Chicago psychiatric institution
August 14, 2007 6:26 PM   Subscribe

A family member needs help. Any recommendations for Chicago-area psychiatric institutions?

The family member's unhealthy mental state seems to be getting worse. We're planning to place him in 24-hour professional care tomorrow. Unfortunately, the local hospital's facilities are not up to par. (Ask Metafilter is one of a few ways we're looking for recommendations. We're also talking to family friends who are mental health officials.)

Advice on getting through the night with someone whose reality has been consumed by vivid nightmares and panic attacks also appreciated.

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posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
I would keep the television off, as it presents an element of unpredictability. SKY.FM's smooth jazz playing softly through the night may help soothe frayed nerves though. It's just a suggestion.

I hope it all turns out ok for you and the family member.
posted by JaySunSee at 7:30 PM on August 14, 2007

NAMI site, they are a good 1st stop to find support
posted by edgeways at 7:32 PM on August 14, 2007

And good luck
posted by edgeways at 7:33 PM on August 14, 2007

Sorry you're going through this. As suggested, no TV - minimal stimulation, soothing talk. Just be there physically; stay with the person. If you feel that the person is any danger to him/herself, do not let them out of your sight. If the person is comfortable with touch, give soothing touch or hugs. The goal is for the person to feel safe - panic and nightmares mean lots of fear, so anything that makes them feel safe and cared for is good. Listen to what they have to say. Only contradict what isn't true if it helps the person calm down. In other words, if the person is having delusions, don't try to prove to them that they aren't there. Just say that you don't see them and try to reassure them that they are safe and you will protect them and be with them.

What area are you in? I second contacting NAMI first thing tomorrow morning. Is the person an adolescent? If so, I think Evanston Hospital has a good reputation.

I'm not sure about recently, but years ago Highland Park Hospital had an excellent program (which is now adults only). If you are in the Western suburbs, contact I am a speaker with them and they will help you with recommendations. I know they like Good Samaritan in Downers Grove.

If the situation gets out of hand, do whatever you need to do to keep the person safe, even if that means that you need to take them to the ER just for tonight (they wouldn't even be admitted most likely, but it would be a place where they would be physically safe). Safety is paramount.

This is a very rough situation. I've been there with a family member. It will be a long night, but things will get better.

Take care.
posted by la petite marie at 8:41 PM on August 14, 2007

...and if you're in the south, two of my family members and a friend have been inpatients at the psych ward at Dyer Methodist (Dyer, Indiana). Care seemed very good.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 10:57 PM on August 14, 2007

I second la petite marie's advice on dealing with delusions / hallucinations. This page and this page might be helpful. I would highlight in particular that in my experience it can be helpful to avoid eye contact with someone who is paranoid and/or on the verge of a psychotic state. Minimize overt disagreement and disbelief and maximize empathy and understanding in communication. I actually disagree slightly with one of the linked pages--when it comes to justifying things that you've done or said, I think it can be very helpful to emphasize your own feelings and experiences. If asked why you think a trip to the hospital is necessary, instead of simply citing the nightmares and panic attacks, you might consider beginning the statement with how they made you feel: for example, "I've been really upset and scared by the nightmares you've been experiencing," and so on. IANAD IANAP YMWV etc etc.
posted by holympus at 1:16 AM on August 15, 2007

I'm not sure family members can involuntarily admit someone to a psychiatric facility without doctor's orders. Is the person's own physician giving you advice?
posted by Carol Anne at 5:11 AM on August 15, 2007

Re: Highland Park Hospital recommendation. They have a small, separate teen/young adult program (up to age 22 I think) that is also quite good if your family member falls in that age range.
posted by awegz at 5:14 AM on August 15, 2007

follow-up from the OP: "Thank you for your help. My family member is being treated now."
posted by jessamyn at 7:03 PM on August 15, 2007

I'm so glad. I hope you found a place that you all are comfortable with and that will end up being a real help.
posted by la petite marie at 9:26 PM on August 16, 2007

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