I am at a loss on what to do, if anything.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by hearts and roses, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    difficult child is apparently in a horrible downward spiral right now. I am much more attuned to her highs and lows when I see her more frequently and when she lived with us. But she lives E at his parent's home so...not as often. But I could FEEL it in my bones...I knew it was coming.

    Her job is still going but when she is spiraling downward, she will find something wrong with everything. So she's been a bit disgruntled about work; they're cutting hours for the winter so she tried to find a small pt job to supplement her income. That did not work out as keeping such a full schedule has never worked for difficult child.

    Last Monday she came into my office at lunchtime, looking like hell...said she just needed to stop by and get away from her own desk at work. Okay. Later that day, just as she was getting out of work around 4:30 and ready for her second job to begin at 6PM, she called me hysterical...shades of yesteryear. I tried to give her a pep talk, she hung up on me. When I arrived home from work at 5:30, her car was in my driveway, she was asleep in her old room. Again, that's fine, occasionally she will nap at our house. I went in to check on her and her entire face was puffy from crying. She immediately apologized for hanging up on me. I asked if she was going to work and she said no. So she joined me in the kitchen and we made small talk. I felt a ball of fire in my chest and shot off a text to E..."I'm concerned for difficult child. She's not eating right, not sleeping enough and looks like hell. She's not taking care of herself. What can we do?" and he responded with about 15 texts telling me that he makes her coffee and and an english muffin and makes her take her medications in the AM, they are usually in bed by 10 pm, he tries, he tries, etc., but difficult child gets angry with him. Then, he told me that she hadn't showered in TWO WEEKS. WTH???? He said if he suggests she take a shower, she gets really really angry so he said he has to be very careful about how and when he says it. OMG, that is no way to live. I love my difficult child but I wouldn't wish her on anyone at that point! E asked if I could convince her to shower. I said I'd try and then suggested she spend the night here...as a sort of respite with mom: Shower, nice dinner, cozy bed, etc. He agreed.

    I finally got her to shower, I gave her some snuggly jammies and my big puffy robe and after a brief conversation she went to bed around 9. I checked on her frequently and she was out. In the morning she looked much much better but said she didn't sleep well, but she was peppy and bright eyed for one who is not a morning person. I took her out for coffee after voting, met up with E and she later told me her day went well and she worked that night.

    In our brief conversation she said: "I dont understand how I can wake up and feel okay but then as the day progresses I feel like ****. I always feel like I'm getting a cold and all I want to do is sleep. But then other days I am bursting with energy and happy as can be. In my head I'm happy but then I'm not happy and I'm really sad or angry and I feel sick. I don't I don't take care of myself as I should. I know I don't eat right and everything...I tell myself almost every morning, 'i'm going to eat right and take care of myself today' but then I don't. Maybe I'm just lazy?? I don't know what's wrong with me."

    People, she is 23, she lives outside the home with her fiance. She trusts me to help her figure this out and I want to help her...but honestly? The only thing I can think is that she needs to see a new psychiatrist and be re-evaluated as an adult. I know she won't like it, but she will go. The problem is, I am very AFRAID they will try to start mixing medication cocktails and she doesn't do well when they start in with a variety of medications, especially BiPolar (BP) medications. It's such a roller coaster and I get butterflies in my gut when I think of jumping on that wagon again with her. I won't be with her to make sure she's doing what she's supposed to and E is only one person...he works two jobs and they live with his parents who are, excuse me, clueless. They come from the old school days of "Suck it up kiddo and just do it" program.

    I am VERY worried about her mental state of mind...I'm VERY worried about the ups and downs she's experiencing - on a DAILY basis. I have some research to do, I can schedule an appointment with our therapist and I want to make time to speak with difficult child this weekend. I am truly at a loss right now. I've been practicing detachment for so long it feels that now I don't know how to feel/help. And, especially, I don't want to take over...I feel that E should be very involved in the process as he will one day be her H and should understand all this better. He seems to have a good grip on it, but it's just so complex. When he said the thing about not showering for two weeks, I literally shuddered. Her biodad was the same way!!!

    I hate feeling like this. Thanks for any input.
  2. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Her description sounds so bipolar. Is she on a mood stabilizer? Does she see a psychiatrist regularly right now? Sounds like a medication adjustment is needed. I'd agree getting her into a therapist soon is a good idea.. but I'd also get a psychiatrist appointment booked as well. If she has a regular psychiatrist right now, perhaps they'd be willing to make suggestion for a medication adjustment over the phone, until she can get into the office? It could be just a matter of an increased dosage. But I don't know what she's on and what has/hasn't worked in the past.. just throwing out suggestions. I know you're afraid of mixing medication cocktails.. but whatever she's on right now, clearly isn't working, so something's got to change.

    Hugs. I think you're giving appropriate help right now, and I'm glad she's willing to listen to your suggestions.

