Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Struggling to help son

I hope, @rachelm33 , that the factors of life come together to help you get some help for your son.

In the beginning years of my daughter’s psychosis, she went off meds many times, and left home several times when I tried tough love. I too learned that having her home unmedicated was what I personally needed to do.

And that led, in a few more years, to her being successfully medicated.

Be patient, take care of yourself so you don’t get worn out, and keep hoping for your son.

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This is a difficult disease to manage for all involved. I hope our stories here help you. My son spent some years In the psych ward, on/off medication cycle, bouts of homelessness and occasionally missing. We tried managing him at home and in his own apartment nearby. Both came with great struggle, worry and mayhem. He could not stay med compliant, would self medicate and seemed any combo of prescriptions did not work until…Clozaril! After placing our son in residential care (which I highly recommend) he started clozaril as protocol for the program. It took about a year to see a significant change in behavior. He’s lived in residential care specifically for people with schizophrenia for 20 months. This decision changed our lives. He’s safe, content and getting appropriate care. We have our lives back as the stress nearly took us out! Take care of YOU and know you’re not alone.

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What kind of residential treatment facility did you find for your son? Was it court ordered or voluntary? Covered by Medicaid or private insurance? I have been telling anyone and everyone who will listen that my daughter needs long term residential treatment but I haven’t been able to make that happen. She was picked up 4 days ago walking on the interstate very close to the highway and has gone missing for days on end and has been found in an awful condition. I don’t know what more has to happen for “the system” to agree to try and keep her if not safe, at least alive.

Was the residential treatment voluntary or did the county/state transfer your son there? My son was picked up by the authorities and the sheriff did an emergency petition to get a psych evaluation. They are committing him involuntarily to short-term psych hospital. We have been down this road before and on1-2 week stays are not long enough to make any progress with medications.

Without insight into his illness, our concern is that this cycle will continue. Any thoughts on how we communicate our concerns to the treating psychiatrist once he is transferred and find the right med combo?

Hmm, what is temporary conservatorship? I will need to research that. He has been picked up and placed involuntarily into a hospital. I want to be able to communicate what has not worked so we don’t end up hitting the repeat button and we work on finding a better med combo.

Great idea to take a one pager to the hospital. We will do so once we know where he will be transported.

Thanks for your support.

@kajlang I just saw your post, and hope that your son is still in the hospital and they find the right medication for him.

The court system, for me, was the key to getting my daughter successfully medicated. After her arrest, I went to her arraignment (where normally they don’t speak to anyone in the “audience”) and approached the officer in charge and told him I had vital information for the judge. I was allowed to speak and made it clear she was psychotic (“My daughter speaks to people up there and can read your mind”) and that she needed medicaton. When the judge later transferred my daughter to a psych hospital, I faxed a one page doc to each of the three places she might have been sent telling them what antipsychotic had proven the best (in her case it was a haldol dec shot given on an earlier forced hospitalization) and asking that it be given to her again.) I had NO idea which hospital she was in, and no one would tell me. However, within a few hours I had a phone call from a nurse telling me the doctor wanted me to be her health care proxy and authorize the shot. In my state, someone is assigned by the doctor/court to legally authorize care while the patient is in the hospital. That role disappears when the patient is released. So I only had say so to talk to the nurses while she was in the hospital and authorize that one shot. After she was released, I again had no power over her. I am lucky that I asked the judge earlier for her to be medicated, that he made medication a part of her release, and that the hospital read my fax. Also lucky that the 2nd court ordered injection was given to my daughter, with anosognosia, who didn’t want to take it, but had to because the Sheriff’s Office called her and came by to see her at home. Then the court order wore off as charges against my daughter were dropped. BUT she, by then, was in a sort of habit to take it, and just went with me to the doctor to get her 3rd shot the next month, and has been going ever since.

Good luck navigating the system.

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