Admitting a Child to Inpatient Psychiatric Treatment: A Parent's Perspective

January 17, 2012 Angela McClanahan

Four years ago, I admitted my then-six-year-old son to an inpatient psychiatric hospital. Much has changed in four years, but reading my thoughts from the time brings it all back. It's an experience I wouldn't wish on any parent; one I hope I never have to live again.

From my personal blog, January 2008:

I have a call in to a local children's psychiatric hospital about admitting Bob on the acute-care unit in the very near future.

Things have been getting worse over the past couple of weeks. The last time I picked him up from (his father's), he was a snarling, angry, hateful little boy who kept talking about his dad going to jail and it being my fault, and he was going to hit me in the stomach for it. He started repeating the same annoying sound over and over again and when I asked him to stop, he gave me a mean laugh and said "daddy told me to do that." And so on and so forth.

The weekend was rough. He spent a good part of it in time out for one transgression or another. He frequently growled and yelled "I hate the world!" and "I hate all humans!" and "all mommies should shut up and go away!"

Yesterday, the principal called at noon. Bob was being suspended for the day. When I got there, he was pacing the office like a caged animal. He refused to come with me. It took both of us to remove him from school and get him into my car. I then had to physically hold him in his seat for 45 minutes to keep him from getting out and running off. He kicked me, tried to bite me, and slapped me (hard) across the face. I took him to my office where he snarled at me until (husband) came to take him home.

Today, he said he was ready to go back to school. We met with the principal and he apologized and said he was ready to do better. I emailed his teacher around 1:00 and found out today hasn't been much better, and the other kids in his class are becoming afraid of him. I suggested he not go to art class (he doesn't like the teacher) and got a reply back that he'd slapped another kid and was back in the office, and wouldn't likely be going to art.

I don't know what to do. Therapy hasn't helped. The courts haven't helped. Psychiatry hasn't helped, because you can't spend 10 minutes a month asking a 6-year-old how he feels and expect to get the whole picture. There's only so much I can do, because in Bob's mind, I'm the problem. And he cannot go on this way.

Which is why I made the call.

The thought of taking my baby somewhere and leaving him, even if only for an overnight or a few days . . . Jesus. It's killing me.

APA Reference
McClanahan, A. (2012, January 17). Admitting a Child to Inpatient Psychiatric Treatment: A Parent's Perspective, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Author: Angela McClanahan

Cheryl Barrett
January, 25 2021 at 5:11 pm

Well here is our story, My son Hunter is adopted, both parents did methamphetamines, Mom did them up to the day he was born just so she could have him on the same day as his older sister that she didn't have custody of. I was present the day he was born, ecstatic, to be a grandmother again and then the phone call came from CPS that she had tested positive and would me and my husband take him. With no warning at all we had to go to the hospital and start staying with a newborn because she was discharged 3 days later from the hospital and was to stay away from him so she wouldn't bond with him. Myself and my husband took turns staying with him at the hospital because he would only sleep for an hour at a time and you would spend most of the time trying to get him to take 1 oz of formula. At age 3 the tantrums started to become uncontrollable and we ask the doctor to test him for ADHD since his daddy (my son) had it to no avail. We were told that a child that young could not show signs of ADHD. So we changed Pediatricians to one that would listen to us. We had him evaluated and sure enough by age 4 he was diagnosed. but the pediatrician would not prescribe any medication for it. We had to wait till he was 5 years old and take him to a psychiatrist. Once we saw the psychiatrist she also diagnosed him with ODD and DMDD and by the time he is 7 now I seem to be the target of his anger. Any time anyone makes him mad or upset he takes it out on me. His other biological grandmother who we call the (Disney Grandma) because she buys him everything and he doesn't act bad around, tells me that "I am the adult and I should not be letting him hit me or abuse me". She just doesn't get it because she doesn't live it everyday of her life. I just wish i could give her a clue. We got a second opinion and he suggested having him committed in a behavioral hospital for a while so they can detox him of his medication, watch his behaviors, watch his eating habits, anger triggers and adjust his medication but we are afraid of the horror stories we have heard where they have kept people's children once they have gone in and not let them go because they had insurance. Told the parents they have no Rights. Take in mind we live in Texas. Any advice would be helpful;

