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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 6054
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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my daughter is 50 years old and diagnosed at age 21 with bipolar

Resolved Question:

my daughter is 50 years old and diagnosed at age 21 with bipolar disorder with psychotic features; she has had multiple hospital admissions over the years, none voluntary. she is still in denial. she has stopped taking her meds again but is not exhibiting the danger to self or others which our state (maryland) requires, though she is very disorganized and difficult to live with. help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello

Dr. Z :

I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry to hear about your daughter, I can imagine how distressful this must be for her and for you

Dr. Z :

You are right about the criteria for involuntary admission to a psychiatric ward or hospital that requires her to be a danger to herself or others for her to be admitted.

Dr. Z :

You mentioned that your daughter is in denial of her mental illness, what have you tried in the past that has compelled her to use her prescribed medications?

Customer:

i told her she could live with me if she took the meds....not working now.

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry to hear that. Do you believe that she can take care of herself. And this means that without assistance she can show good self-control, judgement, rationale, and be able to take care of her daily needs (e.g. hygiene, clothing, food, shelter, etc...)?

Dr. Z :

The reason I ask this, is because some authorities in certain states can determine if she cannot do this, then she could be a danger to herself, so I wanted to point out that possibility

Customer:

honestly dont know

Dr. Z :

Unfortunately this is where the law is very ambiguous and can allow for involuntary treatment under this provision, but not everyone abides by it. Also your daughter is unfortunately somewhat cognizant, so she can make these decisions on her treatment even though she has a serious mental illness. It is an unfortunate crack in the system that should be corrected, but politicians drew up these laws to protect everyone's civil liberties, even those that need serious treatment but refuse to get it.

Dr. Z :

There are a few resources that contain techniques that may help give insight into her behavior and may help you to get through to her.

Dr. Z :

Also I realize you have been dealing with this for so long with her and have probably tried everything, but in major urban areas there are mobile crises teams that can come to your home and provide emergency treatment right there for your daughter.

Dr. Z :

Another thing that you can try to do it to convince to go to therapy, there are no side effects from therapy, and you can go with her to support her and maybe if she learns to trust the therapist she will put more value in what the therapist says in that she needs medication to help control her symptoms.

Dr. Z :

This is a very unfortunate situation that you are in with your daughter, but your options are limited as she does not want to seek treatment and the law is trying to protect her civil liberties even though this same law is leading to her deteriorating mental health.

Dr. Z :

I think if you try to call the hospital and ask for clarification on the danger to self, as it does not always have to mean suicide or self-harm, then there is a possibility that she can be involuntarily committed.

Dr. Z :

Also some therapists/psychologists/psychiatrists are sympathetic to your situation and may make a house call too

Dr. Z :

Did you have any questions or concerns?

Dr. Z :

And here is a link describing that all states have the criteria for grave disability, which is that provision if you cannot meet your daily needs, and that is possible with your daughter

Customer:

No questions. I;ll try asking her if she would agree to talk therapy but I've come to believe her denial is hard wired...part of the disease. I think I may have to find her another place to live and in so doing prove to a judge she is unable to care for herself. Thanks for your help

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am always happy to help and I truly do hope that she gains some insight on her disorder and realizes that the treatment is meant to help her and her quality of life. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.

Dr. Z :

Oh and also when you finish rating me, this chat will be sent as a link to your email, if it has not already, so you can always use it for future reference. In addition, this chat will be saved in your JA account under My Questions so you can always go back to it when you need to

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 6054
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
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  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
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Dr. Z
Dr. Z
Psychologist
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Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.