Scared to discipline after suicide attempt

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Skyler42, Jun 24, 2018.

  1. Skyler42

    Skyler42 New Member

    Hi there..first i'd like to thank anyone for any insight or help i can get here and apologize for the length.My 15 year old daughter took a razor blade to her neck(5 long cuts)half the length of her left arm and her leg.She also took 15-20 of her doctor prescribed Wellbutrin in an effort to kill herself.This happened while i was 10 hrs away in GA visiting family.When i got the call,my 19 year old daughter and i raced back to our hometown all the while with me constantly on the phone talking to the police,her stepdad (we've been divorced for 7 years but he's still in my kids lives)and trying to hold it together.My husband now of 5 years and 21 yr old son were at the house when this happened with no clue of anything that was going on until the police showed up.The police were called by a friend of my daughter's who immediately called 911 when she found out (by FaceTime)what my teen had done.My daughter was transferred to a CHKD where i stayed by her bedside for a week,watched her hallucinate,be combative and act like ive never seen her before.The doctor said she had been (a tin-foil width)away from cutting her main artery and bleeding out and it wasn't a cry for help,she really was trying to die.After a week she was transferred to a teen(behavioral center)and she was also there for a week.My daughter has been in therapy for the last 2 years for anxiety and depression but her and i have ALWAYS been super close,she's has always been very loving,never argumentative and a sweet girl.Her father passed away 2 yrs ago and i believe her step-dad and i divorcing years ago and her having to change schools ofcourse played a massive part in this but this suicide attempt COMPLETELY came out of NOWHERE.She had been on 3 different medications the last 4 months (Prozac,Zoloft and Wellbutrin)which her therapist and pediatrician finally talked me into starting her on because i hadn't wanted her to be on any medication.Was it the anti-depressants that caused her to flip,we don't know.I asked my daughter what caused her to try to take her life and she said it was a snap decision but she had been thinking about it for the past few years.I had no idea about this at all.She's been back home for two weeks now and the first week was great,she wanted to be downstairs with me and the family BUT the last 2 days she's reverted back to wanting to sleep all day and be up all night.Because my daughter has been home-schooled for the past 2 years the only friends she has are the ones online.Upon her coming home i had planned to take away her computer to only allow her to be on it downstairs and for an hour a day.I had told her about this the 2 weeks she was in the hospital and she told me over and over that if i did that she would try and kill herself again because her online friendships meant everything to her.I gave in completely terrified she would act on it.I never in a millions years thought she would try to kill herself so i don't know what to do.I changed her doorknob so there's no lock now,ive permanently hidden any medications in our house and have anything sharp in the house on a "check-out and bring back promptly)basis.I check in on her constantly,can't sleep at night, always worried and now that shes gone back to her "sleep all day,up all night"routine i feel as if i'm completely powerless and scared.When ive tried to talk to her about my worries and concerns she tells me to stop,she's fine and that she just wants to put her suicide attempt "behind her and not think about it."I know and acknowledge that ive allowed her the upper hand but i don't know how to deal with this.I'm always worried about upsetting her,terrified that she'll do what she tried before but succeed this time.She needs limits and discipline but i don't know how to do it without a massive blowout,fighting and her trying to kill herself.Shes been seeing a "crisis Stabilization therapist"and a psychologist but she refuses to participate saying theres no reason for her to be there because "she's fine".We've got her volunteering at the local SPCA and other activities to get her out of the house when we can.Im scared to death,have noone to talk to about this because they'll tell me to put my foot down but i can't,im to scared and i just don't know what to do.I go to my laundry room and cry constantly so noone will see me and try to be upbeat for the rest of my family.I know i sound weak and the crazy part about this im not a weak person at all but this has completely altered my world.I feel like a complete failure as a mother even tho ive always tried to make my children the center of my world.My two other kids(19 and 21 are happy,well-adjusted and work and go to college.)I just don't understand what i did wrong with my 15 year old...Again im so sorry for the length of this but i desperately need help and have nowhere to turn.Thank you so much.
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry for you pain. The success or problems our kids have are more DNA rellated than what we did. Any mental illness or drug addiction in the famiy tree on both sides, even if the child didn't see the other side? The DNA is still there regardless of contact. Both mental illnessis and substance abuse in the genes make people more prone to mental illness. I have suffered mental illness since childhood and will share my opinion/experience with you about medications and treatment. This is just MY story.