July, 29 2020 at 9:21 am

I have an 8 year old brother who is really out of control and I’m just scared to stay in the house with him. He constantly gets mad about everything and when he gets mad it’s not a pretty site. When he gets mad he decides he wanna try to jump out the window to “ kill himself “ or he decides he wants to unlock the door and go run out in the street while cars are driving. It’s really scary knowing that he try’s to take his own life because he’s mad over something so small. When we go out in public he throws a bad temper tantrum! And then while we’re driving he would try to choke or hit my father which causes him to loose concentration on driving. It’s getting to the point where we can’t even take him out in public! Yes he takes medicine but honestly the medicine does nothing! He acts the same way with or without his medicine. When he goes to school he hits the teachers and kids which causes his classmates to be scared of him. He broke TWO of his teachers phones. He ran out the school building and almost got hit by a car. Luckily a someone found him and brought him back safe to the school. He’s been to 4 different schools because of his behavior. Also when he gets upset he likes to take his anger out on me and my other two little sisters. He hit us with big items, scratches us, kicks us and constantly hits us with his hard toys. He makes threats that he will kill us and I’m starting to believe him. I’m tired of dealing with this! And this not even half of things he does it’s so much more but this isn’t normal. What should I do?? PLEASE HELP🥺!

September, 13 2020 at 11:31 am

My heart is breaking for you sweetheart. You need to start praying honey. Your brother is under the influence of demons. The Holy Bible speaks of many men that were diagnosed as mentally ill, yet were cured when the demons were excised either by Christ alone, or through His Holy Spirit and in His name. Don't give up. Love wins. Love him sweety and pray in the name of Christ that his evil spirits be removed. Hold onto faith and get closer to Jesus. He will walk you through it all.

Anonymous Dad
June, 12 2021 at 4:50 pm

You are the reason that people will never get the help and attention they need. Jesus WILL NOT save you... you need to do it yourself.

January, 29 2023 at 9:48 pm

Good god what terrible advice! This is not the time for fairy tales! I hope to god that you do not have children of your own, or if you do that they are removed from the danger of being around you!

Anonymous Dad
June, 12 2021 at 4:47 pm

You need to call CPS (Child Protective Services) and tell them very honestly that you are NOT safe... because you're not.
Call the police Every-Single-Time and tell them you are not safe.
Sometimes, you have to save yourself, regardless of what other people say.

February, 4 2020 at 12:01 am

My son is 6 and we ate trying everything for his behaviors, psych doc, has his own therapist, a worker that works w the whole family. Hes constantly angry, frustrated, wont stop until he gets what he wants. We try everything from saying things like "too bad, I'm sorry, maybe next time..." simple messages and then theres the phrase out part. Its def hard on me cause I have 3 incurable illnesses and one I know I'm gonna die from, just no one knows when. Please help.

True Believers
September, 12 2019 at 11:00 pm

Sounds like all your kids who are threatening you and assaulting you are possessed by the enemy and need a good cleansing by a priest or shaman, not a psychiatric ward!

May, 14 2019 at 9:07 am

Well what happened when you sent bob in the hospital. we have been going through hell.

December, 17 2018 at 5:34 pm

Your not the problem his pain is he just needs something to blame it on he thinks you think he’s ill but he’s just in pain and doesn’t want help because he thinks there gonna judge him the best you can do is ask him what he wants not what you want.

November, 16 2018 at 8:10 pm

I have a brother (12) who is out of control. Been going on for years but lately it’s REALLY bad. Breaking every door in the house, hitting siblings breaking mirror to my moms car, hitting my mom, etc. Once he gets anger he cares about NOTHING and NO ONE. I watch my mom cry for hours and hours she’s losing herself and the main problem is my brother. Shes DRAINED i don’t want him to take my mom away from the rest of us (5 kids) stress kills. My mom has tried some local places but no luck with them. i desperately need some help.

Cathy sinsabaugh
September, 6 2019 at 7:55 am

Hi my son is the same way he is 13 years old have the characters as your brother and I am try other places and 💊nothing works with him either his mood his up and down you never know what mood he is In what do you do for a child that way

