Teenage depression

(13 Posts)
Omg123 Tue 25-Jun-13 22:05:10

Cory what does HE'd and SN mean please ?

cory Sun 23-Jun-13 22:26:15

Omg123, in some ways it's almost easier once you have accepted that it is a long haul.

A few years ago I would have said what you said about affecting the whole future. Now I am not to sure.

Yes, dd has missed a lot of school and she will have slightly fewer GCSE's, but she will still be able to do the same A-levels as she would otherwise have done, and I would have thought it very unlikely that a university will care if she has a slightly less brilliant GCSE record seeing that she has a genuine reason. (I work at a university myself and we don't discriminate against students for MH issues past or present; quite to the contrary, our SN support is a very big part of what we do.)

Dd's friend has been HE'd because of SN but is now doing his GCSE's and will then go to college for A-levels. Other HE'd children go straight to university.

Your dd doesn't have one chance to do well educationally and then that's it. There are plenty of ways of getting back into the educational system, all sorts of ways over and under and around.

Most people hit a bad patch at some time in life, and most people eventually right themselves and go on. Very few people find a bad patch closes all doors forever.

My dd's situation is slightly complicated in that she also has a chronic pain condition which sometimes affects her mobility; she is doing quite well now but is on permanent painkillers; before she started those she spent a lot of time in a wheelchair. This condition is one she was born with, but the symptoms sometimes ease or disappear with age (and sometimes worsen).

As to her anxiety/depression, CAHMS have told her that it is likely she will always have a tendency to react in a certain way to stress but that she can learn to control her reactions. Her therapy is very much about developing control mechanisms and to have a plan for when things go pear shaped.

The treatment plan is that she will see her therapist less and less over the next few months and then only for occasional review meetings. I don't think they expect her to stay on AD's for the rest of her life but maybe for the next year or two.

As to her suicidal tendencies, I don't feel she actually wants to die or finds life worthless. I think of it more as risky, impulsive behaviour, as if she was experimenting with drugs or picking up strange men in bars. It's shit because it can so easily go wrong. But if it doesn't go wrong, if she can only keep alive for the next few years, then I don't think it's her whole life ruined.

Omg123 Sun 23-Jun-13 21:32:44

Thanks Cory and Butterfly. Cory your post made me realise that this could affect dd's whole future with regard to missing a lot of school sad
I saw fresh cut marks on her arms this evening so despite me thinking she was brighter she is obviously still going through a world of pain.
I realise this thing is not going to go away by itself and I feel powerless sad
I haven't told anyone else but knowing that this is going to be a long haul I'm thinking that eventually I will have to.
Cory you sound like you have really been through the mill with dd but I'm glad things are getting better. Do you think (or have they indicated) that she will recover 100% or is this something that she may have to deal with throughout her life i.e always need some kind of medication and/or therapy ?

Butterflywgs Sun 23-Jun-13 19:33:26

Hi again Omg smile. It was just a thought about ruling out any physical issues, you can have that done at any time I guess if you decide. She sounds very depressed, poor girl.
Glad she is doing a little better and hope the CAMHS appointment comes through soon.

cory Sun 23-Jun-13 18:39:52

Sorry to hear you are going through this, OP.

Once you get your CAHMS appointment, you will need to ask for some sessions for you and the family so you can all work together on your situation. You will need both support and advice to carry on coping.

I have a similar situation but a little further along the line in the sense that my dd is two years older, has missed the best part of the last couple of years off school due to anxiety and depression, and has made a couple of suicide attempts.

What we are focusing on, following CAHM's advice, is furthering dd's independence and getting her to take responsibility for her situation. It is not a quick fix, and there is always a horrendous risk, but gradually it's what needs to happen.

When dd made her second suicide attempt and I realised this is something that might happen again any time, I wanted to give up work to be at home to keep an eye. Both the hospital and CAHMS advised very strongly against this: they pointed out that you can never keep anyone 100% safe and that dd's only hope of safety lay in her becoming responsible for her actions: they stressed that as long as I give dd the message that I don't believe her capable of this, it isn't going to happen.

So I am trying to let go, but I needed the support of CAHMS to be able to do that. And dd is also getting as much support as she can: she has been having regular CBT therapy to help her with coping strategies, and a special plan for dealing with her anxiety at school and after quite a long time of hum-ing and ha-ing, they also agreed to let her have anti-depressants (they were holding out for her 15th birthday as that allows them to prescribe better drugs). Like Butterfly, she has been doing half days at school, but is now hoping to go to Sixth Form college full time.

