Trigger warning- We’re going to be talking about mental health, ethics considerations, suicide, and other potential triggers in this article.
My oldest daughter fell off of a horse in December 2015, and we still aren’t entirely sure whether that triggered her first psychotic break, or if she was in the middle of her first psychotic break when she fell. I am leaning towards the latter, because of subsequent incidents that have happened.
Fast forward a few years. It’s 2023. We’re still at it. At the beginning of February, the disease moved onto another stage- it is always progressing, never getting better, really- and my daughter started exhibiting signs of increased paranoia, and delusions, and psychosis. When we are in this phase, she also starts showing signs of Catatonia, which if not treated, can be fatal.
She’s been in and out of the hospital non-stop since February, and as of June, we are on our 7th hospitalization. To be clear- when someone is having issues with mental health, in order to be involuntarily committed, they have to be a clear risk to themselves or others, in this state.
Unfortunately, as part of the pscyhosis and delusions, she also starts having memories of having been assaulted, and creates these new, dangerous memories. She has assaulted caregivers a number of times, and this week, the level of violence against her caregivers escalated dramatically.
She is currently in the ER at a major local hospital waiting for an in-patient bed, somewhere, but because there aren’t enough beds, she’s going to sit in the ER until something becomes available.
She is also on the waitlist for the state psychiatric hospital- Central Regional Hospital- where once she gets in, they generally do a great job of making sure that the patient is as stable as they can be before discharge. They take their time, to do things as close to “right” as they can.
As a mom, this breaks my heart, because all of my decisions are bad, and worse. Treatment, at least evidence based treatment at this point is very limited, and as far as I can tell, no medication really does much to control the mental health stuff, except for the medications for the Catatonia.
So, I’m faced with awful medications that barely work, some that cause even worse side effects.