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09 Jan

Good Day Cyberdoc, I am a stepmom to a 17 year old who has just finished matric, her dad and I got married a year ago. When we first started dating she tried to commit suicide because of a boyfriend issue. She has been going on and off to her psychiatrist who prescribed anti psychotic meds and sleeping tablets. They diagnosed her with bipolar. She is a problem child , immature and her dad let's her get away with so much. She stopped taking her meds, she is on contraceptive and the other day I went in her room it was a mess and stunk , absolutely disgusting and I see she had missed pills in her contraceptive pack. Her Dad allows her to smoke weed , she is allowed to stay at her boyfriends house for days .. I feel she should be made to stay home and clean her room and look for a job or study. She should also be on meds. I have spoken to my husband and he doesn't see a problem. When she is at home she stays in her room all day , sleeps in, does nothing to help around the House and only surfaces when her dad gets home from work. Then has the cheek to say I don't involve her or make an effort. Her dad doesn't like having to choose sides ... I get ... But .. His ex wife who is not my stepdaughters mom had her since she was 3 and called her a brat. Her mom died of cancer. Please help.

11 Jan

Hi Lindy,
At her age, she can't be "made" to  do much if she doesn't want to.  Sounds like she has been a terribly spoiled brat since her earliest years, and she would have no motivation to change the rewarding habits of a lifetime.  I wonder whether she is actually bipolar, as this diagnosis is fashionable in some quarters but not always convincingly made. A second opinion might be tempting, especially if sought from someone with expertise in psycho-dynamics rather than a purely chemical approach to life.  From your description, the problems sound almost entirely bad behavior which can only change by psychologically based intervention.  If she actually had to support herself in life, she might find motivation to actually become active, awake, and productive : so long as she gets undeserved pity and enabling why would one expect change for the better ?  Maybe some family therapy sessions could help you and her father, and anyone else actively involved, to face facts and collaborate constructively.
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