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Topic: Desperately looking for help

11 posts, 0 answered
  1. Huckle
    Huckle avatar
    11 posts
    19 August 2021
    After struggling with treatment resistant depression for the past 4 years, my 23yo daughter ended up on life support in ICU 2 weeks ago after (her first) suicide attempt. This is an event I'd predicted and I've lived in constant dread, worrying ... not about "if" but about "when". However, as I always try to look for the good things in all situations, I'm grateful that the story thus far is different to what I'd predicted. After 4 days in ICU, "medically" she is ok, there is another chance to help her.

    The problem is she has tried all treatments from ECT to TMS and many different cocktails of "the best" medications. She diligently attends psychology groups/courses designed to help her destructive thoughts, she is a good patient, a sensible patient, an easy patient and she tries so hard to help herself. But for her, this makes the situation more hopeless. Everytime she tries something new that doesn't alleviate her pain the situation becomes even more hopeless and she is tired and running out of energy to keep fighting.

    Right now I feel she needs some extra support with mixed emotions from a failed suicide attempt, she is not only experiencing her usual mental health issues but she has added trauma and grief which are really affecting her. I'm running out of ideas to find help and I feel desperate that there may not be a next chance. I foolishly imagined that she would have received counseling about what she was thinking/feeling at the time she tried to take her life and there would be some sort of trauma counseling so she could talk things through. She desperately wants to talk to someone objective/impartial. She is really hurting. Help is so hard to find, she can't even get an appointment with her psychologist for a month. She sees her psychiatrist in hospital but he doesn't really talk to her, just tells her he has tried everything and it's up to her, then he tweaks her meds a bit more.

    I will do absolutely anything to get her the help she needs and I will do absolutely anything to help her myself but I feel like I just don't know where to turn. Any ideas would be really appreciated.

    Thank you.
  2. Petal22
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    19 August 2021 in reply to Huckle

    Hi Huckle,

    Sorry this is happening to your daughter I can only imagine the desperation you must feel to get her the correct help for her…..

    I understand the condition I had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is different to your daughters but I just wanted to let you know the therapy I had…… it worked for me…. :

    My therapy was metacognitive therapy ……… you could look it up and have a read about it……

    With my condition I was stuck in a thinking cycle….. it was a very debilitating condition…… after doing metacognitive therapy I was able to break free of the vicious cycle….. mine was a 8 week group therapy……. I also practice meditation this got me over the line I believe… I did a guided one for learning to watch my thoughts……. It takes practice but you can learn to be the watcher of your thoughts and not get caught up in them….. it takes practice……. I also found thought challenging to be useful……

    I’m sorry your daughter is really hurting that would be so difficult for you and her, I understand the darkness ( I too have lived there) but please let her know she truly can learn to live in light….. When I went through my condition it was a really horrible place to be but I’ve now recovered …please let your daughter know to not loose HOPE, she just needs to find the correct treatment for her and she will… stay positive.

    If your daughter wants to chat I’m always here and others on this forum are aswell we are all kind lovely people…. happy to support others ….

    Here to chat

    1 person found this helpful
  3. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3083 posts
    20 August 2021 in reply to Huckle

    Hi Huckle,

    Thank you for your post. I'm so sorry to read about what you and your daughter are going through. I feel sad for you both and also defeated that she hasn't found something that she finds helpful. I imagine it must be so hard for you wanting to get your daughters help and not knowing where to turn.

    I saw that you said she can't get in with the psychologist for a month, but I'm not sure whether this is someone that she is used to seeing or a new one? If this is her current one, how has she been finding them so far?

    The best advice I can think to give is to find a psychiatrist who specialises in treatment-resistant depression. This doesn't necessarily mean med-tweaking, but they might be able to get some more insight into why therapies haven't worked for her or what's missing in the treatment picture. Sadly, most hospital psychiatrists focus only on stability- so this is why I think it's important to find one out of hospital that isn't putting the responsibility on her.

