I just wanted to share an awful thing that happened to my niece (let’s call her Cindy). Cindy is 15 years old. Her mother, my sister, is She has been hearing voices that tell her to hurt other people and herself. She picks at the skin on her feet until her feet bleed bad enough that when she walks, she leaves bloody footprints behind her. She bites her fingers so bad that she had to start wearing gloves everywhere to discourage it. She carries on conversations with the voices.She wrote a note about what the voices had told her at school and it fell on the floor. The teacher picked it up and saw what it said. She was escorted to the counselor who immediately called my sister to let her know that Cindy was a threat to herself and others and had to go to a behavioral hospital to be evaluated and get a doctor’s clearance before she’d be allowed back at school. The hospital she was sent to was comprised mainly of kids who were going through substance abuse programs, but it was the only one that had an open bed that my sister’s insurance would take. At the hospital, they took away Cindy’s gloves, so she started biting herself again. Between that and talking to herself, it didn’t take long before the other kids started bullying her. The pdoc at the hospital decided that she simply had an extreme case of anxiety, gave her meds for it, wrote her a note for school, and released her.
She didn’t get better. Luckily, my sister had an appointment for Cindy to see a different pdoc, and this pdoc put her on antipsychotics. Cindy still heard voices, but she started hearing a new voice, a nice voice that told her good things. She stopped picking at her feet and biting her hands. Then for some reason, they took her off of the AP. I can’t recall why, but the doctor had some silly reason. Cindy quickly got worse. The voices came back and she started self harming again. My sister didn’t know what to do, so she just tried to keep Cindy’s routine as normal as possible while waiting for the next appointment with the pdoc.
Unfortunately, before the appointment, Cindy took to ripping up her arm in school with a pencil. Apparently, it was pretty bad. It freaked her teacher out, and the school ended up calling the cops. The cops handcuffed Cindy in front of the whole school. Everyone was trying to see what was going on and was wondering what she had done wrong. She said, “You might as well just kill me now!”, meaning she was dying of embarrassment. The officers took that to mean she was suicidal. They put her in the back of a squad car and drove her to a behavioral hospital where she was put on a mandatory hold. They put her back on APs at the hospital, and she acted like she was better. When she got out about a week later, she got into a program where the state paid for her to go to a special school, so she never had to face the students that saw her handcuffed and carted away.
My sister told me that she is worried that the state won’t fund Cindy’s education at that school for very long, and she will be forced to go back to the other high school. The teachers and students all treat her like a pariah there. She also told me that Cindy isn’t really better. She only acted better to get out of the hospital. My sister can’t get her in to see the pdoc fast enough, and she is nervous because the pdoc took her off the other APs in the first place, and she doesn’t know what she will do now. Cindy desperately needs help. Unfortunately, they are very limited in what doctors they can go to because they have medicaid, and most doctors are overbooked in their area, and it is hard to get an appointment at all, let alone one as soon as they need it.
My sister and I both have sza, so it runs in the family. Cindy has not been formally diagnosed with anything, except for the pdoc who said she suffers from anxiety. In my very unprofessional opinion, Cindy may have sza too. We have seen her go through what seem to be manic and depressive phases, and she certainly hallucinates. She also has a plethora of negative symptoms.
My daughter has bipolar disorder and is difficult to deal with; I can’t imagine what my sister is going through. Taking her off of the original APs really seemed to mess her up. Meds make a difference!!!
Anyhow, that is Cindy’s story. I thought I would share.