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supporting depressed/stressed 16yo DD

(11 Posts)
clareG65 Mon 24-Mar-14 14:02:45

Today I'm at the end of my tether. DD suffering from stress/depression but refuses to see anyone. Took overdose two months ago and since then has only been attending school part time. I don't give a stuff about exams results but she's still putting herself under pressure although not doing much work to relieve pressure. Any attempt I make to talk with her is met with anger and/or refusal to talk. Don't think there is any major traumatic event - just the result of 5 years at an all girls high-achieving school where she doesn't feel she fits in. Everything I can think of to help involves talking with her or getting her to talk to someone and since she won't do either of these I really don't know where to turn. It's so horrible seeing her either angry or miserable all the time. The only time she seems relatively OK is the (many) hours she spends watching reruns of American sit coms. It's not that I'm short of ideas which could help her - if only I could get past the initial refusal to talk/listen. Oh, and the constant snapping and rudeness are getting me down too. Guess I'm just feeling a bit sorry for myself.

stripeytiger Mon 24-Mar-14 14:17:42

Clare, you have my sympathy, and i think you have every right to feel a bit sorry for yourself. It's hard to be on the receiving end of constant rudeness and snapping and wears mighty thin. Of course you want the best for dd and it must be heartbreaking to see her locked into this spiral of depression. Does she cope ok with the part time hours at school or is she better when at home? My dd has a few problems but is only 12 so much younger than your dd. My solution, for now anyway, was to pull her out of school and home educate, but with your dd in the middle of exams that obviously wouldn't be helpful.

It seems to me, like you say, that your dd really would benefit from talking to someone else. It is so hard and you can't force her but if her behaviour is getting you down, then you may well have to put your foot down in order to help both of you.

Sorry I haven't got any more advice, just wanted to lend an ear and my support as it can be very lonely when you're in this sort of situation. I really hope things improve for you both very soon.

IloveJudgeJudy Mon 24-Mar-14 16:50:46

Hi, my DD is in the same situation. Putting so much pressure on herself and won't really talk to me.

Luckily, she is under CAMHS atm. She cut herself at the weekend (only the second time) and was sent home from school today. She wants to be there (in Y12) as she says she won't achieve anything without being there, yet seems to be petrified about actually starting any work at home!

A counsellor, not her normal one, visited her this pm. I was there, too. The counsellor told her many ways of distracting herself from her horrible thoughts.

One was to wear a rubber/elastic band on her wrist and ping it so that it hurts! This evidently distracts from your thoughts.

Another was "switching" where you absolutely concentrate on a sound in the environment around you, eg a ticking clock, the traffic outside, bird sounds, etc. Or you could notice your breath - yes, I can cope with this for another breath and another...

What would I say to a friend who came to me with this problem? She (your DD) wouldn't say, "you really are rubbish, etc" would she? She needs to be kinder to herself.

DD was quite rude to me today, which is pretty unusual. I did cry a few tears in front of her as I wanted her to know how much she hurt me! My feelings can be hurt, too, not just hers.

Have you tried to get her to talk to The Samaritans. DD has talked to them a couple of times. They were very helpful.

I said to DD this (her situation) is not insurmountable. In the scheme of things, it's really a very small percentage of her life. She doesn't need to think these horrible thoughts and project into a horrible future. It's easier said than done, I think sad.

Wishing you luck and fortitude!

clareG65 Tue 25-Mar-14 13:08:32

Thank you both for your replies. I just needed to hear I'm not alone. I do seem to get sucked in to how she's feeling - one positive sign and I'm on cloud nine but one grumpy response and I'm locking up the knives. Seem to go through this roller coaster a dozen times a day. Counting the days till school is over.

anthropology Tue 25-Mar-14 19:33:38

just wondering how old she is ? is she doing gcses ?its really difficult to cope with this on your own .it will take time and patience ,but with the right help and support for both of you, things really do get better.

Its hard for them to see that therapy (depending sometimes on the therapist) can give them the tools to change the way they cope. Reasons can be very complicated, and often they dont know themselves why they feel as they do. but, she will need help to unravel what her strengths and vulnerabilities and need input for that to change. Has she had an ed psych assessment? would tests, be easier than talking. a wisc 4 test might give some clues .

If there are slightly older family members she might open up to, or in our case, my DD loved young children and a couple of young mothers who had experienced teen difficulties, would invite her round and she would talk more easily to them initially . I also would say I didnt care about exam results, in my DDs case, she did care, and interpreted my not caring, as having no faith in her abilities - so by trying to reduce stress, I made her feel worse !! although it was a long complicated journey, she is a wonderful young woman now, and is wise beyond her years, after going through such a difficult time. Look after yourself though too - I got CBT via my GP which helped. .

clareG65 Tue 25-Mar-14 20:52:15

She is 16 and yes it's GCSE's. The big problem is that she won't talk to anybody at all. I'm pretty sure she is thinking things through and I can see her trying to help herself, for example she put new posters up today in her room, but the anger starts as soon as anyone tries to get her to open up in any way what so ever. It's the not knowing what's she's thinking that I fond so hard - she could be much better than I think, or much worse! We are seeing doctor tomorrow about another matter but doc is fully in the picture so may be of some help.
Thanks again for the support. I think I'm going to see if I can get some counselling just so I can disappear and let of steam for a bit.

anthropology Wed 26-Mar-14 21:05:39

little signs of change, day by day are good, as you say. writing in journals, listening to music, having candlelit baths to relax. I dont think my DD would have spoken to anyone, had she not been admitted , partly as she didnt know what to say, or how to verbalise these dark feelings . Art therapy was more helpful than talking therapy to start. , Counselling for you can also help you ask you DD the right questions, I found. best of luck

IzzyG03 Wed 26-Mar-14 22:21:29

Hi there, I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone as a parent coping with this and my heart goes out to you. It is so hard to see your beautiful child feel so low, suicidal, worthless, inconsolable, sad and angry - but most of all, not knowing why.

My beautiful 16yo daughter has suffered now for 3 years, though I suspect it started at around 11. We were accepted into the CAHMS program and she has a psychologist and a psychiatrist whom we see on a regular basis. I do, strongly, recommend you see your family doctor and try to get accepted on this program. This is not only for your child's benefit but also for you as 'you' need support in learning how to cope and be strong for your child.

I can't give advice, only to let you know how we cope - with lots of love, support, positive words and as DD is also a self harmer, no criticism. I patch her up, hug her, tell her there IS an end to this, we just need to find the way. I tell her she is beautiful, cherished and no matter what, I will always be there for her.

I hope this helps in some way, even if only to say you are not alone. Please let us know how you get on tomorrow and ask for a CAHMS referral if you can.

SWK70 Mon 26-May-14 14:10:45

I share your pain. My 15 yr old daughter is in a similar position. She is attending CAMHS, but won't fully engage or cooperate with them . I am at the end of my tether.... Really don't know what to do to help her. She says she's fine being this way and will just learn to live with it . What can I do to make her see that people want to help her?

anthropology Tue 27-May-14 19:29:51

My DD has had a number of therapists over the last 3 years, partly due to camhs availability. Some have been helpful and others not, some have been very unprofessional . If they and your DDs find therapy doesnt help, worth asking for a change in therapist or type of therapy, as its such a personal relationship. My DD found it much easier to talk to young female therapists for example. best of luck to all of you.

felttippens Sun 23-Nov-14 20:43:05

Are any of you still around ? My DD sounds very similar

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