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I think my 13 yr old has depression, what more can i do.

(130 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

imjustahead Tue 20-Jan-15 18:40:38

She has a history of illness, emotional and physical problems.

We went to the gp last summer after she had totally broken down for two weeks. Not speaking, crying, feeling empty and pointless etc...

At that time, told to give it time.

In the first term of school (yr8) she had one week off because of severe anxiety, and feelings like i described above. Saw GP, who said, yes anxiety, and gave us a sick note for school.
Two weeks ago she said the feelings are coming back. I gave it time, but took her back to gp (for once our regular gp) who suggested exercise, and online site living life to the full.
I did ask about anti depressants, mentioned Prozac but was told they could in fact cause suicidal thoughts. (I mentioned Prozac specifically as I read that it is the one that is preferred in young adults/children). So she said the exact opposite to what I had read.

The feelings stem, mainly from a long history of problems with her father (ex dh), who has never stepped up, or who has for a time then disappeared out of her life.
I just want to know what more i can do.

There is history of depression in our family, I was a depressed child and am very adamant my dd will not be left to flounder as i was.
I have had antidepressants in early 20's and they helped me so much.
I don't want dd to go on them, but who knows, they could be a real help.

She has had periods for two years now, and generally she has good friends, is lively, fun and bright. It breaks my heart to see her like this.

GP said, to come back in a month.

What more could be done through the NHS? GP said that in any case she (gp) wouldn't be allowed to prescribe any meds.
I read about Cambhs on here, and it never gets a good press.
Would they have to be invloved before dd gets assessed for ad's? I mean how much longer can this go on.

thankyou x

imjustahead Tue 20-Jan-15 19:57:26

bump x

ssd Tue 20-Jan-15 20:01:37

gosh, I'm sorry, this sounds so very hard for you both.

I really have no experience, am hoping someone else can come on here and help you out a bit x

chockbic Tue 20-Jan-15 20:03:05

There should be NICE guidelines for the treatment of depression in children (and adults).

I don't see why the GP can't prescribe for your daughter. Can you see another one in the practice?

ssd Tue 20-Jan-15 20:03:10

just another thought, if you dont get many answers here, you can ask MN to move your thread to the mental health topic, it may get more traffic there, if you do decide this just click on your first post at the report bit at the top and ask them to move it x

claraschu Tue 20-Jan-15 20:04:53

Could you afford a private therapist? We found a young, friendly, upbeat "life coach" for our 13 year old (who has been ill for 6 months). The therapist has helped her with very practical ways to gain confidence, cope with illness and anxiety, and generally just take charge of her own health (mental and physical).

FatAmy Tue 20-Jan-15 20:07:24

I had depression from 13, and the doctor refused to prescribe medication until I was 18. Has she been to counselling or therapy?

claraschu Tue 20-Jan-15 20:07:47

It just sounds to me like she needs to talk to someone, as she has a lot going on in her head. ADs might make her feel better, but won't help sort out a way to cope with her dad in the longer term.

wannabestressfree Tue 20-Jan-15 20:08:09

Ask her school to do a camhs referral. My son has acute mental health problems and has had regular help from them and the regularity has been invaluable. He is also medicated and it comes through them and not the GP.

zippy539 Tue 20-Jan-15 20:14:31

That sounds awful - and super stressful for both of you.

I can't advise on Cambhs for depression though DS was referred for anxiety surrounding a chronic illness that he has. He did some relaxation sessions with a lovely therapist but in the end it didn't seem to make much difference - I guess it depends on the nature of the issue and the therapist that you see. What did help DS (and I appreciate that he is in a v different situation to your daughter, though he's of similar age) was a 'mindfulness' meditation ap. He listens to it on his phone as he goes to sleep every night and it does seem to have made him a lot calmer. The one he uses is Smilingmind which is an australian one and it caters to different ages (DS likes to use the adult one) - the website is here - there is also a list of other good apps here . I don't know how you feel about meditation/mindfulness but if someone had recommended it to me when DS was having problems I would have sniggered up my sleeve. We only tried it out of desperation tbh but it really does seem to work - I think there have been some studies that show it changes the shape of your brain!!!! DH recently had to see a psych for depression and the psychiatrist recommended it to him as well. Pig's will fly before he tries it but hey ho.

Obviously you want to push things on with your doc (or find one who is a bit more pro-active) but maybe the mindfulness stuff would help in the short-term - it's certainly a skill worth learning either way. Really hope you get this resolved soon.

imjustahead Tue 20-Jan-15 20:28:00

oh hello, thankyou for your posts.

i will briefly say, she has had counselling at school, but only 6 sessions, you can only have a minimum amount. She is allowed to go back and ask for more tho.
Gp, well she knows dd fairly well, but there have been times when she has been useless in being proactive, she's a rather quiet and mouse like lady.

