My daughter asked me to write about my feelings when she first started having difficulty until she was diagnosed. This blog focuses on her struggles before she was hospitalized and she was diagnosed.
Michelle was 13 -an A student, happy and getting involved in all the usual kid things. She started suffering from bouts of deep depression lasting 2 weeks. The depression was so severe she couldn’t even pick out her own clothes. She could not do her school work and missed weeks of school. Depression lifted and she would catch up on all 2 weeks of school work in two days.
She had always been so outgoing and interested in life and various activities.
It was heart wrenching as a mother to not be able to help your child no matter how much help you sought. Many emotions ran through my days-I felt helpless and angry, sad and alone at times, but turned to God and HE always brought us through, not as quickly or as long as I would have liked.
After a recurrence of deep depression we decided that since her paternal grandmother had died and she had started her menstrual cycles we would seek medical attention thinking it might be hormones or difficulties facing death. .
We visited a bunch of psychiatrists- one more unhelpful than the next. At first we just thought it was a fluke and the episode was behind us. After the next few times I knew something was really wrong. As a nurse, I sought information from various co workers and through books .(internet not around at the time.
I must interject here that if you do not like your doctor, find another one. Go to group meetings or anyplace you can find the best place locally to get information on certain doctors. I can not begin to tell you all the things psychiatrists told us over the years. I will share I was told I was controlling and didn’t give Michelle enough freedom when she was 17 after a doctor had talked to her 5 minutes . Michelle had her own car so not sure how much more freedom he wanted me to give her.
I asked him but he did not have a reply… I made up my mind he would no longer be her doctor.
Another told me I was the problem because I kept changing Drs. I told that doctor that I had a brain and knew a quack from a good doctor and I would continue searching until I found help for my daughter, and since I didn’t value his opinion -so what he said would not bother me.
Thank God I didn’t listen to them and had enough nursing experience and intelligence to know they were not God and did not care as much about my child as I did and that status quo was not good enough.
I always asked nurses where I worked where my daughter was admitted who they would take their child to. Most nurses are most helpful when you share you are at wits end and are a nurse or caring parent.
Another doctor leading a group of kids told them there was no God. They were all young and struggling and after telling as many people as I could who were entrusting their children to his care we again had to find a new doctor. I shared with the doctor why and asked him who he thought he was to teach atheists beliefs to our children? Also told him we would be leaving . (The group folded as other parents were also very upset. )Wish I had had enough energy to pursue a law suit against him.
I am not sure what your religious beliefs are but I know with certainty that neither my daughter nor I would be here if not for my strong belief in God and the power of prayer.
There were many days I cried and read psalms for comfort. Others lifted me in prayer and for that I will always be grateful. Often I was asked how I could keep going and the only answer I have is the positive power of prayers (mine and others)
Many people hold things in or are embarrassed by stigma- not me – I wanted to make things better for my daughter . I did lose friends and was often disappointed in people I thought were friends but other times I was given hope by people I had considered acquaintances.
Will close for today. Gods blessings to you and yours. May God give you whatever it is you need most this day.
Sue, Michelle’s mother