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AIBU to be pissed off that my dd has to suffer emotionally after her friend committed suicide cos I can't afford private therapy?

139 replies

borninastorm · 20/04/2013 23:45

Last year my dd's friend took her own life. My dd was just 13 at the time and her friend 14.

Because they weren't at the same school dd's school didn't offer a counselling response. They did provide her with a counsellor but unfortunately this woman isn't trained in dealing with bereavement by suicide which I have since learned is a very specific type of counselling and it's even more specialised when it's for a teenager.

So, since then I've tried Winstons Wish - they only provide help for children directly related to the person who has died; Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide who don't provide counselling help and Cruse who have nothing and nobody in our area that could fulfil my poor dd's very specific therapy needs. ANd there's a waiting time of 6 months+ for counselling via our GP and no guarantee that she'll get the specialist help she needs.

I've looked into private therapy but it's too expensive for me right now. So the only thing I've been able to provide my dd with is some highly recommended books and a listening ear, but she needs so much more than that.

AIBU to be pissed that my teenager has to emotionally suffer because I can't afford to pay for private therapy for her?

And does anybody have any advice on how best to help her and/or get her the help she needs?

OP posts:
GetWhatYouNeed · 21/04/2013 16:29

My husband killed himself 18 years ago, and I think one of the things that makes grief related to suicide different is the guilt that if you had known that the person was going to kill themselves you could have done something to stop it. I know many of my husband's friends felt that way. Your daughter may be feeling that she could have stopped her friend, but I think you need to explain to her that if someone wants to kill themselves there is nothing anyone can do to prevent it.

Obviously I do not know whether your DD has experienced bereavement before, but you should reassure her that it is a frightening and overwhelming experience and the strong feelings can come and go and last much longer than you may expect.

Also I think it's very important to explain to her that suicide is not the answer to a problem, however dreadful life seems it is never so bad that things can't can't be sorted out. I think your daughter probably needs time and your love and support, rather than counselling, and it sounds that's just what you're giving her. It must be hard for you seeing her go through this when it feels that it is something a young person shouldn't have to deal with, but you are doing the right thing by simply being loving and supportive.

crashdoll · 21/04/2013 16:33

I'd go further and say that, in many cases, the recipients of counselling are just attention seekers who are projecting pre-existing anxiety onto the particular event in question.

Anxiety can be a mental illness. You are ignorant as fuck.

cory · 21/04/2013 16:41

The truth is that you cannot know from the size of an event how any one individual will be affected- you have to be there and see how they are actually doing.

Somebody I knew was tipped into 3 years of depression, self-harming and suicidal behaviour when one of her housemates committed suicide. Somebody else in that situation might have just grieved normally and got over it. The fact remains that she didn't.

It's like someone can fall off a roof and be uninjured and somebody else might land badly and break their neck. It doesn't mean that the person who was uninjured needs to wear their neck in a brace. But it doesn't mean the person who broke their neck was an attention seeker either.

Of course, their health before the incident might be a pointer: if my friend with ostheoporosis and I fell down the same stairs, chances are that she would break more than I would. If somebody with a tendency to depression has to deal with a horrible event, it is quite likely that they will suffer worse than somebody without this predisposition. But it is not a given. Sometimes people with MH issues cope surprisingly well. And sometimes those with no previous issues just land badly.

UrbaneLandlord · 21/04/2013 16:41

ilovesooty: That's a bit like citing the testimony of church-goers as objective evidence for the existence of God.

Trazzletoes · 21/04/2013 16:41

I wish UrbaneLandlord would walk a mile or 2 in my shoes and have to make the decisions I am facing. God knows I could do with a break from it all.

And yes, I am delighted that my 3 year old son is going to die because it means that I get to be the centre of attention!

Seriously. Could you honestly believe that?

And, with the greatest respect, you hit someone with your car - something that some people may need counselling for but by no means everybody. Just because you can deal with that doesn't mean that anyone who has the courage to stand up and admit that they are struggling and could use someone to talk to is just doing it for the drama.

MrsMacFarlane · 21/04/2013 16:46

I'm so sorry for your daughter, her late friend and everyone touched by this horrible event. I think you may be expecting too much from counselling though and are probably doing a very good job yourself, supporting and listening to her. People seem to think counselling is a cure all panacea that replaces time and hard work coming to terms with a tragedy.

cory · 21/04/2013 16:47

UrbaneLandlord Sun 21-Apr-13 16:41:52
"ilovesooty: That's a bit like citing the testimony of church-goers as objective evidence for the existence of God."

If you live with somebody with anxiety issues you get the opportunity to test the efficacy of their treatment by more objective criteria: the number of cuts on their arms, how often they vomit up their meals, the frequency of their suicide attempts, whether they sleep at night, whether they get out of bed in the morning, whether they are losing weight.

I don't wish that on you or anybody else, but I'd call these fairly measurable criteria. I have learned a lot about them in the last 8 or 9 years. Sad

ilovesooty · 21/04/2013 16:47

ilovesooty: That's a bit like citing the testimony of church-goers as objective evidence for the existence of God

No it isn't. look at MinnieBar's response too.

