Admitting a Child to Inpatient Psychiatric Treatment: A Parent's Perspective

January 17, 2012 Angela McClanahan

Four years ago, I admitted my then-six-year-old son to an inpatient psychiatric hospital. Much has changed in four years, but reading my thoughts from the time brings it all back. It's an experience I wouldn't wish on any parent; one I hope I never have to live again.

From my personal blog, January 2008:

I have a call in to a local children's psychiatric hospital about admitting Bob on the acute-care unit in the very near future.

Things have been getting worse over the past couple of weeks. The last time I picked him up from (his father's), he was a snarling, angry, hateful little boy who kept talking about his dad going to jail and it being my fault, and he was going to hit me in the stomach for it. He started repeating the same annoying sound over and over again and when I asked him to stop, he gave me a mean laugh and said "daddy told me to do that." And so on and so forth.

The weekend was rough. He spent a good part of it in time out for one transgression or another. He frequently growled and yelled "I hate the world!" and "I hate all humans!" and "all mommies should shut up and go away!"

Yesterday, the principal called at noon. Bob was being suspended for the day. When I got there, he was pacing the office like a caged animal. He refused to come with me. It took both of us to remove him from school and get him into my car. I then had to physically hold him in his seat for 45 minutes to keep him from getting out and running off. He kicked me, tried to bite me, and slapped me (hard) across the face. I took him to my office where he snarled at me until (husband) came to take him home.

Today, he said he was ready to go back to school. We met with the principal and he apologized and said he was ready to do better. I emailed his teacher around 1:00 and found out today hasn't been much better, and the other kids in his class are becoming afraid of him. I suggested he not go to art class (he doesn't like the teacher) and got a reply back that he'd slapped another kid and was back in the office, and wouldn't likely be going to art.

I don't know what to do. Therapy hasn't helped. The courts haven't helped. Psychiatry hasn't helped, because you can't spend 10 minutes a month asking a 6-year-old how he feels and expect to get the whole picture. There's only so much I can do, because in Bob's mind, I'm the problem. And he cannot go on this way.

Which is why I made the call.

The thought of taking my baby somewhere and leaving him, even if only for an overnight or a few days . . . Jesus. It's killing me.

APA Reference
McClanahan, A. (2012, January 17). Admitting a Child to Inpatient Psychiatric Treatment: A Parent's Perspective, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Author: Angela McClanahan

Eris allen
September, 29 2015 at 10:59 am

I need some help for my 15 yr boy bramden allen he out of control he been in alot of behavior hosp and meds he been in troble with and school amd home he mean to his 12 yr borther all the amd even my bpyfriemd he has a consherl that see him omce a week he want to be in control of the house and break me up with my boyfriend he also tore my car up I had pay 580$ in the last mouth to get fix he breaks in the house went im amd bring kid un my home without asking he in probtion also does any kmow where in can get help with him amd placed somewhere more then a mouth

October, 2 2015 at 7:53 am

My son was getting aggresive spells as well. I stopped giving him sugar and he got back to almost normal. Sleeping early also helps.

Cassi T
September, 24 2015 at 12:26 pm

My son is 6 and out of control. We havent got to see a psychiatrist yet and its over a month until his initial appointment. I cant go like this another month. My son is abusive towards me and my 10 year old son. He wont try to hurt his dad just destroys the house when he is home. Today alone since school got out(2 hours ago) he has thrown a glass bowl at me and shattered it, hit me with the broom, hit me with a metal flag holder and found a knife saying he was going to kill himself. He threw a pair of scissors at me this morning and threw the phone at my head this morning as well. He has also thrown knives at me in the past... The doctors office suggested we go to the hospital but it scares me that they will keep him. His dad isnt on board with taking him either. We are his parents... We should be able to help him shouldnt we? Im scared of how my child is turning out...

Tanisha Dimiduk
September, 14 2015 at 11:53 pm

I read your story and completely understand. My son (now 8) has had some of the same issues hating his family, trying to hurt himself, meds, therapy, & 2 7 day hospital stays only to keep sending him home to continue the behavior. He attempted to kill his 3 year old sister & still nothing. A year & a half of therapy & NO change in behavior & not 1 person can explain y he has anger issues or hate his mfamily. He suffers from depression & no one has done anything to help him. 2 therapists, 2 psychiatrist, 2 Dyfs cases & a case manager & no one has yet to kno anything more or even suggested temporary out of home placement. What can i do?? I believe I'm becoming depressed myself.