    All medications are different to different people. I have taken paroxatene for decades and many people can't tolerate it, but it has totally eliminated my depression. A miracle really. Prozac, Zoloft lithium, tegretal, amitriptyline, imitriptylene and Ritalin all made me worse. Nortriptyline helped me about 50 percent but I still felt dragged down. It felt better than being on nothing. I would think about suicide all the time without anything.

    But three antidepressants??? Does she take them in the morning? THAT would make her sleep like Sleeping Beauty!!! Many medications I took made me sleep all the time. Prozac did. Lithium was a nightmare for me and it did. Tegretal did. Zoloft was another nightmare. I ended up hallucinating on some drugs. But until I found paroxatene, I still felt suicidal taking nothing. But when I was on lithium in particular I was not just sad but I felt as if I was walking in a was the worst medication for me ever and the doctor was supposed to take blood samples for levels in my blood but he didn't. Some psychiatrists I had were great, some we're average, some sucked. There are all levels of ability, like in all professions. I actually like neuro psychologists best of all for diagnosing (psychologists with extra training in the brain). You may try that. They are mostly found in University and children's hospitals and they do extensive testing, unlike psychiatrists who never tested me. In my experience the testing nudges them closer to the true problem.

    I would get a new doctor or a neuro psychologist. Sorry, three antidepressants is crazy. One is enough or yes she will sleep and probably eat weirdly. That is being overmedicated.

    Id start ovet. In fact, I'd have her diagnosed again. Something didn't work here. If doctors don't help find new ones. I had to try different ones.

    No matter what anyone tells you, honest psychiatrists AND a neuro psychologist from Mayo Clinic told me that psychiatry is an
    inexact science. Every diagnosis and medication trial is just a guess. So we deal with it as such. There are no blood tests to confirm a diagnosis. There IS a new cheek swab test to help the doctor know which medications may work the best with our unique DNA. I don't know how accurate it is.

    Is there a reason you don't want your daughter on the internet? Otherwise, if it we're me, I would let her chat. Unless she is running off meeting boys or buying drugs, she considers these chat buddies her only friends. Any reason you don't want her in school? I just ask because she sounds like she could use friends. I don't think homeschooling is bad, but you do make friends there, some better than others.

    I hope you keep us updated.

    Love and light!
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    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  3. Skyler42

    Skyler42 New Member

    Hi there,thank you so much for your reply!Her father overdosed 2 years ago (his drug use was the reason why i left,my other kids were small and daughter was 8 months old at the time).My kids never had constant interaction with their father and my daughter really doesn't have many memories with him.Shes always said that his death didnt really affect her (didnt cry at his funeral) but i know it had to have in some way even if she says it hasn't.We do have depression on both sides of my family unfortunately thats why i knew it was so important to get my daughter help when i started seeing signs.We do not allow alcohol or any other type of use of anything in our home so my daughter's never tried any substances before.Shes always home with me and has no friends other than those online.Thats why im so scared to take away the only interaction she has with other kids even if its on the computer.She has shows no desire to make friends outside of home so that worries me greatly.
  4. Dear Skyler, I am so sorry. Your post reminds me of what I have been going through with my fifteen year old. There are a couple of differences, such as, while my daughter has threatened to kill herself, she has not tried to do it YET, and, sadly, I have an awful relationship with my girl, who has decided I am the cause of her pain and problems.

    I wish I had advice. It sounds great that you have her volunteering at the SPCA, and try to keep her busy, and that she's in therapy. Like your daughter, my daughter gets depressed and doesn't want to get out of bed. I know the feeling of being scared to leave her alone, and laying awake at night worried about what is going on in her head in the other room.

    Mostly, I want you to know you are not alone. 15 seems to be harder than it used to be. I hope both of our girls recover and go on to live happy, satisfying lives, and that we get to share in their happiness. Hopefully, somebody with more experience answers your post with some good advice we may both benefit from.
  5. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome, Heidi

    Do you have any homeschool groups in your area? Your daughter would benefit from peer group interaction, even if she is at first reluctant to go.

