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teenage girl with mental health issues, possible bi polar

(16 Posts)
odyssey Fri 14-Mar-14 23:11:11

I was wondering if any one knew of any support for parents with a teenagers that have mental health issues,

Our daughter has just turned 16, and I have about reached what I can cope with, before any says it is all about her, I really get that but and it is a big but, I don't have the words to say to her when she tells me for the 12th time in under two years that she has taken another overdose, her body is cut to ribbons, she hates what she does but even with all the different groups etc that she has attended, she can't stop what she doing to herself.

She is bright and beautiful, and at the minute I can't fix how she feels, I don't know what she wants me to say to make it better, and honestly she doesn't know either.

This isn't a new thing, we as a family have been going through this with her since she was 12, and as her mam, I feel I have failed as I should be able to make this all better and I can't.

So what can I do now, it isnt getting better and to be honest, the only reason they (medical type people) haven't diagnoised bi polar yet is her age, we were told that when she was 14, and I haven't put down exactly everything, but there is the manic high's and low's. and everything that ticks all the boxes.

So is there anything, that we can do to make life easier for her and all of us x

silvermirror Sat 15-Mar-14 00:24:48

Youngminds is a good source for support.

You need to get her assessed at a adolesent mental health unit that specialises in bipolar in children and

She may require medication.
Dialetical behaviour therapy or psychotherapy

Mind offer support to families with mental health problems.


wannabestressfree Sat 15-Mar-14 01:02:18

I went through the same thing with my son will message you

odyssey Sat 15-Mar-14 10:26:03

Thank you for the replies, she is already under cahms, and is on her 3 try of the dbt group, and also now her third counciler, she has medication as well.

But I will try any thing, so will look in to other ways x

stinkingbishop Sat 15-Mar-14 10:36:23

Do you have insurance or could you afford to self-fund a private assessment? Would she be willing and open for that? The Priory have an excellent adolescent unit. I've got a young friend - similarly bright and beautiful, but drugging and self harming - and they have helped her enormously. She's got a BPD diagnosis now.

I think talking therapy with groups and counsellors is great, but is the icing on the cake. IF she is bi polar or similar, she has a neurological issue which requires appropriate medication to counteract the things that are going wrong on a neurochemical basis. If she's still behaving like she is, I'd question whether she's on the right meds. You wouldn't try to talk your way out of cancer/diabetes. You'd get the meds right, and then have talking as support.

But talking IS vital for you. Have they offered YOU any sort of therapy? The charities mentioned above might be able to help.

livingzuid Sat 15-Mar-14 12:49:59

In Europe they won't diagnose bipolar until 18 or so. Which is bloody hard work for families up till then. In the States they do but then dish out medicine like candy. So it's very difficult.

Is she on any mood stabilisers yet? Therapy ime didn't help, I needed medication.

livingzuid Sat 15-Mar-14 12:51:52

Sorry should have added, I believe the reluctance to diagnose is to do with not wanting to introduce very hardcore medication to young people who are still developing, and due to the massive hormonal changes that happen as a teenager being confused with bipolar. Not very helpful sad

Also look at Bipolar UK

wannabestressfree Sat 15-Mar-14 13:04:54

My son was given a diagnosis of bi-polar at 14 whilst on a nearly two year stay in hospital. He was in three medium secure units, left just before his gcse's and Is now back at school studying for his a levels. He sees the psychiatrist and counselor once a week and is medicated.

Without a doubt he needed to be hospitalised to stabilise him.

SofiaAmes Sat 15-Mar-14 13:15:04

I am going through the same thing, but here in the USA it is much easier to get help with mental health than in the UK. It's expensive, but there are options.
There are medications available these days that aren't the sledgehammer of lithium and that really can be helpful for a child with bi-polar. Seroquel is a very good option and in my experience allows the child to still be creative and functioning. Current research indicates that mitochondrial issues are probably often the underlying cause of bi-polar. Please have a look at these two websites for information about mitochondrial disease: UMDF and mitoaction

It's important to understand if your child has mitochondrial disease, because if she does, she should NOT take valproic acid. And it's possible that there are things that are triggering the bi-polar that can be avoided.

