Teen's depression helped by the UC Irvine Health Adolescent Partial Hospitalization Program

December 01, 2012
Bailey Prince, Patient

Fifteen-year-old Bailey Prince had been battling ongoing depression since the sixth grade. Medications were not helping and, after seeing several different psychiatrists, she was only getting worse. After one doctor switched her medication, she couldn’t sleep so on top of being depressed, she was also sleep deprived.

“We were really at a point where we couldn’t leave Bailey alone because we were afraid she was going to hurt herself,” says Bailey’s mother, Teri Morgan. “We took her to UC Irvine Neuropsychiatric Center for an assessment with a team of highly skilled and experienced staff. Immediately I had this feeling that we were going to be okay.”

Initially Bailey and her mom thought she would be an inpatient. After the assessment though, UC Irvine’s team determined that the Neuropsychiatric Adolescent Partial Hospitalization Program was the best fit for her because it allowed her to return home in the evening and share what she was learning with her family.

“It was amazing for me because I got all of the benefits of the program, but I could go home at night,” says Bailey. “I just viewed it as school for getting better.”

The physicians changed her prescription and she began feeling better. In addition to new medication, Bailey learned how to transform her thought process and view situations more positively—and that empowered her.

“Medication can only do so much,” says Bailey. “At the end of the day, I have to think the right way to lead the life I want. When I enrolled in the program, I wasn’t thinking right. I was in a negative mind-set.”

The “Transform Your Mind” class helped Bailey recognize her negative thought patterns and shift them. She even got to the point where she covered her bedroom walls with positive, reinforcing statements. In addition to changing to more positive thinking, Bailey also learned how to set daily goals and create a process for meeting those goals.

“They didn’t try to sugar coat things,” says Bailey. “They just helped you learn how to deal with your own unique circumstances.”

Every day in the program was different. Sometimes there were two kids and sometimes there were six—each with their own issues— but depression was a common thread. Bailey was there for 15 days and during that time she built relationships with not only the other kids in the program, but also with the staff.

There were weekly family meetings where Bailey, her mom, and stepdad met with staff to discuss Bailey’s treatment. These meetings allowed the family to be a part of Bailey’s recovery process and to learn along with Bailey.

“After the first few days, with the staff providing consistent and positive therapy, Bailey began to believe that she could get better,” says Teri. “When she graduated from the adolescent partial hospitalization program, she was sad to leave, but she felt she had the tools to face life. She still has challenges, but now she has a strong foundation that helps her meet each challenge. When facing a challenge she will say ‘I’m transforming my mind on this one,’ and I see growth and determination as a result of her time spent in the program.”

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