I think DD may be suffering from bipolar or is depressed

(96 Posts)
womanofthehouse Wed 24-Jul-13 14:11:07

DD is 15, she used to be a very smiley chatty girl, she still is in some aspects and is pretty popular amongst her peers, with multiple groups of friends.
However recently she has become very withdrawn and introverted, she also has violent mood swings, she'll go from happy to teary to throwing things across the room and screaming. She's having problems with her older brother (16) who bullies her, now my DS is a lot bigger than her and she gets thrown around quite a lot. He also verbally abuses her too. I've told him not to but obviously being a teenage boy he won't listen to me or my DH.
I've noticed she's been wearing long sleeves recently and I have reason to believe she's self harming, however I am unsure how to approach her on that matter.
She's recently been in trouble with school for smoking on site and I know she's smoked cannabis before, but I am unsure whether she has done it more times since then.
I can't talk to her about it because she won't say anything or she'll scream at me. I want the best for her I really do but I have no idea where to start.
Can anybody who has gone through this before please give me a hand? I just need her to open up.

mumeeee Wed 24-Jul-13 14:26:32

She might be depressed but she is probably very upset about the. bullying from her older brother. Being constantly bullied and verbally abused will strip someone of all their confidence and self esteem. You need to come down hard on your DS and get some help.

Viking1 Wed 24-Jul-13 14:27:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

womanofthehouse Wed 24-Jul-13 14:36:05

I do not condone this abuse at all, sorry if I made it unclear, we have screamed and shouted at him, however my son is about a foot taller than me and I cannot discipline him alone as he just walks off (I am unable to restrain him or keep him in a room to speak with him)

But I do not want to kick my son out as I am uncomfortable with him being homeless as recently a homeless man was kicked almost death around my area.

Viking1 Wed 24-Jul-13 14:44:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HeySoulSister Wed 24-Jul-13 14:50:52

if he does it again,call the police....its assault

he will stop soon enough

womanofthehouse Wed 24-Jul-13 14:57:59

He's going to Cornwall next week with a group of mates, if he does it before then I won't let him go away.

I've told him so many times I'll call the police, but I can never muster up the strength to do it, even though he treats my DD like s* he's still my son.

I will have a chat with my DD later when gets back from her friends.

womanofthehouse Wed 24-Jul-13 14:59:12

To see what she wants done (that is if she'll speak to me).

cory Wed 24-Jul-13 15:03:09

There is probably some middle ground between being able to physically restrain your son and being a passive bystander while he bullies your younger child into depression and self-harming.

Like Viking I find myself half wondering if this thread is for real. You are worried about your son being homeless but are able to accept the risk that your dd will be seriously hurt or driven to suicide by her older brother. Why do present risks to her matter less than possibly future risks to him?

This is what I think you should do:

1. Tell your ds that from now on you will not accept any violence in the house and that the next time he hurts his sister or anyone else in the house you will ring the police. And be prepared to follow through with this threat.

You are not doing him any favours by letting him think he can get away with physically bullying weaker people around him: if you ever want him to be able to have a happy family life he needs to learn now that this is a no-go zone.

Screaming and shouting at him is never going to work: you need to be very calm and firm and just spell it out clearly that you will not accept this and that you will do whatever it takes to put a stop to it.

2. Ask your GP to refer you to CAHMS for family therapy. A family where the adults accept that "obviously" a teenage boy will not listen to them is a family that needs support. This is not happy or normal, and it is not safe. Not for any of you. You need professional help.

3. Talk to your dd. Really, talk to her. Take the risk that she will scream at you or refuse to listen. That doesn't matter, just keep reiterating that you want to help her, and that if she can't take help from you, then there are other people around who will help. Reassure her that you will do everything you can to stop the violence in the home. Make sure she knows she can access the counsellor at school, make sure she has the numbers to Childline and the Samaritans.

cory Wed 24-Jul-13 15:03:48

cross-posted.

HmmmmNeedToDecide Wed 24-Jul-13 15:06:02

I had this from my brother. My mum said the same as you.

I still resent her now I'm in my mid twenties and haven't lived with her for 10 years. I moved out as soon as I'd finished my GCSEs.

He's 16 and a child, you can do something you are choosing not to, and he knows he can get away with it.

It's awful having the person that's meant to love you the most in the world step back and not do anything. It's soul destroying to be called names/sworn at/hit/shoved/kicked every day by a family member.

If it was a stranger in the street doing this to your DD what would you do?

