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DD7 - early bereavement, anxiety, "I hate my life",family history of serious depression - is it time for professional help

(5 Posts)
newfashionedmum Mon 11-Feb-13 14:55:15

Our DD suffered an early bereavement when her birth mum died when she was 8months old. I have been around all her life and since she was 2 I have been part of her family and living with her as her Mum (when I became her Dad's girlfriend)

From a young age she has occasionally said she wished she was dead, talked about death a lot, recently has become quite anxious a lot of the time, and talking about how she 'hates her life' and wishes she was dead, or wishes she was a cat - because she has so many worries.

She has a family history especially on her Mum's side of depression and suicide, her mum suicide attempts as a teenager, her mums mum has had many episodes of depression and her mums dad committed suicide a couple of years ago. Her Dad also struggles a bit with mental health, has some mild (comparatively) problems too. I myself can be quite a stressy person though many who know me think I'm really laid back - I'm just an internal worrier I suppose!

I read somewhere that anxiety in children can be associated with depression in later life. We have done lots with our DD (me especially) around encouraging her to name / talk about / understand her feelings, which she is good at, and she knows she is very welcome to talk about her birth mum whenever she wants to. I am recently reading a couple of (Non CBT) books on managing anxiety in children and am hoping they will help too.

So my question is, as things currently stand, I'm not sure whether what we are doing is enough, or whether she needs additional professional help. I'm afraid of getting the 'wrong' help and making it worse, also money is very tight. I feel that she lives too much in her head and thinks almost too much, catastrophising about tiny things. I have encouraged her into music, yoga, dance these all seem good for her but its seemingly not enough.

I would really appreciate people's thoughts.

guineapiglet Tue 12-Feb-13 13:22:18

You sound a really caring person, and I think you have done all the right things for your daughter by encouraging her to do as much as possible 'out of herself' - phsyical activity and stimulating her by getting out and about -she is still very young ( is she 7 or in Year 7?) - it is a quite a tough time for girls if she is now in year2/3 - they are growing and changing, develop strong friendship groups ( you dont mention her friends, does she do things with them, have a special friend etc?) - this is the age where they start leaving others out of things, and they are very sensitive to this at that age. Some of the things you describe are quite natural, - they are growing up, learning, dealing and processing with the world around them and some find it harder than others, particularly after being so much at such a young age. Have you had chance to talk to her teacher to see how she is getting on at school, that would be my first port of call, just a quiet chat after school to see if they have noticed anything in her behaviour, friendships, etc to cause concern.

It is VERY important that the school are aware of your concerns and the Head should be able to advise on next steps if necessary.

My daughter was at HS when she started to have CAMHS sessions, which really did help with anxiety and stress, good counsellors - I am not experienced with 'proper' depression so to speak, but it sounds like it is in the family, so you are right to keep your eye on it all and be concerned.- but you need proper back up yourself. I would talk to the teacher and then go for a session with your doctor if there are any real concerns, and this will hopefully give you some reasurance and guidance on the next steps. Good luck smile

guineapiglet Tue 12-Feb-13 13:23:07

' being through so much'

mindfulmum Sun 17-Feb-13 08:32:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Go to your doctor and get a CAMHS referral. I am sure you could access family therapy and individual therapy on the back of what your daughter is saying and family history.

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