Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Closing the Barn Doors

I had a bad day on Friday.

I mean I had a really bad day.

Back in 2008, when I still wrote with semi-anonymity, I told you all about my friend from high school "Jim" in this post. I re-read that post this morning for the first time since I wrote it, and I was sad to see how accurate I had been in analyzing Jim's chances for some sort of recovery from the mental health issues that he had.

Jim has had some good days since I wrote that post. Several months after that encounter at the D.A.'s Office with him and Mark Bennett, I got a phone call from him. He told me that he was taking his medication and back to working for his dad. He thanked me for being his friend and helping him. I passed on the good news to Mark.

But sunny days don't last forever.

Last fall, I was driving around with my 4-year-old when "Jim" called me on the phone wanting to know if we could meet up. Stupidly, I made the assumption that since he was mentally "well" the last time I talked to him, he probably still was. My son and I went and met up with him at my office.

After about five minutes of conversation, I realized Jim had relapsed. Again, he was talking about electronic monitors and cameras in his eyes. Again, the focus of his rage was inexplicably his father. Again, he wanted my help in making his father pay for this.

Jim is a big guy. Much bigger than me. Hearing these words coming out of his mouth and realizing my son was there in the office with a severely mentally ill person scared the hell out of me. I abruptly ended our meeting and got my kid out of there, but the incident made me realize something that I hadn't realized earlier.

I was scared of Jim.

With his size and his mental issues, Jim was a volatile force and I wanted him nowhere near my son.

Over the next year, Jim would pop in and out of my office every couple of months or so. He'd seem normal in our greetings, but would rapidly devolve into the monitors and camera talks. I'd implore him to get help. He'd smile at me and shake his head.

"You know I think you're crazier than a shit-house rat, right?" I'd tell him when he was leaving.

"Yep," he would grin. "Everybody does, but I love you anyway."

"Love you too, man," I'd say, and he would hug me and leave. I'd call his family and let him know there had been a "Jim Sighting," as Jim aimlessly wandered around Texas.

Last month, Jim showed up in my office with the crown of his tooth that he had pulled out. He was convinced that the metallic solder inside of the tooth was a microchip. He wanted to show it to me as proof that his father was monitoring him. I pointed out that I did not believe that to be a microchip, and he left, very frustrated with me.

On Thursday of last week, he returned. He had stripped out the air conditioning of his car and pulled out the control circuitry, which he proudly presented to me at my office. He was sure he now had proof that his father was monitoring him through his car.

But there was something slightly different about him this time. He seemed more disorganized and fatigued. He was mumbling more about knowing what he "had to do" and stressing that he couldn't say what his plans were because his father could hear him. He was pretty much homeless and wanted to come home with me -- as much as I love him, I couldn't let that happen. I gave him money for a hotel room and sent him on his way.

On Friday morning, I talked to Susan Bishop at the D.A.'s Office about what could be done for Jim. Susan works with the Mental Health group there, and she couldn't have been more sympathetic or understanding. She's a very busy lady, but she took time to sit down and talk to me about the different options for Jim. The best one seemed to go swear out a mental health warrant on him. It would only be a temporary fix.

Because, you see, the big problem here is that although Jim had been acting crazy, he hadn't been acting quite crazy enough, yet. Nothing he had done indicated that he was a danger to either himself or others. While the mental health system would have a fairly rigid structure for him if he had assaulted somebody in a delusional rage, there is no crime committed with mumbled rants.

I went back to my office on Friday morning, and called Jim's dad to give him the latest update, and then I pulled up the website for the Harris County Psychiatric Center to see what I needed to do to swear out a mental health warrant.

Five minutes later, Jim was in my office again.

He was wearing the same clothes from the day before and looked like he hadn't slept. He stepped into my office and announced: "I'm going to show you the camera."

He produced an elongated metal spoon/stirring stick from a bar and attempted to stick it in his eye. I grabbed his wrist and got it out of hand and asked what in the hell he thought he was doing. He sat down on my couch and I tried to surreptitiously text message our office manager to call the police while I talked to him.

He knew what I was doing. He got up to leave. I followed him. We got into the elevator. The elevator stopped on the next floor down and a big guy got on the elevator with us.

As the elevator doors closed, Jim pulled out his car keys and began repeatedly stabbing himself in his right eye.