My heart goes out to you. Having a child with mental illness is the most difficult and painful thing I have ever had to deal with.

wannabestressfree Sat 15-Mar-14 15:01:02

We are in the uk.

SofiaAmes Sat 15-Mar-14 15:56:05

I understand, but the information and sites that I posted are applicable anywhere. I used to live in the UK, so have experienced trying to get care for a very sick child in both countries. The specific roadblocks may be slightly different, but the stress and impact on the child and the family are the same. A lot of societal and medical heads in the sand that mental health is an illness like any other.
I am utilizing a private therapeutic boarding school to stabilize my child. It's expensive, but probably better than the free state-provided options that are available. wanna I am glad to hear that your ds is stabilized and back at school, I hope that I will have the same for mine too!

odyssey Sun 16-Mar-14 12:10:59

I would like to thank you all for all your replies, well at the minute she is back in hospital due another overdose, for us this has been on going for over 4 years, and to be completely true, even longer than that.

We are in the UK, and the area we live, does not have any units for children/teenagers. After the third overdose in less than 12 weeks, we asked if she could be hospitalized. the closest one to us, is over two hours away. So left with that, it was felt it was best for us to deal with at home.

I don't think, anything is working, medication or counciling, as she is very good at saying what they want to hear, but doing her own thing any way. We 3 appointments this week, so I am going in with a different tactic, let hope it gets us some where.

Thank you all again xx

wannabestressfree Sun 16-Mar-14 16:33:28

Actually in my experience having that distance was the best thing for everyone. I slept properly, spent time with my other children and he got proper help. At one stage my son was I a unit that was nearly a 300+ mile trip. It was for the best though. He felt safe to unravel properly in a controlled environment and I knew he couldn't kill himself.
After that many incidents are you doing her any favours by turning down a unit?

livingzuid Sun 16-Mar-14 17:27:37

I understand you want to keep her at home but she really does need the specialist 24 hour observations by health professionals that simply isn't possible at home. It's not something you can provide unfortunately. It's surely time to let doctors take this over for you?

She's at serious risk and if it continues she may end up sectioned anyway (a last resort and I don't mean to frighten you, but they will if the threat is immediate - don't know if this has happened before?) so all control is taken out of your hands. At least this way it is under your terms.

Agree with the pp that some distance may also be beneficial. She won't be able to get around anything or lie under proper psychiatric assessment. And you will have a chance to order your lives again.


SofiaAmes Sun 16-Mar-14 17:37:25

I agree with what wanna and living are saying. Putting my son in a therapeutic boarding school (that's what they call them here in the USA) that's 1000 miles away (closest appropriate one) was the most difficult and painful decision I have ever made. But now that he's been there 4 months and is getting stabilized finally, I know that it was the right choice. He is getting care that I could have never given him at home, not because I don't love him enough, or care enough, but because I have another child and would not be able to watch him 24 hours a day AND maintain my household AND support my family financially and emotionally. I had a lot of family and friends who were all sure that I was just not trying hard enough and that it could all be done from home by me, but now that they see me finally coping (and not spending most of my day in a panic) and my ds stabilized, they are beginning to understand how much help he really needed and that this was the right choice.

odyssey Fri 04-Apr-14 23:26:06

Thank you for all your replies and sorry it has taken so long to get back to this thread.

Firstly We weren't given the option of her been sectioned, that doesn't frighten me, I asked if she could be after her third overdose, we were told by her doctors that they felt she would be better off at home. I would have prefered her to be hospitalized or sectioned. I know she is at serious risk, I have absolutley no doubt about that. If I could have had her sectioned I would have, with out a shadow of a doubt, because as her parent I felt it was in her best interests.

As it is, we are in a position that she can be with an adult 24/7 as I own my own business and under advice from her doctor, she comes to work with me. I am very very lucky to be in this position and of the ladies I work with. Also with the support we have from family. She is actually one of six with a younger brother with problems as well.

For the minute, we have made some headway, she now has a team that seem to understand her, and are listening to what her needs are. This alone has made some difference.

As to what the future holds who knows, I really do appreciate, everyones replies.

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