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NSHN Forum Support & On Topic Forums => Friends & Family => Topic started by: annemh on March 16, 2012, 01:29:21 AM

Title: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: annemh on March 16, 2012, 01:29:21 AM
Hello this is all so new to me I don't really know how to put things down in words,
The last few months my 16 year old daughter has had terrible mood swings, her school grades have dropped dramatically and she is isolating herself more and more, this has led to blazing rows in the house and at school and as much as people told me that it was typically 16 year old behaviour it all seemed a little extreme. Anyway on tuesday night things came to a head in a blazing row and my daughter broke down and showed me her legs, they were cut to bits, she told me that she has been cutting herself on and off for a couple of years and also that she has been binge eating then starving herself. I think I was pretty successful in not over reacting though it took all my self control and after a long chat she agreed to go to the doctor with me the next day, which we did. The GP was really nice and calm and is referring her to CAMS, he also convinced her to see her head of year at school, which we did, they were also very good and we spoke about alternative ways in which my daughter could continue at school without any pressure. OK so this all sounds good but now my daughter is so upset, she says she regrets telling me or anyone and cant understand why the school has to know and is refusing to talk to anyone about it especially any councillors because according to my daughter there is no way out and talking will not help and she likes to SH she says it feels right and normal. She seems to be fixated on the idea that only tablets might help if at all and she hates life and has a lot of thoughts about ending it.
I just don't know what to do now, it could take a couple of weeks to get an appointment with CAMS though we have GP support and i am scared stiff, I am trying to keep calm and hold it together but I am falling apart inside, I am scared to leave her on her own but I will have to at some point because I have a younger daughter to run round as well, I don't know how to handle the horrific mood swings which seem to have got worse now, I don't know what to do about the extreme negativity because she cant see an end and she's convinced she's worthless.
I just feel so lost and alone.
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: Lily Kym on March 16, 2012, 09:38:50 AM
 :welcome: to the forum. 

I dont think there is much you can do until the CAMS appointment, apart from what you are already doing.
Important thing is for you to not make yourself ill through the stress of it though. Need to look after yourself, as well as your children.

Do you have someone in real life who you can talk to? Partner/husband/best friend?

Your daughter is maybe not quite ready to stop the coping mechanism that's sh and knows that with talking about it, bringing it all out in the open, it's what she'll have to do.

Keep talking on here there are lots of helpful friend people, many of whom are in a similar situation to you.

:hug1: :hug2:
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: justine on March 31, 2012, 09:12:17 AM
firstly, I have been a sixteen year old who self harms and hides everything from my parents, and I have been the friend of a young person who self harms, so I can see it from both perspectives. It sounds as though she has a big problem, especially with her self confidence. It's really hard at that age, as you start getting new feelings such as guilt, and start to wonder where your place is in the world/ feel worthless that you don't have one. It can be a real struggle, hense the mood swings. She may feel like she can do this all on her own, and that her ways of coping are the best ones. Of course she is wrong, but that might be how she feels. As grown up as they are (and feel!), 16 years olds still have quite a bit of child in them.

Really well done on not reacting, the most important thing is that you don't react badly. A lot of parents who of course want to help, end up making things really bad for their kids. Your daughter is really lucky having you being so understanding and supportive of her. Only two things I would say, one, never force her to show you her self harm. My mum did this to me and all it did was make me angry with her, and hide things from her even more. Second, unless it's an emergency and your daughter is doing SERIOUS damage in front of you, don't ever try to take away her methods or force her to stop. A clean tool she is used to is much better for her than a broken pen that she grabs in desperation. Taking away the method never works, especially as she may be feeling like her life is out of control.

By the way, my friend/young person I helped also used to starve herself, that's a tough one I think too.

It's really good you've taken her to get support, as that is the best thing to do. she needs the support of professionals, as well as you.

She is probably saying she regrets telling everyone because she is scared, and feels it has been taken out of her control. The most frustrating thing is when people don't accept help. The other thing, is self harm can be a lot about control. If she stops, she may feel she doesn't have any control anymore, or anything to make her feel instantly better. When I stopped self harm, I did it for my friends and family, and now I don't do it becuase I know its not good for me. If I had a real choice, I would still do it now, because I enjoyed it too.

Keep trying with CAMS and the GP, make sure you yourself have support. Here is a good place to get your feelings out and just talk things through with others. You can PM as well if you want. Believe me, I KNOW how tough and frustrating it is trying to support someone so young.

