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16 year old now in 5th week in inpatient unit(20 Posts)
Our 16 year old has been in a secure unit for 5 weeks with depression and anxiety. It seems a combination of self pressure to do well at school, a feeling that we increase that pressure with our expectations and a difficulty fitting in with friends, who seems to be maturing more quickly. Some days she does not want us to visit, which is very tough and other days are fine. She seems to blame mum more than dad and is now saying she does not want to live at home. This has gone from what I thought was my worst nightmare when they took her in, to my new worst nightmare, now she does not want to come home. I just wondered how other parents have dealt with similar situations and if you have any advice for us. Thanks
I have no experience or advice.
But it must be awful for you all right now,
At 16 should your DD be sitting GCSE's now?
There is huge pressure in and external for them to do well (DD has two to go)
On the assumption your DD has not sat them you may find lots change after the day of the final exam when she can not be asked to sit anything.
dont know how I would cope and must be so hard for you. Only thing I can say is at this age they do blame you for verything and desperately try to push you away, If you can stay supportive despite all the rejection then maybe when they are older they will be able to see what you did. Right now its all about her. Shes not thinking about things like an adult yet
Thanks for commenting, it's appreciated. She has missed her exams, that's one more thing we have to work out, but not the main focus for now. This is an emotional rollercoaster and you never know what mood she will be in each visit - some days she'll chat for an hour, others we last no more than 10 minutes. It's so hard and I wonder how others have coped.
My dd spent some months in an adolescent inpatient unit for severe anxiety and other issues. I was very lucky that dd wanted to come home and didn't reject us, but in my experience the doctors and the nursing team will be working towards encouraging your dd back to home. 5 weeks is not long, give it time (is she on any meds as these take time to begin to work?) i know you just want her home, but I think she's in the best place to make a recovery. It all seems to take a long time. In dd's unit, they didn't want parents to visit every day, which I found hard, but they also had a lot of structured activities which dd enjoyed.
ClaraM, thank you. The time it takes is so so difficult, it's hard to be patient. She is on Prozac, week 6 now, but hard to tell if they are working or not.
Sorry to hear your DD is unwell - as a mother myself I know the horror of child mental illness. I was like your daughter at her age and Prozac worked wonders for me (v experimental back then) so fingers crossed.
Thanks for your messages, it's the unknown that is so hard, and the time, everything moves so slowly. She had a setback this week too, which is disappointing and frustrating
Sorry you are going thru this x
My eldest was in a secure unit for a year. It was horrific. She went in following an overdose and other self harming episodes. She ran away from the unit and took another overdose. She came back home after three months and promptly took another overdose so went back in.
She has never lived at home since her choice. She has got herself together tho and seems happy now.
GCSEs were the trigger here too. She took them a year early then had some sort of breakdown after she completed them.
It's every mum's nightmare, isn't it? You poor thing - it must be awful.
One thing, though, when you think about it if you visit and talk for an hour solidly, that's a lot more conversation than happens in a lot of homes - people do hobbies in the evening, read, watch television. An hour of solid talking is a lot with a teenager. Do you do other things together when you visit?
Also don't forget how guilty your daughter must feel at upsetting you - it's inevitable, isn't it? At home she could just go up to her room and moan to her friends but if you're both confined to the same room it's not as easy, is it?
Sorry if that's not what happens; I was just thinking of my daughter at that age (she got very, very stressed, too.)
Best wishes for all of your family.
If you can, please speak to the team looking after her about available support for you. There will be lots if information on the website or from pals team.
Difficult and overwhelming as it is at the moment, you have to keep in mind that this is going to be a long-term marathon not a sprint so ensuring your wellbeing is crucial to your daughter's recovery.
Thanks Imperial and Becles. Posting on here is helping me reset my expectations in terms of time and recovery, which is good. Today we had a good visit, but as I said, some are up and some are down. Thanks for your posts everyone, it reslly helps
I can only echo what Becles has said - try to look after yourself. At the moment she is in a safe place so try to sleep at night. Things may improve and she may come back home and then you will need even more energy. Agree too that an hour is actually a long time to sit with a teenager. Hope there are things you can do. Maybe you could take board games with you or do some kind of craft activity? Daft as it may sound, you can get some 'grown up' colouring books now which might just give you something to do that would leave you free to talk but save you having to stare at each other all the time.
I was an inpatient in an adolescent unit and your post really resonated with me. My parents used to come and visit every night, but it was just too much.
I was exhausted from the anxiety plus medication settling down, and just wanted to read or go for a walk with the nurses and other patients, watch telly or do craft stuff. In the end it was agreed that my parents would come twice a week. That was so much better for me and must have been better for them as the travel and anxiety seeing me was stressful. We played cards usually - this took the pressure off the visits too.
Sending you strength at this awful time though, to you all.
Thanks, we need to step back a bit, whilst difficult, I can see will help. BillS - thanks so much for sharing your perspective
Clare1971, the coloring idea might be a good one
I should have also said that was almost 20 years ago. I spent 6 months as an inpatient and another 4 as an outpatient, then went to University, then did a masters, started work, had a family, bought a house, am pretty normal really. I've lived with anxiety and depression for such a long time but I can generally cope with it now - relapsed in both pregnancies but no PND.
Obviously I don't know your daughter but just wanted to say there is light at the end of the tunnel, even if it's a very long and twisty one.
Lifestooshort, I have been where you are . Its a horrible place for everyone. If your DD is very depressed it will affect everything she does, feels and says, but please don't give up hope as although it may be a long and tough journey,(months rather than weeks) things will most likely get better. At the moment is is likely easier for her to be with peers going through what she is going through. I used to take in home cooked food, cry all the way home when she didnt want to speak. Home visits also at first were so hard , but after several relapses and readmissions and a year out of school(missing school is less of a problem than I thought - although its often better to return to another school/college), she did well in gcses and A levels and has now just completed her first year at the uni of her choice, living away from home . most of her friends from the unit are doing well so there is real hope.
Check she is getting all the individual support/activities at the unit. Check also that they are keeping you in the loop of any tests etc. It may partly be her reaction to pressure rather than mum putting on too much pressure - my DD revealed memory processing issues and ASD traits. The results of ed psych tests, helped us later get support educationally but we did have to fight to get her the help she needed in the unit.. If she says she won't come home, say you understand at the moment its difficult but they will hopefully encourage her too. My advice is try to be practical (rather than emotional) in visits and try not to let her see you are upset, but even if its a for a few minutes, go. Ask for family therapy at the unit, and see your GP and ask for some CBT, for yourself. I also advise reading up on depression/treatments etc, as when your DD learns alternatively coping skills, she will likely continue to be vulnerable to depression and need your support and understanding...Billstickers, thank you for your hopeful post.
Thanks Billstickers and anthropology, both posts are appreciated and givr me hope and some ideas. She was much more upbeat on our visit yesterday, so that was very positive. I do need to understand more about the tests and therapy, thanks for suggesting this anthropology. And I have to reset my timeline expectations! Thanks all for the supportive posts, this helps a lot
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