I grabbed his arms, but he was stronger than I was. He kept stabbing. I could see blood dropping on the elevator floor and I yelled for the other person on the elevator to help me. All that guy needed to do was slap the keys out of his hand, but I guess the sight of blood kept him from wanting to get involved. He did seem to be calling 911.

In the meantime, I was hanging on to Jim's back like a gnat on the back of a raging bull.

And Jim just kept on stabbing himself in the eye.

We spilled out of the elevator and into the lobby. We moved out the door and onto Main Street, where thankfully, a group of U of H Downtown Police Cadets were walking by. Once they realized what was going on, they finally came and helped me.

It took about eight of them.

Once they got him handcuffed and seated him on the ground, the paramedics were treating him. He proudly yelled to me: "I got the camera out, Murph!" He was thrilled. We were both covered in his blood, and he couldn't have been happier. Miraculously, his eyeball was still intact.

I did about the only thing I could think to do at that point.

I just started crying.

Jim's in the hospital now, but once again, he committed no crime. He's clearly presented that he is most definitely a danger to himself. The hospital is vague when they explain to his parents how long they can keep him. I can't help but think that the next time he walks in my office, he'll have taken that eye out in advance.

The reason I'm writing this post is because I don't really know what else to do. I'm of the firm belief that he will be released sooner rather than later, and we'll repeat this whole song and dance over again.

And again, I'll be about as useless as I was riding on his back in the elevator.

There doesn't appear to be any meaningful, long-term way to deal with Jim until after he seriously hurts or kills someone.

Or kills himself.

Because, sadly, the way the law is structured is much more reactive than proactive when it comes to the mentally ill.

In Jim's instance, I'm afraid that it is going to be the equivalent of closing the barn doors after the cows got out.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for you and you friend. Sadly, the nature of some types of mental illness makes self treatment impossible. He will likely be released when he's "stable" on his meds. I've seen ten days. I've seen ninety.

While he is there, look into community healthcare services. There are some program that provide follow up are and support once the patient is released. Some even allow for weekly visits to the home to determine if he's okay and taking his meds.

I've been trough this- when I was in your court, remember. It I soooo hard and you will feel so powerless. Keep trying and keep looking- that's all you can do.

There may be a county board that determines policy etc on care for our sick friends and family. Get on it. You have a different perspective now. Use it to make things better for your friend and others who suffer. Squeaky wheel.

Kim
Kim

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for you and you friend. Sadly, the nature of some types of mental illness makes self treatment impossible. He will likely be released when he's "stable" on his meds. I've seen ten days. I've seen ninety.

While he is there, look into community healthcare services. There are some program that provide follow up are and support once the patient is released. Some even allow for weekly visits to the home to determine if he's okay and taking his meds.

I've been trough this- when I was in your court, remember. It I soooo hard and you will feel so powerless. Keep trying and keep looking- that's all you can do.

There may be a county board that determines policy etc on care for our sick friends and family. Get on it. You have a different perspective now. Use it to make things better for your friend and others who suffer. Squeaky wheel.

Kim
Kim

Anonymous said...

These difficult laws are the result of mental health advocates refusing to permit the State to intervene before a crime occurs. The argument goes that Jim has the right to refuse medication and be crazy. You have a compelling example in response to that point of view. But, prosecutors and law enforcement have seen many of those examples long before you.

Anonymous said...

Heartbreaking. I send my prayers to you and your friend. Sadly the mental health system is broken. I wish I saw change in the future but I don't. Not enough is done before hand to prevent things like this from happening. And after it goes past a certain point the county jails end up being used to house people who should really be in mental health hospitals

Anonymous said...

My prayers go out to you and your friend. I don't practice in Harris County but I do read your blog and this was just heartbreaking. Sad how not enough is done before to prevent these things and in addition we have people who are in the county jail that if the system was set up right they would be in a mental health hospital.

Ron in Houston said...

Man, that's tough, but you're truly a good friend.

I also feel sorry for the tough choices you'll have to make in the future. Trying to balance helping friends with issues and your own sanity is a difficult choice.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, this lack of ability to intervene until someone is hurt, is why the Harris County Jail is the second largest psychiatric facility in the USA. (Second only to the Los Angelos County Jail.) There are more people on psych meds in the Harris County Jail TODAY than in ALL of the Texas State Hospitals - COMBINED. The Forensic Unit at the jail serves over 1400 people a month.