    In the meantime, she might find the Suicide Call Back Service helpful- they offer short term counselling but there's no wait and it's free. Here's the link for them https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au/

    I hope this helps a little; I hope that you are taking care of yourself during this tough time.

    rt

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Summer Rose
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    1551 posts
    20 August 2021 in reply to Huckle

    Hi Huckle

    I feel your pain. I am so sorry that you and your daughter find yourself in such an incredibly difficult position.

    I have walked in your shoes. Ten years ago, my 13 year old daughter was battling OCD. She was suicidal but her hospital admission had been planned earlier, so she wasn’t there to deal with an immediate attempt (although this had previously occurred).

    Like your daughter, my girl had been receiving treatment that didn’t work for her. She felt she was the failure, not “the system”.

    Leaving hospital was so scary for both of us. I had earlier in our journey engaged a mental health practitioner to support me to support my daughter.

    This nurse coached me to help get my daughter through the critical post hospital period and keep me well. I encourage you to find someone to support you.

    Today there is a new service available through bb called The Way Back Service. Trained MH practitioners provide support to people leaving hospital after a suicide attempt.

    It has been shown to be successful in trials and is currently being rolled out nationwide. Please check the bb website to see if it’s available where you live.

    I really want to encourage you to keep looking for the right person and the right treatment to help your daughter. I know it’s hard. I did a lot of research and we traveled interstate and we found the right local team—eventually.

    MH is very hard. If our girls had cancer, someone would make a clear diagnosis, advise the treatment, tell us where to go and the system would work for them. I wish it were not so challenging but I hope it helps to know you’re not alone.

    BTW my gorgeous girl reached recovery, graduated high school, went to uni, fell in love and currently lives her best life. It can get better. Hang in there.

    Kind thoughts to you

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Huckle
    Huckle avatar
    11 posts
    21 August 2021 in reply to Petal22

    Thank you Petal22. I will look into metacognitive therapy. She has completed 2 courses of DBT and found some skills learnt helpful. However I believe DBT is more tailored for BPD which she has not been diagnosed with, nor does BPD really fit. Her family & friends believe she is undiagnosed high functioning ASD and so does she. Therefore some of the DBT methods helped her but she has stuggled with so many more things all of her life until she completely burnt out 4 years ago. Perhaps metacognitive therapy would be a better fit for her.

    I appreciate you sending me encouragement and hope.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Huckle
    Huckle avatar
    11 posts
    21 August 2021 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Thank you romantic_thi3f.

    Her psychologist is someone she's been seeing for a while and quite likes. She finds sometimes the psychologist talks rather than listens but my daughter is difficult to connect with and finds it hard to communicate with others so this is probably why.

    Her psychiatrist is a private psychiatrist who has been treating her for 4 years. He is the only psychiatrist I know of, in our state, who specialises in treatment resistant depression. He is good but can get frustrated with my daughter when she doesn't respond to treatment which leaves her feeling worse, blaming herself and feeling like it's hopeless. I feel like there's a missing piece of the puzzle (which I've tried to discuss with him), I believe she is undiagnosed ASD. My family, friends and my daughter all agree. But her psychiatrist doesn't really agree as my daughter is very high functioning. I'm not even sure if having the right diagnosis would help, if it would change her treatment or how she feels.

    I will look into the Suicide Call back service.

    I appreciate you taking time to listen, your helpful suggestions and kind words.

  7. Huckle
    Huckle avatar
    11 posts
    21 August 2021 in reply to Summer Rose

    Thank you Summer Rose,

    I'm so pleased to hear that your daughter turned the corner and it does give me hope.

    MH issues are so hard and it often feels like you fight and suffer without anyone really hearing you or having any understanding of the unbearable devastation and pressure it puts on life. Knowing others understand the pain makes it a less lonely journey.

    I'll look into The Way Back service.

    Thank you so much for support, encouraging words and ideas.

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Petal22
    Community Champion
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    Petal22 avatar
    1339 posts
    21 August 2021 in reply to Huckle

    Hi Huckle,

    Thats great your daughter has tried so many therapies I’m sorry you are yet to find the correct whole fit……. But you WILL…..

    metacognitive therapy was great for what I had OCD… I actually did mine as a group therapy there were another 12 of us going through the same condition…… I did read metacognitive therapy is also used for depression….. never give up hope because you will find the right fit ……… stay positive

    Is there any other psychiatrists you can see for another diagnosis?

    Please chat to us anytime time here we are here to support you and your daughter…

  9. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3083 posts
    23 August 2021 in reply to Huckle

    Hi Huckle,

    I'm so glad to hear back from you and to see other members jump in as well.

    I wonder if it might be worth looking into seeing a new psychiatrist or psychologist. From my own experiences, it really comes down to a good match. For people who struggle to communicate, there's also different 'modalities' out there like art therapy, so I really do believe there's someone out there for everyone.

    It sounds like the psychiatrist might be a bit tricky but perhaps telehealth could be an option?

    I've had my fair share of mental health experiences but I remember having GP's and specialists who just got frustrated when I didn't 'respond to treatment' - and it took me a long time to realise that this reaction wasn't my fault, but on them. We all need people on our care team, and on mental health especially we need optimistic and hopeful people. While I don't have a lot of knowledge on ASD, it seems a little ignorant to ignore it due to being 'high functioning'.

    I believe that your daughter can recover and find the right care and I'm really hopeful that it's just finding the right combo.

    Can I ask how you've been coping throughout this time?

    rt

  10. Huckle
    Huckle avatar
    11 posts
    23 August 2021 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Thank you romantic_thi3f

    I'm not coping that well at the moment. I'm terrified that if we can't find the right help quickly it'll be too late. She feels like it's her problem that nothing is helping, that she just has to live this way ... or I guess as she has shown by her suicide attempt... maybe she'll choose not to live this way.

    Both her psychiatrist and psychologist say that no matter what her diagnosis, it doesn't matter, as the treatment would be the same. But I wonder if this is true. I understand they are treating her symptoms and feel she doesn't need a label. But nothing ever works. Surely if they were treating the right issue something would make at least a little bit of difference.

    I also feel so annoyed with myself because if it is ASD I should've recognised this earlier and found her help when she was younger, maybe her life would've been different, easier. I wish I could turn back time and make it right.

    I feel desperate and helpless and I just don't know what to do. I've suggested a different psychiatrist but her current one is the only one in our state who specialises in treatment resistant depression and he's the best of a pretty ordinary bunch. I'm also worried about suggesting new ideas that, again, don't work as it exacerbates her feeling of hopelessness.

    Thank you for your support and kindness.

  11. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3083 posts
    24 August 2021 in reply to Huckle

    Hi Huckle,

    Thank you for sharing how you're coping (not coping). I'm really glad that you're here on the forums with us.

    What you are feeling makes total sense- I get the sense of urgency when I read your posts and I imagine you feel this too. I feel like I want to do more for you both.

    Hm, I agree with your psychologist and psychiatrist to an extent- but with any sort of therapy, the research is done against the diagnosis. DBT for example, is a gold star for BPD, and CBT for depression. When you talk about the psychiatrist, are you both seeing them together..?

    Ah, I get that- it's definitely a hopeless feeling. I know your daughter wants this pain to end, but what does she want to do next in terms of recovery/therapy/people? I think no matter what you decide, it's allowing her to 'drive the car' in the sense that she's driving her mental health care rather than feeling like a guinea pig where things don't work.

    I want to try and give you some credit for everything that you are doing and the energy that you are putting into your daughters care. You've shown nothing but resilience, strength and compassion. I hope there's a part of you that's able to see what I see.

    rt

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