What do you do when your adult child starts refusing treatment?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Californiablonde, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    My daughter has been over 18 for quite some time now. In December she turns 20. After all those years of being (thankfully) medication compliant for the most part, she is now picking and choosing which medications she takes. I don't just mean her psychiatric medications. She is also pre diabetic, is on her way to developing full blown diabetes, and won't take her afternoon dose of Metformin.

    She always complains she is dizzy and weak and her blood sugar is low, then demands I get her some type of dessert. She doesn't get it. We went to her nutritionist over the summer, and she once again explained to my daughter that she needs to steer clear of any sugar, substitute sugar, and processed food. As long as she takes her Metformin, her blood sugar shouldn't be an issue.

    Meanwhile, all of her doctors have been pushing her to lose weight, which isn't happening, because she barely eats during the day and binge eats at night, mostly when I'm sleeping. It doesn't matter what kind of food I keep in the house. She will eat gobs of bread or huge slices of cheese or anything she can get her hands on.

    Now she is refusing some of her psychiatric medications, namely her mood stabilizer, because she doesn't like the side effects. As for now, her doctor doesn't want to try her on anything new. He wants her to stick it out with the Lamictal. So now she is rapid cycling and it's crazy. Some nights she doesn't sleep at all and is very manic, mean and very nasty. Some days she is depressed and wants nothing but sleep. I have learned to detach over the years when it comes to her moods, but that doesn't mean I have to put up with screaming and cussing either.

    Not to mention she has heart problems. She has tachycardia which is a abnormally high pulse rate, and her doctor so concerned that she sent her to a cardiologist. She went to one appointment, they did an EKG which was normal, then told her to come back for more appointments because there are still many tests that need to be run. The cardiologist told her bluntly that with her heart problems her heart could suddenly stop and she can drop dead at any time.

    Not enough to scare my daughter. She has missed every single cardiology appointment since. Telling her she could be in serious trouble or even die it not enough to wake her up. She insists she would love to die young rather than being on this hellish earth. In June she attempted suicide by trying to swallow a bottle of pills. My son, of all people, talked her down from it. We saw her doctor immediately, and he didn't take her seriously. I thought for sure he would put her on a mandatory 72 hour hold, but he didn't. All he did was tell her to keep taking her Lamictal, which she doesn't want to do.

    I am fed up, scared, and don't know what to do anymore. My daughter has finally gotten a little bit of ambition and decided to try and get her high school diploma at her old continuation school. I am thrilled she actually wants to do something with her life, besides wasting it away, but right now with all of her mental and physical problems, I'm not sure how she is going to make it. She starts back at the high school next week, and they are legally obligated to keep her there until she is 22 because she is SPED.

    Maybe she will do a big turn around and pleasantly surprise us all. I can only hope. My main concern right now is her physical health, which she is choosing to leave untreated. Every day I stop home on my lunch break and find her sleeping, and I have to check and see if she is still breathing. I am worried that one day she will suddenly pass, and I will feel guilty I didn't do more to stop it. But what do you do when your child stops caring about her health? I'm at a loss.
     
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I don't know of anything you can do to keep your daughter healthy and medication compliant. That's something she has to want enough to make those changes. I can understand her frustration; some of the psychiatric medications cause weight gain, and it's really hard to drop the weight. I'm diabetic, considered morbidly obese, and I've fought my weight my entire life. I've also recently been diagnosis'd with fibromyalgia.

    I've started walking again, aiming for 6-7,000 steps, where before I was around 5,000 for the day. My Fitbit is a great help in motivating me to move around more. I wish I had some answers for you, but I don't. She needs to get sick and tired of being sick and tired.
     
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  3. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Perhaps it is time for her at 20 to be more independent. Is there an assisted living program in your area. That may shift her to more independant accountability. Big hugs. I am sure this is not easy.
     
