Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

What do I do next?

I’m seriously close to a breakdown myself. I’m doing to best I can do to get my son into a private hospital, as he’s been in psychosis for quite a few months! Truly, no one seems to want to help him. I know he is a difficult and uncooperative patient. He refuses most meds and thinks he’s fine. Because the hospital is in another state the mental health team will not refer him there. The public system (where they want him to go) is traumatic for him. I was sectioned myself once in '84 and I’ll never forget it! It’s not a nice feeling to have your freedom taken from you. He has to see a Psychiatrist to be referred to out of state and you can imagine the wait list for that! The Acute Care Team don’t believe that he is a danger to himself or others. They’ve assessed this without having seen him! My son has not had a shower for over a week, is paranoid to the point of ringing the emergency number to warn the police of possible rapes of his school friends some years ago, committed by the detective sergeant that arrested him last year, when he was also in psychosis. I don’t know what to do next. Has anyone got any suggestions? This is my only support network as there’s nothing in my area.

I’m so sorry that you’re going through this difficult time. It’s very saddening and frustrating to see someone who needs help, but you feel you’re unable to help them in the right way.

However, when mental health resources are few, the definition of “the right kind of care” narrows considerably. This means less than ideal treatment, such as inpatient care in a public hospital.

I have been there myself–involuntarily–a few times. But I can promise you that living through those hospitalizations taught me that there was no other alternative: be cooperative and medication compliant vs being involuntarily held. It was tough love, but I came out of hospital the last time and IMMEDIATELY went to the pharmacy to pick up my medications. And I haven’t missed a dose in 6 years now.

Was it pleasant? Was it “right?” No–but it was extremely effective in turning my life around.

What you need is respite care for yourself. Pass all of that responsibility and worry onto a professional. Take a break from being the caregiver. Receive some care yourself while your son is in hospital. If you can afford to see a therapist, that would be very helpful. If not, most inpatient psychiatric facilities have group therapy for parents and caregivers whose loved ones are currently admitted. At minimum, they have a chaplain who can provide guidance and peace.



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Hi, sorry that you’re going through this.

As a person with schizophrenia, I believe if my family didn’t put me in a hospital I would eventually commit suicide. So even if it’s a public hospital I think it’s a best course of action. Even though it was a bit traumatizing.

I was psychotic for two years, and I lived alone so it was difficult for my family to help me at that time, so only when I started to hurt myself I was then hospitalized. And I’m thankful for that, so don’t lose hope.

Best of luck.

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Thank you so much for commenting. My son has agreed to be assessed by the acute care team but says he will not go into the public system. They are going to assess him this afternoon but told me there is no guarantee that they will section him if he is not a danger to himself or others. I’m doing my best just to get him hospitalized at the moment. As much as I’d like to see him go into the private sector, ANY help would be good. I’m looking to hospitalize myself (private sector) after I know my son is safe.

I would venture an opinion and say that NO ONE likes to be hospitalized, right? So your son and your situation is far from unique. If every parents son or daughter got to dictate whether they got hospitalized the hospitals would be near empty.

I certainly would not have chosen to be locked up for 8 months in a psychiatric hospital. But my parents did what they thought was best for and kept me from getting raped or assaulted on the streets. I realize it’s different now and now the goal of psychiatrists is to keep people from long hospital stays as to opposed to the eighties when the hospitals were the first choice of treatment and easier to get people into.

I don’t know why I was so compliant and never resisted being hospitalized all 9 or 10 times. Maybe because I had a dependent personality and I could not help myself in any way so I did what I was told. I notice you say you are doing your best. I don’t doubt that for a second.

My suggestion is to lay the all the cards on the table and point out the alternatives to being hospitalized. Suffering on the streets or in jail,. prolonged psychosis, a terrible prognosis, or irreparable damage to the brain from prolonged psychosis (according to many theories I’ve read.). Tell him how people like me survived 8 months locked up while I had almost zero survival skills. If I can survive, anybody can. Sorry, I haven’t offered many solutions but this is my take on the matter.

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The best you can do is just remain calm as possible. Free will is free will and you can’t really control how others change. Just offer the phone numbers and services to him and have him try to take control of his situation.

Edit: And why not keep things in-state, yeah? Even in-county?

Thanks for your comments.

