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Deranged Father

Question:

My father seems to have lost his mind completely. He has never been diagnoised with any mental health issuses that we know of but we believe that he urgently need help before someone is seriously hurt. He is noticeably deranged. We are afraid that he will hurt someone if we call the police and nothing is done to remove him from the home right away. We would like to have him admitted to a mental health hospital but we are sure that he will not agree to go. Can we have him admitted without his consent? Who do we call and how do we we go about it? We believe that our lives are in danger, last night he stripped nacked and woke everyone in the house by screaming, "I am going to kill you all", while holding a butchers knife in his hand. This morning, when we tried to talk to him about what he had done, he did not believe that he was holding a knife. Is there anyone who can help us? Sincerely, Seekinghelpasap

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Answer:

Dear Seeking Help

Yes, there are times when a person can be taken to the hospital against their will and those times are when an individual is a danger to their self or to other people. Your father was clearly out of control and was a very real threat to members of the family. You report that last night he was wielding a knife, stripped naked screaming that he was going to kill everyone in the house. What you should have done and what you can still do is call 911 and report that your father is behaving in a mentally ill way, wielding a knife and threatening to kill the family. Under those circumstances there would have been no question that he would have been taken to the emergency room and held for 72 hours for evaluation. After that time he would have been placed in a psychiatric hospital unless the Doctors believed he was no longer a threat. Considering the seriousness of what you report, I doubt he would be sent home anytime soon. You can still do this because even though he might be calmer now it could happen again tonight and everyone at home is fearful. It is important that you act quickly.

The question is what is happening to your father? If he is using drugs he will be sent to a hospital for detox and released. If he is becoming demented due to Alzheimer’s disease or some other process he will be treated and recommendations will be made to the family. If he has always been mentally ill and this is a relapse they will send him to a psychiatric hospital and medicate him until he is stable again. These are just a few of the possibilities.

Best of luck

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