Eris allen
September, 10 2015 at 6:49 am

I need to find to help for 15 yr that alway s in troble and school.and at home
He trying to make prblem in my life my faimly and boyfriend I put him a bunch behaiver housp and he getting troble with laws for something he always mean to younger bother to I need some ideals where mit can put in housp that keep in more then a mouth and how get something court to place him so he can some help

September, 7 2015 at 7:56 pm

hi,I need some help.I know this doesn't belong in a comment box but I'm desperate.I have a 16 year old boy in 11 grade he's on resperidone daily .5 mg morning and night.well all of a sudden two days now. he's weird.sleeping a lot stares at you with a blank look he looks drunk and keeps saying he feels really weak.took him last night to emergency room and they just say he's dehydrated maybe but seems totally normal.tested his blood ad well and it's all negative .wat should I do. lost he also keeps scratching his body really bad. plenary someone give me some advice what to do.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Natasha Tracy
September, 8 2015 at 6:45 am

Hi Christi,
I'm the blog manager here as there is no blog author for this blog at the moment.
I would recommend consulting your psychiatrist (or whomever prescribed the medication) immediately. He may not be reacting well or even having an allergic reaction.
There are many medications and this may simply not be the best for your son.
- Natasha Tracy
- Blog Manager

August, 7 2015 at 3:32 pm

I'm an emotional wreck tonight. My 6 year old who is extremely smart, funny, silly little boy. However he has extremely bad outburst and is very rough with his brother. We have seen a psychiatrist, psychologist, evaluation after evaluation. He has aspergers. He's so violent at times of tantrums. Tonight he tried to throw a brick at his brother being only one it scared me to the fullest. Hes calm now and doing well. What should I have done? Do I have to have him admitted? My heart is aching.

July, 20 2015 at 8:38 am

We have found that it is very helpful to pull out a camera and record the child during their anger tantrums. Let them know that you are doing it so you can share it with people who are going to help them. Seems to calm things down with our foster son and you really do have something to share with professionals if the tantrum continues.

July, 3 2015 at 1:03 pm

Hello. I have a 6 year old little girl who has ADHD, ODD, and possibly autism on the spectrum, I am waiting on results. I am struggling because she is sweet child who has frequent angry outbursts that are getting violent. I was told by her doctor to take her to the hospital but I don't know if I should because the tantrum may stop by the time I get her there,. So I guess my question is when do I take her and does she have to be in the middle of an outburst in order to go. I live in Ohio. Thank you

Toni J
July, 1 2015 at 3:52 am

Yes it is very hard to deal with these issues.. and it looks like you may need to track down some resources as it is not easy to get the right resources.. I would start with an assessment clinic that also does evaluations..Only because i have dealt with some of the same issues.. I know that some clinics will just hold the child in limbo.. Too long with therapy that is not working.. and suspect it is for the insurance. removing visitation while dealing with the crisis and in the meantime I would use some play therapy at home to allow him to express anything he wants to say without taking it personally.. Just remembering he is young and only feels hurt therefor taking it out on everyone.. He has to be able to express it at some point

June, 13 2015 at 9:35 pm

Ok where do I start...I have a nephew who is 15, will be 16 in July. He has recently come to live with me and has been living with me for a little over 2 months now. I strongly believe he has PTSD. He has panic attacks, nightmares, suicidal thoughts, feelings of worthlessness, was self harming before he came to live with me, depression, social anxiety, doesn't want to live to see another day. His father was very abusive mentally, verbally, and somewhat physically. His father drilled in his head that he is a worthless no good waste of space, and that he should do everybody a favor and kill himself...this has went on for years. Past boyfriends of his mother have tried sexually abusing him as well. I just found out about all of this 2 months ago. So I said NOMORE!!! And took him under my wing. Since he has been with me, he hasn't selfharmed, although he wants too, and hasn't attempted suicide, but has thoughts of suicide. Financially and mentally I wasn't prepared for this. I'm in trouble of loosing my home, I lost my job when all of this happened. I'm at a loss here, don't know where to turn. Please if anybody has any advice at all on how I can get help for him...I just want the best for him...hes not in any way aggressive or out of control. He just doesn't want to live and thinks he is worthless. Please help me!!!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Christina Halli
June, 15 2015 at 11:28 am

Hi Chris,
Thank you for your comment. It sounds like you are doing your best to help your nephew. It is hard to parent a child with mental illness. A good place to start if you want to help your nephew is to have him evaluated by a mental health professional. You can start with his primary care physician or school counselor and get a referral for further help.

