How do I best communicate with my daughter about her psychosis?

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Parent Peer Supporter

How do I best communicate with my daughter about her psychosis?

My 15 year old daughter has bipolar and has had occasions of psychosis over the last fews years. Her usual 'things' are seeing people and hearing voices. Her medication had been adjusted and things quietened right down for her.

 

Last night though, she came out of her room frustrated because a tapping sound was keeping her awake. I initially suggested she play music to drown out the sound, but she had already been listening to music with her headphones. She said it was coming from inside her head and she needed it to stop so she could sleep.  

 

With the people and voices, I was able to comfort her and settle her fears. She knows they're not real and they don't bother her anymore. The tapping is a new one though, and she wasn't afraid, just really frustrated with it keeping her awake when she was so tired.

 

I didn't know what to do or say to help her. My response was pathetic as my brain fumbled and I think I told her to try and concentrate on her music and ignore it!! I felt like I dismissed her anxiety over it from her response. It felt to me like I was dismissive - I really didn't know how to deal with it.

 

Any advice or suggestions would be really appreciated. I'd really like to go back to my daughter with something, anything! 

Prolific scribe

Re: How do I best communicate with my daughter about her psychosis?

@taokat thanks for sharing this. Psychosis is a tricky one! For many those pesky positive symptoms have a way of cropping up quite unexpectedly. Sorry to hear that it's come up again, i can imagine feeling the adrenaline rush and the wave of worry that comes with something like this appearing unexpectedly Smiley Sad

 

It's hard as a carer and a mum and i want to take a moment to remind you how awesome you are for being there for your daughter, day and night in such a caring and considerate way. There's some serious emotional labour to carry there and you're truly a strong human for carrying it so well.

 

I reckon it's pretty understandable to have a "fumble" and as far as fumbles go, you still gave her some great support and encouragement to continue working on something that you both know has helped in the past. As far as fumbles go... well you didn't drop the ball (sorry worst metaphor/pun ever).

 

If you're worried about being dismissive;  i feel like you know much more about how to explore and reconcile that with her. And ultimately you are doing your best and your best is very amazing!  

 

Hope that helps. I know were's small, so do we have any other parents with a child experiencing psychosis? If you read this later, please feel free to dive in and share your thoughts with the wonderful @taokat Smiley Happy 

 

 

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: How do I best communicate with my daughter about her psychosis?

Thanks so much @Ben-RO for your lovely and encouraging reply. Psychosis is tricky because while my daughter's learned the sights and sounds aren't real, this new one is annoying.

 

As a mum it's really hard when she comes to me and I feel totally at a loss as to what to do or even say. I'm supposed to have all the answers. I've had an honest talk with her today and explained to her that I wasn't sure how to best support her, and told her that I'll learn more about it and we'll get it sorted. I've also made an appointment with her team at CYMHS for tomorrow.

 

Emotions certainly do trip me up and can be overwhelming at times. And when I think we've got it pretty much under control it is worrying when a new 'thing' starts.

 

Thank you so much for your positivity @Ben-RO.

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: How do I best communicate with my daughter about her psychosis?

Hi @taokat sorry to hear this news.  At the moment my son keeps thinking my husband and I walking in his room and standing by his bed.  This is new and he hasn't suffered psychosis for three years.  Knowing how to answer when he questions why we were in his room is difficult because it is so real to him.  Of course, like you, I phoned a professional and researched lucid dreaming etc... For me I just have to keep a close eye on him and watch for increased suspicious behaviour.   My son will not seek help or take medication at present.  I do know that language is important in these circumstances and I hope you get some practical advice that you can share with us.

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: How do I best communicate with my daughter about her psychosis?

Thank you @Chalke5.

I'm so sorry your son is going through this too. It must be difficult because he's seeing his mum and dad, so it wouldn't be as easy to differentiate reality from the visions. Does he have them at night, or when he's sleeping? My daughter's really interested in lucid dreaming and has done heaps of research on it, so your mention of it caught my attention Smiley Happy

 

I know that my daughter's psychiatrist has said that it's part of her bipolar. I've also been told to keep an eye on things - if the voices or people start talking to her and telling her to do things, they want to know immediately as that changes things. 

 

I'll definitely let you know if I come home with any gems from our appointment tomorrow.

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: How do I best communicate with my daughter about her psychosis?

Hey @Chalke5, nothing to offer from the counselling session. I left pretty much at the start. Sorry!