Medical Q&As

Teenage mental illness

A young relative has being suffering from a mental illness for the past two years. She is seventeen. She stays in her room all day every day and her only contact is with immediate family. She is growing aggressive due to lack of treatment and isolation but our G.P says there is nothing that can be done for her apart from hospitalisation. What can we do for her?

I am assuming that your young relative has already undergone a formal psychiatric assessment. If this has not been done it should be done as a matter of some urgency. Following formal assessment support can be provided to her and her family through the community psychiatric nurse service. I donít get a clear picture from your question that everything that could be done has been done. If she has been fully assessed and has been in contact with the relevant services then the GP may have a point. Some young people do need residential treatment but this is usually initiated when community based treatment is proving to be ineffective.