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Having a tough time...(Jen here)
March 31, 2007
10:16 pm
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Jenni
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Well, I've been on break from here for a while. I've had things to take care of, (and still do).

My main issue right now is my daughter. (Brief recap: I'm 38, almost 39, and I have 3 girls, 19 year old twins and an 18 year old.)

One of my 19 year old twins has admitted to being hooked on Adderall. She desperately wants to be off of this med. She was recently diagnosed as being bi-polar. I've been searching for answers for her for the last 5 years or so.

As a result, she has been put on many different kinds of meds, Adderall being one of them, as she is also ADHD. She's tried Celexa, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Ablilify and a couple of others that I can't recall at the moment. And there has been times when she has been on many of these meds at once. Not to mention that when all of this fails, she has been known to "self-medicate". (Pot, to relieve her anxieties).

She is fighting major depression, and her self esteem has been slowly fading over time. She doesn't feel good about where she is with herself. She just knows that she doesn't want to be dependent on ANY meds anymore, and just wants to be normal, like everyone else.

She has come forward with her problem and really wants help. She is just having so much trouble even functioning, even just to get thru the basics of everyday life. She shakes a lot, and often cries.

So I asked her if I could look into some places to find her help, and she agreed. We have an appointment next Thursday at our local mental health center. She has no insurance, but this place has a program that she qualifies for in order for her to get the help she needs. They seem to have a lot to offer.

I'm afraid to get too hopeful, (although, I have never lost hope) because everytime I think we've found the answer, I find out we really haven't. I want so much to help her, and I truly believe that with the right medication, (just one, if possible), that she can balance out and feel at peace and be able to enjoy life like she should be at her age.

She only had one of her Adderall pills left, and has 2 weeks before she can get another refill. She said if she can get thru the next 2 weeks without it, she won't get it refilled. But today was only day one, and she is a complete and total mess. So she took that last pill and seemed to have leveled out for now. But she admits to abusing this med, and just wants to be rid of it.

I'm thinking she needs in-patient treatment, but that's the last thing she wants. I won't push it right now, because she has agreed to come this far. But...if she continues to go on as she has, something major has to be done. And to be honest, this scares the hell out of me!

She's been seeing a physchatrist (sp?) for the last 5 years, but we've gotten no where, just more meds, or trying new ones. My daughter says she feels like his guinea pig.

Anyway, this is what I've been doing. I just wanted to share and vent a little. Sorry this was so long, and if you've made it this far, thanks for listening!

Jen

March 31, 2007
10:55 pm
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readyforachange
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Jen...wow, what a lot to deal with at such a young age. She is so lucky to have such an understanding and supportive mom. It sounds like you have been through a lot with her, and have always been there to support her. That is the most important thing, and it will mean so much to her on this journey.

My daughter (13) has been seeing a psychologist, so I know how difficult it is to watch one of your children suffering with mental health issues.

It seems as if you are doing all the right things. Loving her, supporting her, looking into programs that will help her through this.

Most importantly, I hope you are taking care of yourself. How are YOU?

March 31, 2007
11:05 pm
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Jenni
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Hi, Ready! Thank you for the support. I'm ok, but I'm on meds myself, for my own anxiety issues. I'm on Zoloft, which helps a lot. But it's been years since I've increased my dose, and I'm thinking it's about time. I worry myself sick about my girls. I've somewhat learned to let go, and allow them to make their own mistakes.

But this one is different. She actually wants help. Her problem has never been the typical teen age stuff. There is something chemically wrong.

Thank you so much for responding, Ready. I also wish you the best with your daughter. And yes, it is so true how difficult it is to watch your children suffer from these kinds of things. It's truly a helpless feeling. You take care of yourself, too. Our kids need us to be strong, (as difficult as that can be sometimes.)

(((((Readyforachange))))

March 31, 2007
11:13 pm
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readyforachange
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I think it is probably a good idea for you to talk to your doctor about your dosage and meds. You'll need to be strong for your kids. I don't think anyone realizes how difficult it is to raise teenagers.

My ex has anxiety/depression, but doesn't take his meds. I've always thought that he was bipolar, and my daughter is very much like him. I worry that she will turn to alcohol to self-medicate, like he did.