Not saying we feel totally 100% safe, but she has just got through her GCSE's (if a somewhat reduced number) and has a far better social life than she did 2 years ago. I was very happy to hear her 13yo brother tell the therapist the other week that he feels much safer now: he was the one who found her after her first attempt, he was only 11, and I always felt it was heartbreaking that he should have to live with that fear.

Omg123 Sun 23-Jun-13 16:39:43

DD has gone out to the cinema today with friends which I'm really pleased about. She rarely meets up with friends at the weekend as she always says they are busy. I think this has contributed in some way to how she has come to this point. Outwardly she seems fine and I'm trying to not let her be on her own as much as is possible.
Up to now I was running/at the gym about 6 times per week but I have cut this right back as I'm scared to leave her in case she does something awful.
The other night I ventured out in the evening for a run, only about 40 mins or so but I paniced all the way around and ran like a lunatic.
I had to keep stopping to message her every half a mile or so because I knew if she replied then obv she wasn't trying to kill herself. I know this sounds irrational but I don't know exactly what's going on in her head. I think when she gets assessed by camhs and starts councilling I may be able to relax a bit.
I read this somewhere today 'However good or bad a situation is, it will change'. This is keeping me going !

Omg123 Fri 21-Jun-13 23:58:43

Sorry,meant Bfw !

Omg123 Fri 21-Jun-13 23:58:30

Sorry,meant Bfw !

Omg123 Fri 21-Jun-13 23:57:26

Hi Bfg, I took her to the gp after I got a very unexpected call from the school counsellor. She had been seeing my daughter (I knew nothing about this) for a number of weeks and was concerned. She had all the signs, very low mood, low self-esteem, difficulty concentrating and tiredness. I discovered also she had cut herself and had suicidal thoughts. This was all a massive shock to me as she showed none of this outwardly and has always been a joy to bring up. The gp did not do a physical exam but diagnosed depression which at that point wasn't a surprise.
She is struggling a little in some subjects but I'm not keen to let her miss school. She frets if she falls behind so I think this would add to her worries.

Butterflywgs Fri 21-Jun-13 22:55:19

Hi Omg123.
I wondered if your daughter has ben checked out physically? The extreme tiredness could be an underactive thyroid, anaemia, vitamin deficiency, CFS/ME or any number of things. It could be depression, yes, but it's definitely worth excluding physical health problems.
Of course if she's really unlucky she could have both depression and physical health issues (I do). I assume because she's been diagnosed that she has other depressive symptoms, but I would advise you make sure her GP tests her physical health thoroughly.
I find that depression tiredness improves if I make myself do things (very gently, I'm not talking 'pull yourself together') - also doing things and not sitting around all day improves my sleep. (I need a LOT of sleep - even what most people would consider a lot is not enough).
However pushing through physical tiredness when I need to rest only results in tears and meltdowns.
How is your daughter coping at school apart from falling asleep? Do you think attending school part-time would help her? When I had 'glandular fever' at her age and was off school for a couple of weeks, my mum persuaded my school to allow me to return for the afternoons only for a while.
If she has some time off, let her sleep/ rest and have space if she needs but definitely don't allow her to sit around on the Internet all day - agree with her some small goals/ activities for each day, e.g. go for a walk.
Your daughter needs love and care right now. Once she's been assessed and treated, she may need that gentle kick in the behind, but atm she really does need time to heal.

Omg123 Fri 21-Jun-13 22:52:28

Hi TT, yes the school are aware of the issue so they know she isn't just being lazy. And yes she struggles to even get out of bed. I did manage to get her out for a walk this evening which hopefully helped a bit. I've seen my mother go through this all my life and now I'm watching my daughter do the same. I hate depression sad

Turniptwirl Fri 21-Jun-13 22:35:39

Yes tiredness and general lethargy are normal with depression. But I agree with you that taking her out of school is unlikely to help, as being stuck at home on her own is too isolating. As you have a diagnosis, I suggest you speak to the school so they are aware and ask that they go easy on her for the rest of the term if she's not participating much in class etc

It's a vicious circle really. You feel tired and depressed so don't do anything (like even getting out if bed is hard work) but then feel more depressed and more tired because you're not seeing people and not doing anything

Omg123 Fri 21-Jun-13 21:58:35

My 14 yo has been diagnosed with depression. She has been referred to camhs so we are now just waiting for an appointment to come through. She is struggling with extreme tiredness at the moment despite getting lots of sleep. She can barely stay awake in class sometimes. I dont want to take her out of school as I think being home all day will not help matters. Is this a normal symptom of depression ?

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