Son admitted again

My 17 year old son was admitted on 2/22/22 for psychosis, discharged to a residential treatment center after 7 days. He only stayed 4 days in residential. He came home and relapsed on marijuana a week ago. I took him for an assessment to begin outpatient treatment and they ended up admitting him. He’s been on medication for a month now and I have not seen much improvement. He has not been officially diagnosed as his Dr. wants a baseline of him without using marijuana (Idk when that will happen). I’m so lost. I know that I’m doing everything I can but I can’t help but feel like I should be doing more.


Hang in there!! So sorry for your struggles. At that age (14-20) it seems doctors are loathe to use the label of SZ or Bi-Polar or anything else that may be deemed so negatively.

We heard this CONSTANTLY with our son through those years. ‘Something is going on but it’s still too early to diagnose…the brain is still developing’.

And, as painful as it was, I understand the rationale. Maybe it was simply my child abusing marijuana. Or the fact that he was adopted at birth and his birth father chose to ignore him, and his birth mother died. Or, or, or… Doctors clearly didn’t want to drop the SZ hammer unless 99.99% certain.

So I understand. It sucks for us w younger kids. But if it’s truly SZ, then the DX will likely become crystal clear in the next few years. Hang in there.

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They don’t want to put it in his medical record until they are positive of the diagnosis. Once it’s in the record, it’s hard to change and it limits them. (such as joining the military)
Once he is 18, there are many organizations that will no longer consult you on his treatment. Check into your local AOT (assisted outpatient treatment) center. Without an actual diagnosis, there is not a lot you can do. My son became sick at 15, he is now 24. We went through hell: destroyed my house, beat me up, etc…. I never gave up on him. It was the illness, not him. The drugs have to stop first, before the treatment for the psychosis can begin. The doctors are right, they have to see what is an actual mental illness and what is drugs. Get him into a residential care facility or a hospital for long enough for him to become clean. Then you will have a clearer picture of what you are dealing with. Where do you live? I’m in Northern California and know how to navigate the system here very well.

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Hi Cher,

I’m in southern California. My son is currently in the hospital, we tried residential but he kept taking off as it was not a lock down facility. I was hoping he would give residential a try again upon discharge but he has said he is not willing to go therefore they will not take him. He last used marijuana on 3/13 and has been compliant with meds since 2/22 with a few changes to his medication. The psychosis is somewhat better but his flat affect and unawareness of his delusions persists. I don’t know how long the hospital will keep him. He calls me multiple times a day begging me to get him out. At night he becomes agitated and starts hitting and kicking doors to try and get out so they have to medicate him. I know it’s best for him to stay there as long as possible to get him stabilized but I just don’t know how long it will take or what that really looks like. Its been suggested I get an advanced directive once he turns 18 so I am able to get information from Dr.;s, facilities, etc.

HI my name is Carol. My son is 27 years old and was recently incarcerated due to his mental illness and is living in a car. I didnt know he had all these issues. His mental health presented when he was approximately 18, the year his father died and I contributed his behavior to being angry about his loss, and finally had him 302’d to crisis but that didn’t last long. I don"t know what to do for him, do you have any suggestions. I"m so sad.

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