I'm taking Xanax right now, because my father passed away this past Sunday. I have never taken anything, but I have had such a hard time with all of this, I finally called my doctor and asked for something to help me sleep. They called me in a prescription for sleeping pills and Xanax.

I don't remember your situation...are you single?

March 31, 2007
11:22 pm
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(((Jen))), I have missed you dearly here. I am so sorry you are going through so much worry with your daughter. I always felt a bond since we both had twin daughters near the same age. The positive note here, she wants help...that means so much.

My youngest daughter, not the twin, has anger issues that we just began to address. I finally made her an appt. to see someone after we had a talk over a month ago. On the morning of the appt., which was last week, she would not go...ugh...So, I am kind of monitoring and observing her behavior a little closer now.

You do need to take care of yourself too. The worries of parenthood, geez, they are tough aren't they? Why didn't someone tell me?...But, oh the love!!!!

Take care Jen; I will be thinking of you and your daughter...thanks for sharing...

Love,
gg

March 31, 2007
11:37 pm
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Jenni
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Oh Ready! I'm so sorry about the loss of your father. How difficult this must be for you!

Yes, I'm single. I've been divorced for many years, and almost a year ago, I broke up with my fiance of 3 and a half years. I'm still friends with both of the ex's. I just don't need all of the drama that goes with a serious relationship.

My daughter is also very much like her father. She's a little clone of him. I went thru a lot with him when we were married. He self medicated as well. I finally had to take my girls and leave. He made his choices, so I finally had to make some of my own, not just for my own sake, but also for the sake of the girls.

But it's different when it's the kids go thru it. I can't walk away like I did with their father. He's clean now for over about 6 or 7 years. He ended up going to prison for 5 years due to his addiction. He now is a strong advocate against drugs, and has even spoken at a few high schools about the dangers of drugs.

But he comes on too strong with our daughter. He wants her to learn from his mistakes. He's doing and saying all of the things that pushed him away when he was that age and going thru it. She doesn't listen to him too much, because he is a bit of a loud mouth and can be somewhat obnoxious, but he means well. He just has to learn what it's like now on the other side of the fence, and figure out that he can NOT control others, even if he does know what's best, it doesn't work to push himself onto others. And he should be the first person to know this, if he can remember. (I sure remember!!)

Again, Ready, I'm so sorry for your loss! And I thank you for replying to me when you, yourself, are dealing with so much! It's so thoughtful of you to be thinking of others during this time. Hang in there, Sweetie. And I have xanax, too. But I've heard that it can be addictive, so be careful.

((((((((((((((Readyforachange))))))))))) My thoughts and prayers are with you!!

March 31, 2007
11:46 pm
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((((((((GG))))))))) Thank you so much! I've missed you, too!

I guess we are born with a special "worry" nerve for when we have children. I've always been a worrier, but since I've had kids, it's 20 times worse than it ever was before!

I remember the day when I had trouble getting my daughter to an appt. Just the drive there was a challenge. There was alway a chance that she would jump out at a stop light and bail! Back then, those were the types of things she would do.

But now that she's older, we're not dealing with the rebellion part of it, anymore. We're at the desperate phase of this, and just looking for answers. And I agree that it makes it easier that she actually wants help and is being truthful about her problems.

Thanks again for listening! It truly helps for me to know that I can come here and find the support and understanding that I need!

Hang in there, GG. We have to take one day at a time. And is some cases, one minute at a time. Whatever it takes.

((((((GG)))))

April 1, 2007
8:42 am
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ScaredinMichigan
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(((jen)))

April 1, 2007
1:34 pm
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bonni
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(((Jenni)))

I don't have much advice to offer, just hugs and support. take care of you and be a good example of that. that's my 2cents.

i hope it gets better. because your dd truly wants help, that's half the battle.

bonni

April 1, 2007
7:46 pm
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cyndra820
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(((Jenn)))

I am sorry your daughter is going through such a tough time. Bi-polar is something that is difficult on the patient and their family.

My ex-husband has bi-polar with major depressive disorder. He went off his meds so many times it broke us up. However, he did discovery and finally accept that the meds were a permanent part of his life.

There may be another medication your daughter can try to help. Sometimes with bi-polar patients they need a cocktail. Sometimes it is dependent on what ethnicity they are as well. For some reasons African-Americans have better luck (for lack of a better word) with medications. Exercise helps, I don't know how active your daughter is.

I'll keep you and your family in my prayers.

