had my son placed in psychiatric ward on MHL


New Member
My son was threatening suicide yesterday-not the 1st time but the night before I discovered at least 40 pills from my prescription missing. He said that he was going to take a bunch of pills and go to sleep. He was crying and he called me, his dad, my mom, my brother. I called the police and they brought him to our psychiatric center crisis center on the mental health law, as he's over 18 now. He's been transferred to the hospital next door's psychiatric ward. He's so angry towards me-he seems like he may have had a breakdown with his dad last night - I hope he HEARS the things the providers are saying-I hope he's formally diagnosed-I feel lost. I don't want him to slip through the cracks of an inefficient mental health system because they lack resources but his age really limits my capabilities. Any suggestions or feedback? We are in Albany, NY. Thx everyone.


Long road but the path ahead holds hope.
I am so sorry you are going through this. I am not in the US. Many here are and have experience that will help you.

Please know you are not alone.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
You definitely did the right thing.

So your son does not live with you? Does he live alone? Is he an addict?

My son spent a week in a psychiatric ward twice this year after threatening suicide. His girlfriend called on him. He was out of state at the time and using and thankfully he is now in a long term treatment program. We had sent him to Florida to go to sober living, go to college, work and he was not successful long term; he just played around and never really stayed sober for long.

I know how hard this is but we are mothers. We are not mental health professionals. We are not rehabs. We are not in charge of the universe.

Don't be hard on yourself. There is no instruction book on how to deal with all of this. It's heartbreaking and difficult.


New Member
This is such a tough situation. I am an RN,.a psychiatric nurse specializing in forensics with over 38 years of experience. All this education and experience and still.....the difficulties and struggles i endured with my son continued as well. I felt helpless. We are all doing the best that we can. Your son was crying out for help. He told you he was going to take some pills....hint number I , he then called several family members. He wants help. You did the right thing by hospitalizing him. He will be evaluated for suicidal potential while there. He is over 18 and can sign himself out after a 72 hour hold. (NJ law). However if it is decided that he is a threat to himself or others he can be involuntarily commited for needed treatment until that threat is no longer an issue. He will be angry at first.....believe me when i say that will pass. Once he is discharged it will not be without an outpatient contact to followup with. He will need therapy and that therapy will also include the family at times.. Albany has good resources. I wish you well as i know how hard this is....on the flip side you have him in a safe place where he can be helped.


Roll With It
I wouldn't worry about the anger so much right now. Usually it passes. Don't let him shut you out completely, and in time he will see that you did it out of love. I always told my son that I would prefer to have him alive and angry with me rather than dead but not angry with me. I had to really get into his face in order to make him truly hear me, rather than tune me out. He had a tendency to turn everything I said into the equivalent of what the adults in the Charlie Brown cartoons said, you know, "mwah mwah mwah" and it could be hard to get him to really understand what I was saying. Especially after a long psychiatric hospital stay when he was a young teenager (several months). He was angry about that for years. Then he grew up and got over it.

He never got over a psychiatric hospital during the stay or in the week after the stay. So give your son some time, and let him be angry. It uprooted his life. He needs to learn that saying those things means he will get an evaluation, end of discussion. But it is still better to have him be angry and alive than dead but not angry at you.

I am sorry you had to go through this. You made the right call. 100%

Feeling Sad

Well-Known Member
Unhappy mom, I understand how you feel. I am a special education teacher in Mild to Moderate and have helped hundred of students, and yet I have failed to be able to help my sons.

My eldest son is paranoid schizophrenic. I have 2 sisters who are schizophrenic. I tried in vain for 9 years to try to get him to see a doctor. He has an anosognosia and lacks insight. He became very violent and threatened my life on several occasions. He cracked a bottle and held it towards my throat. During the last incident, he was arguing with his voices and had command hallucinations about killing me. He said 3 times, "But, I dont want to kill her. She's my mother." The police said that it was not a viable threat and refused to come in. They later lied to their commander and said that they had offered to come in.

I told them that my sister had command hallucinations to set her dress on fire and jump from a balcony. She complied with them. My son had always complied with his voices in the past. I would hear him say, "Okay, I will" before he smashed something. I had requested crisis trained police, but they sent 3 untrained officers. In the past, the crisis mental health workers could not come to my house without the police because he was too violent.

I had to stay in a hotel with my youngest son to file a restraining order. When a mental health worker and the crisis trained police came finally to the house...6 days later, they found him not in danger if harming anyone. He was served and now is homeless and I do not know where he is. I needed to keep my youngest son safe. I later found out that he slept with a knife.

4Mommy, you definitely did the right thing. He was calling out for help. I am so glad that he was admitted. You are fortunate that he was able to tell the truth and not lie about it. My middle son has been suicidal. The ER wanted to admit him to a mental health hospital, but he lied about it and said that he was ready to start seeing a therapist. He actually told me later that he told the psychiatrist what she wanted to hear. He never has seen a therapist.

The system is so very difficult. They want people to have rights, but if they are not in their 'right' mind, how can they be expected to make good decisions. I grew up visiting one of my sisters at a mental hospital in the 60's. It was horrible. Now, it has swung too far the other way...

I got my eldest sister admitted on an involuntary hold because she had driven onto a freeway exit. They let her go after only 2 days. They told me that there is no law against being crazy. She dumped her pills in the parking lot and was furious with me. But, I tried to get her help.

I am glad that your son is receiving help. I hope that he follows through and continues with all of his appointments. It sounds like he may be ready.


Active Member
I feel for all of you dealing with these serious mental illnesses in your loved ones. You are angels.

I will light a candle for the science to catch up.

Lost in sadness

Active Member
I am sorry you are going through this and hope you find the right support and fast. I am not in the US either so cannot advise. There are some lovely mummies that might have some good information though. Keep coming back for support! x


I am sorry you are going through this but you absolutely did the right thing. If possible advocate that he stay there for a longer period so that they can more accurately diagnose him. Hugs...this is very painful stuff!