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Old 03-05-2004, 11:45 AM
Jacks_Tracy Jacks_Tracy is offline
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Default Worried, really worried, about daughter

I am sorry this post is so long, but I am at my wits end and about to give in to depression and despair.

I have a 17 year old daughter. We moved to Michigan from Indianapolis when I entered into my now failed marriage in 2002. She was upset with me about having to leave her friends, but got over it and has made many new friends here in Michigan. She is a good girl - never any real rebellion, an honor roll student, no drugs, no alcohol, etc.

We have a good relationship, overall, and she is very, very close to Jack. When she and her boyfriend decided they were ready to have sex she came to us and asked to go on birth control. We were not happy, but respected her truthfulness and responsible actions in coming to us beforehand. She is now on the pill.

Now the problems. Just after I picked her up from Christmas visitation with family in Indiana I discovered that she had self-mutilated, cutting around her right wrist. We talked and talked to her about it, asking her what was going on and what was bothering her. She refused to say, except that whatever it was is no longer a problem and she was alright. (Of course, I'm assuming she and boyfriend had some falling out).

So, a few weeks later I wake up to hear her calling me at 6 a.m. I go to her room and she is sitting, naked and sobbing, on the side of her bed. She is having a full blown anxiety attack. Her first ever. I call off work, call her off school, and get her to a counselor that day. After several sessions with her the counselor and psychiatrist diagnose her with major depressive disorder. She continues in counseling and has been prescribed prozac, 10 mg per day, though we expect it to be upped to 20 mg this Sat, when she has a medication review with the psychiatrist.

I go to school on Monday nights, working on my masters in counseling. So, that is the time that she and Jack can talk completely freely and they both look forward to it. So, he calls her Monday and all is well, they talk for 40 minutes and laugh and have a really good talk for a step-parent and teenager. I arrive home approximately 1 hour after they finish their conversation. She is in bed already, which is highly unusual. She says she has a headache, but all is well. She gets up late for school the next day (also highly unusual) and goes to the bathroom and I hear her retching as if she is sick. I tell her to lay back down for an hour and I'll take her to school when I go to work. (Of course, I'm freaking, thinking she forgot to take her pills and is pregnant until I remember she is having her period). So I get her up and take her to school, despite her protests. In the car on the way there I notice she has an ace bandage wrapped around her right wrist. I stop the car and ask her what is going on. Finally, she admits that she self-mutilated again, only this time it's worse. She did both wrists and has what looks like a bracelet of scars all the way around them both. I talked to her later that night and she insists nothing is wrong. She said she is fine and there are no problems and that she had talked to Jack all was good. Then about 1/2 hour later she just got upset, about what, she can't recall. She says she got into a crying jag and next thing she knew, she was cutting.

Do you think it's possible that she had an anxiety attack and tried to take the focus off of that pain by cutting? Because she is adamant that nothing is wrong, and even Jack says she showed no signs of anything upsetting her.

I am beside myself with worry. I am depressed and worried that I am missing something or somehow I am to blame for whatever is getting to her. I do not know what to do. We have an appointment tomorrow morning with the psychiatrist, but I thought the prozac would have helped these anxiety attacks. Her father is bi-polar and schizophrenic, so that scares her - she thinks she's going to wind up "crazy" like her dad when he's not on his meds.

I feel so damned helpless.
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Old 03-05-2004, 12:09 PM
Jasonslite Jasonslite is offline
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I have no advice but you are in my thoughts. I can say that you are very strong for trying to deal with this in a resonable way and trying to get through to her. Hopefully when you talk to the psychiatrist, some more light will be shedded. Is the boyfriend around anymore? I would hope that a fall out with her bf is not what is causing her to cut herself, but at that age we all take things so much to heart. I will keep you and your daughter in my thoughts and prayers.
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Old 03-05-2004, 12:32 PM
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Are you sure she's been diagnosed correctly? Or maybe a change in meds is what they'll try. Oftentimes, as I'm sure you know, when this type of behavior continues it's best to hospitalize them til they're stabilized on meds.... That way they can get a truer picture of what's happening and the med change can be done in a controlled environment.... My thoughts are with you and good luck.....

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Old 03-05-2004, 02:04 PM
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I agree with Deb make sure she has been properly diagnosed, other than that I cant think of anything other than my heart goes out to you! I pray for yours and her saftey! Good Luck & Hugs!
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Old 03-05-2004, 02:56 PM
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As a manic depressive myself, I know how scary this illness is. Little things trigger the worst attacks, and sometimes there's just n overwhelming feelinf of being upset, even if it's for no particular reason. This illness is rough. You and your daughter are in my prayers. Make sure she's getting COMPETENT help, any quack can make a diagnosis and write prescriptions, but it's difficult to find good psychiatrists out there. The best of luck to you, please keep us posted, and here's a big ((((hug)))) from Washington, DC.
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Old 03-05-2004, 04:10 PM
Jacks_Tracy Jacks_Tracy is offline
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Thank you so, so very much. All of you. I feel so helpless and, while this whole ride with Jack is rough, nothing prepares you for the desperation that comes when a child is in trouble.

