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Trying to manage after my daughter's suicide attempt

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Trying to manage after my daughter's suicide attempt

Star contributor

Re: Trying to manage after my daughter's suicide attempt

Hi @taokat,


Just wanted to send a quick message to say we are thinking of you. How you are doing this week?


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Super star contributor

Re: Trying to manage after my daughter's suicide attempt

Hi @Jess1-RO@sunflowermom and @Schooner.


Thanks so much for your support and I am sorry for my whinge @Jay-RO. RO has been an awesome part of my life and it was quite rude of me.


I’ve wanted to respond for ages and keep losing confidence, but have been going downhill for a while, devastated by conversations with my daughter’s psychiatrist ages ago. Before my daughter’s first suicide attempt, she was told that she didn’t have bipolar, that her problems were my fault for not keeping her safe as a baby. As a result her amygdala didn’t form properly. 

I made a complaint as, even if they did believe that to be true, what benefit did they think would come from telling a teen it’s all her mother’s fault? Especially my daughter, with the problems she has!  

I went in on my own and met with the psychiatrist. I questioned her, seeing my daughter was a settled baby and had no issues until she was sexually abused at age 8. She backed herself and told me that babies are affected by violence and abuse, including in the womb. I was speechless and walked out of there shattered with a double whammy of guilt, that’s slowly eaten away at me. 

I needed help so went to see a psychiatrist, and I questioned him about why I was blamed, with no blame on the father who was abusive, and he told me if the father hadn’t been in the picture all her life, who else’s fault could it be but mine? I got up and walked out, not wanting to make it home.


There is so much out there about domestic violence not being the woman’s fault, ever, so it’s knocked me and I’ve taken it very personally and feel completely invalidated as both a woman and a mother. 


After all this time, I am going to try for help again with Mission Australia. I’ve decided the question I need to ask instead is how do I manage my feelings around what’s been said, and deal with the consequences it’s had at home! 


My daughter dropped out of her online course unfortunately, but we found a self interest course at our local tafe she’s starting in Feb. It’s graphic design, so not what she wants to do long term but something she’ll enjoy. I just want her to get an achievement under her belt to give her some self confidence.


Best wishes for 2019! I hope all our kids struggle less and enjoy life more 😊


Prolific scribe

Re: Trying to manage after my daughter's suicide attempt

@taokat, Welcome back!


No need for an apology, IMO. Lost and exhausted, as we all have been from time to time, and you didn't get what you really needed. Glad to have you back.


I've tried complaining about psychologists and psychiatrists too. My experience is that they (well, some of them at least) do not take kindly to constructive criticism. It's a great shame, as we need a full team (parents, family, schools, and medical team) working together to support our young people. Crushing the spirit of the primary carer cannot be a good strategy, even if the parent might be wrong. BTW, I see your point: sexual abuse at 8 seems more significant than abuse when you were pregnant. 


Good on you for seeking help. 


Sorry to hear your girl has dropped out. I know you will keep encouraging her.






Prolific scribe

Re: Trying to manage after my daughter's suicide attempt

Hi @taokat thanks for getting in contact and providing us an update on how things are going. I'm sorry you've had that experience with the psychiatrists, that is an awful position to be in and you don't deserve that at all.  

It's great that you are seeking support from Mission Australia, do let us know how you go with them. It's good to hear that your daughter will be starting a graphic design course and that it's something she'll enjoy. Thank you for all the support you have provided to many of our members here, we are here to listen and support you too Heart 

Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: Trying to manage after my daughter's suicide attempt

Hi @taokat

I have missed you so much!  I am so happy that you checked in.

I am shocked at what the psych had to say.  I think that is very inappropriate what was said to you.  How are those comments supportive or beneficial in any way?


I am glad your daughter has found a new course to engage in. If she keeps trying new things I am confident she will find her niche and build a passion for something new.  Its so encouraging that she is willing to reach out and try different subjects if something doesn't work out.  How has she been feeling otherwise?  Are things on an upswing between the 2 of you?  I sure hope so.

Sending hugs and wishes for a positive joyous New Year!



Re: Trying to manage after my daughter's suicide attempt

Hi Taokat,

Your post struck a chord.
Firstly, YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME!! Please remove this totally from your thoughts as guilt is a negative emotion. You are a beautiful, wonderful caring mum who has stood by and supported your daughter every step of the way. For a psychiatrist or other human being to say those things to you (regarding you being at fault for your daughters problems) is inhumane, totally insensitive and uncalled for! Unfortunantly, there are some people who are in the wrong profession.......I see it all the time! They are not in our shoes.....and cannot judge! Please disregard those words from the psychiatrist and choose to think of pleasant thoughts instead. Perhaps you could try some visualisation......think about a beautiful natural beach or a lovely peaceful scene you have liked. Or go for a walk in the mornings or early evenings and watch the sun rise or set. These simple tasks can help you feel a tad better. The past is dust, taokat......we cannot do anything to change what’s happened to our teenagers but we can change our responses and stay present in the moment.