    Oh, and I know what you mean about that feeling in your bones.. I can always tell when Oldest is getting ready to spiral again :( Not a good feeling.
  3. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Thanks Crazy. G does not have a regular psychiatrist. Back when she was around 16/17 or thereabouts, she refused all medications and so the psychiatrist was never seen again. Over the past year she has been on 10mg Prozac, which was upped about two months ago to only 20mg. I agree, clearly this is no longer working. It was doing okay for a while, but we have to be careful with G on an antidepressant because if her dose is too high, she behaves in very risky behaviors. The one and only time she was on a mood stabilizer was around age 15/16 and it was Lamictal - that was a no go. One the very lowest starting dose, she developed the lowest possible side effects and could not walk. Since then she has basically given me a hard time about taking medications.

    Thankfully, within the last three years she has been more open to speaking with a therapist again and taking xanax for anxiety attacks and the prozac for depression. I just think that we are beginning to need help outside the capabilities of our regular doctor, good though she is.

    I think another aspect to my feeling at a loss is that for a long time now I've really allowed myself to believe the majority of G's issues had more to do with maturity and hormones rather than a true BiPolar (BP) diagnosis, even though early on one psychiatrist did say she had a mood disorder, but that's as close as G came to getting an official diagnosis.

    In my heart it is finally hitting me hard that this will be a life long struggle for G...that no amount of maturity and therapy will take this away and I'm heartbroken over it. I just want to weep. And then my brain goes on overdrive and I worry incessantly...what if she decides to start her own family one day? Will she be able to be off her medications? Will she be able to breastfeed? Will she be able to handle a baby, toddler, etc. I know I'm jumping the gun - I don't really think about all that, but it does flit through my mind. And I worry about Eric...he is a difficult child also, not in the same ways, but he has struggled with addiction and depression in the past. He has a lot of baggage. Sad as it is to say, to a certain degree, G does need someone to look after her. She has Aspie-lite traits as well as Tourette and the BiPolar (BP) (if that's what it is).

    Thanks for listening to me and responding. I feel so alone right now with this...H thinks it's all BS and won't even entertain the idea that she needs medications. He's all about just getting over it and doing what needs to be done. I swear, it's like all those years of talking together and with a counselor didn't happen. He's reverted back to being a butthead when it comes to G.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Jo...could it be something completely other than bipolar? Could she have fibro or chronic fatigue? You have always described her as your sleeper. Does she have pain anywhere? Not in her joints but anywhere. Im wondering about trying her on something that isnt so much a true mood stabilizer but close like neurontin or even topamax. I know people have the shudders over topamax but it has been a true lifesaver for me. Or maybe she needs a small dose of something like provogil I think its called.

    Yes the sleeping and the not showering can be a sign of depression but it can also be a sign of fibro and chronic fatigue and pain. I do the same thing when I am just so deep in one of my fibro bouts and I cant even stand to have water touch me. It hurts to even move. I dont want to go anywhere or do anything. The fibro makes me depressed and the depression makes the fibro worse. Its a never ending circle.

    Then of course there could be other medical conditions like thyroid or diabetes too.
  5. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Is it possible she has SAD?
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Thanks Janet. I will speak with her and ask her if it hurts to shower...also maybe we can make an appointment with her DR and have a blood workup done. Up until now, I haven't been involved in her regular DR checkups because we were trying to get her to the point of advocating for herself. It's funny, when she's "on" she can advocate for herself very effectively...but otherwise, not so much.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    You know, Jo, it could be hormonal as well. And if she has mood issues normally, it can make any drastic changes in hormones send her in either direction. It's why Nichole tries to avoid hormonal based BC.

    Or............. any chance she could be pregnant? And keep in mind you can get preggers while using BC. I've managed it with every child I have.

    I'll keep both you and difficult child in my prayers that this downward spiral turns out only to be a blip and not a real spiral at all.

  8. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    I dont have advice; but I do know how awful it feels to see difficult child issues so clearly, that they can't see thru the fog
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well pain could be on her arms like sore spots or tender spots, or she could have tender spots anywhere along her collar bone, or on her legs. Those are some of the major places for fibro. Chronic fatigue can also have some of the same tender spots but they arent quite as pointed. They are more of an all over achy pain like the flu.
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Our old aprn diagnosis her with fibro already, so that's not a surprise really. But I'll ask her specifically about pain. Thanks again.
  11. elizabrary

    elizabrary Member

    She sounds so much like Kat, even the refusal of medications, the cycling up and down. It's so frustrating. I'm glad she responded so well to you. That is usually not the case with my difficult child. I hope you can get her to see a doctor. And like you I have put so much energy into detaching that it's difficult to re-engage when necessary. It's a terrible situation. I'm sending you positive energy.
  12. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    My difficult child is also on the same roller coaster. Her highs used to appear happy ...and now they appear less so...they appear more frantic than happy. In her depressive state, she also does not shower and sleeps for extended periods. My daughter has way more highs than lows, but she recently observed that even her highs "aren't happy".

