Skip to main content
Forums Home
Illustration of people sitting and standing

New here?

Chat with other people who 'Get it'

with health professionals in the background to make sure everything is safe and supportive.

Register

Have an account?
Login

cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Welcome & getting started

Tinker67
Contributor

Son with psychosis and OCD may need admission to change medication

Hello

 

I am new to the forum.  I am the mum of 4 kids, two adult step daughters, and 2 teen sons.  Our oldest son is 17 and was diagnosed with OCD and psychosis in August 2020.  He has been on medication since then, but has had a few times where his symptoms got worse again and it triggered an increase in his medication.  Amazingly, he has managed to continue with life and started an apprenticeship in Nov 2020, and found his first girlfriend ever in January 2021.  We are very proud of his achievements in life and the person he is.  While he is living with the effects of major mental illness, he is mostly managing things really well.  He's fully compliant with his medication, and recognises the value of taking it.  He still dabbles in drugs at times, which worries me a lot, but this is rare.

 

He told me last night that things are getting worse for him again, and he feels his paranoia is increasing, and he has had some new experiences which are stressing him out.  With his consent I contacted his CAMHS worker, who listened to the new symptoms and reported it to the psychiatrist (who lives 6 hours away). 

 

The suggestion from the psychiatrist is that our son be voluntarily hospitalised to see if they need to change his medication.  He would go to an inpatient CAMHS ward which is over 2.25 hours away for 2-3 weeks - we live in country NSW.  I have been told I can go and stay nearby in family accommodation.  He won't be allowed to have his phone (which is his lifeline to communication) and will be required to follow a daily schedule of activities.  I doubt he will go. 

 

My oldest step daughter had serious mental illness in her teens, including psychosis.  She was hospitalised several times and my husband feels it made her illness worse, and introduced her to high risk behaviours that other teens were doing in the hospital.  He's really worried about our son going into a residential facility.  I've read the information for the inpatient unit, and it's heavily institutional, and sounds really rigid.  I just don't know if my son will agree, or if he will cope.  

 

I'd really appreciate any advice or experience that others may have to share, positive or not, of going into an inpatient facility.  Are there other ways to support a person who is undergoing a medication change that aren't as restrictive?  My husband and I are super supportive of our son, want the best for him, and feel really worried about helping him to make the right decision.  But we are also limited in our capacity, my husband survived a brain haemorhagge 2 years ago and has recovered physically, but can't handle stress and emotions and stress like he once did.  And our 14 yo has been sick with chronic fatigue/allergies for 5 months so we have to care for him too.  I don't know if I can manage caring for our oldest son at home without help, but I feel it is where he will want to be, and I understand that fully.  I just don't know if there are other options?

 

Thank you

 

 

16 REPLIES 16

Re: Son with psychosis and OCD may need admission to change medication

Hi @Tinker67  and welcome to the forum.

 

I think several people here could share their experiences so I'll tag some who have had experience with family members being admitted @Anastasia @greenpea @Determined @Krishna 

 

I have been in hospital myself and have mostly hada positive experience but it can, at times, be a rather restrictive environment. 

Re: Son with psychosis and OCD may need admission to change medication

Hi @Tinker67  Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you have a lot going on at present and from my experiences with my girl in a similar situation, your son being admitted for a few weeks now whilst his symptoms are changing sounds like a good plan. Yes it would be quite daunting for him, the thought of being institutionalised but I feel it is crucial for him to be under the care of professionals so they can monitor and tweak his meds. We too are 3 hours away from the nearest mental health unit so I would visit once a week for a few hours. I found the majority of staff and social workers very accommodating and helpful, though some can be a bit frosty but in general, they want to see their patients well and back at home.  You will be able to phone each day to speak to your son and he will be able to phone you as well. My girl has been hospitalised 7 times over the past 10 years from age 17 but unfortunately didn't continue with her meds at times resulting in relapse of psychosis and sadly drug abuse and now schizophrenia and on fairly heavy medication. The sooner the correct medication and treatment is given, the better the outcome will be. Wishing you all the best for a good outcome. 🙏

Re: Son with psychosis and OCD may need admission to change medication

Hi @Tinker67 

 

Could you clarify for me, is the goal to the inpatient setting to understand the board reasons for the changes and identify medications that help or is it just to try new medications and see how your son reacts?

 

The reason I ask is you detailed a few life changes in your son's holistic life.  Have the recent lifestyle changes been accounted for before looking at medication? 

 

( i am thinking about stressors such as managing money, managing workplace commitments, he has a girlfriend so eating differently.. etc... I just wonder if you could do a snapshot of Jan 2020 and now and just have a look at what's different in his life and how this may be affecting his ability to cope).  

 

I could be totally wrong, you are welcome to dismiss me but having a girlfriend changes a lot of things both physically and emotionally. 

 

The other thing that may put your son's and your own mind to rest is to see if you can perform an advanced directive before admission.

 

Part 5

https://mhrm.mhcc.org.au/chapters/5-substitute-decision-making-and-capacity/chapter-5-section-f-adva...

Re: Son with psychosis and OCD may need admission to change medication

Thanks @AussieRecharger

They're all really good thoughts, thanks for sharing.  Yes, my son has been involved with the local CAMHS team since August last year and they've been updated on new developments, such as a new girlfriend on the scene.  I agree to a great extent that has brought a big change, most of it positive, they're very tender and sweet with each other.  They were playmates 12 years ago, but hadn't seen each other as they grew up.  I do wonder if he's getting enough sleep, he insists he is.  And since working his nutrtitional choices aren't what they used to be when I cooked home cooked meals for him.  He's been advised re: the importance of healthy nutrition because of the possible long term side effects of his medication.  Of course he's 17 and not thinking long term so he dismisses some of that.

 

Regarding managing money, he doesn't do that well, but doesn't have many demands on his income yet.  That is coming slowly.  He has managed to save to purchase a motorbike so is doing well in some ways.  His employer is not well educated about our son's illness, I think he thinks that mental illness isn't really a thing, but he's super supportive, has been really flexible, and we've put in place some provisions with the Apprenticeship Support Network Provider in the event that our son can't work so his employer can still continue his work with a casual labourer.  

 

I really appreciate your suggestion of an advanced directive and will look at that, thank you.  Thank you so much for sharing your reflections.  It is much appreciated.  I agree fully that taking in the full context of a person's life is so important.  I recognise that our clinicians have a certain lens they view mental ill health through, but I would like some broader ways of addressing mental ill health rather than just a clinical hospital setting.  Being a country person, I know that my son would do better if he were to be in nature/sitting by a campfire and working with his hands as a part of his recovery/treatment rather than in a clinical environment.  Time will tell.   

Re: Son with psychosis and OCD may need admission to change medication

Thank you so much @Eve7

Re: Son with psychosis and OCD may need admission to change medication

@AussieRecharger And I forgot to answer your initial question - as far as I know the intention of the admission is to change his medication.

Re: Son with psychosis and OCD may need admission to change medication

Thanks you @Krishna, I really appreciate your experience and perspective. I am aware that getting treatment right early with psychosis is really important. I guess to be honest, there is a part of me that still feels really bewildered, and grieving for him. I don't know how much this is going to affect his life, will he always battle these demons? Or will there be times when he can have relief from the symptoms of his illness? This is the first time I have spoken to others who know the illness and the experience. The past year has been isolating for everyone, and I haven't met anyone who has a lived experience of psychosis and OCD in my community.

Re: Son with psychosis and OCD may need admission to change medication

hello @Tinker67 , you have lots on you plate 

i like to say you are awesome my friend 

going to tag @NatureLover  for you about your son`s OCD

my husband has a lot of diagnosis including Bipolar 2 and i have 4 adult step children who all have some degree of mental health 

see @AussieRecharger@Krishna@Eve7 have been here to support xx

Re: Son with psychosis and OCD may need admission to change medication

@Tinker67 

 

I think you are on the right path, I think you have good people helping you, I would just ask lots of questions working backwards...

 

The doctors want an outcome so ask questions working backwards until you find the path is clear and also work with them to ask how you and the GF can help in the background. 

 

Illustration of people sitting and standing

New here?

Chat with other people who 'Get it'

with health professionals in the background to make sure everything is safe and supportive.

Register

Have an account?
Login

For urgent assistance: