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 25 from

Author: Angela McClanahan

Sylvia Ramirez
October, 20 2017 at 7:41 pm

My son was diagnosed with depression and emotional disturbance. He is so out of control, he hits the walls breaks everything he can. He tells me he hates me he wishes i wasnt his mom. He doesn't like to go to school and every morning is a fight and he wins. I need help we have tried counseling but he wont talk so they end up closing his case and referring him to someone else. I dont know what to do anymore.

Christopher M D Agostino
October, 8 2017 at 3:01 am

Need help my son is 7 going to be 8 in December and his attitude if out of control we have true therapy counseling medication taking stuff away giving options make him do chores and everything is still a constant hassle me and his mother are at our wits end please give us some advice to help or lead us in a direction of a facility that can help

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

October, 8 2017 at 12:06 pm

So familiar! I don't know where you live, but I'd recommend requesting a referral for county case management. There are so many types of services available in-home that are hard to access without case management. If you're ineligible for it right now, there are still some steps you can take on your own. Either apply for medicaid, if you're eligible, and if you're not, try applying for your son (you have to have your child certified disabled as part of this process, though, so there will be much thinking and discussing to have about it, and this is another thing that is much easier if you have county assistance). Medicaid often pays for things like in-home behavior therapy, personal care attendant services, skill-building services, and generally getting people in the home to help you. It often pays for additional services in schools, too. If Medicaid isn't available for you, ask your therapist or child's psychiatrist for referrals to in-home services. You can all your insurance provider yourself to see what they cover as well.
The only thing that worked for us when my son was 8 was that, the moment he started hurting us and talking about ending his life, I took him into the emergency room. He was hospitalized, and that started a whole series of helpful events. It's an unfortunate part of our system that, sometimes, we have to hit "rock bottom" before we get the help we need. So hopefully that's not the route you have to go.

September, 22 2017 at 3:04 am

Everything I have read relates to all the things I am going through trying to raise my grandaighter.

Judith fay
September, 14 2017 at 4:46 am

I have my 8 year old Grandson who is out of control. I can relate to all these stories. It is a constant struggle. He was born addicted to heroin and meth pot and pills. FAS..i sometimes feel like I'm crazy. He has broke my finger..Slapped me in the face punched me . I hurt my leg in a scooter accident and he would push me down and kick me in the bad leg. He has told me I going to kill you I hope you die. I have to hide my purse he goes through it. He steals sweet stuff from our pantry while we are sleeping. He has no friends.. We have had behavior coaches and counclors..He knows when to put on a show. I spent my days video taping him. To show he is doing these things. He had a 4 hour screaming fit because he wanted us to suffer. He bangs his head against the walls putting big holes everywhere..Punching himself leaving bruises...

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Rebecca (Anonymous)
November, 18 2017 at 10:00 pm

This sounds exactly like my son. He will be 7 in May. I dont know what to do anymore! I am
pregnant and when he is mad he purposely kicks my stomach. He wakes up at 3am and raids the house and gets into whatever he can! We have a safe to keep meds and sweets in and he still finds a way in, picking locks. We have a home security system and seem him wake up with thos bozarre behavior. We have tried everything and it wont stop! If we put him in is room he busts holes in the wall on purpose and breaks things... chews holes in shirts... breaks windows! I have hit rock bottom. I need help!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 19 2017 at 1:25 pm

Hi Rebecca. I'm so sorry for your troubles. It has to be especially hard dealing with all this and being pregnant, too. Does your son have a therapist and/or psychiatrist? Can you talk to them about what's going on at home? Have you discussed your options for treatment with him? It sounds like you have stepped up to do all you can but it is not enough. I would spell that out clearly to your health care providers and see what guidance they can give you. I would also contact your local NAMI organization and see what guidance they can give you. has numbers for NAMI in the Resource section of this site. How is his behavior in school? Public schools are required to provide a free and appropriate education, and if his behavior at school is like it is at home, you may be able to get some relief from the school. Check out your options, and engage all the support you can. You don't have to fight this battle alone.

Sherrie Richardson
January, 12 2018 at 8:18 am

a therapist is not always the answer. Something they do nothing. Where are the free/low-cost facilities that take these kids when the need to be admitted. I have a nephew that is out of control... He is in need of help!!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Natasha Tracy
January, 12 2018 at 11:27 am

Hi Sherrie,
I recommend you check out the SAMSHA Services Locator or call their referral line as they would have more information on available facilities.
- Natasha Tracy

Carol Bailey
July, 28 2017 at 8:10 am

My 6 year old son is the same way he bites,kicks,yells,hits me and his dad with his fist.he has autism and ADHD. I can't handle him by myself when his dad isn't so will also brake up his toys when he gets mad...

