Needs someone to care

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

im 17 year old and I live in what I call a hell hole with my dad, twin brother, step mom, and half siblings. I’ve always had problems living with my dad but it all went south when my dad got married. He started believing that people were trying to kill him with voodoo and so he married this woman a year ago to “protect us”. Then he started accusing me of stealing her stuff, using her stuff without permission, and even trying to kill him. He says that my mom (who lives in a different state) and I team up to put things around the apt to cause harm.

I am severely depressed and I was hospitalized 2 months ago after for wanting to off myself and i called a hotline because i told my dad and he said he didnt care, he said that i have shelter food,and go to school and he doesnt care if im happy or not.he knows that i cut and its gotten bad..its been over a yr now.

He moved over this past summer without telling me or my brother (we were at our mom’s house) so I have no one to talk to here. The house is soo dirty, not just clothes and dirt.its like waste. And food, garbage all over this house, it makes me sick literally.im having stomach issues because don’t want to go to the bathroom, or anywhere else in this place. Im so scared of it..Im a germaphobe and so coming home after school makes me soo anxious and I want to cry. After I came home from the hospital..they gave me this discharge plan and I was put on medication there because of an anxiety attack.

The discharge plan said that I was to be placed in an intensive out patient program, and that didn’t happen because my dad says its stupid..2 weeks before my medication was finished I told him that and he just ignored me and so now my meds are done and it’s been a week. He doesn’t seem to care that I need a psychiatrist to monitor my meds. All I get here is threatened like “im gonna break ur neck”, “u’ll see what ill do to you”, “leave and don’t come back” name called like stupid, idiot, useless.

my depression is bad right now, and my mood swings ..they are getting out of hand…i like when i get soo good i get hyper and “everything is fine” but when i ger suicidal it scares me. ive been having mood swings since i was 15 but at first i thought i coulld just handle them but i cant anymore….when i was at the hospital, the therapist there looked at my calendar and said i migh have to go on a mood stabilizer…isnt that used for people with bipolar disorder? are they saying this is what they think i have beyond depression?it gets me scared because ive been handling depression and mood swing (not well at all) alone and i wonder if i even need medication….i also heard that medication messes things up in ur body and mind..is that true?
sprry if this is too long, but thank you :)

A: I’m guessing that it was hard to write all this down. It must have been hard to put all of that in one place. Assuming that you are seeing things clearly, your dad’s behavior is neglect. You didn’t mention whether or not you’ve told your mother about what is going on or why you and your brother haven’t moved in with her. If she isn’t capable of caring for you or isn’t willing to do so, the two of you need outside help.

In your state, the Division of Youth and Family Services is the agency that can help parents do a better job. You can either call them yourself or you can ask your school counselor, your doctor, or any trusted adult to call them for you. The report can be anonymous. Here is the link>/a> to DYFS.

Please don’t hesitate to use this resource if you need to. It sounds like your dad has big problems of his own that get in the way of his ability to take care of you kids. It may be that he simply can’t do it. No kid should be living in garbage. And you need the followup to your hospitalization.

In answer to your last question: Different people respond differently to different medications. If your doctor advised that medication would help you stabilize, it’s important that you work together to find the right one for you. Sometimes it takes trying a few medicines to get it right. Keep track of your reaction and give your doctor an accurate report about how it’s going. Used well, medication can give people a great deal of relief with minimal side effects.

You don’t have to handle this alone. The social workers at DYFS are there to help. If you don’t feel ready or able to call them in just yet, please do continue to use the hotlines for support. The Boys and Girls Town Hotline is especially helpful for teens. Their number is 800-448-3000.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 Apr 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). Needs someone to care. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/04/08/needs-someone-to-care/