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Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.
Dr. Schwartz's Weblog

Patient Assessment: Can We Have A Loved One Committed?

Allan N. Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. Updated: Nov 24th 2006

Multiple times during the year, I receive E. Mails from people who feel desperate about the health and well being of a loved one who is either mentally ill or addicted to drugs.

One of the questions they frequently ask is, "can we have her committed for a year or more so that she gets treatment and recovesr?" The answer is complicated, but is mostly "no." The reason for the negative response has to do with civil rights and patient rights. This is something everyone should be aware of regardless of whether they are concerned about their own situation or someone elses.

First, the days when people could be committed to mental institutions for many years are long gone and that is a good thing. In fact, during the 1960's, when antipsychotic medications were developed that were able to reduce or control delusions and hallucinations, people were slowly discharged from the large state mental hospitals where they had languished for many years. They were referred to community programs where they received medication and treatment to help them understand and cope with their illness. Today, most patients with schizophrenia and other chronic mental illnesses are able to remain out of the hospital and live in the community as long as they do not pose a threat to themselves or to anyone else.

Simply put, it is not possible to hospitalize anyone, whether they are abusing drugs, extremely depressed or suffer from a psychotic illness. In addition, no one can be forced to take medications against their will. For example, there have been cases where family members dropped Haloperidol or other antipsychotic medications into the orange juice or coffee of a mentally ill family member who was non-compliant with medications. Over and again, when these cases went to court, the rulings were in favor of the patients and against the family, no matter how well meaning the family was.

Having said that patients have rights, it is important to realize that there are exceptions to the rule about being held in the hospital and given medications against one's will. The exceptions are when patients are examined by psychiatric staff members and are deemed a danger to themselves or others.

So, what can you do if you are a family member and believe that your loved-one is threatening suicide or homicide? In this case it is permissible to call 911, and ask for help. If the police and ambulance staff agree that there is a threat, the patient will be taken to the psychiatric emergency room of the nearest hospital, where they will be further evaluated. In some cases, a patient can be held for 72 hours to further evaluate their mental status and their potential for committing a dangerous act. That 72 hour evaluation period is also used to determine whether the patient has a true psychotic or depressive illness or is reacting to drug abuse. Drug abusers are either referred for drug detox in the hospital or for drug rehab in the community.

The evaluation of patients for suicide or homicide is done through a Mental Status Exam. During this exam, the patient is asked many questions, usually by a psychiatrist or psychologist.

It must be stressed that people will not be held against their will unless a team of nurses, psychologists, and psychiatrists conduct a full evaluation and decide that it is too dangerous to let the patient leave the emergency room. If they are sent to the inpatient unit, they are placed on medications until they stabilize, referred out to services in the community, and discharged if they are not considered to be a threat.

It is also true that if the 911 team does not agree that the person is a threat, they may not take them to the hospital.

Usually, it is best if a person recognizes that they have a problem and report to the hospital emergency room on their own initiative.

Patients will be discharged from the hospital once they are judged by the hospital staff to be stable on their medications, which means they are no longer a threat to themselves or others. They are referred for continued treatment in the community. However, no one can force a patient to continue treatment or medication.

The bottom line is that all patients have rights. The lobbies, rooms and public areas of all hospitals have posters clearly listing patient rights. These posters are in Spanish and even other languages. This protects everyone, including all of you who are reading this web log. These patient rights extend to medical treatment as well as psychiatric treatment.

Please send in your comments and questions about this critically important topic.

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D.

Readers who live in the Boulder, Colorado metro area, or in Southwest Florida may contact Dr. Schwartz for face-to-face consultation. He is also available for psychotherapy through Skype video for those who are not in Florida or Colorado. He can be reached via email at for details.

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

Uneducated Public - - Mar 23rd 2015

This law cost my sister's life.   I just can't figure out why the damned reporters don't know about the law.  Every time something bad happens, they start yapping about why didn't the family do something.  Why didn't they tell their loved to get help?  Why didn't they call the police?  Why didn't they talk to the worthless psychiatrists? Why didn't they help them?  The list goes on.  Guess what?  YOU CANNOT VIOLATE A PERSON'S CIVIL RIGHTS!  Maybe the public just thinks of civil rights as pertaining to race or gender.  Yes, I am bitter. 

What Do You Do When Your Mentally Ill Brother Tells You He's Moving Into Your Home? - Emilie - Mar 4th 2015

My brother James is 57 and was diagnosed with mental illness at least 28 years ago. A big part of that is substance- induced psychotic disorder. He was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He has hallucinations and delusions. Once he swore Michael Jackson was having a concert in our backyard. He started using marijuana, cocaine, hash, valium, crack and probably many other drugs when he was in his 20’s.  He refuses to acknowledge he has schizophrenia, but I have heard him on multiple occasions speak in on voice and the answer back in a completely different voice. It was really scary. He goes days without sleeping then has episodes of paranoid thinking people are trying to kill him. He is an introvert that does not take care of his own personal and grooming including bathing regularly.He is a compulsive hoarder of trash. The mice have eaten their way into his refrigerator. There is no place to walk in his home, it is all trash. My sons and I had cleaned it numerous times, but he just destroys it worse and worse each time. He is actually worse than a hoarder. He is a squalor which is a person who lives in an unsanitary living environment that has arisen from extreme and/or prolonged neglect, and poses substantial health and safety risks to people or animals residing in the affected premises, as well as others. He simply does not care.  He is on social security disability and can financially take care of himself. But he does not budget for any emergencies or home repairs. He spends all his extra money on frivolous items and drugs mainly crack. On July 22, 2014 he overdosed by taking 22 valiums and sent my niece a suicide email at 11:41 pm, which she didn’t get until the next morning. She lives 3 hours away, so she called me.  I called the police in the city where he lives since I was 30 minutes away. The officer arrived and found him alive and very much disoriented. I rushed from work to his mobile home. He seemed to be on heavy medication. I had already begun the process of an OPC, praying this time the doctor would commit him. He has always known exactly how to answer their questions in the past so he was never admitted for treatment before. Well this time he was committed into a facility for 2 weeks, then outpatient treatment afterwards, which he quite going to after a week. He admitted to the staff, me, and my sons that he had been doing crack again.Now he tells me he is moving in with me into our family home in less than a month. All because his new landlord told him he has to pressure wash his mobile home, paint it and cool seal the roof. It will cost him $600.00, but he squanders his extra money on crack, so of course he calls me yelling and demanding that he is moving in. Well I am not going to put my son out on the street for him to move in. I don’t know what to do. He has already admitted to trying to kill me with a butcher knife when he lived here before. I had him evicted in 2010 when I found out he was doing crack. I was not going to lose my children because of him. The city Marshall said since he was only served eviction papers once, those papers are only kept on file 30 days then thrown away. So, I have no record of the eviction. I pray that the Sherriff’s office has records of finding the drugs and the threats he made. I was told both by the City Marshall and the Sheriff department to file a restraining order against him to keep him from return. I am the only one of the remaining 4 children that has paid the taxes and back taxes on the home since my dad passed away in 1989. Plus I have paid $30,000 of home repairs on my own. I own the majority share of the home. But yet my siblings feel they can barge in and take control of me and the house whenever they like. I am 48 years, not 12 years old. My siblings already side with my brother. I don’t get it. He actually told them he almost killed me one night and they still say he has the right to move in. I just don’t know if a restraining order is the answer. I am a peacekeeper, so I am looking at other into options too. One is to putting off buying me a car to buy the paint and cool seal for his mobile home. Me and the boys and possible their dad will go out there and pressure wash his it, paint, and cool seal the roof for free, since he squanders all  his money away on crack. The other option is that I am looking into low income rent places for him. I also found several organizations that will help him because of his disability if he were to become homeless. They offer transitional housing and supportive services program that serves homeless mentally ill.  The 24 month program facilitates movement from homelessness to permanent housing. This way I get to remain feeling safe in the home that I have been working so hard to repair.

Help for Adults with mental illness - families - Donna - Feb 25th 2015

I've had my head in research for years seeking help for an adult daughter who has mental illness. The laws regarding mental illness and mental disability in adults are two entirely different laws it is confusing but once you determine the difference between the mentally ill and mentally disabled that is when one realises that it is bad very bad for families of the mentally ill.  Most people are confused regarding these laws.  Families of mentally ill adults need to come together as a group and start protesting or handing out pamplets to raise awareness about mental illness. One young man walked across the country to raise awareness about mental illness in this country.  He got the attention of local news media and different broadcast stations that grew and he walked to each new town.  Actions like this by people forming groups forming organizations and when enough people come together demanding reform, that is when we will get help. Govenment assistance such as housing and jobs are everywhere and easy to get funding for families of mentally disabled adults. Lucky you. These are walmart greeters and factory workers putting parts in little bags and such with housing and transportation totally funded by government programs. If you have a family member who has mental illness don't get excited because these programs are not for mentaly ill adults. Get your own facts and know the difference! The majority of people confuse the 2 so there will always be someone telling you about a place...don't waste your time chasing these things based on false information out there because i already done that! let my experience spare you this curel cycle. Everytiime you get your hopes up its doomed to come cushing down so may as well know now. Don't follow false leads there is zero hope and zero hellp for the mentally ill. Basicly the government is saying thrash people with mental illness don't feed them or their families turn your back to the inhumane and curelity of it by confusing laws and so called patient rights. How are my 35year old daughters rights being protected? Where are the rights they refer to? The government funds animal shelters & organizations for curely to animals. But my daughter is living in filth starving and sleeping cold on the street! Whar are her rights to cleanlesness and personal hygene like the animal rights given to strays? What is wrong with this? They cannot stand up for their rights we have to be their voice. The laws do not protect their rights it strips them of their rights. What about the rights of the elderly patients in nursings homes locked in because some wonder off and could freeze, is the law protecting their right to freeze if they want to go out into the snow naked, isn't that their right? Anyone getting the picture? Adults with mental illness are all the homeless sleeping under bridges or whereever they eventually end up becaue they get tossed out like yesterdays garbage and don't know how to go get food don't know how to get their check when family members are forced to put them out for their own safety they get lost and alone their disability check stops and they don't know why the money is not on their card and has no clue how to get it on. Did you know there are rights for prisoners to a bath food and a bed. This treatment of the mentally ill adults and their families nationwide is so cruel you wouldnt treat an animal like that is inhumane and punishible by law due to animal rights for dogs, cats, horses, racoons....Again I ask where are rights for mom, dad, son, daughter, sister, brother do not get picked up off the streets taken to be fed and clean and daughter is still out there without hope

No help for the victims or mentally ill - - Feb 22nd 2015

My father is bipolar he manipulates and abuses my mother mentally and physically. My father has threatened to kill my mother multiple times.  His psychiatrist tells my mother to just do her best to avoid confrontation with him. Reall???? That's all he can do to help? She has called the cops and has called many hospitals, when he has gotten violent, but only to be released hours after. I fear for my mothers life. Will it take her life for my dad to get the treatment needs?

no help for those who need it - kate - Feb 19th 2015

My mother is an alcoholic with some major mental issues. She has the wonderful ability to manipulate any hospital facility she is taken to for help. My family and I have tried everything for her and yet nothing has helped. I do love how one blogger on here mentioned that if you just sit down with the person and act like you care, maybe they'll want to be better. What a load of b.s.! I have cared for my mother during her darkest hours and I have loved her even after she has abused me mentally and physically. I was a mother to my little sister at age 10 while taking care of a drunk. It is so sad that the true victims, I mean the people who really care about those who are afflicted cannot get the help they need or even deserve. It is a cruel world and it's sad to know that even at a young tender age I new it to be true. A patient may have rights, but what about those who suffer at the hand of the afflicted. There is a balance to everything.

Homeless drug addicted son ( meth) schizo, NO HELP - Livinginhell - Feb 17th 2015

A long story.  We have been dealing with this drug abuse since he was 15.  He is now 23.  Two years ago he had his first mental breakdown and was diagnosed with Schizo.  This took a couple of months in and out of the ER on 51/50 admits.  I have two younger children who have witnessed more than they should have.   He finally recovered with medications and supervision.  As soon as he was well, he went back to drugs.  He has been in jail, and this past year was homeless do to his Meth addiction.  He refuses treatment, and now he has relapsed and schizo.  He was just arrested again, and I'm going to try and get him committed to a mental hospital instead of jail.  I COMPLETLY disagree with the current laws.  We as parents, or family members are VICTIMS, and WE ARE THE MOST INFORMED.  It is not difficult to know when a TRULY mentally unstable person needs help. THE LAWS MUST BE CHANGED.  

Not Care? - - Feb 11th 2015

In my experience, the people who claim their family doesn't care about their mental health are the ones who need to be evaluated - for the safety of the loved one and the people associating with them.  As a life-long sufferer of mental health issues AND as a family member, I am grateful that there are last-ditch effort solutions in the legal system.  It is totally unfair to make claims that your parents or siblings or friends aren't thinking of your best interest.  They are always a better judge of the reality vs the perception.

THE LAW EXISTS FOR A REASON - Wesley - Jan 4th 2015

I am truly sorry about what happened to your son...and I even agree with you that the mental health system is corrupt and incompetent for allowing this to happen.  You should thank a lot of the people out there who refuse to have a deeper understanding of mental health issues for the existence of these laws.  If these laws did not exist then people like my parents could just have me committed and ruin my life because I decided to see a different doctor then the one they force me to go to who could care less about me.  I even have to make sure I am functional on my own (I just finished law school and the bar so I haven't been working) for a while and hire another doctor to work on my issues with me to be certain that my parents won't be able to find an excuse to commit me because they will lie and make things up all day to get their way.  If this was 1960 then I would be completely out of luck and they could easily have me committed because they have the doctors convinced that they never acted inappropriately towards me and I just freak out on them for no reason.  Again I'm sorry about your son but the rights of the mentally ill have been abused for thousands of years and enough is enough.  These laws have to exist for the sake of human dignity I am now feeling much better since I took myself off depakote finally but I still can't sleep because I am afraid of going back to the mental hospital.  My only comfort is that I have rights and I live in a free country where everyone gets treated with dignity, even us freaks who are such a danger to the lives of all you normal people and who don't really belong in the community.  If you dislike this post then too bad I am one of the few of this group who is high functioning enough to be a voice for the ones who are the most voiceless in this entire situation: the mental health patients themselves.  Forgive my frustration but a lifetime of hearing people's complete lack of caring about these issues has pushed me to the point of not caring about you in the same manner that you don't care about me.  Honestly some of these people in your life that you just want to throw into a psych ward or put on meds might just need for you to sit down and have a talk with them and show them that you care about their perspective.  I know I would be doing a lot better in my life if my family ever did that for me but like some of you its easier for them to just not care.

not always such a good law - - Dec 20th 2014

i will try to make this short but it is not true that 911 can help as my son\\\'s situation can prove this.My son all a sudden was not in his right mind at all for 3 days thinking people were after him everyone was out to get him he saw things and heard things and this came out of the blue  and he said he had to walk in the light and was barefooted in the heat of the summer with blisters all over his feet and refused help when we called the mental health sheriffs out to talk to him so they said we have a law if he says he is not suicidal or homicidal we cannot help. So it got worse and  i had to call them again as it got worse then he went and overdosed on 4 bottles of pills so when his wife and I found him doing this we called 911 and the police and EMT\\\'S came and asked him if he was suicidal he said no so they said if they took him they would get kidnap charges on them so they said call us when he is unconsious!! Then if even got worse he took off in front of the freeway and said he needed people to see him with cars swerving and such we got him out then the police came asked him again is he suicidal he said no they left we said sir he will be dead before the nights up we have asked you aall for help so many times took him to a mental hospital they said we dotn have a bed and besides if he says hes not suicidal we caant help you so then they left and i called my other son to try to make sense with him to go get help which he wasnt going to say he was suicidal so we had no clue  where to take him as he ran away the day before  from a mental hospital they said he could leave in his own but yet he thought they were going to take him to a dungion and kill him and they wouldnt even listen to us then he jumped off of a 25 foot bridge and is now paralized and many other issues 7 surgeries later since august 5th 2014. this is what that law can do is kill people!! sorry but its the truth and when they were called by us about 6 times and saw him vomiting from overdosing when is common sense used??....since when do they not listen to others and look at each situation differently because of them not hearing us he nearly lost his life because of this law!!

IT REALLY GOES BOTH WAYS - Wesley - Dec 6th 2014

It appears a lot of people here don't understand or appreciate the perspective of someone who is mentally do realize that they can't help it sometimes right?  Anyway my parents are crazy about making me take meds and won't let me change my meds to a lesser dose or take something different because I had one trip to the hospital from a severe bipolar episode.  THESE MEDS MESS ME UP, I can't wake up in the morning or sleep, I can't maintain energy, my social skills are even worse than normal, I gained like 25 pounds.  And what's going to happen when I tell my parents that I took matters into my own hands and flushed this poison down the toilet??  They will then try to commit me again...THANK GOD FOR PATIENT RIGHTS!!  If someone is really being dangerous or can't take care of themselves they should be committed, but all these comments showing people's complete lack of giving a damn about mental illness makes me sick.  We are not just some group of freaks that you should give some medication too to make it all magically go away, alot of you should be ashamed of yourselves.

denial of a problem and blame by those with chronic alcohol and drug abuse - someone who has been thru it - Oct 25th 2014

I wanted to repond to Cheryls post about losing her mother by trying to help her and force her to face her addictions. Yes it is normal for them to blame you. My mom was an addict most of my life and she is now in and out of hospitals for various reasons and we have to place her in some time of skilled living or nursing care. Problem is she is not physically sick just mentally. She has alcohol induced dementia and does not remember drinking in the past at all. She thinks everyone is out to get her and that we dont care when really we are just trying to be sure she is safe. Its very sad and emotionally draining. I lost my mom when I was probably 10 to booze and now she is 72 but acts 92 and is losing her mind. The hospitals ideas of helping her is to medicate her. I think that is not the best answer but what can I do about it? The meds seem to make her worse. So sad that there is no real place to send people unless you have alot of money. They just medicate people without any kind of real mental rehabilitaion efforts. Makes me want to get into social work to see if I can make a difference.

had my mom sent to a mental facility - Charlene - Oct 6th 2014

Hi there

I am Charlene and im 26 Years old, my entire 20's life has consisted of my mom taking prescription drugs to the point that she hallucinates, her stomach started bleeding she is a danger to herself and everyone around her. I finally made the choice last week to have her admitted, unfortunately to a gevernment facility as the previous upper class facility's didnt help her.  they have decided to send her to a facility called "weskoppies" and she is now telling me that I have destroyed her and that there is nothing wrong with her. She has ruined lives with her addiction and wont admit that she has a problem she makes up sicknesses such as bipolar to validate her behaviour. i know in my heart i made the rite decision but I feel that i have lost my mom for it :-( Does anyone know if this is a normal reaction - maybe a silly question but i just need some validation from someone who has been through this.

Help - - Sep 27th 2014


Living in hell - - Sep 12th 2014

I live in Los Angeles, and have a mother who has schizophrenia who is currently living with my family this including my young children and nieces. My mom did not raise me and my sisters and now that she is ill with this disorder and other illnesses she has no where to go so she came to us but she is very abusive mentaly, verbaly and at times even physically, she is always screaming lashing out bad words in front of the kids talking about killing and threats it ridicualious my kids are afraid to even go out into the livingroom somtimes my daughter wont even shower at night cause she gets scared of her grandma, she rather wake up extra early and shower when her grandma is asleep. There are times i just want to pick up and go away but this is not a choice i have other times God forgive me but rather have her pass on and be at peace with herself and give us peace. Its sad to feel this way about my own mother but i lived in hell with her at a young age, i dont want my kids to live in hell like i did. :(



Put down like a Dog! - Jo Hayati - Aug 18th 2014

My husbands family,suffers with mental illness. His own mother had very violent abusive tendencies toward him. She is always harrassing us. If she doesnt get her way she will go to other family members and try to get them mad at us. Her nephew refused mental health treatments in [name and county information removed by editor]. He was shot by police. My motherinlaw continues her behavior and nothing is done about it. So your article is only right half of the time.


