DBT, addiction, school?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by exhausted, May 14, 2011.

  1. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    As most of you know, my daughter is in the residential DBT program. She had several months of the DBT day treatment before that-ran off to have sex 3 times and ended up in residential so she could be safe.Part of the PTSD and the borderline traits is her propencity to go sexually act out.(apparently common with these girls) Always older males. For awhile it was a gang involved 23 year old that supposedly loved her. He's in jail and judge ordered a no contact order.

    When she calls/ or we see her she is so cheerful and hopeful. I think the Celexa she is on is now at therapeutic level, but I also think she feels safe from herself. She keeps telling us she is going to be out pretty fast as she is doing well. She says she now wants to get better. (still hard to believe) Staff says she is doing well. She is treatment savy. I worry as she played the game to get out of her last residential treatment, only to run every weekend (left school and wouldn't come home until Sunday night).

    While I know this sexual acting out is a compulsion-at what point is it an addiction? She'll do anything to make contact with males. While she has messed with marijuana and some alcohol, it has not become a compulsion or addiction (yet), but this sex thing??? I can't figure out if the DBT will help, or if she will need 12 step again? I know the strategies are great in DBT, but the trick will be overriding her strong compulsions long enough to use them before she relaspes.

    She tells us we have to learn to trust her-I don't know... think it's not going to happen for a lot of years. She even wants us to put her back in the local high school where she had so many problems with rumors, and we had a heck of a time getting any support for her.

    She has 2 years of school left, she has not been successful in a public school since the PTSD reared its head in 7th grade. The alternative school is infested with gang kids-she was a wanna be for awhile (only place she felt acceptance). Can't home school, online school would be nice except, she uses the computer as a way to meet older people. Don't know how much we can block the computer and her still have access to what she would need for school?

    My school is the best choice in the district-charter 6-12 school with a small population. Our teachers do well with the underserved i.e. gifted, sp. ed. etc. She has been identified as gifted. The only problem is when she was here in 8th grade, she began to get into trouble at school (never had issues with that before), I was truelly embarrassed and wondered if it was my presence that gave her permission. This is when she ended up in 1st residential treatment. Most of the other troubled kids have gone from her grade level, so the crowd would be better but....
    I'm just at the "I have no answers stage" have to start planning as it wont be too long from now she wil be home. Any ideas or advise are greatfully accepted.
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    So many things you mentioned are the same with my difficult child. She also has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) traits and sexual acting out is a huge problem. When she was in residential she must have had sex with every guy in there, she was known as the resident sl*t. She is now in a sober house and she seems happy and relaxed. I too believe she feels safe from herself, because she has mentioned several times that she finally feels safe and she was certainly safe in our home but not from herself. While she has been in there I have taken it upon myself to delete all of her on line dating accounts. She also tells us we have to learn how to trust her and my response is that it will take a long time before that will happen.

    Be careful believing the I'll be out soon and I want to get better now talk. We have heard that before too and what she really meant was that she wanted to come back home and continue doing what she wanted but in a more secretive way.

    I'm sorry I have no advice about school. I am just glad ours is out of school as that has always been a problem.

  3. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member


    I was wondering as well how the treatment would address her concerns - sex is a solution , what are her concerns or unment needs ? maybe to be feel accepted, loved, physical needs etc our concerns - dangerous both physically and emotionally etc

    lacking skills - impulsiveness , not be able to see the consequences of her actions

    we need to find a solution that avoids the problem

    a solution - one boyfriend , protection from pregnancy and disease - problem of impulse control , be in a single sex environment , maybe a convent

    my kids went to single sex schools , dating only for marriage

    maybe if other areas of life - academics , has good relationships with girls , positive peers , older sister , mentor etc there will be less of a need for the negative behavior

    Not easy

  4. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    She was sexually abused. She acts out to gain control and yes because she wants acceptance. She does not accept herself. She is always super sensitive about her body. She has weight issues but has been stubborn about managing these. Part of it is thyroid and health concerns, some genetic, some protection. However she is beautiful- exstremely pretty and very bright. She once duct taped her middle to look thinner-left aweful marks-this was the last straw before we placed her in 1st residential placement.

    No, no impulse control at all (thus an old diagnosis of ADHD-which is not the case by the way).
    Convent-really??? We are not Catholic and that environment isnt safe from what I've heard. Just another avoidance of the problem as really these residential placements have been. However, when it's your only choice to keep your child alive you do it.

    Girls' school would be great, there isn't one in our big city-unbelievable as it is. Where she is now is all female-thus the success, however as soon as she is out, the temptation will hit her in the face.

    One boyfriend would be great-she's been in residential care for so long because there was no other way to keep her safe. No chance to really form a relationship, she doesn't have healthy friends on the outside either. And you are so correct, if she had these, she would be better off.

    Birth control since 14. STD's only a condom and functioning brain, which has developed some impulse control and self-regulation will stop this. Ideas for helping with this?

    DBT does teach self regulation and emotional regulation- she knows these skill academically, but will she apply them when faced with a temptation? No way to know until she's out. Don't have trust for that given her track record.

    collaborative problem solving-really want to use it with her-it however requires some efficacy on her part. We've done it and she does not follow through. I've even emailed Ross Greene, no response from him.
    Really wish we could afford to send her to an all girls school out of the state, I do think that would help. An older positive mentor would also be great-not sure where to find one. Maybe NAMI has someone they can recommend who has similar issues and has risen above them? Good idea, think I'll explore the mentor thing.

    Nancy- I'm so glad your girl is trying now. Maybe she is mature enough to get through some of this. My difficult child seems to go for older males (or maybe they are the ones that will have interest in her), otherwise I bet she'd have the same nickname from 1st residential. You are right, we can't buy into her wanting to get out and go back to where she was. She will just get what she wants in a sneakier way. OMG, she feels horrible when she does what she does, why can't she remember that when the temptation comes her way and resist? Two minutes of satisfaction, and a life time of guilt and shame?? come on! Sigh.

    I just can't go to the hopeless place, it is not productive. I sure am tempted after last nights visit! Thanks for replies.
  5. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member