I am a parent of a teen (female age 14) who is mentally ill. (However, the health professionals have not given her a diagnosis, because she has a number of symptoms going on).
She has a learning disability which was noticed by the 1st grade; I decided to focus on her successful moments while assisting her with her challenges…even though I knew that her learning disability wasn’t just about what she learned in school; soon enough I found that no amount of praise or positive recognition encouraged a positive self image.
She has seen a counselor when first diagnosed with a learning disability for 3 weeks. She saw a counselor again at age 10 for about 6 months. And now she has been seeing a counselor for 6 months which I hope to continue for at least 9 months to a year.
At age 9 she began to focus on dark things, beyond what would be a healthy norm of interest. She would write about killing people and drawing pictures that related to her stories. By age 11 she began to experience auditory and visual stimuli (however she is not schizophrenic). Now she has a desire to harm herself or others most likely a family member. Currently she is taking 3 medications; her mental health is emotionally, mentally and physically exhausting. Unfortunately she was removed from a family members home before the age of 2; her mother and father where involved in activities that put her at risk. She herself believes that she is better off. But it seems that she resents….no loathes me greatly.
She is passive which is a nature that she uses to manipulate or deceive; everyone else does the work except for her. Her counselor described her as needy. She has a very good support system from family, a therapist, activities, her teachers, the school therapist and the personnel that is monitoring her medications. She reaches out but doesn’t seem to know how to use the resources at hand. It seems that she either doesn’t want to get better or know how to get better.
I don’t take the time to invest in the negativity anymore. She says that she wants to connect with me but I don’t ask her if she wants to talk, how it is going etc. etc. Because if I ask her how it is going; the next day she tells her counselor that her life is terrible and she wants to kill herself or a family member. If I don’t’ ask her…she tells the counselor the same thing (she has given the counselor consent to communicate with me). She will go in her room and walk in circle around and around, she smells even when she has bathed (I try and give guidance on that), she cuts herself, has panic attacks, talks to the voice in her head, checks out (blank look on her face) while when someone is trying to communicate with her (she was tested for a seizure disorder).
She says that she doesn’t now why she is unable to get better…and I belive that she doesn’t know. For the longest time she thought that it was a lack of activities (in which I feel would help her with her depression, but was not the key answer); so her activities where increased….
…she has not improved as she had though.
I have become exhausted and have become somewhat selfish in trying to take care of my own needs; she is not the only challenge in my life at this time. So currently my plan is to continue giving her the resources that she needs but right now I am indulging in the other children in my home that will allow me to do so, without the need to go beyond the typical parent/child challenges.
However, I must admit that the brighter side of the situation is that she is receiving treatment at an early age...in hopes that she will be able to manage her illness in her adult hood.
Positive input welcomed….
Can anyone relate?