Leaving her on her own won't make much difference. If she wants to hurt herself, she will, whether you are there or not. However, having you around may calm her a little. The not being able to see and end to it and feelings of worthlessness i've seen so many times before. She clearly has low self esteem as well, which is something you can do a little bit about. Try not to be negative towards her, and try to be positive. 10 positive comments may make her feel perhaps she is a little bit worth something, but it only takes 1 negative one to knock it all back again. Try and encourage her to do things that will make her feel good about herself, perhaps take her away to the beach for the day or something too.

You are certainly not alone with this, in fact there are loads of people (a lot of which are on this site :) ) in both you and your daughters positions.

Could you suggest your daughter uses this site for support? she needs support, and as much as you and professionals can do, she will be much more likely to accept it from others. Not sure what it is, but teenagers seem to just rebel against parents and profesionals. Like anything they say is a bad idea.

You are doing all you can for her at the moment, especially by asking for help on this site.

Good luck, and let us know how its going x x
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: PrettyLittleLie on April 01, 2012, 07:25:56 PM
Only two things I would say, one, never force her to show you her self harm. My mum did this to me and all it did was make me angry with her, and hide things from her even more. Second, unless it's an emergency and your daughter is doing SERIOUS damage in front of you, don't ever try to take away her methods or force her to stop. A clean tool she is used to is much better for her than a broken pen that she grabs in desperation. Taking away the method never works, especially as she may be feeling like her life is out of control.

Leaving her on her own won't make much difference. If she wants to hurt herself, she will, whether you are there or not.

^ I think these are really important points....

It seems like a really hard situation to be in. I suppose I am on the other side to you, I am 17, self harm, and have gone through stages of starving myself. I also find it very hard to talk to my family and push people away a lot..... it may be really hard to understand things right now, but I think it is important to never force your daughter into speaking about things. If anyone tries to force me to talk, I don't and I push them away, I think it is important to let you know you are there to listen, however let her open up to you in her own time.

When my parents first found out, I hated it. I wished they never found out. However a child hating people knowing isn't a reflection on you or your relationship with her necessarily, feeling the control slip through your fingers when someone finds out can be so difficult. I also felt like my parents would stop treating me normally and felt very awkward around them for a while. I spent a few weeks trying to get out the house as much as possible. Just give her a bit of space, and let her adjust to things a bit.

Maybe you could write her a note saying you are there to listen if she wants you and a list of some websites or phone numbers which she can ring to get support? It is probably the hardest thing to explain how you feel and why you are hurting yourself to someone who loves you and is emotionally involved, for both people, and helplines may help her to start to express how she feels, without worrying about how someone will react.

This must be really difficult for you, and CAMHS can often offer some support to the family as well. My parents see a family therapist- I don't go to those sessions, it is mainly for my parents to gain some support, because if they are supported it makes them more relaxed and puts less pressure on me.

I think with mood swings comes that 'I want help' 'I don't want help' thing.... she is likely to have very mixed feelings about CAMHS, just remind her she has nothing to lose by going, and if she feels meds will help, CAMHS are the people to talk to that about.

With the eating, just make sure CAMHS are aware of the situation, especially if it gets any worse. My first CAMHS worker was hopeless (getting on with a worker is really important, so make sure your daughter knows she can ask for them to be changed if she doesn't get on with them), and by the time she realised the extent of my eating issues, and the impacts it was having on me, I was on the verge of having to have a blood transfusion. Not saying this would be common, just saying with eating problems, it is always good to make sure the physical side is monitored (blood pressure, pulse and blood tests), just in case.