I hope things improve for yourself and your daughter. How is she going now? My son has improved. Has been enjoying his new school. A BIG improvement but we still have a way to go.

Take care. Remember.....this moment is all that matters!

Sister x
Star contributor

Re: Trying to manage after my daughter's suicide attempt

Hi @taokat

Welcome back! Thank you so much for checking in- I can imagine the last few weeks have been so challenging feeling the emotional fall out of the discussion with the psychiatrist.

What we know of you on the forums is that you are a passionate, loving and endlessly supportive mum who has moved mountains to support your daughter Heart No matter what, in this community you are always supported and will always be acknowledged for the mammoth steps you have taken to keep your daughter on a path to recovery- through the hardest days, and the lighter days.

What is your support system like at the moment?

Whenever you need to take a break from the forums to focus on your wellbeing, it is 100% okay to do so Smiley Happy We will support any decisions you make for your wellbeing!

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Active scribe

Re: Trying to manage after my daughter's suicide attempt

Hi @taokat

I have been reading on this forum after my daughter's attempt over a year ago. Your old posts and others sharing has helped me alot over this time to feel not alone. I go on the forum and read when I just think I can't do this. Then I know that theres lots of you out there and it feels a little bit better -Thank you.

I want to say something as someone that has had various training, experience and interest in brains, trauma, people.....No expert but have been around long enough to learn things and still learning. I have sadly also the shared the experience first hand of what many here are dealing with or have dealt with as a carer/ parent of young one with mental health issues/ suicide attempts and what life looks like after that. Including the experiences with mental health professionals as a parent, which can be a whole thing of itself.

I am getting off the point I wanted to make after reading your posted experience. I know nothing of who you went to see.... But the posted experience really made me upset to hear this said to you, another caring mother or how it was said. I raised my eyebrows and two things popped into my head 1) Was this mental health professional very young? Or less experienced....It sounds like they could either be very 'green' so could be into parroting the trauma brain developement theories at you because they were excited about these basic ideas that, yes can feed into supporting young people by helping to interpret their behavior as a form of communication. But just doesn't mean much in real life without the compassionate responses to the behaviours to back it up. or 2) Were they 'burnt out' and operating as a less than optimal communicator to be what sounded like very lacking in compassate attitude towards you, a primary carer of a fragile young one, who has in turn no doubt become fragile through loving the child they care for through All experiences and crisis as we do. Thus this professional may have felt the need to explain ideas in cold way that depersonalized you and made you feel well .. maybe made to feel below that person, by the sound and tone of the post - it sounded pretty yucky and rude to me.

Just some musings. I hope you have moved on from the experience and if you need to deal with that person again for some reason that you can feel empowered, or hopefully not deal with them again?

Whatever might be going on...It did just not sound like a quite right interaction. Best of luck with you daughters studies and getting along as joyfully as possible on bad days, as I try to do myself also.

Re: Trying to manage after my daughter's suicide attempt

I feel so sorry for your situation.  It sounds very similar to my past situation.  I know exactly how you are feeling, but do try and concentrate on daily routines, and also to take time out for yourself, to recover and acclimatise to the situation.

My daughter recently took her own life at the age of 45, one of at least seven or eight attempts which left us absolutely traumatised every time, least of all because she had a daughter, so we were left to care for her.  The attempts were preceded by consumption of alcohol but she always made sure she had someone on call to contact. This resulted in hospital to have her stomach pumped, and visits to mental facilities.  This went on for many years, with her being abusive to us on many levels.  The last time she wasn’t found as her partner didn’t wake up to find her.  We had to cut contact some years ago as we had to care for her daughter and decided we could not keep going through the heartbreak.  Please, please do make it clear to your daughter that what she does is her decision, and does not reflect on your care.  Suicide is a difficult thing for your loved ones, but at the end of the day she is responsible for her actions, and you must protect your own health.


Re: Trying to manage after my daughter's suicide attempt

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Hey @Slinja I am sorry to hear about your recent loss, I can't imagine how tough things must be for you and your family right now. It is really lovely that you are here on the forums reaching out and supporting others. It sounds like things have been quite difficult for you for a while as you have been supporting your daughter and granddaughter through some of your daughters mental health concerns. I am sorry that your daughter was abusive towards you at times. Were you able to get help from any professionals to support you through these experiences?


If you are looking to talk with someone about how you are feeling and what you have been going through, there are counselling services that can support you. I've had a look at some services available in the UK, and found Cruse Bereavement Support which is a helpline that offers emotional support to anyone affected by grief. Here is a link to their website if you'd like to read more. You mentioned that you care for your granddaughter, which must be challenging at times. Do you get any assistance as her carer? 


I also just wanted to let you know that I have had to edit you post slightly to fit within our community guidelines, which can be read here