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Is this hormones or is this depression??

(9 Posts)
BCBG Mon 20-Mar-17 19:37:44

Would really appreciate some advice. DD4 (14) is behaving very oddly for her - although she says she's felt like this for a year. Says there's a feeling in her brain that never goes away however busy she keeps herself. 'Doesn't want to get out of bed, do the same old things, say hello to the same old people, do the same lessons every day blah blah blah ' Very overtired but says she sleeps at night. Is very tall (6') so don't think she's still growing, but.. All culminated in an absolute storm of crying today. GP (she happened to be in school med centre anyway) saw her and asked her a) if she was hearing voices and b) if she felt suicidal shock . GP wants her to see a counsellor after Easter, which is fine with me, but DD not so sure. Says she just wants peace and quiet but then she also says that is is constantly catastrophizing about 'what if' and that itself upsets her because she worries and can't relax. There are some MH issues in our family (nephew has severe OCD, Niece did have, another nephew was v depressed at uni, my sister has severe anxiety disorder etc) but she doesn't see a lot of the family as they live a long way away from us. Superficially she comes across as incredibly sensible and grounded. Any advice on low-key ways I can approach this first? Also, anyone else have DD do this? I suppose I am asking if this could just me normal hormonal brain or not? She says everything is fine with school and friends etc and that none of that is a problem, but she is severely dyspraxia so I am not completely sure as she has never had the best social skills. Maybe this IS the dyspraxia? Anyway, over to MN to see if anyone can advise! Thanks.

MartinGoresLeftToe Mon 20-Mar-17 19:50:01

It sounds like she may benefit from CBT (not counselling) for worry. 'What if...' catastrophising is very common in generalised anxiety disorder, but CBT can really help. Anxiety can often lead to depression. However, I don't have any experience with teenagers so not sure what's normal! Try to get her to speak to someone if you can. Lots of people struggle with worry to a level it affects other areas of their lives.

t875 Mon 20-Mar-17 22:06:38

I think to get her evaluated by a councillor is a good idea. They will be able to tell.
For the time being get her to take back flower remedy to calm her thoughts down.
There are some really good books
Head space the app is good.
Possibly yoga
They really do over think and anaylise everything at that age. And lots of catastrophising too, I remember dd her hormones went crazy.
Good luck for her. Try keep her out of her room as I found dd went into herself a fair bit whe. She was in her room all the time.
Good luck. Hope she's ok xx

forcryinoutloud Tue 21-Mar-17 19:16:38

First, sorry to hear your DD is having this tough time OP. Why do you think the GP asked her those questions, did she say what she had told GP? Lots of teenage girls can be dramatic and tearful, does this sort of thing happen around her periods, has she started them?
I am asking this because I certainly see a pattern in my DD (15yrs) behaviour with the hormone cycle, she was horrendous age 12 to 13yrs in particular when her periods started and would worry and catastrophize quite a lot but this has settled down a lot with the settling down of the period cycle.

On a purely physical level if she is tall and has grown a lot recently perhaps that has made her very tired and emotional. One of the main reasons babies are always sleeping is because of the amount of growth they do, it's similar with teens but on a different level iyswim. I think a good chat with your GP would help, perhaps you should just go yourself first and sound them out with this then perhaps take DD along, blood tests etc just to check everything out.

BCBG Tue 21-Mar-17 22:44:28

Thanks for answers especially forcryingoutloud as weirdly I worked out tonight her period is due on Sat. She has just suddenly started a regular four week cycle having been irregular for the first year. I used to have horrendous PMT so it crosses my mind. I asked her tonight and her answer was that it couldn't be because she's been feeling this way for a fortnight. But I seem to remember PMT can start after ovulation. The question is - does anyone take PMT seriously in teenagers, and is there a dietary solution?

