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Penny Rayas, MFT
Penny Rayas, MFT, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 394
Experience:  I have 20 years experience in the mental health field
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What should I do. this happened last night

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What should I do. this happened last night while my son tried to get help for his 16year son. I pray this message finds you in good health and spirits. You would not believe the nightmare we went through yesterday. First Tamara took Noah to the emergency room in Eureka at 3am, of course they didn't do anything. took his blood pressure and felt his pulse. typical bS, they don't know how to do anything else. He was in a panic, and he couldn't get his words out. It was like he was having a stroke. I am really sick now with a cold and fever. They came back around 6am, and he tried to sleep. a little while later he was up again, and he tried to write something and it looked like a 3yr old had written it. He just cried for an hour, not being able to say more than one or two words of a sentence, then he would get so frustrated, he'd fling his arms around in frustration. So we went back to the hospital, and there were 30 people in the waiting room, who had been there for hours, normal well-dressed people. They said they would probably refer him to mental health. Remember, they haven't done one single test on him. not anything, not even a comprehensive blood test. So we decided we'd take him there ourselves and maybe the psychiatrist would refer us to a neurologist. Instead we got a smart ass nurse who kept going on about drugs he might have taken. we tried to explain to her that yes he smoked pot a couple of days ago, but other than getting drunk once, and smoking pot, he doesn't do drugs. she became very patronizing and started telling us that he kept getting upset when she asked about drugs. I was getting crazy, there were two of them, one looked just like a man. and she was the good cop, and the other was the bad cop. We tried to explain to them what has been happening these last couple of weeks and how he can';t do school. She starts telling us how its a "Lock-Down" facility. and we said, yes, we know that, but we are only here to get him evaluated by a psychiatrist so we can get a neurology referral, she says "Well I can't do that." I hit the roof, what am I stupid? I know you can't do that, if there isn't a psychiatrist on duty, then we're wasting our time. Then, and this is where Tamara and I almost committed a felony, she says: "I'm not sure I can let you take him from here, we might have to hold him upstairs until the doctor comes in on Monday." I started getting mean, and I told both of them, if you think you're going to lock up our son in that 12th century madhouse you have upstairs, then you belong up there, We didn't come here to have him traumatized for life!" She starts giving me this bull about him being protected. "Bullshit!" I tell them, when our Daughter was in here, she wasn't separated from a mental patient who was forty! I looked at Tamara and we were both on the same page. I was going to jump on them , and hold them down, while she grabbed Noah and ran out to the truck. Just as we communicating this with our eyes, Jim Wiltse (T's Ex) wife comes out of the elevator. she works there as a Social Worker. Suddenly they see that Genevive knows us, and their whole attitude changes. meanwhile Noah is starting to come out of it a little bit. he's scared, but he's starting to be able to talk better. and he Pooped, which had a lot to do with his "Physical" symptoms. Those two had no idea what was coming their way. The very idea that she thought she had the power to take our underage son from us and lock him up in that nuthouse, when we were only hoping to speak with a doctor was beyond my comprehension. Sick or not, I was going to go to jail before I let that happen. So here we are, we pumped him full of Benadryl last night, and he slept the night, we think. and he has an appointment on Monday; again. and I doubt that they're going to do any more than they've already done. Take his temperature, blood pressure, and his pulse. that's it. that is the extent of their abilities. they don't do anything else, it doesn't matter what we tell them. it doesn't matter that he has all these real-life symptoms. they don't do anything.  We already owe probably a thousand dollars in the last two weeks in office visits an emergency rooms, and they've done nothing but take his temp. What kind of Gdamn country is this? We pay 480 a month in medical insurance, and this is what we get? they just send him home to die? His brain is being damaged in front of our eyes and they act like we're over-reacting. a month ago he was doing Geometry, now he's writing like a three year old, and they won't help us. I'm ready to start taking more drastic measures. I just pray today is better than yesterday. I'm hoping beyond hope that he isn't becoming schyzophrentic. but it sure is something heavy, and he just cries and cries, and I can see in his eyes that he's scared, that is brain won't work right.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 2 years ago.

