How do I get my daughter out.: My daughter 17, has... - Mencap


4,776 members1,280 posts

How do I get my daughter out.

My daughter 17, has Autism and generalised anxiety disorder. She has been locked up in a mental hospital since October and they have not been able to help her. The community support is inadequate so they do not let her come home because of her risky behaviour which is worse in hospital due to the many triggers. She has been dehydrating because she only drinks from a bottle which is metal and is not allowed on the ward so her fluid intake is very poor. She is extremely bored because there are no activities for her to do. She is very active at home but she cannot exercise or go out. There is also the communication issue which makes her difficult to ask what she needs and wants. Bright lights, loud noises and other patients’ aggressive behaviour cause her distress then she is restrained and injected with various drugs. She is also been sectioned because they do not want me to discharge her. I am desperate and scared that her mental health deteriorates further as the drugs she is on don’t seem to work. Please anyone can suggest what I should do. Thanks

10 Replies
Sarah_Mencap profile image

hello Hidden

Thank you for posting about your daughter. I am sure other families on here will have experiences to share.

But I would really encourage you to call our helpline on 0808 808 1111 so that you can talk to one of our advisors. It is free and confidential. Here is a bit more information -

Please do call.



Get her to dress properly and get her to do activities with other patients such as watching television and meetings to attend and give her activities she can do (colouring, radio) and make sure she takes her medication and queues up to get it and then they will stop injecting her Also she had to state she wants out and at meeting

My head>neck injured son had similar problems with psychiatry and he cannot tolerate bright lights and loud noises, and finds television difficult probably because of the electro magnetics. Eventually, a lawyer got him out on an anomaly in the sectioning. Firstly though, your daughter needs a correct diagnosis, that is a description (label) of what is wrong and WHY it is wrong. Without knowing the causes of illness medicine becomes a means of maintaining patients in a state of ill health. So the question is 'Who to ask ?'

From what you say, it sounds like your daughter is in a state of bodily discomfort. This could be diet related - or pesticide ingestion, but, given the light and sound intolerances, is most likely to be structural - spinal, neural or vascular.

The first appointment for your daughter should be with a reputable cranial osteopath, who should give you a letter of what they identify. The first request to the psychiatrists should be for your daughter to have scans and x-rays, and, if they say there is no point, please take a look at some of the better foundation trusts' websites and what they offer, and choose a referral to the nearest one. If necessary, you should write to them to ensure your daughter has a real chance of accessing appropriate duty of care.

The doctors are doing their utmost to prevent harm to other patients, and will probably listen to you if you show that you appreciate their concerns.

I can't add anything useful but I am shocked that under 18s can be taken out of the care and control of parents in such circumstances.

Alouema profile image
Alouema in reply to Galwaybay2

It happens a lot to teens

Charlie2750 profile image
Charlie2750Community friend

Hello hidden.

I am sorry to hear of your daughters situation and your difficulties.I am aware that loud noises and bright lights are distressing for people with autism but also can be distressing for us as well but more so for your daughter.I see a lot of children and adults wearing headphones but not always for music as they block some sounds.Relaxing music could be used.Anxiety is also very distressing and can cause panic attacks where a person feels so unwell they think they are having a heart attack or dying.I personally had panic attacks and these made me feel unwell.I tried to behave as normal but they come out of nowhere.I could be stood in a supermarket queue and suddenly I felt I had to get out before I collapsed. Learning to breath deeply and holding breath for count of 5 and breathing out slowly helps to relax.Your daughters aggressive behaviour maybe because of severe anxiety which maybe the nursing staff might not have seen.They give injections which help to immediately tranquilize but they(the injections) are not a form of treatment to cure the anxiety.Some long term injections can be given monthly which helps behaviour problems but these are normally given for people with schizophrenia which is a major mental health disorder.

Do you visit your daughter frequently or is she in a unit/hospital that is so far away to make visiting hard?Why does she prefer to drink out of metal bottles?Sometimes we all have unusual obsessions which to the so called normal people can seem strange.

I am only writing about some of your issues and anything I write is from my own personal knowledge and experience.I did work as a Psychiatric nurse back in the 70's but I am now retired and although treatments change the situations dont but modern medicines help and should be seen as a temporary help for a crisis.I hope you do find something which will help you and your daughter. Stay safe in these worrying times.

I’m so sorry to hear this about your daughter.

My son is in a residential setting and is settled at the moment. It’s been a long journey and there are still problems but nothing like you describe.

My mistake when my son was at home was not to ask for help and advice. I was afraid to talk about his challenging behaviour as I blamed myself and thought others would too.

I can only say and I’m sure you know this already ask for advice like you’re doing. It is so important to look after yourself also, I hope you have enough support around you.

Please take care and I wish you all the best with your daughter’s situation. I really hope things improve for her soon.

Sara_Mencap profile image


I am so sorry to hear that your daughter is locked away in a mental health hospital. We know that this is distressing for parents in normal times because many have concerns about their child's treatment and the long-term impact it will have on their mental health. I can only begin to imagine how much more worrying it must be for you during the coronavirus lockdown.

We at Mencap have been campaigning on this issue for many years because we believe that people with a learning disability and/or autism, like your daughter, deserve to live in homes not hospitals.

We believe that many of these mental health hospitals are not appropriate environments for them to be effectively imprisoned in.

We have been supporting many families, like yours, over the years to campaign to get their loved one back home where they deserve to be.

As Sarah has already mentioned, the Learning Disability Helpline is a fantastic first port of call. They will be able to offer you advice and emotional support, and if there are legal issues in your daughter's case, can also refer you to receive free legal advice too.

As well as running the Learning Disability Helpline, Mencap also campaigns on this issue by inviting families to share their story with key decision makers like Government ministers and officials, NHS England and the CQC. We also work to raise awareness of the issue through the media to make sure that those in power to change things are held to account and that pressure is put on them to help bring about change with investment in the right support to meet people's needs in their own community. In many cases, this pressure has helped families secure the release of their loved one much more quickly.

If you would be interested in speaking to me confidentially about Mencap's campaign and how you could get involved, I'd be more than happy to speak to you. You can then go away to make your decision about whether this is something you would like to take part in. You can contact me on: 020 7696 5562 if you would like to find out more.

Wishing you and your daughter all the best. We are thinking about you both in this difficult time.

All the best,


Asshe is under section she is entitled to have the services of an independant mental Health Care Advocate.This is someone who is familiar with the Act and is independant of the service that your daughter is detained in.It is their job to help you and your daughter to ensure that your daughters voice and your voice is heard

I just heard there is A FREEDOM TO SPEAK UP GUARDIAN.

You may also like...