Friday, September 7, 2012

A Sober Realization

Yesterday evening, we made our regularly-scheduled trip to the family therapist.  One of the things we discussed at that meeting was Danielle's recent explosion.

Danielle admitted to the therapist that she had stopped taking her medication.


She doesn't like taking it, and wanted to see if she could get by without it.

I realize that medical non-compliance is very common among the mentally ill.  I also recognize that Danielle is not safe living in our home without it.

She is almost 17 years old.  We cannot make her take her pills.

At the last appointment, Danielle's psychiatrist instructed us to stop supervising her medication.  She told us that Danielle needs to learn how to manage her medications on her own.

It didn't work out so well.

We are just over a year away from her 18th birthday.  Now that we've witnessed how quickly she decompensates without medication, it is even more abundantly clear that she cannot continue to live here after she becomes an adult.

I hope that we can find some sort of alternative for her that doesn't involve driving her down to the homeless shelter on her 18th birthday.

I am not sure that we can.


  1. Is Job Corps and option? Or California Conservation Corps?

  2. UGH--that explains a bit, but still not good.

    Best of luck with however you choose to deal with this; hopefully something can be done.

    There's not much to say to "I don't like taking pills", but does she have any opinion on how the pills make her feel? It can't be FUN to be boiling over with rage all the time; I'm on meds because anxiety issues suck, and I feel MUCH better with them than without.

  3. I knew my son would stop taking his meds the second he could, because he is in denial about being mentally ill (he WANTS it to not be true). So at his request, when he was 17, we talked to the pdoc about trying to take him down on his meds until he was off completely to see what would happen (knowing we could put him back on the minute he showed signs he needed them). The pdoc refused to allow it.

    Soon after he turned 18, he moved out. Soon after that, he stopped taking his meds cold turkey (could have been fatal). 3 months later he was in jail for a first degree felony, and is now convinced he should go back on his meds, but we haven't figured out how to get him back on since he no longer has Medicaid, no current prescriptions, and is in jail.

    This is a tough path we travel. Will continue to send you hugs and prayers!


  4. We MADE our son take his meds. It wasn't easy, but we convinced him that if he didn't, he couldn't eat breakfast (not that we would with hold it, but that he would get ill). He LOVES food. If that hadn't worked, I think we may have had to restrain him until he complied - thankfully it didn't come to that. Still, the day he turned 18 he ran away (if you can call it that when they are already 18) TO THE HOMELESS SHELTER - since they'd actually "help" him in ways we couldn't (free gov't cell phone, housing where he didn't have to work to get it, Bridge card to spend $200/mo at 7-11, things I would NEVER let him do if he lived here) and immediately stopped his meds (which also could have been fatal to go cold turkey). It took an incredibly short time (4 days) for people to start getting on his nerves and being hard to deal with - and it's been downhill ever since.

    I understand why dr.'s and school personnel push us to let our kids do things on their own. Goodness knows I was fiercely independent growing up and took responsibility for my actions and personal self way earlier than some of my kids have. However, our kids don't think the same way and them quitting their meds the second they get the chance is just another example of that. I have yet to see it work out the way the dr.'s expect it to. We are the ones who KNOW what our kids are capable of, even if we don't want it to be true. Rarely do I see someone UNDERestimate what their kids true abilities are. More often we are all over-reaching and hoping for the best, even though we know better.

    Good luck!


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