Help...we need options

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Susy, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. Susy

    Susy New Member

    My almost 16 year old daughter suffered a concussion nearly a year ago and was finally cleared last month. It has been a long and hard recovery. Complicating all of this is the fact that she blames me for the length of her recovery, that while I have been a loving and supportive parent, she believes that when she is under the most stress (ie writing exams or getting back into school), I have done things that have set her back. This sends her off into days-long rages. My husband and I have seen a psychologist to talk about our role in this. We have talked with other professionals. No one has concerns about my behaviour -- I am not perfect and a couple of times this year I have become frustrated with her but it's at the 'parents are human' level, not anything of concern. Last week our daughter called 911 on me because she felt scared of me -- the subsequent assessment had no concerns about me. She sees all of the stress as entirely my fault and is unwilling to seek mental health help because it's my issue. The only solution she proposes is me moving out. The anger toward me does predate the concussion and she has always been a child who has blamed others. Until recently, I would not have said that the concussion led to emotional changes as sometimes happens. We are beyond exhausted by the raging. We don't think she's a danger to herself or others in terms of physical harm but the emotional harm is becoming great. I would welcome any ideas, especially given her unwillingness to receive help. This last part is partly because she has seen countless professionals to deal with the concussion over the last year and she is honestly sick of it (which makes sense) but we believe she has some kind of PTSD and it would make sense.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and sorry you had to come here.

    You say she had a concussion. Are you sure it wasn't a skull fracture or a worse type of brain trauma? It took an awfully long time to heal. Has she seen a neurologist to have her checked out physically? A Cat scan? An MRI?

    My suggestion is to stop looking for a psychological cause only and try to figure out if there is brain issues that have caused her personality changes. Sounds like it was a very bad head injury and that can cause all sorts of problems. Was it a traumatic brain injury?

    Really sorry about all this.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  3. Praecepta

    Praecepta Active Member

    I would only do the BARE minimum things for her if she is going to be like that and refuse to get help.

    So just food, water, and shelter. Absolutely no extras. Cut off the cell phone, fancy clothes (2nd hand only), no make-up, no shopping, no TV in her room, etc.

    If she decides to go to see a psychologist/psychiatrist and go regularly, THEN she can have all the "extras" she wants. Note you may want to go see a psychologist yourself to get help with getting her to get help.
  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    My son had a brain injury when he was about 22. It was a nightmare.

    They had to call for security in the hospital, he was so mad at me.

    I hired somebody to stay with him 24 hours for the period there was risk of seizures, and he went out and rode his bike without a helmet.

    We locked up his bike, and he destroyed ours with a hammer (No. I did not call the police.)

    My son called police on us several times to get us locked up in jail.

    Fast forward 6 years: our relationship is better, but he faults me, my strong reactions which he sees as (verbally) violent and too intense. He sees me as coping poorly, as the problem.

    He sees himself as the rational and mindful-one. And me, less developed cognitively. If you knew my profession, you would laugh.

    I believe my son is right. With a caveat. I believe I do overreact. I believe I have hovered. I believe I do try to over-control.

    But I have done so (and do so) with extreme fear. I erupt because of his unwillingness to be productive, tell the truth and be accountable, or to take care of his health in the way he needs to. Etcetera.

    I believe something may be happening in your family which is similar.

    It is very hard to love somebody and to feel responsible for somebody whose functioning and capacity we fear may be limited. That is why so many parents on this forum look to detachment as the answer with their children (you will find an article on this website which addresses detachment.)

    Your daughter is still legally a child, but detachment for you can still be helpful. The first thing I would try to do is to detach emotionally from her accusations, and recognize that what she says or feels, how she blames you, really does not define you. She may functionally feel she needs to take this stance. I would try not to fight her on this or to respond. The less you engage the better. I would focus on creating an atmosphere that is stable and low-key. I would try to stay out of her way.

    I would try to focus on the things in your life that make you feel good and validated. And to right now let her do the same. We cannot make anybody feel differently about us than they do. Her feelings will change over time, I believe.

    I would try to relax about her health. If she has received the kind of treatment and intervention you describe, she has been well cared for. My son has another serious health problem, too, and my greatest stress is that he get treatment--he seems indifferent. My son is also mentally ill.

    It is like I live in a pressure cooker. My task is to try to live as much as I can outside of it, and to not add to the pressure. By disengaging from the struggle, I can do this. And this is what my son wants too. I do not help him by staying on him. The reverse is the case.

    Welcome. I hope you keep posting. It helps.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    With all respect, this child had a brain injury that took a year to heal. Before Id go nuclear on her, i would make triple sure this is not due to a traumatic brain injury. Sometimes i feel it is best to explore causes, which may not even be psychological, before taking everything away from a minor child who was badly hurt. This is complicated, with no simple solution in my opinion. Brain injuries do change behavior sometimes and bad behavior is sometimes not fixable by that sort of punishing, especially if the child has a neurological glitch or is disabled on some other way. I certainly would not and do not tend to panic in an unusual fashion but further exploration of what this head injury can cause can only help all three of you figure out the problem. in my opinion that is important. Maybe she is trying to do more than she can. Not ypur fault but check it out.

