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Depressed teenager - feel so helpless.

(14 Posts)
Bumblebee28 Sat 17-Sep-11 08:55:42


I haven't used this forum before but, tbh, am at my wits end.

My DD 15yo was diagnosed with depression 6 months ago. She initially started off having weekly counciling for an eating disorder - mild bulimia but it became apparent that she was also very low in mood, so they started therapy for depression - and kind of put the eating disorder to one side. She wasn't showing much improvement after two months so they suggested Prozac to 'take the edge off'. Initially it seemed to work but then the summer Holstein came and - due to one arguments with a friend - she went back to school feeling low. She has been awfully low over the past few weeks and has had suicidal thoughts. For the past week she has been classified as high risk so one of us has had to be with her at all times.

The councillor said yesterday that he doesn't feel she's responding to what they are doing - as she finds it hard to communicate at the sessions. CBT doesn't seem to work on her. So, he said that he thinks she might benefit from being an in patient!! OMG.... I freaked out. My child in a psych unit or what could be anywhere between 2 week and 4 months!

I'm freaking out. I feel totally helpless and scared for so many reasons. How did we get here? Through this process I have gone against my intuition due to professionals telling me to 'just be there for her'. I have resisted the urge to tell her to try and think positive etc... I feel I've failed as her mother, have let her down and still can't help happy bouncing baby is thinking about killing herself and I can't stop it.

Anyway, they want a second opinion. So they are arranging an emergency appointment for next week. They have said that ultimately the decision is ours.... I kind of feel that I want to try anything rather than her being in a unit. How can being cut off from her family and friends in a town she doesn't know be any good or her??

Any word of advice or mums or dads who have or are going through the same would be really helpful as I feel so alone an scared, worried about her all the time.


madmouse Sat 17-Sep-11 09:38:15

Why is she on prozac if prozac is known to cause suicidal feelings in teenagers shock. Has she been tried on any other medication?

I hope that you get some joy with this second opinion!

The idea of being an inpatient is scary, but it does mean that she can be removed for a bit from whatever she is finding difficult to cope with in the world and receive more intensive imput hopefully in terms of both meds and therapy. Another thing that is worth looking into is art therapy. It is used by some young people that I work with and it really seems to help now.

As a long time eating disorder sufferer myself I'm a bit concerned a) that her bulimia was labelled mild, because if it was mild you wouldn't know about it she woudl be able to hide it, and eating disorders are never mild really and b) that the treatment for it was put aside. She is a whole human being, it is not possible to compartmentalise her like that.

None of this is criticism of you by the way. You are doing brilliantly in doing everything you can to get the right help for her. I'm just slightly concerned by what has been happening.

madmouse Sat 17-Sep-11 09:39:23

Oh and maybe what needs looking at too is whether this counsellor is right for her. She may not feel comfortable with him, not able to open up, especially if she has body issues. Maybe she needs a female therapist?

Bumblebee28 Sat 17-Sep-11 11:18:11

Thanks for your comments,

Their reason for choosing prozac is because it has had the most research behind it?? Although they know that it tends to cause suicidal tendencies, their opinion is that it was the right one for her - at the moment I'm thinking 'obviously not'. This is something I'llbe discussing at the assessment.

they have discussed art therapy but they feel that she is so low that she won't respond to it. I say 'why not try'.

Tbh I agree with you. What really concerns me is that they have been trying to treat the depression rather tha n the eating disorder, and I feel they both go hand in hand. One feeds the other...not eating, or bingeing, leads to low mood which feeds the depression. She doesn't have the energy to be positive due to both.

I just feel like I want to explore all options before she is an in patient. I have been relying on the NHS - as a tax payer - but feel that the time may have come to try other means. Someone has recommended two private councillors. So I might try them and see whether she feels more comfortable with either. When we saw an eating disorders specialist the other day she recommended an IBT or was it IPT course of therapy for my DD and DD said that she thought that might be interesting but they seem intent on having thus assessment for in patient therapy....

The situation is that she was initially seeing an eating disorders specialist who then felt that she was depressed. So she was then seeing a normal psych . Both of these were female. The man I refer to is the doctor that steps in every now and again - he was responsible for prescribing Prozacin the first place and reviews her progress every now and again.

Thanks so much for your reply x

Lottieloulou Sat 17-Sep-11 12:11:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Upwardandonward Sat 17-Sep-11 12:16:44

There was a youngster with psychosis and ED on the ward when I was inpatient, she was being treated for both.

