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Question
Posted by: Mom | 2004/03/11

worried - teenager OD

My 17 yr old daughter took an OD on Friday night. Lucky she only took a few pills - about ten - 15 painkillers - and we treated her @ home - by letting her vomit - because she was only drowsy. I tried to let her tell me why she did it, but she would not tell me. I know it is not because of a boy - she does not have a boyfriend - but has lots of boys for friends. According to her little sister, their dad shouted at her (which he usually does), and she just could not take it. I want her to see a professional, but am not sure as to take her to a Clinical Phsycologist or Phsychiatris. Please advise. Thanks.

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Our expert says:
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Dear Mom,
I'm sure you're right that she ought to see a professional, and either a clinical psychologist o a psychiatrist could help. Both could assess her state of mind, and assess the degree of continuing risk of self-harm. From the sound of it she might not need medication, so maybe a psychologist, who, not being able to prescribe drugs, could concentrate on the issues that lead her to do this, and to improving her self-esteem and her ability to cope when her father shouts, might be best. And Paul's so right --- steer clear of those often religious counsellors who are banging their own drum, and meeting their own needs, rather than those of the person seeking help. I know that's not what Parent was suggesting, but such holy rollers are among those who offer themselves as counsellors, and one may not always get what one needs, from them.
And as MoBy says, talk with her, take time to understand her.
if it was the usual sort of minor episode of Dad briefly shouting, OK, but if he tends towards being emotionally abusive, maybe he needs some help, too.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Soul | 2004/03/12

Hi Mom

I think you daughter is also trying to get rid of her frustration with all this anger going on in the home.

Each side should have the opportunity to have their say the other party may not agree with what they will hear. But your daughter also has a mind of her own and has every right to speak on the matter at hand and what's botherng her. Oarent can't be expected to dish everything out and not allow their children to have their say.

NOW it's got nothing to do with disrespect or being disobedient and having the last word, it's got to do with fairness and mutual respect. Age doesn't plat a role in this, it's hearing what the other one has to say.

I agree with Paul and Moby and think they have said it well.

This is a problem that needs to be addressed ASAP or this will happen again like MoBy said and she may not be lucky next time.

That is just my personal opinion, I think it's worth a try. I also think Dad needs a tongue lashing to or he will loose his little girl. And is his behavour toward her worth her life.

Like I said that's just my opinion.

I hope your family gets the help they need
Take Care
Soul

Reply to Soul
Posted by: Parent | 2004/03/11

Who said anything about religion?

Reply to Parent
Posted by: MoBy | 2004/03/11

What she needs is love, care and education. It depends what her dad was shouting about. If she is constantly exposed to verbal abuse, she will try to get away from it. Thank your lucky stars that she is ok. It could have been far worse and even lethal.

Try to communicate with her. Try to find out what her side of the story is. Dont shout at her. Speak to her. And dont hear what she say. Rather listen to what she says.

Also, try to get to know what type of friends she has. If she has bad friends, she will do bad things. That's a fact. Check it out and act accordingly. If she is exposed to drug use etc etc etc, then you need to help her. She will need guidance and she will need it from someone close (like you, her mom.) Dont be agressive because as soon as she senses it, she wont talk to you.

you also need to educate her about drugs and the danger thereof. You need to get through to her and let her understand that OD is not the way to solve the problem. It only makes matters worse. For instance, if someone tries to OD with the intention to kill him/herself and something goes wrong, he/she could end up still alive but with permanent brain damage etc. It will then make the rest of his/her life very very difficult. What if she is destined to live till she's 60. And she gets permanent brain damage or something now. Then she will still have about 43 years of suffering left.

This is an intense situation and you should under no circumstances take this lightly. If you dont do something drastically about it, this attempted OD could possibly only be the beginning! And it could happen again and she might not be so lucky again.

If her father is verbally abusing her, then do something about that too. That could be a potential problem even for your younger daughter. You need to evaluate what the real problem is and act accordingly. If you dont act IMMEDIATELY, it might be too late.

If she agrees, then let her visit a psychiatrist. Accompany her if she wants you to.

Good luck and all the best to you.

~M~

Reply to MoBy
Posted by: Paul | 2004/03/11

And out of experience I can say stay away from fire and brimstone religious councellors, religions shouldn't be pulled in here.

Reply to Paul
Posted by: Paul | 2004/03/11

Pshycologist I would say, they cannot prescribe meds so they are
"normally" cheaper.

Reply to Paul
Posted by: Parent | 2004/03/11

Why dont you just take her to see a counsellor? She needs to talk to someone she can trust and not just be prescribed drugs to 'help' her problem - she doesnt know yet what that 'probem' is yet and drugs wont help.

Reply to Parent

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