    I do not know if you have children, Pre, but the only time I'd go that far in deprivition is for drug abuse. Minor children need our help. Eighteen comes too fast, then we can pull the plug if we want to. in my opinion the exception with a minor would be drug abuse and violence. And with that the child may not be allowed to live at home anyway.
    Therapy only helps if the person lets it help. Even at 16 she cant be forced to work at therapy. Id start with reevaluatong the he4ad injury.
    Susy, do you live in the U.S? I do know that in certain countries it is harder to get approved to see specialists than here...or second opininions. But I value all professional input.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  6. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Any concussion is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). I've had several; one that took me nearly 8 mos before physical sx subsided. There was no fracture and no subdural hemorrhage. Simply a badly bruised brain that took a long time to heal and rearrange connections.

    Please get your daughter seen by a neurologist specializing in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as well as by the psychology and psychiatry professionals.

    It is quite possible that the concussion did change her intellectual and emotional coping skills.
  7. Susy

    Susy New Member

    I appreciate all the support and responses here but this one speaks to me very very deeply. It sounds very similar to our experience and what you are suggesting sounds like what we have been thinking. Thank yuo from the bottom of my broken heart.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Yep. I had one im that car accident. Not only did I have every test around but after the hospitsl I saw a neiropsychologist to make sure my cognitive skills were intact (they were, but I was lucky...often cognitive skills are affected).

    A traumatic brain injury can sometimes sadly change ones life.

    GN, eight?????? EIGHT???? Wow.
  9. Susy

    Susy New Member

    Not to fear...we will not be going nuclear or anything like it. We are not in the US but Canada. The professionals we saw did not think she needed an MRI or CT scan. We have finally seen a neurologist and because of the length of the injury, he is ordering an MRI although it may be weeks before it happens.
  10. Susy

    Susy New Member

    Most concussions do resolve on their own and quickly but there are many -- like yours and my daughter's--that don't. I know someone who healed from a concussion after 10 long years. As I posted on this thread, we are working with a neurologist although the process of having imaging done is slow in our country. They aren't expecting to see anything but in some ways it would be a relief if they did
  11. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Yes. I saw double for 6 of those 8 mos, and still have movement issues with my right eye, eyelid and with some muscles around my mouth on that side.

    It's a long story as to why I wasn't cared for properly. Parent stuff (mother). I was 12 when this happened, and oddly for me, I was playing ice hockey without a helmet, got checked hard, and went over backwards, striking my head on the ice.

    It's odd, because my other concussions involved horses, and I was wearing a helmet.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wos, GN. Not good.

    Susy, in the U.S. they usually do head tezts for an injury. I dont remember snything but I had more than one MRI and C-T scan. They found a small brain bleed which they stopped so Im glad they checked.

    Good luck!
  13. Susy

    Susy New Member

  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah. As soon as I got to the trauma center. They checked everything. Even stuff like if I had a stroke or a heart attack because nobody knows why I drove off the road and I have no memory. They tend to be thorough here. Some call it costly but I am glad they checked everything.And it was covered by insurance.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This all sounds like there is a physical cause to her reactions. Of course her hormones don't help AT ALL. I am so sorry that you are having to deal with all of this. Please know that the calmer you can stay, regardless of how angry/rage-fueled she is, the better it will be. I truly do know how hard that is. My son used to rage at me, sometimes for hours, and I know how hard it is to remain calm and to respond in a calm manner. If you need to take a time out from her in order to remain calm, give yourself permission to do so. It really does make a huge difference.

    I wonder if maybe she is having mini seizures or something that are triggering the rage? I know that sometimes this can happen after concussions. I have a cousin who had multiple concussions, mostly from doing stupid daredevil boy stunts. He is now at the point where they are predicting a very bad old age for him because of all the brain trauma, and any severe head trauma may kill him. There has simply been way too much trauma to his head (last count that I knew of was 11 concussions, four of them very very severe, taking months to years to heal completely). His last concussion triggered seizures that only showed up as attacks of severe, out of character rage. He knew something was really really wrong because he just doesn't get angry like that over basically nothing. So he had his doctor do some tests and they found he was having seizures and luckily medication was able to help. But if he had just seen a psychologist or gone to anger management, nothing would have been done and he would have likely ended up hurting someone. He said he could really see himself hurting someone, he was afraid to be around his grandbabies because he wasn't sure he could control himself. His doctors said it was a real fear, they had seen this type of seizure cause real problems with controlling anger and the courts have not caught up to it yet.

    Don't let your daughter put the blame on you. Do nice things for yourself. Understand that you are only human. If your daughter gets out of hand, gets physically violent, don't hesitate to call 911 if you need to. Push her doctor to get the imaging done sooner rather than later. Squeaky wheels get greased faster than quiet ones! So keep calling and asking how to speed up the process. Ask for cancellations, etc.... I am very surprised, with all that is known about head trauma and concussions, that MRIs are not routinely done for concussions in Canada. They are here even if you are very low income. It is an important part of making sure that any brain damage can be minimized. Keep on the doctor to make that MRI happen, so it doesn't fall through the cracks.

    I am sorry that you have to deal with this. (((((hugs)))))
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