July, 18 2017 at 2:58 pm

Amanda, my heart goes out to you as you certainly have your hands full. I am not qualified to give you professional advice on your situation, but I can certainly direct you towards resources that MAY be able to help you. has a list of hotline numbers and you might try calling them. I suggest you start with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to begin with. If you have medical insurance, you may also want to try contacting them--many companies offer 24-hour hotlines with registered nurses to guide you. Finally, I would contact your doctor again, explain the situation, and see if he or she can see you on an emergency basis. In the meantime, since grounding isn't working, you might try reversing your strategy and rewarding her for a good day. Maybe an extra story, or token gift for every day she doesn't hit. Maybe you can even work with the program to, initially, give her a reward for each activity she completes without hitting or misbehavior. Of course, this may not work, but then again, it might buy you some time until you can get into the doctor. Good luck to you.

July, 18 2017 at 11:00 am

any help would be great. My daughter will be 6 on Thursday and I don't know what to do anymore, It seems like its either my career or my child as I am a single parent with no family. this is the 8th day in a row that I have left my job to pick up her from her summer program. they call me almost every hour. but once my daughter hits someone she has to be sent home for the day. I have told her over and over again how hitting isn't okay. and she gets grounded. What else can I do her program has had it and if I stop working we will be going into a homeless shelter and I lose everything and I have a teenager daughter I need to take care as of well. what am I missing. the love is there the time Is there shes not hungry or sleeping that is all normal routine. A little background with my daughter she will be 6 but all her tests taken says shes only developmental a 4. she has a hard time speaking but can just some words or most you can't understand. she has adhd sensory speech and developmental delay. they won't put her on meds until her appointment which isn't until September. what do I do inpatient. or lose my home and my other daughter.
any advice please

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Jennifer Cox
August, 4 2017 at 5:30 am

I have a 4yr old that is the same way. She's been kicked out of daycares, I am not working because she has gotten so bad that I'm scared to leave her with anyone. She is self injuring, hits, kicks, bites, breaks things and nothing has worked. She was OK until she started going back to her bio mom's for weekend visits. She now hasn't seen her in almost a yr and she is still becoming worse. She can not speak well enough to say what happened there, if she even remembers. I have no idea what to do anymore. Her pediatrician has tried meds and they don't work, she doesn't sleep either. I am at a point where if someone doesn't help, I will have to leave my husband because I can not handle her or the stress. I am losing hair, have severe migraines on a weekly basis and dread getting up because I know nothing will change.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 6 2017 at 10:59 am

I'm so sorry for your troubles, Jennifer. But, I will say the same thing to you that I said to Amanda--find some support. Dealing with our kids with mental illness is too difficult a job to do alone. It will burn you out and destroy relationships. I'm so glad that you found as I believe they have some excellent resources for you. Do go to their Resource page and find a hotline. Call it. Get some advice about how to move forward. I also suggest you speak to your daughter's pediatrician about getting connected with a therapist and/or psychiatrist if you haven't already done so. If insurance is a problem, you may want to check with the local community clinic for referrals. Begin putting together a team to help you deal with your daughter, and take whatever small moments you can steal to take care of yourself. Even baby-steps out of the place you're in can feel hopeful. Good luck.

Dr Musli Ferati
September, 20 2016 at 7:35 pm

To my perspective childhood exhibits intrigued and difficult period of psychological development of person. So, it is very hard and challenged deed to parents to grow up and to bring up their children in healthy and appropriate way. Each mental and conduct disorder of this age indicate disturbing issue for parents, that should manage as soon as possible. There are many option and psychiatric approaching to treat any child mental pathology, but the main ones are inpatient and outpatient ward. Your bad experience with your six old child after inpatient psychiatric treatment isn't the main reason to disfavour course of the respective conduct disorder. There are many biopsychosocial implications to mental and conduct problems through fragile and subtle childhood period. Crucial standpoint is to understand and accept that it isn't your fault that you decided to admit your child in psychiatric hospital. I understand your concern about this amiss course of your child's misconduct, but the psychological development is complex and still not proved issue. My opinion to this misfortune epilogue is to look forward and don't accuse any acting on the past time, like inpatient treatment of your unfortunate child.

