Background stuff

H was actually first given a “diagnosis” of BPD when she was 15. But we were told that it couldn’t be a true diagnosis as her personality was still forming. It would have to wait until she was an adult. The only psych meds she was ever prescribed was prozac when she was going through a treatment program at a bulimia clinic. When she was 18 and overdosed and almost died the psychiatarist said it was impossible to accurately diagnose her because her drug use was so heavy.

This time is different. She’s 21 and other than drinking a couple of times hasn’t used (as far as I know and she tested clean on the toxicology report). When I took Fractal Mom’s advice and looked at the criteria and nine points of diagnosis, I realized that she fit into the profile of 7 of them. And she has since her early teens, before her drug use began.

So as far as it goes, I’m buying in. Maybe not totally but I am buying in on a cautionary level. My daughter does not remember much about the event leading up to the suicide attempt. Or the attempt itself. She needed stitches for her wrists and they ran IV fluids and NAC (to flush out and reduce the toxins for her liver in the hopes of averting permanent liver damage from the tylenol). They released her yesterday evening.

The doctor has put her on paxil for the short term. Hoping she’ll be off it in six months or less. My doctor has done this, for situational depression. She is to have no contact with her father. She is to go in and see the psychiatrist every two weeks for the beginning of long term therapy and behavioral modification and coping skills. He has also given her seroquel to be taken at bedtime and prn if necessary. This one I’m not too crazy about. We use it a lot at the hospital and it zones people right out. I’m going to have to talk to her about that.

Also given that she has attempted suicide 4 times, all with pills as the main smoking gun I don’t like the fact that she has a bottle of this stuff lying around.

This is hard. Because she’s not at home I can’t monitor anything. She lives 6 hours away. And I still hold that coming home back to this town would not be the best thing for her. And given all my health problems of late, my doctor doesn’t think it would be great for me. But my burden of guilt over this is huge. I don’t know how to cope with it and reconcile my needs and hers. I don’t know if I’m right to not swoop in and bring her home.

Right now H’s bf’s mother has driven there (she’s closer than I am).  It must be good karma from rescuing her son and driving him to detox way back when! And H’s aunt is there as well. They are both keeping in touch with me and so is H. She sounds okay, just fragile. Not drugged up or anything.

I’ll keep everyone posted…

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8 Responses to Background stuff

  1. Dawn McCoy says:

    that sounds like a very common sense approach. i’m glad you thought it through and did some research.

    i don’t know anything about BPD, but I do know that IF she takes her meds and follows the dr’s orders, she may have a chance?

    Like you said, the tricky part is will she?

    bringing her home? i’m kind of wishy washy on that one.
    1. you really don’t want her back in the same environment that led to the drug use in the first place, although, if she wants to use, i’m sure she knows where to get it where she is now as well.

    2. this is as much her battle to overcome as if you had a diagnoses and needed to deal with it.

    I guess all you can do is stay in touch, be supportive, be calm and cautious, reinforce that once THIS problem is taken care of the other urge to use will probably not return? if, in fact, it was based on self medicating to handle the chaos of BPD…and pray alot.


  2. kris says:

    I am sure that your daughter self-medicated to feel relief from the mental anguish she was experiencing probably from a very young age. The problem is that this relief is reliable – she can count on alcohol or street drugs to deaden the ongoing turmoil in her brain -every time.
    Dawn couldn’t be more off when she says, “i don’t know anything about BPD, but I do know that IF she takes her meds and follows the dr’s orders, she may have a chance?”
    Psychiatry and the medical model that has been built around it is NOT reliable. It is a broken system built on fraudulent claims. Our family and millions like ours followed it blindly just like Dawn suggested and we were devastated by the results. And, my daughter is not alone. Her story is very common. The drugs caused chronic need and the needs only escalate. Please read Barbara’s blog post about Keven. He is on the same trajectory and Barbara is trying to get him off.
    Do a little research to find a DBT therapy group in her area. This is a mode of therapy that works very well for some people with the criteria of the diagnosis of DBT. (By the way, my daughter exhibited ALL of the traits for DBT. By reading other label’s diagnostic criteria, I realized that there are many over-lapping traits and “illnesses”. The most startling thing was that the same drugs were used for ALL of the so called “illnesses” she displayed. So, it really didn’t matter which of the many labels she had in which hospital, they gave her the same drugs in different combinations over and over again.)
    Seroquel is a nasty drug. It is part of a whistle-blower lawsuit that was just settled for $520 million.
    Seroquel will block whatever feelings she is having but she will pay a price.
    You are right at the beginning of this journey and I KNOW that you are afraid. But, if only I could do it over again… My daughter is struggling to get off of the benzodiazepines she was put on when she was twenty. It is very difficult because the side-effects of the drug creates insomnia and added anxiety. Ironic that she was put on it to ease her anxiety.
    I know that the quick fix of a pill and following the doctor’s orders feels right. I just want to offer some alternatives that should have been given to your daughter when she was in crisis.
    I really do understand your fear and defenseless feelings in the face of what has happened. My blogroll has a couple of blogs listed of people who are healing from pharmaceutical abuse – Beyond Meds, A Journey, Ron Unger’s blog Recovery from Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders, Voices of Recovery has a table of contents along the right side with stories of recovery.
    Do not despair; you and your daughter will find a way through this.
    xx kris

    • peglud says:

      omg, Carolyn. I haven’t visited your blog for a while and am just now getting caught up. Looks like I need to go back further to get the suicide attempt details. You must be a wreck. What an emotional roller coaster. I think Kris posted a lot of good information in your reply, above. Go to Dr. Marsha Lenihan’s website to find out more about DBT, Borderline Personality Disorder, etc. Dr. Lenihan developed DBT techniques and has her own research clinic at the University of Washington in Seattle. I had always wanted to get my daughter there for evaluation, but am now realizing that much of Hayley’s behavior was probably due to drugs. So – even though there’s a huge spectrum of competency in psychiatrists, I think it’s true that it’s difficult to evaluate and diagnose any kind of mental illness until the patient is completely sober, and has been for a while. And, I’m also thinking that many of the drugs given to “control” mental illness, have so many adverse side effects, I wonder if they’re worth it? Hope you’re ok. Are you going to Al-Anon, or confiding in good friends?

  3. Just want to let you know that you and your daughter are in my prayers. I wish I could offer advice but I am not an expert at all. I do know this…. trust your instincts and know that God will pull both of you through this. God bless you.

  4. Works Aside says:

    Carolyn, I was so sorry to read your latest posts. I have been away and only now caught up with what has been going on. You must be worried, scared, upset, angry – you are doing all you can do. Support, love and hope. Its all we have. You are in my thoughts.

  5. easytiger says:

    I was prescribed Trazadone to assist me in returning to start having normal sleeping patterns when I was first treated for my PTSD after we had been attacked and Jim had been stabbed. I was also prescribed Paxil at the same time, although I never did end up taking it due to my previous history with addiction et al.

    I did take, and continue to take on occasion, the Trazadone. While I never ended up needing it on a daily – or nightly as the case may be – basis, when I did need to take it, I’ve found it to be both effective and beneficial, with next to no unpleasant side effects.

    Quite by accident, I also discovered that it worked beautifully in helping me manage my panic attacks without causing any sort of drowsiness. Any time I felt an attack commencing and starting to overwhelm me, if I took a 50mg dose, the attack would literally be completely under control within twenty minutes and often not even that long.

    You may wish to investigate this med as an alternative to the seroquel.

    peace, love and happiness…

  6. Chailatte says:

    Hi Carolyn,

    I’m so glad you left a message on my blog, so I can now follow yours! I will start at the beginning, so I can get to “know” you, but I’m already praying for you and your daughter!

    Mom Hugs,

  7. Anna says:


    I am just starting to follow your blog. Thanks for reading and commenting on mine. I find that I am often but not always in agreement with the other comments. I do speak my mind and I am certainly no expert so take what you like and leave the rest.

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