17 yr old daughter suicidal(18 Posts)
I don't know what to do, I am terrified. My 17 yr old daughter doesnt want to live.
4 months ago her boyfriend of 18 months left her and she was devestated. After a difficult summer, after many times of gentley suggesting she went to talk to someone she said she had gone to camhs 2 months ago and was on antidepressants. The school nurse had persuaded her to see the gp who referred her. She admitted she has become more and more depressed since the beginning of the year and that was why her boyfriend left, not the cause of her depression. Although difficult to hear that she hadn't felt able to confide in us, seeking help herself seemed very mature and hopeful.
Since going back to school however, she is in the upper sixth, she has got more and more down. Her ex is there everyday and now being quite mean to her. Also 2 girls are low level bullying her about being so upset about slitting up with her boyfriend. One of them wants to go out with him.
In the last 2 weeks she has seemed more and more hopeless, saying she won't ever feel better. Today I had lost my lipstick, make often being pinched by either of my girls, I had a look for it in her make up draw and found 4 suicide letters. 1 to me and her dad, 1 to her brother and sister, 1 to her ex and one to her best friend.
I checked she was at school and safe, and spoke to the duty person at camhs. We (me and my husband) collected her at the end of school and talked at home. She wouldn't talk about it. She eventually said she wrote them last week. She has been thinking about it for months. She has plans but she wouldnt tell us. She said she wouldn't see anyone tomorrow. Her psychologist is away, she said she will only talk to her. Next week.
I don't know how to keep her safe. She is in bed now and asleep, I have just checked. Does she need to go into hospital. What can we do? What will happen? Will she recover? Is there anyone out there that can advise? Is there anyone out there that has felt like her and got better?
I am so sorry - what a terrible situation for you and your dd. What do CAMHS say? Surely they should be helping you handle this?
Gosh, I am so sorry. I have no advice but am bumping this for you.
You sound like a lovely mother.
I have no experience other than my DD 14 breaking up with her boyfriend last year and although she is over him and very strong and centered she says it is hard being around him at school every day and yes other girls try to stir up trouble around them.have you talked about her "dropping" out of school?
I wonder if qualifications should be low on her current priorities.
You have my sympathy's how awful for all of you
Hi there - I'm so sorry to hear this and just wanted you to know that I was reading this and thinking of you.
You sound to me to be doing all the right things - you are listening to her, and talking to her, you are there for her, you are persuading her to look for help and praising her for doing so.
I'm sure you've been doing online searches - I know there are organisations that specifically help teenagers who are talking about suicide and they may have some more useful information. In the short term, I'd say talk to CAMHS again tomorrow. I can entirely understand why she wants to see the person she's familiar with but a week is a long time and she may not be able to see her as soon as she returns anyway, so if she can open up to someone else, that would be helpful.
Is the school up to speed on this? Is there a counsellor there that she could chat with?
When you are in a very dark place, it is impossible to believe it will ever end and at 17, she won't have the experience to have seen that it can. So encourage her just to take life one day at a time and to trust that it will get better.
And look after yourself - find someone for you to talk to, perhaps again at one of these charities. (Just looked - try www.papyrus-uk.org)
I am so sorry to hear how tough it is for you and your daughter. Where are you based? I ask that as there is a really great facility in London called Maytree which is a residential place for those feeling activiely suicidal.You stay there for four days I think and talk to the experts there who try to keep you safe. Look it up online www.maytree.org.uk. It is a really gentle place. I am a counsellor in London and have referred and given this information to clients/patients in the past. Even if you just want some knowledgeable advice for yourself or to be directed elsewhere they maybe able to help you (she may not want to go there and it has to be voluntary). To me it just seems a good start compared to some of the Mental Health Wings of some hospitals (although a lot of those are fantastic). Thinking of you.
Just wanted to say how sorry I am to hear of your daughter's troubles. I have no experience of this but stayathomegardener's suggestion of leaving school seems a good one, as that seems to be one of the issues that's making your poor daughter feel worse.