Bensyster Wed 22-Mar-17 09:05:01

It sounds like depression to me - but everyone experiences it a bit differently - it has been going on for a while now and I feel it's better to catch it sooner rather than delay. I wouldn't put it down to just teenage feeling.
Agree that meditation helps deal with the overthinking and the Headspace App is good, even talking about the overthinking and the negative effect it has on your mental health helps, overthinking does not lead to the truth and we do have control over it but it takes practice to discipline your brain.
Make sure she is eating healthily, lots of veg and freshly cooked foods, lay off the sugar as much as possible - wheat gives me brain fog, does not feel like depression but lots of people report the same feeling. Get some Vitamin D in oil capsules not hard tablets.

MrsGotobed Wed 22-Mar-17 14:46:55

I think PMT/hormonal imbalance is taken seriously, by some GPs at least.

We had a difficult spell with DD where she was suffering some sort of severe anxiety that was heading towards an eating disorder. It scared me so much as DD couldn't put her finger on why or when it all started. She missed loads of school and couldn't see a way out of feeling like she did. She was a sobbing, tired emotional mess.

I'm not sure whether it was coincidence or not but what eventually helped was her going on the contraceptive pill. It balanced out her mood, the anxiety reduced and she got back on track with her eating.

Another thing that helped was having a screen cut-off point and removing her screens from her room at night (yes, even a 16-17 year old can benefit from this sort of intervention!). Too much time disappearing into the virtual word and social media is not good.

Relaxation (like yoga or Headspace app as others have mentioned) and having a teacher or pastoral care person at school that they get on with is also great.

I know my DDs situation is probably very different to your DD but I thought it would give an insight and hope.

forcryinoutloud Wed 22-Mar-17 19:25:09

The GP should take anything seriously BCBG, be it depression, hormones/PMT or a mixture, I would not necessarily isolate one from the other, especially in teenagers, I think they can be very interlinked. When you think about it, teens are changing rapidly physically and becoming adults mentally also. Add to that todays world of constant news, social media etc etc, it's hard to get away form catastrophies anyway (I mean just look at today's news).

As an ex nurse we were taught to assess people's conditions on how it affected them day to day and with their daily activities. I would take a similar approach here, how do DDs issues affect her day to day/ Does she eat ok? Does she sleep? Go to school, do homework ok? Does she have hobbies/ passtimes she can enjoy (esp ones to help her relax and stop stressing? Does she like watching any comedies, laughter ( is the best medicine they say and it's prob very true. My DD loves comedy DDs and shows esp more old fashioned ones and I think just having fun like this really helps these problems. Other ideas are board games, reading , some sort of exercise.

My DD was awful for a year or two, I bought some Complete Woman capsules to try and balance her hormones and give her iron, as she is vegetarian too. She def seemed a lot worse at certain times, as if part of her cycle and she used to stress terribly about growing taller and becoming an adult but all that has settled. Everyday I had to have long chats with her about her worries. Do you feel able to do any of this yourself? I know it's not easy, I probably would have ended up at GP but for my own medical background and a relative who is a doctor was able to advise re worrying and coping strategies.

I would just be a bit careful that the doctor does not just 'wade in' with counselling unless it seems really indicated. They should take time to assess her properly. Definitely a chat about the periods and how she is feeling on the whole, perhaps some bloods tests and see where you go form there.

I hope I have made some sense here, I had a lot of ideas to get down!
Hope things settle a bit more soon OP, I still don't feel out of the woods with my DD by any means so I can totally sympathise. flowers

BCBG Thu 23-Mar-17 14:14:31

Thank you - lots of food for thought! We have a pretty open relationship and I would say we are close, but she is certainly bottling up some thoughts. I also agree about screen time, but she currently has a 10pm deadline on school nights. I did try mentioning PMT last night but she bit my head off and said 'its not that' and when I gently (very!) tried to steer her off the news she said that she wasn't scared, it wasn't the problem, and she wanted to know what was going on in the world! So I can't do right for doing wrong at the moment.

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