Need help committing a family member - page 2

I know this might be a sour subject but I would like any help getting proper help for my sister. She needs committed. My parents cannot care for her any longer in there home and I fear for them.... Read More

  1. by   TraumaNurseRN
    Quote from goettin98
    So sorry to hear of your situation. It's difficult to face a relative going through a hard time.
    First of all, it infuriates me that they did not admit your sister to psych after such a serious attempt (her OD)! That's pretty much unwritten protocol in my hospital- the pt comes in, goes to ICU until they're off the vent, then gets transferred to us. I don't know the whole story, but from what you said, that borders on medical neglect in my book. At that time, your sister would have been totally appropriate for an involuntary admission (I don't know where you live, I am just telling you how it would have been done under IL mental health code).

    The criteria for having someone involunatarily committed is "Are they a threat/danger to themselves or someone else at the time of admission?" If the answer is truly yes, and that answer can stand up in court and an MD will be willing to back it, we've got a case. Understandably, if there's not good reason to commit someone, the MDs won't do it because they're legally responsible.

    As far as your sister's behavior goes, sounds like she may have quite a bit of an Axis II diagnosis going on (just my opinion, not diagnosing). Those are hard to treat and even more frustrating for the families, so I am sending you lots of support. When you say she's having episodes of drunkenness, is she getting a little drunk once a week or super, blacking out belligerent drunk every night? What I'm saying is, do you think there are enough severe behaviors to have her committed? Honestly, I work as charge RN often and I hear about many pts in the ED who I think are will be admitted right away and then I hear back later that they got sent home after screening because the MDs don't think they can commit them. It's shocking, really. Please don't think I am in ANY WAY discouraging you, I just want you be prepared for what could happen because it does happen frequently (where I work, anyway).

    Also, the long term hospitalization- in IL once you're admitted, you're there until the MD discharges you. It might be a day, it might be 3 months. There is no set period and we make sure to tell pts that upfront. If the pt is involuntary, they will be going to court hearings on the floor and the MD and nurse documentation have to maintain good reason for that pt to still be here. If that can't be found in the chart by the judge, usually the pt gets to sign a voluntary which usually means they sign a 5-day notice as well, or the MD has to release that pt. Sorry I can't offer you better advice on the long-term hold part, we don't have a set 24-72 hours for our pts. You also said that your sister doesn't have health insurance, but I would say 90% of our pts either have Medicaid, Medicare, or are self pay.

    Let us know how it goes. We are thinking about you.
    She wa admitted to the psych unit the time she ODd but it took me throwing some weight around. Thankyou for your support....I will keep you updated.
  2. by   TraumaNurseRN
    Thank you thankyou.....This stuff is helping!

    At this point she is not at my parents. She took off in her car after packing a bag and taking her dog. Both my mother and I know she is more than likely at her friend's home because we see that she is online.

    According to my mother she became angry with my parents 2 nights ago and called the cops on them accusing physical harm. (2 days prior to that she accued my father of thinking he was going to throw boiling water on her when he was just moving the pot of water to the back burner) My aunt and mother were there and saw the whole thing.

    Since the police have been to my parent's home before....The 2nd time she threatened suicide and refused to let me take her to my ER....She was drunk had been driving when my mother saw her on the road coming home from the hospital after my dad was in recovery for a total hip replacement. grrrrrr...My mother called me for help because my sister was so drunk she was driving through stop signs, etc.,,,and then came home. Once I got there she was laying nude in the bed, refusing to talk, threatening suicide so the police were called and took her in their vehicle (EMS was called too) but the police escorted her instead.

    Since this incident 2 days ago my parent's have been in contact with a police squad dealing with these incidents and have given my parents information and contacts for them for help. The information you have given me has been helpful as well....Thankyou!
  3. by   rph3664
    Quote from Suesquatch
    I wish I had something to impart.

    My sister has schizophrenia, has had for 35 years now.

    I'm sorry you and your family and your sister are going through this.
    I did relief work in a pharmacy whose clientele was composed mainly of the chronically mentally ill, and am totally convinced that schizophrenia is the very worst thing that can happen to a person and their family.

