Went to court yesterday and the judge ordered a psych evaluation. Unfortunately, he ordered it at my least favorite hospital in our area. I had a very unpleasant personal experience there and my son had previously been in their behavioral unit and I was not happy with the treatment when he was there (They had him sleep on cement floor with no mat, no blanket, no pillow and had him wear clothes with vomit on them for two days before he was allowed to change. They also never tinkered with his meds last time…just left everything status quo, this after a suicide attempt. I’m thinking that IS when a med change would be warranted, but no.) But since the papers were already made out for that place, I had to go with it. It took us from 2:30 pm until 11 pm to get him admitted. It is undoutedly the worst run facility I have ever seen. I asked if we could go home and come back and they said they would get the Dept. of Human Services involved if we did that. The worst part was seeing how badly my son had carved himself up. His one arm and the calf of one of his legs was cut to bits and had massive stitches. Oh, and this place is $1,200 a week. If he was getting good care and they would adjust his meds and get him stablized, I would be fine with paying that, but they won’t. He’ll still be on the same meds when he leaves there. Doubt he’ll even see a psychiatrist. Last time when I called there and raised hell, they threatened to call DHS on me. For what, requiring them to treat my son like a human being and let him have a mat and clean clothes? Go right ahead is what I told them. I am beyond frustrated. We go back to court in 2 weeks. My son can’t understand why we won’t bail him out and bring him home. I’ve tried to explain that we can’t trust that he won’t become violent again. This is so hard. I guess because of the extreme stress, I am completely exhausted and still trying to be at work every day. Appreciate everyone’s concern and kind words more than you know.
I really am so sorry that you are all going through this! How dare they threaten to call DHS on you! For what! Caring about how your son is treated. Lord…why can’t the system just try to make it easier for us? Am still praying that somehow this all works out in his (and your) favor. That he will get the help he needs so that you can all find some peace. I have to see the scars on my sons arms and legs everyday, and I feel sick thinking that others have to go through this too. No matter what threats come your way, you keep fighting for proper treatment. Stay strong!!! Thinking of you.
Thanks so much, Leiann. I just feel defeated today. I have been very strong up until today. My husband told me last night that he will not live with him again. He has his own mental health issues (bipolar) and he and my son are like matches and gasoline, so I somewhat understand what he’s saying. But at the same time, it feels like he is deserting a sinking ship. I just am tired of being the strong one in family and keeping all the balls up in the air. I can’t live with my son alone. He does have violent tendencies and without my husband there to protect me, I can’t imagine what would happen. I know you have felt this way, but dammit, just doesn’t seem fair. This illness is so cruel! I read something that a p-doc had written about this illness and it was eloquent, but yet sad. I wanted to share it:
Schizophrenia is a vile, ugly monster that robs a person of his own mind. I hate it. I hate to see young people disappear under this terrible thing. As of this date, medication is the best thing we have. It certainly isn’t perfect, but it can be helpful. And we have good, solid research demonstrating a robust benefit to the brain from taking antipsychotic meds. Schizophrenic patients who do not take their meds suffer more neuronal loss. The brain of the schizophrenic literally loses mass over time. The medication is protective. It is very important to understand this. Antipsychotic medications reduce loss of brain mass.
Schizophrenia is a lifelong, progressive brain disease. It is the cruelest disease in existence. Medication is the best tool you have. Yes, some of the side effects are uncomfortable, but schizophrenia is much, much worse.
I am so sorry you must carry this burden, and if I had the power to lift the horrors of schizophrenia from your child and the burdens of it all from your shoulders, I should be so very glad to do so. My heart aches for you… I have seen the pain parents must endure more times than I care to think about. Sometimes the grief of the parents is more painful to me than witnessing the beautiful promise in a young person being strangled slowly from his mind by this monster. I am so very sorry you are going through this. But please do encourage him to take his meds.
This is just a stop over and then they will return him to the juvenile facility for 4-5 months to wait for his placement in the place with staff psychiatrists for 7 months, correct?
Isn’t it important that you leave him in their custody and not bring him home?
I feel so badly for the emotional pain you are going to have to endure while he is there. Hang in there, without you and your husband in this world, he will be lost forever to the prison system.
