Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Unable to have my son seek treatment for what appears to be Schizophrenia

Our 34 year old son started hearing voices over what he believes are embedded speakers in the walls, he says he experiences laser beams shining in his eyes, he claims his bed vibrates at night, he has what he describes as bugs biting him and all food he goes to eat he believes is tainted.

We had him 5150 when he was involved in a 2nd car accident within 7 days. The accidents he believes were cause by us greasing the wheels of the vehicle. The hospital allowed him to leave after 72 hours in spite of the psychiatrist saying in qualified for the 14 day hold. In fact, they did not even know he left.

He is a danger to himself, cannot care for himself, is a threat to family members and has lived in unsanitary conditions. We cannot get any help in spite of hiring attorneys, calling Emergency Psyche Intervention teams, calling the police and pleading with the courts when he has been arrested.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Hi Pattie,

Welcome to the forum. I am so sorry, it does sound as though your son is in a good deal of distress.

Pattie, did your son just start having these issues recently? What state or country are you and your son located in? Knowing what state you are in might make it possible for people to help you more. In the part of the state I live in, they can hold someone for 72 hours, but your son would have to agree to the 14 day hold.

The has a listing of the US states and their laws.

You do seem to have some support services in your area. If you could get a hold of your local NAMI chapter and get an actual person on the phone, they may be able to offer some more options. Some NAMI chapters are useful, others are not.

Can you keep him from driving a car?

Pattie I am very sorry to hear this. Your situation sounds very similar to mine with my adult daughter. Depending on where you live, it can be so hard to get help for what seems like a no-brainer. Our hospital let my daughter leave after 72 hours as well. I finally had to take out an emergency order of detention on my daughter which is basically calling your own 72 hour hold on your family member. Once she got admitted to a mental hospital, they legally extended her involuntary hold to 14 days. It took so many people and so much effort to get her help. I was so overwhelmed and livid. It should not be so difficult to get someone who is clearly psychotic into treatment. I am learning how to navigate this system as well. Was the lawyer unable to advise you?

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Thank you Katie for your response. We live in California and everything is harder here. The attorney has tried to navigate the system, but it comes down to him going voluntarily which he would never do. He has done at least 20,000.00 damage to our home, terrorizes us, will not leave our house, sleeps all day, stays up all night, is an excellent marksman and is crazy intelligent. He knows how to navigate the system and can pull it together if necessary.

If we call the police, they just arrest him and put him in jail. He does not need the incarceration, but mental health treatment. Our police department is only interested in the former which takes away from him ever living a normal productive life if he ever agrees to get help.

Where do you live? Maybe we could find the same ability to do our own 5150 like you did.

Hi Hope…thank you for the welcome. We live in California in the Los Angeles area. I have spoke to NAMI a few times. They are very nice, but did not have much to offer. We are trying the LPS act right now to hopefully get him taken into a mental health conservatirship. It is a real shot in the dark.

He does not drive due to having no license after the back to back vehicle accidents secondary to DUI causes.

Really hoping you get the conservatorship. There are several Californians on the forum who have had success legally. In some ways your son sounds like mine, it’s so hard when they are smart and can pull things together.

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My daughter and i live in a small town in Texas where my family is. We moved from Santa Monica! When we were in California it was very easy to get a 5150 because my daughter was suicidal. She only recently became psychotic. I am now learning that extreme paranoia and delusion and hallucinations are not cause for a 5150!! It is called an EDO here. As im writing this, my dsughter is storming through the house. She has made multiple phone calls to police departments all over the state and the country believing thst the notary public who notarized her EDO is her birth father who rsped her. She has accused her boyfriend of drugging her and stealing all of her money out of her checking account, getting her into a car accident and beating her up. None of this true. She has called the sheriff who comes out here on a very regular basis to report all this. How can this not be considered a danger to others?


Dear CAAR2016- weren’t you able to get a conservatorship in California?

Do you have any suggestions that could help Pattie?

Hope…Thank you so much for reaching out to them. I really appreciate this.

Katie…I know exactly what you are going thru and I am so sorry. It is a tragedy for the family and a loss of life for the person experiencing the signs and symptoms. I have come to believe this is an epidemic in this country.

Pattie, in the meantime you might want to try entering “conservatorship” in the search box and see if you can glean anything from past postings.

It took 40 times that the police were here to get my daughter hospitalized 4 times in 3 years. Sometimes she called, sometimes we called. Sometimes, the police called me to get her as she was downtown yelling at buildings. Dec 2018, she was arrested, running in and out of traffic. I went to court and and told the judge she needed a medical exam, was talking to out-of-body beings who ran the city, and could read minds. He was sympathetic to mental illness, asked if she was medicated (no), then ordered her to be medicated if released from jail. My daughter was yelling “That’s not my mother!”, so it helped that she was obviously psychotic at that exact moment. She has remained med-compliant. I only had 2 minutes to speak, so said the most important things first.

In Tampa Bay some police are CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) trained to recognize mental problems, I always tried to get CIT trained police to my home. Their hands are tied unless the threat is happening right in front of them. I learned to simply state harmful behaviors or threats when dealing with the police to get a hold. One time I just said “She had her father’s knife out”, another time I repeated that she’d said “everyone in this house should be dead!”. I added that her behavior scared me. You have to call at the moment of the threat, and hope they say it again to the police. She could sometimes act very lucid in front of police or doctors.

No . It is truly a horrible situation. Do the NAMI family to family class you will meet people. Unfortunately your son is an adult and there is really nothing we can do if they don’t want help. I just kept reading positive books on the disease. My grandson takes Clozapine and it gave him his life back