I agree with Lottieloulou that CBT and councilling don't help if you are very low/depressed. If she is inpatient they may be able to try different drugs more easily, plus they can get more of a handle of what's going on.

Good luck with your decision.

Bumblebee28 Sat 17-Sep-11 16:49:49

Thank you so much all. All this advice has helped so much x

MrsRobertDuvall Sat 17-Sep-11 17:03:39

So sorry to hear about your dd.
My dd 15 has severe OCD and has had both NHS and private therapy.
With the NHS we got 3 months of counselling, lasting no more than half an hour a time, in a very grim setting, where dd felt uncomfortable.

After 3 months she was discharged as she'd had her allotted time, never mind if she had improved.

We then went private to a lovely lady who did cbt and hypnotherapy for an hour......worth every penny. Made a huge difference. No therapy for another 8 months, and dd wasn't coping, therapist on maternity leave, so saw someone else who dd didn't gel with. Luckily the original lady has come back, so we are resuming soon.

Dd has food issues, she is obsessed with food preparation hygiene, ds eating healthily, vomiting.

All I can say is keep trying different people......I hope you all feel better is so worrying when your children are like this.

Bumblebee28 Sun 18-Sep-11 13:44:03

Thank you so much for responding Mrs Duvall.

You sound like a woman who I can leaner from. I have arranged for her to see a private councillor tomorrow evening and I have spoken to him this morning and explained my concerns over the treatment she has had so far and my feelings about the diagnosis they have made. I have gone against my mothers intuition for so long that the time has now come to follow my heart. I am keen to explore every avenue to ensure she gets the best treatment for her as an out patient as I don't believe that her being an in patient is the only solution at the moment.

It's so important for her to get that connection isn't it....and to feel as though she's really getting something out of it.

I with I could take it on board for her so much.... Just to have her rid of these feelings.

All I can think of is the bouncing baby that I once had....good thought. And then on the flip side I see well, what could only be described as my worst nightmare....


Samvet Sun 18-Sep-11 14:00:05

I just wrote a long reply and lost it! The gist was:
I was your daughter, anorexia and depression at 16 years old (had been going on longer)
She needs to be assessed by a psychiatrist.. I would recommend this is paid for privately looking at a local Priory clinic or the like, a local BUPA or SPIRE.
The NHS is not sufficiently funded to deal with these issues promptly.
Councillors can be good but they are not qualified to deal with serious mental health issues. They cannot prescribe or comment on ADs.
The psychiatrist may recommend councilling but your daughter needs an assessment and review of meds if it is not working. Councilling alone is inadequate if she is suicidal. I saw many councillors and only got the help I needed when my parents paid for me to see a psychiatrist and I was put on prozac and this was combined with therapy.
Send me a message if I can help anymore.
To give you hope I am now 33, have a 1 year old and can actually say I am happy!
You sound lovely, my issue with my parents was they couldn't talk about it. Openess is the key and what I missed, my illness was the dirty secret, never discussed. Keep telling your daughter you love her and understand that she feels terrible but that she WILL feel better one day.
I think you can avoid inpatient treatment but due to the severity of her condition you need a psychiatrist opinion not just a councillor in my opinion.

Samvet Sun 18-Sep-11 14:03:01

Worth a meds discussion too as some feel alternatives to prozac are better for younger patients. A private psyc. will have the time to discuss this with you and your daughter.

BeaOnSea Sun 18-Sep-11 14:14:54

I would just like to say you sound like a wonderful mother smile

I also was like your daughter with an eating disorder and depression from approx 15 years of age. Unfortunately, I didn't get the right kind of help. I had two sessions with a counsellor who advised I left home at 16 and my mother supported that because (I feel) it was easier for her to deal with. Out of sight etc..... It took me another 10 years to get over my eating disorder - when I met my DH and actually had someone who cared for me.

I felt let down by my parents. No matter how depressed your DD is, she will know that you are there for her and that matters more than anything.

knittedbreast Sun 18-Sep-11 15:36:43

i would request a change of medicines, prozac is not good for young girls, nor citalapram either

MrsRobertDuvall Sun 18-Sep-11 16:31:19

Thank you Bumblebee.

I echo what samvet are keeping a dialogue open with your dd and that is so important.
I have just had a nice walk with mine- she's done homework most of the day, so have made her favourite casserole for tea, talked about her plans for next weekend with her friends and also about going back to therapy.

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