Good luck with your daughter, I hope things improve for you both soon. Hugs, feel free to PM me if you want.
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: annemh on April 03, 2012, 01:08:11 PM
Thank you everyone for your messages of support. We have been to CAMHS and they have been very supportive, my daughter has been put on Prozac and has been taking it for 2 weeks but in all honesty things seem to be getting worse at the moment. My daughter has had 2 breakdowns and I am sure the cutting is getting worse, she is freaking out about too many people knowing and says the pain inside is unbearable and she wants to end it all, CAMHS are now in everyday to see her but she is struggling to communicate anything except to me. To say that I am at my wits end is an understatement, I just don't know what to do anymore, school is totally out of the question now because it just triggers everything and I think my daughter is about to lose her job because she won't tell work what is wrong. I feel like I am on 24 hour suicide watch and I am screaming inside. All I can think is why why why my baby girl why us....  :help: :help:
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: shortcake74 on April 03, 2012, 01:49:30 PM
Hi, I wish I had the right words or experience to tell you it will all be ok  :hug1:
I'm fairly new to all this but am finding being on here is helping.
Are CAHMS supporting you as well as your daughter? Whilst it's difficult, at least she is communicating to you and hopefully once her trust builds with CAHMS she will start opening up to them too then they'll be able to give her the right help. My daughter opens up to me  but more recently tells me her head is messed up but is struggling to put into words what is going on. We have an assessment appt with cahms next month and whilst I know this will not be an end to it all I'm hoping it'll at least be the start to a long road to recovery.
Stay strong and keep offloading :)
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: justine on April 03, 2012, 06:54:55 PM
I think it's normal for people on antidepressents to react strage at first, I think they can feel more suicidal than usual as well, but then after a number of weeks it passes and things get better. A bit like a curve, where before they start they are feeling low, after they start they are suicidal, then weeks later they are quite a bit better, better than they were before (before they were feeling low, somewhat normal).

I agree with shortcake, that it's great news she is talking to you, I would encourage this and be as supportive as you can.

Hopefully this shouldn't last too long, and the prozac will settle down and your daughter will start to feel a lot better x x x
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: annemh on April 06, 2012, 12:59:34 AM
 :'( thank you again to you all for your messages of support, unfortunately things have taken a turn for the worse. My daughter is in hospital at the moment and is having a psychiatric assessment tomorrow, on Thursday afternoon after a visit from the nurse I left her in peace for a while in her room as she seemed ok, 30 mins later she walked into the living room looking like she was in shock, I asked her what was wrong and she just held up an empty packet of ibuprofen, she had took all of them! Needless to say I called 999 and she was taken straight to hospital, luckily she had not done any significant damage to herself by taking the tablets, but all she could say was she would do it better next time. Last night she managed to self harm in the hospital and is now classed as high risk and under 1 to 1 observation, I just don't know what will happen tomorrow, I am so frightened, I want her with me but I don't think I can cope with this alone at home now, I also have a 12 year old daughter, I am scared that if she comes home she will just kill herself but if she goes into a hospital I'm frightened that she will learn worse ways to hurt herself and the hospital will be miles away because of where we live and I don't drive .... I just want my daughter back and I am terrified I am going to lose her !!!
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: justine on April 06, 2012, 02:35:11 PM
hey hey, calm down  :1059: all is not quite as bad as it seems x x

What your daughter is going through is pretty bad, and she needs a lot of professional help. Hospital is the best place for her to be. You can only do your best, but you are no expert, and can't stop her from spiralling downwards. Having the assessment they will decide how is best to help her, and perhaps diagnose her with a condition that can be recognised and appropriate support put in place for her.

One thing to note, do not blame yourself for anything. There is nothing you could have done differently that would have stopped this or made it any better. I'm sure the pills will be removed from her system before any harm is done, and she will be sorted out and made better again, in time. Her being at home right now would not be a good idea. If she's tried killing herself once, she'll try again, and you can't always be around. She won't learn worse ways to hurt herself at the hospital, so don't worry about that. If she stays at the hospital then they will protect her and stop her from hurting herself until she is well enough to come home again. She's not gone forever.

There is this book I read, based on a true story, about a girl who had a lot of issues, and she tried killing herself. She was admitted to hospital, and at first she hated it there. But they stopped her from hurting herself, and pushed her to take part in therapies, and after some time she began to make friends who she felt understood her, as they had problems too, and she got a bit happier. At the end of the story she was a lot better, she still had issues but she was able to leave the hospital and carry on with her life.

I know you must be going through hell right now, and it must feel like the worst thing in the world, but I think it's whats best for her. A lot of teenagers, and even adults refuse help, and they just get worse and worse, but she will be looked after and get help.

