This is obviously a stressful situation. It’s particularly challenging because your power is limited. You can’t force your son to do things that he does not want to do. Generally speaking, you can’t force people to behave in any particular way.
He’s actively psychotic and seemingly not adhering to any form of treatment. He’s paranoid and the only thing that could cure or eliminate his paranoia, is treatment and or medication. Without medication, his paranoia will probably become worse.
I have three main recommendations. The first is to contact local advocacy groups. The National Alliance For Mental Illness has local organizations in most communities. You can find a local advocacy group in your community by checking their website at www.NAMI.org. Many of the NAMI members are seasoned veterans of the mental health system and may provide you with good advice about how to navigate the system.
The other group you may want to consult is the Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC). TAC is a nonprofit organization that focuses on helping people who have loved ones with a severe mental illness. You can find there website at www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org.
My second recommendation is that you contact your own treating professionals for advice about how to handle the situation. At the very least, they can provide emotional support for you during this difficult time. It’s in your best interest to acquire as much support from friends and family as possible. The more support you have, the better insulated you will be from the stress associated with your son’s problems.
My third recommendation is to contact local mental health professionals, either your son’s previous doctors and/or treatment team or a mental health crisis team. The local mental health crisis team may be especially helpful to you since they can come to your home and evaluate your son’s condition and treat him accordingly. For instance, if they believe that hospitalization is necessary, they can arrange for that to happen.
It is a last resort option but call the police if necessary. If your son is a danger to himself or to others, then do not hesitate to call the authorities. Understandably, you don’t want your son arrested, however, it’s of paramount importance that everyone’s safety is protected. Please don’t hesitate to write again if you have additional questions. I will be glad to help you in any way I can. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle