When a grown child is anti-medication

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by MidwestMom, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My daughter is here for a while to rest and recoup and get some medical attention (she never sleeps and has racing thoughts). She is a very articulate, bright young woman with a lot of insight into herself, and knows that she suffers from depression, sometimes deep depression. She can draw and write poetry and some is very dark. She even admitted she sometimes wants to die. She says she probably has a mood disorder, but doesn't want to "depend" on drugs. She says she has to work it out her way and will not take any medication. First of all, she doesn't want to gain weight and second of all, she is trying to work it out with good diet and exercise, alternatives, and just learning coping skills. This obviously makes me very nervous, but she is 24 and a good kid and she turned her life around from using every illegal drug on the planet. I can't really force her to take medications. She is willing to take something to help her sleep, but that is all. I guess I'm going to have to detach and trust that she can manage. She is unyielding on this issue. She doesn't think it is bad for others to take medications. SHE just doesn't want to do it that way. She has some symptoms of bipolar (without the EXTREME mania) and some of cyclic unipolar, but her depression lasts a lot shorter than mine. I told her about certain medications, like Lamictal, that don't cause weight gain, but she is ademant she wants nothing more to do with drugs. I guess I'm going to have to "let go and let God." She is such a sweet young lady who never took drugs for the purpose of being a thug. She was self-medicating. I am at lose ends and not sure how to handle this. I thought of going to Al-Anon, but I don't fit in there either anymore, since she is clean. Any ideas for support on letting go and learning not to worry so much?
  2. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Tell her that she is much more likely to become dependent on a sleep aid than an anti-depressant.

    Also, she might want to check out a 12-step meeting. They certainly have helped me with self-coping.

    Outside of that, yeah, hard as it is, letting go is the thing to do.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    MWM...would she consider homeopathic or herbal supplements? Some people have good luck with SAMe or St Johns wort. Then there are the valerian teas and such for sleep. Maybe if she did some research into the natural treatments she could find a way to help herself. Even the omega's might help her.
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    MWM, I agree with you that you will have to let her come to her own in this. As for how to feel better about this yourself, Al-Anon may still be the right place. Or, maybe just involving yourself in something that you enjoy. You are on the right track, because you know the decision about medication is hers. All you can do is remember that she is an intelligent and articulate young woman, and keep your eye out for any "over the top" behaviors.
  5. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My Oldest refuses to take medications or maintain therapy, let alone even acknowledge that she has any type of mental illness (although she occasionally tells people she is bipolar, as an excuse for her behavior, I think). Detaching is all I can do. Honestly I guess I've just gotten used to it... I don't think about it much any more, except when she is in an extreme out of control mood and trying to **** me in... but it took time. At least your daughter seems to have some logical reasoning .. and perhaps with time, she may change her mind. Sounds like she is extremely self-aware, and that is a good thing.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Janet, THANK YOU. My God, I forgot about St. Johns Wart!!!!
    OMG, I could kiss you!
    I am NOT detaching from THIS child because she is trying very hard to help herself. I did detach from her when she used drugs, but right now she wants to help herself and is not in denial that she has issues. However, she feels she wants to use alternative routes to help herself. I don't really blame her--she had hideous medication experiences. The medications made her worse. THat's the problem when our kids are younger and get put on the wrong medications.
    At any rate, I so appreciate all help/responses/advice. You are all so kind. I never know where the great thought is going to come from.
    The visit has been very good so far. I am VERY close to THIS daughter, probably closer than to any of my kids. I feel that God sent her to us as this child is adopted, but more like me than my biological son. I can actually help her...and, in her way, she can help me too.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    OMG, happy day!
    She is going to order St. John Wort along with a natural sleeping aid she has read about on an interesting Native American Remedy site. I am so grateful for the suggestion as I know these do help people.
    She simply doesn't want to take any medicine, but she is very interested in getting help. Forgive me if I cry...it has been such a long, rough road for her. When I took her to see my therapist this past week, she had to fill out forms. When it came to "Past Drug Use" she was filling in things like ecstascy, cocaine...I stopped looking.
    We have come so far. You can all come this far. Just have faith and don't enable your adult kids.
    Thanks again.
  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Just a note - if she's taking birth control pills, St Johns Wart can interfere and make them not as effective.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I'll tell her. I think she is.
    I'm trying to help her find an alternative doctor. She seems very driven in this direction and spent several hours on a site for Native American remedies. She seems to really want to get better, but without drugs. So I'm going to help her.
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Have you thought of a naturopath? I went to one for a while who prescribed special natural mixtures for me, as well as did accupuncture (for muscle pain). We have a really great school of naturopathic medicine here.
  11. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I really feel for you...some of what you posted rings true for me as well, although our adopted daughter has the diagnosis and does take medication.
    She does not wish to raise her medication or take any additional medication at this point due to weight gain.
    I too would consider asking her if she would like you to explore natural medication possibilities for her or take her to a naturopath physician.
    For the most part, I have detached because our daughter goes in and out of the ability to progress and I have found it to be too emotionally draining. It hampers my own personal growth too much and I don't think it does much for hers. I am always willing to provide money for medical and psychological care (so that she can get the help she needs) and can offer advice if it is asked for. I do all the "mom" stuff like holidays and so forth. I have found that books on boundaries have been helpful, as well as keeping myself busy, in prayer, happy and productive. Knowing that she 1) is covered medically 2) is being nurtured appropriately 3) and keeping myself psycholoigcally healthy...keeps me from worrying.
  12. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You might also see if there is a "compounding pharmacy" in your area .. there is one here where they have a nurse practitioner on staff that gives advice on natural remedies.

