Has anyone experienced psychosis in their child?


Active Member
Hi, New member and my first post. Before I start, thank you to all who have shared their experiences as a result of their child's drug addiction - it has helped me in my grief and made me feel there is someone "out there" that will understand and not judge.
My son who is in his 20's had experienced drug addiction since the age of 16. After a stint at rehab at that age he was clean until the age of 19 when he relapsed. Again, rehab helped him and I thought he was back on track with his life. At 20 he finally moved out, found an apt , job and I thought things were going to be okay. 3 wks later on his 21st birthday he contracted meningitis and ended up having brain surgery and was in intensive care. I believe he lost some of his cognitive abilities but he refused to return to see a neurologist and would refuse all offers of visiting a doctor. I feared he was back using drugs and he moved away supporting himself I'm sure through drug dealing. He was arrested and spent 3 years in jail. He returned home last Aug assuring me he was going to turn his life around and I allowed him to live with me. I had so wanted it to be true as he looked good, healthier than he had in years. It became pretty obvious after a few months of not going back to school or attempting to find work that he slowly was slipping into his previous lifestyle and I asked him to leave several times but he refused and I had hoped I didn't need to get the police involved to remove him.
2 wks ago when in the early morning hours I heard him ranting, raging, laughing screaming and I was so scared when I got up for work as I could hear he was still in a rampage. Immediately he heard me and came downstairs and continued the rants and appeared to be going through psychosis. The phone rang , and that caused him to be even angrier believing I was speaking to the police. He was also paranoid and believed everyone set him up, or ripped him off, or the police were watching him. He grabbed me by my hair and swung me onto the floor, I'm not sure if blows were struck as my heart hurt more than anything. I never thought my son would try to harm me.My two large dogs who normally would be in protective mode with me cowered under the kitchen table. They too sensed the rage and aggression. I had heard he recently started using Meth and MDMA. In the past it had been pot and crack.
I managed to get out of the house, but hid around the corner to sneak back in to get the dogs in my vehicle. I know stupid right? However, I knew at that point I had to go to the police and wanted the dogs to be out of harms way.
I had not gone to the police previously with his other two episodes of psychosis. I felt I couldn't live with myself if he came at them in an aggressive manner and they had no alternative but to use deadly force.I agonized over this for aprox 3 wks but after the last episode,I had no choice. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. The police told me to wait in a park and they would call me when it was over. That hour wait was agony and I feared for everyone's safety.Eventually they called and said they had to break down my door and he was arrested. My son is now in jail. The pain and grief I feel over what transpired is so overwhelming. Thank you all for listening.


Well-Known Member
I'm sorry...so sorry...you have gone through so much agony. He is probably taking something that makes you psychotic and you are right to get out WITH THE DOGS (I am a dog lover and would have done the same) when he was a possible danger to you.

Perhaps they will send him to a rehab? I am unfortunately not familiar with jail as my daughter did drugs, but never did end up in jail. Still, it was gut wrenching to watch and to wonder if she would ever stop (she did! They ALL can. There is always hope).

In jail, your son is off the streets and drug free. It doesn't always work out badly for our kids. I wouldn't bail him out. Let him get the drugs out of his system and learn some consequences in the meantime. You don't say hold old he is, but 21 is different than 28. He needs to get clean though either way. Just that the younger they are, the better the chances.

I would not allow him back in your house again until he has been drug free for a year. A few months is not enough...it is common to relapse before finally quitting and you can't put yourself "out there" again. Do you have any idea what he is using?Psychodelics? Meth? Heroin? Legal pot (very dangerous). Do you live alone, except for son?


