Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Violent Episode Tonight

My son took things to a whole new level tonight. He started getting angry over not getting his way about something rather trivial. His anger was escalating, so I went in the other room to hide our cell phones (he has taken them before and we were unable to call for help). My husband started calling for help. When I ran back into the kitchen, my son is on top of my husband, choking him. I tried pulling him off, but couldn’t. My husband said for me to hit him with something. I grabbed the first thing I could find, a ceramic coffee cup, and hit him on the back of the head. He released my husband. I ran into the other room to call 911 with my son chasing me. I managed to get the call made to 911, and he says that we’re leaving before the cops get here. He grabs scissors out of the drawer and grabs me around the neck, has the scissors up against my neck. I am screaming for my husband. My son marches me out of the bedroom, through the garage and tells me to get in the car. I don’t have my car keys, so he goes back in the house for the keys. I took off running, barefoot. I hear a car approaching, wave the car down and explain what is going on. My neighbor says for me to get in. We speed away. As we are driving into town (we live in a rural area), we pass the sheriff going towards our neighborhood at a leisurely pace, no lights on, not speeding. My neighbor turns around and flags him down. We return to my house and tentatively enter the garage. It looked like a war had been fought in there. Blood everywhere. We go into the house and to my relief, my husband is for the most part okay. My son got a knife and started slitting his wrists and cut his throat, then disappeared into the woods behind our house. The sheriff finally located him there after an hour of searching. They took him to the hospital for medical attention. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. For those of you who have experienced something similar, how do I keep him from being returned to our home? He is going to kill us. I have absolutely no doubt. He is med complaint, by the way. Any input would be greatly appreciated. I called one mental health facility tonight and they said he is “too acute” for them to take him. What?!?!


So so sorry to hear this. I have no advice just to say my heart goes out to you all.
I can’t believe that a mental health facility is saying your son is too “acute” for them to deal with. I hope you all get the help you desperately need soon and hope your son is ok.


Here are some options - this is not an area I know much about.

Go to the hospital, find the social worker - he is still 17 yes?

Contact your county judge. Get right in front of my county judge to ask for help.

Find your city’s crisis intervention number

Find your state’s keep calling until they finally

Mandatory Treatment Laws in Oklahoma

Like every state, Oklahoma has civil commitment laws that establish criteria for determining when involuntary treatment is appropriate for individuals with severe mental illness who cannot seek care voluntarily. Oklahoma’s laws allow for the use of court-ordered treatment in the community, known as assisted outpatient treatment (AOT).

For both inpatient and outpatient treatment, a person must meet the following criteria:

be an imminent risk of harm to self;
be an imminent risk of harm to others;
be an immediate threat of harm/violence to another;
be a substantial risk of severe impairment/injury;
be unable to meet basic physical needs, posing a substantial risk of death or immediate serious physical injury.


Sooo sorry for what you have been through. Thank God you survived! My ex freaked out on me, hid my cellphone so I couldn’t call for help. I thought he was going to kill me, too.
Luckily, I found his cellphone in the bedroom, where I was cowering. I called 911 from under my covers, while he ranted and raved in the next room.
I know you will find a suitable living situation for your son. He can’t stay with you.
Take care of yourselves! You have both been through a traumatic experience. Let the hospital/police take care of your son for a while, and try not to worry.:rose:


Hope & Jan,

Thank you both for the info. I talked to his Juvenille Authority worker from his last case when he tried to strangle his older brother last fall. He said that since this is his second offense, he will get probation. I stressed to him that he CANNOT come back to our house. I explained his level of violence has been escalating and the episodes are becoming more frequent in spite of him being on medication. He said that I need to have him hospitalized (privately) rather than going the State route. We have racked up a ton of debt because of his previous suicide attempts and hospitalizations that we are still paying off. He said an attorney will be appointed for him since we are the victims, one good thing. I didn’t know this last night, but he tried to hang himself in the backyard, when I left with the neighbor. He is hellbent on either killing himself or us, or both. I put in a call to the State Dept. of Mental Health Services. The gentleman there is looking up some info and is supposed to get back to me shortly. At the present time, my son is in a juvenile prison facility. I will not bail him out or take his phone calls. I know he’s mentally ill, but he is also a threat to my entire family. I’ll keep you all updated. Prayers please if you’re inclined to pray. Thanks so much.


