Need help!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Schwt1, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Schwt1

    Schwt1 New Member

    My 18 yo college student may be suicidal. About 3 weeks ago she seemed to have a breakdown.. missed a few days worth of classes.. talked to me a little bit. She had a trip planned with a group from school, and she went back to school and took that trip and I thought she was feeling a little better. I received a hysterical phone call last night and offered to to get her, she agreed. So, I picked her up from her college dorm last night and brought her home. She did make the comment, "Well I can't kill myself in front of you, can I?" I tried to talk her into going to the hospital to have an evaluation done. She fears being 'locked up', she says things like 'nothing helps' (she's seen a counselor on campus for about 3-1hr weekly sessions), 'I just want to sleep, it's the only time I don't cry or hate myself'.

    I don't know how to convince her that she needs help, that help is available, that she NEEDS help. Please someone help me!
  2. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I am so sorry that you are going though this. I agree your daughter needs help. The best way is for her to do it voluntarily. If you cannot get her to agree to that you can invoke the baker act if she has threated suicide because if she has, she is a danger to herself. That will get her to a hospital where a doctor will evaluate her and decide if she needs further treatment. There is a strict DCMS code that they have to follow to keep her against her will but it might be enough to get her to sign a voluntary treatment agreement.

    You can also call a suicide hotline in your area for help and/or your local mental health office or crisis center. Another thing you could try is to call her counselor at school and tell her what is going on. She cannot talk to you about your daughter if your daughter has not signed a consent form BUT she can listen to what you have to say and possible help you get your daughter the help she needs. There will be others along shortly who may have additional information that could help you. For now put all medications in your home under lock and key and do not let her be alone.
  3. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Are you home with her today? I would see if you can get her to talk a bit more about it, and what might have triggered it. If it came on suddenly, it's possible that something traumatic happened. Will she sign a release so you can talk to the counselor, to get some insight there?

    I think if she continues the suicidal talk, you definitely should get her to a hospital to be evaluated. Keep telling her you love her and that you don't want anything to happen to her, and that you can help her get through this. If she worries about being "locked up" just tell her to take this one step at a time... you just want to help her through this crisis however you can. If continues to balk at an evaluation and still seems suicidal, you may want to call your local crisis center or even 911 if things escalate.

    Right now she needs your support and love more than anything. Just be there for her, and keep her talking as much as you can.
  4. Schwt1

    Schwt1 New Member

    I have tried searching for answers on HOW TO HELP... I am not doing anything right. All the DON'Tourette's Syndrome listed.. I've done them. Do I just let her lay there and sleep? I 'slept' in the living room last night so that if she came out here I would hear her. I had the day off from work today, so here I am. I took her 10yo little bro to school this morning. While I was out I called the Suicide Prevention Hotline, which she called about 3 wks ago (she doesn't know that I know she called). They gave me the names and telephone numbers to two local hospitals that have mental health dpts and can provide a psychiatric evaluation, she doesn't want to go. I tried to make her understand that they don't 'lock up' everyone they talk to.. *sigh* She claims NOT TO KNOW why she hates herself, why she thinks nothing matters, why she feels like she's never good enuf.... but she knows she doesn't want to be locked up, it won't help. It's so frustrating.
  5. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Please do not beat yourself up over little mistakes you might have made. This is all new to you. You cannot watch over her forever. At some point you will have to get her help. If you have another day to try to convince her that she needs to go to the hospital, then do that. If not, call 911 and tell them that she is sucidal and you cannot get her to go for help and would they please send an ambulance. Also can you give us a little more history on her please? Has she had any mental helth diagnosis in the past? A history of abuse or violence? Learning disabilities? Does she have control issues or jealousy of her younger sibling? Right now she is in essence holding you hostage with her threat of suicide while refusing medical help. Any insight as to why she is refusing to get help can assist us in advising you.
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Glad you found this board, many of us have had family members who are very depressed. Lots of parents here who can feel where you are coming from. Reassure her that it is not like the movies....while they will be careful evaluating her she will have people to talk to and quickly be put in a place where she can get a lot of help in therapy groups and with medication if needed. I have driven two of my sisters to the hospital when younger and spent time in an inpatient treatment program for eating disorders and depression when I was in my early twenties. (ok a million years ago but still...) It is reassuring once in and connecting with people who you feel can help you. Maybe you can do some research into what is around in your area, this time of life is so full of transition and increasing independence, it can be overwhelming and to find a place that specializes in teens would be great. I agree, now is not the time to leave her alone. Make a contract with her etc. Also, not saying this to cause panic, just because it is so serious....If she suddenly seems OK, be aware that can be a sign that a decision has been made and a few years ago we lost a child I took care of for many years. He was 19. That is what happened...he suddenly seemed so OK... he did give some things away though, another clue. I know it is scary, but it is better to know and face it with her head on. Has she always had issues? Is this a new thing for her? Hope to hear from you again,