October, 2 2018 at 9:11 am

I also need help. 3 years ago I took in my nieces 3 girls, they are now 16,8 and 6, when my niece passed away from drug overdose. The two younger girls are fine but the 16 yr old has been through so much. She was beaten, starved, and molested by every boyfriend her mother had, including her own father. Now that I have her adoption been finalized it has become a nightmare.
I lost my job last year (and truck and home) due to her "passing out" 20 plus times a day and having to place her in a wheelchair for her safety. After having her baker acted after 3 months of this, I was told it was behavioral and she never had an episode or used the wheelchair again. She then began cutting, baker acted again. Told my son she drank antifreeze, baker acted again! One night she pushed her little sister down the stairs and because she wouldn't stop crying she hit her with a hammer breaking her arm but telling me the dog knocked her down the stairs. At the hospital the little sister told the truth about what happen. Authorities were contacted and she was arrested for battery and placed on probation. She has been kicked out of 3 schools in 2 years. Last school was she brought a knife to school and claimed someone stabbed her in the stomach in the hallway, she stabbed herself in the bathroom. Now her current situation is seizures. She has had 7 in the past 3 weeks. Always at school or on the bus, never at home. Nothing medically can be found wrong with her. Baker acted twice in last 3 weeks. I am at the point that I cannot have her home with the 2 younger sisters for their safety.
She has a doctor, psychiatrist monthly, therapist 2 times a week, targeted case manager, and counselors at school who are more then willing to help her and every one say the same thing, she needs placement in a facility asap. However there isn't an opening until end of October. Any suggestions of what to do with her? I am over it and scared she will hurt the littles.

October, 21 2018 at 10:00 pm

I'm so sorry, LMG, this comment never got to me! (Sometimes my email notifications don't quite work). I'd suggest looking into the local NAMI chapter in your area. The main page is You can narrow it down to your area. They may have resources for you. Sometimes, longer-term residential treatment can be helpful for people, or just having community supports like a mental health case manager, in-home skills workers or therapists, etc. I don't know if case management is already involved, but they can often help find resources and make sure they're all connected so that your daughter gets the best treatment she can. I hope you find the supports she needs, and I hope you reach out for your own supports! You can't do it all alone, so even if you have someone you can vent to or bounce ideas off of, that's always helpful.

September, 30 2018 at 2:55 pm

Hello, We are in a serious situation. Our daughter is now 15 and we have been dealing with false realities, threats, multiple personalities, etc. for over 5 years now. We have 4 other children in the home. She has even gone as far as sucking the blood out of cold sores in her mouth to make it look like she was vomiting blood up. I mean handfuls of blood, enough that the doctors thought it would be impossible for that much blood to be coming from those sore. They even saw them and dismissed the sores altogether. I spent over a month between 2 hospitals before we figured out that she was faking it. She is in a facility right now, but we can not bring her home! Before she left she gave graphic detail about choking her sister so tight that she could feel the breathe leave her body. That she wanted to take my cockatoos head and smash it against the cage and fell its skull pop. That voices are telling her to hurt and kill us. My husband has cancer and is on the verge of a heart attack, literally. He is on 2 blood pressure meds and a heart attack med. And I had a nervous breakdown when I found out that I had to be involved in family sessions with her every weekend at the 2-month facility. Our first session she shared with me that she wants us to respect that she wants to worship spiritism, cast spells, and spirit healing with the third eye. We are Christians. Not only are her threats of harm to our family hazardous but this took it over the top. I can't take care of my other kids like this. We are on a fixed income because of my husband's disability and cannot afford these fancy residential facilities. And at this point, I need her to get treatment on her own for a little while so I can focus on getting the rest of my family back to normal and getting all of their emotions worked out. I don't know what to do or where we can send her. I am willing to send her out of state if needed at this point. I have been searching for weeks online and I am lost. If anyone has any suggestions or can help in any way, please let me know. I am absolutely NO good to my family in the state of mind I am in now.

October, 21 2018 at 10:05 pm

This is so hard! I'm sorry it took so long to respond (my email notifications seem to be off). I'm not sure where you live, but it may be worth contacting social services. There may be programs available to access medicaid or other types of public assistance for your daughter, which may open up more options for treatment. I'm wondering if she'd be eligible for county-based services based on her hospitalizations and level of need. The department of human services or county social services should be able to point you in the direction of resources. You can also try your local NAMI chapter ( to see if they no any resources.

May, 14 2018 at 1:45 pm

My husband and I are at our wits end, I have an 11 almost 12 year old step daughter who is much like all the other children I read here. A little background, it took us 5 years to get custody as the courts here in VA don't seem to want to take custody away from the mother no matter how much abuse and neglect she inflicts on her child. My step daughter has been starved, beaten, medically neglected and even almost drowned by the hands of her mom. We have had custody for almost 3 years now but are now dealing with the aftermath of her mom's abuse (of which my step daughter still wants to live with). My step daughter is explosive, angry ALL the time, yells, screams, destroys personal property, she kicks, bites, hits, punches, throws things or kicks objects. I currently have 4 bruises on my legs from where she has kicked punched or thrown things at me. She has a history or cutting and hearing voices telling her to kill me, crack my skull open and watch me lay and bleed in my own pool of blood till I die. We have had her in 2 behavioral health hospitals 4 different times in the last year and a half when this all began. Her mom has supervised visits for 1 hour on Saturdays, that evening and even into the next 2 days she is uncontrollable. She has been on more medications than I can remember, she was originally diagnosed with mood deregulation disorder, ODD, ADD, she is on the Autistic Spectrum, she was diagnosed with extra chromosomes that the doctors have never seen before and can't tell us what to expect other than she is mentally behind by 5-6 years. She was kicked out of school for 3 weeks as she threaten to stab herself with a pencil as she didn't want to take the school benchmark test. She now goes to school half day because the school can't handle her, a tutor comes to our home for 2 and a half hours a week. We spent 25 hours in our local ER here this last weekend to only be discharged because they couldn't find a bed anywhere within a 2 hour drive from us in any direction.. I am tired of being her punching bag. I have become depressed and have now had to go on medication. I already suffer from PTSD as my father was abusive in every way possible. I don't know how much more I can take.