Active Member
Hi, Thanks for the response. I believe he was using Meth and MDMA as well as pot. My heart sank when I had asked a friend of my son's if he was back to using stronger drugs and he told me he thought my son was now on Meth. I am not sure if his psychosis was brought around by the drugs, mental illness or both. I just knew the behavior was escalating the past few weeks and I didn't want to enable him any more. I had hoped he would leave on his own accord as I started to fear him and believed his threats that he would return and harm me or my animals if I got the police involved.
Once he was arrested and placed in jail I felt relief but also fearful of retaliation as they told me he would probably be released within a day or two with a date for trial set at a later date. I had pleaded with the police that he needs mental heath or rehab. Thankfully the judge ordered rehab but the place he was at was unable to cope with him after 2 days and he was transferred to another facility and then yet another. He was to appear back in court and they kept him in jail (Thankful I am safe for the weekend anyhow). I'm not sure if he tried to leave the rehab facility or ? as I currently have a no contact order. I do know that when his father visited (glad his dad stepped up as he has had little contact with my son since the age of 14) he was told there were no bodies available to take my son to his next court appearance but would make sure the paperwork was filled out letting the court know. The rehab was in the middle of nowhere so I felt reasonable safe he couldn't leave but due to the missed court appearance he's back in jail. I'm not exactly sure what happened but at least Victim Services let me know that he was in lockup and his next appearance is on Monday. I pray they send him back to rehab. I know my son how he used to be would never resort to hurting me but the addict would and until he gets help and recovers I'll be living in fear that he will show up. I did take safety precautions, alarm system, personal panic button and 911 alert on my home. However, what used to be my front door is just boarded up with plywood as I don't have the funds to fix it as the frame, door and sidelights were all broken with the battering ram. I just feel so sad that the son I loved, nurtured and cared for and who loved me has turned into this entity which I don't recognize has caused so much pain. Thankfully, his former friends (back from his teen years and not his drug friends) all promised me they would not post bail as they too worried about his decline when they received calls from him.He has no where to go and no place to live so the only alternative is rehab and I hope the judge sends him there or a mental health facility for treatment.


Well-Known Member
I would contact your local Domestic Abuse Shelter. They can be a great resource and are not just about spouses. You may be able to find help to fix your door. You desperately need new locks and locks on the windows too. If you see him at all, call 911. He is not supposed to be near you and right now his mind is altered and you can't trust him. Think of him as a dangerous stranger using your son's body. Aside from that, you have taken good precautions to protect yourself. As a total animal lover, I would not leave them alone unless absolutely necessary. This is only if Son gets out of jail. Keep tabs on that. Maybe if he does you can find somewhere to stay for a while. That's another use for t he woman's shelter. They may know people. Build a support system, like the advocacy shelter and talk to the police so they know you.

A friend of mine is a Morman and once told me that if we ever need free labor to call the Morman church as doing nice things for others is part of the religion (at no charge). In fact, she encouraged it. I am not a Morman. She said it doesn't matter. I don't like that door just being boarded up.


Well-Known Member
I am not sure if his psychosis was brought around by the drugs, mental illness or both
The problem is, once drugs are involved, there is no way to know whether mental illness is part of it (and/or neurological damage from the meningitis) until the drugs are out of the picture.
There's a fairly high chance it's "both"... so if rehab can't handle him, he may need a "dual diagnosis facility" - one geared to handling drugs and mental issues at the same time.


Active Member
Thanks again for the responses.
Through victim services, I was given a number for a resource that assist women with domestic violence and had my first appointment with them was on Friday. We set up a safety plan. They had asked me to bring in receipts regarding the alarm system and get quotes for the door.

After the incident and a look at my depleted bank balance it was a toss up...door or alarm system? I choose the alarm system for all the windows, doors, and had 5 (inside and out) security cameras installed. They are linked up to my cell phone so I can look during the day. The alarm company even installed a contact on the plywood so if it's tampered with the alarm will go off. The alarm company were also amazing and knowing the circumstances they put a rush on it and had everything done within a day with a team of people. They gave me a free panic alarm necklace which I wear as soon as I approach my home.

I have numerous special needs, senior and cruelty seizure animals at my home so leaving them is not an option.(my home was the last option for many). Their safety was paramount as well as mine but I do "get it". He's currently a danger to himself and others and in his state of mind and I do understand the danger of the situation.
At the meeting on Friday, Victim Assistance said they will try to get me monies ahead of time so I can replace the door (normally they give a portion of funds after the work is done). I think it is a wonderful resource available and should be mentioned for others that are experiencing the same thing.

They have set up a meeting with myself and the prosecutor so I can relay my concerns to them. The agency will also inform me if he is released but I already know it's not 100% foolproof as I was unable to find out if he was in rehab or had walked away from it during his stay. Knowing he's currently is jail again is a relief. Logically, I know this is the best place for him but emotionally I grieve and hope he's placed where he can get help.

I am so grateful to this site and I realize that many of you go to Al a non or should I try to find a Narc a non (excuse the spelling). I feel I've taken all the safety precautions but now need to heal my broken heart. I never visualized this happening to me. Thanks again for listening.


Well-Known Member
My son became psychotic when he overdosed on benedryl....luckily he was home at the time and also very laid back. We knew something was wrong because he wasn't making any sense and we called 911. Why he would try taking benedryl to get high I have no idea and who knew an overdose would cause psychosis but it did.

So I think with the drug use it is very hard to tell if this is the drugs or mental illness...and I don't think you will know until the drugs are out of his system.

