Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Son in psychiatric facility

Hello- My 28 year old son is in a psychiatric facility on a 5150, is it usual for no one to contact us? We have no way of getting any information. We don’t know how long he’ll be there or anything. He has schizophrenia and bipolar and drug addiction. Thank you for your help.

Hello, in answer to your question, yes it is normal. Especially is your son is living on his own. So sorry to hear this, I have experienced this process. If you know where he is you can contact the facility and talk to the nurses station or attending doctor. Privacy laws may prevent you any information. Ask the facility to have your son sign a ROI, release of information form. Your son is in the hands of professionals and receiving good care, that is a good step for him. Hang in there, AnnieNorCal

1 Like

Thank you so much Annie! Your comments offer insight and comfort, much appreciated.

It’s a really tough road, getting your son proper treatment is important. It just a shame it has to be in an emergency state for someone to help us. So many of us here know exactly how you are feeling right now. Glad you are here. Keep us informed and many prayers. AnnieNorCal


If they won’t talk to you, you can also go there and see if he is willing to see you. That’s what they told me when they put my son in behavioral health unit. It’s another way around hippa.


Agreed, they cannot confirm or deny your son is in the facility, but sometimes you can work around that. I know at least once, I had to use the following, " I know you can’t tell me if XXX is there, but if he is, I would like you to give him this message…"

1 Like

Thanks so much! Yes, we went to visit him yesterday and were able to get him to sign a release for my husband to get information but he won’t allow me to because he says it’s my fault he’s in there. At his request he asked for a hearing which he lost. He wants out of the psych facility badly!
Can you please share your experiences with psych facilities, do they help? Do people ever want to be there?

@Gvgirl - My son stayed for 3 weeks. He did not want to be there but he definitely needed to be. This was a short term, 15 bed unit. He did not want to see me or his father so every day (almost every night) I brought him something so that I was allowed to go in and hand it to him. He had a strong attachment to his things. It was a locked ward (had to go through 2 locked doors - one person at a time) and I could only go in if he gave me permission which he would only do if I brought him something. I brought him a lot of food. When I was able to get in sometimes I would talk to the staff or security guard or other people staying there and find out more about how he was doing. He paced. He wanted nothing to do with me (after all I was an imposter he thought) There was no fresh air. There were group activities, like talking and games etc. He participated in some. The other people staying were fine - one guy was a bit scary but the security guard took care of him and he became better over time. Sometimes my son told them to tell me to leave what I brought and I was like no way. I have to hand it to him - and then I would get in.

He refused meds. The hospital got them court ordered. We were really, really lucky as they were going to send him to a bigger hospital an hour away or another one 4 hours away. But he started to respond to the meds and we got him into a transition house that was next to the hospital. It was a godsend. He stayed there for 3 weeks and then came home. He is now working two jobs and doing MUCH better. He is still on the court ordered meds. His hospital stay started in May. The transition house is now closed unfortunately, as I think that really helped him. This was all covered by Medicaid.

1 Like

@Gvgirl - You can find out a lot of information from the nurses. Sometimes the information is not great - nor completely accurate. Have you tried going to visit him? The doctor also talked my son into signing a release of information (for one week only). However, the doctor must have forgotten to write that in as I still have a roi : ) They offered my son meds orally everyday and when he refused they had permission to give him a shot (some rules about it was ok for a 24 hour period). They had him on risperdal and when he was getting ready to get discharged they were going to put him on a 2 week shot and I said Why not Invega? I wanted that because of another person on here had a similar situation as my son (lots of pot and some Spice smoking) and her son went on that and it worked. So at the last minute they changed it to the Invega monthly shot. The doctor said it wasn’t covered and I was like - Eric said it was (he as the social worker).

One thing a nurse said to me when he first got there was - don’t give up on him. We had a lot going on with a speeding ticket and court as well. He was in the hospital the time he had a court date - but that’s a whole other story.

Thank you Diane for sharing with me and I’m so glad your son is doing better, that gives me hope. How long did it take for the medication to work? I guess I should not object to him staying two weeks or more but I feel so bad for him, it’s an abysmal facility.

@Gvgirl - Where is he? Is he still in the ER or in a locked facility? Have you been able to go? My son paced for the 3 weeks he was in the Behavioral Health Unit. Up and down the two halls they had. The meds took a while to kick in. I’d say a week or more before the paranoid stuff started to go away. I remember the Doctor asking him. Do you still think the drones are following you? Do you think your parents are really your parents? They released him at 3 weeks and the medicine had worked well enough for him to go out of the transition house on his own. He just keeps getting more and more clear the longer he has been on them. I never thought I’d see my son this well.

After a week they were almost going to release him to me and I was like no sirey. So they kept him longer. I’m glad your husband has the roi - that will help. Do you know what meds he is on?

I don’t think the other people wanted to be there but it was necessary for them as well. 2 women were suicidal. Not sure what was going on for the others, but they were all a bit off when they first got there then seemed to clear up.

Hi Gvgirl. I don’t know what symptoms your son is experiencing, but if it is severe paranoia, you can tell him a hospital is a place “where he can feel safe”. That is how my son started to view hospitalizations, after the first couple…


Please try not to “object” to him staying hospitalized. We all go through that feeling of guilt, but the professionals need to do their work. Your son is not well. He needs to be there.

Your son will forget his anger towards you. Mine did. It’ll be okay. It’ll never be easy, but you’ll learn to cope.


@Gvgirl I agree with @Day-by-Day. I put my son there by police force. He thinks he was put there because he wasn’t working. AND my son told me for years what a terrible job I did raising him. Now he doesn’t remember much of that. Your son will likely forget. The other thing someone on this forum said that rang true for me - is that you can’t let the person with psychosis run the show. (something like that). Let’s hope the meds kick in sooner than later for your son. It does take a bit. Hang in there!


He’s in a locked facility in Placerville. We saw him yesterday, briefly. He’s on Zyprexa, not sure what else. There are similarities with our sons, mine also doesn’t see me as his Mom, I’m just a guardian, his real mother is princess Diana and he has a whole story of his life that is untrue and on and on and on.
I don’t know if he will ever come back to me or know me again… heart broken.:disappointed:

1 Like

Thank you for your comments! I really needed to hear that! It’s so difficult to know if we are making the right decisions, thanks for confirming we are doing what’s best for him.

1 Like

I bet he’ll be back. I would keep visiting him even if you get a no that he doesn’t want to see you. That’s what they recommend I do. I would give him something and then he’d dismiss me by saying @have a nice day”. But at least I could see him.

You can bring magazines (take staples out). I brought him a blanket and pillow to make him more comfortable. Pizza - he really liked that and a hamburger and shake. His clothes (no strings). He had like 5 bags of stuff when he left.

@Gvgirl Is he in Telecare - the 16 bed facility?

Yes he is in telecare eldorado psychiatric facility. Are you familiar with it?

1 Like

@Gvgirl - No, I just looked it up. If it’s only 16 beds he should get more attention. At least this is what a friend (who was also one of my sons nurses! told me) because they were going to transfer my son to a larger hospital. She said in the smaller places it’s easier for them to make sure they are taking there medications. So, he’s probably in a good space. It looks like you can also call him. I would call and tell them to tell my son I called and that he could call me anytime (just so he knew I was calling). Sometimes out of the blue he would call.

1 Like