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Depression - how do you know when it's serious or usual teen stuff?

(10 Posts)
Dancergirl Sat 11-Jun-16 13:30:46

Dd2 is 13, Year 8. She's always been quite an emotional child anyway and is finding the teen years hard so far with lots of ups and downs. It doesn't help that she's finding friendships hard at school, she has various friends but would love a nice group of friends which hasn't happened (yet).

She says she feels invisible at school, not disliked but not actively liked if that makes sense. But some days are better than others, recently they were arranging groups for a forthcoming residential trip and was surprised and flattered that one of the girls wanted her in their group, it made her day.

Sometimes she gets very down, crying and snapping at people for no apparent reason. She often doesn't know WHY she's upset. But sometimes she says things like she wishes she could disappear and she doesn't like herself and she feels guilty being envious of her sisters and peers who appear to have better friendships than her. Generally these feelings don't last long, we have a cuddle and a chat and she's ok.

But I'm worried there is something deeper going on. How do you know if it's normal up and down teen stuff or something like depression? I did talk to a child psychologist a few months ago and she said it didn't sound too serious. But this 'wanting to disappear' stuff....? sad

pippistrelle Sat 11-Jun-16 14:34:25

I suppose I would be worrying if it were a complete change in outlook but what you say suggests that it's part of the same sort of spectrum of emotions. On the upside, it sounds like you have a really good relationship with her and she's able to talk to you about how she's feeling, so I think I would focus to carrying on nurturing that by spending quality one to one time with her as often as I could.

My Year 7 daughter appears quite happy generally but she showed me a poem she'd written and the bleakness of it took me aback. I think it can be hard for us to accept that they're feeling big emotions now.

Plus, is it possible there's a hormonal element in her mood?

Peebles1 Sat 11-Jun-16 15:00:37

I wondered about hormones too. Has she started her periods yet? Could you keep a bit of a diary to see if she's worse at certain times of the month? Then maybe something like evening primrose oil might help?

Dancergirl Sat 11-Jun-16 15:02:01

Periods started about 6 months ago but not in a regular cycle yet.

JustDanceAddict Sun 12-Jun-16 09:17:17

Sounds similar to my DD's situation & same age, although she is year 9. She has a few friends but they're not really part of one group which she would love (she is in a sort-of group that contains her two besties but she's not as keen on the other 3 and wouldn't see them on their own out of school). She has got upset about this before, but I have said that she will find her people one day, but just try and encourage as many friendships as possible and go from there. She has also said she's jealpus of her brother (younger) who is popular and has a couple of small groups he hangs around with and makes friends easily. I've also said She can join a youth club, but she's not that keen yet. I met most of my friends at a group out of school as was similar to her until then - after that my social life kicked off and I was popular like I'd never been before . Is there any scope for that where you are? Just listen to her as her being able to talk to you is really important. My DD did talk about self-harming when she was 12 and I took her to GP & arranged some counselling (not sure if it worked really), but at 13.5 she seems more together now thankfully. Otherwise I think your DD sounds within the realms of normal teen angst. I certainly used to think things like 'if I die who would care' at that age, and took no steps to even self harm.

badasahatter Sun 12-Jun-16 15:00:43

My girl is Y10 now. She got split up from her best friend when they moved to high school and though she still sees her every week or two, it's not the same. She feels the loss of it, though will not admit this, and had a very wobbly stage when she was in Y8. She effectively lost her best friend, who went off an made a new friendship group which did all the things my daughter hated.

I found notes in her bedroom at that time about self harming...and yes, I know I invaded her privacy, but she had stopped talking to me and was showing some serious signs of depression. You sound like your daughter is still talking to you which is a major plus in this situation. Every child is different. I found that my child became obsessed with music, so I suggested going to gigs. We've been going together ever since and though she is still not, nor will ever be, a sunny side up kind of child, she is who she is. And by keeping her close and making sure things like mental health and teenage issues are discussed openly, over the dinner table, we have been able to keep the dialogue going and I think that's paid off in spades.

She now has a few friends at school and a couple of really close friends over the internet, who we've met, but live in different cities. She has gone through her 'emo' phase (her words, not mine) and is not optimistic about the future, but is happy enough in the present.

This is such a hard time and I really feel for you. Hopefully, she'll find her own way in the next year or so and you'll look back and wonder why you were ever worried about her.

sandycloud Mon 13-Jun-16 14:35:24

This sounds just like my DD who is 14. Over the weekend she confided to me that she feels depressed. She feels she is pretending with friends and if she stopped pretending then they wouldn't like her. She has also confided in a couple of friends so does have support there. I tried to reassure her but I think she has tried to self harm. I was going to contact school or the GP today but yesterday evening she seemed to really cheer up. I wonder if some counselling will help. I asked her about it and she didn't feel they would be able to "fix her" but I don't feel she does need fixing. She also feels guilty as she knows we all love her and she should be happy. She had her period too this week so I do wonder if that is a factor. I am just wondering if I should do more????

Dancergirl Fri 24-Jun-16 14:17:37

Hi everyone, hope everyone is coping ok with their teen girls!

Just wanted to update: dd is having a LOT of friendship problems at school and the issue has dominated our conversations for much of the time. Dh and I have started to think over the past few weeks that whilst it is not dd's 'fault' as such, we think she is not helping the situation. She finds a lot of the girls annoying and takes the ups and downs of school life very hard. I think this has the result of making her appear miserable and stand-offish which doesn't make for good friendships.

She says she tries to hide her emotions at school but I think she struggles with this, she has always worn her heart on her sleeve. I hate to say this about my dd but she's become quite miserable and self-absorbed and I think she's giving out this vibe which makes her hard to warm to. She's convinced that one girl she was very friendly with no longer likes her and only talks to her to make sarky comments or ask for favours. But I'm pretty sure what dd perceives as a sarky comment may just be everyday banter.

In Year 7 this fairly tight knit 'group' formed which dd was a part of and then decided quite quickly she didn't fit in. Now a year on she has realised that most of the girls in this group are actually quite nice, other girls have drifted in and out of this group and I have suggested to dd that she could go round with them or try and get involved in social arrangements. The answer to this is 'no, it's complicated, you don't understand'.

I'm really feeling at a loss to help.

sandycloud Sat 25-Jun-16 13:05:36

I contacted school about my dd who is in year 9. They asked if she wanted someone to talk to you but she said no. They did suggest a website called kooth and suggested we have a look together. It offers counselling online for 10-20 year olds. I've had a quick look and looks good. I think it's linked to NHS. She has been a bit happier later but I think she has made more of an effort with a couple of girls and one of them invited her for a sleepover last night. Is there someone she could invite over? I think girls can be much nicer one to one rather than being part of a big group. It's so hard and I can understand how you feel. Like you said they feel you don't understand. X

Dancergirl Sat 25-Jun-16 15:25:55

Thank you sandy

A few months ago, I suggested to dd she invites some girls over for pizza and a film on a Saturday evening. She and I went through her class list and picked out about 5 or 6 girls who seemed nice and who dd would like to develop friendships with. She set up a whatsapp group to invite them. One of the girls asked if it was dd's birthday and when dd said no, it was just a social evening, she said 'well that's awkward'!! WTF??! Out of the girls dd invited, only ONE came sad

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