Trying to manage after my daughter's suicide attempt

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Parent Peer Supporter

Trying to manage after my daughter's suicide attempt

I've been absent on the forum lately as I'm still trying to come to terms with my daughter's suicide attempt and the proceeding events. It's really hit me today how much I need to get help for myself because as much as I felt I was managing okay, I'm actually not. 

 

One day this will be funny to me, but at the moment it's a bit scary. My family came over today - there are four of us (adults), always has been. I made tea for us all, but it wasn't until I was giving everyone their tea that I realised I'd only made three cups. I only got out 3 placemats then got my brother to get the plates and cutlery because I can't count!!! I can't seem to think straight or get my words out properly, it's so frustrating.

 

My daughter spent 2 days in ICU then was moved to the psychiatric emergency care ward where she spent 4 days while the CYMHS team and the hospital psychiatrist butted heads over what should be done with her. Her own psychiatrist from CYMHS wanted to send her home last Tuesday, unmedicated, and not having been seen by a mental health professional. This was also knowing that my daughter had told the doctor that she attempted suicide to hurt me, and while my daughter was still in a suicidal state. Ludicrous!!

 

After a final meeting with both cymhs and the hospital psychiatrist where I voiced all my concerns and questioned being told there were other kids who had higher priority, they finally came around and I had a call that night to let me know my daughter had been moved to the adolescent mental health unit. Putting aside that this was my child we were talking about, what is priority over attempted suicide that leaves a 16 year old in intensive care?? I can't comprehend it?? And I feel like my daughter's life means nothing in their eyes to want to send her home when she still wasn't even 100% steady on her feet yet. 

 

[I feel really bad for complaining about cymhs here, as they have been a fabulous service for us, and my daughter still wants to keep seeing her counsellor of 6 years from there. This has just been one psychiatrist there we've had and the woman from cymhs in the meeting had no idea of my previous complaint made about this psychiatrist or how long we'd been asking for help and being brushed off for. My daughter has already been given a new one from cymhs that she likes and feels heard with, so I do still recommend them as a service.]

 

I'm relieved my daughter is safe and somewhere where she can get the help she needs hopefully. At this point I'm still nervous about her coming home and have not had the mindset (I was going to say 'chance', but that's not entirely true) to look after myself yet. I feel like I'm on autopilot with the odd burst of emotion that takes me out at the knees. People ask me how I am. I can't answer that, I don't know how I am. The last week feels like a blur. 

 

How have other parents coped? Do you recover as a parent from something like this?

Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. 

Mod

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

@taokat thank you for sharing and my heart fully goes out to me with what your Daughter is going through, as well as yourself. This must be so painful, and no doubt at times you feel so helpless. I love that you advocate for your Daughter, and that you were transparent with the services. At times the system can be frustrating, so please know we're lending our ears here as needed. Are you seeing a face to face therapist, is this an option for you? It's paramount you feel supported in more ways than one at the moment. You will recover, you posses so much strength. The hard answer is time. But until you feel you've recovered, this community is here, as well as SCBS which can provide you on the spot support around your Daughter's attempts, as well as how to manage the pain you are experiencing in the process of all this. 

Super frequent scribe

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

Hi @taokat I'm so sorry to hear what you are going through it must be so hard and frustrating that you are not getting the support from hospitals and doctors but from what you are saying it sounds like you are trying everything you can for your daughter. I'm not sure what CYMHS is but I found it very hard to find a psychiatrist that would treat a 17 year old, in the end I decided to go private with the doctor and pay a $100 gap per visit thankfully she hasn't been admitted to hospital but although I couldn't afford private I'm wondering can the public system cope with mental health issues? Take care and hang in there Taokat please look after yourself x
Mod

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

How are you feeling today @taokatHeart

Parent Peer Supporter

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

Thank you for your support @Breez-RO and @Tulip

 

I've had a couple of quiet days to get my head around things which has been good. My daughter isn't keen to see me anyway, so I'm hanging low at the moment. I have been in touch with SCBS so really appreciate that link, thank you @Breez-RO

 

I do need to organise myself some face to face counselling as I'm not feeling strong or capable at the moment. I also have a meeting on Thursday to talk about my daughter's treatment from here and a safety plan for her coming home. I'm scared about her coming home to be honest, but hopefully that will change with plans in place.

 

@Tulip CYMHS stands for child and youth mental health service and is part of the public system. We've had ups and downs with them over the years, but generally they are a valuable service to families in need. It's hard though isn't it, when money is the limiting factor to timely and appropriate support. I wish you all the best too.  

Mod

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

Hey there @taokat glad to hear you've had a quiet few days, and am so glad to hear SCBS was appreciated - remember they're 24/7 so genuinely at any time you can chat to them about helping your Daughter.

 

How soon do you think you can start checking out counsellors? Could be good to chat to someone even around that fear of her returning. What's your main concern, is it her being out of care and in a more vulnerable state or something else? We are here to listen as always. Heart

Parent Peer Supporter

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

Hey @Breez-RO, I'll keep that in mind, thank you Smiley Happy

 

I've finally made an appointment with my GP to get a mental health plan for myself that will give me 10 counselling sessions which will be great. 

 

I think I'm scared of how I'm going to parent her when she comes home. She told the Dr that she did to hurt me which has really thrown me. We live in a unit block so I'm worried about being able to keep her safe if that's where her thinking goes now when it comes to not wanting to accept consequences. 

 

I have an appointment tomorrow to talk about the plan for coming home and follow up treatment so will hopefully have less fear after that. 

 

Thanks for your support @Breez-RO Heart

Mod

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

Hey @taokat, the services recommended are really amazing and so I don't have a lot more to say on that note. I just wanted to pop in to commend you on getting through this with your daughter. I am glad you are beginning to look after yourself with some more support. It is hard to focus on ourselves sometimes but I am sure it will benefit your daughter as well as yourself. I second what Breez has said, in that it might be useful to chat about your current concerns and ways of handling your daughter's return and the upcoming journey. Let us know how you are travelling Smiley Very Happy

Prolific scribe

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

Hey @taokat,

I'm really sorry to hear that your daughter had a setback.

 

I felt with my son that his attempts were cries for help, when he was frustrated with the system and needed to push it along. It is terrible that the system needs a potential suicide before it says "this seems serious", but I think it does. I really hope that this attempt by your daughter leads to a real change for the better.

 

It's hard to be a punching bag for our kids. I suspect the mother-daughter relationship makes it even harder! I do believe with the clarity that will come in later life they will forgive us for trying so hard to help them Smiley Wink

 

I experienced that fogginess from stress too. I realised that it wasn't really safe for me to drive at one stage because my brain was not functioning anywhere near 100%.

 

I wish I had words of wisdom to offer regarding coping. We've had 10 good months now, and my son has improved a lot, but I'm still really only one step away from being a nervous wreck. I do all the things that we should do (you already know that stuff), but still my heart sinks when the 'phone rings sometimes.

 

Good luck Taokat, hang in there.

Cheers

 

Highlighted
Super frequent scribe

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

Hey @taokat I'm glad for you that you are going to get some counselling I feel that putting my daughters needs above my own I should have gotten counselling much sooner but thankfully I have an appointment in 2 weeks. Can you try meditation music before you go to bed. I do it quite often and it helps to release a few tears. Hang in there. X Also @ schooner hang in there too mate x