I am not sure that calling my daughter, Brianna, “mentally unstable” is the right thing to do, but I used the term for lack of better words. She is about to turn 14, and really is a beautiful and amazing young lady. She has a huge heart and is incredibly smart. For the past three years, we have been dealing with her mental health issues, and it has been a very tough journey.How It All Started
My oldest son, Brandon, had a best friend, Nate, who was kicked out of his home. I took him in and dubbed him my “adopted son”. Brandon and Brianna have a seven-year age gap and a tumultuous relationship. However, Nate and Brianna were very close. He treated her more like a loved, little sister than her own brother did. He never showed annoyance with her and was very kind and patient. Nate had a rough life and was going down a bad path. We convinced him to reach out to his mother and get himself into military school since I was not able to do it myself because I did not have legal custody of him. Nate did well in military school and decided to join the Army.
When he left for the Army, Brianna changed, drastically. She began getting in trouble in school, frequently. It had gotten so bad that the school recommended that I take her to her pediatrician to see what they could recommend. I took her in for an emergency appointment with her pediatrician, who she admitted to that she sometimes felt like hurting herself. They referred us to a mental health facility.Our Journey Together
When we went in for Brianna’s assessment at the mental health facility, I decided to see if I could get my own mental health in check. You see, I have been diagnosed with depression in the past but was going untreated due to having so many adverse
Brianna was another story. Not only was she experiencing extreme mood swings, but she was also lying, stealing, fighting, and was just plain out of control. Her diagnosis has developed over the last couple of years. At first, she was diagnosed with separation anxiety, ADHD and ODD. Now she has been also diagnosed with bipolar 1, mood disorder, behavior disorder on top of the ADHD and ODD. She has been in therapy this whole time and also has paraprofessional services.Getting Worse
Nothing seems to be helping. She has had her meds changed and adjusted several times, but her behavior is just getting worse. At the end of her last school year, she was one step away from getting expelled from school. This school year is not any better. She is already one step away from expulsion. She has been fighting, boys mostly, and cursing out her teachers on top of not doing any of her school work. While she shows none of these behaviors at home, she is just a whole other person at school. On top of that, she is boy crazy, and hypersexuality is a symptom of her bipolar. It is scary! I have decided to pull her out of school and homeschool her. The problem is that her grades are so bad from the first half of the year, that it is likely she will have to repeat the grade anyway. Where we live, anything below a 70% if failing. There are no D grades.Making Changes
Her therapist brought up the idea of changing her entire therapy team, but since the facility is understaffed, and they do not have anyone available who is experienced enough to deal with everything Brianna has going on, they recommended a referral to a whole new facility. We are hoping to start up at the new facility in the next couple of weeks. I plan to ask them to start off with a clean slate as far as her diagnoses go. I do not believe that she is ADHD. She can sit and focus. Her issue is that she focuses on the wrong things. Plus, she has so many diagnoses that it seems impossible to treat her properly. I am hoping that they will be able to narrow things down a bit instead of just adding a new diagnosis every time her behavior or moods change.Not A Freak
We are both feeling a little helpless and frustrated. She feels like a total freak and no amount of assurance that she is anything but a freak is helping her. It is as if she is two different people, a good Brianna
If you have any helpful tips or a story of your own that you would like to share, please feel free to do so in the comments section!