I am thinking of you both, and wishing you well.
What have CAMHS said? Are they happy with waiting for her psychologist to return or are they going to see her before then? It is impossible to say whether or not she needs to be in hospital, as it depends on how much intent she really has, and how easy it is going to be to look after her at home. Have you told CAMHS that she says she has plans but won't tell you what? If she stayed home from school at the moment (reasonable in the circumstances - she is probably struggling to concentrate) are you able to stay at home with her or not? For a start I would take her meds and give her them when she needs them so that she doesn't have a supply to OD on if that is what she is thinking. Also have a nosy around to see if she has any other pills stashed anywhere. She may not be planning to overdose, but it is probably the most common option, particularly for girls.
Please don't jump at the suggestion to have her drop out of college. Look into switching college's first, it may still be early enough in the year to do so?
Can you get her best friend round for some girl time? She's obviously important enough to write a suicidal letter for, she may be of help in boosting her mood a bit for the day.
I'd personally phone CAHMS again and specifically ask for advice for yourself. They may not talk to you about your DD, CAHMS always refused to tell me anything about DD1, no matter what the situation was.
I'm so sorry you're going through this. I don't know whether she'll need to go into hospital or not, she WILL recover if given the chance. x
so sorry to hear your story. my 14 year old daughter is going through a very similar experiance but the cause of hers was a bust-up with her friendship group in July. this sent her down into a low mood and depression again Dr referred her to CAMHS she is now on anti-depressants and we have pulled her out of school until she is feeling stronger. I don't know what the answer is but you have all my sympathies as I feel this is a long road we are both on
It has been a long day. Thank you for all your kind words and thoughts. I have looked up papyrus and may tree thank you for the contacts.
I had to go to work this morning, but dh could take the day off, thankfully. He took her to the gp who was very helpful. dd1 agreed for him to join in half way through her consultation which was useful because it meant things could be said by the gp that would have been very difficult for us to say. Such as you need to go through your room with your dad and clear out all the tablets and alcohol - apparently she confessed to the gp she had been hoarding them, this was her plan. So we have done that this afternoon. The gp also phone camhs, on our list anyway, but it helps to add emphasis, though dd1 still won't speak to them until her psychologist gets back. They rarely admit to hospital it seems. We are now have worked out how one of us can be with her all the time for the time being.
we have had a quiet afternoon chatting, but she has opened up a bit more. It is half term here (I know, so early) and I got my ds who is 9 and a young 9, still all soft and snugly to give her a long cuddle in front of the tv. She loves him and often looks after him, I could see her thinking... (I just told him dd1 was having a bad time at school at the moment.)
dd2 lodges 3 days a week so has been spared this.
I phoned camhs this afternoon, we have open access when she is ready and an appointment on monday. They support parents too - I think we will need it. I have been shocked to the core by this. I could tell how much she has been struggling and so it wasn't that much of a surprise when she told me about her depression, but this .... how can it be that my daughter doesn't want to to live, has been so organised about it. I keep thinking over her life, we are so ordinary, happy.
Regarding school my first though was to just bin it too. But apart from the ex bf and the 2 bitchy girls she has a really good close circle of friends and a wide circle of mates - before this , the old dd1 was mostly warm and funny and extrovert. She has also been willing to go to school through all of this, and if she is at home there are just endless days of nothing ( apart from her parents). She has a good bunch of teachers and is, well, was doing quite well. I think we will play it by ear. Some of the nasty stuff will hopefully have died down by the end of half term.
I told the teacher in charge of pastural care about her struggling with depression a couple of weeks ago and ended up telling her about the letters because I panicked yesterday and phoned the school as soon as I found them to make sure she was there and was safe.
If you are still reading in mums net land and haven't fallen asleep on your key boards thank you for letting me off load. we are taking one day at a time. I might try to get one or two of her trusted friends round. She told her best friend about the letters last night, wish she hadn't, I had a very tearful best friend phoning me after my post yesterday about it. That is a lot for an 18yr old friend to hear.
