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My 17yr old overdosed last night.

(66 Posts)
ToeTapN Sun 09-Nov-14 14:02:01

I will try to keep this as brief as possible. I have namechanged.

My 17yr old girl has emotional disregulation disorder (a precursor to personality disorder) & has been on and off under CAMHS since she was 13, mostly off as she won't engage with them.

Recently she has been spiralling downhill out of control again taking drugs (MDMA & Diazepam mostly) and staying out/awake all weekend. This has culminated in this weekend's climax of her overdosing last night on cold and flu tablets whilst in the grips of a comedown, she says she took 14 of them. This is not the first overdose and not the first hospital visit for self harm, she had left notes for both us (family) and the guy that she is in love with but who has little interest in her other than to use her for his own ends - eg when he needs a crash pad in the city after a party as he lives out in the sticks, which is often.

She was taken to A&E in an ambulance but as is her usual modus operandi she kicked off when they tried to take bloods (she will never allow anyone to stick her with a needle) and then discharged herself against medical advice. So now I guess there is nothing we can do other than watch, wait and hope that the overdose wasn't sufficient to send her organs into failure, which is beyond terrifying.

I have been in to see her a few times but she's under the duvet and wants to be left alone. If I attempt to sit and watch her she becomes abusive and dangerous to those around her.

She also hasn't eaten since Friday that I know of. She demanded McDs as we left the hospital at 2am but I said no - Me & my dh have been trained as parent therapists by CAMHS and one of the things we're supposed to do is to never reward the self harming behaviour by running around providing whatever she wants in the aftermath. We have a fridge/freezer full of food and offered to cook her something which was refused. She can go days without eating if we don't give in and buy fast food.

Is there anyone I can call? I am not a doctor and I'm too scared to google to see if 14 cold & flu tablets are enough to do serious possibly fatal damage to her liver. I have seen someone die of a paracetamol overdose so you can imagine how scared I am. I am shocked that the hospital allowed her to discharge herself but I can also see that if a patient is not co-operating and causing mayhem in a very busy A&E department then they have little choice.

At 17 she is in the no-mans land of medical care - paediatrics aren't particularly interested any more and most adult care isn't until 18yrs. I have little or no say in what happens to her medically as she is considered old enough to make her own choices.

I hope this doesn't read to disjointedly, I have had very little sleep.

ToeTapN Sun 09-Nov-14 14:26:41

I have called the mental health crisis team, they predictably won't deal with it because she's under 18 for another two months. They told me to call the CAMHS on call doctor - who won't speak to me without a GP referral.

I honestly don't know what to do.

MrsMinton Sun 09-Nov-14 14:31:38

Can you call the out of hours GP and ask them to make a telephone/email referral so you can access help?

I have no idea if they would or what else to suggest I'm sorry.

MrsMinton Sun 09-Nov-14 14:32:35

I'm sure there will be some more help soon off knowledgable MN's

AnimalsAreMyFriends Sun 09-Nov-14 14:36:08

I wanted you to know that I'd read. I'm not sure if I can say anything useful - but I'll try.

You have done everything that you could for your dd - it's brilliant that you and dh have trained as parent therapists - this alone suggests how above and beyond you have gone to support your dd.

You could phone the Samaritans, they would listen to you, though they can't give advice.

I am hearing more and more about the shortfall in MH care for 16-18 year olds - it is something that really needs addressing.

You must be so scared - overdose is a terrifying thing, I lost one of my friends to it 2 years ago. Is there any way you can convince her to have a blood test? I appreciate that she's nearly an adult, would any details of what could possibly happen if she remains without intervention?

I really feel for you OP, and wish I could give some sound advice, but please look after yourself, as you need care too.

Keep talking on here if it helps - I'll listen xxx

Marina11 Sun 09-Nov-14 14:36:52

Hi ToeTapN

I remember very well when one of my DCs was in No Man's Land, too.
I came across what sounded like a very good centre for this group. I think it was residential but I remember being so impressed that I thought of phoning for general advice/signposting. I have to pop out now but when I come back I'll have a look at my old jottings and come back to this thread.

