My wife and I are very concerned about our 13 yr old daughter who is on a self-destructive path.

...No matter what we do to try to keep her from making the wrong choices, she gets so angry with us and wont listen when we try to talk to her. She is trying to manipulate us by saying she will kill herself, or she will run away, or she will quit trying in school, etc. And we are worried that she might do 1 or anyone of these things. We have been going to [a hospital] here in IN, but the therapist doesnt have the ability to connect with her and get her to open up.  They have put her on some medicine...The medicines seem to work for the 1st week or so, but then not so much. I feel that [hospitalization] has not proven to be in the best interest of my daughter, and my wife and I are at our wits end on how to handle our daughter. Her way of thinking is just way off in my opinion, for instance she can not ever admit when she is wrong or has done wrong, she always shifts the blame to someone else, can not say shes sorry, etc. I...feel we can not help her by ourselves. However, I have found that she matches 95% of the symptoms of ODD, but also has some symptoms of ADHD and depression. Our daughter will not give us any respect, is very rude to us, says she hates me, wants a new family, manipulates and controls my wife, tris to manipulate me, but I will not let her, and thats probably why she hates me..."

Asked by Brian in commenting on the article, ""When Your Child Wants to Run Away":
Member Added on Apr 27, 2010
More from Brian: "We are in desperate need of a therapist that can connect with our daughter and help her in whatever way is needed. Can you please help us, or refer us to someone you know can?  Also, our insurance has no coverage for any pyschological treatment and we do not have a substantial income, but to much for medicare/medicaid, and am hoping to find someone that offers a sliding pay scale, or a reduced rate according to income. And we need help ASAP, as I am scared what might happen if we wait to long."
In Topics: Teen issues, Children and stress, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Apr 29, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Helping teens in trouble is VERY challenging and I truly sympathize with your struggle

The very first suggestion I will give you is to think of her as emotionally suffering and in pain, rather than as trying to be manipulative and hurt you (even if her rude, disrespecful behaviors are telling you otherwise). It will be a bit easier for you to help her if she sees you as her ally, rather than as her enemy--which I suspect is how she sees you right now. This does not mean giving in to her, but it does mean learning how to love her even though she is going through a very difficult phase.

Next, it is extremely important for you to find two kinds of doctors for her: first a therapist with whom she can connect and feels safe and comfortable talking. This may be difficult, because she may not want to talk to anyone, but you need to keep trying. This person must be very experienced, be able to diagnose her properly and specialize in teens and be patient and understanding while at the same time be able to help you set the appropriate limits with her. Then you need to find a good psychiatrist who will assess the correct type of medication that she needs. This is also critical, because if she takes the right kind of medicine, the symptoms you are observing, will be at least somewhat alleviated.

Please do your best to get this help as soon as possible so that you can ensure that your family is on the right path to coming back together again and your child and you get the support you need.

Good Wishes and Great Parenting,
Dr Susan Bartell
JustAsk Expert
Twitter @drsusanbartell
NEW book “The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask”

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