Keep talking to us x  :1059: x
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: billy on April 06, 2012, 03:53:34 PM

i am on Prozac and i hate to tell u this but the first 3 mounths on Prozac r horrid but after that it is really worth taking  :hug1: so just try and get ur daughhter to sick with it< it will be heard for u and her
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: annemh on April 08, 2012, 09:15:27 PM
Hi all, well after 5 days in hospital my daughter seems to have stabilised, she is not been sent to a psychiatric unit and the doctors hope to send her home tomorrow or Tuesday, her mood seems to be a little better and the extreme mood swings are settling down. This all sounds great but I am worried, I have been advised by her physiatrist to throw away all her self harming tools so that is she wants to harm herself (which she says she needs to do) then she will have to have a fresh start and get new tools, also I have been advised to block her usage of the blogging site that she uses to view images of self harm and eating disorders and to contact others who are self harming, I have viewed this site and I must admit the images on ther are extreme. Ok I can do this but I am so worried that in doing it I am removing her control and choices but if she continues as she is going the doctors are threatening to section her. I am also scared that even though she has been under assessment for the last 3days that the moment she returns home she will be back to square 1 and try to take her own life again  :help: I really need to hear your advice.
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: justine on April 10, 2012, 10:30:12 AM
Good that her mood is better. I'd go with throwing away the tools once, but if she finds more then leave it and let her keep them. Of course don't tell her this, but tell her your throwing away her tools this time. Is she on any medication? Or councilling? she sounds like she still needs help. IF they haven't given her any, I'd push for it, even if she seems ok now, as it can take time on waiting lists.

The website sounds really nasty, I've heard of those and they are nothing but bad new. Definitely block it, it's only encouraging her to hurt herself. Perhaps suggest this site to her? much better for support :) I guess she needed a place where people could understand her, which that was, but this also is but much better as we kinda encourage to stop.

You may be removing her control once, but it's only once. And she is then given the freedom and choice if she wants to pick it up again, or get better.

Keep a close eye on her. Don't remove her privacy or anything, but make sure you are around as much as you can be, and always there for her. Don't be afraid to ask her how she is feeling, and give lots of hugs.
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: annemh on April 12, 2012, 10:45:50 PM
My daughter is now back home, she is on Prozac and at the mo she is also taking an antipsychotic at night to help with her agitation and sleep. We also have a physiatrist nurse seeing her twice a week and an action for children worker coming to see her every other day, my daughter is not having councilling yet as she is finding difficult to communicate. The first two days out of hospital she was on a high but today she has slumped slightly and feels down again but she has been eating which is fantastic and as far as I am aware she has not SH since leaving hospital three days ago, in fact she handed over her tools to me and asked me to throw them away, I think that so far she has been so brave especially as she told me and her doctor that getting rid of her tools made her very stressed. I am trying to be aware of any significant mood changes and I think she knows she can tell me if she feels really bad. I know it's baby steps and we have to take each day as it comes but I hope and pray that I never have a week like last week
Thank you all for your support it's really helped and justine your an  :angel: ...

:icon_arrow: edited out dosage as per site rules :)
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: justine on April 13, 2012, 10:07:49 AM
that's ok  :1059: as she is getting help hopefully your over the worst of it. Self harm and suicide attempts can be a way of communicationg to others that you need help, and now your daughter is getting lots of help she should be ok  :1059:
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: annemh on April 16, 2012, 04:55:30 PM
Daughters mood is heading back down hill fast... She says she's not safe and has been throwing up and SH again... She's asking to go into a psychiatric unit and I am at my wits end ... Nurse due round in a bit, I just hope she can get through to my daughter .... I just want to break down I don't know how to help my daughter anymore, no matter what I do I feel I am going wrong ...... Sorry just needed to get that out  :(
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: billy on April 16, 2012, 05:21:19 PM
  :hug1: I hope the nearse can help.
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: justine on April 16, 2012, 08:43:53 PM
that's ok, talk all you want here. How'd it go with the nurse?

As your daughter is saying she needs help that's a good sign, because you know about it and you can get her help, and hopefully, she will accept it.

 :1059: :1059: :1059:
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: annemh on April 17, 2012, 12:54:48 AM
Nurse came and my daughter talked to her, bit of a first really as up until now she has refused to explain to any medical people how she actually feels. After the visit from the nurse my daughter said she felt much better and even ate some dinner and kept it down ... It's really strange but I seem to be living with two daughters at the mo, one moment she's almost cheerfully and half an hour later she doesn't want to live .... I am exhausted .... I am also worried about the amount my daughters cutting, it seems so excessive and I know it's silly to think so far ahead at the mo but I am worried about how much she I going to scar herself, her arms are a mess. I just hope the meds start to work soon befor I go over the edge.
Thank you all for been here I really appreciate it .... Not sure how I would be without your kind and helpfully words.
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: billy on April 17, 2012, 08:02:56 PM
With prozac you need toake it at pritty musch the same time everyday or you get your mood dropping. Also I know this is not what you want to hear but it took me three mounths befor prozac started to work

 :icon_arrow: edited for text speak
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: justine on April 20, 2012, 11:52:19 PM
I'm glad it went well with the nurse  :1059: it's not over yet, but it sounds like the worst of it is over. I wouldn't worry about the scars. They can mean different things to different people. Personally I'm glad I have mine and would never get rid of them, but then they are not on public display so...