    Edited to add a link I found: http://www.findings.net/sucompoundingWI.html
  13. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I hope it works out, MWM- my fingers are crossed!

  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks to everyone. I really REALLY appreciate the help.
  15. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    I know your daughter said she is against taking drugs, but then says she is okay with taking sleeping pills. I'm sorta questioning that statement. But, I understand the need for sleep and the lack of it. Melatonin is available sub lingual in most health food stores and should be taken a minimum of a month WITH a bedtime schedule and no eating after a certain hour, no TV, no music, etc. There are a lot of things people can do to calm down at night other than take sleeping pills. Check with your pharmacist and ask them if they have information about a sleep kit. She would start writing down when she can't sleep /what her thougths are/ what she did during the day, exercise, activities, foods....a lot of things can keep her awake.

    Also regarding St. Johns Wort - I'm not a huge fan. I tried it for situational depression and had no luck. We tried it with Dude and he had awful, bad, horrible headaches. It also takes a while to find out if it will work. It's a great suggestion - but I've posted some of the side effects below to help also.

    Side Effects and Risks

    The most common side effects of St. John's wort include dry mouth, dizziness, diarrhea, nausea, increased sensitivity to sunlight, and fatigue.
    Research has shown that taking St. John's wort can limit the effectiveness of some prescription medicines, including:
    • Antidepressant medicines
    • Birth control pills
    • Cyclosporine, a medicine that helps prevent the body from rejecting transplanted organs
    • Digoxin, a medicine used to strengthen heart muscle contractions
    • Indinavir and other medicines used to control HIV infection
    • Irinotecan and other anticancer medicines
    • Warfarin and related medicines used to thin the blood (known as anticoagulants)
    When combined with certain antidepressants, St. John's wort also may increase side effects such as nausea, anxiety, headache, and confusion.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Star. She really doesn't want to take sleep medications. She is going to try alternatives. Melatonin doesn't help her. Daughter doesn't sleep due to racing thoughts. She is quite "on the ball" well aware that this can be a symptom of bipolar, but she wants to medicate naturally and really hates the medications s he's been tried on. She doesn't want to gain weight and doesn't like putting chemicals into her system (quite a switch from a kid who did Ecstasy and Cocaine), but she will not be swayed. To her it is better to be depressed at times than to take prescription medications.