Frustrated - Racquel - Aug 17th 2014

My son just took a shower with his clothes on. I let him stay with me last night. He was living at a motel but does not want to stay there anymore because the spirits or something is trying to kill him. I  am driving him back to LA today to look for another room. Now I have to wait for him and his clothes to dry. He does not want me to put his clothes in the dryer. He is psychotic and has been commiteed but released after a few days. After reading everyones post I see there is not much help out there. I just pray he does not get killed by police or anyone else.

Prayers to us all.  

What about Victim Rights? - Kiki - Aug 13th 2014

My brother is obviously mentally ill, but he's never been in treatment long enough for a formal diagnosis or medication (prelims suggest shizophrenia, agorophobia among other things). He was in the hospital on suicide watch, but now we are sure that he was making it up (not making light of suicide, it's just he pretty much admitted it). He stalks our mom, verbally abuses her and it has ecalated to domestic abuse. He's been in jail 4 times since the first incident. He can keep his act together in jail and in front of the judge, so no one really realizes just exactly how terrifying he is. And domestic abuse cases are a freaking joke around here anyway. So if patients have rights, what about the rights of the people who end up their victims? My mom is a prisoner in her own home and she is terrified. They keep telling us that there is nothing they can do, but Montana Laws clearly state that there are exceptions for those who cannot care for themselves or are a threat to themselves or others, which my brother is all three. What is it going to take for people to realize that untreated mentally ill people can be dangerous? What about those they victimize?

so right - Charlesc - Aug 9th 2014

I know a guy with bipolar disorder and and he was arrested by the police over the past 4 months for misdemeanor offenses to felony charges. Been in jail for 12 days now and looks like he may be convicted. He was not off meds, so really had no excuse for committing crimes. And the police and judge realized this. But anyhow, I realize what you are saying is true. Even rights to go to prison. 


From what I can see here you all are the ones crazy. All of you are off your rockers. The one post about the kid who's cutting his wrists, HAVE YOU CONSIDERED HIS SIDE OF THE STORY????????????

Maybe, maybe he doesn't have a reason for doing it. But seeing that he left notes behind ,you gotta look at his reasons. Was it your fault? Did his parents make him this way? Why are you not considering this? I find it very difficult to reason with simple minded people who don't understand a teen's perspective. Especially now, when you're around 16, at least for me and at least a dozen others who I know personally, they're all recieving a bunch of pressure from parents who urge them to get better grades, that a A- is a fail, etc. Not just the asian ones, others too as in whites as well. Do not think this is just a problem for your child. I am a 16 year old in serious need of help. For whom? My parents. They've consistently gone off the deep end more than once and are now committed to sending me there next. But where's the justice in this? Where are the angels who will protect me from this corrupt system? Where? Yes! You got it! They're not F*CKING THERE!!!

Us too - SB - Jul 29th 2014

I've been going through similar as well. For a variety of reasons my oldest son (25), youngest (18) and I live in the same house. I saw my oldest deteriorating (again) over the past few years, but in the last few months its been the worst. He drinks regularly and always in excess, hits my parrot with a vacuum cleaner pipe whenever it makes any kind of noise, yells at anyone if he's not getting what he wants, and has charged at me several times. This last incident was the most backwards - he charged at me, his younger brother hit him to protect me, he got his gun and was ready to shoot his brother. I'd been living in fear for a while now so I'd happened to have my gun in the small of my back, so I pulled mine on him to force him to put his down.

He called the police first, and when they did the report they actually named my youngest son the aggressor, since he hit first and left a visible mark on my oldest. Since my oldest chose to press charges, its now my youngest that they are looking for. Doesn't seem to count all those previous times neighbors have called police before because of him screaming at us and threatening, and as much as I've begged him to get help he refuses to acknowledge he has a problem and its always someone else's fault - the whole "you didn't do [this] so why shouldn't I be mad?" routine.

He was diagnosed at a young age with ADHD, ODD, and depression, and the alcohol is just making it worse. Believe me, if there was any way to commit him and force him to get help I would have found it by now :(


what can we do - kaye - Jul 27th 2014

My name is Kaye, I have a 27 year old daughter who has had two addmissions to hospital with drug induced psycosis and now has a mental illness, we have been living a nightmare for 4 years now. She is not taking medication at the moment as when discharche from hospital 20 months ago she took medication for 12months (mood staberlizers) Angie has not been on medication for eight months now, and since march this year has been detiroating with episofdes of paranoid thinking people are poizening her , violent outburst,  spending sprees, she has recently been bashed ,she is very abusive verbaly to people,  she is emotionaly around 13 years of age in a adult body , she outsmarts the mental health team we are at our wits end , I am worried for her safty as she is very vunerable , 

doomed - - Jul 26th 2014

 there isn't really any hope here for the loved ones of mentally ill adults, is there? I think these people are just firecrackers ready to shoot off.  You would think the system would help us to avoid more violence.  

Please Help!! Regard Mentally Ill Brother!!!!! - - Jul 20th 2014

I am wriiting this on behalf of my 82 years old mom, which she is weak and very fragile and can not help my mental ill brother. He has stopped his medications for a week now and living back home without my mother approval. He is worst, he shouts in our neighborhood and there is kids and babies that are fear of him. My brother is 56 years and dealing with this for many years. He is making me, my working sister and my mom a living hell. He does not listen to life rules and also bothers us for money and waking us up in wee hours in the night.  He does not go back to the boarding home..and now he thinks his owns my mother house.  He is losing his mind and me , my aging mom and working sis are fear of ourlives.

How can we put him in jail or a mental hospital For a long term care? We have no help and We are fear that he would harm my mom or the home we live in.  He was in  the hospital back In May, but released him to soon. This problem is a ongoing issues in our daily lives and have no peace. We tried everything and need help ..Please help us...We would be very grateful..Thanks for listening....



SCHIZOPHRENICS - - Jul 19th 2014


Mental health treatment or lack of - - Jul 15th 2014

We have a mentally ill 33 year old male in our family and we have been trying to get help for him for over three years now with no results up to this point. Lately he's been burning his clothes outside his home and afterwards  he takes the soot and rubs it all over his body, then he goes in the house grabbs the  Pillow my other love one had her head on and rubbed soot all over it for reasons unknown to anyone. Keep in mind this person has three children in the same house with him and his wife. He goes thru the trash can and pulls carbage out of it and sticks the garbage down in his pants and according to him that is completely normal. Now you said there's no way really people can be committed anymore, well my thoughts on that are if we would go back to some of the older ways of treating these people then maybe there wouldn't be so many of these wackos killing so many innocent people in our country. Get back to basics Please before we loose more people who otherwise wouldn't have to die.

Not Mentally Ill - - Jul 11th 2014

This article was very informative.  I received the answer to my question. Some do lie and say a person have a mental problem when they don't so this is good , but I have seen some doctors lie too.

Advice - martha Cotton - Jun 27th 2014

If you or someone else feels that you are in danger try getting a Protection from Abuse or a restraining order on him! 

I need advice can anything be done? - Jennifer - Jun 21st 2014

My boyfriends brother had his 3rd suicide attempt. It was the most awful thing. The first time he slit his wrists, the hospital kept him a week. This time happened about a week ago, he left 2 suicide notes, slit his wrists and when that didn't work fast enough he chopped his hand off with a saw. The hospital is now saying since he voluntarily agreed to enter the program, he will be released right after. He is a danger to himself and others, is there nothing that can be done, he needs severe help!

Bf Mom is a 58 yr old addict - Concerned Girlfriend - Jun 20th 2014

My boyfriends mom is addicted to her pain meds & her benzos!! its sad to see her as they say messed up or high on her meds!! Ive told my bf she needs rehab & he agrees but will not take action....i let her watch my 5 yr old one day & she was fine when we left then after we left she took to much of her meds & my poor son found her on the floor & that was scary for me cause anything couldve happened to my son in that time & now i dont let herkeep my son alone ever!! I want my bf to step up& do something bout it... we have tried talking to her my bf has even kept her pills so he to give them to her the way shes supposed to take the nothing is working we r out of do we go bout gettig her help or my bf help to help her?? Please thank u a very concerned girlfriend

worried 4my mum - amanda - Jun 7th 2014

Sis is a whizz ed(sometimes KET) she goes round mums an starts gettin aggresive, i live work 200 miles away im so worried she might hurt me mum. Police jus laugh at my sister!!! :-(((

how many people attempt to medicate and commit other individuals out of their own insecurities? - - May 30th 2014

how many instances of major identity theft result in attempted committments of perfectly sane and intelligent individuals, statistically speaking.

we NEED a mental hygiene LEGAL SYSTEM - - May 15th 2014

omg..reading through the comments it IS obvious that this country MUST get unification of the COURTS and the psych system.  The COURTS ALREADY ARE UNIFIED WITH THE INVOLUNTARIES and MUST REMAIN UNIFIED AND WITH THEIR OWN LEGAL SYSTEM AND LAWYERS.

then when ther are problems with early discharges and even no admitting being done, one can CALL IT IN and get a lawyer on the case WHO KNOWS THE LAW and can handle this crap.--HAVE LIVED THROUGH THIS FOR 20 YEARS NOW--instability,impending CRISIS,hospital holds then discharges like a revolving door--police get pissed off BELIEVING WE GET HIM RELEASED--on and on--and let the STATES FUND the lawyers  the same as LEGAL AID based on disability/SSI SSD recips.

mygawd IT'S A NATIONAL DISGRACE esp when  drug abusers and alkies get TOP FUNDING FOR SELF INFLICTED disorders as mental illness WAS NOT THEIR CHOICE.

this legal system will also apply to those cleared but being HELD for whatever BS reasons the social worker will tell you-there ARE LAWS already in place,and we are not EQUIPPED or licensed to fight --a lawyer IS.