She needs you to defend her.

Take away his phone, computer, pocket money, don't let him go away, and call the police.

He's a child living in your house, you need to hold him accountable. What are you teaching him about how to treat women?

HeySoulSister Wed 24-Jul-13 15:06:33

op....you are failing your dd....hope she picks the phone up herself and calls the police on her brother if you cant. wont be great for any future relationship they could have,but what choice does she have here?

HmmmmNeedToDecide Wed 24-Jul-13 15:06:35

Do not chat with her and ask her 'what she wants done'

Do something! You are the parent!

womanofthehouse Wed 24-Jul-13 15:10:50

This thread is 100% real, of course I'm worried about my daughter! She has a bolt on her door to keep her brother out, I hardly leave the house any more because I know that he will go out of his way to hurt her. I'm a teacher so I have the same holiday as them.

I've tried every method with my son, being calm and firm doesn't work, he just disregards everything I say. And my DH is never home to discipline (he works 7am-9pm most days)

I have thought about family therapy for a while but I refused to accept it had gotten that bad.

I am unsure whether their school has a counsellor (and if they do it's never mentioned to parents)

HeySoulSister Wed 24-Jul-13 15:13:45

would they cooperate with family therapy even? I know my girls wouldn't!

does he not feel any shame or remorse? ever? I would film him doing it (somehow....wouldn't be able to just sit and watch it evolve myself tho)

might shock him a bit?

HeySoulSister Wed 24-Jul-13 15:14:07

does he do this in front of his mates?

Twirlyhot Wed 24-Jul-13 15:14:46

Call the police FFS.

If it were her boyfriend she was being 'thrown around' and verbally abused by what would you do?

You are failing her. You are allowing your son to abuse her by never following through on any action against him.

Twirlyhot Wed 24-Jul-13 15:15:56

'I hardly leave the house any more because I know that he will go out of his way to hurt her'

And you start a thread about her problems????

VivaLeBeaver Wed 24-Jul-13 15:16:22

You're a teacher? Surely you've had some safeguarding training?

The message that you're giving your dd is that you care more about ds than you do about her - I'm not surprised she's depressed.

If you threaten your ds with stuff you don't carry out I'm not surprised he ignores you. He knows he can do what he wants and get away with it.

Don't you think that reporting him to the police might stop it, they're unlikely to prosecute but will give him one hell of a talking to and let him know if he does it again then they will prosecute. He will then know you're serious about calling them.

womanofthehouse Wed 24-Jul-13 15:16:30

I feel like a failure, my son intimidates me, he's 6'3 and a stocky rugby player, I can't do anything, he only listens to my husband.

I want what is best for all of my family and I don't want my daughter to resent me for not doing anything because I'm unsure on what to do.

When my DD and DS return home from their various outings today I am going to sit them down and have a stern chat (DH gets home early today so he can act as a mediator).

VivaLeBeaver Wed 24-Jul-13 15:17:45

And he needs to learn he can't do this.

How long before his temper boils over and he attacks a girlfriend, a stranger in the street, his future kids. You're not doing him any favours.

MadBusLady Wed 24-Jul-13 15:18:10

Your punishment for your son if he physically assaults your daughter is that he isn't going to be allowed to go on holiday?

Seriously, how do you think this is coming across?

I was about to post, but Twirlyhot has said exactly what I was planning to.

As a teacher, I'd hope you'd know about safeguarding, because it doesn't sound like it, from your post.

mumblechum1 Wed 24-Jul-13 15:19:04

It sounds as though you have totally lost control of the situation. I am by no means a strict parent but if this was happening in my home I am damned sure I would not tolerate it.

Your daughter is learning that she can expect to be assaulted in her own home by a member of her family. How is that a healthy way for her to handle future relationships?

Your son is learning that he can physically and verbally assault a young woman and no one will do anything to stop him. What sort of relationships do you think he is likely to form as an adult?

What you do now will directly relate to both of your children's expectations of what is a normal relationship. It is up to you and your husband to put a stop to this now.

The fact that your husband doesn't get home until 9pm is not relevant. He is the father of these children and needs to set out the boundaries, together with yourself.

I think you have no choice but to contact the police and tell them that a crime has taken place. Whether you do this now, on the basis of what has happened in the past, or tell your son that if he touches his sister again is up to you, but you can not simply tolerate criminal behaviour in your home.

ShadeofViolet Wed 24-Jul-13 15:20:03

Call the police?

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