What might psychiatric hospital do if difficult child refuses reunification?


New Member
difficult child has been in psychiatric hospital over two weeks now. The medication changes have not made things better, he refuses to do group therapy, and refuses the family therapy they wanted to do with him and us. He got kicked out of group for his disruptive behaviors, not participating, and making threatening statements to the leaders.

I try to talk to him or visit with him every day, but often he refuses to do one or the other. He refuses to see or talk to husband at all.

We want him to get better and work with us to come home. The insurance will only pay for 30 days, so there is not too much time left.

Has anyone been in this situation before? I don't know what to expect from the psychiatric hospital. This is a first for us. If he is refusing reunification with us do they honor that somehow, or does he have no choice by to come home?

I really want him to come home. I really want to work on our relationship and continue to do what we need to help him get better.

I am starting to feel uneasy about this situation.

Any advice on how to reach him? He seems to blame us for everything in his life that has not gone how he has wanted. It has made him resistant to working on our relationship, or any future goals. It does not help that the medications are not working and he is still in depression (some days seem worse than others).I really don't know what to do....

timer lady

Queen of Hearts

He's in the hospital, right? You've signed no papers transferring custody - physical or legal, to others.

Therefore, while he can refuse to come home - I'm not sure he has many other options. Where does difficult child intend to go, if he decides that he doesn't want to go home?

Are any of the hospital staff recommending other treatment settings? Residential Treatment Center (RTC), day treatment, partial hospitalization?

And on what basis would the hospital refuse to release difficult child to you? Is difficult child making allegations of abuse?

I'm thinking out loud for you here. Many times a parent is presented as the "demon" by a difficult child in these types of situations.

Keep us updated on the latest, please.


New Member
Thank you.

I have signed no papers. They asked me if I considered Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and I said not at this time. That I wanted to have him home and continue to work on this. They have not mentioned partial hospitalization or day treatment, although others have suggested I ask them about it.

I think what they might be concerned about is that he might hurt me. He has made threats to stab me in my sleep and has kicked me. They see that he makes threats to the staff over there, and even requested permission for the possibility that they might need to use Thorazine. They have not had to use it yet, but he has gotten kicked out of group because of the threats.

I am just concerned because nothing seems to be getting better. They said he could not go home until he agreed to work at our relationship, but he is refusing that. It seems unlikely that it will change in the two weeks that we have left for insurance coverage.

It feels like a bad dream....


New Member
<span style="color: #660000">he's really playing it hard core, isn't he?

i'd stop visiting so often...tell staff you are going to do this. it's not helping by you showing up all the time to visit. if nothing else give him the opportunity to miss you.

in truth, maybe a different placement might be better. he's is a threat to you from what you are saying. if he refuses to come home staff may have no other option but to bring cps into the picture. for me Residential Treatment Center (RTC) would be preferrable to foster care. at 15 they are going to listen to what he is saying about where he lives. they won't just turn him loose, but they may consider placement if they feel the situation is too volitile.

maybe you should revisit the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placement idea with-the SW at the hospital. sometimes working on big issues like this can be best done when you are not living on top of each other. at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) they could work on his separate issue while working toward family reunification ~~~ and trust me, that's not a goal they give up on easily. the distance might help more than harm tho i know it may seem contradictory to you at this point.

as for him refusing medications...if that's what he's doing....check your state laws. at what age do they grant the right to kids to make medical decisions? 14 seems to be the most popular age (i don't know what nitwit thought this was a GOOD idea :grrr: :grrr: :grrr:, but most states grant this right well under 18.

kris </span>


New Member

When difficult child 2 went into his first 30 day diagnostic, it wasn't a phospital, but very similar.

Upon release, I did not feel safe for my children having him reunify, so he was sent to a "theraputic" foster home.

When he finished his day treatment program with no success, he was sent to an all boys Residential Treatment Center (RTC) school type setting.

Here's what I think - if you're scared of difficult child, if he is making threats to you, if he doesn't want to come home, I would seriously consider some other sort of placement, even if temporary.

You have to think of your safety.

I still remember the day you posted here because you were locked in a room and he was making threats and flipping out.

You cannot live like that. You need to take care of yourself.

I'm sorry, I know how hard it is to put your child somewhere. I know, all too well, how much you want him home. But right now, you need to put your safety first.



Well-Known Member

I dont think they have the right to refuse medications at 14 in NC. Or refuse treatment either. They can do an involuntary by taking them before a judge every 30 or 45 days I believe. I dont know if Cherry psychiatric residential treatment facility is still in existence but it was on the grounds of Dorothea Dix in Raleigh. That is where Cory went. It was quite good.

If he isnt making progress in the hospital then I would not advise bringing him home. Advocate for moving him to a locked residential treatment facility. He obviously needs such a place. We dont have many but we do have some. I can help you find them if it is a problem. You may have to call on mental health for this. He may have to be moved to Butner at which time he will become eligible for SSI on his own. I know this is scary but it is for his best interest.

Send me a pm if I can help.


New Member
I am just really frustrated with how things are going. I was thinking we finally had a chance when the psychiatrist agreed to add the lamictal. Now they are just messing around with anti depressants. We have been messing around with those for 3 years with no positive results. They want to increase his Zoloft to 200 mg even though I told them that at 250 mg he had extreme cognitive dulling. I am starting to think that this whole hospitalization was and is a waste of time and a big mistake. I just want him started on the Lamictal and to come home.

I know that he needs help, but if he has gotten out of going to therapy by being threatening, and gotten out of interacting with us just by saying he does not want to, this can't be good.

I am sick to death of the antidepressants that do not work, and that have caused worse reactions sometimes then when he was not on them at all. I am sick of the system that only wants to pump him with more and more of them.

I do not see this as a good plan. I am sorry to be like this, but I am feeling so very frustrated and alone right now.

We have a meeting with them on Thursday of this week so they can tell us what they would like to do next and what they suggest. I hope that I can calm myself down before then.