    Fifteen is a tough age.
  6. Skyler42

    Skyler42 New Member

    Hi there and thank you.I'm not sure about any groups.My daughter's been being homeschooled by a teacher thru her high school so i've never though about that but it's definately something i'll look into.Thank you!
  7. Skyler42

    Skyler42 New Member

    Thank you so much for your kind and supportive words.It really is very difficult when all you want is for your child to be happy and healthy and it seems like no matter how hard you try its like two steps forward,four steps back.I appreciate you sharing what you've been going thru with your daughter.I know how extremely difficult it is.I feel so alone all the time because of the judgements i feel like i would get from people(family & friends) who don't have personal experience of what its like to have someone you love so much go thru this.They're outside looking in so it's easier to judge whether they are well-meaning or not.Its almost as if its a dirty secret that you don't want anyone to know about when you yourself are struggling with your own internal guilt and need an understanding shoulder to cry on.Thank you again for sharing with me and reminding me im not alone in this and i pray our girls get past this and have a happy and fulfilling future and to look forward to.
  8. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Is your daughter technically part of the public school system? Since she has a home bound teacher, I am thinking that might be the case. Many school systems allow homeschooled kids access to some public school offerings and some even have classes once per week for homeschoolers who are enrolled in the system. Call the district to see what you may be eligible for.

    Other states have homeschool groups and classes run by parents. Often, these are in states that don’t allow homeschoolers to be involved in the public schools. They often offer lots of things like proms, yearbooks, science labs and such. Every area is different. Check your state homeschool organization and your locality as well.

    I have been involved in both types depending on the state I lived in, and my kids benefitted from involvement in them.
  9. Skyler42

    Skyler42 New Member

    Yes, she is part of our public school system here and i'll definately look into it to find out more information!I've been really trying to get her to be more involved with outside of the home activities so she can get that social interaction she needs tho she says thats the opposite of what she wants.Its definately a struggle.Thank you again for your input on this,its very much appreciated!
  10. Skyler42

    Skyler42 New Member

    Oh my goodness no,im sorry,she was first tried on Prozac and when that didn't work then we tried the Zoloft and when again that made her feel bad she was put on Wellbutrin but she wasn't on all of those at the same time tho.She started homeschooling after two months of her refusing to go to school and she was having major anxiety which had her calling me to come get her halfway thru the school day everyday.The first thing i thought was is she being bullied but she vehemently denied that was it and said she was having a diificult time functioning and being in a social setting.Ive been trying to get her to go back to school since the beginning of this but shes outright refused and her therapist felt as if it wasnt a good time for her yet.. I don't mind at all her having online friends its just the amount of time and hours she wants to do it.All her friends seem to be up at night when she is so then she wants to sleep all day which means we wouldn't see her at all unless we are also up late or me,coming into her room during the day while shes sleeping.Ive found myself in complete panic mode waking up all hours of the night to check on her or peeking my head in while shes sleeping during the day because im constantly worried if shes ok.She always is just fine but im worried anyways..
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  11. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    Hi Skyler,
    My son also tried to take his life at 15, this year. He has also homeschooled (for 8 years). Having few friends is his main source of unhappiness, but like your daughter, he made all attempts for positive socialization opportunities impossible.

    I know the fear you speak of. Honestly, I had no clue how to handle it. The therapists coached me a bit, and it was also helpful talking to other people in my life who had themselves attempted suicide.

    What you're going through is so hard. I'm sorry. Know that you're not alone.
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  12. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Ask her prescribing physician for DNA testing. Based on the test, they will know what liver enzymes they have and what medications can be metabolized.

    My daughter is missing an enzyme, but also has too many of others. So some medications won't metabolize and others she's listed as an ultra fast metabolizer.

    Google DNA for prescribing medication... But, always make sure that your insurance covers it, or how much it will cost.

  13. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Has she always been socially awkward? Late or very early to talk? Strange tics or repetitive behaviors? Obsessed with certain things to the point that it obviously is not in the norm? A g ood learner but better memorizing than with abstract facts?

    I ask these things because while there is no doubt she is depressed....there is no other reason one makes a scary, serious suicide threat, it is also possible something else is going on with it to make it even harder for the poor child.