Even HCPC is seeing an upturn in need. Over 200 people a week have been being INVOLUNTARILY committed over the last few weeks.

This reactive nature is why mental illness has become criminalized and why the prison system has taken over the roll that the State Hospitals used to provide.

God Bless. Sending prayers and kind thoughts to all involved.

Anonymous said...

Please don't take this the wrong way, because its meant to be helpful. If I was in your position, I would keep a taser in my office. If he goes off again and starts hurting himself, you could at least subdue him before he does major damage to himself or you. Hopefully.

Just Sayin' said...

A commitment is always time-limited and requires reevaluation at fixed intervals. It is also possible for a patient to challenge the commitment through habeas corpus. This was the case in a famous United States Supreme Court decision in 1975, O'Connor v. Donaldson, when Kenneth Donaldson, a patient committed to Florida State Hospital, sued the hospital and staff for confining him for 15 years against his will. The decision means that it is unconstitutional to commit for treatment a person who is not imminently a danger to himself or others and is capable to a minimal degree of surviving on his own.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that involuntary hospitalization and/or treatment violates an individual's civil rights in O'Connor v. Donaldson. This ruling forced individual states to change their statutes. For example, the individual must be exhibiting behavior that is a danger to himself or others in order to be held, the hold must be for evaluation only and a court order must be received for more than very short term treatment or hospitalization (typically no longer than 72 hours). This ruling has severely limited involuntary treatment and hospitalization in the U.S.

It would probably be difficult to find any American psychiatrist working with the mentally ill who has not, at a minimum, exaggerated the dangerousness of a mentally ill person's behavior to obtain a judicial order for commitment. Thus, ignoring the law, exaggerating symptoms, and outright lying by families to get care for those who need it are important reasons the mental illness system is not even worse than it is.

When confronted with psychotic persons who might well benefit from treatment and who would certainly suffer without it, mental health professionals and judges alike are reluctant to comply with the law. The commonsense model must, in some cases, dominate.

There is a body of case law governing the civil commitment of individuals under the Fourteenth Amendment through U.S. Supreme Court rulings beginning with Addington v. Texas in 1979 which set the bar for involuntary commitment for treatment by raising the burden of proof required to commit persons from the usual civil burden of proof of "preponderance of the evidence" to the higher standard of "clear and convincing" evidence.

Your friend's family might want to consider exploring venue options outside the U.S. where common sense prevails.

Just Sayin'

Anonymous said...

It often takes something like this for people to gain some real compassion for the mentally ill. Only after seeing something like this can people really understand that drowning five kids in a tub is not the act of a sane person and the defense of being mentally incompetent is a very real issue, not just an attempt to evade prosecution. It sounds like you had that compassion already, but there will always be naysayers who wonder why these people shouldn't be prosecuted like you or I, or even executed. But if you see it, you can tell it's not something that punishment can control or rehabilitate.

And often there is little that a friend or family member can do. It's actually easier to handle in a small town like where I grew up, because you know the judge and there judges can do the right thing even if the bar hasn't quite been reached. Here, there is a little more oversight.

I know you didn't write the story for writing's sake, but it's compelling, and you're already a better person and lawyer for having been through it. And no, it doesn't get easier to deal with. The best lessons never do.

Rage

Anonymous said...

It isn't enough to be "crazy" i.e. psychotic - you also have to be a danger to yourself or others to get involuntarily committed. I've been down this road lots of time in my work. Until your friend hurt himself, they were not going to force him to go to the hospital. Even now, I hope they keep him at least a couple of weeks.

Anonymous said...

A great resource is NAMI - National Alliance on Mental Illness:

http://www.nami.org/

They have great info and a wonderful FREE support/education group for people dealing with this issue.

Your friend has a chronic disease - whoever is close to him has to be educated and ready to intervene when they can. They also need education and support. I don't know of a better place than NAMI for that.

- Been there, done that.

Anonymous said...

It is horrible watching someone you love become mentally unstable; you cannot fix them.

I watched a family member cross over into the irrational world. For the outside world looking in, it is impossible to comprehend. When friends ask “why don’t you …” - they are assuming “rational”; however, when an individual lives in a make believe world, makes fake phone calls, creates a false self, destroys electronic monitors in his eyes, removes air condition circuitry “monitors”, confabulating his own reality – the individual is not attuned to reason; The explanation from the inside circle is…Sybil’s 13 different personalities are not compatible with our balanced universe.