MrsMacFarlane · 21/04/2013 16:47

Me again. I'd like to add that there are some VERY good counsellors out there, who do a fantastic job.

FreudiansSlipper · 21/04/2013 16:47

I am training in bereavement counselling at the moment and our service deals with all areas of bereavement

I too agree that seeing a counsellor that works with young people would be better as bereavement counselling tends to be quite directive

And counselling provides something that a loving family and wonderful friends can't and that is being congruent, non judgemental, allowing the person to say what they want with out making a judgement but it is not for everyone

ilovesooty · 21/04/2013 16:49

People seem to think counselling is a cure all panacea that replaces time and hard work coming to terms with a tragedy

I don't think anyone on here has suggested that.

yaimee · 21/04/2013 16:50

I had a close friend who took his own life when I was 13. It was an awful time but I got through it with the love, help, support and guidence of my family and friends.
I don't think that a professional could have provided this kind of help for me and i certainly don't think it would have worked as well.
It's up to you to decode the best way to support your daughter and if you think that she would benefit from counselling, then contact as many of the agencies suggested above as you can in order to get it for her but please remember that you have the tools to help her heal too!

TeWiSavesTheDay · 21/04/2013 16:52

I would hang on the waiting list for a counsellor - someone impartial can be really important, and just do what you can in the meantime. I waited 6mths for my NHS therapy and it was worth every minute. It was good to know it was coming and I sort of cemented the things I wanted to talk about while I waited.

It would be really great if some posters could remember that the OP is going through a difficult time and doesn't need her thread to turn into a row. Start a new thread and take it over there.

MrsMacFarlane · 21/04/2013 16:53

I don't think anyone on here has suggested that.

Hi, that came out wrong. I wasn't suggesting people on this thread thought that, I'm talking about some people I've met in every day life who don't work hard to solve their own mental health issues but think that a counsellor will somehow solve it all for them. I have two acquaintances who really do this.

I mean no disrespect to grief counsellors, some do a terrific job.

Theas18 · 21/04/2013 17:01

Agree counselling IS hit and miss and grief hurts, and does so for a long time.

" pushing for faster CAMHs won't Work locally, if the need is counselling you get a letter listing the voluntary agencies that can help and that's it (who knew, for example that relate will work with kids? I didnt) ?

These people are good for some kids

Trazzletoes · 21/04/2013 17:01

Apologies OP. I very much hope your DD gets the help she is looking for.

It must be an incredibly difficult time for her.

ilovesooty · 21/04/2013 17:02

MrsMacFarlane I thought that when I saw your subsequent post. Smile

FreudiansSlipper - most of our counsellors are person centred trained and don't tend to be directive.

I hope the OP gets a suitable outcome on this. If she would like to PM me her whereabouts I'd be happy to explore any low/no cost counselling in her area through my networks.

expatinscotland · 21/04/2013 17:02

My children went through an ed psych and referred to CAMHS for bereavement counselling. We are still waiting. Their sister died almost 10 months ago Sad.

It's underfunded.

FreudiansSlipper · 21/04/2013 17:07

Really sooty

I am integrative trained, I find it a little too directive and have found other bereavement training courses to be too, though others on my course do not think so. though it has a very good reputation and is an area I want experience in

scottishmummy · 21/04/2013 17:09

Sorry about your lassie,that's really so sad.10 months is nothing I Expect it's still raw
No significant advice other than day by day,minute by minute
Pain never goes,just a bit like a volume control sometime max,other times dull humm

sunlightonthegrass · 21/04/2013 17:09

I do think some people see counselling as a cure-all panacea, as someone has already said. It can be hugely effective but other times it isn't effective at all or can even be harmful. It didn't harm me, but nor did it change anything.

What really IS wrong is that sometimes people are told that in some way it is their fault - that "you have to engage" or some similar stupid statement when sometimes, counselling just isn't the right thing for that person or for that problem.

expatinscotland · 21/04/2013 17:09

What ignorant posts on here!

'People seem to think counselling is a cure all panacea that replaces time and hard work coming to terms with a tragedy.'

We will never 'come to terms' with the tragedy of our child's death after terrible suffering. Counselling is about helping her siblings express how they feel without worrying about upsetting us, developing strategies about how to live on with no guilt on their part, not about thinking there is an way to ever come to terms with their sister's death, which is and always will be shit.

scottishmummy · 21/04/2013 17:11

I agreeing significant trauma,grief, people don't come to terms,they accommodate

sunlightonthegrass · 21/04/2013 17:17

expat, just to reiterate, I do think counselling can be helpful, and I also am so sorry for your loss.

What I don't like is the insistence that counselling always works, is always helpful and, well, if it doesn't - it's YOUR fault.

I just think sometimes it is either unnecessary or unhelpful. Obviously, your case is not one of these :)

MrsDeVere · 21/04/2013 17:22

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