psychiatric hospital vs Rehab

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by comatheart, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    While I've been on this journey a very short period of time in comparison to some of you, I want to think I have learned quite a lot. On the topic of addiction and co-morbid mental illness, it's sometimes which came first, the chicken or the egg mentality. Regardless, if your child has a mental illness and you just treat the addiction, they will never be able to stay clean and visa versa. Is this right??

    My son was in the Psychiatric hospital for 10 days before we got him into rehab after his attempted suicide. In one of our last family counseling sessions there at the psychiatric hospital, the counselor was asking my son questions, trying to determine if this was more a substance abuse issue or a psychiatric issue and explained he would need to stay there, if it were the later. My son was itching to get out of there and swore it was addiction. So off he went to rehab.

    He's been at rehab 37 days if I'm counting right. The more I see and hear from happenings down there and things I'm finding here in his room, the more I think he's in the wrong place. I mean, don't get me wrong, they're treating his mental health. It's a duel diagnosis facility, but maybe a psychiatric hospital would be a better place to get to the bottom of things? If that is the case, will the rehab let us know?? I've been sharing things I find and observe along the way with the facility and at this point my son is very, very angry with us because of it. Some of the things he's doing are causing himself restrictions. For example, hiding broken pieces of metal in his room at the rehab just 2 weeks after carving all over his body with a safety pin. Um hello? We are just trying to keep him safe! He's being watched more closely now than the day we brought him there. He's miserable, but not helping himself by opening up either. In fact, he's more shut down than ever.

    Anyone ever feel this way before? Thoughts?
  2. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Hi there,
    In my humble opinion, we are often dealing with an underlying mental illness especially when suicide was attempted. But even so, the psychological/emotional even spiritual (if you will) parts need to be addressed as well as medication if the person is also using drugs/alcohol.

    I am curious as to what mood stabilizer they have your son on? There are many and finding the right one at the right dosage etc is important.

    I think your son's issues are being dealt with as needed. He needs an education in the Big Book in my opinion, in AA, therapy, etc. He needs to learn things there that he would not learn if only in psychiatric hospital.

    I will never regret sending our son's to rehab and then AA for that reason. Regardless of mental illness, they need additional tools to him them cope with life in my opinion. And at the very least...they know where to go in the future when they struggle.

    I wish your son would open up more. He surely see's an individual councelor there. What are they telling you that they think? Have you been able to speak with the Rehab psychiatric Dr.?

    Thinking of you,
  3. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    LMS, thank you for responding.

    The medications in my signature are current. They've changed dosages a few times since he's been admited, but he is still on the same medications he went in on. He has been on several different mood stabilizers in the past, some didn't work, some he had terrible side effects to. They have all the records, so imagine that's why they haven't tried anything different?

    I actually spoke with the psychiatrist at the rehab last night on the phone. She is very concerned with his progress, or lack thereof. She told us he goes above and beyond to say what he thinks they want to hear. (we've been saying this about him for years, so to hear her acknowledge it to us made us feel he is in the right place, they ARE seeing right through him) She explained she was prescribing the Lamictal for depression and that it is a very good medication for those with suicidal idealizations. (sp?) He has made out my husband to be a monster, which isn't surprising to us at all. Dad is the one who's been holding difficult child accountable from the very beginning of his downward spiral. I'm the one who kept wanting to give him another chance, give him the benefit of the doubt, accept all the excuses he was giving and overall be the ENABLER in the family. husband has been right about difficult child all along. Regardless, because he has this monster built up in his head about husband, we'll have to work through it. The psychiatrist thinks this is key to getting him to open up. :(

    He has several counselors working with him there. An individual and a family counselor. They both want to meet with me today, so we'll see what they are thinking about all of this...

    You have a good point about him needing to learn the Big Book and AA, thank you for the reminder!!
  4. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Yes I am curious to hear what the individual and family counselor's have to say to you today.

    Oh, I sure understand the blame game! Your difficult child is angry that he is where he is...Your husband has been named the "bad guy" now and it is ALL a smokescreen! The bottom line is that your son is an addict...and he will use, use, use. Use every excuse and every person to get what he wants. Sounds like right now he wants some revenge for being where he is.

    I am SO HAPPY to hear that you are seeing right through your difficult child's tactics. Many families do not survive the "blame game". I hope you will continue to back up husband and know that a hard line and consequences are NOT unloving.
    Our drug addict kids are MASTERS at pitting one parent against the other. I truly believe they want the enabler ALL TO THEMSELVES. It is just like my young difficult child telling me the other day that if "dad wasn't in the picture that "I" would be taking care of him". He know's who the weakest one in the family is to get to and use. It's all part of the drugs winning. They don't care if they destroy their mother in the long as they get to keep using.

    Lean on your husband. Pray with him if you do that sort of thing.
    You do not need to defend yourself. Your difficult child has left you all with no choice than for him to be exactly where he is now. You are doing all you can for him. The rest is up to him.

    I care about you.
  5. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    Thank you so much for your support. I'm at a loss for words, please just know that it means more than I can even say right now... :(
  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    It sounds like your son is in the right place. I think it is key with kids like ours to have dual diagnosis treatment. I think it is very hard to treat mental illness without substance abuse treatment, and pretty hard to treat the substance abuse without treating the underlying mental health issues. And unfortunately it is hard to find places that really deal with both types of issues.

    And yes on what LMS said about he blame game... I am the bad guy in our family dynamic because I am the one that tends to make the rules and enforce them. My husband does not like confrontation and tends to avoid it way way too much, the thing is because of that my difficult child does not respect him as much either.

  7. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    comaheart, I did a lot of research about this when we sent our difficult child to a dual diagnosis center for her addiction and mental health issues. Current research shows that both the addiction and mental health issues have to be treated concurrently in order for it to be effective. If you treat the addiction first the underlying mental health issues just drives them back to self-medicating and you can't really treat the mental health issues first because the drugs and addiction clouds the mind so they can't think clearly and respond to treatment.

    Honestly, 37 days is a drop in the bucket. I was told that the drugs really aren't completely out of their systems for a month and I would say that I didn't really see a big difference with my difficult child until the third month into her residential stay.

    Hang in there and give this time to work.

  8. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    Thanks TL & Kathy! Makes sense. After speaking with the psychiatrist and then the counselors and hearing from you all, I really feel so much better about things. I really feel he's in a very good place now!