By Jenny Gold
March 21, 2016


In March 2010, Pam Lipp received the call she'd been dreading for months. She figured it would come from one of three places: the police, the hospital or the morgue. Instead, it was her husband, Doug, saying that he'd just received word that their 18-year-old daughter, Amanda, a freshman at Chico State University in California, was being held at a psychiatric crisis center after trying to throw herself in front of a moving car. Amanda had lost her grip on reality and fallen into a state of psychosis. She'd started selling off her belongings and believed that cameras were following her everywhere.


Doug was away at a speaking engagement, so Pam jumped in the car with a friend and raced to the crisis center two hours away. When they arrived, they found Amanda, curled up in a ball on the floor in a fetal position, sobbing. "I was hallucinating. I thought I was a doctor. When my mom got there, I realized I was the one in trouble," says Amanda. "Nothing prepares you for seeing your child in such turmoil. I felt helpless," says Pam.