Intensive Outpatient Care

April 12, 2016 I decided I wanted to take my own life again. My mom found me the next morning unable to move, feeling scared and panicked she rushes me to Children’s Hospital. I was weighing at 100 pounds, my face as grey ever, and me looking sick as ever. That is when things got scary for me. They called social services who told me I was going to be admitted into a Psychiatric ward at Children’s Hospital. I begged my mom to do something but I didn’t have much to fall back on since I was the one in the hospital bed. They told me I didn’t have to do inpatient if I agreed to do intensive outpatient therapy for 1 month, 5 days a week, 3 hours a day. I was really hesitant at first because I was thinking about school and work and a million of other things I was stuck having to deal with since I failed my suicide attempt. It was inpatient or outpatient, so of course I chose intensive outpatient.

My grandfather came and sat next to my bedside crying asking me why I would do such a thing? Why would I try to destroy something God worked so hard to create? It had not fully set in at how deep I was in. I was in trouble, I needed help, immediately. I missed school all of that day, my friends were worried sick because I had sent them a shivering text the night before. I attempted suicide on a Friday and they started me on intensive outpatient care at Peninsula Lighthouse that Monday. I was so terrified. It was like started the first day of high school all over again. I didn’t know what to expect or who to expect.

I met some of the most amazing people in treatment. These people were just like me, struggling just like me. I wasn’t alone. You’re never alone. I spent 1 month in an intensive outpatient treatment program causing me to miss the first part of the school day and drastically effect my grades. My relationships were non existent at this point, and I just felt completely alone. I didn’t eat, I would self harm everyday just to cope. In IOP (Intensive outpatient care), I learned healthier coping mechanisms other than sleeping and self harming. My therapist was incredible and pushed me to be my very best self everyday, and for that I am thankful.

Treatment changed me for the better. If I hadn’t gone to treatment I would be in a psychiatric ward wishing I was dead and making zero progress because I’m just that stubborn. Instead it gave me 3 hours every single day to detox, and to talk about how I was feeling, and to here someone validate my feelings. My problems were never too big nor to small. I was introduced to new medication that has done such a good job in keeping my spirits up. It was exhausting being exhausted everyday. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. IOP is a program I highly recommend for someone going through a time of self hatred, and a feeling of the only way out being death. No one should EVER feel like dying is the only way for them to be at peace. Everyone deserves peace on earth and a loving support system, and IOP provides both of those.

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Therapy & Medication

I started going to a private therapist in November of 2014. My parents had to practically drag me to therapy every week. I didn’t think I needed it. I thought I was doing just fine without it, but truth is, I wouldn’t be here without it. I was seeing her regularly for a month until about mid December when she told my parents I needed more help on a bigger scale, a scale she could not provide me. She told my parents I needed to be enrolled into Peninsula’s care immediately.

Peninsula is a mental health facility who deals with inpatient and outpatient therapy. My parents enrolled me into a Peninsula’s care with a therapist who also recommended me a psychiatrist who I still see every month to refill my mediations. March of 2015 I was prescribed my first dose of the antidepressant, Wellbutrin. My psychiatrist put me on the highest dosage she could prescribe. I took that daily while doing therapy every week. Throughout my sessions, my therapist thought I needed something else because I seemed to be getting worse, and It was starting to scare her. So, my psychiatrist prescribed me Prozac and then Abilify. I was on those three medications for 2 years, and was recently prescribed another medicine, Zoloft, after another attempt on my life.

I currently am on all four medications on the highest doses possible. I take them every single day in the morning with some type of juice. I have been in Peninsula’s outpatient therapy for 3 years now, and was in their Intensive Outpatient therapy for 1 month last year. It has helped me tremendously. I was extremely resistant to both therapy and medication at first, but they keep me alive so I utilize them. The medicine helps uplift me everyday, and aids in helping me get out of bed every single day. It helps divert my dangerous thoughts away while therapy teaches me coping skills to use while on my medication. My dream is to be able to function like a regular person doing day to day tasks without the help of medicine.

If you are struggling with mental illness, medication and therapy is the best route to take. It is noting to be ashamed of. Those two things will keep you alive until you’re able to healthily function on your own. If you are a parent watching your child struggle, medicine and therapy will be a good start. It was very hard for my parents to put me on medicine because they were embarrassed which is perfectly normal, but in the long run it will help you or your child healthy again.

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