HELP - Suicidal difficult child out of p-hospital!!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by tryagain, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    We are in shock and disbelief - difficult child who took overdose Tuesday night and went into a private psychiatric hospital Thursday night has been dismissed because of an ear abscess. Yes, you read that right. She had been uncooperative since getting to the p-hospital and refusing to go to group sessions. She called us making up lies to try and get us to check her out. She campaigned to "move back home" which is not a sound idea.

    WELL. Last night she complained to them of an outer ear redness and soreness. So she was taken to the same E.R. that attended to her Tuesday night during the suicide attempt. The p-hospital has dismissed her and she is in a room on IV antibiotics at the regular hospital. So! She's free! Being over 18, she does not have to go back!

    We are sickened. husband drove 5 hours to help her and get her settled in the p-hospital. She was there for barely 24 hours. Yes, there is an infection and yes, it needs treatment, but we thought they'd send her back over to the p-hospital, but no! If you want to spring yourself from a p-hospital, then have a bodily ailment and out you go.

    I feel that we, her boyfriend (who feared for his life Tuesday), and all of her relatives should unite and refuse to allow her back to stay with any of us until she gets the help she needs. boyfriend has her car right now (which is technically still OUR car - title under our name still) and I think that he should not go pick her up when she's released from the regular hospital unless she agrees to get help. We need for her to, for the 2nd time in 36 hours, sign a voluntary admission, but I foresee an ugly situation looming. HELP. Anyone have any advice on how we can manipulate HER for a change and for her own safety?​
  2. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I cannot tell where you are from, tryagain. Because you used the term "dismissed", I am thinking somewhere where the services may be different than they are, here. If you are here in America, I would suggest that you google "United Way." There you will find a number local to your area. You may explain the problem anonymously. The person taking your call will be familiar with resources in your area, and can supply phone numbers.

    My other suggestion would be to search your phone directory for a crisis hotline number. There again, you would be connected with someone experienced in such matters who could offer support for you and references you might call for further information.

    I'm so sorry this is happening, tryagain.

  3. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Cedar, thank you. We do live in the USA and I've exhaustively researched the regulations for both the state she's in and the state we live in. So that part I do understand. What I need are suggestions for how we can bring her around to agreement to voluntarily return to the psychiatric hospital (other then saying that she may not come to any of our homes until she gets treatment, and/or threatening to take the car). Thanks~
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. Welcome to more of the difficult child saga.

    I think it would be a great idea if everyone tells her she can't stay with them. In fact, I don't think you should let her come home at all. She is of age and refusing to comply with her treatment and probably horrible to live with. How would it help her to let her come home? If her boyfriend is willing to join in, terrific. There IS a problem.

    You can't make her go back and they may not even take her back, since she is no longer actively suicidal. Plus she is not following their rules, which does not make the people trying to help her very warm and fuzzy toward her. Even if she goes back, if she refuses treatment, she isn't going to get help. She clearly does not want to get better so she won't.

    You are trying to control her. You can control YOURSELVES. You can and should set boundaries, like making her find somewhere else to live, cutting off the money supply, making her live her own life, no matter where that takes her, if she won't get help. And then she decides whether or not she is going to let herself be manipulated. The things about our difficult children is that, although they love to control us, they often will literally do anything NOT to do what WE want, including acting dangerous, being abusive, even sleeping under a bridge. Many a difficult child has slept under a bridge because homeless s helters don't allow you to be intoxicated while there. They choose the bridge.

    Nobody, not even you with your kind, loving mommy heart, can make your daughter improve. There is only one person in the world who can make her do that and that is herself. She has to want to get better and accept treatment and become compliant and it also takes hard work. It's not easy to recover from a mental illness or drug abuse or both. The person has to be very eager to get better and then to do it on her own.

    Hospitals have become only a place to go for medical stability. Your daughter is not in medical danger and isn't following their program. She is not currently threatening to kill herself. They can't make her stay and probably are happy to see her go, since she isn't being cooperative. I've been in psychiatric hospitals three times (twice for medication adjustments but once for depression). The people who refuse treatment disrupt the routine and are difficult for the staff. Some cause verbal or physical fights. They aren't going to beg these people to stay. Many have no insurance...yep, that matters.

    I suggest you try to find some peace and serenity in your life today. Just because your daughter is struggling, that does not mean you can't have some good moments today with your other loved ones. Take a deep breath. Think about the boundaries you want to set. Think about what YOU want to do about your grown daughter. YOU matter as much as she does, although the first time somebody told that to me, I think I was actually indignant that anyone would tell me I mattered as much as my child. So, if I were you (which I'm not and I realize this), I would not let her come home, cut off the money machine, and take a hard stance. Until she is serious about getting help, she won't. We can't make them get help, but we don't have to enable them to remain sick by treating them with kid gloves and doing anything they want us to because they are mentally ill. Honestly, in my opinion, the best thing we can do for them is to make them stand on their own two feet and decide what they want to do with their illness.You, the boyfriend and even the hospital can not make her do the hard work it takes to get better. If she isnt' going to work hard, what can they do? What can you do with a person who has had knee surgery but refuses to do the physical therapy to be able to be comfortable again? It is the same thing.

