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Please help - I think my 9 yr old is suffering from depression

(14 Posts)
Dahlia Mon 25-Jul-05 14:37:36

Hi. Thread title says it all really. I have thought for a long time now that deep down, she isn't the happiest child in the world, even though she is happy and jolly alot of the time, gets on well at school, has no major upsets in her life etc. But recently she told dh that she feels sad all the time, even when she is happy she is sad underneath, and yesterday (after I had a row with her) she told me the same. She said she couldn't describe specifically how she felt, or why. She said that sometimes it was me or dh, sometimes it was school, sometimes it was general stuff. She has a little sister whom she adores and I don't think there is a problem there. I have a very close relationship with her but we do fall out quite a lot, she knows how to wind me up and I react to it. Occasionally I think that she doesn't like me, but I asked her that yesterday (in a very nice way) and she said it isn't that. She said she DOES like me, its just everything in her life. She said she doesn't like her life and she feels sad. This has broken my heart, partly because I think I have been aware that it was brewing inside her and I haven't tried to talk to her about it sooner. So today I have phoned NHS Direct for advice before going to the docs with her, as I don't want to freak her out, they were really nice and said I should take her to the docs, and they would also pass it on to the school nurse - my hv has phoned this afternoon and is coming for a chat with me tomorrow. I feel a bit surreal, like this isn't happening. DD said she sometimes throws things and breaks them in her room on purpose and she pinches herself hard to hurt herself. I don't think she is at a stage where she would really hurt herself, but I am just very worried about what is going on inside her head. I wondered if anyone out there has had a similar experience? If so, please tell me about it, I need to hear something, anything, that will help me understand. Thankyou!

marne Mon 25-Jul-05 15:00:23

sory to hear that your dd is'nt happy, no advice realy, my step son went through this not long ago, we put it down to the split up of his mum and my dp and the fact we were having a baby. He started to harm hiself at school and when we asked him what was wrong he wouldnt tell us, all he would say is that he wasnt happy but he didnt know why. The doctor said he may have a form of depression or he maybe doing it for atention. Almost two years on and he still has bad days when he doesnt want to talk much, but he is alot beter than he was 2 years ago, maybe its a part of growing up and finding out who you are (we will never know) Good luck with your dd and i hope you find out the cause of her being unhappy.

Dahlia Mon 25-Jul-05 15:13:20

Thanks marne.
Anybody else? Please?

Stargazer Mon 25-Jul-05 15:19:44

Hi Dahlia

My DS is 9½ years old and has ADHD and attachment disorder. He has been depressed on and off since he was about 6. I think that once his dignosis was made and he started to see a child psychologis things picked up. While I love him to pieces, we do have a rocky relationship. I think your daugher is very lucky to have you as her mum. You're doing the right thing to listen to her and to get her some help. I know that some people don't believe children can have depression, but I know that the sadness they feel is real - and you are doing everything you can to help. Good luck and I hope everything works out for you both.

Dahlia Mon 25-Jul-05 15:23:36

Oh thankyou Stargazer! But I don't feel like a good mum at the moment. I think I will feel better when I (or she) has spoken to someone about it all. Until then I just feel in limbo. But I know I am right and there is something definitely wrong.

Dahlia Mon 25-Jul-05 16:07:55


motherinferior Mon 25-Jul-05 16:13:23

Oh honey, I am so sorry that this is you. The charity MIND has a Young Minds section which might help, and I also have a lot of time for the Mental Health Foundation.

I think I was quite similar at her age and I wish my mum had been as lovely as you.

Dahlia Mon 25-Jul-05 16:53:32

I've just had another chat with her, and she has told me that she lies on her bed and cries all the time.
I feel completely awful.

motherinferior Mon 25-Jul-05 17:01:38

Dahlia, maybe this is one of those times when we realise, agonisingly, that it isn't our fault - agonisingly because if it were, we would instantly do everything in our power to make it better. But by being there, and taking her misery seriously, you ARE helping. I have to go out now, but I know the Mind infoline is 0845 7660163. I have just found you this which looks helpful too...

Enid Mon 25-Jul-05 17:03:14

does she? Lay on her bed and cry all the time? Or is she starting to over think it?

How is she physically? any illnesses lately or is she not very lively?

Dahlia Mon 25-Jul-05 17:07:21

Thanks for that MI, I will have a good read later.
Enid, she does spend alot of time in her room. I'm sure that 'all the time' is perhaps an exaggeration, but its certainly something that she is doing. Her health is generally good. This is I think a purely mental state of mind.

Enid Mon 25-Jul-05 17:08:40

can she talk to you about a time when she didnt feel like this? Can she remember a happy time?

It might help you get to the root of it.

So sorry to hear all this btw.

Dahlia Mon 25-Jul-05 17:11:59

After some probing, she has told me that she has felt like this for as long as she can remember. Don't get me wrong, she isn't moping around in a corner all the time, I mean at this moment she is happily playing with her little sister and laughing her head off. But its the fact that she says she is sad all the time, even when she seems happy that is bothering me. I keep looking at her and wondering what she is actually thinking. She has always been quite a deep person, she is quite a clever girl, and quite thoughtful. But sad? I can't get to grips with it at all.

Miaou Mon 25-Jul-05 17:26:48

Dahlia, I remember being like this as a child, maybe a bit older than your dd, and I didn't pinch/harm myself. But I remember very clearly the feeling of utter misery when I woke up each morning and knew I had another whole day to get through. My parents didn't (and still don't) understand what it was like, despite telling them at the time that I was depressed. I also saw a doctor on my own when I was about 14 and was told I would "grow out of it" !

I haven't really got any advice to offer, just to say I think it's really great that you are taking this seriously and are prepared to do something about it.

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