Roran B (hiringparanoia) wrote in little_details,
Roran B

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Medication/Involuntary Commitment to a Mental Hospital

I have a character who's going to be committed to a mental hospital against his will, and I'm pretty curious about a few things. He has post traumatic stress disorder (flashbacks and panic attacks are the main symptoms he has), and probably one other anxiety disorder (I haven't figured that out yet, but PTSD is a for sure thing).

Short version on how this is going to play out is that he's going to get himself into a spot of trouble helping out a friend (he's gonna get shot), and rather than going to the hospital (he'd rather his parents never find out about this, or have the gunshot wound reported to the police; there's an ongoing social services investigation to determine whether he was ever abused by his adoptive parents, which he wasn't), he's going to try to go to a different friend for help. On the way, he's going to crash on the motorcycle he's riding, and an ambulance is going to be called. When he comes to in the hospital, and there are police and social workers there, he's going to freak out, have a few panic attacks and they're going to commit him. Not only because he clearly has issues he needs help with, but it'll pin him to one place so he has no real choice but to cooperate in the investigation (which they haven't been).

edit: I know that you can't be committed against your will unless you are a very obvious danger to yourself or others. Rest assured that there are a lot of details I forgot to put in here, but he is a danger to himself.

The motorcycle wreck is going to leave him with a few broken ribs and a broken arm in addition to having been shot in the shoulder.

What I'd like help with is what the laws are in New York on involuntary commitment (length of time specifically) and what the laws are for forcing  him to take medication, and what they'd force him to take. I know it's a very wavery line when it comes to this kind of thing.

What's the average or minimum length of time they can hold him? (The judge who's going to make the final call on his parents is going to give him court ordered therapy when he makes the final ruling at the hearing, by the way.)

What are the laws about forcing him to take medication against his will while he's involuntarily committed? What are common medications used in that kind of situation?

He's going to have more than one panic attack while at the mental hospital, and I've looked up tranquilizers and antidepressants for this on, and looked at the side effects and user reviews as well. Compazine seems like a kind of good fit at the very least, because it can be injected. All of the user reviews are horrible on top of that, everyone seems to say that it did absolutely nothing for helping them calm down or anything like that, but instead just kind of paralyzed them. I figure that maybe they'd go for that if he was having a panic attack so they could be sure that he wasn't going to injure himself further by flailing around, yelling/hyperventilating, etc.

This is all pretty much just speculation on my part, I have no idea what it would actually be like or how it would go down, so any help would be most appreciated.
Tags: usa: health care and hospitals, ~medicine: drugs, ~psychology & psychiatry: institutions, ~psychology & psychiatry: ptsd

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