NYC has their mental hygiene legal system and the rest of the nation MUST FOLLOW THEM.

not much you can do until it is to late - rich - Mar 13th 2014

 was they finally got her deemed incompetent. at her last stay in the hospital do to her mental state do to alcohal abuse and other conditions do to alcohal (Liver, alcohal dementia ) .. which  means she can not go through a alcohol abuse treatment because she deemed incompatenat and will not retain any treatment wtf .. If you have medical power of attorney do not sing them out of the hopital since you will be responcible  for anything that may happen .. force the hospital and social worker to figure it out for themselfs since they are responsible for there release  .. the hospital and social worker will push hard for you to release her do not (NJ division of aging which helped me in this matter on what to do) .. make them do what they should do and it will get done.. I had to go this route and it is not fun but that is how it works .. she is now in a long term care faciality and will lose all her assets .. My wife and I lose part of our life do to the time and effort we put in trying our best to help her..but she is in a safe place 

Seitz wife - bob - Mar 10th 2014

My wife is being made worse by the hospital thats treating her. She became violent after a dose of geogon. Wtf am I to do?

Feeling helpless - Jay - Mar 6th 2014

I have read just about all the comments here and my heart breaks for all. My 34 year old nephew needs mental help but we cannot get any. This is truly destorying our family him in and I out of jail and mental hospitals only to be release in 48 hrs to go back to doing the same thing in a few days. We will always love and care for him but we just cannot get him better.

my daughter is out of control - kelly mcgarrity - Jan 25th 2014

my 33yr old daughter has been admitted to the hospital 12 times in 2yrs.  she is a dieabetic/meth user.  i cannot get help for her. i have talked to drs. and mental health too.  they say unless she threatens to kill herself in front of an police officer, it is pretty much all one can do, unless she commits herself.   4  days ago she was admitted to the icu.  why cannot i get some help for her. also, i have found a rehab. for her. but they will only take her is she is a willing patient.  now  i am on medication because she has worn me out. what can i do as a parent, who wants help?

I live in PA where can I get low cost mental help for my sister? - Emily - Nov 17th 2013

My sister is talking to God and the angels and  I need to find her help in the Pittsburgh, PA area.

help - irma hancock - Oct 17th 2013

I need to know the step by steps. My family member has been diagnosed with slight retardation , and has epilepsy. She is a full blown crack addict and continually has hit and abused my elderly parents. not to mention the fact that my kids are also witness to her outbursts. she also has fallen and hit her head so many times the doctor says next time she will lose her eye sight and possibly her life. she walks the streets all hrs and has had seizures in the street and almost hit by busean on coming vehicles . what can I do ???

Fed Up With The Court System - rhonda glasgow - Oct 10th 2013

For anyone reading this message please give me your comment's.I have a severly brain injured son since 2005 age 23 then, now 31 for the past eight years I've been dealing with the court system for numerous reasons .because Dmv deemed him well enough to obtain a limited driving privilage. On grounds of being able to perform driving task. Not once on being assesed for the ability to defy right from wrong and understanding consequences when disobeying the law. Now two DUI charges and an open container charge he is locked up. Why couldn't they listen to the doctors and me his mother,saying that he is not mentally able or responsible for these actions. he needs treatment not jail or prison,for he don't know what he's done wrong. Where can I get these answers and quickly !!!! I need help.Thank You

Whose rights should be protected - - Oct 1st 2013

I. Understand  about patient s rights but what about my familys rights with a niece thatt threatens homicide?? 

suicidal/drug addicted - vickie - Sep 27th 2013

I live in British Columbia Canada and a few years back I was dealing with my 24 year old son who I had found with arms slashed in his room,he had been isolating for some time and was deep in his addiction from alcohol and crystal meth,he spiralled down hill very quickly when the mother of his kids dumped him and moved another man in.He was not able to accept it and was completely obsessed with getting her back and making the guy pay.He followed them constantly and harrased the boyfriend making threats.I could see over time that his behaviours were getting progresssively worse as his obsession towards the situation and his inability to accept the loss of his family were apparent.He indicated that he just wanted to die I tried 12 step meetings,counselling ect then i found him a second time in his room with arms slashed and his girlfriend was calling to ask that i keep him away because she was scared.I took him again to the emergency room and begged again that he be put into the pysch unit he was assessed by a female pyschiatrist and she said he was free to go and that she could not admit him because he told her he was fine.My son was in complete denial which is common with addiction and extremely unstable and violent both towards himself and others not able to make any rational decision I was living with him and was a witness to his declining emotional and mental state.I begged them not to realease him and told them something would happen either to him or someone else if they did, the progression of hs disease was such that he was spiralling out of control.,still refused and he was released.That night my son went out and got completely and utterly obliterated on a mixture of alcohol and crystal meth he proceeded at 2am to walk towards ex girlfiends home went into the garage where the boyfriends car was parked and set it on fire the whole garage went up in flames and narrowly missed setting the whole house on fire if it hadnt been for a neighbour who happened to be up and went over to wake up the 6 people who lived there including his 2 small children they would all be dead and he would have been in jail for life as it was he got 4 years for arson and the necessary treatment,counselling and psychiatric treatment i was begging for from the start.This was a trained professional and she refused to listen to me and instead chose to go with a half crazed completely insane person who had cut marks up and down his wrists.Vickie frustrated mom


Brain injured = fall between the cracks - Laure - May 19th 2013
My adult son had major TBI 8 years ago. He is spiraling into hopeless \\

Reply to Ethan - - May 8th 2013

I just read a reply to your post about families loving their mentally ill relatives.  This post was made in December 2012 by a mother in Tennessee.  It was spooky because I live in Tennessee and her circumstances with her son are identical to mine, including having strokes to right side, having to sign myself out of the hospital the night I had my stroke to find my son to keep him from committing suidcide and having five leakages (open heart surgery).  I too am in my sixities and my son is now 36, but was 35 in 2012.  It bothers me that someone else is in the exact same position as me.  It is ludicrous that you would think we don't love our sons.  It is horrible that society has decided that families must bear this burden alone and die before the mentally ill get help.  Tennessee's answer is jail for mentally ill people even when they have not committed any crimes.  Bradley County refuses mentally ill prisoners to get medicine and there has been three to four patients tazed to death within the past five years.

I worked all of my life and have spent all of my money to try to get him help, to no avail.  I am broke, living on my ss check less than $1000.00 a month and still can't get help.  I know the answer (we want him dead and you too).  Now who is mentally ill?  Live like this for sixteen years and see how you handle ths stress.  Lose your own family, your pride, your friends, and have nowhere to turn to (or place your son out on the streets and most likely in jail or his grave). Tough choice and one I couldn't do so now I'm going to die and he will end up there anyway.  Two lifes for the price of one.  Thanks for all your encouraging words Ethan.  You don't know what your talking about because you haven't had to give up your life for the sake of your mentally ill family member and you haven't faced an early death because you did.

Mother who still loves her son, but wants help for him and herself.  I want my house back, my car, my good credit and most of all my health.  But I would be satisfied for him to have a safe place to put his head, give him what he needs and know that someone cares.

Mental illness& Drug abuse brother - Leslie Mendoza - May 1st 2013

I Need help for my 22 year old brother, he has schizophrenia and he is a drug abuser. when he was in elementary he was the smartest kid ever he would compete in tv etc. when he got to high school he dropped out and everything started when he started believing in ghosts & started playing the weggie board. after that my mother & i have had alot of trouble with him. he threatns my mother, he gets violent often but thank god he has not touched any of my family members. he dosent care about his hygiene. and today he killed a kitty. my mom is getting old and tired but we cant do anything about him. He has been in jail several times. i know he can still have the chance to get better. i am his 17 year old sister and i am trying to get a good education and have a future but i cant live this way anymore. me and my mother are going to end up tramautized! please help!

bipolar alcoholic homeless in out of jail hes whole life medical problems - SISTER - Apr 25th 2013


Desperate - Terri Johnston - Apr 14th 2013

Well after reading this article that addicts have rights and my 24 year old son left his great job making good money to do crack and not get in touch with his family, don't say I didn't ask why can't I get help for him!!!

system fail - adam - Mar 28th 2013

i dont agree with you at all.I dont believe that someone  diagnosed schizophrenic level 4...has patient rights...for one there not in the right state of mind!my family member tried to kill himself two weeks front of me....he stabed himself 3 times in his chest i called 911..they came an got him...they released him today sayin hes not a threat..after he punched the doctor an bit his arm...we argued that his a danger to himself an others...they didnt see the same...i think that is total bullshit!! what would of happen if he stabed me...they would of kept him then!they need something dramatic to happen which i dont agree with al ALL! He tried to kill HIMSELF thats dramatic!They even new he doesnt want to take his pills...its sad to say that the mental health doesnt want to deal or know how to deal with someone at that level 4 stage...well i got news get a NEW JOB! cousin jessie is home now an were doing all we can to help...thanks system for failing.

Can angry relatives have a family member committed. - Dawn - Mar 27th 2013

A few months ago I had a few sessions with a therapist for grief counseling two of my pets were euthanized in the local animal shelter. During our sessions we discussed my Mother's controlling engulfing behavior that has either severely damaged or destroyed my other personal relationships, the therapist told me that she suspected my mother has Narcissistic personality traits. The family members that have allegiance towards her say that I am the Narcissist, and they will have me committed if I don't shut up, move in with her and give her all of my money.

Paula Gonzalez please email me - Cassandra - Mar 7th 2013

Hello Paula, I too have a son with OCD and Aspergers, he is 18 and recently started having very violent thought and assaulted me. I have been going through so much with my son in the last couple of months and have learned a great deal of good and bad information that may help you with your son and current situation. I cannot find your email anywhere within your posted comment to email you. 