    Rarely does depression or any mentall illness stand completely alone. With me I had severe anxiety. I have no clinical depression anymore but there is still anxiety which can cause panic attacks in some people. They we're once so bad I was afraid to leave the house. I developed agoraphobia for a while.

    Antidepressants should help anxiety too. Mine does. But unlike getting rid of the anxiety like it did the I needed tons of therapy. Now I have pretty good skills. I was taught by gifted therapists plus self taught by books and youtube anxiety videos to control my panic.

    There are newer treatments for anxiety and PTSD if you think she has that. Look up EMDR....drug free, proven very useful. I know people who have done it and say it changed their lives. A trained psychologist does it. There is also tapping for anxiety. Look that up too. Also proven and drug free. The day is coming when medications may be unnecessary for many.

    Your daughter needs proper interventions and for that you need to know if besides depression she has another disorder making her feel different and hopeless....anxiety, highfunctioning autosm, tourettes syndrome which causes mental illness...things you have not yet explored. There are many possibilities including PTSD.

    I feel a neuro psychological evaluation is best for the testing. That's what I finally took my son to and myself and I got back detailed reports that explained the issues and why he saw these issues and what to do about them. There were from Mayo Clinic and very helpful to both of us. If you go this route, find somebody from a good hospital with a good reputation.

    My son on the autism spectrum also gets depressed although not suicidally. All autistics lack friends, are socially awkward and need specific interventions even as they continue treatment for the other stuff.

    Tourettes syndrome is no fun too.

    Learning.problems/ADHD add to the depression.

    I was severely depressed all through high school and until I found the right medications. That was the only option then for treatment. The learning problems made me feel stupid. There was no homeschooling then or I would have begged for it. But I did want.a few real life friends. Of course there was no internet then.

    I would take her to a neuropsychologost. Ten hours of intensive testing and in my own experience only, the closest you can get to real answers and suggestions in the inexact science world of psychiatry .

    This is all my long experience and that of my son and i feel it is solid advice. As this dear daughter struggles, only you make the decisions in the end.

    I hope you keep us updated.

    Love light and.prayers, if you believe. Meanwhile be sure to rest your body and mind. You can't help your daughter if you don't take time for yourself

    Therapy probably yoiu so that you know you are a good mother, learn to cope with your daughters illness better and learn to take care of yourself.

    I trust you as her mother to listen to everything suggested and to do what you feel is best for her.

    I have a very soft spot for suicidal depression and the horror of living it, both for her and for Mom whose heart is so open with love and fear.

    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  14. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Hi there,

    I am sorry for your pain. Last year and also at age 15 my stepson came within a hair's breath of completing suicide. He was hospitalized until the winter holidays. He has a lot more support in school as a result of this nightmare and it has helped him somewhat. In other areas he has made little to no progress. We have a terrible relationship with him. He is refusing all contact with us - we are not the residential parents. We do not see our situation changing in the near future as we are the scapegoats for his issues and his other parent allows this.

    I wanted to say Skylar, that it sounds as though your daughter is running the show at your home and not the other way around, the way it should be.

    There is no way that a 15 year old child should be allowed to dictate what they are going to do and when they are going to do it, and expect their parent to simply fall in line. I know you are concerned and worried and terrified that she will attempt again. Know that since his recovery my stepson now uses threats of suicide to get his way. He has admitted this to his therapists. I don't know if your daughter is as manipulative as my stepson, but the picture you paint is of a household where the roles are reversed and the parent lives in fear of the child. I would not doubt that your daughter has (correctly) figured out that you fear another attempt more than anything else, and that she is willing to exploit that to get what she wants.

    I gently and humbly suggest that it is time to take the focus off your daughter and place it on yourself. You are the only person you can control. And as the adult you have the right to set house rules.

    Do you have support for yourself? A therapist or a self help group such as Al-Anon? Even if substance abuse is not in the picture, Al Anon helps us learn how to live our own lives and take power back from our troubled children, parents, partners - whoever the person in our lives may be.