You were right to get your son away; unfortunately, when the mentally ill individual is a father, it is not as easy shelter the children from the situation. I hope Jim doesn’t have children…As for Jim’s parents, I have had a first row seat watching mental illness devastate elderly parents.

I will be surprised if you don’t have a record number of comments on this subject. I once made mention of my situation in a meeting with 20 other people – and at least 10 cornered me with their own story within 24 hours. As Rage says, "it's compelling". You need to continue to use your wonderful sense of humor to ease your pain. There’s just something about humor and being crazy that go together. You won’t change Jim, but laughter will make it easy for everyone around Jim to feel better. It has done more for us coping with our situation than the mental health system or any psychiatrist. "You are already a better person and lawyer for having been through it" ...and THANK YOU for sharing your experience.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you. I work in the mental health field, and one of the constant challenges I face is working with families (and friends) who have run out of options for their loved one. Unfortunately, mental health issues aren't considered serious enough by the State to devote the appropriate resources. The lack of community based resources in Texas is astounding. And we wonder why the Harris County jail is filled to capacity?

It sounds like your friend has an awareness of his problem. After this incident, he may be more amenable to inpatient treatment. There are some good private treatment facilities in Houston (Menninger, Devereaux) but they are expensive and Menninger doesn't take insurance.

I don't know if your friend also has a substance abuse problem, but UT has a good program for dual-diagnosis individuals.

Anonymous said...

The vast majority of the mentally ill population who are diagnosed with schizophrenia do not exhibit violent tendancies.
Unfortunately those that do, such as your friend, will invariably revert back to violent behavior without appropriate medication.
However, many people do not fully appreciate that these individuals are never cured but merely managed with medication. Sadly, unless these individuals are provided with very structured chronic supervision they will invariably be noncompliant with their meds and act out in a violent manner. As such, outpatient management is an impracticable slippery slope and presents a substantial future threat not only to the your friend but also to society generally.

Common sense often conflicts with human emotion and Constitutional interpretation but in balance the risk to self and society by condoning violent schizophrenics to roam the streets essentially self supervised is crazier than the disease itself.

Anonymous said...

I just wrote an article on legal advocates for the mentally ill. Stacy Biggers is someone that you know and she probably would have great advice.

My biggest concerns are for this man and his family. People who have delusional and paranoid thoughts (e.g., someone has implanted a camera in my eye) are likely to harm themselves or people closest to them (family and close friends) if they become violent. I fear that your visit with him, since it preceded his detention by police, may lead him to believe that you're in on all of this. Please be careful, Murray.

NAMI, mentioned earlier, is a fantastic group dedicated to family members and "consumers" (mentally ill individuals). I would call his family and tell them what he told you. I would call Staci Biggers and ask her what you could do to insure he gets treatment. Don't expect him to get it on his own. There is a medical condition that many mentally ill individuals have that makes them believe absolutely nothing is wrong with them. So they are completely unable to recognize their need for help.

There is an article in this months' Texas Monthly about the efforts of HPD and the HCSO to better their responses to 911 calls involving mentally ill individuals. One of the things they suggest is listening to the person, agreeing with them ("Are you serious? You think there's a camera in your eye? I think we need to go to a doctor and get some x-rays of your eye to see if it's possible for them to remove it safely. Do you want to go with me to see the doctor?"), and using persuasive techniques to make them feel its THEIR choice to go get medical treatment. It's a good article and speaks to the kind of thing you experienced, Murray.

One last thing: there is something called Assisted Outpatient Treatment which is a law that forces some individuals to get medicated while outside an institution. Texas and 42 other states have it. You might look into it. You can call the Treatment Advocacy Center, which is located in D.C., to find out more about it. AOT studies from other states show a huge increase in mentally ill individuals' positive response to medication and their continued use of it while on AOT. Your friend may be eligible.

My prayers are with your friend, you, and his family. Mental illness is such a tragic thing to have to deal with for everyone involved.

Anonymous said...

In the 1960s, then Gov. Reagan in California started the national movement to close mental hospitals and release people to community treatment. It was presented as a humane approach but in fact it was to save money.
All fine and good but there isn't decent community treatment, especially for the indigent. So, we've criminalized mental illness and to an extent mental retardation.