I am so sorry you are going through this. I am glad you are taking the steps to keep yourself safe and hopefully rehab will help him


Roll With It
Psychosis is so scary! My son had an episode of it but it was not due to drugs. It was the scariest thing I have ever experienced. Thankfully he is past that point.

You can go to either alanon or narcanon. At least in my area the alanon groups are very accepting even if the problem is other drugs mostly. This is common in areas without a big narcanon presence, at least from what I have seen. It really can make a BIG difference in your life. It also gives him a 30% greater odds of maintaining sobriety than if family does not work the program too. Or so I have read and been told.



Well-Known Member
Staff member
Hello and welcome to the SA forum. I have never had that experience with my Difficult Child but I have been scared a few times. I think that you have to totally focus on yourself and your safety now.

As far as your question on AlAnon or NarAnon, I don't think it matters which one you go to. I think that many addictions overlap so they are welcoming to all.

Keep posting. You will find us very supportive as we have all dealt with troubled family members. We understand.



Well-Known Member
I think the important thing is to find an alanon or narcanon meeting where you feel comfortable and can relate to the others there. We found an alanon meeting specifically for parents. Many of us are dealing with drugs as well as alcohol and really the substance doesnt matter. There are folks who come to our meeting who are not parents and come to this meeting because they feel comfortable and like the people and they are welcome. I have found being at a meeting with other parents really important. I think there are some differences in dealing with a child who is an addict vs a spouse or other family member who is an addict... and so for me it was important to find other parents who understand my experience.... although the principals of alanon apply to both. It also really helped me to find real live people who are obviously good people, successful people who have kids who are addicts... it was a help to me in realizing this was not somehow all my fault.



Well-Known Member
I went to Al-Anon and my daughter's main substance group of choice was speed. They never even questioned my attendance and probably saved my sanity when I saw my daughter lose about fifty pounds very fast. I had a necklace with the Serenity Prayer inscribed on it and wore it all the time. Please make sure you help yourself by reaching out to others who understand in real time.

I also want to thank you for saving the most desperate animals from certain death in pounds. I am an animal lover and would live in my van before I'd give up my babies. We can't rescue where we live or we would. Kudos to your big heart. I am so sorry it has been broken. Remember...there is always hope. My daughter quit and she was pretty far along...your son can do it too. I thought she was going to either die first or end up in jail. Keep the Faith!

Hugs for your hurting mommy heart.


Active Member
I appreciate all the kind thoughts, support, advice and welcome from members. Thank you.

It really helped me when some of you said "I'm sorry you are going through this", it made me feel better as I knew it was coming from the heart and you have all experienced heartbreak from your children or spouses. You understood the pain.

Apologies for the previous long rambles and spelling...I've been sleep deprived for so long, I know all of you can relate to.

Victim Services called and informed me he's still in jail as no one posted bail but they are pretty sure the judge will not release him unless it's back to rehab. He's due back in court tomorrow again. At least, I can sorta sleep tonight. I will hug all my animals.

I will search for a support group in my area. Again, thank you.
I'm so sorry for all you're going through. I have not been hit or pushed yet but so close. It is so painful to be afraid of the son you love so much. It's painful, embarrassing, disappointing, exhausting. Every little sound you hear you jump in fear. I live in fear also and have had property damage done by him. My thoughts and prayers will be with you. It looks as though we are not alone.....


Active Member
Dear Iwantpeace,

Thank you for your kind response and my heart goes out to you as well. I know very well the fear that you live under. I pray your son doesn't resort to violence against you but I'm afraid for your well being as well. I think not only is there sadness to watch our loved one aka son destroy themselves in front of our eyes is painful enough but to have it compounded by living under a circle of fear makes it all that much more stressful. To be afraid of saying something that might be interpreted the wrong way or bring out a bad reaction from the Difficult Child is a horrible situation to live under. Tiptoeing around in your own home I too understand and "onlywantedpeace" much like your namesake. I do appreciate that despite your own worries you took the time to write to me to offer support - thank you for that. I hope you do find the support here as already I know I am amongst friends here who understand and don't judge.
An update - I felt relatively safe the last few days as after son's brief stint in rehab and then (not sure what happened) but a brief stay in jail. That only lasted until yesterday as the judge released him only if a facility could be found. I was dismayed to find out that he was released to a halfway house and not a rehab that is fairly close to my home. He showed up today at my other son's work and caused a scene in the cafeteria as he was demanding money. My other son has Aspergers and works hard at his job, I can only imagine the embarrassment he felt at the scene his brother caused and told me apologetically he only was trying to reason with his brother. He was shocked at his appearance and state of mind. Thanks again for listening.