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Hi I’m a newbie - Carers UK Forum

Hi I’m a newbie

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
My daughter first experienced mental health problems over 2 years ago but was not accepted by CAHMS till she took an overdose April 16, that was the start of many. By the September she went in for self harm but was kept in because of the start of anorexia for the rest of the month and then was admitted to a MHU till the end of December when we had her leagaly removed. We did well with her and the self harm and overdoses got less. By mid July i had her admitted to hospital as she was anorexic we live in Somerset but we have no units near us so she went to Solihull in Birmingham in August to an EDU. She became too much for them and after she had been sent to a general hospital they refused to take her back. That hospital refused to feed her as she would hit out and health and safety would not cover the staff. We begged an phychiartric intensive care unit in Stafford to take her, they had seen her a week earlier and were shocked by her state so they took her. I moved in with friends in worcester when she moved to the midlands so i could be nearer her. It’s 100 mile round trip for me and 340mile for my husband and her twin brother. Ive not claimed anything as she has been in a unit and they turn 16 December 28th. The cost in petrol alone for just me is massive let alone my husband.
I get ESA contribution based and some PIP my husband is on about 35000 wages and 10600 pension. My son is falling apart and my husbands weight has gone up, he also has weight related type 2 diabetes . I dont know what to do, where to start.
Welcome to the forum.
How old is your daughter? Are you getting any support at all? I suggesr you contact Social Services and ask for a Carers Assessment. Unfortunately the help they offer varies depending on where you live. It might help for you to have some counselling aimed at supporting you to help you cope with your situation better, I found it helpful in different circumstances. Especially sharing things with someone "neutral".
Was there anything specific that started your daughter's problems?
How very worrying.....

I'm slightly unclear - is she still in the psych unit in the Midlands, which is treating her (combined) MH disorders AND her eating disorders (as I'm assuming the two are closely linked?).

If so, do you have any idea how long they think she is going to (need) be there? Are they pressurising you to remove her? Do you want to, or do you think she is (a) doing better there and/or (b) there is no where else likely to be any better anyway?

If she IS there, as a resident patient, and if she IS at the very least being 'contained' there - ie, being kept safe, weight not still dropping etc etc - and, even, hopefully, slightly 'improved' (calmer, weight stabilising/gaining etc), and they are not about to discharge her or send her somewhere else (unless it's a 'better' psych unit that, say, is EDU as well or whatever).....then what I am about to say is said very cautiously, but said all the same -

It's this -

Would it be sensible, now that she is 'safe' somewhere, with experts, for you to 'back off' a bit?? I know that can run totally counter to a maternal instinct to be as close to a child in need as we possibly can be, BUT, the reason I am saying this is twofold:

You are highly stressed both by seeing her AND the distance AND the expense AND the dislocation to your normal life (eg, staying with friends etc).

Your presence may NOT be helping your daughgter.....that' I know, is always hard hard hard for a parent to accept, but we DO have to take on board that we, and the whole family situation, may be 'part of the problem', and/or 'contributing in some way to the continuance of her unhappiness/disorder/ill health'.

I say this very cautiously, as it's obviously an emotive and indeed, 'inflammatory' thing to say, but it is a clear statistical chance that her MH/ED did not 'come out of nowhere' but is associated with her family (Obviously, this may NOT be so, there may be clear 'non-psychological' causes/contributory factors, as with any MH - we can never just 'blame the parents'!!!!!!!!)(etc etc)

That said, we do have to accept, sadly, that we, as parents, may NOT be what they need right now - that they need, indeed, to 'separate' from us, and form their own personalities and develop their OWN 'resilience' etc etc.

I say this with respect of my niece, now in her thirties, who had all sorts of general MH 'stuff' afflicting her (still does), and with hindsight now, sadly, my bro and SIL accept that they handled the situation entirely 'wrongly' when she was in her late teens/twenties. They fussed and agonised and guilted themselves, and basically stopped my niece being able to develop resilience, they kept her 'infantilised' by never 'launching' her, by being over-protective and so on and so on.

Now, I have NO idea, obviously, if anything like that rings bells at all, and of course it is only one family's experience, and no generalities should ever be drawn - I ONLY put it there to show how intensely 'anti-intuitive' it is for parents to 'give space' to their children when their children are 'in need'.....and that MAY (only MAY) be something worth thinking about for yourselves.....

The second reason for 'backing off' is simply to protect YOURSELF from a level of stress that might break you. If you collapse - let alone the rest of your family, you will be no use to your daughter anyway......that, too, can be hard for a devoted mother to accept, as we obviously put ourselves LAST when it comes to our children.

I do hope that things may finally have reached a turning point for your daughter, and that slowly but surely, yes, with some relapses but a general overall upward trend, she can confront her demons, find a way to 'dissolve' them, and gain the resilience and peace of mind that she needs to be the young woman she can be. And rejoin a HAPPIER family for you ALL.

Kindest wishes at a terrifying time for you - Jenny
Hi Marianne
It's an absolute scandal that young people with mental health issues are shipped hundreds of miles across country . I also believe it's abysmal how there is no support, and little involvement of the parents. I have relative with Aspergers who has been moved and hospitalised several times. Sadly the situation isn't improving .
I'd suggest you start with the youngminds website, whcih also has a parents helpline https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/for ... val-guide/
Then there's the mix, a website aimed at under 25s but still has wealth of information http://www.themix.org.uk
Either of these may be able to point you to support
I don't think we have an active user of this forum in this situation currently

I think there may be help re petrol costs at least, and it is irrelevant they become 16, she still count as an adult for mental health issues until 17 or 18.

You might be interested to Google and read about Mark Neary and the fights and campaigns he has run to try to find the right help for his LD son Steven. His blogs and posts may lead you to others in your situation and to those fighting to get the system improved, but I would understand if this is too much for you to contemplate at the moment

Any mental health issue is a long, long haul and it is imperative, that to be able to support your daughter for years to come, that you look after yourself mentally and physically, controlling stress whenever possible. That means working out priorities and applying strict rukes to say No to anyyhing unimportant