My 15 year old son ran away

I’ve been working so hard to get my son into longterm residential treatment which he desperately needs for his psychosis and substance abuse. I finally found a suitable facility that would take him and that accepts our insurance. He was supposed to leave early this morning with his dad, but didn’t know many details of the trip other than they would be flying to Nevada to “get away” for a bit. My son made paranoid accusations towards his dad about him intending to kill him out in the desert in Nevada. He then ran away in the middle of the night, prompting us to file police reports, contact neighbors, and add him to missing children registries. He’s still missing now and it’s almost been 24 hours. We have no leads as to his whereabouts. I’m absolutely gutted by this all. We think he’s been hiding his antipsychotic meds beneath his tongue, as he believes we’re trying to poison him. His dad caught him doing that last night. So now we don’t know where he could be and he’s also withdrawing from antipsychotics at the same time. The hell never seems to end.

Oh, @MomtoJ , how incredibly worried you must be right now! I am so sorry that right before the good solution you found could go into effect, your son’s mind tricked him into running away. You are right, with schizoprenia is often seems that the hell never ends. I can only urge you to hang in there, keep doing what you can, and be patient, as perhaps someday there will be a respite.

My daughter disappeared several times between 2016 and 2019 when she was in psychosis and not on medication. Life forces came together (I consider them miracles) to get her out of her worst times. She was gone from my home but acting very odd in public. She was arrested the 2nd time, jailed, transferred to a mental hospital (the 5th time), seen in court, me made the proxy from the facility to the courts, and then court ordered injections monthly which she is still on that broke her psychosis in 2019.

Perhaps he will come home soon as leaving with no money and no supplies will be hard on him. My daughter used her credit cards up totally, then went to a shelter and hated it. So came home each time.

I hope he is safe and for you to find some peace.

Wow, that is tough, beyond tough. This happened in my family. My brother ran away from home, but he was 18 at the time. He also had dad issues, like your son does. This was anguish for my mom, plus total confusion for everyone.

You really had a solid plan in place. Now, it’s a mental game. A mental workout, to stay calm.

I hope you can find a book or movie or a church or friend or a handful of flowers for solace and you can cry and endure the unknown, and mostly I hope he turns up soon and you are able to take the next helpful steps.

My sibling did come back. He’s in his 60s now, a nice person, on meds.

Good luck.

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The best thing that’s going for you is that he is under age. You still have a say so and control. I hope you find him soon and get him into that home. Hopefully he can be somewhere long term where he is safe. You’re doing the right thing trying to get him into somewhere. A bump in the road. You’re doing the best you can for him. It’s a struggle.


My 28 y.o stepson stole the car and ran away for 12 days. We didn’t send him money because he was only going to buy drugs and alcohol with it. The police knew he was somewhere in the city area but couldn’t pinpoint his location. With no money he couldn’t move or go anywhere too far. The police started that they couldn’t pin point him. His phone pinging to of couldn’t miss that either. Our old car you couldn’t miss it but he was able to survive outside sleeping in the car and stealing food from stores. It wasn’t until he got money from his mom who didn’t alert us that she did that and he came back into town. He broke into the back gate and was coming in to break the storm door down. My husband was walking out side the back door and ran up on his son. He stormed in the house and grabbed his stuff. The police in our city was pinging his phone and the minute he entered the area they came rushing to the house. He took off in the car and the police chased him down. They were able to grab him and sent him to the hospital. He went in and out of several hospitals before he got the long term shot. We are waiting for him to go get his 6 month shot in a couple of weeks but it has been hell. My point is your son will come home. Something will break in his head that he’s not safe and he will return. You’re his parents you can control him with the courts because he’s still a minor. It’s harder as they are older. Keep fighting for him.

His age definitely helps. When he is turning 18, get guardianship. Then the medical staff has to talk with you.

Im so sorry you are going through this.

Thank you all for your words of encouragement. My son was located late in the evening on 6/24, so he was gone for a total of 4 days. Long story short, between hitchhiking, and panhandling for train ticket money, he made his way to Skid Row in LA where he spent 2 nights. He was robbed, beaten over the back with a tool, and he ingested questionable substances. In the end, he turned himself in. I’m beyond mortified by this whole experience, and am still dealing with the emotional impact of his disappearance and learning about what all happened to him. Fortunately, he’s receiving care and has been medically and mentally stabilized at this point. He called yesterday and said, “I love you, Mom. I’m so sorry. It was all a really bad delusion I was having. I don’t even remember much of what happened.” I hate this so much for him. :sob:

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MomtoJ, What a relief and how terrible, I am so sorry your son was hurt. You have been pushed to the limits of what a parent can be expected to withstand and your pain is for him, such heartbreak. What a world we live in, thanks for letting us know, I know the many people who follow the forum are relieved and feeling your pain.