    HUGS and supportive wishes.... to you and difficult child.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Don't beat yourself up. This is a difficult situation even for someone who is experienced with mental health issues. You can only do the best you can, you're human, afterall. (((hugs)))

    The lack of desire to live is not the same thing as being suicidal. I know that sounds odd, but it's true. The lack of desire to live, the finding no joy in life, no motivation to get up and get out there and live it is depression. Suicidal is when that becomes so overwhelming they can't stand it anymore. I'm not so sure you're daughter is a real suicide danger at the moment. She has reached out for help, whether she wants to admit it or not, which shows that while lack of desire is there, there is still a part of her that wants to get better. That doesn't mean you shouldn't take her seriously or keep a careful eye on her, because you should. The line between the two areas is very fine and it's easy to cross.

    I would sit her down to chat. Explain to her that no one will admit her unless she is an immediate danger to herself or others, unless she would like to be admitted for the evaluation and to get medications started under supervision. It's good that she went to the college counselor, again that shows she's trying, but I'm doubtful they're going to help her on the same level a private therapist or psychiatrist will do. While there will be no quick fix, I'd explain to her if she wants to feel better and function better she has to be willing to go into treatment and work at it. It's like if someone had abdominal pain and just sat at home willing it to get better, it gets worse, they continue to ignore it, they're in agony, then they may or may not be up to getting help at that that abdominal pain was appendicitis. I used to explain to Nichole that way, it was an easier way for her to grasp it.

    Not all therapist or psychiatrist are equally as good either, so it's necessary to find a good "fit". That's not hard to understand, if you don't feel comfortable with someone, you're really not going to feel like opening up to them and being honest with what is going on. Which makes it really hard for them to help you.

    If this is not behavior you've seen before, there might have been a situation that has caused this. If you can get her talking, if you have that type of relationship (I did with mine), then that might help and she might tell you what has brought this on. But that would depend on the cause, she might have valid reasons (in her mind) for not telling you too.

    Such a hard place to be in.

  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Fortunately I have not dealt with this problem. My heart goes out to you because I am positive you are beyond concerned and evidently with good reason.

    If this behavior is fairly new it may be that she has been victimized at college. It would be typical to blame herself if..for instance..she got drunk and something unacceptable happened. There are alot of unexpected things that happen on college campuses. Although I hope she will agree to professional intervention if she will not perhaps (remember I am no expert but have had four kids who went away to school) you could give her a vaguely worded reassurance. (?? Honey I'm so sorry you are not willing to talk with a professional. It seems like your unhappiness could be the result of something you regret that happened at college. Sadly alot of odd things happen to girls in college and often they blame themselves. If you've had a trauma it will help to share it with someone you trust. Professionals are best but I am your Mom I am willing to list and I would never ever judge you.)

    I will say a prayer for you and your daughter. If she can unbottle those emotions it could be the first step toward regaining her self confidence. Hugs DDD
  9. Schwt1

    Schwt1 New Member

    Sorry I didn't read all the stuff I was supposed to upon joining... I was desperate (correction AM desperate) and I don't know any abbreviations or anything.. and I don't even know how to get back to 'terms and conditions'.. will figure it out eventually. I was smart enough to bookmark so I don't LOSE you guys.

    *sigh* okay where to begin.... I've never taken her for any kind of counseling or anything in the past. Oh some other background, single Mom most of her life. Left her Dad when she was just 4yo. Moved 1000 miles away from family. There was a father figure in her life, her brother's father... who then wasn't probably a good role model, but now divorced and he's grown up alot and I think she does have a bond with him now, then there was the last man I spent 5 yrs in an unemotional relationship with, so no 'family' connection there for any of us.

    Great student, Drum Major of her HS band for 2 yrs, high ACT scores. Got in trouble at school only once (middle school) for defending someone else that was being picked on. Had a teenage attitude for several years, where at times I wanted to strangle her. Typical, I suppose.

    Her emotional issues really seemed to show 3-4 yrs ago? (time goes so fast I don't know how 'off' I am with this) Early in HS, she stood up to a 'friend' from one circle that wasn't being nice to a friend from another circle. This 'friend' in turn turned on her, bringing others with her. HS girl BS that happens unfortunately. This is when BETRAYAL and NON TRUST issues started becoming a factor.