Tracy
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Old 03-05-2004, 05:14 PM
LBoogie0810 LBoogie0810 is offline
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First, I am not sure she has been diagnosed properly. Anxiety isn't usually associated with self-mutiliation. Are you missing something?? Has some other 'trauma' taken place? This is very odd for this to be so sudden. I would get a second opinion and even an inpatient stay. Inpatient therapy is a little more invasive. I work in psych and usually when I hear of self mutilation I am waging the following: borderline personality disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, or psychosis. This is my unsolicted opinion of course. If you need anything, feel free to PM me and we can arrange to talk. Is her relationship with her boyfriend healthy? Just wondering.
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Old 03-05-2004, 10:11 PM
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((((((((((((((( Jacks_Tracy))))))))))))))
I am not an expert, but everything that you have written sounds like your daughter could be suffering bi polar. Does she have times where she is really REALLY happy, and then extremely sad, where she does self mutilate. I know a fair few people with bi polar, and sometimes when they are manic, they act normal, and suffer more the depressive stages of it. Self harm, unfortunetly is one of those. Can you get her re diagnosed in mental health facility?
I really feel for you, as I said, Im not an expert, but she sounds like she really needs help. You stated that she talked to you openly about stuff, so I take it nothing in her life has traumatized her enough so she would feel like that. Anxiety doesnt normally lead to self mutilation, anxiety ( I suffer from it time to time) your breathing changes, your heart beats fast, and you are extremely nervous. I wish we could give you some more advice. I hope that she can get the help she needs, and she is lucky to have you.
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Old 03-05-2004, 11:30 PM
Morrigan68 Morrigan68 is offline
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Tracy -

I remember your post a while back about your daughter right after I had my breakdown and spent a couple days in the hospital.

Get her back to the doctor...NOW!! 20 mg of Prozac isn't enough, let alone 10! What are they thinking??? I was on Prozac for a long time and they had me up to 80 (the highest dose of Prozac one can take), and I wasn't even mutilating. Watch her very closely, but don't hover or make her feel smothered. It will only cause more anxiety. But if you see the Prozac not working, run, do not walk, to the doctor, hospital, whatever you need to do to get her the help she needs.

When I had my breakdown, I refused to ask for help. It took a very dear friend to make the call to my doctor for me, and off to the hospital I went. She's in no frame of mind to want help, let alone ask for it. In her world right now, it's dark, and she can't see a way out, so she's trying to deal with it in her own way, which obviously is not the right way.

Take it from someone who has been there, and also has major depressive disorder. Get her help, whether she wants it or not. PM me if you need to talk more.

Kelly
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Old 03-06-2004, 05:07 AM
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I worked with a girl who is a cutter. And I know her mother the daughter suffers from bi-polar. There are alot of books out there to help you understand what she is going though with her. I know that it was alot of work for both of them and I don't think she is cutting anyone. You have to make sure that she is helped in with the right problem and not just put on meds. I think that the girls pretty much said it befor RUN to the doctor and demand that they test her for all of the mental illness that they can.......
You say that her father suffers from mental illness also then you should have her checked for those. Becasue Louis and his daughter both suffer from bi-polar.
All of my prays and HUGS sent your way. I had to medicate my 9 year old over a year ago and it took everything I had not to lose it She is on Paxil 20mg. She is emontionaly impaired. It took an outsider to show me that something was not right with her and I thank god that Louis had the since to tell me because we were just getting to together when it happened.
sorry this is so long, I just hope that you find the right meds for her!!!!!!!

<<<<<<<HUGS>>>>>>>
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Old 03-06-2004, 02:26 PM
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I have no advice. However, I will pray for you and your family.
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Old 03-06-2004, 04:38 PM
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Tracy,

I'm sorry I didn't see this before... I have worked with SIB (self-injury behavior) patients a LOT. I really don't think depression is the right diagnoses... but then I'm not a DOCTOR. There are other factors in here and cutters aren't just depressed.

You may want to discuss this with the doctor again and if you don't get the right answers, ask for a second opinion.