    Your difficult child really needs to see a psychiatrist. You already know this.. You referenced her having issues with medications in the past. How old was she then? Remember, brain chemistry changes as they get older. It might be a very different situation now for her.

    I am sorry you're dealing with this. It is so hard to see them struggle.

  13. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    H&R, that's a lot for a mother's tender heart to take in. I understand all your concerns about your daughter. What jumps out at me is your sorrow, your recognition of what her limitations really are and how much they will impact her life. I think, from my own experience, as mom's we face those limits incrementally as we can accept them. Each step has grief because not only do our difficult child's have to give up certain expectations they have about their lives, we have to give up some of our parental expectations about what we would like for them too. And, it's the unknown, we aren't sure of how it will all turn out. We're uncertain and therefore, it's out of our control. We just don't know. All the ways we feel safe are threatened with what we don't know and what we're beginning to come to grips with is now becoming real.

    Jo, I thought I remembered you speaking about you having a therapist. Perhaps it might be a good idea for you to see this person to move through your feelings about your difficult child's future and your fears and concerns. Once you can grieve and express what you're feeling, perhaps then you and your difficult child can talk about your fears which may allow her to see the realities so she can realize for herself exactly what she is dealing with and what she may have to do to stay healthy. It seems that the best way to handle this would be in a small step by small step fashion so everyone can grasp the realities and come to grips with it and make whatever changes will seem necessary.

    It's hard being a mother of a child who has "issues" ..... we have our own learning curve and healing and accepting process too. It makes it more difficult when you feel alone, that's a bad feeling, I know that one too. But, you have us, we really get it, so keep venting and expressing. We're sending our prayers and hugs for you and we're listening..............we're here..............and if it feels right, talk to your therapist............take care of you too.................HUGS..........
  14. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I recognize that everyone is different, but one of our child's first doctors, who is now a big shot in the mental health field, once told me that it is very tricky to give someone with bipolar illness an antidepressant and she only would give our daughter a small dosage and only when on a mood stabilizer at the same time. Just something to keep in mind...all changes like this should be reported to her doctor and she should be going to the prescribing doctor regularly. And to talk therapy regularly as we'll.

    Sadly, since she is over 21, your role in her life should be reduced. Since she is unwell, naturally you might want to help out. But, not to the point that it causes you great heartache or upheaval. Having an adult child like this is very difficult and heartbreaking. Believe me...I know.

    You might need to seek your own counseling or spiritual guidance. This is really hard. (Hugs)
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If she has already been diagnosed with fibro then this makes perfect sense Jo. Honestly it does. While yes there is depression involved I would bet the proverbial farm that it is secondary to the fibro. Has she ever tried cymbalta? That helps with both pain and depression. Or neurontin which helps with nerve pain and secondary mood stabilizing even though most people will tell you it wont. It is a case by case thing. Everyone swears my topamax cant possibly help me but it does.
  16. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Just want to say thank you everyone. You've all given me a lot of food for thought and I appreciate it very much-I'm taking down notes!

    I already see a therapist, the same one difficult child began seeing a few months ago. I've been with her for about two years. She's been very helpful for me and I'd say for G as well. Up until now they've been focusing on life skills, employment, etc. I don't think the therapist is aware of the showering issue. G is very open with the therapist and E has even gone with her a few times. When she was younger she would go but never open up-thank goodness she's matured and is no longer afraid.

    Thanks again!
  17. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thinking about you today Jo, I have an adult daughter with many mental issues and it is a rough ride at times..........my heart is right there with you.............take really good care of yourself......................lots of warm and caring hugs coming your way...............
  18. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Thank you. I had a full morning and normally G will text me when she gets out of work on Saturday but she didn't today. This tells me that she is laying low. I know E is with her so I know she is okay, but I'm going to call her and invite them over for lunch or dinner tomorrow. I'm hoping to have an opportunity speak with E as well.

    This morning, after weigh in at WW, I go for coffee with my friend and as I was relating this to her, I found myself sobbing actually. It was quite startling...guess I didn't realize the extent of my worries. That said, however, I am taking good care of myself and meeting my personal goals, sticking to my routine. Thank goodness I have the sense to remain detached to a degree. After speaking with her, who knows. But for today, I'm okay. Thanks again
  19. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Proud of you! Hugs
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    i just saw this on the watercooler, asking for prayers, so came over here to read the note.
    I am so sorry about your daughter. You clearly feel helpless and she isn't doing much to help herself.
    I am in a NAMI support group and of all the groups I've been in (in person) that one is the best. I would suggest finding one in your area.
    I'm glad that you're still meeting your personal goals, having lunch with-a friend, etc. That is so important!
    I'm sending hugs and strength.