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Dr. C. Morgan
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Experience:  Ph.D. Clinical Psychology
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My teenage daughters 15y/o boyfriend attempted suicide in

Resolved Question:

My teenage daughter's 15y/o boyfriend attempted suicide in the fall. He has had periods of ups and downs over the past 6mos. In the past few months he has gone off his antidepressant and has started to smoke marijuana heavily. Recently, he started adding alcohol and has begun to "party" heavily. I have spoken at length my concerns, with his mother. She said that the counselor that she is seeing(to help her cope with the situation) said it is alright for him to do this because he is finding substitutions for his meds. He also has had sudden personality changes. He still sees a counselor for himself, and has now started seeing his psychiatrist again. My question is does it seem appropriate that her counselor told her that it was ok for the marijuana and alcohol as a substitution?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. C. Morgan replied 5 years ago.

Absolutely not! Alcohol and/or drugs are never a substitution for medications. Alcohol is a depressant drug itself and leads to more depression. Marijuana causes people to be apathetic, unmotivated, and depressed as well. Additionally people often lose their inhibitions when abusing alcohol and many suicide attempts happen while people are intoxicated, so for this young man it increases the chances he will attempt suicide again. Personality changes can also happen with substance abuse. It is very possible that the majority of changes you have seen in the last 6 months are related to substance abuse. We would not know until he remains clean and sober for a good period of time to see if those symptoms go away. If not, then he is likely experiencing a depressive episode.

 

I would certainly hope a counselor would not say this. Is it maybe the mother's misinterpretation of what the counselor said? The counselor might have said something like "the young man is self-medicating". What that means is someone is trying to escape their psychiatric symptoms through substance abuse, but it should be stressed very clearly, this is not an effective treatment for depression or any mental illness.

 

I hope that is helpful. If so please click Accept. If you need more information just let me know.

Dr. C. Morgan, Doctor
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10
Experience: Ph.D. Clinical Psychology
Dr. C. Morgan and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank-you that's the stand my daughter and I have taken . They broke up about a week ago. He is now spending his time "partying" his brains outand being sexually active with several different girls. It hurts my daughter to see him like this but we really feel that he needs to get off the drugs and alcohol and back on his meds, in order to have a chance at recovery. It seems like his mother is openly allowing this "partying" because she feels the alternative is suicide if he doesn't do this "partying"

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