September, 18 2016 at 10:39 am

Im 12 years old. An a girl. My mom threatens to send me to mental hospitals thinking its gonna get me to stop yelling or being " mean" to her. But don't most kids my age go threw that stage if anger. Depression. Because its puberty? My mom has ADD and a bipolar disorder. My dad is dieting slowly because his lungs or ssomething (I try not to get involed it makes me sad) and I dot have any mental or health problems. I have A's and B's in school. But a few days ago I was at my best friends house. And my dad couldn't find her house and was getting really mad. And when I got iintothe car he was so pissed stetted yelling at me and taking it out in me. Making up so many thinks it blame on me to make himself feel better. I just sat their like... Holding my tears and anger in. But after I got home I was so mad. I couldnt keep my anger in because of the car ride. I blew up. Went off total bitch mode on my mom. And my mom having the bipolar thing she gets ticked easy and then I went to the bathroom to cry and I had to pee and this WA alike 5 minutes after everything was over and my mom knocked and said. " anyone in here" I said " yeah" and she was like " ANYONE IN HERE" and I was like" YEAH" and then when I got out she said " your grounded" so I said " okay" and turned around to my room and she said " DID YOU HEAR ME I SAID YOUR GROUNDED " and get ticked easy also so I said " I SAID OKAY!!!" and of course I was got yelled at then this guy vie never seen before came up behind my mom and said " if you don't stop Im gonna hit you" so I just shut up and I am only child so I don't have anyone to stick up for me. And so my dad said " maybe we should just send her to whites institue so she learns discipline because Im sick in tired if hearing a 12 year old talk to her mother like that or maybe I should put the belt to her ass maybe then she will learn. " so I tried to stand up and tell what actually happened. that's why I get into trouble so much. Because I try to stick up for my self and I can't when their are 3 adults and then me. And I do nothing wrong. I feel like my parents are right maybe I should be put into a mental hospiand or a boot camp. Then come back home and be a total different person and then watch them wish they never put me in one. I don't know. Am I even doing anything wrong? Are my parents right?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Ashley Jones
April, 25 2017 at 2:25 am

I wish I could take you in☺My name is Ashley and im 28,im married with 3 beautiful little girls,I've given birth 7 times total. My family would take you in with no question asked.I went through alot of the same things as you☺Good Luck sweet heart ☺

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 25 2017 at 5:28 am

Summer, it is unfortunate that we as busy adults do not take the time to listen to our children. I am a therapist and see so many children in my office because they have conflict at home. 9 out 10 cases, it is a communication issue between parent and child, which escalates when parents attends session. I am sorry that your words and feelings are not being valued. My advice to you would be to continue to work hard in school, reduce conflict by listening to your parents and based on previous incidents respond accordingly (keeping mindful not to escalate your tone). Seek help from guidance or school counselor should you need to vent.

September, 11 2016 at 9:05 pm

I have two adopted boys from foster that were abused and neglected. Since they were 4 and 5 both have exhibited rages, violent behavior toward others and themselves . Destruction of the house and I suffered a lot of verbal abuse. I had them seeing therapists every week psychiatrists . Both were on medications to try to manage their moods. The school psychologist would see them as well as I would get the calls from the principal. From the beginning I was very vocal at all the IEP meetings ( and make sure you have an independent education program !!!). They kept saying that they are doing okay in school etc etc. this is the important part! IT IS FEDERAL LAW that ALL CHILDREN are given a FREE and APPROPRIATE education !!! So when another episode happened where he tried to hurt his sister ) I took him to ER and they admitted him to a psych hospital . Best thing I ever did! Because they helped his meds get adjusted but more importantly because he is at risk for harming others and now they get how mentally ill he is ,the school district could not have him attend a public school that does not have the supports he needs ( small classes, an aid, therapists avail) . The classes in public school were not appropriate for him!! So I told them they have to find an appropriate place ! They did! They found a great therapeutic treatment non public school ! He lives there. He lives in a highly structured environment that can maintain the positive reinforcement and daily intensive behavioral program and schooling) And I don't pay a thing ! ( it's more then 100,000 a year) . So my advice is even though it's difficult take your child to er! Stop the suffering and dysfunction in the family! Get a letter from your paychiatrist stating your child needs to be in an intensive therapeutic program because he is a danger to himself or others. Call for a meeting with the head of your special needs program. The fact that you are picking up your child from principals office for attacking another kid means that the public school is not an appropriate environment for your child to be able to learn and get an education . The school will just suspend or call you for pick up and act like its yours not their problem. WRONG! Most parents just don't know this law!!!!!i hope this helps!! You have to be very assertive for your child's rights. There comes a point as a parent where you have to realize that you are just not helping them anymore .