There has to be a better way. We've all seen how mentally ill our clients, especially the indigent clients, are getting. It is much worse than 10 years ago. The DA's office is at least doing something, but not enough, to get the mentally ill and retarded out of the system. It's been my experience that no one really wants to deal with it. And, any solution would cost, probably a lot but also probably less than incarceration.
Judge Ellis is working hard on his competency restoration docket but that doesn't solve the problem. All it does is make it possible to resolve criminal cases, not to identify and treat people who are mentally ill.
How many of our clients charged with small amounts of drugs are simply self-medicating to make the voices go away?
And, what do you do with an indigent in county court who is either incompetent or of questionable competency? He's offered 3/2/$100 if he pleads or he gets to sit in jail for 60 days while being evaluated for competency.
That's nuts.
Whatever happened to the mental health court that was touted a year or so ago? Nothing.
What does society do with people like your friend? Wait until they commit a crime or hurt themselves badly before we get them treatment?
There has to be some way to provide mental health treatment (as opposed to simply warehousing the mentally ill) before they get into the criminal justice system.
I don't have the solution and I don't know of anyone with real authority working on it.
Where are you Gov. Perry, Sen. Ellis and others?

Anonymous said...

When an individual exercises his freedom of choice in a fashion that adversely impacts the safety and liberty of others in society one must take pause and see the forrest for the trees.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that Anon 10:32 mentioned how to talk to mentally ill people. I think that all criminal defense attorneys should be trained in this. Obviously, Murray, you had no way of knowing how to talk to him so that the situation ended some other way. You can't talk to them as you would a normal person. You must climb into their delusion with them and talk to them from that perspective. It calms them and like Anon said, makes them feel as though they have some control. People in your friend's condition are desperate to have some control over their situation, and giving it to them helps them. Sad to say that the technique doesn't always work and may not have worked in your case. However, its a technique that anyone can learn, and it often does help calm the situation.

Anonymous said...

Oh Murray! I am so sorry you have to go through something like this. You and Jim are in my prayers!

-Suzanne

Anonymous said...

This is not a "Reagan" problem. It used to be in our country that mentally ill, mentally retarded, and sometimes just disabled persons were often locked away forever in institutions. Activist courts in 60's, 70's and 80's stepped in, but as activist courts often do, moved the bar far in the opposition direction, outside the realm of common sense. The institutions closed, not because the "Reagans" closed them, but because the cost of complying with new rules was nigh on impossible. There needs to be middle ground. The legally required "streeting" of the mentally ill is untenable. Our society is too free and dynamic to allow efficient delivery of delicate services to the folks that need them. Jim needs to be in treatment until he proves he no longer needs it, rather than staying in for minimal periods and forcing the State to continually prove the necessity to do so at an enhanced burden of proof.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry but thankful neither you, your friend nor the other passenger was hurt.

What a sad state our mental health system is that a person who has lost everything due to "implanted cameras and listening devises" is not sick enough to be hospitalized long term - this is not yet rock bottom! most likely some other innocent person will have lost their life before he is stopped - which means another broken person ends up behind bars rather than hospitalized where he belongs.

Anonymous said...

Murray, get a good strong eletromagnetic lock on your door so you can "buzz" people in. Sad scenario. I was once talking to a client who admitted he had sexually assaulted his stepdaughter and after I turned around for a moment, I saw the man was now in a fetal position on the floor, rocking back and forth and moaning, "I'm going to prison". Then he stood up and ran out of the office screaming, "i'm going to kill myself". I watched him go down the glass elevators and get into his F-150 with the rifles in the rear window rack. Know what I did? I locked the door to my office and called the police. Murray, you don't need any mental case decided to engage in murder-suicide. Secure your office now.

Anonymous said...

You are a compassionate person who can lobby the Texas Legislature to hold on to the few funds that are currently allocated to treat the mentally ill.

You can lobby the City of Houston to expand their Cronic Consumer Stabilization Initiative, which is intensive case management for the chronically mentally ill who cycle in and out of jail. It's a fantastic, successful and compassionate use of taxpayer funds, and much more cost-efficient than just sending the mentally ill to jail. The City Health Dept, HPD and MHMRA have collaborated on this pilot project. Expand, expand, expand this excellent service. Call your City Council member.

