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Teenage Depression?

(20 Posts)
LucyLocketLostHerPocket Sat 31-Dec-16 19:44:54

Just want to know really is it possible for a teenager to be depressed sometimes but not others? For example when told she can't do/have something she shouts and screams horrible things and says she's depressed and suicidal etc. If we give in and allow whatever it is she's dancing round the house singing to herself quite happily within a very short time. She's always been volatile but it's getting to a point where it's almost impossible to actually be a parent. She's been diagnosed with depression and anxiety and we've recently been told they think she has BPD but will be querying that. Just don't get how it seems to be dependent on whether she's allowed to have her own way. I think if we simply allowed her to do what she wanted our lives would be more peaceful but she would simply move from crisis/obsession to crisis/obsession in a never ending loop. Where do parents go to get help and advice? The GP just encourages her to blame her mental health etc without taking any responsibility for her behaviour. It's so abusive and unfair on all of us but only she doesn't care about anyone else or believe that anyone but her is suffering.

nicenewone1 Sun 01-Jan-17 20:01:00

My dd was referred to CAMHS at 14. The psychiatrist diagnosed anxiety and depression within 20 minutes, I kid you not, and she had a prescription.

Only you really know your own daughter. All I can say is that at dds school, anxiety and depression is such a thing now that they have made provision for the many girls that have it. A teacher friend told me that anxiety and depression is used frequently as the reason they can't do or cope with their work. They are taken aside and counselled. Most of the teachers think it's bollocks.

As for my own DD, I took her to the docs, who referred her to CAMHS. it was at her own request. Anything that was asked of her that she didn't want to do, was put down to anxiety.

I eventually called her bluff. I had a phone appointment with a fantastic counsellor from Young Minds (would recommend) , it's specially for parents. She told me that in her professional opinion my dd wouldn't be able to carry out all her other daily tasks with no problems whatsoever. For example, to and from school 8 miles on her own, drama school, helping at youth club, part time job, all homework, out to the cinema, out for meals, days out etc. The counsellor told me to suggest that she can't do all those things if she is ill and she should give them all up and stay home with me until she feels better.

DD has never mentioned it since, and the prescription was never collected.

nicenewone1 Sun 01-Jan-17 20:10:23

PS. The counsellor at Young Minds was a psychiatrist, and when I told DD what she had said, she admitted she wasn't depressed or anxious.

JustDanceAddict Sun 01-Jan-17 20:25:50

Def not all 'bollocks'. Both mine have suffered with anxiety in different ways. It stopped DS doing certain activities - he saw camhs in year 5 - but he is a lot better now 3 years later, although it is present in lesser degree. DD has suffered more generally - mainly school/pressure related. She could carry out her tasks but had intrusive thoughts re self-harm, the anxiety feeling in her stomach, panic attacks. Thankfully she is also a lot better now, because we were on it as soon as we found out what was going on, got her to gp, etc. Obviously there are different levels of anxiety which range from not being able to leave the house, to low levels of general anxious feelings.

nicenewone1 Sun 01-Jan-17 20:50:55

Sorry Just dance didn't mean to offend. Of course loads of genuine teens, it's just mine wasn't one of them, not even low level.

Glad yours are feeling better.

JustDanceAddict Sun 01-Jan-17 22:13:02

Thanks. I'd be wary of any teacher who says anxiety is 'bollocks' though, as the increasing pressure on kids is really tough.

nicenewone1 Mon 02-Jan-17 15:20:24

Taking me a bit too literally there, I'm sure teachers don't use the word bollocks when speaking professionally. Only commoners like me grin

Thingscanonlygetbetter41 Mon 02-Jan-17 17:54:20

My dd is the same , all the time she has her own way she's happy as Larry when I say no or challenge her in any way , god help me. She screams, smashes stuff , uses emotional blackmail , makes threats against herself and things to attempt to get me in trouble and sends hundreds of abusive texts. Personally I don't think it's depression, I think they do use that as a tool for manipulation to almost scare you into giving in.

Thingscanonlygetbetter41 Mon 02-Jan-17 17:55:42

Oh and after she's kicked off she then says "I am going out tonight as we need some space from each other to calm down" so appears sensible but it just means she's got her own way...... again.

LucyLocketLostHerPocket Tue 03-Jan-17 22:50:24

Thank you all, it's good to know we're not the only ones dealing with this as sometimes it feels as though we only know people with perfectly well adjusted children.

Nicenew I will check the young minds website. That's what I'm really after I think, some help for us as parents to continue to parent and know that we're not causing more serious problems. It does feel as though everyone is blaming us for her issues but we really are a nice family who don't have any real problems other than this. We love her so much but spending time with her is so difficult and we saytge wrong thing without meaning too and are then subjected to a torrent of abuse.

Thingscan that's what I don't want to think but sometimes do. It's a cracking excuse to not do anything you really don't want to and no one can argue.

Just dance I agree that it's not all bollocks. DD definitely gets anxious about stuff she finds hard or doesn't want to do but can still go shopping with mates, see her boyfriend etc. School stuff and us asking her to go to bed or tidy her room make her so angry and explosive it's scary.

We have to parent and she has to obey basic rules (like a time to be ready for bed for example) and if she disobeys there have to be consequences the same as for her siblings otherwise it would be unfair. I don't understand why being depressed or anxious means you don't have to live by the same rules as everyone else. She maintains control at school and everywhere else but at home it's all given free rein.

It's truly stressful and the rest of us feel more down about it than she does most if the time. She seems more angry than sad and it's hard to live with.

Thingscanonlygetbetter41 Wed 04-Jan-17 08:47:29

I think at this age most emotions that aren't happiness turn to anger, it's the main emotion we see to but think showing hurt or upset isn't the done thing when your that age so taking it out on someone else seems a safer bet. It's not ideal but when dd gets really angry/unreasonable I take the dog out pronto as otherwise it leads to an argument , she's seems unable to verbalise her feelings rationally and naturally it's frustrating for us being screamed and sworn out when you don't even know the reason I feel like an emotional punch bag and I'm often upset about it hours after dd has forgotten all about it.

corythatwas Wed 04-Jan-17 10:29:27

Impossible to know if this is just normal teen hormonal volatility, or a more deeply lying MH problem that manifests in this way.

Dd suffers from anxiety disorder and one of the symptoms of an onset is that she is either high with excitement (talks fast and obsessively about same subject, gestures a lot, high-pitched voice) or very low (slumping in bed, sleeps a lot, has to fight down paranoid thoughts about everybody hating her). It has improved over the years with medication and CBT, but no signs that it was particularly related to teen hormones: she was like that before she entered her teens and is still like it in her 20s.

When she was your dd's age, going to school was a major trigger point- and sometimes being told to go to bed would trigger anxieties about school next day. Her room was her safe space, so having other people enter it or comment on it would also trigger anxiety.

Certain other activities helped to calm her anxiety, so she was nearly always able to do them however bad she was: when she couldn't even get out of bed to watch a film or go to the theatre, I got very worried indeed.

Otoh she never used her disorder to gain advantages, and we made it clear from the outset that we would not tolerate being treated badly. What we would do was to make certain concessions to make her life easier: for instance, her room is her safe space and we do not usually interfere in how tidy she keeps it.

What really helped was getting her (working together with CAHMS) to see her MH problems as an issue which she had and which might be incurable, but which she was responsible for managing. This could be done with the help of techniques they could teach her and other techniques she could work out for herself. She makes heavy use of colouring for adults books and music and some basic CBT techniques, and is also now medicated (but only from age 15).

LucyLocketLostHerPocket Wed 04-Jan-17 20:03:59

Thingscan - I have started to remove myself too sharpish as soon as things get heated as I have a bad habit of making nearly comments that just inflame the situation. Ddog has never had it so good!

Corythatwas - DD spends all her time in her bedroom as that's where she wants to be then accuses us of isolating her. She is so volatile it's scary and she loses it instantly if the conversations not one she likes. She refuses to take responsibility for management of her problems/behaviour and is waiting for medication/therapy to provide a magic cure. We seem to upset her in a way that nothing else does and I just don't understand it. She is happy that BPD is suspected and seems to think that we just have to accept this is how she is and tiptoe round her as she simply can't change things. That clearly can't happen or we'll all be suffering so something has to change.

She will start seeing a Psychologist soon and I'm hoping they will have some practical help to offer her.