August, 10 2016 at 10:04 pm

We recently found out my husband is DEFINITELY bi-polar with hallucinations and paranoia. He has gone manic 7-9 times in the past 10 mths and it lasted for weeks. I am now familiar with the mental health system. I never put my husband in the hospital but I wished I had, he really needed it. They are to sick to realize It. When he finally came around he went to out patient therapy M-F 9-12p for 3 months. He is doing good, no meds
My sister has been going thru Similar issues with my nephew(16) And he is way bigger than her the doctors keep saying he is
bi-polar. He is on meds but still having several issues? and he has not spent more then a few days in the mental unit. I don't think they should diagnose him by what my sister and nephew are saying. but what they see themselves. Getting a diagnosis requires doctor or therapist to see your child more than 1x or 2x. Over medicating the patient WILL send them manic and unfortunately I think that has been and continues to be a problem. Find a good out patient therapy for adolescents. If they can be seen everyday for therapy but at least 3x a week And parents let's keep it real just because they have issues does not mean stop parenting, and unfortunately I see that a lot.

July, 28 2016 at 3:27 pm

Trying to keep it together tonight my ex-husband and I or possibly admitting my daughter a nine year old into a pediatric psychiatric ward in New Jersey she has been diagnosed with ADHD ASD SPD and possible bipolar disorder. The past 2 months her behaviour has changed dramatically violent outburst hearing noises screaming being violent towards me and her little sister she refused to go to school for the last two weeks of school and I have taken a leave of absence from work since June. It's her mood swings that are the scariest we'll be laughing and having fun one second before you know it she's kicking me with all her might saying that she can't take it and she needs help and I'm not doing anything to help her she goes into violent rages and attacks her sister and when I screamed for her to stop it's like she doesn't even hear me then she tells me that she doesn't remember even hurting her. She is currently taking Abilify she was taking quillivant for two years but I suggested taking her off it due to the fact that it's a stimulant and she may have a bipolar diagnosis my heart is breaking tonight thinking about having to leave her and it's killing me but two psychiatrists and others have told me that they feel that she needs more than just outpatient services and that I have to keep in mind that time doing this for her best interest but it doesn't seem to help my broken heart

Jacob m
July, 27 2016 at 7:57 am

Don't emit him, and don't put him on meds, try to explain the situation, I was one of those kids, therapists load of meds I was a zombie I wanted to die, my mother abused me for 6 years with my new born sister *6 years old now* and now I'm a wreck, I am suicidal, I can't feel most emotions, I live in the hood I fight AL the time I'm a social outcast at scool and I laugh at death

July, 1 2016 at 3:54 pm

Hi. My daughter is 11yrs old and has been baker acted in the last month twice for anger, rage, homicidal thoights about killing her family and hearing voices. The doctors don't believe it is schizophrenia but are saying she has a major mood disorder, conduct, disorder, conversion disorder, major abandonment issues and borderline multiple personality disorder BMPD. I suffer myself from BMPD and depression. I have felt so alone the past year and like I have failed as a parent. Reading other peoples experiences helps because I know I am not alone. I am looking for inpatient residential treatment but am skeptical. My 9 year old son had to move out and is now living with my father because my daughter hurts him and has actually strangled him. The doctor actually told me he is worried she is going to snap and act out on her plan of killing everyone in the household. I am a mental mess and. I am looking for guidance on how to keep my own sanity not only for my daughter but for my son who is only 9 and his life has been turned upside down. Please how do you parents cope with this craziness?? She has been in outpatient counseling for a year and it is only getting worse!! Please help!! Are there any support groups in Florida Pasco county or Pinellas County? I am glad to know I am not alone but I feel like it. I had so many hopes and dreams for my daughter but those are slowly dwindling. She had to be pulled out of 6th grade and I can only hope she will not be retained any more grades due to her extreme mental issues. For those who have found the light at the end of the tunnel please offer advice!!! I have no where else to turn.

George testmand
June, 25 2016 at 6:51 pm

I need inpatient mental health. Ideation hallucinating hear. Voice. If you have to get a court order

June, 7 2016 at 9:48 am

Hi, I have a 5 yr old son that has autism, cant seperate fantasy vs. reality (thinks that power rangers and transformers are real, things hes a good guy everyone else is a bad guy), is aggressive in school home, on 1mg Risperdone. Has hit his teachers, smashed kids heads in chairs, etc.. there are 2 years of documented behavior from school, this is going on daily. Home life is the same. I am at my wits end when he told my husband he wanted to kill him. During this event he was calm and was not having an outburst. Leading up to this there has been comments of "mommy i want to punch you", "mommy i am going to hit you" that are un provoked, and "i like to make brother hurt". I told his psychatrist office this over the phone and said that i have to take him to a hospital to get a psch eval. Im scared to take him , because I know they will find something. What do i Do?

