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LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 594
Experience:  10 years post-MSW experience
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I have a son who is treating if I call the police he will

Customer Question

I have a son who is treating if I call the police he will kill himself. What do I do?
JA: Have you seen a doctor about this yet? What medications are you taking?
Customer: He is 24 years and will not let me participate in his care. He is on Ritalin.
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the psychologist should know?
Customer: He has secluded himself from everyday. He does not talk to any one. He lost his job in July and think myself and his dad talk to them at his job hence he was terminated. His job did not feel comfortable the way he was acting. He refused to fine another job. At first he said he was going back to school to retrain on computer science. He started school and stop after three weeks. He had a degree 2 years ago in psychology.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  LeahMSWuofm replied 8 months ago.

Hello and thanks for writing to us. My name is***** am so sorry you are dealing with this with your son. You and your husband must be besides yourselves with worry. Because your son is threatening suicide and just generally so out of touch right now refusing to let you help him, I would strongly consider putting together a petition for him to get involuntarily hospitalized for assessment and treatment. The basis for your petition will be that your son is a threat to his own safety. The rules for how to petition someone to receive involuntary hospital care differ in each state so I would contact your local police station or nearest in-state psychiatric emergency room and ask to talk to someone familiar with the process for appealing for this. These types or orders are often referred to as 5150s and paperwork is involved. While it sounds really scary, it may save your son's life and give him a chance to regain control over his mental health. Here is a link to general guidelines for each state on when to pursue these types of treatment orders however it is still advisable you contact someone who knows the system and how to proceed.

I hope this helps give you an idea for a next step you may need to consider. I am hugely sorry your family is in this position.


Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I work in a hospital the treatment such problem and they are good but afraid of being labled. I once sent him to another hospital and no treatment was given to him.
Expert:  LeahMSWuofm replied 8 months ago.

I understand that there is a stigma attached to getting this type of treatment but the implications may be worse if this remains untreated. I wish I had an alternative solution but if your son is refusing intervention to this degree and is really suffering, then there just aren't that many options for how to help. If he is in your home, you can consider ultimatums to him that he must comply with mental health treatment should he wish to stay there. With that, you can make an appointment with a psychiatrist for evaluation and demand he go with you. You can continue to offer unwavering support and care and love while pleading he get treatment on his own and hope that he is willing to do it with you. But in general, even unwavering support, urgency and threats like this can fall on deaf ears when the person is truly depressed. Plus, it puts you in the position of policing him which, because he is an adult, can be very difficult to do.

This book is well-known as a support to help you find ways to encourage you son to get help...