by Chris Myers
I have an 11 year old daughter who was diagnosed bipolar many years ago.
We have read just about every book available and consider ourselves very well educated on the subject. Over that past few months our daughter has become increasingly angry and violent coupled with statements of wanting to kill herself and harm other family members. We are currently working with her doctor with med changes, but not much has worked. I guess my question is at what point should we consider a more residential treatment plan?
We try every parenting technique recommended and it continues to grow worse. The smallest of things set off the anger fits and they have become a daily event and are all consuming for the family. There do not seem to be a lot of resources available in our area of NC. Any advice would be much appreciated. We are quickly coming to the end of our rope.
I don't know the particulars like your treatment providers do, but I can tell you my opinion in general.
I think residential treatment is an option if entrenched family dynamics are contributing to the behavior. Sometimes the intensity of those dynamics require that the child is out of the home to break some of these dynamics.
Residential treatment is also helpful in creating routine and ritual for children when it is difficult to do that within their family. Children and adults, as you know require routine and structure to help regulate them.
However, residential treatment has to be carefully planned and if a child has separation anxiety it can be intensified and make things worse. This is also the case with hospitalization and I can attest to this. Many of my kids who have severe anxiety develop PTSD when hospitalized in an inadequate setting ( which most of them are these days!) SO really, the pros and cons need to be carefully weighed!
If their is any availability of respite for you, that might be a better initial option. I'm sure you probably have explored this option but there may be a way to think out of the box.
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