Anyway, Things sound good. Self harm is better than suicide, and your daughter sounds like she is getting the right help, and more imprtantly she's accepting it and helping herself which trust me, can take years for a person to do. I hope all continues to go well  :1059:
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: secretsmile on April 25, 2012, 07:36:59 AM
Hi, I just wanted to say that I know exactley what you are going through.. I am not a mother, but I'm older sister to a 16 year old who is anorexic/bulimic and self harms. As an ex self harmer/ slightly bulimic I have some understanding. However, reading your posts your daughter sounds so similar to my sister, she is currently on her 8th week in a Unit..after taking several tablets etc etc, she has gone missing for hours, taken drastic action on her appearance (cut her hair off) and is monitered almost 24/7 because she is high risk of throwing up or harming herself... I am not wanting to scare you, I'm wanting to try and say that you and your family are not alone. It is the most stressful thing any of my family have ever had to deal with.. But I do have hope that it will ger better, I am living proof, I was never as bad as my sister but I am now not self harming and only throwing up if I've had a drink!! We have tried to remove all sharp objects because it removes temptation (if she wants to do it she will find away but we have done our bit to help) so just to let you know you can get through this, and I know its really hard but ensure your 12 year old is aware she is still important as often seeing the attention others get can make siblings feel left out etc, abit like when a new baby is born! As I say, I don't have much advice but I wanted you to know you're not alone!
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: gillian on April 26, 2012, 10:13:47 PM
Annemh   i so identify with everything you are going through.  it brought it all back to me about how it was when my daughter was at her lowest. I felt on the verge of breaking down all the time. Just a note to give you encouragement that things can get better. My daughter has found prozac helpful and counselling and self esteem classes.  she is now so much better and is getting her life back.  There is always hope that your daughter will also find a way out of her problems and she will be so grateful for the love and support that you are currently giving her.  My thoughts are with you.
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: annemh on May 21, 2012, 01:02:58 AM
 :trig: Hi everyone ... Many thanks for your kind words and encouragement I really appreciate it ... Well things did start to look up a little, my daughter was accepting help (just about) and even started attending a group ... And then it all went wrong and she reacted badly to the prozac, her skin felt like it was literally crawling ... So she had to stop her medication and wait to start a new one (lustral) which she started 5 days ago ... Unfortunately she decided getting very drunk on Friday night was a great idea, I had to get her home by sending a taxi to find her (I don't drive) I then told her off for drinking on her medication (probably a big mistake) and got her tucked into bed ... What I did not realise was that she had a tool hidden and when I went to get her a glass of water( literally two minuets) she managed to cut her arms several times .... I patched her up and sat her back downstairs while I went to find the tool not realising she had hidden it in her mouth and by the time I got back down stairs cause she called me she had cut her arms and leg quite badly..... I patched her up again and sat with her for most of the night .... Needless to say but she feels awful now, the new medication has not started to work and she feels full of guilt and remorse ( she had not cut for 2 or 3 weeks and was starting to heal) and now she feels it is all not worth it again .... It feels like we are back at square one .... Sorry to go on but I can't really express myself anywhere but on here and I am slowly going down hill myself, I don't know how much longer I can watch my baby girl destroy herself.
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: Tigger on May 29, 2012, 10:18:04 PM
Have read your posts just wanted to let you know that you are an AMAZING! mum keep up all you are doing and keep offloading on here and anywhere else you can get help for yourself if you need it. Its hard to stand on the outside feeling helpless but you are doing FAB :1059:

I'm afraid the only advice i have is to keep looking after you too and keep making both your children feel loved and special as you are doing  ;D
Title: Re: confused, upset and bewildered mum
Post by: greenday on May 30, 2012, 08:21:08 AM
hi just wanting to say your doing realy well keep it up :hug2: