Need advise from experienced psych nurses

  1. My 15 yr. old daughter was charged with assault for hitting and choking another girl at school. I attempted to bring her to see a psychologist but she refused to come into the office, she made threats agains me to her friends and the school principal called and told me that my daughter wanted to kill me when she turned 18. I took her to the ER to get her 302'd but because she didn't have a actual "plan" they denied it. I don't know how they denied it because she did not speak one word to anyone, when I pulled up to the ER she took off and I had to call the police to bring her in, she was uncooperative with them and they brought her in in handcuffs. She refuses counseling, they won't 302 her and force counseling because of a "no plan" thing, I think she does have a plan but since she won't talk to anyone who knows. The school isn't any help. Now what do I do with her?
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    About BadBird

    Joined: Aug '00; Posts: 2,629; Likes: 20
    Critical Care


  3. by   Blackcat99
    She sounds like she needs a dose of "tough love" If she was my daughter I would get a lawyer and see about getting her declared an "emancipated minor". She sounds dangerous to me. I would kick her out and move away. Good luck.
  4. by   lucianne
    I would definitely talk to a lawyer. I doubt you can have her declared an emancipated minor at 15 and some states are no longer doing this anyway. As for kicking her out and moving away, that's not tough love, that's running away from your problems. You might investigate having her made a ward of the state if you feel you are in danger.

    This must be so heartbreaking for you. I'm truly, truly sorry.

  5. by   BadBird
    I have no thoughts of running away from my daughter. I am planning on asking the judge to order counseling for her, that way she will be forced into it. I have to wait for the court date so now it is just wait and see. I have no problem with tough love, my defination is restrictions, loss of privilidges, not moving away.
  6. by   sanakruz
    Bad bird- here in CALIF a parent can have their child placed on informal probation through the juvenile justice system. If she is running away, truant, and otherwise defiant with set limits, a probation officer will/can act as a counselor. One of the biggest risks for kids today is the availability of street drugs; Probation can order mandatory urine testing. They make a plan with the kids, parents and school. If said minor doesnt walk the line they will be taken into custody. Good luck! i feel for you
  7. by   Blackcat99
    Yes this situation is indeed very heartbreaking. I am very sorry for the pain you must be going thru. I know it sounds very heartless for me to say "Just kick her out and move away". I hope that counseling will help her.
    Unfortunately, more than 300 parents are killed each year by their own children. These threats must be taken seriously. I wish you the best of luck.
  8. by   normj
    I hope this message finds you with improved circumstances ...

    In my admittedly very limited experience, this kind of behavior rarely erupts spontaneously ... any idea what is going on with your daughter? Perhaps therein lies the answer ...
  9. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Badbird--they messed up on the 302. She asssaulted a couple of people, including the girl at school. This is "danger to others."

    Get a hold of that psychologist, and don't give up until your child gets inpatient care--at least a 72 hour hold.

    This is the way it works in all 50 states, although it may be called something other than "302."

    That kind of behavior out of the blue at 15, these days anyway, usually means there is a drug or alcohol thing happening.

    And BTW, "emancipated minors" are those who have been proved able to take care of themselves. That is not this girl. I come at this from a purely professional perspective--I have been a master's degreed practicing mental health provider in Oklahoma and Texas for the last (my God, has it been that long?) 17 years, 15 of that licensed. I know what I am talking about.

    One of the hardest things you will have to do is hang in there, no matter what trashy thing she says to you, and do what the therapist, or counselor, or psychiatrist, or whoever you can get to care for her, tells you to do. And remember to keep safety first. If there are younger children in the house, protect them. And protect yourself. Is there a Dad around? Get him on your team, decide in advance to agree except privately.

    If there is any history of drugs or alcohol (I don't care if it was your father you never knew or they stopped drinking 20 years ago and you "aren't affected" anymore), get yourself to Al-Anon.

    Please keep us posted. My heart is with you--this part is purely personal and nurse-y. You are in my prayers. PM me if you want to and think I can be helpful.
  10. by   Nurse Ratched
    In my state any child under the age of 18 only needs a parental/legal guardian signature to sign the minor into the adolescent psych ward - whether they want to go or not. Is that not the case there?
  11. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    I think you will find that for the last 15 or 20 years, the assessment of a licensed practitioner, conveyed to a judge, and that judge agreeing that the child is "in need of treatment" or similar words, is what is required.

    Sadly, too many parents were signing their kids in for plain old kid misbehavior, or to have a break. These kids presented no problem to the IP units, who were glad to fill beds with easy patients paid for by insurance (or public) money.

    I believe the legal change came about for two main reasons: 1) it violated the civil rights of children, being held without due process and 2) insurance companies got tired of paying for it.

    States that do not follow the federal mandate don't get federal money--so I suspect the practice is this way in your state as well.
  12. by   BadBird
    Let me give you some more info on my daughter, she is a high honor roll student, never had trouble at school before but she has been picked on by others because she is overweight. No drugs or alcohol. The reason she is angry with me and this is only my guess is that : 1. I divorced her father 10 yrs. ago ( a loser who never supported us) 2. I moved her to another state 3. I remarried ( it will be 8 yrs. in august to a man who is very supportive of all of us, no abuse, no alcohol or drugs). She has been very moody civil one minute and awful the next. I really think it is a bipolar type of thing although I do not know of any mental illness on either side of the family. Someone could have had mental illness and no one knows about it but nothing obvious to anyone. I really want her to talk to someone. I called another psychologist who goes to the school to see the kids and I talked to her guidence counselor who was a neighbor and our girls played together. So far she is not speaking to me at all, not one word, comes out to eat after we are done, and avoids all of us. I am scared for her, I know she needs help and there is help out there if she would just open up. I will not stop trying to get her to talk to someone, anyone. I also have a 800 number to a crisis unit and if she ever displays any anger at me or anyone that I know of I will call immediately. It just breaks my heart to see her go through this.
  13. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    The sudden change is a red flag for several things, most of which you have identified.

    Her high scholastic achievement is a good sign: when you get her into counseling, and you will, she has the brain power to make some use of it. So often we think that counseling helps everyone, but it doesn't..... You have to have enough IQ points to reason, discuss, develop alternatives, implement them, and evaluate them. (Not unlike nursing process....)

    Bipolar disorder certainly is a possibility, but adolescents who are depressed also act this way. When they are depressed, they may lash out at you for one thing, but it's something they can't bring themselves to put into words that has them upset--or there isn't anything specific, they are just depressed.

    You are right to be concerned--I want you to know I think you are an exemplary parent. How you are keeping such a cool head is beyond me--you are better at this than I was when mine (then 13, now 21 and quite sane--so far!) was acting out. It sounds like you are doing all the right things.

    Does your daughter have anyone that she has been able to talk to in the past--a teacher, counselor, Sunday School teacher, pastor, neighbor, friend's parent--that she might be willing to talk with if she were assured that it would be confidential? It's just a thought--sometimes that breaks the isolation.

    It really sounds like you are on the right path. Don't forget to take care of yourself too. Get plenty of hugs from the DH. These kinds of things can strengthen a marriage if you can draw strength from each other, and that helps the kiddos too.

    Take care--stay in touch.
  14. by   Tiggur
    i have three teenagers in the house and they are a hand full in anycase just being teenagers heart goes out to you ... hang in there ...