May, 8 2015 at 6:21 pm

Sharing here is good but also overwhelming. Everyone shares the same problems but no one has a solution. Call your county crisis intervention hotline. See what resources you can use. Reach out to your school psychologist and counselor. They'll provide other resources. Get a Psychiatrist to do an evaluation. Research the medication and pick a reputable one with the least side effects for minors and start with a very low dose. It takes 3 weeks for meds to kick in. Give it a chance, if worse, you'll have to sample other ones . When kids are this disturbed and violent or wanting to harm themselves, medication and therapy are what everyone will suggest in the medical community. Tough tough choice but it'll give everyone peace. I'm going through the same with my teenager and my heart weeps every minute for her. I was in denial about her having a bipolar disorder but now based on her angry and abusive behavior, I'm finally surrendering that perhaps she is bipolar and needs medication along with therapy. I'm exhausted and need therapy for myself for all the verbal abuse and the unpredictability of her outbursts. You have to be a resourceful parent, that's the only help you'll get. You have to ask the right questions.

May, 8 2015 at 6:16 pm

Sharing here is good but also overwhelming. Everyone shares the same problems but no one has a solution. Call your county crisis intervention hotline. See what resources you can use. Reach out to your school psychologist and counselor. They'll provide othet resources. Get a Psychiatrist to do an evaluation. Research the medication and pick a reputable one with the least side effects for minors and start with a very low dose. It takes 3 weeks for meds to kick in. Give it a chance, if worse, you'll have to sample other ones . When kids are this disturbed and violent or wanting to harm themselves, medication and therapy are what everyone will suggest in the medical community. Tough tough choice but it'll give everyone peace. I'm going through the same with my teenager and my heart weeps every minute for her. I was in denial about her having a bipolar disorder but now based on her angry and abusive behavior, I'm finally surrendering that perhaps she is bipolar and needs medication along with therapy. I'm exhausted and need therapy for myself for all the verbal abuse and the unpredictability of her outbursts. You have to be a resourceful parent, that's the only help you'll get. You have to ask the right questions.

May, 3 2015 at 11:12 pm

I need help my 14 year old son is getting worse by the day he is an angry boy I mean servearly angry he lashes out for no reason he calls me and his siblings vile things he even tried to strangle his brother, he threatens to stab us and wishes we would bleed from our eyes I'm terrified what may happen no one seems to listen or understand they just blame it in his father being absent but if they just listen to me then they would know his father is no good for him he us a bad man. I'm at my wits end and I'm considering getting him commuted but I'm scared he will hate me forever. But no one will help

April, 25 2015 at 2:27 pm

I'm worried about my daughter she is 12 she started cutting it is very mild , superficial she has only done it a few times I took her to the doctor he made an appointment with a counselor it was a month away but the earliest available she cut again still very mild but more than the previous time & she skipped school with out anyone knowing her friends mom called me& let me know she had skipped with her daughter I picked her up & took her back to the doctor he said take her to E.R. So I did they put her in the behavior unit & she can't leave they said if I didn't let them keep her they would call CPS I feel like neither myself or my daughter are being informed well of the treatment or procedures going on I don't think she should have been admitted to this type of unit & they will not let me check her out or they will call CPS I a los don't think she should be taking the medicine they are giving at 12 yrs old I'm so worried about her I know she needs help but I don't if this is the right thing I feel helpless & I don't know what to do

March, 26 2015 at 11:48 am

U migt want to try residentail that is inpitent but that will work. I have tired and and doing it agian due to the issues my son is having good luck and god bless

March, 18 2015 at 10:08 am

I have my 15 year old son in an acute hospitalization. Hes been diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, Anxiety Disorder, Reactive Detatchment disorder and mixed mania. He has been on meds non stop since he was 5. My parents took him on 11 years ago to help me out and I just got him back. Hes very agressive. Hes beat both me and his stepdad up. Cops have been called out continuously . He has been hospitalized one other time in the last month. They keep him for 7 days and send him home. After the last discharge, I have had to take him to the ER due to medication reactions. The doctors have done nothing but add a med, subtract a med, add an amphetemine and yank him off cold turkey. His blood work shows he has a substantial amount of meds built up in his system. I have been advocating for a detox of him in a monitored facility and get a baseline of where he is without meds. But I cant get anyone to see this. After this last incident that put him back into the hospital, he cant come home. My husband has tried with him and is done. I dont want to lose my kid or my husband, but my son keeps trying to destroy whatever happiness I have. He has even stated to case managers that he will continue to do whatever it takes to destroy me. So I am having to find a long term facility for him. He has a probation officer that has said she can petition the court to have him put somewhere since there has been two hospitializations in 6 months. I live in fear around my son, sleep with one eye open since he has threatened to kill me, my husband and our dog.

