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To fear that this lockdown will kill my daughter?(89 Posts)
Disclaimer, I know the lockdown was absolutely necessary to prevent deaths but this is breaking my heart and I just need to vent.
My DD is 17 and this situation has absolutely ruined her life. We moved 100 miles away before she started college and so she struggled socially to make new friends in college as they all knew each other from school etc. But she was just starting to make a few nice connections until all this started and unfortunately all the friendships were too new to survive the lockdown and she hasn’t heard from any of them. They’ll also all be going on to A-Levels now.
She was doing a GCSE full time resit course at the college as she had a traumatic Year 11 and didn’t complete them. I’m sure she’d have pulled it out of the bag at the actual exams but she believes based on the way they are going to calculate grades she’ll have failed English and Maths which has left her distraught and she’s saying she can’t go through it again, she wants to move on.
Did have a fledging romance with a lad but similar to the friendships, wasn’t solid enough to survive the lockdown and has now fizzled out.
She is absolutely distraught and comes to me crying because she says that most people her age are looking forward to it ending because they know they’ll have nights out, friends, plans etc and they are all going to have a whale of a time whereas nothing is going to change for her. She says she’s literally going to be sat on her arse until September because she has nobody to see and nothing to do. She’s seen people on Snapchat and in our area out on walks and reuniting with friends etc and it breaks her heart. She’s said the lockdown will lift for everybody else but nothing will change for her because she’s been forgotten about. She has nothing to come out of the lockdown to. And she’s right, I’ve tried to think of things to say to motivate her but she has fuck all to look forward to.
I could honestly fucking cry and I feel like the worst mother because I can’t help her. She has had the most awful, traumatic few years with her mental health and things were finally starting to look up but she’s now at her lowest ebb again because of all of this shit and it terrifies me. I’m just angry at the world. She already attempted suicide at 15 because she felt she had nothing to live for and she’s saying similar things now to what she was saying just before that. And that was without a lockdown going on. She can’t even get a fucking GP appointment not that they’d do anything. DD has said herself she was doing so well and feeling so happy and well in herself and now she’s worse than ever. I can’t fucking bare to see her like this. DH was crying in bed last night saying “It’s happening again”. I know the title may sound excessive but it’s honestly how it feels and I don’t know what to do to help her.
it sounds really difficult for you all.
Insist on G P appointment. If she's been that low before, they have to see her. Get obnoxious if you have to. Does she have a councillor that she went to? Maybe a virtual appointment with them?
Lockdown will end for her. When she starts doing things again she will make friends and form relationships. It feels now like nothing will change but it will.
Matt haig is really good to follow. Look him up on Facebook or Instagram
Hugs to you mama.
I'm so sorry you're going through this - it's a truly terrible time for your daughter and you must be beside yourself. Have you tried ringing Young Minds, the youth mental health charity? Also get back on to the GP - they should be able to assess whether she has depression and start her on meds/refer to Camhs. Can you afford any private therapy?
Can you start planning a trip together? We have started a Pinterest board of ideas and plans for the celebratory trip when this is over. There are different components, such as a local picnic, a weekend away, and a longer holiday that requires more extensive planning.
This sounds so difficult for her and for you.
I promise you aren’t the worst mother. If you were you most definitely wouldn’t be upset and writing this post.
I think you probably do need to speak to the GP even over the phone. I’m not sure where you are but some CAMHS services will take referrals from parents. I know they are overstretched and operating an even more scaled back service due to current circumstances but if she is feeling low, has a history and is saying things that concern you someone needs to hear that. That said if she is approaching her 18th birthday it could be trickier.
Has she ever tried online counselling? A lot of teenagers recommend KOOTH which is an app she could download.
You haven’t a local friend with a similar aged DD that you could meet up with? I’m sure you probably haven’t as you have said you’ve not been the the area long.
Has she got any other friends she could FaceTime? Or even plan a long distance meet up “when this is all over”
It’s so hard and I feel for you so much as what she wants is plans with people her own age but could you make any future plans that would interest her or lift her mood a little?
She was on CAHMS in the past but they were useless with her. The councillor she saw told her to watch Netflix to distract herself when she started feeling upset. I think she may be too old for that anyway.
GP refuses to even consider meds for her and insists she just has low mood.
It is destroying me as she was doing really well and was so happy, the first time I’ve seen her happy in years and now it’s all fucking gone and she can’t bare to live again.
I think what’s really triggered it today is we heard her favourite place in town was open for takeaway and we drove down there and there were lots of groups of people her age out and about socialising etc and I think seeing it all made her acutely aware that people are starting to go back to normal whereas she ‘can’t’ and she isn’t going to have that for months and she doesn’t even know whether she can progress at college. She had a panic attack in the car on the way home and just keeps repeating that she has nothing and no one
I agree that she should see her gp.
I also think you need to help her make a plan for the future. Studying? Join a gym? Join a sports club or art class? Plan a trip? Give her something to look forward to and knowledge that things will get better because they will.
Massive sympathy to you both...my dd is much younger than yours and has minor sn. She was just starting to become more confident socially and had lots of events planned and its all been taken away. It's heartbreaking.
It is also important to try and get her out for walks/sunshine.
Vitamins can improve mental health (my teenage son was vitamin d deficient even in 2017 (no lockdown)
It is also important to talk through some of the ways that many many other young people will feel sad and isolated, just like her. They are out there, somewhere.
Volunteering? Supermarket job parttime? Allotment volunteering?
Online hobby group?
Dd is 18 and starting to do a lot of arty crafty things at home, the lack of pressure, the extra time has helped her really immerse herself, and the FOMO is wearing off.
She needs a plan for September, does she want to go onto study other things? What interests her? She will make friends again. I can understand the despair though at that age the despair is so real.
Year 12 will go back on or around the 15th June. It might only be 1 day per week or similar due to the strict restrictions on numbers. But she will be in a bubble of sorts. Could you support her now in dealing with the gradual return and what that might do to spark back up friendships. It might also be worth contacting her college about this, I can promise you schools and colleges are very concerned about the mental health of students at the moment and the impact this is all having. My school is not planning on doing any teaching for year 10 or 12 but looking at ways to support them in getting back into learning and how to motivate themselves etc. There is going to be an autumn sitting of exams, we don't know exactly what subjects yet but maths and English will almost certainly be there. Get her to focus on those, as though her exams are delayed rather than cancelled. There are some amazing resources out there but if you need help navigating I am happy to chat privately.or contact her college and ask them what they have specifically set for GCSE
I second the advice to book her into see tour GP. Can you afford private counselling? If not, you can self-refer on the nhs.
Loneliness is awful. Are there any online clubs she can join to meet people? Or any hobby type activities that will be starting up again? (Outdoor sports like tennis are permitted now, I think. Joining a tennis club?)
I’m sure work will be hard to come by, and I’m not sure what capacity it will take, but a part time summer job might help?
Planning a trip sounds lovely too - but finding a way to help her make connections sounds the most important.
Lots.of groups socialising....
This is actually against the rules, you do realise. She is the one doing the right thing. My teens are meeting no one, unless it is one socially distanced person v occasionally for a walk.
Also second the vitamin d thing!
Some GP’s are really unhappy to prescribe for teens but does he really know her history and her specific symptoms?
I’m sure you know all of this but have you removed tablets, sharp knives etc.
Sometimes it’s helpful to have a code way of letting you know she is having the very difficult thoughts. Maybe text you an emoji that lets you know. You could then have a plan maybe of not necessarily talking about it but doing something to distract her, cooking or anything really she likes doing.
It does sound positive that she is obviously able to confide in you. Hard for you in some ways but so much better than not sharing.
I know it’s so hard but I think you’re going to have to be the one that tried to promote the positivity of the future. I’m sure you are doing this but yes acknowledge how bloody hard this is for her but that it will move on and she will also move on and meet people again. She knows it’s possible as she did it before.
I also think you are making things worse by catastrophising on her behalf. Things will improve, this is a blip, her life isnt any more ruined than a new mums or a 3rd year uni student, or a year 6 or a a level student missing end of school. It is worse for her because she is anxious, but your job as a mum is to remind her that there is hope in spite of her fears. Not to reassure but to give perspective.
I have similar but not identical issues with my teen dd so I sympathise. She wont even go out for a walk because she's terrified of catching the virus.
You sound like a caring supportive parent. Keep showing up
I can sympathise with this, my 16 yr old DS has anxiety and was just beginning to blossom with a friendship group of lads , going out for bike rides and go karting, but not really 'in' with them enough to stay in touch once lockdown started. He has one good friend he games with thank god, but I am really starting to worry about nis mental health, he's started having panic attacks again and is so anxious about going out anywhere potentially busy.
Sorry OP no advice but a handhold from me, it is truly crap that we cannot help them.
As well as getting proper MH help, might she try doing some volunteering to give her something worthwhile to do, get a change of scene and some social contact outside the home? It could be carried on in school hols or weekends. I know it's not the ideal time to start but there might be a sympathetic organisation in your area, eg animal rescue centres, nature conservation, befrienders, etc
And yes I do my utmost to remain positve and calm and to emphasise the low level of risk and sensible precautions etc, but that does not make it any easier when he's in the middle of a panic attack.
A summer job will help a lot can she find one in your area?
OP, I'm so sorry for you all having such a tough time.
It's late, but I'm bookmarking so I can come back and post more tomorrow.
It's really good that she has loving parents that care so much about her.
It is worth ringing the GP and asking about a video or phone appointment, mental health services are offering those. If you have moved a long way and not accessed CAMHS services in your new area you may find what they can offer is different.
Does she have any friends from before your move that she can get in touch with online or phone?
Look at small goals she can achieve during lockdown, to keep busy such as a short, free online leisure course to distract her and develop some hobbies. The exam results might not be what she expects, but she could continue studying and opt for the retake in the autumn if needed, at least she would be able to show she could maintain her focus. What hobbies did she have before lockdown? are any of the groups meeting for online socials, groups such as Explorer Scouts, choirs etc are often still getting together online and might offer her a more understanding, supportive group of friends. Could she do some volunteering, eg. dropping off shopping for elderly neighbours or sewing things, sorting food in the foodbank (there are some great local facebook pages for this sort of thing). Volunteering might give her a feeling of purpose that she would also be helping other people and would look fantastic on her CV, give her something to talk about afterwards.
Tell her to hang in there and use the time to make plans, however small for the time now and towards her future if she can.
My parents told my brother and I to look for things you enjoy first and you will find the people you want to spend time with there.
Telling her we are thinking of her and you xxx good luck.
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