In the meantime - hold onto some important things. You and your DH have trained together - you can support each other and take similar approaches.

I think if your DD's overdose was very, very serious, she'd, somehow, have been kept in hospital.

Make sure that you take especially good care of yourself now. I know just how much it helps to do so.

saintlyjimjams Sun 09-Nov-14 14:45:18

Jesus what a nightmare. I guess the problem is she falls under CAMHS but they're in such meltdown that wouldn't see her before she turns 18 anyway - & they really don't seem to cope with crises

I am also shocked that they let her discharge herself. I have no idea whether 14 paracetamol can damage someone (I think iirc tolerance is individual). I suppose if she won't cooperate then sectioning is the only option - it might only be appropriate if the 14 tablets is a dangerous amount.

Could you ring NHS direct or whatever it's called now - they should be able to direct you where you need to go & may be able to answer the paracetamol question.

So sorry you've been left to deal with this without help from the professionals.

saintlyjimjams Sun 09-Nov-14 14:50:22

A quick google suggests that 14 is potentially dangerous. Try CAMHS again & tell the on duty person that if they fail to deal with you you will hold them personally responsible for anything that happens to your daughter as a result of this overdose. I find the words personally responsible can work.

If you still get nowhere ring the new NHS direct thingy.

If she has taken 14 she really needs treatment.

ToeTapN Sun 09-Nov-14 14:56:39

Thank you all for replies.

Saintly - I shall call CAMHS back now and say what you suggest. I stupidly didn't get the name of the on call CAMHS person when I rang last time - mostly because s/he wouldn't bloody speak to me!

I don't think GP surgeries have an on call service on a sunday do they? I really should know the answer to that one considering I work in a GP surgery but I'm pretty sure I've never heard of our GPs working on a sunday in any context.

bringbacksideburns Sun 09-Nov-14 14:57:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gamerchick Sun 09-Nov-14 15:04:02

You have all my sympathies and a warning to what's to come. Once she hits 18 you won't be told anything by hospitals or anything else because of patient confidentiality. Have you taken steps to have those rights taken away yet?

I'm heavily involved with a close family member who has emotionally unstable personality disorder.. just another part of the spectrum of bpd. The care stops at the care in the community and if they don't engage they are cut loose and the family just have to cope.

If she's refusing medical treatment then surely as she's still underage you can get her sectioned?

bringbacksideburns Sun 09-Nov-14 15:04:40

Shit - i am so sorry. Comment on wrong thread and having probs with my log in. Will get it removed.

Again my sincere apologies and i wish you all the best xx

ToeTapN Sun 09-Nov-14 15:12:00

It's practically impossible to get a teen sectioned - there are limited beds in my area, 18 beds I last heard for a huge city. They are filled with anorexics, suicidal depressives or kids who are a danger to others. Kids with EDD don't do well in that environment apparently so I have a cat in hells chance of getting her sectioned.

I realise that confidentiality will kick in when she turns 18, I doubt she would be considered to not have capacity that I could have it taken away but thank you for the heads up.

Rang CAMHS on call again, the hospital switchboard won't now even put me through to the department or pass on a message (asked them to tell her that I would hold her personally responsible). I got the Drs name though for what good it might do. I was as calm and measured as possible given the circumstances so I don't think their refusal to put me through was because I was belligerent or rude.

MrsMinton Sun 09-Nov-14 15:12:02

We have a badger out of ours service. If you ring your doctors it might have an answer machine with out of hours numbers on. Ours does.

MrsMinton Sun 09-Nov-14 15:12:39


gamerchick Sun 09-Nov-14 15:18:37

That's what I was told as well.. They don't do well in that environment.. at least they'll be alive imo.