Hospitalization helped me - Anne - Feb 23rd 2013

I was committed for three days against  my will after a suicide attempt. The hospital was great, staff was caring and I benefited from their help. Bipolar, borderline personality.

I need help with my Asperger's son. - Paula Gonzalez - Feb 14th 2013

My son is 25 years old, he was diagnosed with severe OCD when he was 14 years old and he spent 3 months in the pshyc ward because of that.  A year later he was diagnosed with Aspergers.  Currently he lives with me and his dad, and as he becomes older he is getting  more difficult to deal with. 

Because of his Aspergers he does not understand everyday social cues, body motions, facial expressions, body noises such as sighs etc.  Everything I do causes him great agitation to the point that he is starting to become very violent with me.  He forces me to apologize to him for sighing, or for blinking my eyes, or making any type of noise he suddenly decides is making him confused sad and offending him.   The big problem is that I am his social security payee, and I do not want to be!!!!  But he refuses to see a doctor because 3 years ago an ER doctor told him that his meds will eventually make his organs go bad, so he hasn't taken his meds in 3 years and has not seen his doctor since then either.  Since he has survived for 3 years off meds he has convinced himself he is no longer ill.  But he is very ill because he is threatening me and his father.  We are all terrified of him and I am thinking of going to live in a womens shelter.  He tries to go to the pshyc ER and they turn him away because they tell him that we can deal with him. 

We are afraid of him.  Everyday is a fight to live and I don't know if I will say something, or sigh, or cough at the wrong moment and suddenly get my head bashed in.  I am afraid, very afraid.  I do not know what to do because I know about the patients rights and that essentially the patient has to commit an atrocity before something can be done.  Bottom line, I have to die for him to get help.  Aside from making me and my family disappear and by doing this leave my home and all my belongings and try to build a life somewhere that he cannot find us, and thereby abandon him as well.  I don't know what to do.  I am 48 years old.  I got my son the help he needed when he was 14.  I got him on social security disability at a young age just to ensure he could financilly take care of himself.  Last year I taught him to drive.  I encourage him and support him in anything he wants to do.  But now after all these years it has turned into a battle of survival.  Please give me some kind of advice via my email.  Is it possible he can be made a ward of the state because of his Aspergers?  I feel I am running out of time.  I have no money as I have been unemployed for over 3 years.  Any advice please!!!!!

Bother Dying In Mental Hospital-Feeling Helpless - Joy - Jan 16th 2013

I have read many of your stories on this forum regarding "mentally ill" relatives, brothers, sisters, children and how you have issues with the legal system and many cannot get proper treatment or care for loved ones. Well...let me please share the other side of the story. First, I have a beloved brother (older) who has been in the State Mental hospitals for over 30 years. He has schizorphrenia. I have been "unsuccesful" in getting him a release. He is "non-violent" but has had fights off and on over the years with other patients. So, year after year, my brother sits in this hospital whitteling away...I feel so hopeless and it breaks my heart to see him living his entire life not just with a sickness, but "locked up". The hospital doctors use him a their "guinne pig" and keep him totally looped. Most of the time his hands are shaking from the meds. He cannot even talk at times. He is now a diabetic and is dying of liver/kidney failure due to all the horrible medications. They won't take him to an "outside" hospital for treatment. I am trying to look into obtaining assistance to see if I can have him moved. The state totally controlls his life-his care-everything! I feel totally helpless to see my bother like this...So, that's the other side of reality people. It's no better. I wish it were for all of us who feel the pain of loved ones suffering in these conditions. God Bless.

What we consume ? - - Jan 15th 2013

Well I have read a lot on this blog and it's sad. I too have a daughter that has a mental disorder. now she's 24 and I'm raising her two children they don't really know her. when she was about 6 yrs old she told me that she saw a ball of fire, while playing out side I blew it off thinking she had a normal imagination and was having fun being a kid... well it was the begining of a hell of a ride as she mentally tortmented me with her crys of the things she was going through seeing and hearing voices :( that wasn't really there, and her nightterriors were some of the most bazarr and very sick to say at the least. I took her to the Dr: and she took meds for a while. It truley brokes my heart to see my sweet baby so sick and nothing I can do... except pick up the pieces and take her slack and stand in the empty gap. to momma her two children and nothing to do except keep my chin up and as a believer in God above continue praying for his strength and guidness. I  still try to run her down by calling her to from time to time to check on her and to try to find out where she is mentally and some days I can hear a glimps of my sweet heart over the phone and sometimes I don't know who that person is and sometimes she doesn't answer so I leave a message and hope she won't wait weeks to return my call. The hatred she has for me for no reason stems from the sickness that consumes her. I never hold it against her. As a mothers love I wish I could do more to help her. But there's nothing we can do once they reach adult age.I'm currentally learning about the foods we are eatting... think about it years ago when people had these kinds of sickness and diseases. it was very few not like today. So it makes me wonder if most all this stems from the  Generally  Modified Foods that are on every shelf of every store. The Additives, The  high fructose corn syrup,preservatives,heavy metals and the list goes on and on and on... I think that some of us are so sensative to all this processing of our food and beverage source that it may causes some of these nightmares .. so all I can say is To do your very best to provide for your love ones and your selves. eat only foods that are organic that are locally grown at a farmers market. eat no refined sugars, try to only drink out of glass, and eat NO processed  foods at all. and believe me it will be one of the hardest goals but I believe it can help. also take a daily organic muti vitamin, use organic soaps for your clothes detergent and for your body. go all green if you can.I wished I had done all these things for my daughter back then. but I did'nt know better... so for all the kids I have now I'm tring to do the same. So blessings and positive thoughts I send to all of you :) 

Concerned father - John - Jan 15th 2013

My son (who is 19), during the past 4 days has become a different person. He exibits all of the charateristics of a schizophrenic. He won't drink water because he believes the government has put LSD in the water. Today he told us he is an angel from god and that he has been invited to play with Blink 181 at a non existent concert. He rambles and makes no sense, Obviously there is a problem.

We have tried to persuade him to go to the hospital but he refuses, Trying to use any kind of logic with someone who is delustional just doesn't work (at least not so far).

We have been told that if he is a harm to himself or others he can be involuntarily admitted to hospital. So far he has not exibited those behaviours. But, we are scared to let him out of the house in his current state who knows what would happen to him.

This has been an emotional heart ache for his mother and I. We are at our wits end. We want to help him but because he thinks there is nothing wrong, it has been next to impossible.

How can we get the help he needs even if he is not threating to hurt himself or others but is seriously mentally ill?

Any help or ideas would be gratefully received.


WOW - Chris - Jan 7th 2013

Great so once again nothing can be done if a hospital deems the patient safe?  I guess they don't have to live next door to a drug addict who keeps falling asleep with lit ciggerettes and has already got the complex on fire once before.  But I guess one of has to die before this person is reconized as a danger to herself and others?

35 year old son - - Dec 24th 2012

I am scared to death as my son seems to be bipolar or other mental illness and he will not take any medication as he took medication for ADDH through his younger years and says he had it with medication it only makes him worse. I have read the other comments and take comfort that I am not alone! My prayers are with you all as I hope yours are with me!

Living with Two Schizophrenics- What to do - Dennis - Dec 11th 2012

Please read this and hear me out. I really need some help. Im surprised to have read so many similiar situations that I currently face at home. As of now my older sister 29 has become a meth addict and she has this paranoia where she trully beliefs everyone can read her mind. The meth has created black splotches all over her face and body. She denies that she is a drug addict and believes everyone is lying to her when they say they can't read her mind. My other sister took her to get analyzed at a facility, but they weren't much help (needing my sister's consent for everything). My addict sister too claims she lost the medication the day after the visit. The situation at home is difficult. Each day i watch my sister lose a little more of herself everyday. This weekend i find her with her hair chopped (literally) long strands and short strands, it looks absolutely terrible. She says she was mugged and that the people who mugged her cut her hair. I don't believe the story because she is without bruises and or cuts nor negative state showing she experienced such an incident. She covers up all the mirrors she uses because she doesn't want to see herself or face or reflection. She seemed to sway to this path, the beginning of this year when she parted with my brother in law. But I believe it started before their break. And im angry at him for not getting the help she needed so long ago as well as telling me she was gonna come around. Matters have only turned 180 degrees just this year. To make matters worst at home, my mother is also schizophrenic where she believes shes hearing voices from heaven. Her constant aggressive bursts revovle around what the voices are telling her. The angry behavior is constant and almost everyday. She has destroyed most of the furniture as well as breaking most of the dishes at home. She has a past of harming her children because of the voices (I woke up with her next to my bed holding two butcher knives behind her back- it was a while ago though and i calmed that situation. And yes that means I am living with two schizophrenics. The last ten years was hard enough with just my mother and now my sister is entering this realm. I don't believe i can handle two. The hardest thing is taking care of my younger siblings and constantly making sure they are safe. My sister did say she wanted to kill herself but infront of authority she pretends she doesn't. I need help. We all live in my father's house. But my father doesn't live with us. He split with my mom long ago and they both live with me because he gave me the decision of whether or not i want them to live with me. There is no place for them to go but in another sense them being here is a trial i don't know how to overcome. If there is anything I can do, please please let me know. 

