For a friend in WI: How do you get help for self-harmful child??

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MidwestMom, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I will gloss over the details, but I'm totally shocked because my dear friend called the police because her little guy (around 8) was pulling at his hair begging for help, threatening to cut himself and kill his big sister. The cops hemmed and hawed, watching him, and pretty much said to call Social Services, which, in part, said they have a long waiting list. My friend is kind of shy and non-assertive and I'm trying to help. If she had taken this boy to a hospital ER, would they have had to admit him? I told her to do it, but she was leery that they'd do it--get him any help, even though the policeman had taken the report.
    How do you get kids admitted to hospitals? She has two little ones who are obviously very mentally ill, but adopted with birthmother suffering from severe psychiatric problems and drug abuse. The boy is in decline right now and keeps everyone up all night while he screams in terror and talks to himself all night. The girl also obviously has problems and is very mean and explosive. She has two other kids to raise too. Yet she CAN'T get help. Her psychiatrist told her that she'd just have to live with them that way and that nothing can be done (can you believe that?). He refuses to even consider that maybe they can get better, and there are long waiting lists for other psychiatrists and these kids need help fast. The only medications psychiatrist will hand out are ADHD medications which make the little boy even wilder and more afraid. He did try Risperdal once, but had tics and a very bad reaction and was never again tried on an anti-psychotic. The boy has been increasingly violent. ER then? Does it work?
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yes- take him to ER. First, she can find out which hospitals have a psychiatric ward for kids and go that ER. As a warning- they are full from Fridays until Tuesdays many times and if they determine that he needs to be admitted but don't have a bed open, they are required to transport him to another psychiatric hospital. She wouldn't have to take him to the ER of a hospital with a child/adolescent psychiatric ward to begin with, but it will save the certainty of being transported if she just takes him where she wants him to go- and hope they have a bed open.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Where we live there are NO children's hospitals less than 1 1/2 hours away. Will they admit this little guy? She has had no luck with anyone taking her seriously about treatment for the boy. I know this little boy. I do not think he is hopeless. I just think he needs care.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    The ER will transport him to another hospital after it's determined that he needs admittance, so she can go to the closest ER. If in doubt, call the closest ER and asked if they have a psychiatrist on ER duty who can evaluate a child. That takes a few hours, but once evaluated by a psychiatrist, it's usually found worth admitting the kid. I've never had a problem with ER psychiatrist not taking stuff seriously. You know our stories here though- she might only get a few days in inpatient, but, if he's never been hospitalized before, they normally do some testing- EEG and so forth. Don't bank on neuropsychologist. They will definitely review medications and send him home with rx's for whatever they decide to try him on. They will put him on something while there, do blood tests and so forth. At least, I think that's typical at all psychiatric hospital's.
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    MWM - absolutely ER. On the rare occasion we had to take thank you to an ER in a hospital that didn't have a children's (or teen) unit, they would evaluate him and if they determined that he needed to be admitted, they would hold him and arrange transport to an appropriate hospital.

    Suicidal/homicidal ideation always guaranteed an admission, with thank you's first one being at the ripe old age of 6.

    She needs to find another psychiatrist, obviously.

    Hope you're able to guide her through this - glad you're there for her!
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    If she hasn't already--call the pediatrician! He/she may be able to refer the child directly to psychiatric hospital without having to go through a wait in the ER.

    Good luck! Hope she gets help for her child very, very soon!
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, all. She had a useless pediatrician so I referred her to mine, but he has a LONG waiting list to get in. I'm going to call her now and tell her that next time he expresses that degree of self-harming thoughts and also thoughts of harming others to take her right away. These two kids have been in my prayers since they came into her family. They have symptoms of so many disorders that for now I think medications alone will be a good stopgap until she can get her neuropsychologist evaluation.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I just called my friend. They REFUSED to put him in the hospital last night. Everyone is shocked, especially me!
    On the plus side, her dingy psychiatrist (who is the same one who insisted my son had bipolar instead of autism) did say that if it happens again just to take him to a particular hospital and he'd make sure there was a bed for him. That's progress.
    I can't believe, even now, that they didn't admit him. This child was both actively trying to hurt himself and hurt others and was begging for help. It's unbelievable. She said the doctor told her he was "fine." Huh???
  9. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I took difficult child directly to the psychiatric hospital (no referral from any doctor). His therapist told us that we could go through ER or call the psychiatric hospital for an appointment for intake evaluation. The psychiatric hospital was just one block away (with no buildings between) from the therapist hospital so I went there. I asked for an appointment but when their staff saw my difficult child they said they would see us immediately. (I think it helped that he actually threw up in their lobby.) And it sounds like this kid is a lot further down than my difficult child was. My difficult child was scared to death about his self harm thoughts, nightmares about people out to get him or himself killing other people, etc. He had not followed through with anything but was afraid he could no longer fight the urges to hurt himself or others.

