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Luann, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 158
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist, 24 years experience working with children, adolescents, families and adults.
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Is there a such thing as ward of the state any longer

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Is there a such thing as "ward of the state" any longer? My husband has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He had an episode in 2005, another one in 2009, 1 in 2010 and another one 2011. He is scared to take his medication and becomes very violent towards myself and his family. He is currently being evaluated by a local mental health institution. But my husband knows how to play the game and unfortunately can fool doctors into thinking he is better and nothing wrong. He refuses shots, and when given the pills, the nurses do not watch him take it. They just assume and minutes later he is spitting out the meds. When he gets out, he refuses to take his medication and we continue this vicious cycle. I would like for him to be admitted to a long term facility, currently he is under the care of the state of Georgia- involuntary admission to mental hospital for evaluation.

Luann :


Luann :

I am sorry to hear about your husband's illness. Your role is a very difficult one and you are right to look at longer term care. The term "ward of the state" would not apply, that is/was a term used more in reference to children whose parents no longer had custody. What you would be looking at is some type of mental health committment. Be sure to share all that you know with a social worker and/or physician at the facility your husband is in. Ask them about pursuing committment. Contact your local county social services department and talk to a social worker. I am not familiar with Georgia laws but typically the county is involved in involuntary committments. He may agree to a voluntary stay in the hospital if long term committment is threatened. The staff at the hospital he is currently in may be more aware of his behaviors and symptoms than you realize. It is very common for patients to try to fool the staff but difficult to do on a 24 hour basis. If you have not already contacted them, I encourage you to get in touch with NAMI (national alliance for mentally ill), It is a great organization and may have local support groups that you could participate in. You would find much support and information. Keep asking questions and advocating for your husband. He needs treatment but will resist it because his mental illness prevents him from seeing the need. Good luck to you.

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