June, 3 2018 at 8:09 pm

Hi, Karla! I'm so sorry it took me so long to respond. The comment didn't show up in my original list! Things sound really tough for you right now. I think providers of children with mental illness forget (or don't know) the amount of emotional and physical work it is for parents. I have PTSD as well, I think, from the hospitalization and other issues. Do you have access to in-home help? I don't know where you live, but it sounds like time to call up the county health and human services people to see what help is available for children like your stepdaughter. If you get her labeled "disabled", this may also open up more avenues such as PCA (personal care attendant), in home skills workers, in home nurses, etc. It may also help you get state-based insurance to pay for residential treatment, if needed. At this point, if she's a danger to you and others in the home, residential may be most helpful. I really don't know what you have there, though, so try calling your county or go to and surf to the section pertaining to your state. They'll have resources for you!

Marie ham
May, 19 2019 at 5:35 pm

My daughter is 6 and this sounds soo familiar. Have you looked into sensory processing disorder? Its often over looked and mis diagnosed

Haydee J Rodriguez
May, 9 2018 at 9:25 am

I need help I have a 7 year old that has ADHD and behavioral problems he's threatening he's hitting he's trying to throw herself out of the bus window and everyday gets worse and worse like you said Psychiatry doesn't help the therapy not the psychiatry I need help with him before it gets any worse can you please contact me at 239 785-4726

May, 3 2018 at 6:48 pm

I am 14 years old and my brother is getting worse everyday. It started out as little tantrums and yelling but now it’s throwing furniture, hitting and kicking the wall, and sometimes hitting others. He is only 11 years old and he has been diagnosed with ADHD. My mom has been dealing with his behavioral issues for 5 years now and it’s only getting worse. He says he wants to kill himself sometimes or just says he hates everyone. It is affecting everyone in our household. My mom doesn’t deserve this and she can’t bring herself to do anything about it. When he gets mad, it’s over little things and then blows out of proportion. It can last from a couple of minutes to hours to days. In the end he always apologizes but I don’t think he does because he turns around and does the same thing he just apologized for. I just don’t want him to hurt us or worse himself.

Kelsey graham
April, 19 2018 at 3:57 pm

I fewl hopeless I am in the middle of waiting for my sons dr appt to diagnose him with OCD he has anger issues and he screams hits and acts out of control he is only 5 but had been showing symptoms of ocd since he was a year and a half he has trouble in school he fights me every morning I have to practically drag him out of the car to get him to go sometimes I dont know what to do but cry its so hard dealing with this he just does not listen to me at all they are already wanting him to be held back and he says he hates his teacher i feel out of options

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 22 2018 at 11:55 am

I'm so sorry to hear this, Kelsey! I've been there, and it's rough. Is your son seeing a neuropsychologist for his diagnosis? If he hasn't had a neuropsych eval done, I'd ask your doctor for a referral. It can help decide whether it's OCD, ADHD, Autism spectrum, or all of the above. All three can look very similar, especially in our super young kids. My son started showing symptoms at age 3, but it's so hard to diagnose at that age. By 5, it was very clear it was ADHD, but it took the neuropsych eval when he was about 6 to recognize that a major mood disorder was happening, too. That's what was causing the major anger outbursts in his case. I'd highly recommend the neuropsych eval. In the meantime, look into the children's crisis services in your county, and I hope you have family and friends to support you. Best wishes!