    At 16 she began her first relationship. He had issues, and I tried my best to be in the know, but cautious about pushing her away from me and closer to him. After 1yr & 1/2 she finally rid herself of him. When she really broke down 3 or so wks ago she let me know how truly abusive this relationship was. Following this great breakup she leaned heavily on another friend, who she ended up developing feelings for, somewhat mutual for a short time, but over the last several weeks he's been distancing himself. Honestly I think it's from her fragile mental state, which just compounds everything.

    I feel like I'm all over the place with trying to give you background.
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    You did just fine! Of course you feel that way, this is your precious child! Sounds like she truly needs some serious help. One thing that many people here have suggested is to call a Domestic Violence number and ask for their help. They can help her. She may have post traumatic stress from all of this. I wont pretend to know anything about it, I am just sharing what people here who are truly experienced and caring about these things have shared. I am sure they have numbers you can call today...

    MORE HUGS.... Dee
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Just for the sake of brainstorming, maybe the abuse was the originator of her problems and a Domestic Abuse Center counselor would give her a chance to safely vent with-o fear of being "locked up"?? Once again this is not my area of expertise but alot of CD family members have said over the years that stifling those feelings can result in PTSD results later on in life. They've also shared that the counselors are experts at listening and guiding toward the future. Maybe? DDD
  12. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Sounds like she just really needs someone to talk to. I know we all like to think that could be us, but many times, it is not. She needs to know that she has nothing to fear in seeing a counselor but she really needs to see one. There is nothing wrong with antidepressants if they find she should take them, either. (((HUGS))) we are here for you!
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    DDD makes a very valid point.

    Odds are she has yet to truly deal with the abuse of that boyfriend. Domestic violence isn't just physical, it's emotional and mental as well. Don't underestimate what damage can be done. It's very good she's been able to get away from him. But still obviously important for her to work through that experience with someone who can help guide her. Contacting a domestic violence shelter is an excellent idea. She does not usually have to still be in the relationship to be able to use their services or speak with their counselors. These are usually women who have been there themselves and can truly understand her experience. And that might be what she needs right now.

    Such things you think you can simply walk away from and life goes back to normal. Unfortunately, it really doesn't. Eventually all that garbage resurfaces and you have to deal with it.

  14. Schwt1

    Schwt1 New Member

    Thanks you everyone for your input and support.. I was seriously at my wits end and didn't know where to turn. After she 'woke up' I brought her a glass of water that she refused, but she started talking again. She DID tell me that she made and attempt, but failed. I kept my cool and kept talking. Within an hour-ish, we were voluntarily on the way to the hospital. Signed in, (she was in tears at the desk as she didn't know what to write on the 'reason' for being there, so I just wrote 'psychiatric evaluation?' and turned it it, and before we had a chance to sit down her name was called. I was able to stay with her until she was asked HOW she attempted and she wouldn't talk infront of me, so I gladly left. In about an hour a dr. came and got me, talked to me as we went back to where my daughter was. She seemed like a weight had been lifted when I got to see her again. SHE agreed to stay at the hospital for a few days. As soon as the two police officers showed up with someone from transport to take her to the psychiatric wing, she clammed up again. Then after another hour of intake, damn shift change, I was able to see her again.. now currently freaked out and wanting nothing but to go to sleep because she was locked up with crazy people. They put her in a visiting area with country music (of all kinds, country???? it's depressing) and someone that truly was suffering a mental illness mumbling and rocking. Of course now she thinks this was a BAD IDEA. I hope that tomorrow brings something positive.... Thank you everyone.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    When I was a child and then a teen, I suffered from very serious depression (as an adult too, but it started to really kick up at thirteen). Your daughter sounds very depressed and if you are clinically depressed, you need medical treatment, which usually includes medication. I have spent time in psychiatric hospitals three times (twice for medication tweaking) and found the experiences very positive each time. I hope your daughter does too. But the first few days in the hospital freaked me out too! It took me a while to start feeling a little bit better and making friends and even getting interested in the sicker of the patients. I was young too...just 23.

    If your daughter made a suicide attempt, in my opinion she needs more than talking and probably shouldn't go back to college until she feels better. In fact, a break without stress may help her. People respond differently while recovering from depression...some like to stay busy and others need to rest as if they had a serious case of the flu. Also, depression is easier to treat in some people than others.

    Along with probable medication, your daughter WILL be told to see a therapist. I highly recommend Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This therapy teaches you how to cope better and how to work through stress that often causes people who are prone to depression to fall apart. Also, make sure your daughter is not self-medicating with any sort of recreational drugs. Recreatinal drugs are bad for all kids. For kids who are depressed, they only make things worse. So does is a depressant.