February, 27 2015 at 4:05 pm

I'm sorry!!! I'm a single mother also of 3 children. I just moved from the Charlotte area to Myrtle Beach area and I am having almost the same issue with my daughter. Charlotte nor my area has any good resources for children their age but my daughter now has a doctor here who has been so much help! Dr.Reiser. We are actually relocating to Arizona because of the type of treatment therapy for children. It's Anasazi therapy. It's Native American. I'm not saying your son needs that type of therapy but it's very useful and I promise he would amaze himself. I have not looked into it in this area but you are closer to the mountains so look into wilderness therapy for children. Just try it never hurts to try!!! It's not a hospital setting, it's not a bootcamp, it's nature, it's spiritual, it brings life a whole new meaning for the young ones.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Natascha W
May, 23 2018 at 10:51 pm

Hi Jocelyn,
Can you please tell me more about the Anasazi therapy in Arizona? Thank you so much!

February, 20 2015 at 1:04 pm

I am looking for help for a 10 year old child. He has been diagnosed ADHD and after years of trying to change eating habits, increase activity, create routines, chore charts, punishment, etc...I am at my wits end. I have had him in therapy, I am looking for a therapist closer to our home because after insurance changed, his doctor was out of network. I could pay for the visits, but since he's under his father's insurance, the reimbursement would go to his father. I've asked his father (who by the way lives in another city in our state and is with the police force) to call once a week (just to give me a little support). Three years later, he may call 3 times a year and has not seen my son at all. So, we had an incident with my son pushing me down, he's punched kids in the face, he gets angry and acts out at school, he was suspended last year for threatening a teacher. As a single parent, my blood sugar and blood pressure will never get under control when I can't ever have a few minutes to focus on myself. We are in NC. I've tried calling many facilities for treatment and I'm told he's too young, they are not taking new patients, they don't accept my insurance, and there is ALWAYS something. I don't have ANY family or friends in our city that can help. The friends he's made are all scared to be around him, so now he no longer has friends. Sometimes I can see the sweet little boy I know is there...and the majority of the other times...I can't even begin to put in words. PLEASE HELP! We are in the Charlotte area.

February, 19 2015 at 1:04 pm

Suggestions anyone? Lives in PA
16 year old.. Hx of cutting, taking pills and bulemia
Has been in the ER twice in the last month for taking pills . 30 first time wanting to klll herself then last night 10 pills "to help anxiety" she says. She has vomits after each meal when she will eat. She is so out of controll and says that some people should not live. She sees a therapist. A psychiatrist and has many people that love her. Any time she can she will take pills. A rehab for eating disorder was going to take her for treatment, stated she should get treatment asAp. Only problem she will not sign the papers . Really? How can i get her rights revoke due to ment illness? Any jdeas ... If something is not done she will find a way and end her life.

November, 27 2014 at 8:01 pm

I have dealt with a variety of mental illness in the past from my foster children, but this past week was the first time I have ever had to commit one of my kids.
My 9 year old foster daughter went from being a bright fun loving kid one second to literally a possessed child the next. She started hitting and biting herself out of the blue with no obvious trigger (self verbal abuse on endless repeat as well). Mentally, she has completely regressed and acts like an animal more than a child. :(
I might not be a birth parent, but it is so very hard to see a girl that I have strong feelings for be so completely lost.
I so hope that the hospital will be able to find out what is wrong and prescribe a treatment that will give her a chance to recover the kid she was prior to her flipping out. Heck, I would settle for her to stop self harming uncontrollably at this point.
I hate having no clue what is wrong and not being able to fix the problem. I hate that being a foster parent means that the hospital doesn't have to tell us anything and probably won't tell us anything. Even if there is a diagnosis and treatment, I wonder if we will be allowed to know what such things are even if she comes back to our home.

November, 9 2014 at 9:52 am

Hello I'm having serious problems with my 13 yr old he's violent nasty vicious especially with his siblings he is so angry towards everyone I try every and anything and nothing is helping he has been assessed with mental health services and they say he's just angry but he has outbursts for no reason he calls me bad names andhe throws his self on the floor and says I'm trying to beat when I'm not even near him. He gets angry and says he wants people to die and bleed out there eye's. He use to be a wonderful happy boy he's so bright and was always top of his classes now he refuses to go school and has become a recluse he even threatened me with a knife. I'm trying to get help and no one will listen to me I feel I've failed as mum I love him with my heart and soul and Im at the end of my tether. Any advice will be much appreciated.

