11-29-2017 10:05 PM
11-30-2017 07:59 PM
Hey @Jo-Anne, I just wanted to check in and see how the last few days have been for you guys.
I think questioning our parenting is very common, especially when our teens are struggling or acting out. But our teens are individuals and something that can set one off, won't bother another in the least. Some kids are more sensitive than others, some more stubborn etc and they don't come with individualised manuals, so we're left to wing it! We're here to support each other because we're all trying to do the best we can
You're doing an awesome job, and I'm with @Breez-RO, I love your comment to your husband about your daughter. I wonder if it's their similarities that makes it so hard for your husband to manage? The parent coaching might be a great thing for you both to do. What do you think?
12-06-2017 04:13 PM - last edited on 12-06-2017 11:08 PM by taokat
You have already had some great advice and others experiences, I'm going to repeat it a little (sorry!) because your story is a lot like mine...
My 14 year old suffers from depression and anxiety. He missed most of year 8, and the first half of this year (Yr 9). Thankfully he is back on track at the moment (fingers-crossed).
It took us 18 months of medical trials before we got his medication about right. I say "about right" because we are still adjusting his meds. The side effects (as your daughter noticed) can be severe. Deciding to abandon a med and start again is heart-breaking (back to square 1). But that is the process.
We see a specialist psychiatrist through the hospital (actually, a team of psychiatrists). It costs nothing for us. I don't know if you have been to Emergency with your daughter when she is in crisis? It is always an exhausting process. Sometimes it is a waste of time (we go home tired after sitting in chairs overnight). But often we get a second opinion from the E.D. psych. The E.D. psych who referred us to the hospital Psych Med Department was a life saver....sadly I have forgotten who it was. But I thank them in my mind from time to time.
We see a private psychologist too. We tried a number before getting the right person for my son (a very down to earth lady). She is brilliant with him. Unfortunately, expensive, but money well spent. Of course we are supported by our G.P., who is also fantastic.
So there are two things it took time to sort out: his medical team, and his meds. We had huge setbacks on both before we got it right.
One of those setbacks involved being told by a well-known service that we were no longer welcome, my son could not see the psychology team he had been building a connection with. Nothing to do with him by the way. That resulted in him trying to self harm. In his case I don't consider that a suicide attempt. It seemed to be more about relief, like there was pressure inside him and he needed to get it out. Very distressing for me....but he seemed strangely matter-of-fact about it.
Another setback, which you mentioned, was the school counsellors. I could write a book on that....I think they are a serious problem. Some of them are focussed on protecting the school, not the students. Some of them are frankly incompetent. I'm at war with one set at the moment, I'm going to post about it when I get a little time. In the end we changed schools (actually, we were forced to change schools).
It is tough to be an advocate for your child sometimes (at least it is for me). Fighting schools and psych services, as well as trying to support a kid who can be very difficult at times is exhausting. I got to a stage where I needed a break. Take care of yourself.
After all that, my son has not had a day off since August! I am hoping we can get through the whole term without a day off, something he has not done since....well I forget. Years.
I hope you can get to that point with your daughter.
12-06-2017 11:25 PM
It's lovely to see you back @Schooner! I'm so glad you've taken the time you need to look after yourself. I found it absolutely exhausting advocating for my daughter as well. It can be an uphill battle at times, so when you find fantastic professionals you hang on them don't you!
Your son is doing really well which is so great to hear! My daughter has missed a lot of her schooling since 4th grade due to her issues, but the last six months has seen her doing really well at distance ed. Next year she's keen to go to tafe, so things can definitely improve! Learning to cope with their emotions and building resilience does them the world of good!
