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How to get through to DD when she's between episodes?

(11 Posts)
WheresMyTrowel Mon 18-Jan-16 19:40:43

DD is 17 and away at Uni, and she is lucky enough to have a wonderfully kind and sensible boyfriend who is 3 years older than her, and mature beyond his years as well.

She does not have a diagnosis of bipolar, but is on fluoxetine, olanzapine and Lamictal (lamotrigine). She shows many of the symptoms. She most recently has acted in a delusional way, accusing her BF of seeing other girls, going through his phone at 2am, getting hysterical, getting fixated on things. It's really hard for him - and for me. They really love each other but it's like she's on a self-destruct mission.

He called me in desperation yesterday, and we decided it would be good to try and reason with my DD a little when she is stable. If she could only accept that she does get paranoid and then be able to recognise when she's starting to feel that way, then that would be a really positive thing. Unfortunately she refuses to have any counselling or to do any mindfulness or any of that kind of thing. She just wants the medication to sort her out, rather than do any kind of reflection.

Does anyone have any idea of how to try to get through to her without setting her off on another episode? I've googled and googled to try and find information I could give her, but she has the concentration of a butterfly at the best of times and is dyslexic too, and I always end up deciding that it would be too much information to swamp her with.

Please can anyone help?

Snog Tue 19-Jan-16 06:32:22

Does she have a plan that she has made for how other people will help her when they notice symptoms?
How come she is away at uni at 17, isn't that unusually young?

Marchate Tue 19-Jan-16 09:00:12

A 17 year old at university is not unusual in Scotland, maybe N Ireland too

My daughter (18) is unwell too. I think you'll have to depend on the medication for now. If she's not ready for, or open to, other therapies

WheresMyTrowel Tue 19-Jan-16 10:02:05

yes, she's in Scotland, Marchate

and it is really young IMO but it's a bit complicated to explain but it is definitely for the best that she is there.

No, Snog, there's no plan for how others can help when they notice something - she's right at the beginning of all this and barely taking on board that there is a cycle to it all. She knows she's unwell and I know she's emotionally damaged from a previous abusive relationship, but she's so young and it's difficult for her to process I think.

If I could get her to make some kind of plan as you say, so that at least BF can help (although he does already notice symptoms) that would be really helpful but it's the getting through to her that's the problem. That's why I'm really asking for tips on how to get through to her and talk about it when she's in a "stable" phase(although I take on board what you say Marchate and agree that meds are possibly the only thing ATM).

But I want her to take responsibility for the things she says and does when having an episode. It's not really "her" but it is still really hurtful to the other person, and there's only so much that the other person can take, isn't there. It's not fair on the lovely BF - and of course, I worry that if he finally has enough of it all, then the effect on her will be potentially catastrophic.

dontrunwithscissors Tue 19-Jan-16 12:20:38

In my experience, loved ones are not the best people to try to encourage self-awareness in this kind of situation. I say this as someone with bipolar. Parents and boyfriends are too close & when well, your DD may have deep-seated guilt at the way she has behaved. It can be so painful for these things to hit you. I find it so difficult to discuss things with my husband--not because I'm trying to be secretive or don't care, but because he's 'too' close for me to deal with it.

Does your DD have a psychiatrist? Or a community psychiatric nurse (CPN). My CPN has been really good at helping me work through early warning signs etc. A good CPN is worth their weight in gold.

But ultimately, you can't get someone to confront their illness until they're ready to do it.

WheresMyTrowel Tue 19-Jan-16 13:44:12

Thank you dontrun - yes my DD has a psychiatrist. She doesn't have a CPN. How would we go about finding one?

I understand what you're saying about she needs to be ready and that loved ones might not be the best for talking about self awareness.

Marchate I hope your DD is ok.

Marchate Tue 19-Jan-16 13:59:27

Thank you, WheresMyTrowel. She has bad times, then not such bad times. Multiple MH problems. I know how you feel. Wanting to help, to do more, while accepting it's actually down to her

WheresMyTrowel Tue 19-Jan-16 14:44:19

The worst part is finding out about the abusive relationship which ended a year ago- wondering if the man involved should be reported even. But that would be a whole new can of worms.

Marchate is your DD at home with you or away, being 18?

dontrunwithscissors Tue 19-Jan-16 20:19:55

I was allocated one by my pdoc. I know that I'm in a pretty good area for MH care and that others aren't as 'generous'. I've had a couple of rubbish CPNs, but the current one is great. I've seen her every 1-2 weeks for over two years now and it's really helped. She's the only person I can really ask for help when I'm in the midst of a big depression.

Marchate Tue 19-Jan-16 23:34:27

She's at home, thank goodness, WheresMyTrowel. Working but off sick at present. Was in hospital for a while last year

WheresMyTrowel Wed 20-Jan-16 11:23:10

flowers to both of you.

I don't think we will try to find a CPN right now,then. Just one rubbish one would probably put her right off I think. Glad you've finally found a good one dontrun

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