Jeanne Petit
June, 3 2016 at 4:15 am

Martha Johnson, your son, and your family are blessed. Your story is one of the best ones out there and it gives us hope.
In my world, my son's school was not the best for him and because of his autism, he has a tendency to mimic the other student's negative behavior. My son is also seeking for friendship and attention the best way he knows how and those crucial years (between 8-12) can really shape a child's social world.
Right now, we are facing much troubles with our 13 year old because he has become more violent (at puberty, he sort of realized he was stronger ) towards all family members. I have tried to enroll him in various programs but one way or another, it does not work out.
My son takes medication however, I believe these somehow suppress his real emotions and these burst out later on, when they wear off. My son is very intelligent, however, his interpretation of the world, of people can be very different and difficult to deal with.
We continue to work on communication with him as it is apparent, these children can become very manipulative.
A prayer for all the families out there going through difficult times, I hope your children will find the help they need.

Martha Johnson
May, 19 2016 at 1:26 pm

Also, we did not give our son medication. The school was an experimental one back in the day, and medication would have made our son unsuitable as a subject. The school was so good and he was supervised so carefully that it was not needed. We were required to bring our son home every third weekend, but teachers from the group home came to our home and taught us so we could act as therapists for our son. It was very difficult, but our son was and is worth it.

Martha Johnson
May, 19 2016 at 1:13 pm

This school and group home did not cost us a cent. The Division of Youth and Family Services in NJ and fundraisers and donations covered everything.

Martha Johnson
May, 19 2016 at 1:00 pm

Our son was diagnosed with Childhood Onset: Pervasive Developmental Disorder (full-blown autism) when he was 6-yrs. old, in 1984. From 18 mos. he shrieked, then began biting me frequently. He was very hyperactive. He ran out of our home, despite the bars on windows and padlocked doors. (He could pick the locks and run, even with me pulling him away as hard as I could.) He once set a fire in our kitchen when we were asleep. He was very fast, he would get away in public situations and immediately diappear. Despite our very best efforts he could get out of our car and run. He didn't speak at all and became self-injurious.
Today he lives in a supervised apartment, holds a job in an insurance company, has hobbies and friends, and loves his life. My husband and I love to visit back and forth with him.
How did this miracle occur? When he was 7 my husband an I had to place our son in a group home for autistic children, because his behaviors could have killed him and he was too strong for us to continue saving him. It was the hardest thing we have ever had to do.
It turned out to be one of the very best things we've ever done. The group home and its associated day school were run strictly on the science of applied behavior analysis. Each negative behavior was treated, with our consent. Data was frequently collected, demonstrating his progress or lack thereof. When the treatment didn't help, the method of instruction was modified, until it allowed him to replace his negative behaviors with positive ones. The teachers at the school "shaped" our son's behavior. For instance, his strange hand motions were modified to become excellent typing skills. His noises became singing, his self-injurious behavior became great care in grooming and dressing. The school overwhelmingly used positive reinforcement. The "punishment" there is witholding an expected reward.
More and more of these schools are being established, those based on science, with completely consistent, frequent data collection, and charting of the data, with the principle that the child would learn if his teachers used the right method. Changing programs until they met the child's needs. Positive reinforcement, accountability to parents and a human-rights review board not associated with the school. An "open" school, every child in the school could be seen by visitors.
I cannot urge strongly enough that parents with children like mine seek out schools like my son's and move heaven and earth to get your child into one.

Jennifer johnson
May, 17 2016 at 11:51 am

I have 2 boys one is 10 and the other is 7 they are both ADHD and my 10 year old talks about killing himself every time he gets in trouble for something. He has put marks on himself he told me husband he was gonna mark himself up and tell the cops he did it he has such hate for my husband don't know why he has been here for 3 years now he is not there biological dad but he has been there. There dad has not been here for years. My 7 year old has left claw marks on me he has hit us punched us and laughed about it they have been in therapy after therapy but nothing seems to be working i need help

May, 6 2016 at 4:50 pm

Wow thank you all for posting. I just took custody of a 11 year old boy who was institutionalized since age four. He is the son of my God daughter. I could not believe that she would not take him home. I fostered him on weekends when he was supposed to go home to her and then eventually fostered him legally until I got custody. He is highly manipulative because the real him did not show himself until after I got legal custody. The rest of my story is exactly the same as most of you. Just because I did not give birth to him makes it no easier to think about putting him in the hospital. It might make it harder because I feel so protective of him because his real mom just gave up. She had other children to consider. Now she is telling me not to put him in hospital because they will take him from me. Just like everyone on here I am shunned and looked at crooked. We are isolated and I feel like I am in prison in my own home. The emotional turmoil is making me physically ill.

melissa whitfield hoover
May, 6 2016 at 12:24 pm

I am at a loss after exhausting all in order to find inpatient help for my 7 year old son. I live in n.m.round ElPaso Texas area. Does anyone have a clue? Please.

April, 21 2016 at 8:04 pm

My 14 Year old Daughter was recently diagnosed with bipolar. She was given Lithium and does not take it consistently. A friend told here there was nothing wrong with her and the doctor was "dumb".
She refuses to go to school and will give every excuse. We have court next week for Truancy. Last week she attacked her older sister while she was sleeping because "she made me mad earlier".
I am at a cross road as I would like to get her help and have even called a facility about admission procedure. Her father and I are divorced and he hasn't been extremely active in her life however recently I have kept him in the loop as mental illness runs in his side of the family.
He disagrees with me that inpatient treatment would help her. I firmly believe she needs the help that can be provided there as I think she needs some intensive counseling and was to learn to cope through the rough patches.
Any thoughts or help are greatly appreciated.

April, 13 2016 at 11:47 am

I have 10 year old daughter who no doctors in my area can't seem to agree to what is really wrong. So after her beating up her older sister and younger brother I decided that I need to have her admitted to the hospital. Some of the stuff she is saying would horrify anyone and she actually ran away this morning lucky she went to the school where I was able to find her and let her know that was very bad idea. The medication that she is on would knock anyone else around and it no longer works. This week is one of her bad weeks and I'm stressed out so bad I get sick every time I eat or drink anything. I just wonder if I'm really doing the right thing? The safety of the other children is the only thing that tells me I'm doing the right thing.

April, 9 2016 at 3:47 am

I have a 15 year old son. I just want to thank Ms. Rhonda Nickerson for her email on February 28, 2016. I totally identified with her. It is very frustrating. The verbal abuse from my son is getting worse. It is an everyday situation that is hard for me. My family cares but they really don't understand. The support that I received from them has stopped because the stress is too much for them to deal with. There is never any time for myself. There are days that I just don't eat because I am so unhappy because I can't help my son. The medication is not working no matter what they give him. It is a matter of time that I will lose my apartment because the outburst are so loud that the neighbors are tired of it. The neighbors have approached me several times about this. This has gotten worse since he started high school September 2015. My son did so well in middle school. Once he got to high school getting excellent grades no longer matters to him. I can't even ask him a question without him getting upset about it. I which someone would help all of us. We advocate for our children and no one seems to have any solution to our problems. Many of the facilities may not be good for them. You have no idea which of these facilities would be best without some help from an experienced professional. When you ask a professional about a residential facility that can't seem to recommend one to you. I have spent so much money doing what I think is best to get my son the help he needs and that has put me into financial debt. There must be someone who is qualified to help all of us and keep us from struggling financially to do what is best for our children. We love our children but it is not healthy for us to deal with some much stress. I thought about reaching our to Dr. Phil but by the time he invites me to his show my son will be much older with additional problems.

Mrs. Wallace
April, 6 2016 at 2:53 pm

Hi, I have a 6 1/2 yr old girl who was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD when she was 5 1/2. That's when I had to have her first hospitalized. That was the worst day of my life. No words can explain how I felt. But I felt as though I had no choice. Me and my husband has always had behavioral issues with her,but it seems as though the past couple of months leading up to the hospitalization was aggressively getting worse. There is no respect in our house we feel like we are walking on eggshells in our house. She treats us as if we are her kids. She has cursed, spit,hit and threaten us. And has lied on us. I'm so hurt I don't know what to do anymore. She was hospitalized again and no help. She was on her best behavior. And the staff look at us wondering why we brought her there. She is very manipulating. I have never seen a child act the way she does. She only misbehaves a like this at and in the community. Not at school. We have a 1 1/2 year old boy as well and I don't trust her alone with him. She has already spit thrown things and slapped him. I'm so afraid someone is going to get hurt. I'm having a mental break down. I don't know what to do. She has a therapist she sees once a month that doesn't help. She also has a psychiatrist who ask her rhetoric questions and keep prescribing medication I don't think it's working. She takes intuniv 5mg and concerts 18mg. Nothing seems to be working. I want this to pass my family needs help. I feel like the only thing that may work is for her to be hospitalized permanently. That's the only way she follows order. But I can't do that to my girl. So everyday I'm cringing praying it gets better. But I know I can't keep her safe. Just the other day my mom, son,my daughter and i were at our local mall and she completely flipped out over pizza we were Getting in car and she started running back to store. My mom has to grab my son while I run after her. Mind you it's a Fri evening in a big parking lot where cars are zipping pass. I had to hold her 45min while she's fighting me. I was so afraid I couldn't physically hold her anymore as cars went by. The onlookers the stares was a another thing in itself. My mother couldn't believe she acted like that over a particular brand of pizza. The ambulance and police came and she tried fighting them telling them she knows karate. It's one extreme to the next with her. I'm so heart broken. I just don't understand this mental health illness and it hurts that I'm not able to help her. Someone please give me some advice. Thank you for letting me vent

