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Persuading a very sick friend to get help


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My best friend H. was awoken at 8:00 this morning by his ex-roommate, who is also a friend of mine, ringing his doorbell. She disappeared in November and finally resurfaced in Missouri, where her family lives. She is schizophrenic and she stopped taking her meds sometime last fall and by Christmas was completely paranoid and delusional, suicidal, telling her family that H. was out to get her, calling her female friends and telling them she was sleeping with their husbands. Then she disappeared again and finally called her mother (who is also nuts) to say she was staying in an alarmingly cheap hotel room, reading tarot cards night and day.

 

So this morning she arrived at H's, where she used to live, having just come from Chicago-no one knew she was even in Chicago, or how she got there. She is out of her mind, sobbing one moment, laughing hysterically the next, paranoid, delusional, still off her meds. She was in the hospital in Missouri a few months ago and then in a group home from which she walked away. H. has been trying to call her older sister, who lives up here, but she hasn't called back yet. But she needs to be in the hospital. She can't be responsible for herself right now. And she really needs to be back on her meds. Like, really really. And I know it will take time for them to work.

 

So short of calling the police and an ambulance, we don't know how to get her to the hospital. Hopefully her sister will be able to help. Does anyone have any advice about what we might say to her? H. doesn't drive, but I do, so if we can just convince her to go we can get her there without drama, and she's been in this hospital before. We could visit her. She's just so far gone now there is no reasoning with her. We're (literally) praying that some sleep and some food will calm her down a little. H. is also afraid that if he calls an ambulance and/or the cops (who are in generally really good and humane with crazy people around here) she won't get the care she needs AND she'll feel like she can't trust him, either, and she'll disappear again, and then who knows what will happen to her.

 

Any ideas are most welcome.

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I would suggest that you call a crisis team/ambulance/police - whichever is the best route for her to be involuntarily hospitalized in your area.  Keeping her alive takes precedence over winning her trust I would say.  If she stays in hospital and on meds long enough, hopefully she will develop enough insight to recognise that taking such drastic action could well have saved her life.

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I was placed on a 72 hour hold and I'm still a little upset about how the whole thing was handled by my parents (I think they could have called a family member instead), but I do understand why.  

 

 I think you should get her to a hospital any way you can. Tree has good suggestions. 

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