    If ER doesn't work, go directly to the psychiatric hospital.
  10. Janna

    Janna New Member

    MWM ~
    This year, Dylan was sent to psychiatric hospital. He was actually taken first to the E.R. We waited in the E.R. for about 9 hours for Crisis Intervention to come. They took a very (very, very, very LOL) brief history on Dylan, and pretty much asked me what I thought needed to happen.
    At that time, Dylan was totally unmedicated, without psychiatrist (ours just up and quit) and I told her I thought he needed psychiatric care, including medication. So, they took him to a Children's psychiatric hospital, but, 2 hours away.
    I will tell you, our experience with psychiatric hospital wasn't what I expected. Their anticipated stay is only 7-10 days, so they drug em day 1 with hopes to see effects. But, when they throw the kid on an M.S., say, that takes 8 weeks LOL - it's just dumb to me to throw em out in 10 days. They also did not give enough time and monitoring to do a thorough psychiatric evaluation. That psychiatrist at this particular psychiatric hospital copycatted the previous psychiatrist's psychiatric evaluation from the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) LOL!

    I had to be up there (again, 2 HOURS one way) every other day for a session - kinda like therapy...sort of. "What do you need to work on Dylan"? LOL!
    Although, if your friend's little guy is in more serious need, like Residential Treatment Facility (RTF), the psychiatric hospital would be able to recommend that, too.
    If there's nowhere close, they need to find somewhere. You guys don't have Crisis Intervention there? Even without the E.R. visit, she can call crisis if he's a threat.
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I think some of that has to do with how much insurance will pay- or, how many days will insurance cover for an acute stay.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    We have a useless Crisis Intervention.
    This kid is only seven. I don't think she'd put him in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). He needs an evaluation. Believe it or not, she has not been able to get in to have one for him yet. Part of his problem is autism. The kid lines up his toys ad nauseum and is very "out of it." But he also hallucinates and his b-mom had bipolar and abused drugs. The psychiatrist is very opinionated and once he gets an idea in his head, he isn't open to other options. He declared that this child ONLY has reactive attachment disorder (although he was adopted at age one) and that "nothing will help him. You will just have to live with it." Now even if he only had Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), and he has much more than that if he has it at all, you can help Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). The only thing this psychiatrist ever did was put him on a stimulant, once gave him Risperdal (but he had a very bad reaction) and told her over and over again that he will never ever get better so she better get used to it. To make it worse, he feels the same way about her daughter. I have never seen this child smile. She never makes eye contact either. She did not speak until she was four. She is very smart. More is going on with her than Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) too, if there is Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). I guess doctor finally got scared when friend called up last night and said that he was dangerous to himself and others. THat made this idiot doctor say she could take him to the hospital. She is too worn out to do it today, but, if it happens again, shes's taking him up on it. Even if they don't do a lot and only throw him on a medication, it beats him being on NO medications and at least she'll have a few days of rest. Maybe she can even get an early neuropsychologist evaluation. The waiting list is very long. It's nuts!!!
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That psychiatrist sounds like a quack to me- thank goodness they aren't all that way. I hope she can get into another one soon.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    He is. He's the same one who told us my son had bipolar and wouldn't consider Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) "because he can go from one room to another without raging." When I said that he wasn't moody and never raged at all, he said, "Well, the medications are making him stable and not all BiPolar (BP) kids rage."
    He refused to consider that maybe his diagnosis was wrong. I'd like to write him a letter telling him that four years off medications, my son is still obviously not bipolar at all, but I'm sure he would think I was in denial and that he was right.
    Sadly, I've had psychiatrists like him. There are plenty of lemons out there.