Did he say why?

I do know that if you have insurance, it will pay for a lot while he’s a minor.
My friend’s daughter made several suicide attempts, so they put her in residential treatment for a few months.
They got her out because she wasn’t violent, and most of the kids in there were more like your son.

He has the same insurance I have, and it paid through the mental health portion, but it sounded like a lot of kids were in there using Medicaid, and that would be the same kind of thing the state would use I guess.

The hospital helped him find the place they used. It was hard for him because she was diabetic & a lot of places weren’t staffed to handle physical health problems.

Otherwise, there were lots of residential treatment options out there.

I would also keep a record of everyone’s name & they’re response to your requests for help - and let them know you’ll release those records if he doesn’t get help and hurts/kills himself or someone else. Try to make them feel some kind of responsibility in this - not just pass him on to the next person.

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Is he in a Chapter 51 mental health commitment? My son is after calling the police last fall and the CTY we live in has total control over where he lives, etc.

SLW, Mary: No, his juvenile worker didn’t say why he would need to go into private hospitalization. I assumed it’s because we do have private insurance (Blue Cross Blue Shield). I just got off the phone w/ the guy at the State’s mental health dept. The bad news: there are NO places here for people his age who are violent to live. There are residential care facilities (like nursing homes he said) but they are not locked down and the minimum age for most is 21. He said we would need an attorney to start civil commitment proceedings with the court and some courts don’t like to do that. He wasn’t really familiar with our county, so wasn’t sure. He gave me the name of the mental care facility in our city that can provide day treatment, pscyh appts, vocational assistance, etc. He also gave me the name of a long-term facility that is for teens with extreme anger and/or violence issues. The only cavet was they don’t take sex offender types but my son isn’t that, so this may be a possibility. My brother is suggesting we get a victim’s protective order. Thoughts?

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I would suggest going for both a civil commitment and getting a protective order. I’m so sorry you are going through this but it’s important the mental health courts are aware of his violent behavior to protect not only you and your family-but to protect your son until he’s on meds that work.

The residential places here are not like nursing homes. Do you mind saying what state you’re in?

The kids attend classes so that they stay up with their school work and it is locked down - plus, they do therapy there.

My son has been to the adult side of the hospital in this link a few times, but you can click here and see what the adolescent residential programs are like:

I think this is the one my friend’s daughter went to where most of the kids had anger/violence issues:

SLW - We are in Oklahoma. The mental health care is terribly underfunded. There was a major budget shortage this year and they cut the DHS budget some more. It is terrible that the people they’re affecting need it the most. I wonder if I should send him to where my mother-in-law lives - New Jersey. Maybe that would be better. I am just pulling ideas out of thin air right now.

My friend was considering sending his daughter out of state if necessary to get the best care for her.

If you’re paying for it with your own insurance, it’s not like you have to stay local. It would just make it hard to visit.

But, the sad part is that most of these people don’t have a lot of visitors. I visited my son every time they had visiting hours. That was 3X/week at one hospital and every night at another. Lots of times, I would be the only visitor in his unit.

Some nights, the kids would have visiting hours too, and sometimes there would be a lot of visitors, sometimes none.

Of course, a lot of families weren’t local, but I’m sure that wasn’t the case for everyone.

My friend experienced the same thing, He said they rarely saw other visitors at the residential place.

Anyway, the most important thing is that he’s safe & you guys are safe, and he gets the treatment he needs. Maybe, doctors who are experts in this kind of thing can help and he’ll be entirely different.

You said that he was compliant with his medication. That’s a good thing, but the wrong medication can make them worse. Was he violent before medication?

He has been on different medications (anti-pscyhotics) since he was 7 1/2. The voices started way back then. He only became violent in probably the last 2 1/2 years, but it has been increasing in frequency and the littlest thing sets him off. Now it is about once a week. I am afraid not to comply with a request because of the violent outcome. I work full time and when I get home, I often mow (we have almost 4 acres), then I come in and make dinner. That was the situation last night. He wanted a ride to a friend’s house who lives about 50 minutes away (one way). I told him no and he went from zero to 60 in seconds.