Love, Cyndra

April 1, 2007
8:14 pm
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Jenni
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(((((((((((Mich, Bonni & Cyndra))))))))))))

Thank you all so much for your support and hugs. I'm so grateful I have you all and this place to escape to.

Today is my daughter's first official day off the Adderall. She came home for lunch, and was very tired. She usually expresses how she doesn't know how she will get thru the day, but today, she didn't say this. She just is very tired.

She drinks a lot of soda, Mountain Dew and energy drinks, but doesn't eat. I have to battle just to get her to eat something with protein. She only grabs things on the run, like a donut or something with sugar. This is just not healthy.

But today, she ate a grilled cheese. I even cut it into 4 squares for her, (like when she was little). I know, LOL, kind of pathetic of me, beings she's 19 now! But I thought it might lighten the mood a little, and she did eat.

So this is day one for her. I'll try to keep this updated. I'm unable to come here as often as before with so much going on. But thank GOD this place is always here, or I don't know what I'd do! Thank you, friends!!

April 1, 2007
10:51 pm
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atalose
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Your girls are very lucky to have a wonderful mother!!!
I think your getting some great advice here, what cyndra said about the cocktails with the medications is very true. Also it does take time to get them on the correct meds and doses.
I would also think hard about changing psychiatrist. If after 5 years she's only been diagnosis recently you might want to think about finding a new doctor, maybe someone who specializes in bi-polar.
Maybe the new mental health facility will be able to offer you both some alternatives.
But the fact she has become addicted to one of her meds needs to be brought out in the open. And its great she sees her addiction problem and wants to address it.
I know my bf had been on depakote for years, he’d have to have his liver levels checked ever two months but that was the only medication he was on. Years later they changed it as his body chemistry changed. Now he is on lipitor and prozac but the prozac dose always has to be modified because it makes him very tired during the day.
He has a mild form of it but he also was abusing steroids which wrecked havoc on him and his entire system.
With the wonderful support you are giving your daughter and her wanting to address this I’m sure both of you will come through this just fine.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

April 2, 2007
6:50 pm
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bonni
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Jenni,
the mountain dew and energy drinks may be counterproductive. I've only had one energy drink that I think is worthwhile and that's vitamin water. I think its a bit expensive, so I buy several when I can find it for a $1 a bottle. Also, I go to REI and buy powdered gookinaid. Its like gatorade, but I think its much healthier.

Maybe she needs to get some of this stuff out of her system. There are so many additives and stuff in our diets. I think it makes us sluggish.

Just a thought. what are you doing to take care of you?

bonni

April 2, 2007
8:45 pm
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Jenni
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Hi Atalose and Bonni. We are going to be switching docs on Thursday when we go to this new location. The only reason she was diagnosed as bi-polar is because I researched it myself and told the psychiatrist. about it and that she portrays almost all of the symptoms. Otherwise, we may have gone on another 5 years without knowing anything.

This new facility that we are going to has psychiatrists and psychologists, that interact with each other to assess the patient and what the needs are. And it also offers out patient and in patient treatment. So she would be getting therapy along with her meds., (assuming the assessment goes well Thursday.)

We are basically starting from scratch, with a new doc and hopefully new meds. I'm not real familiar with the cocktail term, but I know how it goes to try many until finding the right one. It's just the getting there that can be a little trying, but yet, well worth it.

And I agree that the Mountain Dew and energy drinks could be very counterproductive. These are just temporary bursts of energy that can cause sluggishness once you come down from it. She has gone on the internet to research different types of natural energy supplements, or drinks. We'll have to look further into this.

Thank you again for the support and input. It means more than you know! I'll keep you posted!

((((((HUGS)))))))

Jen

April 2, 2007
9:22 pm
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Anonymous
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((((((((((((Jen))))))))))))))
Yep, you´ll do ok, fighter! Sending you my confidence in you and you, know, we codepes have a "lot" on others, don´t let me down! Trust yourself!. Take care of yourself. Hugs.

April 2, 2007
10:20 pm
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bonni
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((((Jen))))

April 2, 2007
10:56 pm
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readyforachange
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keeping you and your daughter in my prayers...peace and blessings to both of you

April 2, 2007
10:56 pm
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healintime
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Hi Jenn,

I am so sorry you and your daughter are going through such a tough time -hope that you're finding/making time to take good care of yourself.