Maybe I am wrong, but, I like to think that the couple we knew who were murdered by their son, if given another chance, would have endured more of the emotional pain to do what needed to be done to keep themselves alive and save their son from a life in prison.
Without us, the system just locks them up. We are their only chance for a different ending.
The mom who was killed by her son, had left a long note on the table by her bed. They read parts of the note at their funeral. At the time I was angry with the mom because listening to what she had written made it seem that she had chosen death.
Later I read a lot more about parents who have dealt with children with violent mental illness and I realized she had just shut down inside herself and was unable to help her son or herself.
It wasn’t her fault.
Thanks for posting this - I needed it. Such acknowledgement of our loss and our struggle as parents.
You are so right…it is the worst disease, robbing them of their lives, and also robbing us, of the lives we hoped for our children. It is grieving a death, while they are alive. I am lucky I have to admit. My son has been compliant now on his meds for a little over a year, but here I sit all morning crying like a baby. It is heart breaking for all of us, no matter what stage we are in. The agony of the past psychotic periods, the ins and outs of the hospital, and fighting desperately to keep my son alive has left scars that won’t go away, because everyday I have to see him the way he is now. Diminished and scarred, but safe and alive. I took this week off of work and am looking around realizing just how alone I am. Husband ill with mixed delusional disorder, and gone, friends disappeared over the last couple of years, so it is just my son and I now. But, he is stable, no longer a threat to me physically. I prayed for that…I have survived, and so will you. I believe that some how your son will be stabilized, and you will get through to the other side. The trick is then, figuring out how to thrive in that new normal. I’m working on that. And so will you. You sound to me like an amazing person. I hope this wasn’t too dramatic, but been struggling myself and wanted you to know that I’ve been there, and that I care.
Yes, this is just a stop over. They are going to move him to a different detention facility while he awaits fiinal . The one he was at was described by his juvenile affairs worker as “hard core”, lots of gang bangers, etc. My son said people were threatening him in there because they were poor and he was not. How they would know that, I haven’t a clue, but anyhow, he was terrified about going back there. So much so he told the sheriff guarding him yesterday that if forced to go back there, he would pick at his wounds to get them bleeding so he could get gauze and he would try to hang himself with the gauze. So going to the terrible hospital wasn’t so bad in his mind. We are not going to bring him home. That would be a bad idea since I am doubtful this hospital will change his meds at all, so why would anything change? If anything, he will be mad at us that he was in jail and blame us for that which could lead to another violent episode. It’s best he stay there or in the detention facility.
Lisa, thank you for sharing this as it’s a good perspective to have coming from a doc who treats this mental illness so often. You, your son and family are in my thoughts and prayers. Keep us updated as we’re here for you. Mary
I’m so sorry to hear this about your son , im speechless, I pray for your son to get better ️
Thank you so much! This forum and all of you has been a Godsend, especially in the last few days and has kept me going through some dark days. I am blessed to have this support group. I can’t even express how much you all mean to me with your words of encouragement, your input and just listening. XXOO
I don’t know if anyone does this but I put my sons meds, 10mg olanzapine in his food , because he won’t take them I dnt know what else to do he believes he has social anxiety
Abilify also put my son into a highly agitated state. Altho I was reporting it to the person prescribing it, they went ahead and gave him a high-dose injection, which resulted in a lengthy hospitalization.
So very sorry to hear your sad, sad account.
I have had similar episodes with my son, 45-years -old who is in State care for over 2 years now.
I feel desperate and helpless when he (on meds, also)
becomes violent. The worst is he doesn’t remember the violence and thinks everyone is against him!
Sometimes he’s “clear and coherent” but can turn on you in an instant!
How can we cope better when they become psychotic?
I wish I had answers for you. My son also doesn’t remember the violent encounters afterwards. He is remorseful. He can be a wonderful person at times and of course, my love for him never changes. I just have become afraid of him and that is a sad place to be when it is your own child. I think of how he was as a little boy, the way I used to pick him up and dance with him. The love in his eyes for his mom. Where did that little boy go? I know he loves me, of course. This disease is so terrible. I think it is one of the worst things that can be put on a human being. I write this with tears in my eyes for all the people affected by this terrible thing. My son has tried to commit suicide 3 times that I know of. The agony must be encompassing to want to leave this earth at age 17. I have somewhat mentally prepared myself if that does happen. I would mourn him and miss him terribly, but in some ways, I would understand. To be rid of the pain…I would understand. Wishing you and your son peace today and always. Hoping and praying that you will find the right mix of meds and the right doctors to help your son.