October, 11 2014 at 10:34 am

I have read this blog. I have a son who is 7. In our eyes, our son is no longer here, just a shell of what used to be him. He has had many issues since the age of 4. He has been in acute hospitalizations in mental facilities 12 times, he is in a wrap around program, regular therapy, abundance of meds and so on. We need to find long term care for him. His behaviors are destroying our family in everyway. Is the best way to help him, us and protect society making him a ward of the state??

October, 7 2014 at 1:22 pm

I understand your points Ross which is why my son is still here. Not an hour ago he tried to throw me down the stairs and beat me with an electric guitar. After he called me a f$&&ing idiot and said when I go to bed he's cuttings head off with a knife. He's 11. I fear it's getting worse. Last week he beat me and his 6 year old brother. My hands are tied. I stop him from beating his little brother but what course of action do I take?? Best him? What good would that do? He'd only go to school and have them call CPS anyway.
So he's bigger than me at 11. I can't fight back. And feel I'm too late when he beats his brothers. I can stop him, but the damage is done.
I've considered sending him to my parents house. My mom would spoil him which he would love but eventually that won't be enough either and he'll physically lash out at her and my dad too.
I'm not picking on you Ross, but honestly want to know what you'd recommend being you've been there. One of these days I'm going to call 911 and that will be that.
Someone.... Please advise :-(

September, 20 2014 at 9:07 am

Ross I hear what you are saying but I am considering it for my 17 year old son. he runs away from his therapy appts I try to make for counseling, he stays out days at a time, skips school and has probation for retail theft. I found out he smokes weed and hangs with the wrong kind of so called friends. he does not comply with house rules and yells at me and throw things in house. I want to save my son and he has insurance but will be 18 in 3 months. I'm running out of time. when I called crisis he went to hosp for observation but he plays the game and manipulates well so that the he is find but I know better he displays the following, is pathological liar, has PTSD, depression and in his family on father's side is bipolar and physophenia. we live in New Jersey. I'm a total wreck and a single parent. anyone know where I could reach out to? help me save my son.

September, 12 2014 at 2:40 pm

Hi everyone,
I am a 33 year old man and I was committed to a facility 20 years ago. The effects of these types of facilities is extreme. 20 years later and countless therapists and I still live with the emotional side effects on a regular basis. I struggle with trust, abandonment issues. I have almost no relationship with my mother( primarily because she committed me). My mother has a PHD in school psychology and treats childeren like yours everyday.
The fact is that our society has deemed committing childeren to this kind of facility to be acceptable. As most of the people committed to these institutions, I come from a broken home. My mother tried to have my little brother committed when I was about 19. Thank god I stopped her.
Listen to someone who has been to a place like this and now through my construction career has worked at facilities like this.
Committing your child to a place like this would be the worst parenting decision of your life. This action will forever change your child and your relationship with your child. You have other choices. Medication is not the answer either.
These are childeren not pets. Medicating them till they act the way schools want them to act, or till you feel your child's behavior is " appropriate" is wrong.
At 33 I have a job making well over 100k per year and my professional life very successful. However the effects of being committed at 13 changed my social interaction with my siblings, my girlfriend, and most of all my mother and step dad.
I do not take medication of any kind anymore. What most people don't know is. The long term side effects of the medications you are putting your kids on are unknown. Doctors will say otherwise. That is simply not true.
I hope this post saves sheds a different light on this subject and saves a few childeren from the trauma of this kind of facility.

July, 9 2014 at 4:59 pm

God Bless, each of you. I too, am weighing the necessity of a residential treatment center for my nine year old daughter. Bipolar, trauma and developmental delays. Medication and theraphy has helped considerably, however, she still requires 24/7 supervision due to self injurious and bizzar behaviors. My concern, she will learn more negative behaviors in a residential treatment center then she will positive coping skills. Does anyone else feel that a treatment center poses a long term risk for young children?

