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Daughter is flushing her life down the toilet

hicks

hicks

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I really don't know how to help my daughter. It's her 17th birthday, and she's gone from being an A* student a few months ago, with a bright future ahead of her, to being a virtual prisoner in the house, and having no possibility of functioning day to day, let alone have a job.
She has ASD and OCD, no friends, and is just soooo unhappy 95% of the time. Honestly we've tried everything to improve her life - seeing a private therapist, buying home study A-level courses at massive expense (she can't attend college). Even tried linking her up with some possible friends. Nothing is working. She continues to spend all morning doing compulsive routines and we don't see her downstairs until maybe 13:00. When she gets depressed, her routines get longer.

She is literally flushing her entire life down the toilet. Christ we're doing everything we can, but she's not engaged with anything, not interested in anything. Can't touch things, so that rules out practically all activities.
Please can anyone give me some hope that things may improve? She's a teenager, and that's probably not helping.

I can't really understand where all this despair and disillusionment is coming from! She has every possible reason to look forward to a bright future. Family is all supportive, although this is really having a huge impact on us. Yes she has extreme social difficulties, and has always been isolated. That's why we withdrew her from mainstream school.
 
hicks

hicks

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I would be inclined to try medication, but unfortunately she has a fear of becoming unhealthy, and constant worries about contamination, which causes the compulsive washing routines.
She would absolutely refuse to take meds like SSRIs because of worries about side effects. There's no convincing her otherwise about this.
 
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Freckles1968

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Hi Hicks, sorry to hear about your daughters problems. Just to give you a glimmer of hope, my daughter also 17, whilst not having ocd was suffering with very bad anxiety and panic attacks, even throwing up in the mornings before school. She was very isolated and didn’t have any close friends, didn’t hardly leave the house apart from going to school. She had counselling several times and I was keen for her to go on medication, she did have propranolol whilst doing GCSEs but didn’t find it helped much so didn’t continue taking it, she didn’t want to take meds as she was scared of side effects. I couldn’t even get her to come shopping with me and she would end up having a full blown panic attack. This went on up until the summer holidays of this year. She has made some new friends at sixth form and is now socialising and being a “normal” teenager. Heck this weekend I’m hardly going to see her as she is so busy with social engagements! That’s really hard for me(single parent) as I’m used to her always being around. So hang in there, hopefully things will change for the Better xx
 
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albagobragh

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A difficult one because it sounds like you are doing all you can to improve things for her. My own daughter had anxiety a couple of years ago but therapy helped and she is vastly improved. I see you have tried that. Perhaps its time to take her to to a Doctor and see what they come up with. It sounds like you are all in a bit of a rut just now.
 
hicks

hicks

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Thanks folks, I appreciate the kind comments, I really do.
This has all come on really quickly, and initially we just didn't understand what was happening. Really scary experience. We now understand about meltdowns, and anxiety. To be fair, she hasn't had many therapy sessions with this good counselor we've found.
I'm just hoping she can resume her studies, because she has so much potential. Then again, happiness and mental health are more important. I just hope we can find some way to improve that.

I'm hoping she can meet up with a person we've found on a FB group who sounds very similar. That may improve her outlook.
 
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Freckles1968

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Yes, I think that would be really positive for her to meet with somebody else who is going through the same issues. I know for my daughter, making some new friends at sixth form has made all the difference. The anxiety is still there but it’s not controlling her so much anymore. I hope your daughter has a similar outcome. Freckles xx
 
hicks

hicks

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I'm pretty sure that loneliness is at the root of this. Sorry to say that my genes are probably in play here, being a social anxious person myself. At school she never integrated and was always isolated. Although academically good (I'm really jealous of her exam grades! :) being apart socially from your peers and having nobody to talk to is going to grind you down mentally. Especially when you really *want* to connect.
Anyway, fingers crossed that she can click with this new person, who has a lot to say in email, but also has severe difficulties with face to face interaction. We will see.
I suppose with it being her birthday, she really wants and expects to be happy, but isn't. It just underlines her isolation and feeling of hopelessness.
 
Warrior

Warrior

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She is literally flushing her entire life down the toilet.
Hi Hicks, it's stressing you also seeing your daughter in this manner :hug:
Although ASD is hard to combat her main problem by what you've said is the OCD and having it myself, i can imagine what your daughters going through as it torments the brain and if anything she needs more help in that issue while she's young, at my age 51 it's hard to control and it will only get alot worse as she gets older...therapy would be the best on this being as she won't have meds.
 
hicks

hicks

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Hi Hicks, it's stressing you also seeing your daughter in this manner :hug:
Although ASD is hard to combat her main problem by what you've said is the OCD and having it myself, i can imagine what your daughters going through as it torments the brain and if anything she needs more help in that issue while she's young, at my age 51 it's hard to control and it will only get alot worse as she gets older...therapy would be the best on this being as she won't have meds.
yeah thanks Warrior. The OCD routines are a big problem, purely because they take so much time, and it limits what she can do during the day. Imagine every time you go to the toilet and wash hands, that activity taking up to one hour! and you start to see how this can be a huge problem.