May be worth seeing another gp? i am not sure if i could ask anther gp about meds, without it sounding as though I am pushing dd onto them. (paranoid but ime some medical people do raise their eyebrows at you if you suggest things that might be wrong, and hey you could be right)

I would imagine I could take the bull by the horns and say to our gp look, you've only seen dd recently, and didn't see the state she's been on on the last two occasions, i want a referral.

Private, i am a single mum with low funds I'm afraid.

chockbik, have you had experience of gp's prescribing for young people?

ssd, i think i will ask for thread to be moved, how do i do that?

wannabe, do you think it would be better to go through school? had you been to your gp for help with Cambhs? Does you son go somewhere outside of school for counselling and to see a psychiatrist?

zippy, thankyou, i will look into your recommendation. I would love dd to get engaged with something she can relate too, as i said i don't want to only go down the meds route.

as a life long depression sufferer, iam still learning and reminding myself of how to live.

thankyou all so much. btw i am a very long time poster, and have been on here about my dd many many times, and recognise some of you.x i used travel the high seas, if that makes any sense at all!

wannabestressfree Tue 20-Jan-15 20:35:00

My son had a referral through school at a young age (10) and sees a psychiatrist, nurse etc AT his cahms appointment. They prescribe his meds.

imjustahead Tue 20-Jan-15 20:47:03

think i need to talk to dd about cambhs.


imjustahead Tue 20-Jan-15 20:47:27

and learn to bloody spell it

ssd Tue 20-Jan-15 20:47:37

hi op, I reported your thread for you and asked mnhq to move it to the mental health section, hope this is ok for you, good luck with everything x

wannabestressfree Tue 20-Jan-15 20:49:03

Message me if I can help.

imjustahead Tue 20-Jan-15 20:54:15

thanks ssd. x

wannabe, thankyou. sitting here and dd saying she feels empty, alone and she just wants it to stop.

i have kept her off school, but worry i should make her go in for distraction.
or we go back to gp tomorrow.

YetAnotherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 20-Jan-15 20:57:19

Hi imjustahead,
Would you like us to move it? Just give us the nod and we will, no problem.

imjustahead Tue 20-Jan-15 21:03:05

nod to headquarters, thankyou xx

YetAnotherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 20-Jan-15 22:37:59

We have moved it to Mental Health for you now. Hoping that you and DD get the support you need.

Thisismyfirsttime Tue 20-Jan-15 22:54:17

I work in a CAMHS setting (not a clinician) and I would say that for ours medication is not typically the first point of call, counselling, CBT, psychotherapy, etc are pushed first. If you go back to your GP I'd really push for a referral. I'm sorry your dd feels this way thanks

imjustahead Tue 20-Jan-15 23:35:25

that's useful to know thanks.

so many tears tonight. i have agreed she needs more time off to recover so she will be home with me tomorrow.

poor poor kid.
night all x

OverTheHandlebars Tue 20-Jan-15 23:43:55

I believe that GPs aren't actually allowed to prescribe antidepressants for children, it can only be done by a psychiatrist. That's because some studies have shown that antidepressants in children/adolescents do actually increase suicide rates in the first few weeks (which is what I think your GP was talking about) so it needs specialist assessment and monitoring. A referral to CAMHS is the only way you're going to get her to a child and adolescent psychiatrist I'm afraid.

WhoremoaneeGrainger Wed 21-Jan-15 09:08:19

OP You could be me. My 13 year old DD has been re-referred to CAHMS today.

Similar emotional symptoms to your DD, but for different reasons.

They do wonderful work. I just hope they can see her quickly.

It is so hard to know what to do for the best isnt it?

Hope she has a calm day with you today.

NanaNina Wed 21-Jan-15 12:41:00

I think a referral to CAMHS is the best thing at the moment - it does depend on the individual therapist though as to the service that you get, so that is why you will get a mixed reaction. I have never been impressed (was a social worker) and shared an office with the old Child Guidance Worker (before they became CAMHS) but none of the team were much good to be honest and soon gave up on some of the more complex cases, but of course we were referring children and young people in the care system, so they would inevitably have complex needs. Ah I've just noticed that someone is speaking of them in very glowing terms! I think a lot depends on the willingness (or otherwise) of the young person to engage with the therapist and again it has to be a "good fit" - and adolescence is a difficult time in any event and your DD might not feel like opening up to a stranger. A good therapist will usually find a way around this - so hope that's the case for your DD.

I think 13 is very young for ADs but I'm no medic so maybe I'm wrong. Loss of some sort (not necessarily bereavement) is at the root of most depression, and of course DD has "lost" her dad. Is there any chance that you can get him on board to offer her more support given her present difficulties.

The other thing of course is the hormone surge that affects young people at this age and that will be somewhere in the mix of your DD's difficulties. You could have a look (and DD) at the YoungMinds website - might be helpful.

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