Shelley (argosy) wrote in little_details,
Shelley
argosy
little_details

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.
Tags: ~medicine: illnesses to order, ~psychology & psychiatry (misc)
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