There are solutions to these problems. Lobby your legislators to use the Rainy Day Fund to keep Mental Health at its current low level of funding. It's better than Perry's decision to cut 15% from Mental Health funds.

Sally

vjd said...

As much as I am very empathetic to your plight, I have a story of reverse and perverse confinement to UT Harris County Psychiatric Hospital. Here’s my story: I have an 18 year daughter with an eating disorder. She has been receiving treatment from the best in Houston and I would even say the world. She has a sports nutritionist at Texas Children Hospital, a psychologist, and a psychiatrist , in private practice but previously on staff at UTMB, on her team. She leads what one would call a fairly normal teenage life. Very competitive, soccer player, but like many young girls today, overly concerned about weight gain. She is a college freshman wants no part of the “freshman fifteen”. After a long holiday weekend of fun and frivolity, and lots of eating, we dropped her off at her dorm Monday night. Apparently, she felt “fat” later in the evening. At approximately, 11 pm she took 20 Acai Berry diet pills. These are supplements, the kind you find at CVS, Sams and in general, most grocery stores. At approximately 5 AM, she informed the R/A on duty that she did not feel well and had taken these pills. The R/A dialed 911. When 911 is dispatched in Harris County, a police car rolls with it. So in tandem, they arrive. The EMS arrives first, and probably thought about laughing- 20 diet pills- all that causes is intense diarrhea. So, they suggested that my daughter call her parents. She responded rather flippantly, “I ‘d rather kill myself than call my parents over this”. The following cascading of events is incredible.
The police snap into action, handcuff her, and force into the back of the patrol car. She is angry and kicking and declaring they must crazy for taking her in for diet pills. The patrolmen, takes her to the Taub Neuro Psyc center and filed the paperwork to have committed for INVOLUNTARY incarceration. Those diet pills are really dangerous. This 110 pound young lady must have really been threatening to the patrol officer. When she arrives, she is hostile and angry, the solution: sedate her. After sedation, she is stripped searched, (all she left school with was her room card which is also her college ID) and examined by an attending doctor who declares her “bipolar, suicidal and hallucinating” while talking in Hindu to someone on her phone. The doctor spent less than tem minutes in this examination. Amazing. Taub transferred her on Tuesday afternoon to UT Harris County Psychiatric Center. During this entire time period, we were only told she left the school by ambulance which was incorrect. She was put into a high security area, because she may harm herself. Confined to a room and general area outside her room. She can not leave the area. No exercise, no outside, etc.. She has NO THERAPY going on. Those diet pills and her flippant remark have been taken to new heights. She remains there tonight.
She has been seen by one doctor who refuses to speak to her outside Dr. Her outside Dr. was finally able to speak with a case worker today. A hearing was held this morning to determine if the HCPH has the right to this involuntary incarceration. On advice of court appointed counsel, she was told to waive her right attend. I was livid. But since she is 6 months into her 18th year and declared an adult, HIPPA protects her privacy. Talk about CRAZY. To no one surprise, it was determined that HCPH did have such rights. She is now to be possibly released on Tuesday. Supposedly, they are “adjusting her medications”. Interesting, since no contact has been made to her external Dr. from the attending physician at HCPH and the 4 years of case history might just be important in making these adjustments. Additionally, she will not be seen over the weekend by anyone. The physician will not return until Monday. She is very sad. Talk about make you crazy. CONTINUED ON NEXT POST

vjd said...

Apparently, she admits, she was angry, and was lashing out at everyone for taking her to the Taub Neuro Center. She attempted to walk out of there and it was noted in her file she is a flight risk. So tonight I returned from a visit to her, I explained I had contacted everyone I could think of with clout in the city to get her out. I did not succeed. I also had to explain to her, that we withdrew her from school and cleaned her dorm room out this afternoon, as it would be impossible to return. The case worker informed me, when she is released, that she will be required to attend some form of outpatient treatment. I explained that she basically was in outpatient treatment with a team of three of Houston’s finest doctors. But he explained that arguing with the hospital would only cause her to be in longer or moved to another facility. What a nightmare. So now I find myself looking for answers on the web on how to get someone out of the Harris County Psychiatric Hospital and you want to know how to get on in: Diet pills and a flippant comment. If you can help me- please respond.