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14 year old with possible depression - any advice?(8 Posts)
I'm taking my DD to the GP today to talk about her anxiety and possible depression.
She's had issues since year 7 with a lot of time off school which I now think was anxiety related. Last year she began to have panic attacks at school. The school was great, we worked with them and things seemed to settle down for a while.
She's gradually stopped seeing friends outside school, dropped the only activity she did outside school and seems more isolated. She has a large friendship group but they are long term friendships which I think she's grown out of.
Yesterday and this morning she's been very low, says she feels everything is pointless, there's nothing to look forward to and that this is the worst she's ever felt. She's had a broken nights sleep and is exhausted so I've sent her back to bed and have made a GP appointment for later. She started her period yesterday so not sure how much is hormonal but something is definitely wrong.
Any advice for me? I feel that I should have taken her to the GP earlier but I have been reluctant to hang a label on her.
Your poor DD. I'd take her to the doctor now, rather than leaving it. It may be nothing, or general teenage downs /hormonal etc. On the other hand it could be the start of something more serious. My DD, now 16, was similar at 14 and I did nothing, other than talk to the school and she had a few sessions with a school counsellor. Fast forward to now, and she's under Cahms, being treated for an eating disorder and depression. She's currently very suicidal and has just been prescribed anti-depressants. She's gone from anorexia to binge eating and is a very unhappy girl. I wish I'd done something sooner. I didn't realise how much she was bottling things up, until the anorexia started. I'm sure it's all connected to her anxiety and withdrawl at 14. Definitely worth a visit to GP now, just in case.
OP please don't beat yourself up about not having taken her to the GP earlier. Teens are difficult to fathom and subject to moods and hormones.
I'm not suggesting at all that your worries aren't valid but just wondered if it's worth keeping a diary of her periods and presenting moods at different times of the month. Perhaps she does have underlying MH issues but she may also have PMS which will compound her already difficult emotions and feelings.
I think you are right to take her to the GP. Maybe she needs a referral to CAMHS. What are school currently offering her and you in the way of support?
Lbot I am so sorry to hear about your DD and thank you for taking the time to reply. I really hope things start to improve for you all.
Crisp the school have been good. They took the pressure off about attendance (although still have had to see the EWO a couple of times), she has a key member of staff who is great, there are safe quiet spaces and she's able to leave the room on a pass with no questions asked if she is feeling bad. They also offered counselling. BUT she doesn't want to do counselling at school as it just draws attention to her (ie they take you out of a lesson). She doesn't want to go to the quiet/ safe space as, ditto, other kids will want to know why. So it's tricky.
I think you're right about tracking periods and mood as it's unlikely to be one simple thing and more likely a tangle of stuff. She's v high achieving at school and has friends but I don't think she's got many she really clicks with and who 'get' her. She didn't want to go to the GP today but we've agreed on Friday and rebooked. Her mood this evening is really upbeat - we had a good chat earlier.
Hi OP. I don't blame her for not wanting school couselling and the drawing attention to herself. If the GP can't/won't refer to CAMHS have you thought about any local voluntary services? I know lots of these specialist projects are closing due to lack of funding but some areas still offer decent mental health/counselling services for young people.
The other stuff school are offering sound helpful but like you say, and understandably, she doesn't feel comfortable taking up some of the support.
Does she do any sports? I'm a complete couch potato (wish I wasn't) but my DD has quite a few emotional issues and I really encourage her to do a lot of after school sports stuff. Very good for the low mood stuff. Also good for poor sleepers.
Does she ever invite the friends who 'get her' over to your home? If she's struggling a bit with feeling isolated from friends is it worth trying to organise something at yours on a semi-regular basis just to get them in the same place? Doesn't have to be a group thing, just one or two mates.
I did wonder, after reading your 2nd post, if she might feel relieved that you've booked her a GP appointment hence the better mood. Dunno- maybe reading too much into it.
BTW, on the pms issue. I take a product for pms called Magnesium Ok which really, really helps with my menstrual mood swings. It's not expensive (think it works out at between £4-5 per month) and you can get it on Amazon or any decent sized chemist.
Several children need assistance dealing with classes’ tension, for example - homework, examination anxiety, bullying. Almost no one discusses with your family. Therefore, counseling is a best option for those children.
Hi there ,
I'm going through the same with my daughter who has just turned 15 . She struggles with anxiety and I think she may be a little depressed at times . I'm struggling to get her to school the last 2 weeks and she had a bad year 9 , till the summer term , after she had had sessions of CBT with a psychologist, that seemed to help . She started year 10 really well , but a couple of weeks ago , her anxiety came back and she can't get herself up out of bed in the morning , even tho she's saying she is fine and she's getting up , it's just her saying that as she's trying her best to move , she then gets frustrated and angry cos she feels like she's letting me down and school down . When she's at school she's fine , where as when it first started she used to have panic attacks and ring me to fetch her . She has a fab group of friends and gets on well with teachers , so we don't know what her fear of school is . The attendance office are being a bit funny , but her year head is trying to keep them at bay . We have a meeting at school in morning and my daughter knows she will have to accept some help from them as camhs will take ages to get appt . I feel crap as a mom as I can't make her anxiety go away , she is a usual stubborn teenager too , when her anxiety is not rife , she is great she goes out with mates and does athletics. I've just come on here for some advice and to know we are not the only ones going through it . I'm at the end of my tether ATM as every morning I'm on egg shells wondering if she's going to get up . She gets up eventually and she's been doing school work all morning . Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
I'm a therapist who works with a lot of families and young people. Please don't belittle yourself for waiting and not knowing what to do with anxiety; we cannot know everything and you've done the right thing by seeking advice. Plus children are developing and changing in their hormones all the time, is hard to know what is teenager-ness verse mental health. CBT can be really helpful but it works best when the things the person changes in terms of their behaviours and thoughts are maintained. Encourage her to get the CBT info and worksheets she completed out previously and see if there is anything that she has let slip. CAMHs only take the most severe of cases now as they just don't have the resources but if you want to get her help asap look at therapists on BACP website- these are the reputable ones. Hope that helps and good luck.
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