No! I Won’t Take My Medicine!

 

No! I Won't Take My Medicine - Anchor Of Promise

There is a common thread that unites many parents of teens today affected with mental illness.  This thread is the unwillingness  or refusal by teens to take medication for their mental impairment.  

It is frustrating, scary and overwhelming. How can you help your teen when all they do is battle you?  You beg, plead, bribe, or threaten in every way for them to take their medicine.  None of it works.

So what does work? There is only one place to get that answer – your teen.

Now you may think the only response you are going to get from your teen is the word, “No!” After all, that is a common word you have been confronted with daily.  Just because they give a negative answer does not mean that teens want to live in a life of mental confusion.  They truly want what every other teen has – normalcy or free of illness.

The biggest drawback for mentally challenged teens are the side effects from medications.  Teens often express feelings of being lethargic, not themselves, worse than before, and even embarrassed that they have to take medication in the first place.

The other complication is that mental illness is tiring in itself.  It drains your teen emotionally, mentally, and physically because the brain is trying harder to undo the symptoms of mental illness that is happening inside.  They are constantly at war with their thoughts that race in their mind which leaves them exhausted, depressed, acting out, unusual behaviors, and more.

In their eyes, the future is bleak for them or they try other sources such as drugs and alcohol to numb what they are going through inside their mind.

As a parent, the last thing we need is for our teen to end up with an addiction on top of a mental illness.  So, how are we to win this fight?

Years ago, those in the psychiatric field often gave out a one size fits all medication for mental illness.  Much has changed since then and doctors who treat mental illness today have learned a lot through trials and research.

Here are some lessons they have learned and what you and your teen can do:

  • Each medication works differently on each individual.  What works for one may not work for another. It takes time to see any difference and keeping a journal of what helps and what does not is productive in figuring out the right type of meds your teen can tolerate or do well on.
  • Some homeopathic treatment can help along with therapy. But it has to be discussed with those who prescribe prescriptions.
  • Staying away from certain foods that can aggravate mental illness.  Healthy choices have always shown great success for those who have suffered from disorders and illnesses.  Ask for references by your mental health advocate for a nutritionist.
  • Medicine needs to be measured out by the weight of the teen and built up from a very small dosage to a higher one IF and when needed. Communication is the key to make sure your teen and the doctor prescribing the medication are working closely together and to monitor any changes along the way.  
  • Doctors are more open to collaborate on what teens are comfortable to use and more willing to continue on.
  • The stigmatism of being on medication is becoming less due to the amount of young people who take medications for various medical reasons.  Taking medication for mental illness is not a death sentence.  It is to give normalcy in one’s life.
  • When a teen’s body matures as they age, often times a medication change is necessary.
  • Doctors and patients must have a good rapport with each other in order for the patient to be compliant with taking the medication.  If your child does not like the doctor, maybe it is time to  look for a new one.
  • The more the teen is involved in the decision making of the medication/therapy, the more apt they are in wanting the treatment to continue.  Ask your teen to participate and even take the lead to figure out what medication will work best.  

Finally, the best medicine I have found is prayer mixed in with the wisdom of the medical field professionals. Praying for God to put upon your teen a desire to get better is always a benefit to your child.  We may not have control over what our teen does or how they will respond, but God knows their fears, worries, their capabilities, and their heart. Your job as a parent is to support your teen and encourage them in their journey to not give up as they find the best solution to establish a healthy mental attitude of healing.

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. Psalm 94:19

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Bible Quotes take from NIV Copyright 2011

Why I Refused to Celebrate Mother’s Day

Why I Refused To Celebrate Mother's Day - Anchor Of Promise

 

It’s Mother’s Day! Flowers, candy, and a day off from cleaning and cooking. That is what many moms wish for. These are some of the things that a mother enjoys while the day is celebrated.  Some families go all out.  They give lavish retreats away from home, a day at the spa, or give praise through cards, phone calls, and social media to express their love for “Mom”.  

However, being a “mom” of a teen in crisis brings about a very different kind of Mother’s Day.  You see, teens who are hurting and struggling have moms who put themselves last on the list of receiving care.  We also don’t always experience the benefits or rewards of adulation along with hugs and words of love and thankfulness.