  4. by   goettin98
    Sorry, I must have misread. I thought you meant she manipulated the medical doctors and they let her go. I'm glad she did get a psych admit that time. Keep us posted.
  5. by   Missy0311
    My mom committed suicide on March 18, 2008...she was not a clinically diagnosed bi-polar patient, but I know she was. I still hurt so I feel your pain. I believe if you contact your district attorney, regardless of her state or your petition, by law him or her must look at the case and have a hearing within 72 hrs. I was in the process of doing this, but was too late. I do not want it to be too late for you. 20% of bipolar patients commit suicide that number is too big. Please reply if you want and if you want my email let me know. I want to be a help and an advocate. Losing my my mama to suicide changed me forever.
    I hope I can help in some way
    Take Care
  6. by   algebra_demystified
    It sounds to me like your sister needs you.
  7. by   TraumaNurseRN
    Quote from algebra_demystified
    It sounds to me like your sister needs you.
    Actually she hates me.
  8. by   ear
    Do you have mental health services in your town/county? Perhaps they would be able to give you some direction in getting some support. Each state is a little different, so it is hard not knowing where you are as opposed to what I know.

    Bottom line in any state is dangerousness, to herself or others, or gravely disabled (as another poster wrote)

    My thoughts are with you, I hope you find some help soon!

  9. by   Thornbird
    I have the same type problem in my family. It's very difficult to get more than a 72 hr committal for someone against their wishes. I've gone through this time and again. Sometimes those geniuses at the hospital decide to not even hold for the whole 72 hours!! They let my sister walk out delusional and in early DT's with no ride because she said she was feeling fine and someone was coming for her. Took me days to find her again.

    Although called by different names, there are similar laws in all states for 72 hr committal. There are two types. One can be initiated by the police on the scene. The officers responding to your parents home could have and should have done this. Sometimes they just don't want the hassle and paperwork. They are taking the patient into custody for psych eval due to imminent risk of harm to self or others.
    If you can get the person to an ED, they can then be held on a physician's emergency committal and transferred to a psych unit/facility. This can also be difficult to do with an adult who is not signing for voluntary treatment. The hold can legally be longer but that is not usually done until after admittance to the psych unit.
  10. by   Missy0311
    Quote from TraumaNurseRN
    Actually she hates me.
    She does not hate she is just not in her right mind and needs help...anything i can do let me know we are in this fight together I am here for you even if u do not know me
  11. by   Whispera
    Call the nearest psych hospital and ask how to commit the family member. They should be able to tell you exactly what to do. General hospital ERs can also help you with info., before you try to bring the potential patient in. Some hospitals keep commitment papers on hand for emergency situations and can courier or fax them to a judge for signatures. Make some calls!
  12. by   Jules A
    Just wondering how you are making out. Where are your parents with all this? I've seen times whe the parents are enabling the patient, out of love of course, and its nearly impossible to make much progress. Wishing you well.
  13. by   TraumaNurseRN
    Quote from Jules A
    Just wondering how you are making out. Where are your parents with all this? I've seen times whe the parents are enabling the patient, out of love of course, and its nearly impossible to make much progress. Wishing you well.
    It's not working out so well. Now I'm in an arguement with my mother/father because I invited them over for the Thansgiving Holiday as I got off working the Holiday. (My mother is having the feast the Saturday before which is kind of the tradition and we all were planning on going to her home) Since I got the Holiday off recently, I invited my parents over for a 2nd dinner here. She declined because I wouldn't include my sister. (My sister and I got in an arguement after the incident of driving while her license was suspended and her accusation that my father attempted to throw boiling water on her, and called the police to boot.....she threatened to tell my mother of a confidence that would drastically hurt my 24 yr old son and my family if divulged to my mother if I ever spoke to her again) She left in her car for two days and no-one knew where she was.

    Of course, I was hurt and then became angry and said that we would not be coming over for her celebration.....and went a step further to say we were going to start a new tradition on Christmas Eve here instead of going to my parents. Now we aren't speaking. It's time for my family to start traditions here at our home. I just can't allow yet another incident to be brushed under the carpet as far as my sister is concerned. (15 years ago she accused my husband of grabbing her butt and hitting on her for 6 months) This incident caused 4 years of stress within my family where relations were strained because my parents supported her.....until she apologized and fessed up to her lie. It's a long horrible story but needless to say....I refuse to allow her toxic behavior to be brushed under the carpet again. It's time for me to not be an both my sister and my parents. (btw: 1 week after she called the cops on my parents my mother took her shopping for new clothing....grrrr) Let's just reward her for her bad behavior.....My sister is 39 years old....can't hold a job.....lives with my parents.....and has accused numerous men of sexual harrassment....and now this....I just am giving up on her.....I have to soothe myself now.