Longer term care - Dee - Dec 6th 2012

You can ask a loved one be admitted to a hospital for being a danger t self, danger to others,or for being gravely disabled which includes not eating or drinking, not taking medications, not able to take care of himself etc. You don't have to wait Til someone is wielding a gun, you can take them in to be evaluated and admitted if for example they are refusing to eat, haven't bathed in weeks and refuse medication because then they are gravely disabled. If your loved one is involuntarily admitted they will be there at least three days, but if the doctor feels they are still at risk they can be kept for another 14 days, and after this time, if they are still at risk they can be kept inpatient for 28 days, then after that point the doctor can keep them involuntarily for longer if necessary. There are longer term hospitals for severely mentally ill, my aunt was at a hospital for close to two years, she was not suicidal either, she had schizophrenia and was committed into the hospital at a hearing where her brother was her conservator. So actually some people do get longer term care which is not a bad thing, many persons with serus mental illness do not know what they need, that is a violation of their civil rights for them not to get the care they need.

husband - - Dec 3rd 2012

my husband is extremmly depressed n is abusing drugs he recently took off n i have a little bit of the area that he is in i need help what to do to help him o luv him so much n dont want to loose him i am going out of my mind our son is rally starting to ask wheres daddy please help 

For Kim Whitehead - sig - Nov 30th 2012

Kim Whitehead call information and have them direct you to NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Deception - Kim Whitehead - Nov 15th 2012

I have an 80 yr old aunt who grandson has been diagnosed with bipolar. She is afraid of him, she wakes up and he is standing over her, he steal money out of her purse and when she call the police they say it's nothing they can do. And after reading your article you are telling me that there is nothing a family can do for this. I can understand you protecting patients but what about my aunts protection. I have another cousin who is the same way and when she go to the doctor she can talk so intelligent but get home and act up. These disease are deceptive, they know how to act right when doctors are around and laugh at the fact when back home. So who protects the family that is in danger? If you haven't actually had to deal with this on a personal basis you can't understand the things that happen and go on in the homes concerning these patients. And 72 hours may not be enough time to see all that is really going on mentally, especially just by asking questions. Are there not any other test that can be given?

worried in CT - margret - Oct 24th 2012

my nephew has a TBI and forms of addictions. what to do about getting him the kind of help he believes he needs before it puts my sister in an institution or worse. she has tried many a program with many an instituion and to no avail my nephew signs himself out, manipulates the doctors or wont go at all. still in great need of help in all areas:depression,addiction,hygene,anxiety,anger/hostility,slef infliction,and the list goes on. where to turn? who can help? does one have to wait for something terrible to occur before he can be instituionalized and helped?He is tearing his only family against him.

My mom - - Oct 23rd 2012

My mom is not the same anymore.  It started almost 10 years ago where she became depressed and almost never left the house and when she did, it was extremely difficult for her.  My mom stopped driving, stopped shopping, stopped working.  She spent most of her time online, and still does.  My dad continued working and managing without her financial contributions until he discovered she had been having an "online affair”. Long story short, they split, my mom maintained her own place for a little over a year and then couldn’t take care of herself.  She fell about 6 years ago and hit her head, we've taken her in for numerous exams bc she complains of a head injury but all test results come back negative.  She would tell people she has like 2-4 blood clots in her head, tare on the brain, all sorts of stories, that weren’t even true.  She complains of pain 24/7 and walks around with a ice pack on her head and blames her injury for the reason she can’t work.  Since she had no place to go my dad lets her stay at his house in a different room. She spends her days icing her head, hardly ever leaving the house, on the phone and online. She says she "works". I’ve heard her tell people on the phone that she works for Wall Street or Morgan Stanley and she consistently lies.  She even believes her lies, insisting that she will soon "close on a deal". (She’s been saying that for approximately 7 years)  Whenever anyone is discussing anything, my mom redirects the conversation to be about her.  For example if I simply say an actress on TV was skinny or pretty, my mom would reply with, "well I was skinny too before I had four kids."  Another example, when my friend graduated from nursing school my mom says her story, "well, I only had less than half a year left of my nursing, got straight A's, hardly studied, but had to stop bc your father made me." she often blames my dad for her failures.  She never completed hair school, and that too she blames my dad for.  She claims she was captain of the cheerleading squad in high school and got straight A's but my aunts informed me she wasn’t even a cheerleader and she dropped out of high school & got her GED.  I feel like she is a compulsive liar, depressed, narcissistic, and much more. I just don’t know what to do or how to help her because she refuses to believe anything is wrong with her.  The only problem she claims to have is her "head injury".  What would you suggest I do?  She is miserable, has zero money to her name, no place to live, and believes in her lies and theories about being wealthy one day and moving and opening this company and all sorts of nonsense.  She is only 55 years old, I initially thought she was going through menopause & depression at the same time, but that doesn’t help explain her need to claim she has a head injury.  I don’t know what else to do.  She blames everyone but herself for any problems and always plays the victim.  What do you suggest?



interventions are difficult - - Oct 15th 2012

I am reading these posts and feeling very discouraged, however I also feel better in a disturbing way b/c I feel that I am not alone.  I have been dealing with a husband who recently over the past five years has deteriorated into a severe paranoid psychosis and refuses to get help.  We both are recovering from drug abuse and I seemed to be able to move forward and he descended into what seems to be paranoid schizophrenia.  He is diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and was on a number of meds for a couple of years but he did not take them as prescribed (and wonders why 1.they didn't work and 2. why he felt terrible).  He has lost job after job, friend after friend and about three months ago I made him leave me and our five year old son b/c his mood swings were terrible, his range was horrific and his behavior was terrifying to me.  I attempted to have him "committed" only to have the police/ambulance take him to the state hospital, "evaluate him" and release him less than an hour or two later.  The doctor told me "there is no doubt that your husband is psychotic and delusional, but there are psychotic people living in society every day.....he is not a threat to himself or others, so I cannot hold him."  This was months ago and he is just getting worse and worse.  The problem is everyone who comes into contact with the loved one who is sick has to hold their bottom line and make a serious change in order for that person to fall and hit bottom.  Mental illness is terrible b/c like drug addiction, you watch your loved one fall apart in front of you and he/she remains in denial.  It is awful....i wish everyone who is dealing with terrible monster strength and peace during this difficult time.  Seek out support groups for those in your situation (sort of like al-anon for those who love an addict).  God Bless!

civil rights? Yeah right!! - nona - Sep 24th 2012

I hear about civil rights all the time, but one civil right that I do not understand is to have the right to refuse treatment, how a mentally ill person can decide to accept treatment or not, when they don’t even know that they are sick and need medication and therapy? Aren’t they supposed to be free, free from illness, abuse and any other harm? Don’t they have the right to be healthy and enjoy life with their families? What civil rights? My sister had a brain surgery, after several years her mental state got really bad, but we hear. That if she is not a threat for herself or others nobody can force her to have treatment, do we have to wait until she kills herself or others?

confused - Glenda - Sep 17th 2012

my son is 9 years old and was taken to a behavolial health service in patient facility as stated on their pamplet they only take childern between the ages of 10-17 however he was taken to our local hospital first because he said he wanted to kill himself he has been constantly bullied at school which led to him feeling sad and depressed we were supposed to be able to take him home today but he told the doctor he still wanted to kill himself however he has on going doctors appt. here in our city but the people where he is at is refusing to let him come home. I dont understand if we have a complete action plan to help get him on the right path why is it that I can not just check my son out of that place an get him the help he needs here.  Do I not have the legal right to be able to get him discharged from this "child jail" this is what my son is calling this place i feel like this stay has made it worse on him.

Needing Help - - Sep 13th 2012

My mother who is legally blind and is in the advanced stages of adult dementia (she sees conspiracies against her everywhere, talks about suicide constantly, trashes the house and beats up on my Dad daily) needs some kind of care, but it is impossible without her consent. Any attempt at getting help for her ends up with her being sent for an "evaluation". Then they release her and she goes back home, making things even worse for Dad. No help available. I believe that the situation will end with her attempting suicide, (again) or attacking Dad again. She has already pulled a kitchen knife on him 3 times. No help available. :(





Where is there protection for families? - - Sep 5th 2012

I have tried for ten years, to care for my 32-year-old daughter who has bipolar disorder.  At this moment, her life is in shambles.  Her financial situation is grim.  She thinks, on $1207.00 per month, that she can afford a car.  The car isn't the problem.  It's the $434.00 per month high risk premium.  She is not a safe driver.  She keeps getting tickets.  I have a serious health condition of my own and cannot afford my medication because of her financial situation.  If I don't give her money, she comes to my places of employment and screams and yells.  The local mental health professionals are absolutely  no help because they think she is more capable than she really is.  I tell them and tell them and they have actually talked her into doing some things that are even more detrimental to her financial situation than she is already doing.  I want to have her declared incompetent, because she cannot even keep her apartment even remotely clean, and because she is completely clueless about money.  I can give her $30.00 to buy food and she puts it all in her gas tank and drives around for hours.  She has food in her freezer and cupboards that is still perfectly good, but comes to me complaining that she has no food. I do not think she is capable of caring for herself, but it is my understanding that it is very difficult to have someone declared incompetent.  I am at the end of being able to do anything.  My life is now so miserable that I am not sure I even want to be here anymore.  What are families supposed to do?  Why do our lives have to be so awful, and why can't they do something to help our sick loved ones?

reinstitutionalizing a family member - - Aug 16th 2012

A family member has been institutionalized in the past, and has been living under their parent's roof until now. One parent recently passed away, and siblings will not allow this person to continue to live there, as the behavior displayed by the sibling in question is extremely upsetting and disruptive to the remaining parent and family members. This sibling is now homeless. They are schitzophrenic, and who knows what else, and has been for decades. What are the family's choices for getting this person reinstitutionalized? Arizona is the state which this is occuring in.

Yonger Brother Bipolar - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Jul 30th 2012

In this dreadful situation there really is not much you can do except, perhaps, determine if your brother is threatening or abusing your father. Elder abuse is a real and serious problem. If you suspect this might be the case you can ask that the situation be investigated. Visiting Nurse Service used to investigate the question of elder abuse. Try calling VNS and ask. You can also contact the state you live in and ask where you could get such help. Also, if there is any evidence that your father may have dementia, you can get power of atttorney and make decisions for him. In any case, these are suggestions only and you would have to find out if these suggestions make any sense or are realistic.