    It's early and maybe I didn't write very coherently. But I want you to know that my heart is with you and I feel your hurting mommy heart. You are not alone.
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  5. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Oh no. I just finished another post about how you could relax because she is in good hands! Strike that...(weak attempt at humor).

    I agree with MWM. YOu can't control her, just like the professionals can't control her. You can control your reactions. Don't let her come home. Encourage boyfriend to not let her come back or help with car. Tell her you love her, and that you hope she makes good choices but that coming home is not an option for her.

    Don't let her choices make your life a misery. Not even as an 18 year old. An 18 year old bipolar not taking medications is a big problem..I know, because I used to have one, and he has turned into a 20 year old street person not taking medications. I did every single thing I could to try to change the trajectory of that, both things I "forced" upon him (wilderness treatment center, therapeutic boarding school) and things he asked for or I reacted to (bringing him home after psychiatric hospitalizations or short stints in jail.). The bottom line is...if he doesn't take his medications he makes terrible choices that keep him sliding downhill. If he does take his medications he sees his lot a little too he takes drugs to ease that, then the medications don't function, and we are off and running again.

    There was nothing I could do with my 18 year old to stop it.

    The only thing that helped was when I realized that and stopped trying to control him.

    I'm better now. My family is better now. Even he seems a little better in our (admittedly infrequent) interactions...meaning he makes no demands of me.

    I'm sorry you are here. I remember well how terrifying those days were, before I too became numb, and then passed back out of that numbness.

    Stay the course. Keep posting. You can't persuade her to go to the psychiatric hospital..she isn't deaf, she's heard what has been said. But try not to let her come home either.

    Hugs to you on this awful day.

  6. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    Me, too, Try! I just wrote on the other thread and then saw this one. I am so sorry, Try. We think we have things settled for a minute or two, take a deep breath and then another bomb drops. The constant up and down is so debilitating and exhausting.

    I agree with MWM, you must focus on your own wishes and desires here and now.
    What do YOU want for your home and household?
    Ask others to participate. If they won't, you can't control that.
    Decide what you and husband will do, talk to the others and suggest, and then let it all go.
    Tell your difficult child what you will and won't do.
    Tell her it's up to her and here is what you see.
    Then, try to back off, give it some time (I know, time isn't your friend right now) and see what SHE will do.

    She is 20 years old. She is an adult. As long as you keep on managing everything, she never will. Even in a crisis. It's so hard to stop in the middle of a crisis, but a crisis is a turning point. It's a chance for her to do something different, if you can give her some time and space to do that.

    We are here for you no matter what you do. You can only do what you can do and what you can live with today.

    Prayers and hugs and good thoughts going toward you and your whole family, Try.
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  7. Try, I am sorry you are going through this. Everyone has given you such good advice and i wish i could add more but i feel so inadequate at the moment because i am going through a crises of my own. Just hang in there fellow member and know that there are lots of good people here to support whatever decision you make. (hugs).
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    HaveEnough, we are here if you ever want to share.
  9. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    So sorry you are going through this. The whole desperately crying out for help and then kicking it away cycle sounds achingly familiar to me, unfortunately. In the past we have tried to make sure difficult child had no one else to give him a place to land so he would be forced to get help. It worked as far as getting him into the facility but he just saw it as a roof and a meal. I don't understand it, but I know we can't *make* them see what is so obvious to everyone but them.
  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh tryagain, I am so very sorry. This is monumentally frustrating, I know that feeling all too well. It's such a jolt to our systems to feel safe for that moment in time and then suddenly and often violently, the rug is once again pulled out from under you.

    I completely agree with MWM and the others. If there was ever a time to impact her with boundaries, this is it. If you all, including the boyfriend, set stringent boundaries, do not allow her to come home anywhere, do not allow her to have a car, to not supply her with any money or any resources, keep those boundaries tightly woven around ALL of you, she will either recognize the folly of her resistance or she will need to find a shelter or someplace to figure it out on her own. Like in an intervention, perhaps you can all tell her how you feel, or write her how you feel.......... that you will no longer tolerate this behavior and she seeks help or the fortress you all create around yourselves will remain intact.