June, 12 2014 at 10:56 pm

Hi everyone , 3 days ago I had to call and admit my 14 yr old daughter into a inpatient mental health center. She went to her guidance councler at school and told her she wanted to stab herself. Prior to this my 13 year old has just has 2 brain surgeries due to chiari malformation. This took a huge toll on my 14 yr old. I knew she has Tourette syndrome but now find out she has bipolar, ADD or possibly ADHD they are still looking into which one.. plus 3 other medical problems. As a single disabled mom of 3 children I never thought I would have to do this and it breaks my heart.
The past 7 months have been a blur to me because I almost lost my daughter during both surgeries. Now I don't have my Angel home and it's breaking my heart. I see her for about a hour a day but travel over 2 hours just one way. I know I need counseling myself but I don't have time.
Someone please tell me how you have coped with doing this to your child ? She wanted to go and seems happy that was great but I can't tell you how much I miss her !!
Any advice I will take.. This is breaking me..
Thanks. Debbie

terrified mother from CT
June, 1 2014 at 12:21 am

I have an 11 year old daughter who has been going through the same behavior issues as all above. She has been this way since 4yr old she is diagnosed with PTSD & BiPolar as well as a detachment disorder. She has been on every medication there is. She has been inpatient outpatient PHP. She has a therapist a psychiatrist and is in a school for children with these issues. She has been kicked out of schools like this before. She lives with myself and boyfriend of 5 years and when she sees her father is on a whim because either she doesn't want to go or he doesn't want her. She has 2 other sister who she loves and misses very much that live with her father andvhis wife as we split are girls up. He could not handle her. She has seen and been through a lot for an 11 year old. I have been able to keep her out of a hospital for over a year now, but I am at the end. I dont know what else to do.... she ruins every day, every event. We have to leave her with family instead of take her to any planned outings or functions as she is explosive and ruins it for everyone else nevermind the public looking at us like we are horrible parents and this kid is a brat..... she is a sweet loving kind thoughtful sad little girl whomif I could sit around and hug and baby and do any and everything she wanted all day would be fine. We all know I cant do that and it wouldnt be right too. She needs the help to become a lady a productive member of society. A good sister and someday mother, aunt and wife. Please help. I am open to all suggestions. I am just terrified after what I have seen while inpatient to her that I am not sure my heart can take putting her back in. I never had to her father alwayscdid it when she was in his custody.
Please help,
terrified Mom

Cindy Brazzeal
April, 30 2014 at 5:30 pm

I Live in Rogers, Arkansas, I have a 13 year old son that was recently diagnosed with bipolar, prior to that almost a year ago he was diagonosed with ocd, anxiety disorder and depression. Our situation is so bad, my son is unable to even attend school so he has been doing an online school, which is not working out. He is home all day becoming more depressed and isolated, therefore not wanting to do school work. I am home with him 24/7 and I'm experiencing a lot of what other parents are going through, except having any other children in the house thank god. I know sleep, diet and exercise play a big part in being able to live with this illness. My son stays up all night sleeps most of the day, won't exercise, and definitely refuses to eat healthy. His pyschiatrist put him on lamictal which seems to help with his bipolar but wants him to be on additional medications, at least temporarily to get his sleep patterns under control and to help with his ocd, and anxiety. He refuses to take any other medications,and refuses counceling which is another part of treatment he so desperately needs. His psychiatrist says we can't force him to take medicine or go to therapy. I like most parents am at my wits end, I can't seem to get any help on what I should do from this point to get him the help he needs. We are very limited with mental health treatment for adolescents in this area. My son did threaten to kill himself at school which resulted in him going to an inpatient facilty for about 5 days, I don't think it helped at all and I didn't have an overall good feeling about his treatment there, but it was out of my hands because of this happening at school and they took over. He is extremely violent at times and the police have said both my husband and I have the right to restrain him. Several month's ago when he was hitting me I did restrain him and the police were called and I was arrested. Since things are getting so extreme, I really think I need to get him into a therapuetic treatment facility that can really help him with his illness and education. I need some help and direction with this and no one seems to be able to help, not his pyschiatrist or a psychologist I recently saw to help get the guidance i so desperately need. I would appreciate any help you could give me. It breaks my heart to read all these different stories about families going through these horrific experiences and none of us seem to really be able to get the help we need.
Thank you, Cindy

April, 27 2014 at 8:57 am

I am a 15 years old girl. I see many of you have troubled kids who you wanna put in inpatient. I would just tell you all to think twice before you do it. i myself was admitted because I tried to kill myself. There are so many different people in there and I saw things that are still stuck in my mind to this day. If possible find a treatment center that has a own place for kids with anger issues or things like that because inpatient isn't always the best. It's hard in there. As a kid your're scared, you try to escape and you kinda do more stupid things because you're so scared and you don't wanna be there. I was in for a month and I have promised myself never to go back.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 28 2014 at 3:13 pm

Hi Jeanett,
Thank you for sharing your story. I think it is great that you were able to do that here. You make such a good point for parents to understand what it is like for a kid in an inpatient setting. My heart goes out to you for all that you've been through, but I'm glad that you've made a turn around and promised yourself to be well. Take care.