March, 1 2016 at 8:18 am

I have a 10 year old autistic child. He's very aggressive to my husband & myself he doesn't sleep he gets in my kitchen & gets into what ever he wants & now we have taken all the snacks out of the kitchen & putting a lock on the fridge & now I have cought him eating the cat food so we have put it up & now I'm at disbelief he's eating his own poop. We are at our wits end with all that's going on, on top of being fiscally harmed to were I have gotten a concusstion & had fingers broken, spit on hit kicked stuff throne at us!! I don't know what to do anymore! We can't keep liveing this way we live on different times now because I have to stay up at night to make sure he doesn't try to hurt us or himself. Please can someone help us??

Rhonda Nickerson
February, 28 2016 at 11:22 am

I felt compelled to write, only because I have dealt with allot in the past 13 years. I have a bipolar 1, ADHD, son who is now 13, I also have an Autistic 11 year old. My life has been a whirlwind of tornados, storms, and bad weather. I have pounded the pavement countless times, only to have doors slammed in my face, friends turn there back on me, schools that don't want my son in their building, I could go on and on. Having children with mental disorders is one of the toughest challenges anyone could ever endure. Thinking I would get great help if I fought an 18 month battle to get him on disability, was a joke. I won the battle, but the only help I got, was his prescriptions being paid for, which now are a whopping 8-9,000 dollars a month. Everything I have tried to do for this child, has been a fight, I still, after all these years do not have any answers as to how to control or help him control his anger outbursts, his rage and his mania. No matter what medicines they try. I'm tired of sticking this kid on all these medicines that have no effect, and I can only imagine how harmful they COULD be later on in his life. I'm no closer now than I was 8 years ago as to having any answers to his illness. It has made me a bitter person, bitter at our government for not doing more, bitter at the school system for not educating teachers for these types of children, and not paying them more so they won't be angry in the classrooms when they have children like mine. I feel bad for anyone who has to go through any of what I am, because it is a long painful, tear jerking, emotional, roller coaster. No matter what, you need a support system. It is vital to you're own well being. I've had my older children, my parents, and other family tell me all he needs is a good butt whooping, he doesn't need medicine, he needs discipline. Really? Everyone acts like I don't discipline my children. They don't understand the ups and downs of mania, the personality changes, they think he's just being a boy when he wants to have a pocket knife to whittle a whole tote full of wood. Then their attitude changes when all of a sudden he brings knives to school, now he's no longer just a boy anymore. But a boy with charges. But that's my fault. All of this is my fault. This has been the most craziest year ever. I moved recently, just because I couldn't stand the school system where I was, and I wanted to move closer to family for more of a support system, and so far, this is how it has been. I know it'll get better, I don't know why he chose to bring knives to his new school. He really likes this school, he has never liked any school. I think in his own mind, he was trying to show off. After all, he is 13, with an 8 year old brain. It was innocent, he didn't pull it out on anyone, and was very cooperative with the police. And I understand their fears, I would freak the he'll out too. I still am! But I'm his mom, and no matter what, I have to stand behind him, support him during times like this, be the one he cried to when he realized that it was a huge mistake, and he wasn't going to hurt anyone, but he had thought it would be neat to show them off. And the picture on the door of the school had been of a gun, that said no concealed weapons, he didn't see no knives. He had forgotten about the conversation I had with him about you cannot take these knives anywhere, and can only use them here at home under my supervision. So once again, I am forced to take the door knobs off the doors, so I can check on him, because once again I fear he may try to kill himself again. Because he forgot. Again. These are the things I deal with everyday.

February, 17 2016 at 7:10 pm

Hello everyone. I have a very special autistic nephew. He was diagnosed with autism at 2 years old. And was "officially diagnosed by 3 years old. He is now 3 1/2 and my sister (his mother is having a very hard time with his condition. Matthew is severely autistic. He is non verbal and is unable to give us feed on how and why he does and feels certain ways. The last 2 weeks he has had huge meltdowns, where he scratches his parents and himself until he bleeds. All over his little face. He crystal alot through out the day. He seems angry and bothered most of the days. I feel like his cries more often that any autistic kid. Sometimes he stares into space and doesn't seem focused at all. And he will start laughing alot or crying alot outta nowhere. Does anybody know if there are any special doctors that can help us for his age. Pls we need help and guidance. My nephew is hurting himself so much. There is family history of mental illness in our family. Our father and sister suffer from bipolar disorder. How can I help him. Please I'm desperate to help my nephew and sister.

