As a family member I made sure my daughter had the state insurance she qualified for immediately because I knew the severity of her illness and I knew the care she would need. I knew state programs could offer her services she couldn’t get anywhere else because the state as a vested interest in seeing people well that independent insurance companies don’t (although they should-it would be cheaper for them in the long run-but they don’t think like that). It was a gigantic pain in the butt and totally stressful, I HATE that bureaucratic admin stuff, and there was no way on earth she could have done it for herself. IMHO this is part of what family advocacy is about-making sure your relative has access to the care they need. I jumped through all the hoops for SSI too. It’s what has to be done.
The first time my daughter was hospitalized was because she asked to be. I was going to take her to a psychiatrist but I hadn’t found one yet. She got up in the middle of the night and tried to take the car, and she didn’t have her license and was in no shape to drive. The second time was after she took a month’s worth of seroquel. The third time she asked me to because the voices were telling her to harm people and she was scared she might do it. The fourth time was because was suicidal and she asked me to. The fith time was because she took 300 aspirin and ended up in the ICU. The kid has basically no stomach lining left. It was clear to me at that time that what I was doing at home was not keeping her safe. And she WAS med compliant the whole time and they weren’t working. The definition of stupidity is to keep doing what is not working. At that time she was put on a waiting list for a residential. She spent two months at the acute care facility waiting, and 3 months at residential. She has been discharged for a year now, no further hospitalizations and is doing awesome.
If anyone thinks for one moment that hospitalizing her wasn’t traumatic for me they are dead wrong. She begged me, she said everything she was taught to say to get out of there, she had family, usually myself but sometimes others there for every visiting hour. It was hell to see her so sick and miserable. It had nothing to do with laziness and everything to do with avoiding a real disaster. She would lie and say she wasn’t going to hurt herself and she was doing great, only to wait for the moment she was alone so she could try and hurt herself again. I firmly believe she is doing as well as she is now because her family did what needed to be done whether she liked it or not. I’d rather have a year of hell than a dead daughter, a daughter locked away for hurting someone, or prolonging the recovery process years and making the long term outcome worse in the process.
I know the hospitalizations were extremely traumatic, and I also know patients have rights and it’s not right to force something against someone’s will. But life is full of tough choices, sometimes you have to choose between two crappy situations and weigh the best course to take. I would hope no one would ever take that lightly, I sure didn’t. Sometimes it about what regrets you think you can live with.