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  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    CB, have you tried contacting NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness? Many of us here have taken their parent courses, they're excellent. You may be able to find resources for your daughter and support for you. You can access them online and they have chapters in many cities. They are well versed in non compliance with medications and possibly can help in other ways for all of you as well.

    Hang in there CB, you are continuing to move ahead.....I know it's been hard, but geez, you're putting one foot in front of the other and succeeding under enormous odds. Sending caring hugs......
     
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  5. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Echoing the others, Cali...

    Maybe it's time that your daughter started moving toward independence.

    Has she applied for SSI (if appropriate)?

    That might open up more possibilities for her to live independently of you.

    It's not healthy for her to be sleeping all day....
     
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  6. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is tough, but unfortunately there really isn't much you can do except let it go, and let her take charge of her own health. I know that's scary. My oldest was pretty bad at taking care of her Crohn's Disease/staying medication compliant for many years, and has paid a heavy price, health-wise. She even had doctors discharge her from their service for being non-compliant. It was really hard to watch but I had to just stop .. . stop talking to her about it, stop enabling her in any way. It took me a long time to get there, and I still worry she'll die before me ... but I've come to terms with that. I love her, but it's her journey.

    Is your daughter sick enough to get disability? There may be resources/programs there that can help her become more independent. My oldest finally applied/was accepted a couple years ago, and that's been a load off my mind.
     
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  7. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I took a children's mental health class at NAMI when my daughter was around 10. It was so nice to be around such supportive people who understood what I was going through. I will look them up again online. Never thought about doing that.
     
  8. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I seriously thought about getting SSI for my daughter when she was younger. Even called an attorney about it, and he insisted she wouldn't qualify, because she didn't attend a special school. She was in all ED classes, but he told me it wasn't going to help the judge grant her disability. I wish I would have fought harder. Now that she is an adult, honestly I think she would welcome the help. She really does want to be independent someday, but right now she is struggling and doesn't know how to do it. I will do more research and see what she has to say about it.
     
  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You might give the SSI another go CB, I know here in CA. you may have to apply more than once, often there may be a rejection (so I've heard, I don't know firsthand) and I've been told you apply again...... and there is a wait, but if you're persistent, you may prevail. I was told it takes about a year. I believe your daughter has the necessary criteria as an adult to qualify.

    When I was looking at gaining Guardianship for my granddaughter I did quite a bit of research and found unique agencies which assisted grandparents in getting guardianship, they walked you thru the whole process, you did the paperwork, but they guided you thru it. Otherwise I would have had to pay an attorney. You might try researching agencies which assist with getting adults on SSI. I was surprised how much support there was out there. We live in CA. so we have some advantages in those areas.....give it a go. You might also try the People with Disabilities Foundation. And, NAMI will also be able to direct you to those agencies which can help your daughter get on SSI.

    Let us know what you find out.

    HUGS to you....
     
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  10. TerriH

    TerriH Member

    I am a diabetic. What helps me is to always have allowable snacks in the house, and this is where you might help her.

    For a diabetic, cheese is relatively halthy, as is nuts and meat. And, then there is diet jello and sugar free pudding! I think I disagree with your nutritionalist as I use NutraSweet as an artificial sweetener, which does not affect my blood sugar at all. OTHER sweeteners might affect her blood sugar, depending on which one is used. A pitcher of artificially sweetened ice tea in the fridge and maybe a bottle of diet coke in there as well might help.

    Eating sweets just sets her up for low blood sugar, as what goes quickly up will come just as quickly down! When your blood sugar comes slowly down a person gets a bit hungry and can eat a sensible meal, but if your blood sugar crashes you will eat anything and everything in the house!

    As far as her not taking her medications, gentle hugs! been there done that and it was really rough.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  11. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    CB, the bipolar can also cause weird binge eating episodes. I had a college roomie with bipolar who was always eating cakes (whole) in the middle of the night. Some people with younger children lock up the unhealthy choices.

    I don't know how you can get someone to care about their health; it's one of life's big conundrums.
     
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