I was put on the "wrong" antidepressant a few years back and the withdrawal was worse than the depression. Could it be that your daughter is going through withdrawal symptoms right now? They can be pretty hairy. Maybe your new doctor can talk to you about whether you need to look at tapering off rather than cold-turkeying.

Also - although Mountain Dew etc. give you that energy "burst" if she's sugar sensitive, the lows that follow those highs can also knock you around.

Your post put me in mind of two things - firstly, an article that I read recently about a teenager who had been prescribed all kinds of different meds over six years before she finally got things ironed out:

http://nymag.com/news/features/260006/

Also - sounds hokey, and stupid, but during the whole antidepressant withdrawal debacle, I started looking into food and mood (I was climbing teh walls and clutching at straws) - there's a great book called "potatoes not prozac" that outlines how some foods can exacerbate depression-like symptoms and how to stabilize your moods using your diet to keep your blood sugar as steady as possible.

I used to be all over the map in terms of mood and energy levels - but started following the steps in the book while I was coming off the antidepressants and it made a huge difference. I know that they're talking about dietary guidelines for everything from autism to adhd in kids nowadays and there may be something in there that can help.

Big hug - hope that things get easier soon,

H x

April 2, 2007
11:33 pm
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Jenni
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Thank you, Sini, Bonni, Ready and HealinX!

You all have such great insight to this! Yes, I think part of what she is experiencing is withdrawal sypmtoms, while the other part is her chemical imbalance.

I really believe in the healthy diet route, but that is a whole separate issue. We have so much trouble getting her to eat right. At the moment, she lives on Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew and donuts, unless I make a HUGE production about her need for protein.

Ok, well now I'm off again. I just got a call that my other daughter's boyfriend's car just broke down on the OTHER side of town, so now I'm off to their rescue!! ***sigh*** Oh...the drama!! LOL 😉

Thank all again!

April 5, 2007
1:38 pm
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Update:

Assessment went well today. She qualified for services and will now be receiving regular therapy with a GREAT therapist!

He also referred her to a low income clinic for her meds. This clinic also provides other services, such as medical and dental care. So we went there to get her signed up. And they were already able to make her an appt. for Monday to set up the MD who will be dealing with her meds. They also have a pharmacy in this same building and it will only cost her a co-pay to fill her prescriptions, of maybe just a $5.00 fee for each med.

The therapist interacts with the MD, and they decide what the best plan is for her and what meds will be best for her.

I'm excited, but still somewhat afraid to get my hopes up too high, but for right now, this all looks good! She will have more available to her now than she ever has had since she became an adult.

And also, her employer is working with her so that she won't lose her job over all of this! They gave her some paperwork to have filled out for a temporary leave of absence, just in case she misses anymore days over this, that it will be excused.

Anyway, this is the latest. Just thought I'd share this. I'm off now to put out a few more fires before this day comes to an end. 🙂 Thanks to everyone here and all of the support and words of encouragement! It has helped more than I could ever express!

April 5, 2007
1:42 pm
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ScaredinMichigan
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(((Jen))) Thinking of you and holding both you and your daughter close.

So glad to hear that she is going to be getting some help. That is EXCELLENT. I am proud of her for being willing.

Love, Mich

April 5, 2007
1:49 pm
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Jenni
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((((((Mich))))))) Thank you! I'm proud of her, too!

April 5, 2007
1:56 pm
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ScaredinMichigan
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Jen, I want you to know, that I am proud of you for loving her, helping her, and supporting her too. It says so much about you. That is what I hope that I am and will be to my kids one day. You are an inspiration. You are a WONDERFUL woman. I hope that you are taking care of you too though. I am keeping you close to my heart.

Mich

(((Jen)))

April 5, 2007
2:05 pm
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ggfred4
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Jen, This is great news in more ways than one. I am so glad for you and your daughter. You are a great mother and I am so proud of you and your effort.

(((Jen and daughter)))

Love,
gg

April 5, 2007
2:07 pm
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Jenni
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Thank you so much, Mich. I'm taking care of myself, too. (I have to in order to keep up with all of this, lol!) But it also helps when there is some resolutions to the problems. When the results appear, then I feel better than ever! (if this makes sense...)

Thank you again, Mich! You're a very sweet gal! This place keeps me going!

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