teen stepdaughter needs help

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-28-2010
teen stepdaughter needs help
12
Sat, 08-28-2010 - 3:11pm
I am looking for advice for my husband , myself, and our 14 yr old very unhappy and confused daughter. She is my step-daughter, but lives with us and my 17 yr old son. She is drawn to the bad rough, sexual, other race, gangster wannabe type boys. She has done many things that we have patiently dealt with, the past three yrs. The most stand out one, is running away at 12 yrs old. I found her the next day walking with a boy that attended the "party" she was at all night. She could not say where she was or with who. She did admit to getting drunk and vomiting. We made her take a drug test, it was negative. Since then she has done a lot of self damaging things to herself, but also potentially to her dad. She cut her face and left for the bus stop and was going to tell people her dad did that to her. She has stolen from me, make-up, gold jewelry, phones, and other valuables. Now we lock our door everyday to our bedroom. She has had her phone, i-touch, computer privileges, and pretty much every privilege, taken away. We don't let her go anywhere, for fear she will end up with one of her crowd, un beknownst to us. She will not talk to us, throws her grades right down the tubes, does not care, cries often, cut her clothes and hair with household scissors, pierces her own ears with needles and cuts herself leaving scars- but wants people to think they are like tattoos. She has seen psychiatrists and therapists, all of which she lies to. She has been on medication for depression and ADD, none of which seems to help. She tells pathological lies to friends and their parent's when she used to be allowed with friends. We have had the police involved, on an intervention approach, the behavior only stops for a period of time. She has had to go to summer school two yrs in a row, because she cannot find interest in school work. We are at our wits end, and don't know what else to do. Next she will turn up pregnant, that will be the one that sends us over the edge. The tension is felt immensely as a family, as well as individually. I have a lot of health issues, and this is taking it's toll. She has a surface relationship with her Mom, she lives three hrs. away, and really is not a participating Mom. She is an alcoholic who, even if she isn't currently drinking, has done enough damage to their relationship to have effect on our daughter. She becomes very destructive and hurtful, like ripping up pictures, clothing, throwing away cards, things that were given to her. We are very afraid the next step will be a suicide attempt or another run away.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-21-2004
Sat, 08-28-2010 - 6:25pm

if everything you say is true, then she need psychiatric care a.s.a.p. If you have health insurance I would get her to someone right away. But you already know that, so what's the problem here. Obviously she is in great pain to be cutting herself and her clothes, she's crying for attention, so have your explored that?

Sabrtooth, where are you on this one?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 08-28-2010 - 7:40pm
At least she seems to be clinically depressed but it even sounds like more than that--when she saw psychiatrists, did she ever get a diagnosis? How long was she on the anti-depressants (I know that they take usually at least 4 weks of taking them to work--also one might not work and another one might). I would say that if she is cutting herself she definitely needs more psychiatric help. The taking away privileges etc. really isn't going to help if the underlying psychiatric problems aren't dealt with. BTW, I have had a lot of experience dealing w/ MI since my 2nd DH has bipolar disorder. We went through a lot w/ medications that didn't work, him having to change counselors, having a psych nurse to prescribe medication who didn't seem to care and was incompetent so you really have to be on top of people to get the right treatment. But I would start there.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2005
Sun, 08-29-2010 - 5:04am

hi,


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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Sun, 08-29-2010 - 8:02am
I agree with the others, she needs psychiatric care... and inpatient care if you can find it and afford it. In some communities it's very, very difficult to get inpatient care for adults, let alone juveniles - I live in one of those communities. The nearest inpatient pediatric psychiatric hospital is over 100 miles away. If that is the case in your area, I'm sure it is worse than inconvenient to get her care, but her life could very well depend on it. It sounds as though she's on a major path of self-destruction in which a pregnancy isn't the worst thing that could happen. Given her mother's issues, I have to wonder if there isn't some genetic predisposition to mental illness that is playing into it - very often people consume massive amounts of alcohol to self-medicate a mental illness... just drink until you're so numb it doesn't hurt anymore. My son, the Afghan war veteran, did that after he returned, until he got appropriate mental health care. Jump through whatever hoops you can to get psychiatric care for your SD!
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2010
Sun, 08-29-2010 - 1:11pm

I'm so sorry that your family is going through this... My family also went through much of what you posted, only I'm the bio mom and remarried and it was my son, and the behaviors started when he was 11. My son also ran away when he was 12, at 3am and hitchiked on a busy highway, and got into strangers cars in the dark. Thankfully, a woman picked him up and we were able to get him home safely. That morning, he was admitted to the ER for evaluation, and transfered to a psych hospital

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2008
Sun, 08-29-2010 - 4:46pm

My heart absolutely aches for you. I have been fortunate enough to bring a girl child that sounds very similar to yours to "adulthood" ALIVE. As I've said elsewhere, it was only by the grace of God, certainly not from anything special I did. Mine is now 21 with a 16mo daughter of her own.


I wanted to say this before I read the other replies but I will be back. Your post is one that struck me as one I needed to respond to immediately to let you know I HEAR YOU.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2008
Mon, 08-30-2010 - 11:51pm

Are you still with us mamabear? I know it's only been about a day- depending on where you are in the world- and I DO hear your distress and have been there...but if YOU are not still here to see a response, I have alot of ugly stuff going on right now and just don't have the energy to

Community Leader
Registered: 06-27-2006
Tue, 08-31-2010 - 11:17am
Welcome mamabear! I totally agree with the others, she needs psychiatric help. My oldest DS went through this when he was 14. His stories were a bit different about the cutting, he was saying that it wasn't him either, but a ghost. So, I took him in. The children's hospital here wouldn't take him inpatient because at that second, they didn't feel that he was a danger to himself. About a week later, under the strong advice of the school counselor, I took him to a mental health/chemical dependency hospital. After sitting there for what seemed like hours, they finally decided to admit him because of the 'delusions'. He spent roughly one week in-patient then 2 weeks out-patient. He was on antidepressents and antipsychotics. He has since stopped taking both(under Drs. care) and is doing great. Whatever goes on in a teenage mind, sometimes, they just need a boost to get over a hump.

I hope that you stop back by and let us know what happened.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2010
Tue, 08-31-2010 - 11:24am

Hi Dana,


I'm so happy to hear that your son is doing well, and off meds! My middle son also went through in-patient hospitalizations, although he was 12 at the time (now16 1/2), and he

Community Leader
Registered: 06-27-2006
Tue, 08-31-2010 - 11:28am
Thank you! I too, hated to have to sit and squabble with the insurance when my son needed help! I read your story as well. How is DS now?

I hope she comes back as well and lets us know what is going on. My heart goes out to her. It's difficult to watch your kid, whether bio or step go through this.
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