Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Son involuntarily committed

My adult son was involuntarily committed 3 days ago. We summoned the Mobile Crisis Team where we live and they and/or the police who came with them created an Emergency Petition (EP) so that he could be taken to an ER.

He had stopped taking his meds and had become unresponsive due to voices. He touched a stranger and asked if the person was real, which led to a police report.

He was in the ER for 2 days until they could find a bed in a hospital. The transfer to the hospital with a psychiatric facility happened last night at 10:00 PM.

It’s been exactly 2 years since the first involuntary committal. What happens when the disease gets really bad is that he hears voices all the time. He stands around and stares ahead or at the floor. His face looks likes he’s having a intense conflict with something unseen.

I think we could have headed this off if my wife and I had been proactive about 6 weeks ago when the voices got worse. There were some adjustments do his meds by him and his psychiatrist, but nothing that erased the voices. If we could have persuaded him to voluntarily go to the hospital to get stabilized, the trauma of the involuntary commitment maybe wouldn’t have happened.

For 2 years I deluded myself into thinking that I didn’t have to worry (much) about his Sz because I thought it was being managed with his medications, which he had been compliant with.

I can see now that’s never going to be true. Or at least until maybe 5 years go by without debilitating symptoms, like you’d say is long enough for a cancer remission to last before you can be confident about the disease not returning.

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Hi there. I am sorry to hear your story it is the same as mine. My adult son has schizophrenia. He’s been sectioned 4 times. The first was the worst he got dragged away but he has said that in the grand scheme of things it wasnt so traumatic. I think as a parent/carer you do go through this feeling of almost grief when you realise that this disease really is lifelong. I just take one day at a time and have finally come to terms with the situation. I still cry i still worry but its not all day everyday now. Best wishes to you all.

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Thanks Gilmourgirl. Right now it’s all-consuming. It does feel like grief, like my son has died. I like the idea of taking one day at a time. That’s what I’ll do today and try not to worry about the future or think about what I should have done in the past.

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Best of luck and GOD BLESS YOU! Had several situations like this with my little, baby brother before his untimely death. I pray that you and your son find comfort in knowing that there is hope out there for him. He just has to take advantage of all the help, resources, and assistance he can get. As well as you and your wife doing the same. Join support groups, seek counseling. I am a social worker in my county and I can’t tell you how many people suffer from mental illness that goes untreated. It is so important for you to acknowledge your sons compliance to medication and his desire to get better and cope more healthily with his illness. :green_heart:

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You can’t blame yourself please. I have done that and i have definitely not been understanding of him in the past before we knew what was really happening to him and he got diagnosed. I think as a parent you can look back at any event in their lives and feel guilty. I’m not saying there are not days i dont sit down and think is this my fault even down to thinking about when i was pregnant with him. Him and i have spoken about this and he says i did absolutely nothing wrong. Allow yourself times to feel guilty but then stop. This situation would of happened whatever direction you’d taken that is the truth.

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Called the hospital and they will neither confirm or deny that he is there because of HIPAA rules. Hopefully either he or a social worker will contact us later today.

We tried to impress upon him to give us access at the new facility while he was waiting in the ER to be transferred. He may not have even heard it because of the voices.
…
Just got a text message from his psychiatrist which said that he’d been in contact with the psychiatrist at the hospital and that he’s on olanzapine, 5 mg b.i.d.

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Medication doesn’t eradicate SZ, it merely makes it far more manageable. Your son will likely still experience symptoms, but the meds make it to a lesser degree, so he can more easily cope. Stability is important, as stress can topple the balance. Also, a healthy diet. Meds have side effects, so if you are not eating nutritious balanced meals, then side effects will be amplified. Try and find some support for yourself, to deal with your anxious feelings so they don’t get you down. You are in a position to help your son, by being a consistent, stable and nuturing person in his life — so be the best you can be for yourself, and your son, but don’t beat yourself up because nobody is perfect. Good luck!

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If he is ill. with sz… its always invountarily

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Thanks, CanadianDaughter. Yes, the anxiety is bad. I’m going to try and take one day at a time and set aside time for meditation.

Mojoclay, you’re right. No way would he have voluntarily checked himself into a psychiatric hospital. The voices would have prevented it. I’m sure they would have told him that nothing but bad things would have awaited him there and he’d have been too afraid to get treatment. The voices, after all, were probably telling him to go off his meds.

He called last night. He may not be there yet with giving us HIPAA access. He was saying that he spoke to the nurse and that it is “difficult” but wouldn’t elaborate.

He’s sharing a room with another patient. I’d prefer he have his own room, but there’s nothing I can do about it.

He signed HIPAA documents today, so at least we can talk to the people at the hospital now.
He actually sounds more normal on the phone than he did for the past few weeks at home, so maybe the olanzapine is doing some good.

He says he’s starting to feel more normal also. Maybe this reset (Rx change, seeing other suffering mental ill people, getting opinions from other doctors) is what needed to happen.

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In the Highest paying rehabs… you share a room … its good and not a bad thing.

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Thanks for the info! A social worker called today to tell my wife and I that she is his case worker. She really sounded like a great person and had a good read of my son. She said his roommate was quiet and non-threatening, which reassured me.

He calls us about twice a day and sounds so much better after only 2 days. His psychiatrist is in communication with the shrink at the hospital who says his thinking is becoming more organized. It must be a combination of the olanzapine and the new environment which is maybe forcing him to come to grips with reality.

My wife and I are trying to think what the plan will be for when he gets out. Have no idea, really. When things settle down I think we might discuss with him an advance plan about voluntary hospitalization before the next psychotic episode, if there is one.

Maybe something like a written contract that we can pull out and show him. It would have a pre-selected hospital to go to. Once you are involuntary, you have few options as most hospitals apparently don’t want to take them.

I really D’ONT want to go through this again. Two times is more than enough. We were just darn lucky that he was taken into custody without him getting hurt. He was outside the house at the time.

@Mojoclay wow this is a sad reality. I hope the laws will change one day.

I have gotten the most help from hospital social workers. They are great advocates.

My son went thru many cycles of recurrence and worsening of symptoms over a period of about 5 years. His last year included 6 hospitalizations.

He has now been stable on clozapine for the last 4+years. He isn’t symptom-free, but I do detect very slowly improvement over time.

This is a heartbreaking illness. I repeatedly felt I could never go thru the struggles again - but you find the strength.

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@Vallpen, thanks so very much for your insight and support. We had an almost hour-long talk with the social worker yesterday.

My son called today to say he couldn’t sleep last night because of the voices. This surprised me because I was thinking they’d have him on his usual (as of late) dose of 200 - 250 mg of Seroquel at bedtime, which would definitely put you to sleep.

He called today sounding a bit more agitated than usual and his private psychiatrist, who is in contact with the hospital psychiatrist, said they would be putting him on lithium.

That really surprised me because he’s been taking lithium for probably 10 years. Anywhere from the max dose to his current dose of 600 mg. He has schizoaffective disorder so he takes both anti-psychotics and bipolar drugs.

The only thing I can think is that they withdrew his drugs upon admission to see how he reacted and are now reintroducing them one-by-one. Could that be possible? I’m going to check into that to see if that is what they are doing.

I am so sorry you are going through this. Don’t blame yourself. If we could, we should have, why didn’t we, if only…doesn’t make the puzzle fit. I am going through hell…do I sell my house put my son on the street 3,000 miles away? You’ve all seen my post…my house sold then the sale didn’t go through so I sorta was glad but know it has to be done. I am so tired of being trapped and not being able to at least try on a daily bases…the only reason I don’t jump off a cliff is I hope one day if it not to late I can do something. I need to put my 98 yr old in a nursing home and go but my family says no and since I have her life estate I am trapped. My husband has less than 3 yrs to live and he wants anything in his name settled NOW…he is right. Thank God your son is in a place now that may help…never give up, as bad as it gets , never give up. Do what you can and don’t blame yourself. God takes care of the birds even in storms and He will take care of His own. He has the bigger plan and we have to hold on to “this too shall pass”

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@Ohmywhatnow, I haven’t been active on this board for 2 years, since my son’s last psychosis and hospitalization.

I read up on your situation. I hope your son somehow gets over his anosognosia and will become compliant with meds, since that’s the only thing I’ve seen, so far, that helps – as primitive a fix as that is.

Sorry that your mother’s health is making it too hard to care for her at home. Same thing with us. My wife’s mother, who has Alzheimer’s along with about 10 other maladies, had to be sent to to a nursing home last week. Now both by MIL and son are in facilities at the same time. If that wasn’t bad enough, there is the constant worry about COVID-19 and if they might get infected in the facility.

There was quite a bit of soul-searching between my wife, her father and sister about what to do with her mother. The COVID-19 problem in nursing homes was the killer. They finally found one that didn’t seem to have a problem, only to find out yesterday it was because the place had not reported its status to the CDC. When they got around to reporting their status it turns out to be bad. Now, I think, my sister and wife are talking about transferring her somewhere, possibly to her home with 24/7 nursing care.

Dear Caregiver1: My son has had three hospitalizations, two voluntary and the last one was involunatary. I as well thought how I might have been able to prevent the last hospitalization due to non compliancy to medication. My son seems to have learned and understands now the consequences of not taking his medication. Hopefully, he will keep this in mind as he would not want to repeat another 30 day stay in the hospital . I once attended a NAMI Family-to-Family course, and they say that with time, those with schizophrenia get better. I hope so. Wishing the best for your son.

@buenosaires Thanks. I hope it’s not going to be 30 days. There has to be a court hearing after 10 days where I live to make a determination about whether to extend his stay. The last time he was involuntarily committed they discharged him right before the hearing.