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Parents of children with mental illness/challenges

momocarlymomocarly Registered User Posts: 627 Member
I don't know if anyone will respond but I need a place to talk about this and wondered if others might also. I have a S17 away at college finishing up his 1st semester of Sophomore year. He is thriving and everything is going his way. I think he is really happy to be away from home.

The reason is D15. She is 21 and suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety and who know what else. Her emotional level is closer to a 15yo than a 21yo. Her birthmother and half brother suffer with the same disorders. She won't take her meds, go to the doctor, to do much that is good for her. She is terribly jealous of her younger brother and takes it out on her dad and me. Particularly me. Today she threw an ornament (soft one) at me, told me I was ruining her life because I'm never home, and told me I was awful because I said "Don't stay out to late because you need to be at work at 7am). By itself this is nothing but it goes on over and over and over for years. She is one week from finishing a class and just started a good job. This is the point she usually just doesn't show up at work or call and just quits going and the same for school. I know it is mainly over a boy that she keeps taking back even though he treats her terribly. I am just tired. I work full time and when I get home don't want to do anything. I have no motivation to get ready for Christmas. S won't even be home until a couple of days before because he is going to go visit friends. He doesn't want to be around her drama and I can't blame him. I do miss him though. Husband has distanced himself from the family emotionally because of all this. He is so fed up that everything is on me. Doctors say I can't kick her out because she will hurt herself. Tonight I just cried because I wanted to be happy and enjoy the season and there was no one to do it with. Most of our friends have distanced themselves because of her.

Anyway, this is just a thread that it is safe to vent if you have a minor meltdown dealing with a child with illness. We love them to death but with mine she doesn't see it at all. Not looking for advice or negative comments, just needing to vent. Thanks!

Replies to: Parents of children with mental illness/challenges

  • brantlybrantly Registered User Posts: 3,417 Senior Member
    So, so sorry you're going through this. Mental illness in the family is very difficult. And borderline personality disorder is very hard to treat. Are you yourself in therapy? I think it would help. Also, do you have a plan for dd's future? She's 21 and will have to move out eventually. Perhaps if there's a plan in place you can feel better about the day-to-day.

    One more thing. If you haven't already, you should reach out to your nearest chapter of NAMI. They run support groups for family members.
  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn Super Moderator Posts: 36,529 Super Moderator
    ^Personally, I would recommend the class over the support groups.
  • CCtoAlaskaCCtoAlaska Registered User Posts: 234 Junior Member
    Yes, I highly recommend NAMI, too. It saved my parent's sanity when my brother developed mental illness around that age. I think they even ended up leading the Family to Family classes?

    My own daughter had pretty awful tantrums and very difficult behavior until she had a round of CBT. She's completely fine now but I remember those days and they were really, really rough. It all picks at you until you lose any sense of your own center and nothing can be enjoyed. I hope it gets better soon, especially for the holidays.
  • rosered55rosered55 Registered User Posts: 3,943 Senior Member
    I'm sorry about what you and your daughter and family are going through, @momocarly. Please feel free to vent.
  • momocarlymomocarly Registered User Posts: 627 Member
    edited December 6
    I do have a therapist and have for several years. It keeps me going but there are times it just gets to me. They keep telling me my husband has to partner with me on this but he will not. He refuses any type of therapy.

    I have read several good books on her illness and understand when I see her behavior that is due to the illness. That helps but is still frustrating.

    I have looked into NAMI. I'm waiting for a Family to Family class to open near me. All the ones they had this fall were 1 1/2 hours away and I couldn't make it there with my work. They do hold one near me on Saturdays but last year it was while I was traveling with work and would have missed 4 of the 12 weeks. I'm hoping they will schedule one next year on a weekday night near me. The support group apparently quit meeting in our area. I emailed the leader and he never responded.

    Thanks for the responses.
  • HowardGradlyHowardGradly Registered User Posts: 124 Junior Member
    It does sound like you are isolated. And very patient! I am sorry abt what you are experiencing. I agree with the other posters.
    She needs a plan to eventually move out. There are some supportive living environments for adults with severe emotional disorders. You do not deserve this.
    Does nami have online support communities? In person is best, however online support communities are beneficial.
    I hope you enjoy your job/career - That it is a source of fulfillment. Please take care of yourself.
  • morkatmommorkatmom Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    Big hugs to you. Dealing with your child's mental illness can be such a challenge any time of year, holidays just seem to shine a brighter light on the disruption. I don't know if you're looking for advice, but I would say that you could use some therapy for yourself and I second (third? fourth?) the NAMI advice. My area doesn't have the Family to Family class but the support group is great and at this point anything is better than trying to go it alone. I don't know where you live but your local mental health department/social services agency may have some programs that could help your daughter. Mostly though I just wanted to wish you well and send you positive thoughts and hopeful cyber hugs.
  • CCtoAlaskaCCtoAlaska Registered User Posts: 234 Junior Member
    I was going to say, maybe there is an online NAMI group or at least a support group. You are definitely not alone. It's just a matter of connecting with the right people. I also agree that there needs to be a plan to have her move out eventually.
  • techmom99techmom99 Registered User Posts: 3,082 Senior Member
    I feel for you. My sister has borderline personality disorder and it's a huge part of why I had to remove her from my life and those of my children. However, I don't know that I could have done that if it was one of my children, rather than my sister. Although I love my sister, I love my children more and couldn't have them exposed to her.

    My middle son is struggling with anxiety and depression. He left college on a medical withdrawal two years ago and has been through 3 therapists since then. I finally made H tell him that he has to get back into therapy because he is 24 now and is only able to stay on my health insurance for less than 2 more years. He seems to like this therapist but who knows. I walk on ice, not because he is violent or abusive, as he is not, but because I tend to the caustic and I am so afraid of saying something to him that will cause him to quit therapy or worse.

    I have heard that CBT/DBT is very good with borderline. Have you tried it for your D?

    I have many complaints and gripes about my H, but the one positive is that he is an equal partner in raising the children, so I don't know how you handle your H's failure to fully participate.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 9,851 Senior Member
    edited December 7
    You sound depressed and angry. Not a judgment at all- I hope that is obvious. I have a kid with a serious psychiatric diagnosis and seeing a therapist myself was very helpful. I am sorry that is not helping you enough. I have never gone to NAMI but it sounds like a supportive group might be helpful for you to vent.

    Is your son also adopted? There are therapists who deal mainly with adoption issues, and it sounds like that could be helpful with the jealousy issue if your son is not adopted, but your daughter is. There are certain elements in your post that might indicate that focus in therapy could also be helpful to you. PM me if you want more explanation of that impression.

    Some spouses are never going to "partner" on these matters. Better to find support elsewhere.

    Is it possible for the daughter to live in supportive housing or with friends? If she refuses to take meds at 21, then the OP is well within her rights to ask the daughter to leave, as long as there is a place to go.

    Look after your own physical health as well. It is easy to burn out and develop health issues.

    Edited due to misreading of daughter's age!!!
  • kidzncatzkidzncatz Registered User Posts: 777 Member
    @compmom OP's daughter is 21, not 15.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 9,851 Senior Member
    I saw the D15! Edited my original post....
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 3,346 Senior Member
    I'm very sorry that you are going through this, and am sending prayers of support!

    I worked with the schizophrenic population for a while and medication compliance is a huge issue. The side effects aren't great. Do you know what bothers your daughter the most about taking her meds? Might be worth talking to the psychiatrist to see if there is something to counterbalance the side effect that is most problematic.
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