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To think this is more than “just being a teen”

(5 Posts)
JulesVanPatten Wed 25-Oct-17 11:19:09

How do you know the difference between a teen who is just being a teen and going through all the emotions and moods that are part of the “normal” process and when there is a real mental health problem? DD (13) is an only child, we’ve always been close. She has always been bright, kind, caring and a lovely, if a little dramatic, girl, she loved primary school and we have had no issues at all with her. She now hates school, hates her appearance, seems to hate me a lot of the time and seems miserable most of the time. She locks herself away in her room and always seems angry and unhappy. She does attend outside school activities which do seem to cheer her up and gets regular exercise which she says makes her feel better. She attends a very good state school but despises it. We have asked her if she wants to change schools , she doesn’t as she thinks it will be the same everywhere. At school she is polite, well behaved, works hard and the teachers love her but at home she is miserable a lot of the time and questions the point of everything at school. She tells me that it’s no wonder so many young people self harm or take their own lives. She thinks the education she is receiving is a waste of time. If I try to talk about it , to explain or rationalise she gets angry with me, saying I don’t understand. Is this normal? I am worrying about her so much and just don’t know what to do. What if I leave it and just think she’ll come round when the hormones settle and she doesn’t? How do I know for sure that she doesn’t need real help? Sorry this isn’t a real AIBU but I just hoped there would be more people around. Thank you in advance for any help or advice you can give.

NancyDonahue Wed 25-Oct-17 11:39:27

It does sound fairly typical. I would say because she does clubs, exercises and is social she's doing ok. Has she started her periods yet? My dd was very volatile in the run up to them starting and the first few were horrendous for her but once they settled so did she.

Just keep a close eye on her. Don't worry when she locks herself away. She needs her space. If you are worried, make plans for the weekends - entice her out with trips to the shops, out for lunch, cinema etc

KeepServingTheDrinks Wed 25-Oct-17 11:46:20

Another one who thinks this is pretty normal as well.

If she was refusing all extra-curricular activities and spending all her time in her bedroom and her grades were dropping, then I'd be more worried.

Is there anyone at school you can chat to? Some kind of welfare officer? If nothing else, they should be able to reassure you, and might be able to keep more of an eye on her.

I'd say keep giving her love and empathy. School work's boring? Yup, it often is, but necessary. She'll be able to drop some subjects soon when she starts the GCSE syllabus, and focus more on what stimulates her. Is she worrying about what will happen to her in the future?
If she hates her appearance, is there anything you can do that's within your budget? A new hairstyle? Some different clothes? A make-up lesson?
If she enjoys activities and says they make her feel better, are there more she can do?

Good luck.

Areyoufree Wed 25-Oct-17 11:50:45

The problem is that's she's right - most of school education is a waste of time. Being a teenager is so shit - she's feeling frustrated, but most of her feelings will be dismissed as hormones. That doesn't mean they aren't down to hormones of course, but how irritating is it when you are angry and premenstrual, and then someone asks if your bad mood is due to you being about to get your period? However, it sounds like you are trying to listen, plus you are offering potential solutions (changing school etc). If she isn't interested in finding a solution, then there isn't a lot you can do. Even if you sought help, she probably wouldn't take it! Ugh. Am not looking forward to the teenage years.

flippyflapper Wed 25-Oct-17 12:00:13

This is my 14 year old.

Locks him self in his room, grunts alot!

U was worried at first that he had depression or something unroll my mum reminded me I was exactly the same and according to other parents there's are the same.

It's no fun and I hope he grows out of it quick

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