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How do you stay sane when your teenager is depressed?

(12 Posts)
Juliehermann Mon 02-Nov-15 15:57:25

My ds (17) is suffering from depression. My husband works away from home and only comes home at the weekend so I am dealing with the situation on a day to day basis more or less on my own. My ds has my full support but I find it hard to bite my tongue (but I always do) and remember it is the depression and not him talking when he says hurtful things. I know he can't help being a misery at the moment and I never reproach him for it - I just try to be there for him - and cook his favourite meals but what tips do others have for staying sane when living with a depressed teenager? I am finding this so hardconfused

Bunbaker Mon 02-Nov-15 16:29:03

I was in your shoes last year. I am currently sat in a waiting room while DD talk to her CAMHS therapist.
She is tons better now, but still suffers from social anxiety.

I found offloading to friends very helpful. I also have a very understanding vicar whose son had gone through something very similar.

I hope you both get through this soon.

Meloncoley2 Mon 02-Nov-15 23:04:08

Really try to do things for you and not neglect your own needs. I found that I spent so much time obsessing about looking after my DC, that my own health was affected. It got better when I started doing stuff like making sure I was getting outside for walks or even sitting in the garden with a cup of tea.

smileyforest Thu 05-Nov-15 21:05:22

Same situation, so is 17y. Doesn't help that I'm off sick with back pain too! Son is under Mental Health Care Team. I think it's going to be a long haul, feel very sad about it all ..x

Clare1971 Wed 23-Dec-15 10:55:26

How are things JulieH and Smiley? My DD17 has had depression almost 2 years now. I had thought things were better but this month I've realised she doesn't actually feel any better and seems to have given up trying to. She has a period during the afternoon/early evening when she feels Ok but mornings and evenings are bleak. She has lost two jobs through simply not being able to face the morning. I had thought it was laziness but now I'm watching her closely I don't think it is. It really is like a black cloud that he can't get out from. CAMHS have been useless. She was prescribed Fluoxetine back in May, had one follow up appointment in June and has seen no one since. I've phoned three times but they haven't got back to me. Thinking of seeing gp instead as she's 18 soon. I normally cope OK, lots of walks help, but last month DH was diagnosed with depression and last week eldest DS was too. I am now beginning to think we are just a disfunctional family. Beginning to lose patience with them all too - is that just the tiredness?

smileyforest Sun 27-Dec-15 17:52:31

Gosh, that must be so hard Clare....depression quite commonly runs in families, its doubly hard this time of year when it's dark and dreary and we are supposed to have Christmas cheer! My son isn't good, going to be a long road. Mostly in his bedroom, does not shower, not eating healthily, I have to learn how to cope as I have to get back go work at some point. It has affected my emotional and mental health too, and I miss my son, but life has to go on....and only time may heal I hope. Life can be very difficult sometimes.... X

Innismhor Sun 10-Jan-16 10:43:59

Same situation here - I've been supporting my DD (19) for the last two years. She is recovering but it's a long slow bumpy road. I found lots of good websites that helped me to understand what she was going through and that in turn has helped to pull myself through. Here's a selection:

hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.co.uk/2013_05_01_archive.html - an insight into low mood and suicide

inkandfeet.com/how-to-help-someone-with-depression - good description of depression as an energy sucking flu, and how important it is to just be there and listen

threewordphrase.com/parkour.htm - depression parkour cartoon

And yes to lots of good walks, understanding friends, being kind to yourself and not asking too much of yourself, keeping plenty of time free so you can be there to support them.

Clare - that really does sound like you're getting pitifully little support. It's taken 2 years of regular psychology appointments + monthly visits to the GP + a fair bit of tweaking meds for my daughter to recover as much as she has, and she still has a way to go. I'd strongly recommend going back to the GP. One of the GPs we went to was pretty useless but others have been helpful and very supportive. Oh and we have depression in the family too. We're not at all dysfunctional - we're high achievers and all successful in our own fields - we're just blighted by this awful disease and have to live around it. Good luck with it.

Clare1971 Sun 10-Jan-16 11:33:52

Innismhor that's so helpful. I thought I'd trawled the internet thoroughly but those sites you've mentioned are new to me - I'll check them out. We finally have an appointment for CAMHS but we have also had another day at A&E in the meantime and the eating problem (ie: not eating) seems to have reared its ugly head again. I think we're stuck because I'm not sure DD wants to get better - or perhaps it's just that she's given up trying because she thinks she won't ever get better. Rock bottom self esteem too. Really hoping for a change in medication to answer all our problems even though I know that's unrealistic. Would settle for a change in medication to lift her mood just enough for her to be able to start helping herself.
How are you doing Smileyforest? I keep thinking about you.

Innismhor Sun 10-Jan-16 19:21:52

Clare that sounds exhausting for you. No wonder you're losing patience. But keep going - things will get better - it just takes an age to rebuild someone's brain. It seems quite likely that she's given up believing that she ever will get better, rather than not wanting to. You say she has very low self esteem - is she also suffering from anxiety? There are separate drugs to help with that which can be taken alongside drugs for depression. I do hope the GP can help.

In my DDs case, psychology and drugs have been really good for tackling anxiety, and other drugs have lifted her mood. I felt it was really important to keep telling my DD that she would get better even when she didn't believe it, but it was so hard and so stressful for all of us. We told her that all the strange things that were going on in her head were the depression, not her, and she was still there underneath, and she would get herself back again eventually. It helped a bit when she eventually started seeing little glimpses of herself again, though it also highlighted what a mountain she still had to climb. Life isn't normal yet but there's definitely light at the end of the tunnel. I am completely in awe of the strength and determination she has put into getting better and I'm so proud of her for doing it.

Earlybird Sun 10-Jan-16 19:24:02

OP - is your son receiving professional help for his depression?

smileyforest Mon 18-Jan-16 20:31:14

My son has made some progress, he refuses meds. Mental Health care Nurse visits weekly, I feel he needs more. His is more Psychotic depression. He has showered a few times and changed his clothes. His brain isn't functioning the same, worries me when he goes out. It's had a huge impact on my health too. Hard to see our children suffering isnt it....

Clare1971 Tue 19-Jan-16 17:35:02

Smiley I'm really glad he's showing some signs of progress. A long way to go but at least there's hope. Can you get any support from voluntary services? Anything to do with Young Minds in your area?

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