January, 31 2016 at 5:35 pm

Hello, I have a twelve year old daughter that was suspended from school. They said that she had threatened to kill two other students, I talked to her and she said that it was a joke, as of right now I'm trying to get her back in school, the play therapist said that that she is sick, the the therapist wanted to put her in a treatment facility. I don't want to do that, I just want her to go back to school. Is there a way that I can get help?

January, 22 2016 at 2:02 pm


January, 22 2016 at 2:01 pm

Hello all, I am having some of the same challenges as you. My 11 year old son was recently diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. It sound like many of you might be in the same boat. Read "THE BIPOLAR CHILD" by Demitri Paroles, it might shed some insight. Everyone thought my child had a discipline issue... then I read that book. Good luck!

Melanie Holmes
December, 8 2015 at 10:28 pm

Hi! I am looking for help in the right direction. Long story short my 10year old daughter is very angry disrespectful young lady. Our family has been through a lot this year. I believe some of her issues are due to mine and her father's mistakes. However she can not continue on the path she is on. She calls me a bitch tells me to shut up says she hates me she wants to kill herself. She says she wishes she had a different family. We currently live with my father. Her father is currently in jail. She is just as disrespectful to my Dad. She tells him to shut up calls him a old man .Tells him he's country and needs to go back to the country. She tells him she doesn't have to listen to him because he knows nothing about raising kids.Instead of asking us for something she trys to tell us what we are gonna do. I need help with her. She is now trying vto get physical. I'm afraid she's gonna get hurt or she's gonna hurt someone in the house.I would like to find a inpatient program near our town. I love my daughter so very much. I feel like she needs intense inpatient therapy. Can anyone possibly point me in the right direction.

November, 24 2015 at 9:33 pm

My 11 year old daughter is currently in a behavioral hospital for depression and having taught of suicide. She frequently has tantrums and always getting into trouble. They are testing are for disorders (such as Austism).. This is all new to me and I have no idea where to start. I've been reading materials about Austism and some of the articles are describing my daughter. She was diagnosed with ADHD at age 7. Now the providers are telling me they think she has a incorrect diagnose. She is a very smart honor roll student. I'm just not sure how to help my baby.

November, 17 2015 at 9:55 am

hi, I am 15 years old... I have anxiety and depression that started when my dad died... I cut myself in the past... I haven't done it recently... I have voices in my head that tell me whether or not I should hurt myself or someone else... I have before... I have asked my parents for therapy but they don't believe in therapy... I want help before I hurt someone I love... what do I do?

November, 16 2015 at 9:00 pm

I understand. As I write this I am sitting in the ER waiting for a bed in the pediatric unit for the night. Why a regular hospital? Because here in Idaho there is only one option for inpatient treatment for a suicidal 11 year old. That option is three hours away and all 24 beds are full. So we must wait. And if we can't get a bed in Boise tomorrow we can only hope the University of Utah has one. She needs help and I'm scared she will only fall through the cracks. I don't want to find her hanging in her closet one day. I fpund out tonight, she has already tried several times, thankfully, unsuccessfully. So here we sit. I'm terrified to let her go, but see no other option. I just pray we can find a bed.

October, 26 2015 at 5:32 am

All the talking on here is good but once again still no help on where to go and what to do to get help for my 16 year old grandson

October, 20 2015 at 4:55 am

I have an 8 year old son that was diagnosed with Aspergers Disorder at age 4. The past 4 years have been really rough. He threatens and gets physical with staff and students at school. We had tried everything possible from Psychiatrists to Psycologists, one on one mentoring, in home intensive therapy, A TEECH assessment from UNC Chapel Hill and countless other programs. Nothing had seemed to help. After a serious incident at school we decided that we were going to have to take him to a mental health facility for a assessment before he got charged and got placed there through juvenile court. As much as it broke our hearts, it was one of the best things we have ever done for him. He was admitted for what began as a possible 7-11 day stay for medicine management and daily individual and group therapy with other kids. He was there for 29 days. He had an additional diagnosis of Bipolar disorder while in the hospital. Upon being discharged I felt he was 90% better than he was prior to being admitted. Its now been 8 months since he was in the hospital, he seems to be building an immunity to the medicine and things are getting really bad again, maybe even worse than before so its looking like we will be going back for another assessment. For all the Moms, Dads, Grandparents or guardians who are debating this option in my opinion its worth a shot. As hard as it is on us parents its better to do something now than to wait until they are older and you cant do anything. Hope this helps in some way.

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