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How To Help My Delusional Son?

Question:

My son has been incarcerated for 6-1/2 years now. He is due to be released in November of 2014. He seemed to be coping with the situation until a few months ago he began to have insomnia and the only way he could receive help was to say he was suicidal, so he did. While he was being monitored he slammed his head against a steel post and had to be taken to the emergency room for stitches and they said he had a concussion. During that time I was not allowed to visit him until he was somewhat recovered and not trying to hurt himself again. Since that first visit he started trying to get a lawyer because he was complaining about his treatment after the injury. He said he was going to sue them for the abuse and neglect he suffered. Well, he gave up on that since no lawyer would take his case. Now he is saying his entire reason for being there was under false evidence and shoddy police work etc. He keeps asking me and his brother to come get him out of jail and to get a lawyer. He knows we don’t have the funds for that. Why would he wait until he’s almost ready to be released to do this. I thought to myself how strange his behavior has been and I began researching about delusional thinking. I had never looked up the meaning before. My question is, how can I help him while he is in jail? I have no money or health insurance. Who or where do I go to get help for him, or at least, who do I tell? He does not want me to talk to the warden about anything.THX

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Answer:

As far as I know, most prisons provide psychiatric services. It is not clear to me why they did not seem to address this after he warned them of suicide and then caused himself a concussion? Perhaps they believe he was trying to manipulate the system? Of course, I agree that this is strange behavior if he is getting close to being released. It is baffling. Could it be that there is something or someone that he is now afraid of? Even though they are in prison, prisoners manage to get their hands on alcohol and drugs. Could he be under the influence of a substance that might cloud his thinking?

Even though his release time is approaching a number of things may be happening. First, he may be depressed and that may account for his complaining about suicide. One would think that, as he gets closer to completing his sentence he would not be depressed. This leads into the next possibility.

As your son gets closer to leaving the prison his anxiety may be increasing. Even though prison is extremely unpleasant some prisoners become so adjusted to living there that the thought of being on the street again and having to make a living are just too anxiey producing. Certainly, he may feel both depressed and anxious especially since they go together. Of course, it is possible that he has become delusional and that might indicate a serious psychiatric condition. The problem is that prison officials tend to be skeptical because they know how some prisoners lie and try to decieve prison officials.

This is why it might not be a bad idea to speak to the warden about getting some type of psychological or psychiatric help that the prison provides. I suggest that you speak to your son before doing anything and tell him you are worried about his mental health.

Also, does he have plans for when he gets out? Is there a type of work he can do? If his conviction was related to drugs, is he worried about returning to drug abuse and/or dealing in drugs? Is there a girlfriend or wife waiting for him? Where wil he live once he is out?

These and others are among the many questions that worry prisoners as they await release.

There seems to be something that is now bothering your son. It would be helpful if it could be looked into and most probably by the prison psychiatrist or psychologist.

Best of Luck

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