Need advice with teenage daughter. Should I send her away for help?

Simone - posted on 01/01/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Hi I am a divorced mum whos daughter is about to turn 15. At 12 she was diagnosed with severe depression and hospitalised on suicide watch for several weeks. This seemed to have been sparked by social/ peer acceptance/ identity issues when she started Highschool but we also have a family generic history of depression/ anxiety etc. Since that time I have sought any help i could find for both her and myself. she has received a lot of support through intervention program's, mental health workers, counsellors, specialised school etc. however her behaviour has changed dramatically. now instead of depression her behaviour has increasingly worsened and is now at the point of what I consider extreme risk taking behaviour eg school refusal, experimenting with various drugs including ecstasy, intermittent alcohol abuse, promiscuous behaviour, even advertising online offering sex to strangers apparently in an attempt to get money. When I discovered her prostitution ad, I reported her myself to the police and she now has a youth case worker although there is no legal requirements for my daughter to adhere to. The police case worker started driving my daughter to school once a week to ensure she arrived... But the last time she came my daughter had a "friend" over and refused to go with her ( I was at work at the time). Anyway nothing was done and she didn't go to school! It seems she is calling everyone's bluff and no one can do anything to stop her downhill spiral. we have come to blows many times over her behaviour although i have been advised over and over again that it is essential i maintain a positive relationship with her and basically dont push her away with threats of punishments etc. not that any punishment would work anyway as she ignores any "consequence" i try and place. She just responds that its her life, she needs to do the things that make her happy... And asks me would I rather she be happy or dead ( a reference to her suicidal feelings of several years ago). Of course this is emotional blackmail but its a tough one to deal with. Anyway her father ( although a loving dad) has refused to help me set any boundaries up until this point. It has been incredibly frustrating but his attitude has been exactly what my daughter wants. He says if I had to choose between her being suicidal or acting out but being happy... It's an easy decision for him. Anyway just a week or so ago I discovered she was trying to buy ice to use for the first time. For some reason that seemed to change everything as far as my ex husband was concerned. Better late than never but now he is agreeing to pay for her to go away to a youth rehabilitation centre which I researched a year or so ago but couldn't send her without his agreement and help financially as it is HUGELY expensive. We are in Australia and Brahminy seems to be the only program in the whole country that I can find that accepts teens against their will ( other than juvenile detention) and has an entire behavioural rehab program. The minimum stay is 3 months and it is in another state from where we live so it's a huge decision. I have mentioned it to my daughters youth worker ( not the police one but another though her school) and she is saying I should try and get my daughter to agree to go as it will damage our relationship if I just send her anyway. Although I'm open to her advice, I'm seeking the advice of other parents who may have been in a similar position or any parent with a troubled teen who would like to offer advice. My daughter has already told me she would never in a hundred years agree to go to Brahminy and will run away if we try to send her. She is desperate for her total freedom and sees nothing wrong with the way she is living. It's now 7pm and she hasn't gotten out of bed all day which is typical behaviour for her, and she was out until 2am with "mates" last night. It is likely we will need police assistance to physically get her to Brahminy. I guess I'm just scared that worse case scenario is she tries to hurt herself if I force her to go, her behaviour doesn't change at all and she feels betrayed by me, really the closest person she has in her life. I want my daughter to know I am on her side but I have to do whatever I can to help her, despite the fact she doesn't want my help. I should also mention her psychiatrists is leaning towards her having bipolar and she is now on mood stabilising medication as well as prozac...... But I'm just so confused I don't know what to think. Anyway surely a diagnosis of bipolar doesn't mean I give up all parenting of her?
Any advice gratefully accepted. Thank you so much.

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Beverly - posted on 01/04/2014

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My daughter suffered with severe anxiety. She was very hard to deal with. She suffered with this from 3 until 9 .I took her to counceling several times I took her to church and the associate pastor wife gave me a confession prayer I read it a few days wile touching my daughters head. From that day to this one. We have not had any more anxiety issues. I have the prayer if u r interested.

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