Good luck with her.. its not easy dealing with a child like this.. my youngest daughter scratched "I want to die" in her arm after my ex (the prison realationship from hell) hurt us both so badly. Luckily we were able to work it thru and she's much better now!

mrs
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Old 03-06-2004, 09:10 PM
Jacks_Tracy Jacks_Tracy is offline
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We went to see the psychiatrist today. He seems to think that the increase to 20 mg of prozac should be tried before anything else. (he started her on 5, upped her to 10 and now we're where he was aiming for - 20). He told me that if there is any increase or repeat in the behavior to contact his office immediately and they will send her to a specialist in the area of self-mutilation. He asked her how she liked the therapist she has been working with and she said she likes him fine. Then he had her give him some alternatives to the cutting when she is feeling the need - she came up with getting on the computer, calling a friend, turning up the stereo, and her art. Even said she'd try meditation.

I didn't think that anxiety attacks usually cause one to want to cut either, however, when I witnessed her going through one, she was so desperate to make it stop that I think she would've done anything to redirect. There's no known trauma - school grades good, plenty of friends, no drugs, no alcohol, no witnessing of or experiencing abuse.

Her relationship with the boyfriend is a little tense right now. I caught him in her room, hiding under her bed in the middle of the night, a few weeks ago - he had left and they had snuck him back in. I kicked him out and then calmed down and now they are on 3 weeks of minimal contact (I'm not stupid enough to think that they aren't chatting via IM or cell phone) and then on the fourth week I'll let him come around again, heavily monitored. I explained to her, very calmly, that I wasn't naive - I know she got on birth control for a reason, but rather it was the lying and sneaking that upset us. Plus, I'm not crazy about carrying on in our home. She understood and we had a civil conversation. I don't think that's it. She told Jack that she thought that it was a fair punishment.

I'm sorta stuck with the therapist she's got - what with managed care. So I'm going to keep a very close eye on her and at the first sign of trouble, call and get her in. If she doesn't seem to be making much progress with the therapist, I can ask the psychiatrist to move her to someone else, but as far as I can tell she likes this guy. Although I fully realize that doesn't mean that he's addressing her needs.

I want you all to know how very much I appreciate your support. This is a very, very scary time for me.
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Old 03-06-2004, 09:11 PM
Jacks_Tracy Jacks_Tracy is offline
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PS: They're sticking with prozac for now because it's the only one FDA approved for people under 18 years of age.
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Old 03-08-2004, 09:10 AM
Morrigan68 Morrigan68 is offline
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Tracy -

Whoever told you that about Prozac being the only drug approved for people under 18 flat out lied - my son is 16 and has been on Zoloft for about a year. I know some people have heard horror stories about Zoloft, but that drug has made my son a different person, in the best sense. No more fits of anger, no more smashed walls, etc.

I can only tell you what I would do (and have done) in this situation. If you don't think that your daughter is getting the care she needs, keep taking her to new ones until you see an improvement. I can't count how many doctors and therapists I took my son to and how many thousands of dollars in co-pays and testing before I finally said I want him on medication...NOW. His doctor did, and it worked good. Then I saw a backslide, took him back, and said raise the dose.

You have to remember, you are paying them to help you. If you're not satisfied, demand results, or find someone else. This is your daughter's life they're playing with. I'm not a doctor, but 20 mg of Prozac for someone that sounds as depressed as your daughter is a joke. I know because I've been there. I have major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and my son is major depressive, with ADD.

Also as a side note - she may say to anyone who will listen that she's fine with her therapist and likes him, etc. My son did the same thing - for years would blow sunshine up everyone's a**, his therapist included. Don't just take her word for it. If you're not seeing her improve, something's wrong.

PM me if you need anything....please

Kelly
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Old 03-09-2004, 08:31 AM
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ok i think u should get her to the doctor immediatly also my grandmother is biopolar and taking care of her i know that 10mg is defiantly not enough i know that with ya busy schedule it is probally hard to do but go to the book store by the book called prescripiton pills look throughthem read them study them and then ask the doctor ?'s about them there defiantly other pills out there that could help this pill may not be helping or she just might need to be on some others with this pill ask him about depocoate it is a antidepressant or maybe zoloft or wellbutrin these are just some suggestions to you the pill book would be very helpful i think i pray for you
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Old 03-09-2004, 09:16 PM
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I agree with the rest, I don't know if she's being properly diagnosed, maybe you should check and find out, because if they prescribed prozac for her and she in fact, doesn't need it, she could have side-affects, OR maybe she is having problems that you don't know about, maybe with her boyfriend, or with friends, or with school, it could be anything. Even if she doesn't show any signs of having problems of any sorts, she could, sometimes teenagers are good at keeping those a secret, maybe she got one bad grade, or something, maybe it something small or big, I know you're doing everything you can to find out what's wrong with her, maybe you should start asking her how school is going, just in case. I'm only 19 years old, and whatever problems I have, I don't consult with my parents, I don't let them know it, the only ones who'll know are my friends, maybe you should ask her friends, or something. If you ever need anything you can always PM me, or e-mail me, I believe my e-mail address is in my profile, I hope all goes well and good luck with everything.

-Crystal-
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