Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

When Do You Know Its Time To Have Loved One Committed?


My husband has suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. He was taking Risperdone, but decided to get off due to side effects(weight gain, sexual dysfunction, and it was ‘poison’). He’s verbally offensive (loud, cursing, yelling, says things like ‘kill him’ or ‘you’re dead’), but hasn’t acted out anything and has no plans of acting out yet. He’s also blind so I am his guide and full time caretaker. Going out to places he enjoys like movies or restaurants has become impossible, but he won’t consider getting help, saying ‘I’m ok’. I’ve read a few books including Dr Amador’s, and tried using the techniques, but no success so far. They seem to work better with someone who understands they have an illness and he’s not able to do that. So I’ve read that unless they are going to hurt themselves or someone else, you can’t get them help without their permission. Is his situation one where I need to just wait and see what happens at this point? I feel like I should do something, but it would be against his wishes. At what point do I step in and get him help he doesn’t want? What made you (non-sz) choose to do that-what were the signs? I do appreciate your advice on this.


Our family just went with the legal criteria for our state as any other attempt resulted in additional stress with no treatment.

Some states have different laws that are based on “need for treatment” or “grave disability.”

Since he’s blind, is there a disability services office that can help you get some respite care for him so you can have some time to do other things that need to be done or to rest?


Thanks, I’d forgotten that (State requirements). I checked ours-they have to be a danger to themselves/others. He’s not there yet. But its good to be prepared because if he won’t get help, he will reach that point as he has in the past. For now I’m going to contact VA mental HC to see what they suggest. His psychiatrist whom he hasn’t agreed to visit again will help me. As for free time away, I do get out as he’s ok on his own for a few hours. Thanks for the advice-in times like this, you can forget the obvious.


My son was just commited—against his will-of course!
He was just in the hospital a little over a month ago-let go after 1 week! Now he is back in. He is worse than he has ever been. He needs a few months of recovery.
Please don`t wait.


I didn’t wait until my son was a danger. I did tell the hospital that I thought he would be a danger to himself (whenever he would get off of his meds), and they admitted him… he was in probably 4 or 5 times… the last stint was in May of 2015… he is back on his Invega Sustenna injections, and just recently started the 3 month injection of Invega Trinza. You have to do what is right for you and for him… if you have to tell a white lie you have to. Why wait until he is totally off the deep end and may possibly hurt himself or someone… they will tell you what they know you want to hear.


I agree. Against their will is better than playing a waiting game with a ticking time bomb… it used to bother me and I would cry for days, but now it’s like not a big deal if it means that he will be on his meds and getting back to some sense of normalcy. The longer they are off their meds, the longer it takes them to get back to some semblance of where they were before they got off them. Please do not wait.


I agree with all your replies and appreciate your sharing your stories with me to give me courage. I called the VA Mental Health Clinic on Monday and asked to have them see him in Triage because he was hurting himself (hitting himself, trying to open up old blisters with his fingers-lots of blood; this was early Monday morning when I got up after not seeing him in bed). They suggested taking him to Tripler Army Medical Center emergency instead as they were fully booked and emergency would see him sooner. He was very confused, but seemed to be ok about going so we went. We got taken in quickly after I explained what the situation was. Then things went south-after examining him and seeing how psychotic he was and that he was hurting himself because the voices told him to, they told me they would have him admitted to the psych ward involuntarily, but first they had to have the doctor examine him and then they could have the psychiatrist examine him and he’d have to be the one to have him admitted involuntarily. 5 1/2 hours later , after 3-4 blood tests, 1 cat scan, we were still in emergency and my husband had had it. I had begged them to please admit him already-why were we waiting so long for things to happen and they just kept insisting that we had to wait, the blood tests had to come back, the doctor was busy. Anyway, he insisted on leaving, I informed the nurses that and then and only then did the doctor come and talk to him. Then the doctor (agreeing with the assessment that he should be admitted) said we still had to wait for the psychiatrist. We were able to persuade my husband (after 2 calming shots) to wait, but half hour later he again insisted he was fine and he wanted out, and they had to let him go. He was very very angry with me, screaming at me, but didn’t threaten me with harm. So we’re back to square one again. I’m scared to try it again-because he’s blind and there’s no one to take care of him, I can’t leave him on his own, and if I have him picked up by ambulance or call the police to help (will they?) take him to the hospital again-what if he says he’s fine and there’s no psychiatrist around again (this has happened twice already - not the first time), then I don’t want to be around him if he knows I did it again to him.


Where I live they have a team, two police officers and a social worker, who come to your house and evaluate the person. I have had to make that call 3 times and it is not easy! I have felt hopeless and worried that they wouldn’t take him to the hospital for evaluation but luckily they have every time. The thing with scizophrenics is that they clam up around strangers and won’t say how they are feeling unless they are really bad! They have mostly relied on my information regarding his actions and it makes him extremely angry when he finds out I ratted on him, then I am a traitor! You have to keep moving forward to get him help, not only for him but for your own sanity as well! My husband is 47 and his illness came on 3 years ago. Prior to that he was totally fine. I have a 10 year old son to think about and that helps me make the decision to force help on him. He just came out of the hospital 5 days ago which is his 3 Ed time in. The second time they admitted him he didn’t come home for 5 months. I know it’s hard but you have to get him help. He can’t stay like that and you can’t live like that! God Bless you and I hope you find the help you need!


You’re right about the lack of help that is available to have him committed. You can, however, decide that you need to move out. Where we live there is a PERT team that will come out as suggested above and we’ve found them somewhat helpful. I agree; you can not and should not live like that. Be careful — your assumptions about it not getting dangerous for you are probably not correct.


My son right now is off his meds and left the country to try to get asylum so he could tell another country about how he’s being poisoned and wants to save the world. we tried everything to have him committed unfortunately though he’s not harmful to himself or anyone else. He was still working, eating and sleeping even though he was very delusional and paranoid. His doctors couldn’t even stop him from going, he thinks he’s not sick . We thought for sure that he was going to go into psychosis once he arrived in Denmark however it’s been a week and he’s still hanging in there. Continues to call his wife every day and emails me every other day . We don’t know what we are going to do once he returns home we don’t have any ideas on how to have him committed. It’s so scary because everyone says the longer they are off meds the harder it is to get back to where they were before. We feel so helpless