I will keep updating, in case anyone else is going through the same, and it is cathartic for me. Anyones experience on how to talk to some one who is suicidal is welcome. xxx
I just wanted to say, as someone who went through depression and suicidal thoughts at the same age as your daughter, you sound absolutely brilliant and it seems to me you are doing everything right. What would have made things a million times better for me would have been love, cuddles, kindness and understanding. All of which you are giving in abundance. Inspired thinking too with regard to her little brother. This too shall pass, for all of you. Medication is hugely helpful and if Prozac had been around when I was 17 my life would probably have been quite different! Day by day is the way forward and I'm thinking of you all.
I have no advice, but just wanted to say I have read your thread with a massive lump in my throat.
I wish your daughter, and your family, all the best x
I work in CAMHS and just wanted to add that if at any point you feel very concerned that your daughter is likely to make an attempt on her life or has done so, do not hesitate to get her to A&E, by ambulance if necessary. CAMHS should then see her for an emergency appointment and it could lead to admission if needed. Best wishes.
Just wanted to say that I've read your update, and it sounds like you're doing all the right things. Services will always try to avoid admission when possible, but it is there as a last resort option. I'm glad your daughter is opening up a little, that's a good thing. She may feel rather relieved that you know - when I am very depressed I don't want to worry my mum and so try to keep it hidden, but when she does know it can be a bit of a relief to be able to drop the act etc.
I think if your daughter can stay in school then that is definitely something to be encouraged. When I mentioned her having time off I was thinking of a few days if she needed it, not leaving school. As long as she feels able to go into school then encourage it - it is only if she is really struggling to cope with it that it's a problem. I was 17 when I was first diagnosed with depression, and for the first year or so I did find it helpful to have that routine and structure etc - it was only when I became more unwell and wasn't able to do any work because I just couldn't focus my head, and had to leave classes because I was finding it too overwhelming and stressful that it became a negative thing for me, but at that point I was feeling very suicidal (for a few months I guess) and I did end up trying to kill myself, so it makes sense that I couldn't cope with college, particularly as it was exam season.
How to talk to someone suicidal is a tricky one. I think the most important thing is to listen, really listen, and just let her know that you are there for her. You may not have the answers, and that's ok, and it's ok for her to know that too. Try not to judge what she is saying, and don't argue about it. Just listen, support, ask her what she thinks might help, make suggestions if you have any, but don't force the issue, don't be patronising, don't tell her she is being selfish (people often seem to think that it's helpful to say that - it really isn't, you have enough guilty feelings when you're feeling depressed anyway, someone telling you that you're being selfish doesn't help), if you can relate to anything she is saying in any way then use that, but really the most important thing is to listen and be supportive and non judgemental.
If you feel like things are getting worse then please either contact CAMHS or take her to A&E. Hopefully she will be ok until her psychologist is back, but don't be afraid to get her seen by someone else in the meantime if you need to. She may not want to talk to anyone else, but they do know how to assess people who don't want to talk etc, and if her safety is in doubt then she does need to be assessed. But if you feel like things are fairly stable, and you're able to keep an eye on her at home then obviously that is preferable to getting her to speak to someone she doesn't want to.
Keep posting if it helps. I do think you are doing the right things.
My dear, I am so sorry this is happening to your family. I have nothing new to add, as I think other posters have been very articulate. There is not a more helpless felling than your child being in danger. I shall pray for you.
Thinking of you just and your DD and DH. What a horrendous situation. I have a 17YO DD too and even thought things are on an even keel at the moment, she does get very down and takes everything very seriously. Even our little trials and tribulations are very wearing and upsetting, I can't imagine what you are all going through.
Perhaps it would be worth keeping a diary of what is happening so you can see if there is a pattern of behaviour and it might help you see when things are gradually improving?
Wishing you all the best xx
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