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- Sun May 04, 2008 5:49 am
I have a 18 year old sister (Lizzy) I am so scared of losing her..
She has quite a history. For you to better understand, let me try explain. I don’t even understand it my self sometimes.
When Lizzy was about 12 years old her and our father were in a car accident (dad died few days later) and Lizzy suffered a multiple bone fracture and double dislocation of her right knee. Her leg got so messed up that the knee-cap popped off. Had a couple of head traumas, and many scars in her face from the window of the car.
The doctors said she would never walk again. But 2 years later she was up and running.
Our mom was an alcoholic, physical and emotional abusive towards Lizzy and committed suicide when Lizzy was 13
At age 15 she started using Cocaine, and became addicted to Vicodin. Went through some pretty rough months. Luckily that stopped, last year when she started dating her boyfriend.
However what has me worried is that I noticed a change in her lately. She is about 165cm and now weighs a less then 47 kilos. And that has me worried.
Recently she was sick with the flu, one day started coughing blood, and crying for no reason. I rushed her to the E.R where I was told that the blood came from her coughing.
She has lost her attention, cant keep focused for more then 30 minutes at a time. Seems ”unstable” a lot. Gets confused easily. Trips a lot and is clumsy. And has started complaining about joint and stomach pains. She gets dizzy often, has to stop for a moment and lean on something. But then she is fine again.
She stays up till around 5am in the morning , then wakes up at 9am, ready to start the day. Which cant be healthy? At some point the sleep will have to catch up with her?
The doctors tell me this is Psychiatric, that she should be sent to a treatment facility. But I am not going to let her go. And to be honest I don’t believe in their psychiatric crap.
She is a very smart and happy girl. Always willing to help others, and always smiling and trying to make you laugh. I my self has a history of suicide attempts, but she has always been there and told me everything is going to be alright. I am only alive today because I have such a precious sister.
Even her counselor says that she seems happy and active. No signs of depression or mental disorders. I raised her as good as I could. She loves doing sports, extremely active.. Sometimes too active.. he he
But It feels like she is slipping away. She starting to pull further and further away from me, and her family But maybe that’s good, she is becoming independent. Sometimes she has anger out bursts and tendencies to cry (but that’s normal for a teenager). Then her boyfriend Rolando, will just hold her down till she calms.
Can you please tell me that she is not going crazy? I am so scared of losing her. She is such a special girl. And I don’t understand how the doctors can give up on her like that.. I am afraid that there might be something medical wrong with her. But the doctors don’t even give her a change.
Please tell me what to do? Give me an explanation on how to help my sister?
Should I send her away? Would it help me? Or would it push her further away then she already is?
| Dr. E. Seigle
- Mon May 05, 2008 6:17 pm
It sounds like you are seeing symptoms in your sister that are suggestive of a medical condition, with weight loss, coughing blood, poor balance, abdominal pain and confusion. This means that her doctors would want to be certain that she doesn't have a brain condition or other medical condition that could cause her symptoms. The emergency room isn't always the best place for a thorough evaluation, so if she hasn't already done so, your sister should see an internest for a complete and through medical assessment. It may be helpful for your to attend so that you can describe what you have seen that she may not be aware of. If this evaluation has been or is negative, you could have a psychiatrist see her for an assessment. Some, but not all, of her symptoms might be explainable by a depressive disorder. A recurrence of your sister's substance abuse neds to also be evaluated.
if your sister is felt to be malnourished and in medical danger as a result, she may need medical hospitalization. If no medical condition is found, and she is not felt by a psychitrist to be suicidal or a danger to others you could have her seen by the psychiatrist as an outpatient.
In summary, cover all your bases, make sure your sister has haad a thorough medical and psychiatric evaluation. Good luck!
-Eliot Seigle MD