She uses her condition to bully us into letting her ignore our authority and constantly accuses us of being controlling. We don't want to control her but she has to live within the family rules that we make and
flouting them must have consequences. We all have to live together and respect each other but it's one way only for her.

I'm so fed up of being told daily that we, her parents, are to blame for her stress and problems and make her want to hurt herself. She says she can't control her thoughts and behaviour around us and that we have no idea what it's like to live with her mind. She doesn't get it that we're all living with it and it's affecting all of us on a daily basis. I'm worn out with it and just don't know how it's ever going to get better.

LucyLocketLostHerPocket Wed 04-Jan-17 20:05:16

Sorry that was so long. Just had more rows. I wish she could live somewhere else for a while so we could have a break - how sad is that.

corythatwas Thu 05-Jan-17 09:16:16

Totally understandable under the circumstances, I'd say, OP. It doesn't mean you are giving up on her, just that you are acknowledging your own exhaustion in this safe space of old vipers.

Unfortunately, there won't be a therapy that doesn't require her to take responsibility for managing whatever disorder she has. Indeed the kind of therapy she would be looking at is almost certainly going to be about self-managing.

It is possible that medication might take the edge of things to a point where she can engage better. It did for dd. But medication comes with risks, which is why they are very reluctant to prescribe before a certain age and before they have tried all other avenues.

Your best hope might be that she ends up with a really impressive psychologist who is able to spell out to her what managing a MH disorder actually entails. It is almost certainly going to go better coming from somebody other than her parents.

ammyspammy Sat 14-Jan-17 23:12:34

Oh wow my 14 year old daughter is the same has been diagnosed with depression and refusing to go to school. Has self harmed twice and took an od of 6 paracetamol last week but was furiouslt txt her friends from the hospital. She is seeing the crisis time but will not go to sleep til 0200 then gets up in the afternoon. If you say something wrong she gets angry and refuses to come out her bedroom. I am lost what to do, how often do i check on her what do i say do worried about my work have been given two weeks off hut what if she still refuses to go back to school????

Tetelia Sun 22-Jan-17 19:46:37

New here. Was Googling how to cope with depression in a teenage daughter.....I could have written most of these...I think ammyspammy is impersonating me!!!! Gosh, this is just the hardest time ever! My DD is 13 & has not been in school since mid-November. I'm in Ireland but we have CAMHS too but it is such a slow process, you're always terrified things are being left go too far! Just knowing I'm not alone is such a comfort.

Alidou Thu 11-Jan-18 22:50:15

I am struggling with this situation as well with 15 year old son. He hasn’t been at school since November although he tried to go back this week but has stopped again. I haven’t found school helpful- what should I be asking them to do? They don’t even bother to return my calls. He’s had one appointment with psychiatrist and one counselling session who encouraged him to get back to school but I don’t think he was ready. Is it possible/good for teens in this situation to just take time off and repeat the year. The mocks and GCSEs are just adding to the anxiety and low mood. I just don’t know how to help him.

Alidou Fri 12-Jan-18 14:37:13

Just realised that the other posts are a year old, so that’s how messed up my thinking has got! Lots of discussion on problems on internet but never any solutions. I’ve contacted school, council, social services, gp, private psychiatrist, one counsellor, trying second counsellor, friends, family, ex. So far no improvement. Just keep trying I guess.

noitsnotteatimeyet Fri 12-Jan-18 14:57:30

Hi alidou - we’re in a similar situation but ds has just turned 18 so all CAMHS input has come to a screeching halt... ds hasn’t been to school since the first week of the autumn term. He’s started medication (fluoxetine) which has led to a lightening of his mood and as long as we don’t ask him to do anything he’s now perfectly pleasant.... however he’s barely been out of the house in 5 months and hasn’t seen anyone outside the immediate family since he stopped going to school. He’s retreated into the safety of his room and computer games and I worry that the longer this goes on the more normalised it will become. Any perceived pressure to do anything is met with emotional collapse (floods of tears, pulling hair, curling up in foetal position). I don’t know what to do to help him - school have been useless and the counsellor he saw after CAMHS discharged him due to age took him at his word and said the response to his questionnaires only indicated mild depression and anxiety - personally I wouldn’t think mild depression would lead to complete withdrawal from the world but hey what do I know...

Hope you find something that works for you and your ds

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