I have been on mumsnet for years. But I didnt know you were here! I normally read the teenage threads...... Ive been struggling. In a big way. My daughter who is 14 suffers from anxiety and low mood. We have had self-harm, panic attacks and now see Camhs. I have other children too, so life is a real juggle. We (her dad and me) dont always manage to deal with things right, we are well intentioned but just dont seem to know what to do to help. It all seems to stem from some childhood bullying. we have tried counselling at school, as well as private.....
at the moment we are going through a 'phase,' it usually ties in with periods, of just awfullness. no one can do anything right. school is hard, getting her there is harder...... i hate that my beautiful, funny, wonderful girl is struggling.... Im glad I have found you all.....
It's horrible isn't it. You just want your happy child back?
I have realised that it's an illness plus/or hormones that causes my dd to be withdrawn and quiet. I let her come to me when she feels this way. It's very easy to feel rejected when they push you away. Letting her come to me protects my MH also. I understand how it drags you down
I know how you feel. I am a single parent to a teenager with bipolar (along with another child) and it's a long exhausting day, every day. Please remember that it's not your fault and just genetic. The good news is that there is lots you can do to mitigate her mental health.
Please do some research for local experts on mental health and hormones and consult them. Lots of them. And do research on the internet. You can't change her genetics, but you can change her diet and lifestyle. (Forgive me for being redundant if you have done all of this.) Check her Vitamin D levels. Is she getting hormones and medication? Eating a well balanced diet? Getting enough sleep (this is super important and worth taking some time off regular school if you can't get this balanced). Get her involved in the research and vested in her own health.
My son was 12 when he was diagnosed. I started seeing clear symptoms at 10/11. It came on at puberty (and when his idiot father thought it would be a good idea to give him pot at age 10). Ds has mitochondrial disease which puts him at high risk for bipolar, but I didn't find this out until after he got the diagnosis (and his geneticist said "oh yes, that's not surprising."....wish he'd given me a heads up ahead of time). Ds is very stable now, but it takes constant vigilance about diet and lifestyle. He goes to school part time which took an enormous about of wrangling with the school district and going through all the mistakes and proving that he needed a part time schedule. And even so, on paper he has a full time schedule and EVERY day I write him a note excusing him from his first 3 periods because he was ill. It's absurd, but allows them to check their little boxes and allows him to stay healthy and be successful in school.
And I have had to battle the school about the pressure they put on ds to take lots of advanced classes "because he's clever." It's so complicated having a hidden disability and having to constantly remind people that he might "look ok" but is still sick.
My ds also suffers from anxiety and low moods. He is also 14. It was triggered by me leaving my exh for someone else 3 yrs ago but isn't the cause of his anxiety etc now. He refused to go to school and was so depressed it was awful. He missed most of yr 8 and eventually got a place at hospital school where he has been ever since and will hopefully stay until he finishes his gcses. He is a lovely child who doesnt give me any problems but i worry about him very much because of the low moods and that he still misses quite a lot of schooling. I don't know how to help him and never know how he will be as he goes from being low and sleeping a lot to seeming to be fine and on the ps4 laughing and having fun.
Its very hard and i worry for his future. He is limited with his gcse choices being at hospital school and i hope he will get the basic English maths and science so he can go onto college or apprenticeship, but as he rarely leaves the house and gets picked up in taxis to go to school i just don't see how he will cope with college etc. There's only about 4 children at hospital school conpared to hundreds at college. His teachers are amazing with him and if he doesn't go in for few days they will come and do some work with him at home or just come and play game to try and engage him. This is great but is difficult when i am at work as they need an adult and there isn't anyone apart from myself and my dp and she works same days as me and can't just leave.