Friday, August 7, 2015

Trying Something A Little Different

I'm going to take a break from writing about Jordan's past and touch upon what seems like a much more relevant topic. I feel compelled to do this after receiving some emotional letters from different parents who are in the midst of watching their teens struggle in ways that they have never witnessed before. These parents are at a very difficult, confusing, scary time. A time when they feel forced to contemplate the use of therapy, a psychiatrist, and possibly medication. My heart goes out to these families. I remember this point in our lives very clearly, and it hurt. A lot.

I'm not sure if this will help, but back in 2011, I wrote in my journal a list of reasons why I thought that we needed to get Jordan professional help:

  • I'm resentful that we all need to walk on eggshells, and function around her moods. It's not healthy for all of us, as a family. We are too "in it".
  • We are learning and flailing, yelling and experimenting, and trying anything that we can, and it's not helping.
  • We threaten to take things away from her to motivate change, and then we never follow through. We don't have to. See feels so badly afterwards that she punishes herself much more harshly than we ever could.
  • She needs someone's help who doesn't take it personally, who isn't emotional, and who can give her skills and techniques without threats and promises and anger.
  • We are confused and confusing the situation, especially the older she gets. We take turns being rational to help avoid the blow ups.
  • It's really not fair to her if we let things continue on this way.
I wrote that on April 14th, 2011. She went to her first therapy session on June 11th, 2011. 

She didn't begin to take Lexapro for anxiety until August 10th, 2012. That was over a year later.

My list of reasons was pretty compelling. We were basically a dysfunctional mess. But it still took us over a year to take the leap into prescription medication. And once they were prescribed, we needed to watch for side effects. We were also told that they can take two to twelve weeks to set in, that bodies may develop a tolerance after a long period of time, and that weaning off of them can cause withdrawal symptoms... Hmmm. What other awesome facts can I tack onto this all inclusive list?

Oh, how about:  This is your child and you feel like you're conducting a chemistry experiment on her brain. A brain that is attached to a hormone filled, sleep deprived, stressed out, teenage body. "Come back in six weeks for a follow up visit and you can tell me how it's going."  Great.

My point in writing this is not to encourage or discourage seeking out professional help. It is to stress the point that as long as you are taking some sort of action to help your child, any kind of action, then that is enough for that moment. It has to be. 

Just being there and showing support, going through the emotions along with them, letting them know that you are concerned and that you will do anything to try to make it better because you love them; these are the things that they will ultimately remember. And doing them will hopefully help to make a difference in all of your lives.

No, it's never easy, but at least it's something. It helped us to navigate through some of our tougher times.

I hope that this helps with some of your more difficult times too.

Us too.

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