Myranda congi
April, 8 2014 at 1:30 pm

My son is 6 and bipolar. Without going into too much detail, I am struggling to find a way to parent him as a bipolar child. At what point do you check a 6 year old into an inpatient facility? He has extreme tantrums, punches holes in the walls, hits his teachers and me, etc. I am so lost and don't know what to do.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 22 2014 at 12:44 am

Hi Miranda,
Thanks for sharing. It sounds as if you're really struggling to help your son. I'm not sure of what you've tried yet, but an inpatient facility is a last resort. I don't know what state you live in, but if you've already tried therapy and medication, you can look on your state's website for family services to see what options you may have. He is a very young child and it would be very hard to get him into an inpatient facility. Check on your state's website and good luck to you.

March, 13 2014 at 12:51 pm

Hi Mom's...I need some advice. My significant others 6 yr old is out of control. We have had custody of her since last August. She has been in counseling since then as well. She is to the point of having so many aggressive outbreaks in school that she is no longer allowed to attend. Her mother(who she sees for 4 hours every Saturday) lost custody of her and her brother due to physical abuse. She is constantly defiant, aggressive, and her outbursts are extreme. She is not on medication. We are seriously thinking about inpatient therapy. Please help!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 18 2014 at 1:10 am

Hello Staci,
Thank you for sharing your story. I can tell that you and your significant other have been struggling with his child. I've worked with many children who have unfortunately been abused by their parents and they often have a difficult time adjusting after changing homes. In my experience, inpatient therapy is a last resort for parents who have tried everything to find a solution for the child's symptoms. It sounds as if family counseling might help all of you to understand one another and resolve some of the behaviors. Also, because of her age it would be difficult to get her inpatient therapy especially since you have not tried medication. Talk to the child's therapist about medication as it can be beneficial as an addition to therapy. Good luck!

October, 10 2013 at 2:11 pm

I am also going through the same situation as you with my 5 year old. I was wondering if you could possibly tell me what hospitals or what kind of hospitals to call for my son. He is exactly the same - in and out of schools and says the same things to me. If you could help that would be great. Thank you.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

October, 14 2013 at 3:47 pm

Hi Samantha,
Thank you for visiting and sharing your story. I'm the new author of the blog. As you did not share your state, I cannot recommend a hospital for you. What I can recommend is that you begin looking through your state's website for social services. That could get you help at home and possibly crisis intervention services as well. I wish you the best. Take care.

August, 28 2013 at 5:39 am

I am a step-mom of an 11 year old girl who has PTSD, ADHD, and reactive attachment disorder. My husband and I have had full custody of her since she was 4 years old (she doesn't see her biological mom). She is on medication and we have adjusted it MANY times, but she is still disrespectful, rude, doesn't listen, yells at us and my 3 year old, and acts out EVERY DAY! I have 2 sons ages 14 & 16 who stay in their room with their door closed all day when she is home just to avoid dealing with her or listening to her. My 3 year old is becoming aggressive and starting to yell. I am done! I can't keep doing this and it's not fair to the other kids who get very little, if any, attention due to her constant misbehaving. She needs to go to a live-in behavior center. We have tried everything including in-home therapy. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know. I don't want to lose my husband and break up my family! I live in Mass

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 4 2013 at 5:49 pm

Hi Brenda,
I'm sorry to hear about the troubles you have been dealing with your step-daughter. I have seen this many times before in my work with families. Parents who are just plain tired of the negative behavior. And in my experience, I've found that those parents have the most difficult time in pointing out any good things about those children. Kids don't want to misbehave. They want to please the adults around them. However, misbehavior is real and needs to be dealt with.
I recommend that you start with these numbers in your state. Parental Stress Line: 1-800-632-8188 (counseling, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Parents Helping Parents: 1-800-882-1250 (counseling and referrals to support groups)
Children’s Trust Fund:1-888-775-4KIDS (free materials and referrals to parenting classes and home visiting programs) The first two lines may help you vent about the challenges of parenting your step-daughter. The last one could provide you with resources to implement a behavior modification plan in conjunction with therapy and medication for her. At the end of the day, I find that behavior issues tend to result from tension in the parent-child relationship. She is an 11-year-old girl who has not seen her mother in a long time (I imagine as you & your husband have had custody since she was 4). Triggers for her might include your interaction with your sons and why her mother hasn't resurfaced in the last 8 years. It is very difficult for a child to understand that parents have problems. And it isn't a child job to understand; I feel it is a parent's task (though very challenging) to explain the situation, explore the child's feelings and acknowledge them. In this way the child gains trust in the parents and will more readily give the parents the positive behaviors they expect. I hope that these resources are helpful. I found them through your state's department of social services. Good luck to you and please visit again soon.

