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Anna, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1945
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.
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I have a Daughter who is 17 years of age, 18 in January. To

Customer Question

My name is***** have a Daughter who is 17 years of age, 18 in January.
To start with I will provide you with an overview of her character and then details of the issues we are experiencing.
Abi, has a very strong personality and can sometimes be some what over powering in her conversations. Sometimes argumentative, rude, disrespectful. Typical 17 year old I suspect. Through her life she has always been very positive and daring and very loving.
However, over the last 18 months she has become very withdrawn and depressive. One aspect of this is the loss of her Nan 3 years ago who she adored above any one else.
In February this year she became so low that she self harmed and overdosed on paracetamol and alcohol. We don’t believe she intended to go all the way but more over a cry for help.
Following 3 nights in hospital she was provided with multiple prescriptions of tablets. Some for anxiety, some to help her sleep and some for paranoia. However, it transpired that the paranoia was caused by Cocaine that my daughter hade taken on three separate occasions prior to her self harming.
At the moment she is taking Pregabolin 175mg and Arapiprasol 10mg. She has also come off her night medication for paranoia which was Trazadone 5mg.
That said she is still very poorly in terms of her mental state. Displaying signs of BI-polar type symptoms very high and then very low. Very anxious, nervous shake in one of her legs. She makes excuses to stay in doors, wont mix with people on a regular basis, and is very concerned with respect to the weight she has put on as a result of the medication she’s been using. She is increasing her intake of cigarettes thinking this will help. She also believes alcohol is helping. However, this only amounts to two units every other day. Trying to prevent her smoking and drinking is becoming impossible.
She has also taken to exploring the internet in am attempt to diagnose her condition herself, which makes her even more confused. This was unbeknown to us. She has also called crisis hot lines to chat.
At moment she is under Consultant Dr Boardman- Leighton Hospital Crewe. She has regular weekly visits with the early intervention team. However, she feels that this not improving the situation and she is insisting on a second opinion.
Two weeks ago we took her to see her GP and convinced her that Abi had signs of depression to which she prescribed Anti depressant medication. However, this was over ruled by Dr Boardman.
As a family we are falling apart. Our concern for Abi in terms of self harming is not major, however, our concern for her depressive state is.
At 17 years of age a girl on multiple medication, depressive and quite frankly completely lost is not how is should be.
Please can you help!!
Kind Regards
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Anna replied 7 years ago.
Hi Andy,

How wonderful that you're so concerned about your daughter and that you've kept right on top of her condition and her treatment. You're to be commended for this. Teens in trouble can be very difficult and prickly to deal with, and many parents find excuses to give up and throw their hands up in the air, and walk away.

You are doing all the right things. I don't see anything that you've missed - this is just how these kinds of problems play out. It can take 2-5 years to get through this and get stabilized when a teen has the kinds of issues your daughter is dealing with. It's a rocky road with lots of bumpb, but there are smooth areas that will come also, and eventually things should smooth out with time, treatment and education. She is in the experimental phase right now...trying to figure out exactly what is wrong, what works and what doesn't, and who exactly can help. It's VERY difficult for the family.

Getting the second opinion is a good thing, but I would recommend a psychiatrist if you do it again. I would tend to go with the opinion of the early intervention team over the GP, but you're the one who is there and you have to go by your opinion. Titles aren't the only factor in the working relationship between you and your health care provider.

If you're worried about too many different medications for her, I would recommend thinking more in terms of if the combination is working rather than the number. Teen girl's bodies change alot during this time of life and she may need a mix of medications to target all her symptoms.

I recommend that you get support for yourself during this time - you're going to need it. There are many online support sites for parents of teens, and especially bilpolar family support sites. A quick Google of the subject will give you lots of options there.

Hang in there - I don't see anything other than family counseling or supportive counseling for you that you're missing. You're doing a great job - stay on it. She is lost right now, but with your committment to her getting better, things will change with treatment and time. You can do this. Tell her you love her and that you're there for her and want her to feel free of all this trouble.

If I can be of further help, just let me know. I appreciate this opportunity to answer your question today.
Anna and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi Anna,

Thnak you for you repsonse. One further question. Do you beleive she should be taking medication fo the deressive state or should she stay with what she is already taking. Do you belive the age issue is playing a key role?

Kind Rgeard


Expert:  Anna replied 7 years ago.
Hey Andy,

I think that if she's bipolar, taking antidepressants isn't the best way to go, which is probably what the first doctor is thinking....he'll want her on mood stabilizers so that the depressant medication doesn't make her spike up into a high state, which they do sometimes.

I thing age is a major issue in this...not just the "typical teen" way, but in the onset of mental illness and the uneven road to both maturity and mental health.

I wish more parents were like you!