    Sometimes in the darkest moments, when we have tried everything else, a situation like this arises and even though it can feel so terrible, it may in fact be that opportunity you have all wished for to make it clear to her that you all have reached the point of no return, this is where the era of her control over your lives ends. Her choices will no longer have the power they once had, you are all done.

    There is nothing else you can do but tell her what your boundaries are, what you are willing to do and not willing to do and then to let go. Not an easy task I understand. If you don't take a stand at some point, all of your lives will be ruled by the whims of a bi-polar person who refuses the medications she requires............and let's face it, that's a nightmare. There is a high percentage of bi-polar folks who refuse to take medication, if she remains one of them, I think the only choice left to you is to detach from her behavior in the best way you can. Often that requires the help of professionals since it is such a challenging journey for us parents.

    Put the focus on yourself now and take some deep breaths and know that all of us here are here for you whenever you need us. You aren't alone. Sending you prayers for your family and gentle and caring hope for you is that you find peace............
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  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Well, you can't make your relatives agree to not take her in, which would be the right thing to do, but you can make sure that everyone knows she's not coming to your house and should make arrangements to go back to Residential Treatment Center (RTC).

    The only way I could see getting no one to take her in would be to do an intervention at the hospital with a representative from every home in attendance, and as great as that sounds, it seems like a logistical nightmare to me.
  12. BackintheSaddle

    BackintheSaddle Active Member

    I'm so sorry you're dealing with this...I've seen interventions happen where there's a mediator and those who can't be present, write letters...the point is that she gets the message that she has no where else to go, people who love her are worried about her well-being, and her best and only option (other than living on the streets) is to agree to get help...was there a p-doctor or therapist at the p-hospital that was involved enough in her brief visit that they could help facilitate it? while I do agree you need to focus on yourself for the long term, I understand why you'd also want to seize this opportunity to try and get her to accept the help she needs...many mentally ill people simply have the inability to see that there's anything wrong with them...if she won't accept it, you have no control over her choice but you'll have the serenity to know that you tried to change things that you could by intervening while she's already somewhat 'contained' in a safe place...I do agree with MWM and others that detachment and such are life-saving for us parents but she sounds like she's in a critical position and seems to me that supporting her to get help is not enabling...that's support and compassion for someone very sick...
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I really don't think the hospital will try to talk her into coming back, although it could have changed since I've been in one...haha, I'm the resident crazy person who has actually been in psychiatric hospitals. But, truly, they only want you there these days if you are CURRENTLY a threat to yoruself. Big deal if you overdosed last week. I don't think the hospitals will waste a moment trying to get her to come back, especially since she was non-complaint. When I was in the psychiatric hospital, you could get thrown into seclusion for acting out and/or refusing treatment. We could hear the people screaming in the seclusion room.It didn't matter if you were depression or had paranoid schizophrenia. There were rules of behavior even in the psychiatric hospital and if you didn't comply, you were put into a small room with nothing but a mattress and you were locked in until you calmed down and could be civil to the doctor who had the say-so as to when it was ok for you to come out.

    BITS, I do not think an intervention will work. Again, this is my own personal opinion. Daughter is in no way interested in getting better. She had the chance. Sometimes I think the more we push, the more they resist. Trying to control them because of our concern for them doesn't work. How many of us have had success hammering our kids to get better?

    Although I do not think it is enabling our kids to try to talk them into getting help, I don't think it does any good and it can turn into a big "it's all YOUR fault" session by difficult child. It all comes down to one thing: The person who is ill has to want to get better. Period. If they don't, they don't. And because of the "civil rights" of the mentally ill, whether or not they think they are impaired or not, they can't be forced to get help unless they are currently suicidal (and they have to admit it or show it AT THE MOMENT) or waving a gun around and threatening other people. I do think our kids know there are things wrong with them, but are resistant to getting help for reasons of their own. Sometimes it is drug addiction, which is a compound problem when one is also mentally ill. Some have personality disorders, which make them not WANT to change, even though it doesn't work for them and works even less well for others.

    All in all, having suffered from plenty of mental illnesses myself, I can honestly say that the only reason I got so much better was because I was always medication compliant, I checked in with my doctors and therapists regularly, I did a ton of self-help (including self-help groups and tons of reading), and I had a monster desire to live a happy, normal life. I had many struggles early on, but I never quit trying and I had no parents to pat me on the back and make me feel better as they didn't care. I often think that this was to my advantage. I had nobody to fall back on, so I had to do it myself. And I've done really well, all things considered. Another thing I knew was that alcohol and recreational drugs would make me worse so I didn't use them. An enormous part of maintaining stability when you have mental health issues is the desire to do so and the willingness to live a healthy lifestyle in every way. It is not easy, and that's why so many don't do it. It's easier to stay sick and get pity, if you can. That's why it's so bad for us, as parents, to show too much sympathy. THAT can enable and discourage the hard work it takes for them to improve. The strong desire to live normally MUST be there, not a liking for the "misfit" society. You have to want a regular life.

