Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Son at home becoming violent

My 21 year old son was diagnosed at age 16 with schizophrenia. He went to a boarding/therapeutic school from age 17 to 18.
Since then he’s been struggling. He lives with just me. He has broken so much stuff in the house, usually when I’m not home. So, I come home to broken doors, windows, pictures, dishes, etc…
Sunday night I knocked on his bedroom door and he came flying out and began just pounding on my head. I ended up in the ER, they did a ct scan on my head, nothing was broken. I don’t want him home. The doctor told me that his blood work came back positive for meth, I am shocked!! He never leaves the house, has lost contact with all of his friends. I have no idea how he could have gotten anything! I’m hoping it was a mistake in the labs. That is a complete shock to me!!
I really don’t want him back (he’s in the psych hospital now). What options do I have? I’m in northern CA (Bay Area) and he has kaiser as well as medi-cal. Is it possible to get him into a residential therapeutic situation? Do those even exist???


I am so sorry @Cher for your situation. I have only my own story to tell, maybe that will help you. My daughter was arrested for battery, while in jail I told the judge she needed medication, he court ordered medication, she was released from jail to a psych hospital, they injected her with haldol 30 day (it had worked for her in a prior hospitalization) at my request as her health care proxy, she is home now 6 weeks recovered from her psychosis (the longest period of sanity in 3 years). I believe she will continue her monthly injections.

Perhaps you should press charges and get your son court ordered onto medicine. Residential facilities seem to be very rare (or very full if they exist). I never found one to take my daughter in 3 years of inquiring.


You can and absolutely should refuse to let a person come home who has physically harmed you and could again do the same given the unpredictable and often dramatic nature of this illness. The hospital has a responsibility to find a safe place for the person to go upon release. Make them do the work. In the meantime, contact your state’s NAMI association and see if they can give you names of treatment facilities. The hospital should be able to help with this, also. Unless government-funded, the options for persons with private insurance are typically very expensive, but don’t let that deter you until you have talked with those places. I know of at least one that takes Aetna. They also may offer partial scholarships. I’d be willing to let me loved one go to a treatment facility in ANY state if that was the best option for treatment. These places typically have residents from all over the country. I am not familiar with medi-cal, so maybe that gives you different options? There is likely no healing without treatment. If finances are problematic, consider letting the private insurance lapse/expire so your loved one can get on Medicaid (asset limitations apply) or Medicare (if eligible). Then state-funded treatment options exist.


I agree that you should work on getting your son court-ordered treatment, and work with the hospital social worker assigned to your son to find appropriate housing for him. You may or may not be able to find a treatment center, but they should help you find the best situation for him. That of course depends on if he has signed a release for you to be able to talk freely with his treatment team. YOU can always speak with them, but they could be restricted in what they can say to you.

You should work within what you can afford. I differ from what hope4us said, in that I would not go into great debt to get him into an expensive treatment center if you can’t afford the cost. Medicaid and MH funding should be available. It may not pay for places you really like, but your son should be someplace other than at home.

Hopefully, he can be kept in hospital for a long enough time to be stabilized on meds and be compliant. Those 2 factors play a big part in any placement.


Hello Cher,
So glad you are okay. This is going to seem like harsh advice, you need to so what is best for your son and it will seem hurtful. This illness is just aweful and parents are left to deal with sometimes serious situations that should be handled by professionals, yes there are options. Our systems in california are terrible when it comes to mental health issues. You should fIle charges on your son. It sounds harsh, but it is a start to getting your son help. Doctors, police and the judicial system are the only way to get your son help. Insisting on a court ordered evaluation and meds. There are transitional houses after treatment in the hospital. But you have to be adamant about not letting your son be at your home and you should be afraid that this could happen again. Social services and SSDI also can help with housing and financial aid, it is a long process.
Please take care of yourself and hopefully you can have contact with your son. He will need to sign a ROI release of information form. That way the doctors can let you know of his condition. Also any information about his bad behavior is helpful for them to know.
P.S. I wish I could have helped my son. He also became very violent, so I only make these suggestions because it ended badly for our family. Maybe you have a chance to intervene.


Actually, I agree with you an am not suggesting debt, but rather the government options for a treatment facility if the financial aspect is a financial hardship. You cannot get government assistance when you have private insurance.

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Hi Cher. So sorry for what is going on! He may be leaving when you are not home (?) or I think they may be able to get this through the mail, I’m not sure. I think that is how my son got spice/synthetic pot - which causes psychosis. When my son was in the short term Behavioral Health Unit and they told me he may get discharged to me to come back to live with me, I was like no way. Then they continued to find a long term situation. He ended up getting put on the Invega shot, stayed 3 weeks and the meds started working. He went to a transition home for 3 weeks and then came back to live with me. It was a rough road for both of us.

I would be hesitant to press charges unless that is the only way to get him meds. Or does he need meds or just substance abuse help? If you do press charges hopefully, he would get probation and choose to do what they say so he doesn’t land in jail. Hopefully, he is med compliant or the doctor at the hospital can get the court ordered meds.

