My boyfriend of 2 years is very unstable. He hears voices, he accuses me of being a witch and stealing his energy and giving him negative energy, he thinks everyone is out to get him, he chokes on his breath and can’t breath, he starts to scream, hit and break things. He tends to be very aggressive, he has tried to attack me and his mother. We broke up a few months ago and he is now sending me texts and mails telling me that he needs me and if I don’t go back with him he plans to either kill himself or someone. I’m very worried for his mother since he lives with her and he has attacked both her and me. I have told him to get help, I have called the ambulance and the police several times on him. His family and I have literally begged him to go get treated, but he just refuses to get help. What can we do? Please help!
It appears as though your boyfriend needs help, but since he refuses it, he can be difficult to get into treatment. In most states, if an individual is a danger to themselves or to others, they can be involuntarily committed to a hospital.
In order for involuntary commitment to occur, there has to be evidence of imminent danger. Imminent danger, generally speaking, refers to a situation in which there is a high probability that something bad will happen. Within the context of mental illness, this typically involves someone who has threatened to harm someone or themselves or who is engaging in behaviors that are threatening. If it can be proven that he is imminently dangerous, (i.e. because you heard him say something threatening or have witnessed him behaving in a threatening manner) then he would, in all likelihood, meet the criteria for hospitalization.
It would be advantageous for you to connect with mental health professionals in your community who have knowledge of how to handle this type of issue. Most communities have mental health crisis teams. Check with your local mental health community center about whether crisis teams are available in your community. You might also try doing an Internet search by entering the name of your town and the keyword “crisis team” into the search engine. Mental health crisis teams are trained to specifically deal with these situations.
Finally, you may want to consult with your local National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) advocacy group or visit the Treatment Advocacy Center website. Those two resources may be of assistance to you. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle