Mental health carer

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hi I'm new to this site, I am a carer for my 18 year old daughter who has a list of mental health issues, she has:
Emotionally unstable borderline personality disorder
PTSD
Attachment disorder
Anorexia
Depression and anxiety
She also has issues with alcohol.
Only last week she got drunk took an overdose and spent 2 nights on hospital, I am really struggling with 2 younger children in the house ( one took an overdose a month ago and self harms, the youngest self harms also) I'm trying to hold a part time job and it's having an effect on me.
My doctor has put me on antidepressants and my employer wants me to have cbt. I am constantly drained, my friends just tell me to remove her from the house which isn't a solution, she will become worse and cannot look after herself now. My parents try to help me by having the younger whilst I work during school holidays and for an hour every morning, but emotionally I get no support I get phone calls about how she won't get up for school or how drunk she was on a night out how she phones people at 2am because crisis won't answer and she needs help I feel like I'm the go to, to complain about her.
I feel like I'm always on alert I just need time to breath. I'm sorry but I really had no where else to voice this and just needed to get it off my chest
Dear Michelle

That's an appalling situation to be coping with! Looking after someone with mental health problems is probably THE most taxing form of caring - and if you have not only your oldest, but the two younger ones also showing signs of heading in the same direction, you must be both frantic with worry as well as exhausted and stressed out of your skull!

May I ask a 'straight' question to start off with. How do you think your oldest is getting hold of alcohol? What money is she buying it with, or is someone giving it to her? I would think that stopping her getting hold of alcohol (or cannabis or any such) would be a priority, as 'self-medicating' is only adding to her problems.

Do you have any idea why she is in such a state? You don't mention a dad, so was there a difficult divorce, or an absent father etc? Does your daughter know why she is so 'messed up'?

Do you think the younger ones are heading in that same grim direction because of the unstable situation at home? One of the most distressing aspects of MH is how having one child with it makes for an automatically unhappy home situation, which therefore upsets younger children as well.

I can see how you don't wish to 'expel' your eldest, BUT, if you look in the longer term, it may be, you know, that it is necessary SIMPLY to save your younger two! I know that's a horrible thought, but at 18 your oldest daughter is now taking on the 'privileges' of adulthood - eg, she's getting hold of alcohol! - so really she has to take the consequences of that too. But your younger ones are the most vulnerable, so should they not come first in your life now?

It could also be that your oldest simply won't take any 'guidance' from you, her mum, any more. Sometimes we mums are the very worst for our children who 'resent and argue' whatever we tell them!

Does your eldest have any relative, or 'mature friend' who can support hre, rather than you ? Someone perhaps more 'dispassionate' (since you msut be worried sick for her!). I'm glad she has her grandparents, who are probably more able to 'get through' to her, but clearly they are struggling as well.

I'm sorry only to come up 'more issues' for you, but if you look through the sections on Mental Health at the end of the index you will see, sadly, that you are not the only mum struggling with children with MH problems, so I would hope that they can be of more practical use to you than I can.

Is your eldest getting any counselling at all? Is she on any meds to 'calm' her and hopefully support her as well?

I do hope so.

Kind wishes at such a worrying time of your life. Jenny
PS - sorry to say this, but I hope you won't be offended....do you think it would be prudent for your eldest to have the long-term contraception injection? I feel that an unexpected pregnancy might be the very last thing she needs in her life right now, 'just in case'?????? (Sorry if that's upsetting for you even more!) (But alcohol and 'prudence' don't usually go hand in hand when you are 18!)
Hi Jenny,
She is in receipt of benefits and spends nearly all of it on alcohol, I have however put her on a ban at the moment.
Her dad passed away 5 years ago but she didn't see him due to his own mental health issues.
When the children were younger I was in an abusive relationship which resulted in a messy break up and court case due to allegations made by one of my children. Through therapy she has said this is the cause everything goes back to that.
She does have a boyfriend who is great with her but unfortunately he is away for a while so he cannot be of any help.
I know that she is very vulnerable whilst drunk, I'm not sure about contraception as it has never been an issue until now.
We have always kept our circle small so there isn't really anyone else that she can talk to.
I have always made sure that I try not to let her health come before the younger 2, they are not even aware of the latest admission. I still make sure that I do everything for them still do clubs etc I haven't put any of that on hold for the eldest, it's a really big balancing act
I forgot to mention that she was under the cmht, but they are so stretched they had to discharge her as they had 'iller' patients on the waiting list. She does see a councillor at school and has been told to contact action for abuse. The issue with that is its 30 miles away from us and isn't accessible
Hi Michelle
The Young Minds website has much helpful information, and a helpline for parents. It gets busy but I suggest you try contacting them.
http://www.youngminds.org.uk/for_parent ... t_helpline

MrsA