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My son tried to kill himself yesterday at 4am. He took an overdose of malaron that he found from when my husband went out of the country. He woke up in the morning around 11am and told me he had diarrhea but then he went back to bed got up again and went to take a shower and then called me in the bathroom and told me he basically tried to kill himself. I took him to the ER. He also cut his wrist, not deep, but there was a cut. He was involuntarily committed, he is 18. He really flipped out at the end bc he did not want to go at the end. He ended up getting medicated with Geodon. He had to be taken in an unmarked car with deputies and I followed. He was calm when we got there. How long do people stay when they are involuntarily committed? He is depressed. He told the admitting nurse, and the nurse caring for him, and the doctor that he was hoping this would be it. He wrote letters to everyone he is close to. I don't think he did this for attention. He is in pain. I feel numb. I hated to leave him, but what else could I have done.


NotReady4PrimeTime, RN

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology. Has 25 years experience.

How very sad and unpleasant for you and your son. He truly is crying out for help and maybe now he'll be able to get it. While we here at allnurses can't provide you with advice, we can surely provide you with a supportive ear while you work at helping your son. I think involuntary holds are 72 hours maximum, but I'm not that up on psych stuff. Please take care of yourself and try not to feel guilty because there probably wasn't anything you could have done. Gentle hugs.

RochesterRN-BSN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psych, ER, Resp/Med, LTC, Education. Has 6 years experience.

So sorry to hear this.......yes it is hard to feel helpless and not be able to help him. But you did. You got him to were he needs to be to get the help he needs. 72 hours yes, but after that they can hold if they feel the patient is still a risk and if the patient is requesting discharge they just have to take it to a court and prove with doumentation that discharge is not safe at this time. Then they can hold him longer. I would say the aver stay is usually around a week give or take a day or two--some stay longer and some stabilize sooner. A lot depends on the symptoms and if this is new, if he was already on meds or starting new on meds....a lot. They will likely start him on an anti-depressant but they do take a lot longer then other drug classes to kick in. They will help get him set up with treatment out in the community before discharge.... but he is in good hands and will get the help he needs. He will be monitored around the clock for safety and have staff to support him who really understand what he needs right now. Good luck to you and your son.

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

My heart goes out to you and I'm so glad you took him in for help. Please keep us posted.

I am so afraid that he hates me now. He was really angry and then they gave him geodon and he calmed down. I feel like a horrible parent. I feel like this is all my fault. He broke up with his girlfriend and it was really hard on him, but he wouldn't let it go. He kept calling her, he drank a whole bottle of cough syrup,Delsym, to get high two nights ago and he told me about that yesterday. He tested positive for marijuana. He will take any pill he can find. I feel like I have failed him. I have made mistakes, I know I have. How do I fix everything? I hope he will speak to me again. I love him more than anything. I don't understand what went wrong. We had such a good time last weekend. He has told me he has been depressed and that he didn't want to live but he wouldn't go to a counselor. I want to help him get better, whatever I have to do.

Honey, you need a little counselling, too. You didn't do this to him nor could you have been any different a mother than you were.

He'll speak to you again. But let him be angry. He's going to lash out at the closest person - you.

RochesterRN-BSN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psych, ER, Resp/Med, LTC, Education. Has 6 years experience.

He will gt past his anger for you.......trust me. You need to know that his lack of coping skills is not your fault. Unfortunately some people just never really learn to cope well with loss and can even become overly dependent....and don't know how to deal with loss or rejection. This is all him and not you. Just being supportive and letting him know you love him is what he needs. Hopefully his being in the hospital and getting some meds in him and getting him stabilized will get him going in the right direction. When he is discharged he will hopefully be more open to a pscyhiatrist for meds and a therapist........the therapist will help him with those coping skills.

Just give it time........

Hang in there and thank God you were there for him...that is what he needs as he may be getting attention with anger right now, he knows how much you love him and that is why he reached out to you. All you can do is stand by him thick and thin as he works to come to the conclusions for the way he feels and how to deal with them. It's hard when you basically have no control because he is his own man but sometimes just standing beside him and loving him is all you can do.

I saw him today. He was in good spirits and had not had meds yet. They were moving him out of picu. He likes his psychiatrist and liked the group therapy. The pyschiatrist prescribed him depakote and risperdal. My son signed a release form so I could get info about him, he said he wants me to know. He is in good hands, the nurses were wonderful and the tech was great too, very kind to him and talked to him. I did the right thing. He is open to see a psychiatrist and is open to medication and he liked the therapy and the therapist said he participated in group. I am relieved. Thank you for you support.

That is great news that he is reaching out, just continue to be there even if it is just to be a leaning post...my best wishes and make sure you tell him he has bunches of people thinking about and praying for him! You should be proud of the strength he has found within.


Specializes in Aged care.

You sound like a great Mum with a lovely son. Good luck to you both.


Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 44 years experience.

some resources for you: suicide + mental health resources

may you both get the help you need. follow-up after care is crucial for both of your recoveries.

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