I wanted to respond to a previous thread. That member, identified as BRANBRAN has probably long since moved on and the thread has been closed but I came across her question tonight and others may do the same. To quote the original:
I can only hope the situation with BRANBRAN's daughter has improved since then. For other parents of adult children deemed to have some form of mental illness, I'd like to share a few options that may work for them should they find themselves in a similar predicament. Naturally, there are no guarantees and nearly all of the suggestions below come with a cost that, more than likely, will have to be covered out of pocket. It is a very tough row to hoe for families. That said, if you have an adult child who will not make use of medications, you could consider...Options With a Mentally Ill Adult Child
My question involves emancipation laws for the State of: New York I am at my wits end! I have a mentally ill 19 (turning 20 in Feb 2011) year old daughter. She is physically abusive to me and some members of my family. We have done everything we possibly can for her over the years. It has been absolute HELL! She has had every service available, several hospitalizations, we have been through the courts, both Family and Criminal, I have even tried to have her declared incompetent so that I could remain in control of her psychiatric needs as she is now technically and adult, to no avail. We have exhausted all resources. She refuses any kind of treatment, wont' take any meds at all. Therefore she is completely unstable and out of control, she is a terror to live with, she goes into uncontrollable rages and is violent towards me. I have a 9 year old son who has been through hell, and now deserves to live in peace. It's his turn to have my focus. And although I love my daughter dearly, I just cannot live with her! I don't know what to do at this point. I am legally and financially responsible for this kid, yet she just cannot live in my household! If I throw her out and advise her to go to the local DSS office so that they could provide housing for her, I will get sued for child support which I cannot afford! WHAT DO I DO??? Any suggestions, I am absolutely DESPERATE!!!
Link to original thread: http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=109497
1. Know your medications. The medications utilized for mental illness generally fall into four classes: anti-depressants; anti-anxiety meds; anti-convulsants (mood-stabilizers) and anti-psychotics. Numerous sites on the net can help to educate people about the meds: drugs.com or rxlist.com are two such sites. I also like to recommend that people make use of sites such as askapatient.com so they can review feedback from people who have personal experience with the medication.
2. Avoid magical thinking. All medications have the potential to help but they also have the potential to harm. It can increase your own frustration if you believe medication will be the solution and your son/daughter is denying you the satisfaction of resolving the problem by refusing to use the meds. It's true that the medications may help them; they can also make things worse and for some people, they simply don't work at all. Medications are only one tool of many.
3. Try to find out what their objection is to using medications -- are they opposed to all medications or only specific medications? For example, are they opposed specifically to Haldol but not anti-psychotics in general? Do they feel comfortable with medications from one class but not another? For example, would they be willing to make use of an anti-depressant but not an anti-convulsant? By pin-pointing what their objections are, you may find that they are open to making use of medications but they have some clear preferences and valid concerns.
LIFE-STYLE FACTORS: This is an area where you may have some degree of control and that your adult son/daughter may be open to making changes in. It is unlikely to produce a dramatic change but it may help some people to a greater or lesser degree.
RECREATIONAL DRUG USE: If your child makes use of them, try to encourage them to stop. Alternatively, try to get the involved in a recovery program of some sort.
DIET: Some people report some degree of relief from dietary changes. Encourage your child to keep a food journal and see if any connections can be made between meals and episodes. Follow up with a nutritionist if you feel dietary modifications might be helpful.
NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS: Some people report relief with nutritional supplements. At least two products can now be found on the market that are reported to be of benefit to some people with mental illness. These are known as True Hope and Equilib. Both companies offer websites with links to studies that can be reviewed for free. Orthomolecular medicine approaches are also reported to be helpful to some people.
DIABASIS and OPEN DIALOGUE TREATMENT: There are two psychotherapeutic approaches I'm aware of that have demonstrated very good results using minimal or no medications with individuals diagnosed with psychosis. One of these programs was Diabasis as run by John Weir Perry, a Jungian trained psychiatrist. The other is known as Open Dialogue Treatment and is associated with Jaakko Seikkula. You can find more information about both programs through any good search engine. It is highly unlikely you will be able to find a program like them in your own community however you may be able to find a psychologist who is open to learning about them and utilizing those approaches in a professional therapeutic relationship with your child.
COGNITIVE BEHAVIOR THERAPY: This has also been demonstrated to be helpful to some people. A search engine can help you find resources in your own community.
MINDFULNESS: Many therapists are also making use of Mindfulness techniques in their approaches with people considered to be mentally ill.
BOOKS THAT MAY BE HELPFUL:
I'm not Sick, I Don't Need Help - Xavier Amador
Recovering Sanity - Edward Povall
Madness Explained - Richard Bentall
Models of Madness - John Read
Trials of the Visionary Mind - John Weir Perry
I put the information above together for those parents who are feeling every bit as desperate as BRANBRAN. Hopefully, any parents who come across it will find some possible resources that may work for their child, even if they refuse to make use of medications.
In addition, anyone serving as a caregiver can benefit from support. You may be able to find a local support group in your own community. Online groups also exist. One such online support community is psychcentral.com.
I hope this post will fall within the appropriate guidelines as I know many families are desperate.