I’m so sad for both of you, and I can only imagine what’s going through his mind where he is now.

I’d continue to pursue the residential treatment idea - I don’t see where you have any choice. It sounds like he could do with some very specialized treatment that might not be available there.

Maybe someone else can chime in with some good places if you do decide to go out of state.

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Maybe you should consult a lawyer? It sounds like you have a complicated situation.

Definetly get an order of protection ( restraint order). You could always go to court and get it reversed later, if you want to (even though you will get what’s called a 'permanent restraining order).

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The Oklahoma City NAMI people really let LisaS and her family down. If i remember correctly, she contacted them for help and all they did was talk about Family to Family.

Lisa S, I wonder if they have a support group that meets regularly? I know we get lots of people in crisis at our NAMI support groups and we do give them all of the phone contact information right then and there. Our support group leader doesn’t wait for them to attend Family to Family to get crucial emergency information.

Did you try your Blue Cross mental health 800 number? If you did, and i missed it, my apologies.

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Hope - No I haven’t tried the Blue Cross/Blue Shield avenue yet. And yes, you are right. I did contact the local chapter of NAMI and she ignored me telling her that he has a continued, frequent pattern of violence and urged me to go to the Family-to-Family training. I am fine with going, but how is that going to help him be less violent? The same day I talked to his previous therapist and she suggested I download some mindful meditation for us to do together for his next outburst. I was like “what planet are you living on?” Seriously, I was thinking have you ever been around a mentally ill person who is violent during one of their episodes? There is no reasoning with them, there is no calming them down, there is no sitting on the floor cross legged, chanting HMMMMM. For God’s sake, what ridiculous advice! I wanted to hang up on her. Sorry, a little rant there. People who haven’t walked in our shoes don’t fricking understand. Period.


@LisaS - you reminded me of something someone said here that I really liked. Was it you?

If not, it’s still apt.

It went something like, “You’re talking to me about what color to paint my walls when my house is burning down.”


In my mind Lisa I didn’t want my husband and elderly mother in law who lived with my ill son to become a statistic- part of the family members who get killed annually by their mentally ill family member. You need to go by what your gut is telling you to do knowing your son’s history the best. We can all give differing advice here and quite frankly sometimes I feel like an outsider here because I had my very ill and delusional son taken by force. What’s interesting is that my parents and adult siblings don’t think my son should have moved back in with me and my husband last week from the group home now that he’s stable and doing pretty well on his meds so far as they worry about what people with his illness (SZ) are capable of and that he’ll attack us again. But in my mind as long as I know he’s stable on his meds that it should be safe enough for him to be with us at home again. The PSY doctor at the CTY we’re in had to sign off on this because of the MH commitment my son is in but it’s a reassuring feeling knowing if my son does become unstable again (even on meds) that it’s much easier to get him back into the hospital again so we can avoid what you’re experiencing now. Many on this forum may not see a MH commitment as an option but in my son’s case it was the right thing to do. Like my son’s PSY doc told us - that the MH Commitment is a safety net. Good luck with your decision on how to handle this as I have walked in your shoes not too long ago. Prayers to you, your son and your family.


No, that wasn’t me, but I like that. This is probably the hardest part of my life to date. My husband is really struggling. Being bipolar, he doesn’t have the coping skills to handle this. He broke down last night with the sheriffs there, while they were searching for our son, and cried like a baby. He is tired, and rightfully so, of being the target of our son’s anger and violence for the most part. He brings up every little tiny thing that he perceives that has ever been done wrong to him since he was able to remember. He has had a good life. We live in a nice house in a good neighborhood. He attended the No. 1 school in the state until we moved. He actually likes his new school better because there isn’t such a sense of “keeping up with the Joneses.” I guess it is part of illness to nit pick and find faults were there virtually are none. The things he says to both of us are appalling. I just feel numb today. Hopefully we can find the right place for him and move forward.