome.

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your insight. I have a very dear loved one struggling, unhappy, and tormented. It brings me hope to hear from you.

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