Really awesome news, thank you so much for sharing with us
02-07-2018 07:38 PM - last edited on 02-07-2018 08:04 PM by TOM-RO
Hello again, I am the mother of a 14 year old that I have talked about on this site for anxiety and self harm. the Doctor has taken her of the medication and we went to Perth for a holiday. It was very trying for the family as she kept distancing herself from us. She kept saying I dont want to be here I hate it but was content to be involved with all the things we did. When we returned she self harmed. She has been at school 2 x weeks and it is getting worse. It is so confronting. I keep telling her that I love her very much. She keeps putting me down. She is around a friend who I think has a great influence on her and is advising her to run away etc. If I try to keep her away from this friend, she will think I am the worst. She is also trying to break her sisters relationship with her boyfriend. Her sister is older. I know she is very jealous of her sister because she has told me. Tonight she actually blamed me for all the trouble she has and all the self harming episodes. I still love her. She is still seeing the Psychologist every fortnight but claims its not helping. What do I do?
02-07-2018 08:06 PM
I try to speak to her but she says to me it is her way of dealing with the pain. Then she will ask have I hurt you mum, I say yes which is the honest answer and she get this happy face and says good then laughs and walks away. Then she will say "Mum deal with the hurt" I still love her but just want to cry. I want to sell her piano because she does not play it anymore even at school. But when I suggest I'm going to sell it, she then screams at me for taking the one thing she loves away from her. So am in a delema, she has lost her flute as well. I have spent all this money on her because of her interests but to no avail. through it all I still love her but she is tearing me apart.
02-07-2018 08:13 PM
Thanks for sharing and I hope you get some insight from the community on these issues which really sound confronting. I’m so sorry to hear that she has been putting you down and blaming you for all of this. I don’t want you to feel alone and again this is why I’m glad you’ve shared this.
With regards to the self-harming I actually think it’s worth building a relationship with your daughter’s psychologist to work together to perhaps have a safety plan? This might include ideas around harm minimisation etc. so having ways to relive distress, that are less likely to cause physical damage which may even happen accidentally. As far as her friend it’s really hard to stop friendships, but you can look into having rules and boundaries around when they see each other and having parental supervision where possible. The old saying sticks here, which is “pick your battles”. Really her safety and well being are compromised and that would come first before other issues I would say. This is also true for you and I know it's really hard. It sounds like you need some support to feel empowered to enforce boundaries with your daughter and to actually have capacity to look after yourself throughout this. I'm not sure if you have a counsellor yourself or could arrange this?
Also just a reminder and at risk of sounding repetitive, (it’s just small point to address) we have to keep specifics of self-harming out of posts. I know the guidelines were posted earlier but I’ll pop them here again anyway.
02-07-2018 08:26 PM
My son was irrational at times. He blamed me, blamed his doctors, blamed the meds. He would be calm(-ish) at times and then go off the rails, ending up in hospital, after what seemed to me to be minor incidents. Strangely self harming made him calmer, although he did not do it as bad as your daughter. You gotta hang in there, for her. Put up with the rubbish she lays on you for a while (but make sure you don't burn out).
Why did the Doc take her off meds? If you are concerned about her behaviour let the Doc know. If you feel you are loosing control let the Doc know that too! You are an essential part of her treatment, if you are not functioning, she cannot get the support she needs.
If I was certain that a friend was leading my son astray I'd step in and pull them apart. But he is a boy, I'm not sure if I'd do that to a girl. Is it possible to have a chat with the friend, maybe get her to help? Maybe this is something the psychologist can help with.
My sons psychiatrist explained that often the patients are the last to realise that they are making progress, so I wouldn't worry too much about her saying the psychologist isn't helping. Judge that for yourself (on her behaviour). Not all psychologists suit all patients, sometimes you do have to shop around to get the right one.
My son had a rough time with his oldest sister too, lots of jealousy (on both sides). I spoke to my daughter and just laid it on the line: you have to back off for a while. A couple of kind words from her really help my son at that time.
My son found school to be very stressful, maybe that is the trigger for your daughter?
Of course you still love your daughter. I think it is OK to get fed up with them occasionally too Just get your strength back and try again.
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