    Although your daughter's life hasn't been a bowl of cherries, a lot of kids have bumps in their lives and don't get depressed. Does depression run in the family on either side of her genetic tree? Dad contributed 50% of his DNA, so his side also counts. The more history you can give the doctors, the better they can help.

    ((((Big hugs)))). I wish you both the best. Your daughter reminds me of myself as a teenager. Please keep posting.
  16. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry that her admission didn't go more smoothly. Sending caring hugs your way because the process has you understandably on edge. on the other hand, it is wonderful that she unburdened herself with a professional about the suicide attempt and you now know it was evidently a genuine one. Compared to her possible loss of life...I hope the stress of her evaluation will be easier to cope with.

    Sure sounds like you did an awesome job of preparing her and supporting her. I am sending caring and supportive thoughts and hugs your way..and hers. DDD
  17. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Bless her heart. I understand what she is going through more than I want to admit. My easy child had a difficult time when she first went to college. She ws a perfectionist who never felt she was good enough for anyone else. She received all the love her dad and I had to give but she was so hard on herself and was never happy. She didn't feel like she fit in anywhere and when she went away to college it just all came crashing down. Fortunately she was not adverse to seeing a counselor probably because her sister had been going to one for years and she herself went to one to help deal with her anxiety over her sister's behavior.

    We had to pick her up at college one week after she moved in. She wouldnot stay in the dorm any longer because of her anxiety. We found a counselor that specializes in anxiety and that helped a great deal, along with the right anxiety medication. She eventually went back to the dorm in her second semester and was able to live on cmpsu the restof her college years but it was a struggle for her to fit in. Today she is a wonderful kindergarten teacher who is bright and successful and a very careing person, but she still feels she does not fit in with a lot of people. She isn't into partying or cliques or being mean to people.

    I hope you can encourage your daughter to go to counseling. They do not "lock people up" these days anymore like years ago. First of all most insurnace plans do not cover it and they have found there is no need unless the person is in imminent danger of hurting themselves or others. If she could only find a group in counseling like her she would discover she is not alone and a lot of what she is going through can very successfully be overcome in a short period of time.

    I know this is hard on you. It broke my heart to see my beautiful daughter in such pain. She just kept telling me she didn't want to feel that way and that she hated herself. It can get better.


    P.S. I am sorry, I missed your last post about the admission. So forget everything I said about that. I have a lot of hope that things will go smoother and that she is in good hands. Once she is out of crisis mode things will be much better and she can move forward.
  18. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'm so glad she agreed to the few days in hospital. I know at the moment it just seems like a terrifying place to her. (and let's be honest, it probably is to some degree) Nichole freaked out after she agreed to be admitted and actually got into the unit as well. It takes a bit of adjustment. But they were staffed with really great people and after that first night pretty much kept her busy enough that she stopped worrying about the others. But it did make Nichole want help more than ever, so that she would not be as severe as some of the kids in there. Nichole worked with the psychiatric doctor and therapists and such and they worked out a treatment plan (she already had a diagnosis when she went in) and got her medications straightened out, which for her was a large part of the issue. Postpartum depression coupled with no medications (they took her off during the pregnancy/ toxic to the baby) was a no win combination.

    I'm sure your daughter is iffy about it now, but this was a smart move on her part. It can take months to get into a good psychiatrist and therapist, which means waiting months for medications that can help with the depression. That she has been hospitalized will speed this process up to an immediate appoints and going home with medications to help. The first couple of days after Nichole's admission, this is what she had to focus on.

    It's so hard watching your child go through this process. But she is safe where she is, getting the help she needs. Support her, but don't forget to take some time out for yourself too. The stress and worry can be overwhelming. If you're not up to snuff, then it's going to be harder for you to help her. I know it doesn't feel like it right now, but you've done everything right so far. You're doing a good job.

    Keeping you and your daughter in my prayers.

  19. buddy

    buddy New Member

    so glad she is safe and you can get a little break while you sort things out in your own mind too. yes, at first it is weird, but she will connect with someone... a nurse or two, a patient or two and she will be ok. I hope you get connected with a lot of resources. You handled things beautifully mom!
  20. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so glad she went voluntarily. That first night can be very scary, I know. I hope things are better for her today, and that the real healing can begin.

    Remember to use this time to recharge yourself, knowing she is safe. Get some rest. I have such vivid memories of mornings after a psychiatric admission for each of my girls (unfortunately, there were many admissions) .. it's a mixture of relief, sadness, guilt, and anxiety. It's important to do something today to keep your mind off of it, and to take care of yourself.

    Keep us posted.