Teen refusing medication
Anyone dealt with a teen that is completely against being medicated for psychological/psychiatric conditions?

I'm helping with my cousin who's being cared for by her ill grandma. It's a long story, but biomom is in prison, biodad is severly mentally ill.

My cousin is almost 13. She's seeing a therapist and psychiatrist but has a very negative attitude against all mental health professionals from her dad and also heard and seen many negative things about psychiatric medications.

She has been diagnosed with only anxiety and depression at this point. The doctor wants to see how a regular antidepressant/anxiety medication will help before diagnosing her with something else. He also wants to put her on sleeping medication because she has extreme insomnia. He hopes that if she's sleeping regularly, that will help the most.

She absolutely refuses to take the medication. She's seen her biodad dealing with massive side effects of medications he's been on - which likely also includes seeing her dad's severe reactions to mixing his psychiatric medication with illegal drugs.

The therapist and psychiatrist have been straightforward in telling her that the drug may work, or they may need to try another or a combination. She's very angry about being a human guinea pig.

My cousin's behavior is completely out of control and she has been verbally abusive to her grandma. We need to do something, and hope medication will help.

I don't have a very good relationship with her and she is very angry and hateful towards her grandma.

She barely talks to the therapist. In the psychiatrist's lobby, she vomitted. We believe she's very anxious about mental illness being hereditary and being like her dad. But she will argue constantly that nothing is wrong with her.

Her therapist isn't the best and she's been seeing him for 6 months now. I'm not sure if we should try to find someone she might trust more or if would be best to try to stick it out and hope he can help her accept treatment. Or if it's not working at this point, it would be best to find someone she might trust more.
there is a stigma attached to mental illness-its almost as if it's their fault they are mentally ill. so I see why she wouldn't want that label. I think the first step is to try and find a therapist/psychiatrist she is able to trust and talk to
tygerlilyzz said...
I think the first step is to try and find a therapist/psychiatrist she is able to trust and talk to


We're trying to find some new therapist, but finding the right person is the difficulty.

A friend suggested trying to find someone with more of a focus on alternative/holistic medicine rather than the typical "medicate first, ask question later" type, but that's easier said than done.
this is sort of a vent but I have to add --how incredibly frustrating it is when people say "you should (blank)" or "if it were me I'd just (blank) - it seems like everyone -doctors, therapists, friends, relatives, etc have lots of suggestions but unless they can give you some suggestions that have concrete proven results what they say is nothing but a bunch of babble and I have often felt like screaming " don't waste my time with your nonsense- give me something I can hold on to, something that I can actually use - not just a bunch of useless words that mean nothing.

I guess that's why I appreciate having this site - because I know that when I post stuff like what I just did that there are other people here who know exactly what I am talking about and feeling because they've been there too . I hope it helps you too to know that when people give you an opinion you can trust that whatever that opinion- is it is drawn from their true life personal experience not some textbook answer
BTW --I feel better now Smile
tygerlilyzz said...
this is sort of a vent but I have to add --how incredibly frustrating it is when people say "you should (blank)" or "if it were me I'd just (blank) - it seems like everyone -doctors, therapists, friends, relatives, etc have lots of suggestions but unless they can give you some suggestions that have concrete proven results what they say is nothing but a bunch of babble and I have often felt like screaming " don't waste my time with your nonsense- give me something I can hold on to, something that I can actually use - not just a bunch of useless words that mean nothing.

I guess that's why I appreciate having this site - because I know that when I post stuff like what I just did that there are other people here who know exactly what I am talking about and feeling because they've been there too . I hope it helps you too to know that when people give you an opinion you can trust that whatever that opinion- is it is drawn from their true life personal experience not some textbook answer
This is just a suggestion , how about trying Biological-feedback or deep relaxation ( a therapist trained in this will know what to do ) . Since she has anxiety and depression it may work . I have the same medical issue and for quite some time I used Biological-feedback & deep relaxation , it does work .
Also another idea for the depression is a light ( lamp) that a person uses and as strange as it sounds it works!
google lights for depression . But only use the light early in the day , night time may make her insomnia worse.
I have one of these lamps , it's a floor lamp & it works great for me . They also come as a desk lamp .
countrygirl16, thanks for the suggestions.

I think the alternative/holistic route is the best path, but I didn't know what to look for. Biological-feedback sounds promising.

Just looking through the list of therapists from my health plan didn't provide any details about what other services they provide. If it was just finding a therapist she would have a better rapport with, I'm not sure how to go about that.

The alternative route rather than just talk therapy and drugs seems like the best option. When I searched for biofeedback therapists, I found a lot of them calling themself mind-body psychotherapists or mind body family counselors. If anyone is looking for these types of therapists, that would be a good place to start.

My cousin seems somewhat receptive to going and giving it a try. Her first response was if her dad had tried that and if it would help him (I don't have answers about that), but hopefully that's a good sign.
I have depression/bipolar/OCD/etc and because of the risks/side effects of medications decided to go the natural route for many years. I saw a chiropractor who is also a certified homeopathic specialist. He got me on natural forms of Lithium, flower and bush essences (search Bach/Bush Flowers on google), and a variety of minerals and supplements that helped to boost energy and increase immunity. Unfortunately, that approach can be quite expensive and isn't covered by any medical insurance that I've heard of. Which is why I went back to traditional medications and live with the side effects (annoying, but not harmful, as long as I stay on them and take them on time).

For sleep melatonin is widely used and typically very effective at least for short periods of time. I prefer the liquid sublingual melatonin myself. A little bit goes a long ways, but you don't need to be under a dr's supervision when taking it as risks are low.

I second finding a therapist she can trust, don't keep throwing money at someone she doesn't. The biofeedback is also great as well! But takes time to learn and implement, and you have to actually be willing to do it. Not sure I would have been willing/able to at 13, I had years of training in college with weekly sessions and still struggle to use it when in the middle of a depressive or manic episode.
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