Clueless parent!

by John

How does a parent deal with an adult child that has a dual diagnosis. There's little question that we as parents have been enablers of our older daughter as is defined at this website. What to you do, though, if she has mental health issues (schizoaffective disorder)? What do you do if she has a child? What do you do if everybody she hangs out with has issues of substance abuse?

They sure seem to attract each other! I don't know if the tough love approach works in this case, and what about the effects of the tough love approach on the child? I've been ready to throw her out on numerous occasions. Sink or swim. She would not survive on the streets of Detroit for very long.

Fortunately, my disabled wife and I now live in another place, but our departure has not led to any improvements in my daughter's behavior, it's only made things worse. My daughter continues to live in the house that we left behind. My wife and I pay the mortgage and the utilities. The place is a total mess.

She will not take her meds or she self medicates. She's immune to reason or persuasion. She charms doctors into writing prescriptions for adderall. She chain smokes. She has now taken up drinking due to association with yet another loser. She's now been to emergency or been hospitalized ten times. She seems to fancy being sick, psychotic, and drugged out as if she's some kind of Alistair Crowley or David Foster Wallace.

Last weekend she wandered off to a large park in the city and hooked up with a crackhead. She was too crazy with salad talk even for them and wandered back home after 28 hours on the streets. Maybe psychosis is a strategy to protect yourself in the living hell that is Detroit.

The psychiatric literature for schizos says LEAP, listen, emphathize, agree, and partner. That is not tough love. It sounds a lot like enabling. What do you do when two sets of professionals give completely different advice?

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Oct 12, 2010
In a similar boat
by: Anonymous

I have a 32 year old dual diagnosed daughter. i have custody of her 2 year old daughter. she was just told by her landlord to break her lease after 3 months, due to too much traffic in and out of her apartment. I'm exhausted. I'm afraid to let her go, but i know i can't help her. she was offered a 30 day inpatient last April and refused. she started out with schizo-affective 10 years ago, for the past five, except for when she was pregnant,thank god, she has been using crack cocaine. she doesn't take her psych meds as prescribed. my plan is to whenever she asks me to help her, then i tell her to ask the rehab center for help. if i can stick to it and not help her.

Aug 25, 2010
by: kathie grace

I'm so so sorry for your situation. It really seems that you are between a rock and a hard place. My son didn't have a dual diagnosis, but he had a on going drug addiction. Herion was his drug of choice. He stoled from me and other members of the family repeatedly. Also burlerized stores and such, he has been in jail off and on most of his life. OD a couple of times. It came to the point where I ask God to take me or him. Thank God he is finally growing up, after years of prayer, He lives in the county right now in a halfway house. He works on a horse farm and he doesn't do drugs, He is forty years old now and he has Aids, for about 15 years now. He is probably adding years to his life now. My heart really goes out for you, maybe you could get a court order and have her put in a rehab for dual diagnosis.

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