Leiann - Thanks for your kind words of encouragement. I know all to well about the isolation. I was raised in a rather neglectful home; my parents used drugs. I learned to become self sufficient at an early age. As a result of that, I think I have deep seated trust issues, but I am an incredibly strong and resilient person too. I look at as a I “took the high road” kind of thing. My brother, however, was a crack addict for many years. He now is drug free, I am so happy to say. I think each experience in life prepares us for something to come. My childhood was preparing me for this experience right now. The ability to be strong, to continue on, having two family members mentally ill. To continue to fight and find the best possible solutions for them. To somehow see blessings in all of this. I am going today to see my son and have a family therapy session. The p-doc at the facility he’s at put him on a different mood stabilizer yesterday, so we’ll see how that goes. Still has him on the Abilify. I asked about the possibility of the ADHD med making his condition worse. Waiting for an answer about that. I’m hoping this mood stabilizer helps. Will keep you all updated. Hope you have a good day. Wishing you and your son peace and good health today. Sending you hugs.
I take a lot of comfort in your response.
How sad to see them with this horrible disease!
We must continue to learn to cope and inspire them
to have the best lives they can.
And to be courageous and have our own good life, too.
That’s where I get stuck, in grief and sorrow.
We can’t stop LIVING.
All: Just a quick update. Had family therapy w/ my son on Friday. It did not go well. He still is pushing me to bail him out, which I will not do. The doctor who stitched his injuries up after the episode said the cuts on his one arm went down to the bone and the scars will be there for life. He suggested perhaps getting a tattoo to incorporate the scars. The psychologist at the hospital diagnosed him with conduct disorder (in additon to schizoaffective / biopolar). Anyhow, the visit ended with him cussing me out, slapping a cup of water out of my hand and telling me to get the “f*&k” out of there. I asked the therapist today at the hospital if I have to attend anymore therapy sessions as I really cannot endure more after what we’ve already been through. He said the insurance is likely to stop the treatment if someone doesn’t attend family therapy. What kind of crap is that? A family member has to go be abused by him in order for them to pay? Anyhow, his juvenille affairs worker said that they are going to recommend that he go to a group home, but it’s no guarantee. I want him to go to a medium security facility where he can’t get out and come home and hurt (or kill) us. He said there is no way they will sentence him there. It would have to be a “much more serious” crime. I said that when he comes home and kills us, then you can sentence him there. I am so frustrated by the system in this state. We have no and I mean no, place for him to go where we can sleep at night and feel safe that we will not have to pay an arm and a leg for. That is just ridiculous. I am feeling so hopeless today. Prayers please if you feel inclined to pray. Thank you.
I’m so sorry and angry for you!
Is he on meds at the jail?
Has he seen a psychiatrist while he’s been there?
How long until his trial?
I’ll pray that you will find a solution to your problems.
Why don’t you call your insurance company & ask them what they would do?
I’ve found that some people will use that as an excuse to get you to do what they want you to do.
I was told our insurance would not pay for my husband’s $200K plus hospital bill if he checked himself out AMA - they didn’t say anything about it - or about covering his outpatient treatment related to the reason he was in the hospital.
I think as long as they code it properly, they’ll pay for it.
He’s actually in the “behavioral” unit of a local hospital and has been since last Monday. They’ve been switching up his meds. Put him on a mood stablilizer last week; I believe it is Trileptal? Added Zyprexa today. They’re giving him Seroquel before bedtime. His angry and agression is on full display not just when a family member is there. We had court last week where they just read the charges and give a chance for someone to bail him out. Not likely there. We have court again 8/2. He will go back to a juvenile (correctional) facility until a permanent placement at a group home becames available. The juvenile correctional facility is a lock-up; the group home is not. I will call my insurance co. I’ve just been on the phone so much with his juvenile worker and the hospital, that I feel like I’m not getting much work done. My very understanding boss told me I could go home today if I need some mental health time for myself.