April, 14 2018 at 6:33 am

Hello All...I have 2 nine year old twin girls diagnosed with ASD/ADHD and Bipolar...their school has been aware of these disorders but recently their school absences have accumulated to the point where the school needed a doctor excuse from their pyschiatrist stating their disorders make it difficult at times to attend school and when one is sick the other will not attend alone. They got the doctor excuse bug now are adking for their medical records go be faxed go the school this illegal and can information be used to kick them out of school?...They are perfectly behaved students and at home have not been a harm to themselves of others..when meds need adjusting the mania is mainly loud hyper behaviour nothing dangerous..they never exhibit any if this behaviour in school and I think the school is almost disbelieving of their diagnoses...nevertheless the school now seems nervous? Please help any advice?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 15 2018 at 8:50 pm

Hi Anna,
Have you tried just talking to the special education department at your school? Sometimes a simple conversation is enough to straighten out any misunderstandings and have everyone get on the same page. However, if you have real fear that the school is trying to exclude your daughters, you may need to take a more proactive path. Assuming you are in the U.S., the school has no right to ask for your girls' medical records. While I cannot offer any legal or professional advice, parent-to-parent I will tell you that if they are not already, you should immediately get them on a 504 or IEP (Individual Education Plan) for their disabilities and request accommodations for their medical issues. (You must do this in writing.) If this is a public school, they also can't really kick them out for their absences, especially if a disability has been identified. You may want to contact your local NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) for references regarding local resources. If necessary, you may also want to contact an advocate. Many times special education advocates provide free initial consultations. This might give you the information you need to protect your girls. Good luck.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 16 2018 at 3:14 pm

Have you thought of private or home schooling!?!?

Tiffany Marie
April, 2 2018 at 6:44 pm

How do you know when it’s time for inpatient treatment for your 8 year old son with anxiety, OCD, depression, executive function disorder and possible ADHD with language based learning disability his rages and anger are getting worse and taking a toll on our whole family. I’m torn.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Susan Traugh
April, 3 2018 at 11:33 am

Hi Tiffany Marie,
I'm sorry to hear that your son is having such difficulties and how it is affecting your whole family. To answer your question, if you are asking if it is time, it probably is. And, if that seems like an overwhelming decision to rest in your hands, be assured that you will not have to make it alone. Over the years, my two daughters have been hospitalized a half-dozen times in nearly as many hospitals. While the process differs a little from place to place, basically, the decision-making is made by a team. I'll give my information to an intake worker who analyzes it for the hospital criterion for admission. If it looks like my child qualifies, the paperwork goes back to either a psychiatrist or a team (the psychiatrist, therapist and social worker might be on the team) and they then decide on admission and a treatment plan. Usually, my daughters were admitted, but one time I was referred to an intensive outpatient program where my child attended sessions daily from 8-4 Monday through Friday. From my girls' experiences, I would say that both types of programs offer good tools for both my child and our family. Finally, I would encourage you to err on the side of action. I waited too long to admit my youngest daughter and put her and our family through much more distress than was needed. For me, inpatient care seemed so drastic that I just didn't want to go there. Once I finally did, I kicked myself for not getting my daughter the help she needed earlier. Whatever you decide, Tiffany Marie, I wish you the best on your journey and hope that you find the support system your son and your family needs.

March, 31 2018 at 8:59 am

I know this was published a few years ago but finding others in this position helps. My five year old was just admitted to an acute psychiatric facility. It had to have been the worst day of my life. He kept talking about killing animals and other people and I had no choice. We think his dad has most of the fault for what he’s saying because of things he’s said in the past. All I know is I feel like a horrible mother who should have paid more attention or done more.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 31 2018 at 5:16 pm

Try not to come down on yourself. Parenting is hard enough, and I know parenting a child with a mental illness can be even harder and lonlier. I know it was scary, but the hospital is a good place to get help. They can refer you and your child to counseling, psychiatry, abuse support, or anything else you may need. Good luck, and best wishes to your family.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Susan Traugh
April, 1 2018 at 8:54 pm

Hi Katie,
I agree with Melissa--do not beat yourself up. You have enough on your plate. In addition to Melissa's wise suggestions, I might add that you may want to contact 1-800-4-A-CHILD. This is a hotline providing help and support for victims of child abuse. In addition to the hospital, this resource can direct you to the help both you and your son need to navigate this issue. Good luck to both of you and I am glad that you've taken the first step on the road to healing.

Timothy leeds
March, 30 2018 at 10:56 am

Hi I'm am 14 but my little brother is Vinelent and beets up on are mom and little sister and if he doesn't get his way he screems and beets up on me and my mom and little sister he's 7 but his Vinelent

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 31 2018 at 5:14 pm

Hi, Timothy. I’m sorry to hear this is happening. I know what it’s like as a parent, but I can’t imagine having a sibling like this. If you all are ever in physical danger, you can call 911 for help or a local mobile crisis team. Talk to your mom about this ahead of time so that you have a crisis plan, and she’s aware and approving of it. There are also abuse hotlines you can try. For instance, National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Stay safe!

Bobbie Zimmerman
February, 15 2018 at 6:35 pm

I’m also having issues with my 12 year old son. He’s acting out at school, there’s not a day I don’t get a phone call or email from a teacher or administrator. He’s been suspended countless times this year. Mental health is not helping us at all and they say they don’t have resources to help. We go to the dr there for 15 minuets a month and they want me to diagnose my son. I often am afraid to even say anything at these meetings because I don’t want them to take what I say and twist it. That have changed his diagnosis and medication countless times within the last six months. He does act out at home and I have an older daughter and a younger daughter and I am definitely afraid of him around the youngest because he can be very absive to her. I’m at the end of my rope. I have even contacted the pediatrician her recommendation was to take him to a children’s hospital. They don’t take my insurance and won’t let me pay in cash, they said it would void his regular health insurance. He needs to have some Nero Physh testing done but there is a 9 month wait. At times he is Suicidal and self harming. Anyone have any ideas?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Susan Traugh
February, 18 2018 at 10:49 am

Hi Bobbie,
Have you tried talking to your local NAMI organization? NAMI is the National Alliance for Mental Illness and has chapters all over the country. You can find a number for them here on on their "Resource" page. You might also want to try calling 211. This is a referral service for Health and Human Services. They often have a list of resources in your community and hotlines that you can call immediately. I'm so sorry to hear that you are having such difficulties and hope that you find some help for your son very soon.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

February, 18 2018 at 2:24 pm

Hi, Bobbie --
If he's making suicidal statements, I would call 911 or take him straight to the hospital. Otherwise, have you talked to the school about an IEP? In most places, if a child is on an IEP for an emotional/behavioral disorder, they have to take far more steps before suspending that child and need to institute many more accommodations to help. I don't know where you're located, but if you're in the U.S., definitely talk to your school about an individualized education plan (IEP). If he already has one, they may need to up the hours of support he receives. Does your child have a psychiatrist? That person may know of good referrals for day programs or residential treatment as well. Look into your local National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), they usually have better local resources. Otherwise, definitely keep your appointments for the neuropsych eval. Might as well put it on the calendar now, even if it is a long wait. I'm really hoping your school will have more options for you. I've been there. I know it's rough. Best of luck.

February, 2 2018 at 11:44 am

Hello All. I have a 7 year old that was hospitalized back in May for psychosis. Dropping him off and leaving him there was excruciating so I understand how difficult having a mentally ill child is. But unlike most of the posts I'm reading here, my son doesn't have anger, rage, or defiance issues. My son is a paranoid schizophrenic. He has hallucinations at school (in 1st grade) that terrify the school staff. He is also autistic and has ADHD and GAD, so when he hallucinates, he draws attention to himself and makes him even more of a target for bullies and mean kids. He feels his "spirits" shooting him and he sees blood running out of his chest. He drops to the floor because he feels as though he is being tasered (one of his special interests is being a police officer). He won't go anywhere by himself, even in our own home during the day. Never...He believes he is being watched, that Hitler is going to kill him in his sleep, and that even the kids at school who are nice to him are out to get him and laugh at him (not true). Yesterday, he heard voices whispering, "I'm going to kill you!" He hears command voices telling him to hurt himself or kill me. School is very difficult for him and right now he only attends half days and has a full time aid. He cries all the time, often for no apparent reason. I feel that this is just the beginning of a very tough road. I live in a place far from friends and family. Every so often, I will meet someone with a child my son's age and we will agree to get them together to play. But shortly after, they disappear and once again, I am alone. The really sad thing is that even in the midst of his disorder, my son wants friends so badly it has become an obsession for him but as of now, he doesn't have any friends. We have gone almost the entire school year without a single birthday party invitation. When he had his party, we handed out 16 party invitations and only one child came. Her mom was the room mom and I guess she didn't get the memo..
What I wish for my son is that he can get to a place of self-confidence. I would love for him to have a real friend and be a happy little boy. I don't want him to be afraid all the time. I hope that one day he will be able to navigate his world with success. He is my only child and I just want to see him grow up into a happy, productive adult. Right now, thinking this far ahead is depressing. I worry about who will be around to take care of him (and love him) after his father and I are gone. He will be all alone and at the mercy of a terribly stigmatizing illness. Even his doctors cannot give me hope for a successful future for him.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Matthew Timothy Snell
February, 9 2018 at 6:54 am

Hi. I have a 10 yr old daughter. I am contemplating what my options are and what to do right now. Like this blog, wtf js an hr a month ask her her feelings gonna do? When she is going to school lying about sex, my sins friends touching her ( it is def a lie. it is no possible way it could have happened) She is extremely obsessed with sex, she lies not small things but big knes for attention, she steals, she has no empathy, no remorse for anyyhing...but she is a great con artist that easily makes folks believe her pitiful stories. I cannot go to school and hold her hand. I get blocked by some sort if wall witj every program that the school offers may it because we make just enough f to NOT be eligible for medicaide.....I cannot take anymore, it is daily that I am getting calls from parents, teachers and so in and no-one seems to want to help me. my biggest fear is she is going to lie on another child and someone is going to hurt her....i think my only option is to admit her somewhere or allow the state to take over custody.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Thomas Dukett
February, 9 2018 at 3:30 pm

Matthew Not sure if this helps but my 12-year-old daughter does the exact same thing lied about somebody raping her holding her down and talk about sex all the time we’ve just recently two days ago admitted her into a psychiatric hospital and on her own recognizance she decided to stay I’m not sure how it’s going to work out but I will keep in touch she’s going to be admitted now for a week depending on her progress

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Donna Weber
March, 28 2018 at 12:26 am

I feel everyone's pain I have and 8 year son he's been in partial been in Cpac what ever it's called they didn't help him so today I had to call the school and tell them he had a ruff morning he hit his sister and dad then through a space heater so he continued in school by swearing saying he's going to kill every one and he tells that to us all the time so I've been up since 5:00am Tuesday and I'm at the hospital cuz he got transported from school to here I just want to get help for him I want him to be happy again

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Susan Traugh
February, 9 2018 at 10:06 am

Dear Nicole,
I'm so sorry for the painful position in which you find yourself. You are right, it is such a difficult journey when our kids suffer from mental illness. Your son is lucky to have such a concerned advocate on his side, and it sounds like you are doing all you can. As far as friends are concerned, have you tried joining the local NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) group in your area? They have meetings for families and this might be a good place to meet other families whose kids are dealing with similar issues. I believe you'd find parents who understand your situation and are more tolerant of your son's behavior. has numbers for NAMI on the Resource Page of this site. Additionally, NAMI might offer you the support you need as you journey with your son--it is much easier when we have an ear or two to listen. My son was placed into a non-public school when he was in middle school. It changed everything for him. The small size (8 kids to a classroom) and supportive setting allowed him to make lots of friends and really feel like he was part of something. It really changed our lives. Finally, you may want to look into some financial planning for your son's future. Some providers allow for free initial consultations. It might relieve your mind to begin creating a plan for your son's future. I wish I could offer you more, but do know that there is support out there. My thoughts are with you.

December, 2 2017 at 6:15 pm

I have a 15 year old boy who has run away, took drugs, been in trouble with the law, suspended and expelled from school (he is now in his 4th highschool). He was also in the care of Children's Aid because he kept running away and I could not take it any longer and I have other children younger than him to take care of so I signed him over to Children's Aid for a couple months. Before he was signed over to Children's Aid, I had to call the police on him because he was out of hand(intoxicated with cocaine and possibly other drugs) and a danger to himself and possibly me and his siblings. The police took him into emerg where he was tested for drugs and assessed briefly. He was released within hours and I later found out that cocaine was found in his system. I struggled to obtain information about him regarding his stay at the hospital because they said I was not with him when he was admitted and there was a patient confidentiality rule that they had to follow and the only way i could get the information was by his consent. I later on received a copy of his record because he agreed that it was okay for me to see it. Anyhow, I struggled for months trying to get him properly assessed but because he refused any type of assessment one could not be done. He either had to give his consent in writing in some cases or agree verbally. He obtained a total of approximately 7 charges within 9 months (with the first charge starting in November of 2016). One day when he took off again, he picked up another charge where I had to bail him out the next day (so he spent the night in jail). I went to court and pleaded for them to place a condition on his bail that he get an assessment. When I got the assessment done, I got the results and it said he had "A LEARNING PROBLEM. HIS SYMPTOMS ARE CONSISTENT WITH A LEARNING DISORDER AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE; HOWEVER, THERE IS A STRONG POSSIBILITY OF UNDERLYING ADHD AND CONDUCT DISORDER". Does this mean that this is his diagnosis, that he has ADHD and CONDUCT DISORDER? The psychiatrist offered him an adolescent psychiatric program for further assessment, but he refused to participate in the program. My question is, was that the diagnosis (ADHD AND CONDUCT DISORDER) and was the doctor just sending my son for treatment for these mental illnesses? I thought the psychiatrist was unsure of the illness, therefore he wanted to get a second opinion. However, my family doctor informed me that that was the diagnosis and my son did in fact have ADHD AND CONDUCT DISORDER. Please share your thoughts. I really need some advice on what to do in order get my son treated. As well, recently he has been defecating on the school washroom floors about almost everyday for over a month and he denied it adamantly. He has also urinated in the past on the school washroom floor and in someone's home in the vents. He has also stolen from me and others and denies it. Sometimes he seems fine and other times he is irritable, blaming, wants to give up (depressed about everything), selfish, dependent on me, disorganized, messy, throws tantrums, daydreaming and doesn't seem remorseful or doesn't take responsibility for his actions... Many times I have to do things as little as making sure he has his key for home. Most times he leaves the door open when he leaves, even though he has his keys and he loses his items a lot.
What do I do. This has been the most stressful year ever. Please help!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 3 2017 at 2:12 pm

This does sound really hard! I'm sorry to hear it's been tough finding help for your son. From what you've said, it sounds like providers and the legal system haven't really kept you as informed or as involved as a parent typically should be. I'd suggest looking for care-giver support. PACER has very good advocacy programs for parents like you. Their website is The website will have numbers you can call where you can ask more questions and get some feedback on your particular situation. NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) also has supports for family members and caregivers (they're at It sounds like there's so much going on with your son that it would help to talk it out with people who are professionals in this area. I hope they can help! (And I hope your son finds the help he needs).

January, 4 2018 at 2:23 am

What is ur # 9126704466 please call me ASAP thanks

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 4 2018 at 4:27 am

Hi, Telena--
I can't give out my phone number, but I'm happy to address any concerns here if you post them.

Jennifer League
November, 14 2017 at 5:11 am

My son is 8 years old and has been diagnosed with ODD. He is very angry and will throw his books on the ground and when I try to speak to him over the phone he won't talk. He's on Intuniv, but it doesn't seem to be working as he continues to throw this fits of rage. I'm a single mom and am nearing the end of my rope. He's on an IEP at school for his behavior and dysgraphia and dyslexia. I've removed him from one after care facility to a smaller after care that provide Karate instruction as well. He is seen by counselors at school and outside of school along with a psychiatrist. I've had to take him to the ER as he would not de-escalate and have their psychologist see what I've been dealing with. I guess the next option is to try a different medication, but if that doesn't work, are there inpatient behavioral centers for kids his age?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 16 2017 at 5:23 pm

I'm so sorry Jennifer, it sounds like you have your hands full. But, it also sounds like you are doing all the right things and pursuing help for your son from several different angles. I do believe there are inpatient behavioral centers for your son. Have you talked to your son's counselor or psychiatrist about recommendations they might have? When I put my daughter into a residential facility, it was one that was recommended to me by staff at the out-patient program she was in. They guided me through the process of analyzing facilities and worked with me to find the best fit for my child. In my case, seeking help from the professionals gave me real peace of mind as I made decisions about therapy, medication and placement. Good luck to you, Jennifer.

Jennifer Cox
November, 8 2017 at 1:53 am

We were finally able to get her into a behavioral clinic. The first visit was just history and the 2nd one they did some testing but I don't kno what they did as I wasn't allowed to be with her and I feel that was a good thing. Will not hear anything until next week but I had to make a call to them this morning because her negative behaviors have increased. She has thrown one of our ferrets on the floor, still hitting etc and went after a classmate at pre-k yesterday trying to cut her hair and when the teacher explained that it wasn't safe, she cut a big hole in her shirt. I am becoming increasingly afraid of what she will do next. She has no remorse for the things she is doing. She is becoming more demanding as in if she doesn't get what she wants immediately, it is an explosion of anger.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 11 2017 at 7:43 am

Hi Jennifer, I'm sorry that you are still suffering through the intake process with your daughter. But, it sounds like you are one the right track and are getting the team together that can help your child. It just is so difficult to have to wait while the team is assembled. I remember how it felt like no one understood how difficult every second was with my child, and their "next week" seemed like an eternity to me. Is there a way that someone else can give you an hour or so of respite? I know that can be frightening when our children are really out of control. If not, can you call one of the hotlines has listed as a resource? My suggestion is that you find yourself a few moments of support--either in person or on the phone--so that you can keep going until the behavioral clinic comes up with a plan. In the meantime, my thoughts are with you. I understand the bravery it takes to keep moving forward in your circumstances.

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