October 15th, 2010

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Diagnosis and Medication for Teen

My MC is a modern-day almost-sixteen-year-old girl. She has grown up very wealthy, but neglected. Her mother is a formerly huge pop star and her father is not in the picture. She's mostly been raised by a series of nannies, none of whom have lasted more than a few years.

Although she's very intelligent, from the time she was a very young child, she has been very angry, causing disturbances in school and running away from teachers.

Now that she's older, she's able to control herself, though she's still prone to occasional acting out in bids for attention with things like vandalism and running away from home. She attends private school where she is in regular classes and attends enough and does enough work to skate by.

If she was in public school, her behavior as a child would have been enough for her to considered to have a "serious emotional disturbance." Is it the same in private schools? She definitely has depression--possibly major depressive disorder--that is mainly expressed as anger, not pervasive unhappiness. She is not bipolar.

She's had access to therapy and psychiatry, but has been allowed to quit when she didn't want to go. She feels like she's smarter than the people who are trying to help her and is uninterested in anything they have to say.

My questions are these:

Is "serious emotional disturbance" a medical diagnosis she's likely to get? Or is it more of a classification for disability purposes? Would she be diagnosed with something else instead/in addition to SED? What would be most likely? For my purposes, it's completely fine if she's diagnosed incorrectly. Her depression has definitely not been completely understood (or treated). She doesn't have ADHD and is not bipolar, but she's also uncooperative with the doctors she has seen, so if she seems that way to them that's fine...

...Because I need her to be prescribed some kind of medication that is not for mild depression, or not only for depression. What sort of medication would she be likely to receive? It needs to be something that when hoarded is used (by another character) in a suicide attempt. It's all right if the medication wouldn't actually kill anyone, but it would be best (but not necessary) if it was something that would cause some harm.

The details about my MC can be tweaked to fit. What's important is that she receives some kind of psychological diagnosis that is at least partially incomplete or wrong, and that she gets medication.

I've been through the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities website, the NIH's site for teen mental health, Crazy Meds, along with the Wikipedia entries on depression and serious emotional disturbance.

US Army and Marine Corps recruitment posters in the 1990s

Setting: Boise, Idaho, 1994, our world

I have a young woman (18ish) who's led a very sheltered life up until now- think fundamentalist Christian upbringing in a VERY small town. Long story short, she runs away to Boise and one of the first things she finds there is a recruitment centre. One of the posters on the centre's wall is what inspires her to enlist.

I know that at the time the Army's slogan was 'Be All You Can Be', but I haven't been able to find any examples of recruitment posters for the period, or of the USMC's slogans or posters.

Part of the problem is that I need a poster that is targeted at women, preferaby depicting an action shot of a strong, powerful woman. (Think the recent USMC poster with the female Drill Instructor.) This is the first time my MC has seen women in something other than a subservient role and it marks a turning point for her. I've been looking at WWII posters as well, and there are several I like, but I really want something more modern. In addition, theyt tend to be about women in admin/factory jobs/nursing and I don't want that. I wouldn't mind making the details up, but I'm unsure whether the kind of poster I want (depicting women as warriors first and foremost) was common in that time frame.

I have googled every combination of 'Army' 'Marines' 'recruitment poster' and 'women' I can think of, but zip. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Cross-posted to military_beta 

TBI: gunshot wound to the head + caretaking process and symptoms

Time: Present-day
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Location: Northeast US

I'm writing something where a character has been a victim of a gunshot wound to the head and is suffering from a Traumatic Brain Injury.

I have used Google and Wikipedia and have found out the basic way of categorizing TBIs, such as the Glasgow scores. I've read this article by Jim Macdonald, and have found other basic information about the textbook definitions of TBIs, like the actual medical jargon about the way the brain is affected. I understand that, but I am looking for more.

What I'm looking for primarily is the caretaking process. The character in this piece is dependent on another male, a few years older than he is. How would the patient be taken care of in the first few months? When would the patient be able to do the following independently: 
- bathe
- eat
- walk/other motor skills

This is not a surface wound, so would it be impossible for the TBI to be considered moderate? Or must it be severe? What parts of the brain should I be familiar with to properly explain just what the bullet could have hit to consider this injury moderate? Additionally, would it be ideal for the bullet to remain lodged or pass right through?

Finally, I am also wondering how frequently (if at all) the patient in question would deal with the following issues:
- headaches/migraines
- lack of muscle control in a particular limb or area (not sure if this applies to a gunshot victim)
- memory issues
- aphasia
- alexithymia

Any and all information pertaining to this general subject and the specific questions asked is greatly, greatly appreciated. Thank you!


More "Upper Torso Stab Wound?" discussion

I searched through the archives and found this entry, which helps me a bit, but I wanted some more information.


To that end, I posted a comment there but felt I should also post this to get the attention over there... if that makes sense /laugh.


For background, please refer to the first link.  However, here is the ‘question,’ as it were:

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