Some moms instead, worry about their teen who hadn’t come home the night before.  Some moms are faced with a teen who is drug addicted or self-harming.  Some moms must visit their teen in juvie for Mother’s Day or at the hospital because their teen had a mental breakdown.  Some moms wonder if they can handle being in their child’s life because their teen has left them hopeless, frustrated, angry, and tired from all that they have been through.

Years ago, I made a big deal out of Mother’s Day which got ruined many times because of my teen in crisis.  So I refused to celebrate it.  But as time went on, I became thankful.  Thankful that I survived another year as a mom of a teen in crisis.

As each Mother’s Day passed, my faith in God became stronger as I relied on Him to get me to the following year. This grew and sustained my hope during the difficult times.  It also helped me deal with my expectations in a more positive way.  Instead of waiting to see what was going to ruin my day, I thanked God for all the little victories that were happening in my child’s life.  No matter how small or big.

One of the biggest changes for me as a mom was how much more I put that responsibility as a parent back towards God.  I knew in my heart that I couldn’t control every aspect, problem, issue or circumstance with each crisis, but I did know who could.  That took off a lot of burdens I was carrying as a parent, especially as a mom.

Being a parent, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be the best mom and when our teen fails us or the community in general, it comes back on us.  No longer stuck in this pattern, I give my problems to God in prayer. I know He will work them all out in His own way through His wisdom and not mine.  After all, He created my child from the very beginning.  He knows my teen better than I ever could.

So dear mom, as you get through this Mother’s Day, good or bad, remind yourself that it isn’t forever.  Your teen really does love you and one day they will thank you for not giving up on them.

From one mom to another who understands, may your Mother’s Day be filled with God’s love, hugging you with hope, peace, strength, and the knowledge that the Lord knows your heart this day.  Let Him guide you through the day and the year and allow Him to carry the hurts, disappointments, and the sorrow you may come upon.  As you rely on Him, He will give you joy that passes all understanding and a lightness within you as you daily go before the Lord in prayer.  

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

Grooming: Could Your Hurting Teen Be Another Elizabeth Thomas?

Grooming - Could Your Hurting Teen Be Another Elizabeth Thomas?

Every other day, I have been tracking the news story of Elizabeth Thomas, the young teen who was kidnapped by her teacher Tad Cummins from Tennessee.

Parents across the country are shocked that this could have happened.  The term “grooming” is a word often used when an adult figure manipulates, deceives, and earns the trust of the victim through various forms of coercion.

Sadly, more and more authority figures are “grooming” young teens at their most vulnerable times.  It can happen in schools, churches, and sports teams.  Many have questioned or made statements about Elizabeth Thomas such as, “She chose to be with him,” or “She can run away.” However, they do not understand the psychological control this teacher has over her that started a long time ago under the guise of a teacher mentoring a student in school.

Teens don’t just jump into a relationship with someone older.  There are many factors when combined set the perfect stage for the grooming of the victim.

So what types of teens are targeted for grooming? Continue reading

When You Have Lost Your Joy at Easter

When You Have Lost Your Joy at Easter - Anchor Of Promise

Everyone is in the Easter holiday spirit.  It’s that time and season in which you bring out all of the spring décor and clothing.  As you rip into the closet or boxes in the basement, there you find tucked away in the corner is your child’s Easter basket.  Memories take you back to when you filled it to the brim with all sorts of goodies for your little children every year for the Easter holiday.  It looks disheveled and old now with colored shredded grass poking through the weaved basket.   As you gaze upon it, tears begin to flow.  Those were the happy days.  You didn’t have a child in crisis back then like you do now.  Continue reading

You’re Fired!

You're Fired! - Anchor Of Promise

How many times do you think you should have been fired from your job as a parent?  Your teen is out of control, getting in trouble or having a meltdown.  You step in to pull it back together but find yourself making things worse.  Maybe you added to their problems.  Maybe you gave the wrong guidance.  Maybe you weren’t there when they needed you the most.

We can beat ourselves up over and over and be left with extreme guilt, shame, and a teen in crisis like ever before.  You say to yourself the following words… Continue reading