depression drugs bulimia
I'm really afraid I'm losing my child and I don't know how to save her.
Seven months ago, when discussing her miserable school performance, my gifted 14 year old daughter told me she was depressed and she hated herself. I started taking her to a psychologist but my daughter has never opened up to her.
Her school performance for the first 2 weeks of school this year was acceptable but she stopped doing any work at school. My daughter dropped all of her old friends and a new set of kids began calling.
Last week, her school notified me she had been absent for 7 days in a row. The same day I found an empty package of Coricidin and an unopened box of condoms in her bathroom with the receipt for their purchase last May.
I contacted former friends and found out they knew my daughter had been abusing drugs and alcohol. After that, I searched her room and found a paper she had written last spring titled :A Tale of a Lost Future" detailing with chilling clarity her bulimia, drug and alcohol abuse and how she was stealing money from my husband.
She wrote, "I donít care. Iím going to destroy myself with smoking pot and alcohol; thatís nice. Shall we add cocaine?"
"I have created a hell for myself."
Working with the psychologist, we confronted my daughter with this information. She denied everything and ran out the door.
We got her back that night but life has been hell since then. I feel grateful every time I see her alive.
There are no openings in any of the adolescent residential treatment centers in out area. The local hospital will take involuntary commitments but I hate to go that route.
I know my child is in pain and in danger but God help me, I don't know what to do.
It's serious game time with your daughter. If the current shrink is not helpful, immediately start interviewing new ones to find a person who "clicks" with your kid.
Depending upon your state's laws, involuntary commitment usually buys you a day or two of safety, and then an enraged terrorist coming back home. For now try to view her behaviors as simply symptoms of terrible pain. Take her out to the coffee shop, tell her that you love her and are scared to death for her. Then present the problem to her, saying that it's seems clear that she's in terrible pain and needs to find better pain relief than weed and booze. Ask if she'll think about residential treatment. Don't press her for an immediate answer, but in the interim, get on the waiting lists. Directly ask if she's thinking of suiciding. If she says yes, you must commit her if she refuses immediate help.
If she'll pursue good outpatient treatment, and the new therapist feels that she is safe, that is the first option to try. But have the therapist do a risk assessment to better decide.
BEYOND ALL ELSE remind her 24/7 that you love her and want her to stay alive and be well; that if she died, the life in the people around her would die as well. Push hard to remind her that she is loved and valued.
Please move quickly and keep us posted.
Dr. Mike Bradley
We found a bed in an adolescent residential treatment unit in an area hospital. My daughter is safe for a week or two while we figure out what to do next.
In the initial evaluation, she told the new psychiatrist she has been smoking pot 2-3 times per day. I feel relieved we have found someone she will talk to. I want to find out if my daughter can see him on an out-patient basis when she is released.
My visit last night was difficult, with a lot of acting out on my daughter's part. She begged me to take her home because the hospital was making her crazy. I told her she was coming home, but not yet. I spent a lot of the time telling her, "I love you and I'm not going to let you hurt yourself."
Our first family therapy session is scheduled for this afternoon. My stomach is tied up in knots.
Congratulations on getting your girl into treatment! Try to not be too upset by her pleas to come home. Everyone hates those first few days in treatment. But there she has the best chance of stopping that deadly spiral she was in. Most kids come out a lot more calm and amenable to therapy.
Keep telling her that you love her too much to bring her home until she is ready to be safer with herself. In her heart I'd bet that she knows this is true, and that residential treatment is exactly where she needs to be right now.
Hang in there.
Dr. Mike Bradley
The last two months have been the most challenging time of my life. I am writing this in case it may help anyone else out there.
Our original intervention was not successful and my daughter was arrested for possession of marijuana a week after she came home from treatment.
Upon the advice of yet another therapist, we placed her in a wilderness program in Utah (I won't mention the name here in case that is not cool but there is a link their website from the homa page for this website).
Our plan is our daughter will stay at the wilderness camp until she completes their program and is ready to move on to a theraputic boarding school. We expect she won't be able to live at home for at least 18 months.
Sending my daughter away been the hardest thing I've ever done and is hideously expensive in the process but we saw it as the best way to save her from the downward spiral of bad choices she was making.
I am writing this in case it can help some one else.
After 4 months in a wilderness program and three months at a therapuetic boarding school, my daughter was finally able to tell me she was raped last fall by a boy that she went to school with that she had considered a friend.
Acquaintance or date rape is unfortunately all too common especially among high school and college age girls. The statistics are shocking and the consequences are devastating as the girls blame themselves for what happened. Girls are vulnerable to all of the double-standard "boys will be boys" **** that's out there.
They don't understand that sexual penetration without their consent = rape and the rapist is accountable, not the unwilling victim.
Our beautiful daughter nearly destroyed herself after this happened.
If you see a self-destructive melt-down in your daughter you need to check this out.
What a story of love. Your really are helping your daughter. Your story bring tears to my eyes and hers too. Thru you strength she may aquire more strength. I hope you are seeking som therapy for yourself- she nedds you so much mom. Charlett
Update - Daughter in college - volunteer at homeless shelter
Coming up on the three year anniversary of my daughter's crisis period, I felt like posting an update. After the first wilderness program, the first therapeutic boarding school, the second wilderness program and the second therapeutic boarding school, my daughter seems to have her life back on track.
After her ADHD and anxiety were finally diagnosed, a lot of things turned around. My daughter ended up graduating from boarding school with academic honors, took 2 college classes at Harvard this summer and started full time at college last month. I cried when she started college - not from any empty nest syndrome, but out of relief that we had come this far.
At almost 18, she is currently attending school full-time and is volunteering to help the homeless. It's been a long journey but I am grateful for the daughter I have. There will be other bumps along the way, but we are in this together and will ride them out.
I've been in a wilderness programs before and really had a great experience that I've had. Spending time alone in the wilderness helps me to learn about myself and develop a more realistic, positive perception of life. A really total transformation that I've encounter.
more information at wilderness schools