    I don't think most of our difficult children are in that state of mind, which is why most are doing so poorly even as they get older and older. If this girl is ready to get help, she will. If she's not, she won't. And nothing can make h er do it until the day comes when she is really ready to say, "I want to live a normal, healthy, happy lifestyle and I"m going to try to do it and mom can't do it for me. She can't even help me. It is MY journey." Because it is.

    As usual, read, take what you like, leave the rest, toss the worst in the trash, and do what feels best to YOU. We share with respect for one another and not to push anyone down their wrong path.

    Wishing you serenity and peace tonight, each and every one of you.
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    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014
  14. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Thank you ALL. The excellent and amazingly consistent advice from so many wounded warriors really helped husband and I to stand firm today. We have communicated to her that she must get help, or her entire support system will fall apart, meaning all of the family plus the boyfriend. And something good we had not planned on- is that she does not know all the mental health laws and assumes that she is supposed to return to the P hospital. And we certainly are not going to inform her otherwise!

    Now we have a new dynamic today because the boyfriend appears to have finally had enough. He would like for her to move out because he says he just can't take it anymore, and I totally get that. Who wants furniture and dinner plates hurled at them? Upon hearing this, we thought "now she'll try suicide again", but the (regular) hospital has wisely put a 24 hour sitter in her room while she is there.

    We cannot have her live under our roof again. No way. So if she winds up back in this area, we will be glad for her to re-enroll in community college and/or find a job. But she will be in her own place paying for all or part of it as she gets on her feet again -hopefully. She has a strong record of depending on others, and it will not be easy for her.

    We are attempting to walk the fine line of minimal support without enabling. We actually pay for very little for her except for medical, which is crucial right now.

    Thank you for the support and I'll keep you posted.
  15. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    "Thinking of you tryagain, how are you today? Sending you good thoughts and as always, hoping that peace finds you and husband (soon!!)
  16. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Recovering, Thank you for your concern and please know that I am praying for you today -saw your post above. I have not been online for a few days because I have been involved with the hospital scenario.

    Bottom line -I think difficult child's boyfriend is "letting her down gently" and urging her to return home to be with family while she heals. difficult child claims he is moving here in a few months. I don't think this is really the case -what boyfriend wants their girlfriend to move away several hours for a few months?

    So -when her therapy ends she will be heading this way, but I am being pro-active ,looking for a one bedroom apartment for her to stay in, watching craigslist for a job for her to pay for her apartment, etc. I cannot control where she moves, but I can keep her from living in my house in a supportive manner. Stay tuned.
  17. Addictsmom

    Addictsmom New Member

    Tryagain.....In the state I live in, you can go to a judge and get a commitment order to have her committed to the p-hospital. Investigate that avenue. There is a "number" of the order.....can't remember what it is. I've never had to use it, but know parents who have.
  18. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Unfortunately, the laws here are not friendly to involuntary commitment. The P-hospital evaluated her Tuesday and found her "not to be a danger to herself" (how wonderful that they are psychic). Our insurance approved only four days of the partial hospitalization therapy, and she has been compliant with the program. Because she has been cooperative & compliant and they now feel it is in her best interest to not participate further, there is very little we can do.

    Even if someone gets a judge's ruling, the hospital can only hold them 72 more hours if they are not deemed to be still suicidal. So I guess our next best thing is to go with outpatient therapy with the doctor she has used here for years and really, really likes and relates to. He will work her in next week.

    She is already trying to secure a part-time job and I am helping her find a place to live. I don't mind giving her emotional support because it would be to our definite advantage if she could be happy in a new situation, even for a while. One day at a time...
  19. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I haven't participated in your thread because (thank God) I have not dealt with mh committment issues but I want you to know that I am sending supportive hugs your way. Also, I need to add that from experience I know insurance companies recommend discharge from SA facilities when "the patient is no longer using". WTH? That was a mind blower for me. Via community volunteer work I also know that the Baker Act patients are often discharged in a few days because "the patient is no longer acting out". Yeah, the medications have begun to kick in so the patient can now go out in the world. I just don't get it and I am in my 70's and considered to be fairly bright. Sigh.

    Sorry that I have no answers but I sure do care and hope that somehow your difficult child can get the help needed. DDD
  20. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Thanks, DDD. We are hanging in there and playing it by ear. Right now she's fresh from therapy and in a positive, upbeat state of mind. Taking her medications. Contacting an old pal to see about sharing an apartment (?!). Talking about taking CC classes and about a job. If only it would last. We are keeping expectations low and keeping our boundaries in place.