Ring pals up if you keep hitting brick walls I found them pretty good. Don't let them sign you off though when things run more smoothly as the lack of help goes back to what it was.

Good luck.

ToeTapN Sun 09-Nov-14 15:20:40

Not sure that badgers will be much help but thank you for making me smile!

Her boyfriend has just showed up again (not the guy she's in love with, long story) and she's agreed to see him so he will be able to keep a closer eye on her than I can, he might even be able to persuade her to eat if I'm lucky.

I will try OOH. If they tell me to ring the CAMHS on call I will attempt to punch them down the phone line.

saintlyjimjams Sun 09-Nov-14 15:29:14

Oh bloody hell - why are CAMHS so sodding useless. I think rather than on call GP's it's now OOH which is often that NHS direct replacement (depends on your area). It might well be worth trying OOH to run through the 14 tablets scenario again.

Keep buggering on OP - am sending virtual hand holding vibes.

ToeTapN Sun 09-Nov-14 15:42:45

Ah well, I've reached the end of the line I think. OOH said to ring the mental health crisis team and when I told them I already had they said to call 999 if she becomes unresponsive. So there's no help in the meantime, brilliant.

gamerchick Sun 09-Nov-14 15:50:47

If she's telling the truth about how many she's taken she's likely going to be fine. But how do you know if she's telling the truth?

saintlyjimjams Sun 09-Nov-14 15:52:26

That is appalling! I am horrified - they must understand how paracetamol poisoning works - that the treatment is needed before symptoms.

Bloody hell - the health service - and particularly mental health services really are falling apart.

I have no idea what to suggest other than put in a conplaint, contact PALS & your MP but that does nothing to help you with your current crisis.

The only other thing is to talk to your daughter I try & ensure she understands how serious it is, but that sounds very difficult & of course the more you try & persuade her the more she may dig her heels in.

ToeTapN Sun 09-Nov-14 16:35:01

She knows how serious a paracetamol overdose is, we've talked about it at length seeing as how she has overdosed before. Ibuprofen was her tablet of choice before so this is a change of tack on her part, possibly because we keep all tablets locked up these days. One of her friends bought her these ones and she has been full off cold for the last week. During the talks I've had with her about paracetamol overdose I've told her that an old flatmate of mine died of it and exactly what that entailed.

Has she lied about what she's taken? Possibly. She's not given to telling the truth and I've often privately wondered if her refusal to let anyone take bloods was because she hadn't taken as much as she claimed (or any!). Then I feel shit for even thinking that way, better safe than sorry as far as I'm concerned but maybe that's not in the current thinking in the NHS after 7yrs (?) of a tory government.

Anyway, the boyfriend has been and bought her a McDs and she's eating. At least me and dh weren't seen to be caving and I'm glad she's eating. She was beginning to say that she had stomach pains and I'm desperately hoping that it was hunger and not something more frightening.

Thank you for the hand holding and advice, it's been very helpful indeed and is much appreciated.

saintlyjimjams Sun 09-Nov-14 16:52:36

I'm just aghast at how little help you're getting - although with enough personal experience of the health service to not be surprised unfortunately.

I'm glad she's eaten - via the boyfriend

gamerchick Sun 09-Nov-14 17:06:21

Don't feel shit for thinking any thought that goes into your head.

Marina11 Sun 09-Nov-14 17:13:46

pages from the Young Minds website about the transition between CAMHS and adult services. Links to guides for young people and for parents.

If your DD is willing, she could sign an authorisation for her GP to share information with you. You may find that her GP's surgery has a letter which she simply has to sign. One of our DCs did this and it was helpful for a while (though he changed his mind eventually).

Ditto the other services that she may become involved in.

The centre I was thinking about is called LifeWorks and probably not particularly relevant at this stage.

I think the idea of telling certain people (who should know better) that you'd hold them responsible if anything serious were to happen, is a very good one. It sounds as though it's high time that their focus was an awful lot sharper than it is now.

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