Good Luck

Younger brother is bipolar, abusive - very worried. - Lydia - Jul 28th 2012

  My younger brother is biploar, uses drugs, on SSI for 25 yrs., and he is 60 years old now. He leeched off my mother until she was placed in a home due to Alzheimers, and now he's leeching off my elderly father. "John" throws tantrums, screams and curses if he doesn't get what he wants. My father (90) says he feels a responsibility toward him. These screaming episodes are very upsetting to my father; he does what "John" wants because he's worried he'll end up in jail.  John is a long-time drug user in addition to being bipolar and taking no meds for it. He hates my brother and me and sees us as a threat to his receiving all of our parents' money; he feel he deserves it. My other brother and I have no contact with him because he's so irrational and can't talk without yelling and cursing. I am afraid he'll do something violent and hurt someone, but there doesn't seem to be anything anyone can do until he hurts or kills someone. I have considered selling my home and moving so he doesn't know where I live.  Is there any advice on how to deal with this?

Adult son w/mental& drug - Jan - Jul 19th 2012

That advice is fine for someone who is an addict son had encephalitis & meningitis as a child/  what should I do when no one will help him,  ...mentally a young 13 year old is what I was told by one Dr in 2000.

He is going to be killed or end up in jail again....he has  no common sence.   The system just keeps passing the buck. He needs help......right now I am all he has, I'm getting old & have my own medical issues.

Harsh Reality - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Jul 17th 2012

Many of the recent comments I have read reveal some very harsh realities that people must learn to deal with. The word "committment" is no longer part of the vocabulary of mental health or drug abuse. People may be admitted to a hospital for a short perion of time if they are judged to be a homicidal or suicidal threat.

After that, when a patient is discharged a family does not have to take the patient back home. Instead, the hospital social workers in psychiatry must be told that other arrangements must be made for the patient. There are psychiatric residences available for the mentally ill and they can be discharged to one of those. Medicail usually pays for that.

I hear the plea from those of you with adult children who are abusing drugs. I am afraid to say that the best way to handle that is to no longer make it your problem. By withdrawing your help they may get better fast if they are ready to. Allowing them to return home and give them money only makes it easier for them to continue using drugs. I know you love your children but there are times when love must be shown in ways that are hard.

Dr. Schwartz

Always Mother - Marti - Jul 16th 2012

Reading all the comments, made me realize I am not alone in this quest for answers and solutions?  What do, we do?  My son has been in & out of prison since he was 18.  He is now 36 years old!  He is not allow at my house, because he refuses to get help!  He burns every bridge he crosses, and he is running out of bridges!  I just know he is going to hurt someone, he raised his fist at my brother a few nights ago!  I keep praying, but I'm not sure what I'm praying for!

People are just ignorant - - Jul 6th 2012


Right Ethan - - Jul 5th 2012

I love my son very much but for fifteen years I have dealt with his mental illness and using drugs and alcohol when he is self-medicating.  No one would admit him for help more than a week even when he was suicidal or homocidal.  Don't kid yourself that the families of these mentally ill people don't care about them.  My question for you is are you willing to spend 24 hours a day 7 days a week for fifteen years taking care of another person.  I have done this and am now in my sixties with a paralyzed right side from strokes and had five leakages to my heart (open heart surgery).  On the night I had the stroke, I had to sign myself out to find him because he had threatened and almost succeeded in committing suicide.  In Tennessee we have no community outreach programs (they have been shut down for costs).  If the patient is on medicare/medicaid they might get 48 hours if they are badly pyschotic before the are released back to the families.  We had whole hospitals taking care of patients in the past now elderly parents and siblings are responsible.  God help us all.  DON'T EVER SAY I DON'T LOVE MY SON, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT.

My Adult Son who has cognitive damage & uses drugs - Jan - Jun 29th 2012

My son is now 34 yrs old, with a mentality of 13 yrs. he has been used & abused by everyone, right now he is in a facility.... first in pyschiatric dept....then one step down, now in dual-diagnosis.....soon to be released!!! I wanted him committed supposedly insurance wouldn't pay for it.... WHAT are you serious!!! He will get out and either be killed by his own doing OR mis-understood & murdered.... I have been going thru this vicous circle for YEARS NOW !!! he falls thru the cracks, I am getting older now & just can't handle all this stress!!! SOMEONE PLEASE tell me there any place where he can live & be safe ??????????? He was also denied DMH services if you can believe that !

my wife being discharged - Derek Goddard - May 28th 2012

Dear Sir ,

My wife sighned herself into hospital for depression two month ago. At first she was told she would not be there longeer than thirty days . She has never been a danger to herself or anyone , and is not aggresive . we have a two children and i am taking care of them , my wife says she feels she is ready to come home and missis us all  she has been in hospital for two months now and no one has told her when she will be discharched .  We are a very close family and i have been with her for over twenty seven years , however the doctor does not answer my phone calls and no on has given me any idea when they will discharge her.I feel as though it is now counter active to keep her away from her family although i have normal conversations with her ever day.  Do you have any advice regarding her rights as we all miss her very much.  

yours truly 

Derek Goddard 

My Sister - Allan N. Schwartz, Phd - Feb 27th 2012

I seems as though your sister may have suffered brain damage. If it is determined that, as a result of that damage, she "lacks the capacity" to make rational decisions then help can be administered to her without her consent. However, that is something only a psychiatrist can determine and if she is still in the hospital you can ask about this. I would think that she would have to be really incapacitated for this. What is at stake, possibly, is her "capacity" to care for herself without being homicidal or suicidal. You need to ask the hospital staff.

Good Luck

What are we legally allowed to do if anything about my sister? - - Feb 25th 2012

My younger sister just turned 18 today and we are all really concerned about her. On october 23rd of last year she was in a car accident and suffered from brain damage.. She was already suffering from problems with drugs and anger issues before that occured. Now that she has gotten out of the hospital she has gotten progressivly worse. She is EXTREMLY short temperd , just the slightest things will set her off to the point where she threatens to kill herself and take off .. She isnt herself since her accident..And is very hard to reason with.. My mother isnt in the picture right now to help as she herself is suffering with deppresion and a few weeks ago was admited to a  mental home by law enforcement.. My question is what are we able to do if anything about my sister? I am afraid that if she leaves she will end up dead as she is not in her right mind to take care of herself.

Help With My Husband - Allan N. Schwartz, Phd - Feb 22nd 2012

Your EMail comment includes all the necessary reasons for you to call 911. Your husband is acting violently and is threatening others. I am not sure why you are asking what to do? What you need to do to protect yourself, others and him, is to call.

Dr. Schwartz

Please Help with My Husband - - Feb 21st 2012

My husband has gone off the wall. He has been diagnosed as schizophrenic and bi-polar, and on top of it all, he is addicted to opiates. He  has gradualy become worse, and worse. it has been very bad lately as he was robbed of $425.00. He is very upset and has been terrorizing everyone. he took a knife and cut up our new leather furniture, and He is threatening to kill the people and the children of the people that robbed him.

I don't know what to do. I really need help. I want to have him comitted and I have told him that I will, and he told me the he would have a knife and the cops would have to shoot him and the baby to get to him. I really need Help. Please Help Me.




Catch 22 - Exasperatered - Sep 15th 2011

The only advice I see here is to call 911.  What if the person is not in an emergency situtation (has calmed down) but is in immediate need of a mental evaluation and treatment?  The Catch 22 is that I need to keep this person calm, almost to ambush them, because the fear is- if this person becomes agitated, they may become violent, and then the police will not handle the situation in a professional manner.  I have heard far too many horror stories of cops shooting or beating up mentally ill people. And not caring or understanding that the person is not thinking clearly.  So where do you turn when you do not feel it wise or safe to turn to 911 and do not want to put your loved one in a more dangerous situation even though the person is in desperate need of evaluation and treatment and does not trust police?


where to turn - cass - Aug 17th 2011

 From reading this blog I can see NO ONE knows where to turn for help. Why if these people are commited against their will, (even for 72 hrs) can't a judge order them to take meds. Then why can't they drop , just like someone on drugs, or someone that had a dui. Its all about money.  They can make a druggie drop and be tested for drugs, if you get to many dui,s you can be ordered to comply with programs  and have to drop also. But a straight up insane person can say I am not doing that, I am not sick the rest of this planet( if its even real) is nuts I'm not!!!! There is no help. Then when they kill some one or hurt a child , they say oh they were not crazy they knew enuff to hide what happened. Its almost like there is no under standing of these insane people.

My daughter - cass - Aug 17th 2011

 I am with you. I have called the police and had my daughter tranported to the er. They did not even treat her. She told the hospital i abuse her_ ha!!! She is very ill , but at the same time very very coy. The police thought she should be taken to the hospital, but about 2 hrs after i got home here she came. They did NOT keep her. She was  admitted to the hospital once against her will, they said she was dangerous, delusinal, , psychitic, schitzo, and a few other things. They kept her for the 72 hrs and sent her home to me!!! The last time when I had the police pick her up, they took her to that very same hospital. And they let her go. I mean they should have had her records they could have checked. And they should have been smart ENUFF to know if she is not taking meds she is no better. people aways say why don't you just do this or that. Its not simple and really you get no help. Some day maybe she will kill me or some one else. And then they  can put her away. One day she told me I was not her real mother, I abducted her and she was the presidents daughter. Another time I was an alien pod, I have been a serial killer, child molestor, call girl. a monkey. She thinks she can remember someone burning a little boy, pushing an old woman down steps and on and on.  What scares me is that all of her thoughts are really SICK!!!! But I really don't know where to turn.

My daughter mentally ill - cass - Aug 17th 2011

I think the law needs to change. My daughter is 46, has  been ill for about 13 yrs. She talks to voices, she laughs n then cries. She steals from my 95 yr old mother. She thinks gorillias are eating her. She is not really who she is. No one is real. I am every thing rotten and nasty under the sun, every thought she has is very sick. She gets mean very mean. In 2004 she had a baby and told doctors she was not having a baby. I have him now. I called police a short while back, they took her to the hospital I signed a paper I was home about 2 hrs and here she came. She won't take meds. She must have fooled the people at the hospital because she can be very coy. What in Gods name do you do?? Wait untill she kills someone cus voices told her to? I found a note she wrote saying she never sold her soul to the devil or her childrens souls and when they die again they have to be left alone. I am beyond myself!!

