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Need some guidance in dealing with kid.

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Old 04-16-2011, 02:22 PM   #1
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Need some guidance in dealing with kid.

I've read the stickies, and they were helpful. One of my kids is in very late teens in first year of college. Kid seemed to be doing very well. Kid has been excited about school, made a lot of friends (brought some of them home) and has been telling us about movies and parties that Kid has gone to. Kid also just went Greek. Last week Kid was excited about hearing that Kid got the room and roommate for the upcoming Fall semester that Kid wanted. Kid has been earning almost straight As. If there were signs of a problem, neither I nor any siblings saw it. Kid is in a special program in college that Kid has desperately wanted. A mental health record will preclude Kid's desired career.

Last night Kid took 2-3 leftover pain pills and handfuls of over-the-counter medications within a half hour. When Kid started feeling nauseaus, Kid called a friend and a sibling who was at school in another state to report that Kid tried to overdose. Kid also texted a friend of the opposite sex that Kid had overdosed (that friend thought it was a joke). The local friend and that friend's parent took Kid to the hospital in the middle of the night. Neither of them called me. Sibling called us, but said not to tell Kid in hospital since sibling didn't want Kid to stop talking to Sibling. We drove to the hospital in the middle of the night (we told Kid that we were on file as emergency contacts and the hospital had called us). Kid was throwing up violently, and given some medications to deal with the stuff that Kid had taken. The doctor told us that Kid claimed that Kid wanted to die when first interviewed. Kid also said that kid "didn't know" why Kid took the medications. Kid admitted to being depressed, didn't know why, and said that Kid just started going to the college's health center for counseling for depression. Kid started medication for depression a week ago. Kid says Kid didn't write a suicide note. I didn't want to push Kid for answers when Kid was being so violently ill in the emergency room, so I just told Kid how much Kid was loved and that we were there for Kid - not to worry.

In lieu of an automatic commitment by the first hospital, Kid was taken by ambulance to a psychiatric hospital. Kid was evaluated by a psychologist and psychiatrist in their locked-down emergency room. The psychiatrist told me that Kid said that Kid lost track of medications, and that it was a "mistake." They sent Kid home with me, and suggested Kid continue counseling on Monday. Frankly, I think that all of the doctors have given Kid and family a chance to get this straightened out to avoid a psychiatric commitment that would ruin Kid's chances at Kid's chosen career.

Kid is now napping, after watching tv, snacking, playing with puppy, and doing some studying. Kid has showered and dressed. Kid is acting absolutely normal, joking a little and complaining that sibling went into Kid's room for something without permission. Kid ate a fairly big meal, and has been fooling around with an internet game. Kid has said Kid is happy to have a "few days" to "hang out" before an exam on Monday.

Meanwhile, I'm walking around in a private panic. Kid just looks at me if I start to talk about what happened. Kid won't talk about that. I don't want to put pressure on Kid, or yell at Kid. I've tried to reassure Kid by letting Kid know how much Kid is loved, I'll always be there for Kid, and want to help in any way possible. I've offered to help with getting doctors, and to be available to talk to Kid's or a family therapist. I've told Kid it's ok to drop out (even though its only 2 weeks before classes end), change majors, take a year or two off...whatever Kid or therapists think would help. I've told Kid that I'll take time off from work if Kid needs me, and not to worry about it. Kid just looks at me. Kid did say Kid wouldn't do it again (for whatever that's worth) "since the whole experience was so awful."

I want to yell. Is this for attention? Is this because of a girlfriend/boyfriend issue? Why didn't Kid talk to me? Is Kid overwhelmed at school? I want to scream TALK TO ME!!!! LET ME HELP!!!

I'm not saying a word about the financial disaster that this episode is, although my co-pays for this are going to be in the thousands. I know that Kid's life is worth anything, and I can try to take a 2nd mortgage. I am a single parent (other parent has a very long-standing degenerative disease and is in a hospital - not able to be told about this situation).

How do I help Kid?

Last edited by Beginning; 04-16-2011 at 02:25 PM.

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Old 04-16-2011, 04:39 PM   #2
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Re: Need some guidance in dealing with kid.

Dear Beginning,

I am so sorry you are having this episode with your child. I am most happy that your child seems to be perfectly fine after the accidental overdose. I have a feeling it will not happen again, as I know the process is awful.

It sounds like the pressure might have gotten to him/her, but I would not advise you let he/she stop school with such a short time left.

I think you have done the right thing by offering anything he/she needs to get through this, but you can only offer. I would keep a very close eye on him, in a loving way. It is obvious you are a very loving mother.

I would keep the communication with others near him open, while you let him try again. He did not hurt himself, he just made a mistake. It sounds as if being home for awhile is good for him, and then back to school. These things do happen to kids.

Do try to have a heart to heart talk, even if he doesn't like it.

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