As May 2016 draws to a close and with it Mental Health Awareness Month, I wanted to share with you a big worry that I have. It's not being hospitalized again for behaviors. We've dealt with this before. It was scary the first time. We'll know what to do when/ if my daughter needs this again. It's not even if The Wonder Drug Amantadine, stops working. I'm convinced that Dr. Wonderful, Princess's psychiatrist, will find something else. It may take awhile to achieve stability, but it will happen. It's not even that my child may need to live in a group home as an adult. I've resigned myself to the fact that she may never go to college.
My greatest fear is that my daughter may one day have to live at a residential treatment facility. Since California does not currently have any for high flight risk patients, Princess would most likely have to go out of state. In 2013, when my daughter was so unstable, we were seriously considering an out of state placement. We're so thankful that with a therapeutic day school and an amazing combination of medications, Princess has been stable for almost three years.
I know of at least three families who have had to place their children in residential treatment facilities. Two of these children are currently out of state. It's gut wrenching hearing their stories.
I worry if attending one of these facilities may do more harm than good. I worry that no one will love on my daughter like her father and I do. I worry that she'll be at one for a very long time.
Some people may ask why I am worrying about something that may never come to fruition. I say that I know the realities. My daughter is still in puberty. In the next few years as her hormones potentially throw the chemicals in her brain off kilter, instability and a placement in a residential treatment facility are very real possibilities. I've seen and heard of this happening with many children with mental illness. Sometimes there are even typically developing teens who require an out of home placement.
I do cling to the hope of one family that I know of whose daughter is doing very well. This mother shared with me how hard it was having her child out of the home. It was very necessary for the rest of the family's safety and well being. Now this young lady is making incredible strides. The RTC she attended gave her the tools that she needed.
For today, I live in the present. I'm choosing to focus on the fact that my daughter is doing well. She's learning how to advocate for herself. Her school has been giving her the tools to help her live well with mental illness. For that I am grateful.
P.S. I know that my friends whose children are at RTC's would covet your prayers. Thanks.