Recognizing a Problem - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - May 25th 2011

If someone is as mentally ill as you describe, they can be brought to the hospital under several circumstance: they are threatening suicide, threatening homicide, have become violent, are a public nuisance ( yelling, shouting in the streets). If they refuse to go, 911 can be called. The individual will be brought to the hospital emergency room where staff will do an evaluation and decide if hospitalization is needed. They may administer medication to settle the person. Of course, this type of thing usually happens as a result of family intervention or if they are in an outpatient residence for extremely ill persons. So, you are right, sometimes an individual does not realize they are ill.

Dr. Schwartz

recognizing a problem - - May 24th 2011

"Usually, it is best if a person recognizes that they have a problem and report to the hospital emergency room on their own initiative."

This is so stupid because most people who recognize they have a problem don't really have a severe mental disorder anyway!!!!  The most severely mentally ill people will never get help because they are so far gone!  Unless someone drags their a*s into the hospital they'll just wind up killing themselves or someone else!! 

Bipolar wife - Matt - Mar 8th 2011

I have a wife that is bipolar and on day 40 of  manic phase.  She is currently hospitalized.  My question is that if I get gaurdianship of my wife can I have her committed to a mental facility??  I think I know the answer to this question is a resounding "NO"!  However, certian members of her family think they can commit her.  Can anyone give me the run down of guardianship as it relates to mental patients being admitted to the hospital.

need help for my brother - tonya - Feb 27th 2011

my brother is an alcoholic but constantly denies he is drinking...a few weeks ago he came home and fell down, went into a seizure, his girlfriend called 911...EMTs arrived and he was completely out of it...he didnt wake up until he was in the hospital.  the dr told his girlfriend he was lucky to be alive..he had enough alcohol in his system that is shut his brain down...she can not do anything as far as getting him committed (he will not or can not stop on his own) that a family member would have to do it.  He denies even drinking although the blood tests prove he was...just 6 days after he almost killed himself by drinking so much again she had to call 911 because he again passed out, when he was falling his back was cut badly by a metal decoration that was on the table, he went into seizures again this time however he woke up when the EMTs had him on the gurney and refused to go to the hospital.  they treated his back but i need help.  I dont want to get a call in the middle of the night saying that he is dead.  I need someone to help me find information on how or where i can get help.  What is the cost..or what can i do to save him from himself, i know he will hate me but at least he will be alive to hate me...PLEASE HELP

my Son Is Desperate - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Jan 14th 2011

I am not a lawyer and, therefore, what I write here is only an opinion backed by some experience. You need to consult an attorney or psychiatrist. Here goes: When someone is in danger of killing his self or someone else, you can call 911 or bring him to the hospital emergency room for evaluation and possible hospitalization. 911 will also bring him to the ER if their evaluation is that he is danger and it sounds like he is. Its not a matter of adulthood but of danger to one's own life. Its worth looking into this rather than risking his death. Good luck with this. I know this must be terribly painful, to say the very least.

Dr. Schwartz

Some People Are Just Bad - Nobadeewins - Jan 14th 2011

Hug them all you want; they will just use your naive nature to their advantage and take you for a ride.  My family tried to have my brother committed so many times; but, since he plays people so well they would think my parents were the ones who were crazy in the end.

I grew up in a home with a kid that violently attacked me unprovoked countless times, terrorized my parents, destroyed everything valuable they had, ran my father into debt trying to clean up his messes, raped my sister, beat my mother.  All the police could do was lock him away for a short time while he played Mr. Innocent.  I tell you, word of the mouth doesn't account for crap anymore, the law has become apathetic to the real victims of the mentally ill.  Seeing Ethan's comments about how we just don't love them enough, is beyond ignorant.

When someone has devoted their existence to wrecking the lives of other people, you'd think some authority figure somewhere would keep a watchful eye on them; but, nope...  We learn about them in the news a week later and everyone claims that it was unexpected.

I was in the service for 8 years; I've seen my share of people with various mental conditions, I know when someone can be saved or not.  There are some vile people out there who take pleasure in causing others pain, they don't want to be helped, they want to suck you dry of life.  You can't rehabilitate someone who wants to be that way.  I've watched my brother fool literally hundreds of people, from doctors to religious groups, who tried to reach out to him and in the end they all were violently burned in some form or another.

Don't assume a person is immoral or has no values if they want something like that out of their life.  Believe me when I tell you, they tried EVERYTHING and it's come to a point where they realized, this person just needs to be kept away from society for everyone's own safety.  Unfortunately, the law doesn't see it that way.  If they haven't murdered too many people, then they aren't considered any more dangerous than the next person.

I find it funny how when these people end up in the news, everyone says, "It was unexpected".  Only a fool would believe that.

My Son is desperate - - Jan 13th 2011

I believe there should be something in place to help parents or syblings. My son is starving himself to death. He wont eat wont drink and has baracaded hisself into his room. He only weighed 137 when he came out of the hospital. Now he looks like he only weighs 100 lbs. My daughter and I are terribly depressed watching him do this to himself. I just know I am going to go in his room one day and that will be it. He is an adult 24 but there should be some way to help these desperate people that dont recognize they are even sick. He has lost his ability to even speak. I have called everyone I know and all they say is I cant do anything because he is an adult. This is really terrible for my family. When he got out of the hospital he stopped all of his meds. I am at a loss! I dont even know if he knows where he is. It is so sad that these people have to die or hurt other people before anything can be done.

BRAIN ILLNESS - - Sep 1st 2010

NEVER trust the police, they told me to get a section 35 ? on my son............ I looked it up on the web....NO WAY !!! My son has brain damage from an illness, and suffers from bipolar & cognitive damage, the 2 main problems.....of course he tries to self medicate.........right now he is in a physciatric hospital, BUT they're getting ready (within)a few days to discharge where ???? Back with me where he will just try to hurt himself ONCE again !!! OR THEY ARE LOOKING AT SHELTERS!!!! HE WILL BE DEAD WITHIN A MONTH OR SOONER.........THANK YOU MA

Please help I'm at my end! - Stephanie - Aug 29th 2010

Okay my mother was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when I was about three years old.  She was commited after the birth of my little sister.  I think between the years of 1986 and 1987.  I've always lived with a sick mother and her "stories"  so I understand she can't help it and me and my sisters have just always delt with it.  She was very abusive when we were children and physical.  The problem we're having now is that my father has divorced her and moved out of state.  She's in NC and I'm in WV.  While my other sisters are on the other side of the country because they are either in or married someone in the military.  I have been paying her bills for the most part but finacially it has taken a toll on me and my husband.  I've offered to help her sell her home and move WV with me and my family where she would not have to work and could retire.  But she thinks that "were trying to steal her money and leave her on the street".  But here lately it's harder to get ahold of her.  She doesn't answer her phone for days, and is missing alot of time at work.  She's never held a job for long and always seems to get fired.  My worries are that one, she doesn't believe she has a problem and will not take medication, and I understand I can't force her.  But she's an alcoholic on top of everything and I've noticed her "stories" are getting worse.  Now her "whole family has been replaced with clones and we've all left her and that was set of by either the CIA or my fathers family".  She also says the the "sheriffs office is forcing her to stay in her home and she can't leave or they will cause her harm".  She says that "we all hate her and that she would be better off dead".  I'm scared for my mom and it's hard to try and take care of her when I live almost nine hours away.  I know I can't have her committed.  But she's living in a home that has a crack in the foundation, no heating and air system, and if falling down around her.  If I was to try and do something would have have to go through legal or medical avenues ?  Please help!

concerned - - Aug 28th 2010

MY fiance was committed to a mental hospital because her sister and mother thought she was a danger to herself and her kids. Her family hasn't really been in her life for yrs now and they just came back into her life. She has been stressed out because of a bad marrage. He mentally and physically abused her for 10yrs. And now he still bothers her everyweek. they have a son together as well. But from everything I have ready her highs and low mood swings are stress related. But she has never been a danger to herself.

My question is this. when she gets out hopefully this week. Because she was committed to a mental hospital would a judge give her parents her kids if they filed papers to get them?

Bipolar Mother - - Aug 21st 2010

My mother is bipolar and not medicated. She was diagnosed with manic depression in the 70's and over the years the title or term used has evolved to bipolar disorder. She is a physically and emotionally abusive mother and wife. She went as far as taking a butcher knife and attempting to cut my fathers throat in front of a police officer. She plead guitly, my father the abused person in this would not press charges so the state did. She got what amounted to a slap on the wrists and my Dad got eighteen stiches. That was in the 80's.

She is now 72 and worse than ever. My question, my Dad is now non ambulatory with mysterious falls and bruises which everyone suspects is my mothers doing?

Please help, how can I get an abused man who would never speak out against her out of fear the medical help he needs?

Thanks You, The daughter (no estate of any kind here)

Cousin in Need of Help - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Aug 16th 2010

Hello Cherie and Everyone,

If your cousin does indeed have a "hit list" of people she wants to hurt then there may be grounds for hospitalization. Please do not take this as "gospel" because there are many mitigating circumstances, including: has she made an active threat, verbally, does she have a history of violence, has she told someone of her intent, has someone seen the list, is she currently behaving out of control? Even a list may not be enough. The list could be old, in her head and not written and not provable.

It is tricky and unclear but there may be some reason for concern. You should discuss it with her mother. If her mother feels threatened and knows that her daughter is threatening others with violence, she should call 911 for help.

Dr. Schwartz

My cousin IS in need of help - Cherie from KS - Aug 16th 2010

My cousin is in need of help but her mom says she can't do anything because of OK laws.  My cousin has been diagnosed as bi-polar, paranoid schizophrenic.  She is 43 yrs old and can't live on her own (she lives with her mom) and will not take her medication due to the fact she thinks it's a conspiricy against her by the CIA and the government.  And she has a "hit" list of people she wants to get.

My Aunt told me the only way she can have her committed is if she tries to hurt herself or others or makes a threat to hurt someone.  Wouldn't her "hit" list be a threat?  And why wait until she has hurt someone to have her committed?  I know for a fact I must be on that list....

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