I am requesting help for my 19 year old daughter, Madison Jolie Banooni who has been struggling with mental illness for 8 years. Jolie, my first born, was a blessing; born healthy and enchanted with the world around her. She taught herself to read before Kindergarten and made friends easily. However, today success is measured by whether Jolie is able to get out of bed in the morning.
Jolie needs intensive residential treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Major Depression with Paranoia (diagnosis defined below). The treatment is a live-in facility that treats young adults with mental illness. They provide a case manager, bi-weekly therapy using multiple modes including: Cognitive Behavioral, Dialectical Behavioral, Schema-focused and STEPPS. All residents are required to work in different areas on the campus. The psychiatrist on staff manages and changes the medications as needed. This program begins with an assessment (7-30 days) and is followed by 6 to 9 months of treatment with a decrease in supervision and increase in responsibility. It also has the crucial option of a transitional phase which is an additional 3 to 6 months which allows residents to live off campus and put their skills to use. This would provide Jolie the benefit of seeing the same therapist and psychiatrist. However, she could live independently and attend school or go to work. In this program the case manager continues to follow up and ensure that every day life skills are being managed: hygiene, medications, schedule, etc. Unfortunately, due to her multiple diagnoses, Jolie is not able to manage these tasks at this time.
Jolie has exhausted all of her energy in fighting her mental illness and is willing to do whatever it takes to get the help that she needs. Appropriate residential programs are difficult to find, cost hundreds of dollars per day and are NOT covered by insurance. Unfortunately, when it comes to mental illness, the best support that is offered by insurance is general therapy, medication and temporary hospitalization (a 3-10 day covered in-patient stay for immediate, yet temporary stabilization and release). Jolie's multiple hospital stays have resulted in changes to her medication regimen, but have not provided the intervention essential to helping her lead an independent, healthy, productive life.
My name is Debi Banooni. I have three children and have been raising them as a single parent for 14 years. As a parent, I want the best for my children. At this point I must admit that there are some things I cannot do alone! Jolie had her first panic attack at age 11. It was so severe that she could not be crowded or feel closed in. To get home that day she had to walk 4 miles because she could not get in the car. Since that day, I have watched the rise and fall of Jolie’s mental health. She has been in therapy, seen psychiatrists for medication and repeatedly been hospitalized in short term facilities. She was in a residential program for 3.5 weeks in 2017. While this program was covered by insurance, the final out-of-pocket expense was over $12,000. I am still paying off that loan. When she graduated high school in 2018, she shared with shock and gratitude that she had felt she would never reach this milestone.
Jolie sings like an angel, in the past led the youth choir at religious school and was a one-to-one counselor for special needs children. After a successful first semester at college, her illness flared up again. In February 2019, Jo was admitted to the psychiatric ward of the hospital due to suicidal thoughts and self harm. Every day remains a struggle for her. As a result, she was forced to drop all of her 2nd semester courses.
When one member of the family is sick, it affects the whole family. As a single parent there have been times when Jolie’s two younger siblings have had to come home from school, do homework, feed themselves and go to sleep alone because I was in the hospital with Jolie. They have decided not to invite friends over based on Jolie’s moods and inability to respond appropriately to unexpected stimuli. On many occasions, Jolie has requested to sleep at a relative’s home because she knew she was unable to regulate herself without completely removing herself from the situation. There are also times when Jolie’s siblings made the same request because they needed to let their guard down or were even scared by Jolie's behavior (or state) due to her illness..
I am asking for donations for Jolie’s ongoing treatment of the mental illness that is preventing her from living the complete life everyone hopes for. She dreams of one day becoming a religious leader or teacher for special needs children. Jolie has already shown that she will be amazing at in these roles and make a real difference to so many people. However, without the intensive care we are seeking, she will not be able to achieve the independence, career goals or critical tools needed for a fulfilling, productive life. This residential program is estimated at $100,000 for 12-18 months, which is the cost AFTER financial aide and without any unforeseen expenses. Please assist me in getting Jolie the help that she desperately desires and needs.
Borderline Personality Disorder: Difficulty regulating emotions, feel emotions intensely and for extended periods of time, and it is harder for them to return to a stable baseline. This can lead to impulsivity, poor self-image, stormy relationships and intense emotional response to stressors. Struggling with self-regulation can also result in dangerous behaviors such as self-harm.
Major Depression: With major depression, it may be difficult to work, study, sleep, eat and enjoy friends and activities. Jolie’s symptoms include but are not limited to: recurring thoughts of suicide, fatigue, hypersomnia (excessive sleeping), anhedonia (diminished interest in activities daily) and weight gain.