Hello there I am sorry about getting the run around in the emergency room. The treatment they gave you was terrible. It is hard to diagnose someone who has not had a compleate blood work. Please go to a different hospital than the one you went into. YOur insurance must cover a few hospitals. I think you got some pretty bad doctors. I wonder if he had seizures, especially since they run in your family. The symptoms that he was not able to talk scares me. Take him to a hospital and tell the doctor that you know what seizures looked like and it looks like he had seizures. You want him to be tested compleate test. Tell them that his mental state was altered and he was not responsive. Shizophrenia has a late onset and is very unusual in the early teens. Here are some of the symptoms of schizophrenia

Symptoms of schizophrenia are categorized in two ways:

  • Positive: reflect an excess or distortion of normal functions, such as delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and extremely disorganized or catatonic behavior
  • Negative: reflect diminished functioning, including limited emotional expression, restricted productivity of thought and speech, as well as a lack of initiating goal-orientated behavior

A myth about schizophrenia is that it involves split personalities. While the term schizophrenia means "split mind," it refers to emotions and thought processes, not personalities.

Another thing that comes to mind is a panick attack. I wonder if your grandson had a seizure that triggered a panick attack

are sudden feelings of terror that strike without warning. These episodes can occur at any time, even during sleep. A person experiencing a panic attack may believe that he or she is having a heart attack or that death is imminent. The fear and terror that a person experiences during a panic attack are not in proportion to the true situation and may be unrelated to what is happening around them. Most people with panic attacks experience several of the following symptoms:

  • "Racing" heart
  • Feeling weak, faint, or dizzy
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands and fingers
  • Sense of terror, of impending doom or death
  • Feeling sweaty or having chills
  • Chest pains
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Feeling a loss of control

Panic attacks are generally brief, lasting less than ten minutes, although some of the symptoms may persist for a longer time. People who have had one panic attack are at greater risk for having subsequent panic attacks than those who have never experienced a panic attack. When the attacks occur repeatedly, a person is considered to have a condition known as Panic Disorder.

People with panic disorder may be extremely anxious and fearful, since they are unable to predict when the next episode will occur. Panic Disorder is fairly common and affects about 2.4 million people in the U.S., or 1.7% of the population between the ages of 16 and 54. Women are twice as likely as men to develop the condition, and its symptoms usually begin in early adulthood.

It is not clear what causes Panic Disorder. In many people, its symptoms develop in association with major life changes (such as getting married, having a child, starting a first job, etc.) and major lifestyle stressors. There is also some evidence that suggests that the tendency to develop Panic Disorder may run in families. People who suffer from Panic Disorder are also more likely than others to suffer from depression, attempt suicide, or to abuse alcohol or drugs.

Luckily for sufferers of frequent panic attacks, Panic Disorder is a treatable condition. Psychotherapy and medications have both been used, either singly or in combination, for successful treatment of Panic Disorder. If medication is necessary, your doctor may prescribe anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, or a class of heart medications known as beta blockers to help control the episodes in Panic Disorder.

Did you noticed any changes in your grandson's personality? You want to make sure that your grandson does not have a brain tumor because many of the symptoms can be those of a brain tumor, seizures.

Most teenagers who have anxiety disorders smoke pot to control their anxiety. To my experience the pot does not cause anxiety but it does mask the anxiety.

Please call your grandson's pediatritian and tell him of what happened. He will be able to refer you to a neurologist and he will probably order a head scan. Keep fighting because the health care system is broken and I am glad you are a good advocate for your grandson. I would also suggest that your grandson sees a therapist. Call you insurance and explaine what happened and talk to them about " medical Necessity".


Penny Rayas, MFT, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 394
Experience: I have 20 years experience in the mental health field
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