Yes we are getting the therapist to help us manage it as a priority.

Warrior, just to help me understand this, what do you feel when doing the repetitive routines? Is it anxiety? Is it a feeling that something bad will happen if you don't repeat the actions? What impact has it had on your life?
 
Warrior

Warrior

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Warrior, just to help me understand this, what do you feel when doing the repetitive routines? Is it anxiety? Is it a feeling that something bad will happen if you don't repeat the actions? What impact has it had on your life?
Well to be totally honest it's a draining episode my body is tied and aching but because your mind is mentally geared in with it, it keeps pushing you i asked for help but they said i was to old for it now and i've had it since a child coming from bipolar, cleaning was the first kicker then it turned extreme on my body using a scrubbing brush, i would have a bath and by the time i was dressed heading back in for another but when i was in an old mental asylum you couldn't take baths when you wanted because of the rules so they kept stopping me and over time when i came out i mentally slowed down regarding the washing plus i was also drugged up which was a bonus (y) and then when my faculties was better with it, it hit the cleaning more and omg my body aches before i move out of bed. I live in the bathroom if myself or hubby uses it, he's stopped having the evening paper because if it was put down it travelled to the bin, in general my anxiety levels are through the roof and there was only yesterday i was carm because he was outside...you get irritated bad with ocd and in the kitchen constant spraying..if a piece of fluff shows on the floor i have to pick it up.

I've even got a plaque on my front door saying please remove your shoes :low: i also have to have things in co-ordination and i actually know when somethings been touched.

I don't know if you know but these conditions are autoimmune diseases.
 
Warrior

Warrior

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No I didn't know that. I found this link


is this what you mean?

But the recommended course of treatment for OCD is CBT, which I presume the therapist is going to pursue.
Just finished in the kitchen :LOL: yes but also this article, mine comes from my moms side as my auntie had bad nerves and i'm sure she had OCD reflecting back as you couldn't touch nothing and her home was immaculate.


I noticed you said she can came down about 1pm well if that's the case she knows when to break from it because there is different levels, some keep going till in the night but i've learnt to relax after tea because my body is in pain with the amount of autoimmune diseases i have and it was totally doing my hubbies head in with the distraction of movement, so i went back to reading and joining the forum and giving myself a break, she needs those breaks to calm it.

I've just been looking also as i'm a proper searcher on body health since diagnosed with Lupus etc...deep brain stimulation (DBS) seems to be a better cause than CBT.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an emerging treatment for a small number of people with extremely severe OCD who have not responded to available treatment, such as cognitive behavioural therapy or medication. It requires neurosurgical implantation of electrodes.11 Mar 2019

 
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Zoe1

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sorry to hear that Hicks
you sound like a wonderful father
some things come to mind from reading your posts

one is that my late mother said to me once
dont assume how other people are feeling about their lives
she meant maybe its not as glamorous as mine was at the time
but its still valuable, and they may be having valuable experiences

and I'm also wondering about the idea of ' believing in someone '

my brother is a ' hopeless case ' with his addiction
well so everybody says ...

I said to my stepmother the other day
that I want to think positively about him
and believe that something might turn up
that will be inspiring for him

even if its wishful thinking
I dont see it could do any harm !
and I need to have hope ...

also people with mental health conditions
need alot of praise, because they get deeper into their condition
and keep losing more and more confidence

try to notice things she does that she has made an effort over
praise her for it ( something a good psychiatric nurse will do )

and tell her how wonderful it is to see her today
and how much she means to you
that kind of things


:grouphug: 🌠
 
S

Sarabi_Gyarados

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She is only 17. She hasn't flushed life away yet :)

Please be very kind, supportive and gentle with her. I am sure you don't, but don't talk to her like she is a failure or a disappointment because she probably feels that anyway inside.

It is very possible for her to get out of this, but she needs support, patience and time. It might be worth getting your own therapist/mental health as you run alongside hers.
 
hicks

hicks

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She is only 17. She hasn't flushed life away yet :)

Please be very kind, supportive and gentle with her. I am sure you don't, but don't talk to her like she is a failure or a disappointment because she probably feels that anyway inside.

It is very possible for her to get out of this, but she needs support, patience and time. It might be worth getting your own therapist/mental health as you run alongside hers.
Believe me we could not be more supportive. I'm even changing jobs so she can be in a better location for attending University based at home.
I would never say things like she is a failure, that would be the worst thing in the world to say.
We've engaged a therapist which is helping.
 
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Sarabi_Gyarados

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I think hormones make everything worse. I was a real mess at 17 (anxiety, didn't leave the house.) I don't remember getting any help, but I felt safe at home so I stayed there. Well done for all you are doing for your daughter.
 
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