It was nice to hear from someone who has been through the hospital system a number of times AND survived the experience. The Acute Care Team came around this afternoon to assess him. They are going to make an appointment with a doctor who can admit him. My son was very compliant. He even asked them if he could go into hospital. They say it doesn’t work that way. At least we are moving forward! Naturally mistercollie I want my son to go where he will feel safe and cared for. Because we have private health insurance, I thankfully have that choice. He has been to the hospital I’m trying to get him into before and stayed six weeks there. He knows the system. there. I agree with being as calm as possible. I try to have as little stimulation as I can in the house. I have no radio on, no TV. no friends calling over and as little noise as possible. It seems to help him. I have an update coming

My son just told me he feels defeated and he needs help! Is this thought going to last until he gets into hospital or is he likely to change his mind again and say he’s fine. He’s never sounded like this before. I think it’s a sign of insight which is great, if it is. I’m also a bit worried as he usually has the TV going all the time while he’s on Facebook most of the nights. The TV is off and he’s off Facebook as “the people aren’t being real”. He’s just lying in bed. Acute Care Team have got him a doctors appointment on the 28th. Does he just lay in bed till then? It worries me that he might become suicidal. At least he knows that he’s not well, which is huge for him!. I’ve just ordered him the book Schizophrenia - My Label My Life. It was recommended on this site. I hope he reads it when he’s well!. I’m glad I have people of this site that understand, as well as having some great ideas. Thanks for the input. I don’t feel so alone when there’s been a reply…

Insight is awesome! Good luck and positive thoughts, only 7 days you shouldn’t worry I think, if he says he needs help.

Thank you so much Minnii. I needed to hear that!

:smile: I say that from experience, when I felt defeated all I wanted was the paranoias to pass, so maybe laying there is his way of coping and waiting for it to pass. We are all hoping for the best here!

I cry when I read your post. It is the first time in a long time that I have felt someone say “It’s going to be alright”. I might stop crying now!

I don’t have any good advice. Sometimes I give myself a vacation from whatever I am trying to do in my mind. And an example of that is that going out more is a goal of mine instead of sitting in my room all day on my days off. But when I am sitting there inside I am constantly thinking, “I should go out”, “I should go out” . I’m thinking this almost every day, all day. But I don’t go out.

But sometimes I say screw it and I just stop pressuring myself and I stay in for the day without any guilt and just enjoy wasting a day without worrying. I know it’s bad to stay in on those days but I give myself a break. what I but 'm getting at is that your son getting suicidal is a valid worry, maybe he needs a vacation from his problems and after getting some insight and admitting he needs to be hospitalized maybe he deserves a vacation from worrying and maybe he should just enjoy his few days of freedom before the big event coming up in his life.

The problems will always be there. But instead of being reminded of his problems, instead let him slack off.

I should qualify myself. I’ve never been a parent and maybe what I just wrote is crappy advice. But us people who are suffering need every little piece of enjoyment possible in our disabled lives. Maybe tell him that isolating and doing nothing is horrible for him but you’re going to let him enjoy it. Yeah, I can’t tell if this is bad advice or not. You be the judge.

Correction to above post.

but WHAT I"M getting at…

BUT maybe he needs a vacation from his problems…

  1. Get a copy of this book and read it. Have your family read it, too.

  2. If he needs a professional intervention, tell me where you live, and I will get back to you with leads to those services.

  3. Get properly diagnosed by a board-certified psychopharmacologist who specializes in the psychotic disorders. One can find them at…

  4. Work with that p-doc to develop a medication formula that stabilizes your symptoms sufficiently so that you can tackle to the psychotherapy that will disentangle your thinking from reality effectively. The best of the therapies for that currently include…
    DBT –
    MBSR –
    ACT –
    MBBT –
    10 StEP –

  5. the even newer somatic psychotherapies like…
    SEPT –
    SMPT –

  6. or standard CBTs, like…
    REBT –
    Schematherapy –
    Learned Optimism –
    Standard CBT –

@SzAdmin. Brian, could you delete my short post above? It was meant as an edit to my longer post above it but it’s probably confusing.

I get it 77nick77. My son definitely needs a break from his own head. I try to provide a quiet and low stimulation home for him but there is chaos in his room. He has a lot going on, but mostly in his mind. I never have to worry about him going out because he never leaves home. My son has not left home in nearly a year. Yeah, I know. It’s very unhealthy! He is very scared and mistrustful of people. I understand about guilt. It only seems to compound the problem!

Tell him you ran into the worlds biggest chicken (me!) but I go out all the time and no one has laid a hand on me in 25 years! And no one touched me even when I lived for 5 years in one of the worst neighborhoods in a city of a million.

It sounds like you’ve come a long way 77nick77. We’re in a city of 43,000 and in a great part of town. I hope he gets a hair cut and has a shower before he ventures outside, though. He looks and smells like a hobo so maybe he would be hassled, as he is. All in good time, hey.

I would suggest taking him to the hospital and call a crisis intervention team or officer to talk to him. They might be able to get him to agree to go into hospital. I had the same impression of our state hospital until my son was sent there. He received serious and good care there. It is traumatic the first few times but with time you and hopefully he will realize he needs help. I still try our best to keep him out of hospital but you’ll know when it is time I believe. Hang in there and take care.