Why can the Dr keep me another 14 days after my 72 hr hold is up?

Why can the Dr keep me another 14 days after my 72 hr hold is up?


Hello everyone. Today I’m going to answer the question what is an involuntary14 day hold.  This is a follow up answer to my post about an involuntary 72-hour hold I realize that there are many opinions regarding involuntary holds.  I’ve often heard from several of the patients that I work with how unfair it is to be held against their will for 72 hours.  They continue to insist that they have done nothing wrong and want to go home. I’ve heard some people speak to the fact that government has no right whatsoever to be involved in any way in the lives of individual citizens.

I believe our government and society together have a duty and responsibility to protect those who cannot always protect themselves due to a mental illness.  I’m not in any way speaking to a “big brother” sort of way. I am a very staunch believer in individual privacy.   I’m talking about government and society coming together in a way that will help those with a mental illness get treatment and save lives.

Now that brings us to what an involuntary and even at times, a voluntary 14-day hold.  Sometimes those who have been on a 72-hour hold need extended treatment and are not yet ready to be discharged by the psychiatrist.

I researched several states and while some of the minor details were different, the basic principle and process were very similar.  I found the states of Texas, Michigan and California to have very similar protocols.

After a patient has been in the hospital for 72 hours there are a few different things that can happen.  If the patient is stable they will be discharged with discharge planning for follow up

Obviously the very wise forefathers of our country thought so as well.  A very brief yet significant excerpt from the Preamble to the United States Constitution speaks to that responsibility,

We the people … promote the general Welfare … for the United States of America.

One thought on “Why can the Dr keep me another 14 days after my 72 hr hold is up?

  1. Thanks, Catherine. My son was held on a 5150, for 72 hours. THEN, it was switched to what we now know is called a 5250, an additional 14 day hold. At the time, he was extremely angry with the doc’s decision, insisting he was okay and wanted to come home. What he, my son, didn’t see, was that he WAY off balance. The docs were just clearing the tip of the iceberg. (We were now seeing rage that had never been seen before and it was scary) The next two weeks brought multiple, often daily and hourly, med changes, mandatory group therapy sessions, 1-on-1 meetings with his doc, and me there, to watch this magical roller coaster movie unfold before me. I saw the peaks and the grandiose “I’m okay, you guys are just assholes” and I saw the hopeless, defeated “I just don’t care anymore” crashes. Two weeks, looking back now, was a godsend. He needed those two weeks to get an accurate diagnosis and therefore an accurate plan for treatment. I needed the two weeks to get myself together and prepare for the next stage in our lives.

    He was discharged after his 5250 expired and entered a 4 week daily outpatient program. I am so grateful for the doctors, nurses, clinicians, ALL the health care pros that worked with my son lovingly and with great knowledge. He is alive today because of their professional commitments.

    Holding him for 14 days, against his will, saved his life and possibly mine. He was in there to begin with for attempting suicide, at which he almost succeeded. After 72 hours, I was afraid for him hurting himself again and possibly hurting me. (Loving me has nothing to do with a mental illness out of control.)

    Peace and hugs,

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