Hang in there!

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That isn’t quite correct. My son is on my insurance, but we needed him to also be on Medicaid in order to qualify for some services, so he is also on Medicaid.

When someone talks about expensive facilities it reminds me of the Menninger Clinic and their prices. Out of reach for almost all of America in need of Psychiatric help.

How can your son have private insurance and Medicaid? I was told that I couldn’t even pay cash for my daughter to see a better quality medical provider (out of Medicaid network) when she was on Medicaid. I was told by doctors office you can’t have both?

You certainly can. You just cant use Medicaid as the primary insurance unless the service isnt covered by the other insurance.

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My son also has both private insurance (through our family plan) and Medicaid. The private is primary and the Medicaid picks up the rest of the costs.

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@Vallpen You are correct. What I mean is Medicaid is not primary when you have private insurance. Does that agree with your understanding? My son is also on our private insurance because he is not 26 yet and he just qualified for SSI benefits so he automatically got Medicaid. We just got back from a doctor appointment. Since we have a deductible, the private insurance will not pay that, but the doctor’s office believes that Medicaid will cover the amount we owe. I certainly am not an expert, and I am reading these posts and perhaps responding too quickly! So I guess I don’t know for sure what government-provided treatment he could get. Thank you for pointing these things out! Maybe someone else has experience with this or we should start a new thread on this subject

Initially, my son needed to be on Medicaid in order to be admitted to a residential facility. That is not covered by the private insurance, but is available as a Medicaid service.

Many community mental health services are provided by Medicaid and are not even available to people who are not enrolled in Medicaid.

Another way to still have private insurance as primary and also be on Medicaid is if your loved one was determined by the SSA to have been disabled prior to age 22. An example of this (again, my understanding) would be a child under age 26 who was on a parent’s employer-offered medical insurance plan, the child was disabled prior to age 22 (you have to prove this to the SSA), AND the employer’s insurance agrees to continue covering the child beyond age 25 (26+) because of the fact the child was disabled while already ON the employer’s plan.

Yes, my son is past the age of 26 and is still on my private insurance thru work. How it was explained to me was that it is really up to the insurance provider how to handle this. My insurance provider uses the disability determination from Social Security as a guide. Since my son is considered 100% disabled, he receives full insurance coverage from them as a disabled adult child.


Cher - I’m not in No Cal, but I am so sorry you are going through this. If he is in the hospital, I’m wondering if you could reach out to the social worker and tell them you are no longer allowing him in the home, and that it’s up to them to find suitable housing for him upon release. I had a friend who was a social worker at a hospital and she would tell me her biggest problem was finding a place for patients when they needed to leave the hospital because they needed the bed space. I hope he does not return to your home for your safety’s sake.


@Cher, your son is likely on a depot medication (monthly injection) now, after having been violent. That is the treatment of choice for non-cooperative schizophrenics. Good news is that he’s probably a new person now and regrets what he did, but bad news is that he probably doesn’t want to keep taking the shots and will do anything he can to avoid it, even if he seems sober.

He doesn’t have to live with you though, hopefully he has enough wherewithal to live in a group home.

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Cher, Don’t be an enabler. Yes, your son got ahold. of meth and it’s highly addictive. Right now, that’s
the main issue. He needs a residential drug treatment center for 30 days minimum. And if he’s done meth then he’s doing other drugs. For someone with Schizophrenia drugs are the worst aggravators of the condition. Even MJ makes my son with Schizoaffective more psychotic. He’s ended up in the hospital every time he smoked weed - countless times! Get him into a Dual Diagnosis drug treatment center and make sure they are truly a dual diagnosis place as many say they are but aren’t. My son has been to endless centers, including Menninger’s which wasn’t worth the price. He is finally doing well on Clozapine and Depakote and avoiding all drugs. The only time my gentle natured son ever got violent was when he was taking a hard drug. Please take this seriously. You don’t know where he would have gotten meth and you live in CA? It’s everywhere there. I lived in NoCal and SoCal a few years ago and left because of the drug issue. Good luck. Donna

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PS - Cher, I also would not recommend charges against your son at this time but just get him the help.
I’ve also experienced the CA “justice” system when my son was completely innocent. I paid a lawyer $12,000 to advise us to admit guilt and definitely do not plead mental illness because he said if we did I may never see may son again because CA likes to put them away for a very long time. And I don’t know if they have the 3 strike rule. I understand how difficult this is for you. I’ve been through hell myself but I always knew my son wouldn’t strike out at me. He would yell and scream in my face but I never showed fear. I would just stay calm and that would calm him. But the drugs are the worst and that’s when you call for a hospitalization. I agree with the person who said to ask the social worker for a placement. That’s her job. Tell them he is not allowed to come back home. There are good resources in the Bay Area. Can’t remember them off the top of my head but the Marin County NAMI meetings are large and excellent. I would highly recommend you go there. Again, best to you and your family.