    If your daughter refuses to comply with your expectation that she follow a traditional schedule then as harsh as this sounds, perhaps a boarding school, residential treatment center or some other highly structured environment is the right place for her. If she is so sick that she cannot function in society then it seems cruel to allow her to sit and rot in the family home while continuing to do as she pleases. This will not prepare her for a productive adulthood. It seems to me she needs to learn the basic skills she lacks so that she can one day function.

    If our troubled children are going to attempt again there is nothing but nothing we can do to stop it. Setting limits and enforcing consequences will trigger tantrums, emotionally our kids are more like toddlers than teenagers and they will react in similar ways to much younger children. We have to be able to stay strong, and not give in to them. If we cannot then we become their enablers and we are at their mercy.

    If you do not trust your daughter to maintain her personal safety then it seems to me she needs to be living somewhere with 24/7 supervision. You cannot exist that way, it is too stressful. You can call the police if she threatens. She will be taken to a hospital for evaluation.

    Finally I do hope you insist on monitoring her online interactions with these "friends". She may be engaging in inappropriate conversation or worse. Many child predators pose as teens online. Your daughter sounds vulnerable to this kind of situation. I would be very suspicious if I were you.

    I am sorry if any of this sounds harsh. It doesn't seem like this situation can continue as it is. Either you will crack up or your daughter will end up in terrible trouble.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  15. beyondthecliff

    beyondthecliff New Member

    You are absolutely not alone, although in the awful nightmare of suicide attempts, it can certainly feel that way.
  16. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    Is it possible that there is cyber bullying going on since that is the only contact she has? Just a thought. Prayers are with you.
  17. Wish

    Wish Active Member

    Just got done reading your story and how terrifying. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if you were dealing with post traumatic stress disorder after this experience that has happened with your daughter and is continuing to happen because you are living in constant daily fear. What mother wouldn't be after witnessing all of this? This is a serious situation and has nothing to do with being weak or strong. This would bring any mother to her knees. I hope you are getting support.

    For your daughter to do something so drastic, it would make me question, did something happen to her currently or in the past or both? The first thing any professinal would ask is has she ever been sexually abused or raped? The tricky part is, I wouldn't not even attempt to bring this up to her right now but it is something to seriously ponder. There are red flags all over the place that something very possibly happened to her.

    For right now, I would give her a lot of time. If she needs to sleep it out during the day and be up at night and want to talk to her online friends, just go for it for right now until enough time has past. She almost took her life in such a violent way and succeeded. I can't even imagine what the PTSD is like for her. I really feel for her. I am not saying she should get away with things or not be disciplined but this child needs some time to recover from all of this. I would say at least a year after something like this. Of course you can't let her get away with everything, I am not suggesting that, but if this is the way she wants to live her life right now to recover from what she has been through, you just might have to oblige and I don't see anything too terribly wrong with that. I would in the meantime, slowly but surely start doing things with her and trying to get her and you to forget what happened as much as possible. Start living life normally again, be an example. Slowly start getting her life back to normal. You will feel it in your gut when to push her, and when to back off of her. Go off of your instincts. That is what I did with my daughter, who when she was a teen was highly suicidal and her risks went up greatly for commiting suicide because her own father took his own life with a gun to the head. I lived this fear every day of her teenage life because she had so many problems.

    This is a very serious situation and one you would need a lot of professinal help for and advice.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
  18. Wish

    Wish Active Member

    I especially live with this fear of suicide because she is now 21 years old and that is the age her father commited suicide. I know it's ridiculous because it doesn't matter the age, but I cannot wait until she is 22. I need this 21 to be over with for obvious reasons.

    Her teenage years are well behind her and she is doing so great in life. Leaps and bounds from where she was as a teenger. She is a hard worker for years. Teaches herself all kinds of things that you would only see in the circus of olay. Hobbies. Reading. Yoga. Spirital healing stuff. Exercising. She is always doing SOMETHING POSITIVE. The only thing that's bad in her life right now, is a very abusive boyfriend. This is the only thing holding her back is such big ways. If it wasn't for him, she'd be doing that much more amazingly.
  19. Wish

    Wish Active Member

    Oops, serious grammar check. My grammar has been horrible lately and I usually let it go but I think I needed to correct this one.

    I meant to say "I would not even attempt to bring this up to her right now but it is something to seriously ponder"

    Thanks for letting me clear that up.