Give me Strength!

Give me strength!
After working all day, I came home and tried to spend a few minutes with
my daughter who seems to be spiraling down into a “not good” place. We saw a new psych clinician Monday. This well credentialed clinician has been on
our radar since last summer. Where we
live, we have an alarming shortage of Psychiatrists and getting an appointment as
a new patient takes months.

It is so hard to get my mind around the concept that a
mentally ill individual, and by extension their family and/or support network
is struggling on not a daily basis, but an hourly basis to try to keep a
tentative grip on reality knowing that stability is possible with the right
medications and therapy, is being told the first available appointment with the
only psych clinician in town who will take new patients if several months away. When you express a heartfelt concern about
how the patient and you will manage to get from today to that date, the well-meaning
staff advises that if a crisis arises, call 911 or go to an emergency
room. Well….been there and done that….if
the mentally ill individual is not, at that moment an imminent threat to
themselves or someone else….no intervention.
Doesn’t matter that they are ranting and raving about demons chasing
them and hurting them and talking to people who aren’t there. You just have to get back in the car and go
home and “deal with it”. The only
alternative, put the person you love out on the street and make sure you can
live with the consequences. And what
would that accomplish. They would never
make it to the much needed appointment.
So, put on your big girl pants and find a way to deal with her.

Finally the big day came.
My daughter is an adult and so I am not invited to be a part of the
process. I have to sit in the waiting
room and hope that she is honest about her issues so that the right medication
can be prescribed and we can finally start moving to some sanity in our lives. Having lived in this world for over 5 years I
really have become knowledgeable about the disease(s) and having a first-hand
experience, call it on-the-job-training, with the various medications and how
she does or does not react to them. So,
when the hour long appointment (good sign) is over my daughter and the
clinician come out and I am told that there are no oral medications being
prescribed, only 1 injectable. My heart
stopped. As I said in my initial blog
offering, my daughter is both bipolar and paranoid schizophrenic. The injectable (I am guessing, Invega
Sustena) treat the schizophrenia (or at least it is supposed to) but from
experience it does nothing for the bipolar symptoms. But, ever the optimist, I thought well, if
she can get the hallucinations and voices to stop then we can work on the
bipolar mood swings. The only problem,
that was three days ago and the paranoid schizophrenic symptoms are actually
worse than they were a week ago. I asked
my daughter to call the new psych clinician, but that hasn’t happened yet. If I call, they won’t talk to me…she is an
adult….so…now what. We have a follow up
next Tuesday and I am going to insist, to my daughter, that I go in with
her. If she refuses, there is nothing I
can do, but I have to try. Hold a good

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You probably already knew this, but from schizophrenia24x7dotcom, “With injectable medication, the first injection will not start to work straight away. It may take some time, often a few weeks, to get stable and effective levels of medication, although some new injectable medications work more quickly than this.” Also, all meds have potential side effects and very, very rarely one might need to see a doctor immediately for those.

Well, here’s a good thought for you. I think it’s positive that your daughter went to the appointment and agreed to treatment. That is a big step. I hope everything goes really well for you both.

Where I live we are lucky enough to have a NAMI family support group. All the people there have stories similar to yours. From the leaders I learned that words like ‘crazies’ can be stigmatizing; I’m 100% certain you don’t mean it that way, but just wanted to do the tiny amount of anti-stigma stuff I can do if outsiders read these posts.

Do you see a therapist for yourself to help you cope and manage the stress of caregiving? It sounds like it’s getting to you when you claim you are knowledgeable about the illnesses and medications, but act surprised when the medication hasn’t worked in a whopping 3 days. If you are not careful you could become sabotaging in attitude without realizing it. It’s important to take good care of yourself for both your own sake and daughter’s sake. It sounds like you might need some help and care, too.

My Mom was good to me, although she didn’t do everything perfectly!


Any chance your daughter would sign a release so that you can communicate with her treatment team? I was fortunate to have a skilled psych nurse convince my son to sign a release. She was a miracle worker!

All who read my post, I apologize for the moniker. I did not mean to offend anyone. Thank you for your words and underlying well wishes. I wish you all the best.

I know it sucks. You have to be strong. If you or the doctor could convince your daughter to sign a release form it would help. My is 19 and he did sign the form for me so I can call and talk to his doctor when ever I feel the need to. His last apt. I was very upset because he didn’t allow me to go in with him but then he said I could call her. At that apt he tried to make it sound like he was better so she would lower his dose. She believed him and lowered his dose. His meds are not helping with is negative symptoms. Its going to be tough. On a good note, at least your daughter/my son are taking meds. My brother has been suffering with sz since 1995 or 1996 and doesn’t take any meds and truly doesn’t think there is anything wrong with him and that the world is out to get him… I feel so sad for him. good luck and never give up

Can you change it, please. I’m a parent too and I find it very offensive.

I have emailed the webmaster to change or delete it. Again, my apologies!

Apologies for the delay – the admin and myself were both caught travelling so we’re a bit slow with responding. This is not the fault of the user asking for the name change.

Volunteer moderator

**How familiar this all sounds!
Do anything you can to get a release signed. I never could get my son to sign one.
I know how you feel–this has been the same road for all of us parents, or caregivers. You are not alone in this.
Also listen to your daughter-she knows more then you think.
Good luck in this struggle :yellow_heart: **

Thank you. And that’s a much more positive name!

When my son was stable, we talked about a having a Personal Directive agreement drawn up to ensure we were able to manage his medical affairs should he become incapable of this on his own.When he was hospitalized, he was very psychotic and refused to allow us to see him or to get information from the staff. The medical staff weren’t permitted to release any information without his consent. It was a very difficult time now knowing anything at all. Once we had this legal document in place, it assured his medical care team that it was alright to share his condition, progress and treatment with us. We’ve been able to accompany him to as many of his medical appointments as needed, but should the day arise when he refuses to allow us to go, we’ll still need to have him declared medically unstable before we can have this agreement take force. Not ideal, but better than nothing at all. He isn’t unstable enough to declare guardianship, but if it was ever needed I would do it in a heartbeat.