August, 25 2013 at 10:01 am

Continued from above..She beats things in my head just because she doesnt get her own way and because due to my son's issues I haven't been able to work and so my partner takes every shift working possible and now my daughter throws it up that Im not the one working and she doesn't even respect my partner who busts her behind to keep a roof over our head. What do you think would happen if I go to psych floor for help because my meds r not helping my anxiety is the worst and i know sone things cause suicidsl thoughts.Im just a mom trying to make it...Please hro78jh

August, 25 2013 at 9:51 am

Thank you. I will see what is available but since my son is in services as am I , I don't know what else there will be available.Im at the point were I feel I may need to check in to an inpatient for psychological needss as they've become worse w all going on.Also, then possibly a reative who is a foster hm may take him I dont know. I've tried talking w them but it's not convinient for them.This wkend they took my son Fri night til Sunday eve but showed up st 10am Sunday cuz they needed a break.Can they imagine I dont get to do that. Im very quickly slipping in to my severe depression and its not good.On top of it I have a 15yr old who tells me unfairly may I mention, that I am a terrible person, she beats terrible things cholildrr

August, 18 2013 at 3:49 pm

P.s I live in Pennsylvania. Any suggestions will greatly help!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 21 2013 at 4:27 pm

Hi Rachel,
Thanks for coming back and sharing your location. You can go through the department of public welfare to find mental health services to support you as you help your son. I was able to google it so here's the link I found. Try clicking on the child and adolescent link to connect with services in your area. Hope this helps. All the best.

August, 18 2013 at 3:46 pm

Hello, this is Rachel from the above thread. I am getting the psychological care I need as far as medications. As to the speaking with my son's therapist and psych I have done so and they have literally watched as I sat there in tears begging for help while my son threw things at me and hit me. Psych recommended a partial program, but the waiting list is hefty. My son continues to abuse us all and has left so many deep bruises physical not to mention psychologically. His diagnosis is ADHD, ODD and unspecified mood disorder. He's on meds but they don't help. We have been dealing with this since before kindergarten. He was thrown out of two preschools and I had to withdraw from college myself. Again nobody gets the severity of this! I can not continue to punish all of the family due to his violent aggressive and abusive behavior. This may sound awful but are there foster homes that can help? Somewhere where he can be the only child and the parent can take time to deal with this as we are not financially stable. I have mental health issues as well as physical. I was in a terrible car accident and have back issues as well as a rod in my femur. I'm also dealing with a past addiction issue, which is really threatened right now. I want the best for all my children! Help!

August, 16 2013 at 7:51 am

As I read this thread, it all seems too familiar. I have a 9 yr old son who has been in two hospitals just the past month, three total. He has had family-based therapy in the past, a tss worker, an IEP at school, and at the moment (as it is August) he sees a therapist and psychiatrist. Nobody understands just how bad the situation is and that medications are not working.I'm lost, need to do something. My other 2 kids and partner don't deserve to be treated like this. His father passed away when he was two and I as well have my own issues. I am bipolar with severe anxiety and depression. I really can't deal and need advice on options. My family does not get how bad it is! Every second is looking after his violent agressive and abusive behavior. I can no longer take care of him best due to severity of his behavior and my own issues. I'm lost as to where to turn! I love my son but he is better off where he can be an only child. We are not even scraping by financially because I can't work due to his behavior. I have no resources! Thank you for any help!!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 17 2013 at 6:09 am

Hi Rachel,
My thoughts are with you. I can see how difficult it is for you to manage all of these issues given that you have have your own mental health needs. My first question is what are you doing to take care of yourself? Many parents I work with tend to put their own needs aside to care for their families and homes. My first suggestion for you is to get yourself in therapy if you aren't getting treatment already. Also, I'm not sure what state you live in, but you can speak with your team (ie your son's therapist & psychiatrist) for recommendations for day treatment, residential treatment centers/facilities, etc. Each state has it's process and resources. You can check your state website for resources as well as national associations such as the American Psychological & Psychiatric Associations. I hope this helps you get started. Please come visit again soon.

Leave a reply