Depression Anxiety and school refusal(22 Posts)
I am at my witts end , my 16 year old daughter has only been to school about 8 days since January...She started antidepressants early February and has had her dose increased twice she has also just begun some councelling after expressing suicidal thoughts.
I have so many worries I just dont know where to start. I dont feel school is being very supportive of her on the days she does make it to school. Obviously being 16 its her GCSE year. We have arranged with school to drop a few subjects because she has fallen to far behind on coursework because she hasnt made many days since January. I just dont know what I am supposed to do . My first concern is for her well being but I also worry about what she will do in September if she has not sat any of her GCSE's or if she doesnt get pass grades.
I did put a DR Letter into School in March saying that my daughter has been visiting the dr wih some mental health issues and hopefully with treatment she will improve.....but she isnt improving.
I feel so frustrated and feel like I dont know where to turn for help or advice.
Hi there, sorry to hear you are having such a difficult time My son is also school refusing, but younger than your daughter, so I understand how hard it is. Is your daughter under CAMHs? Also I would recommend contacting the school SENCO if you haven't already and seeing what they can offer (although CAMHs and my son's school have been pretty useless if I'm honest). There is a FB group for parents of school refusers which has a wealth of information and lots of parents in similar situations you can talk to and ask qs - I'd definitely recommend joining if you haven't already, as I know there are some parents of older kids on there who could offer advice.
Yes she is currently under the CAHMS crisis team, it will her 3rd session on Friday. If she will go that is , she is on a very big downer tonight and I expect it will last a few days.
She did have a 6 week session with CAHMS when she was around 14 because she used to self harm. This doesnt seem to be an issue anymore or maybe she is just better at hiding it.
I am having another sleepless night because I just cant trust that she wont do something silly 😢.
Can she not take a year out to recover? Theres so much pressure put on kids at that age like if they dont get all their gcses there and then, their whole lives will be ruined! That simply isnt true though. Her first priority should be her health.
Is there not a sixth form college nearby where she could take her gcses next year? Or could she sit a few from home via distance learning?
If its this bad now for her, what will happen when/if she gets to A level?
Its more important for her to recover fully than to keep plastering over the cracks in order to scrape a few qualifications quickly.
I think you are doing the best you can for her by trying to limit the pressure on her at this time. Its very sad that the school are not properly supporting you with this.
P.s Thankyou for your reply. I will look into the FB page .
I have told her that she does not need to worry about the GCSE's , she can do them later on if she feels she wants to. I am also dissapointed that the school are not supportive no are they forthcoming with any advice or reassurance about other routes to explore later on. Thank you for your reply.
I am really sorry to hear that you are going through this. It sounds very similar to my daughter when she was 16. If I had my time back I would have taken my DD out of school. Tbere are so many other options with regard to study. Your local college can give you advice.
I didnt realise my DD was mentally ill at the time so we wasted time and looking back we should have put all our focus on getting her well. She is 20 now and is getting treated in hospital. It wont happen overnight but she is in the best place and she is planning on doing an Access course in September.
There is too much focus on doing GCSEs, A Levels, University and your DD cant cope with the added pressure. She can focus on her studies when she gets well again.
You sound like a great mum. Her health needs priority now. Take care of yourself too.
The crisis team can do home visits. Mind.org.uk is a good website and your DD can access information and advice on the site. She can also see video testimonials from people her age who are experiencing mental health problems.
Thank you and you are right, there is a lot of pressure on young people these days. I am more than happy to withdraw her from school. My main concern is her well being. I need to look into how I get the advice or support to do this because her school have not helped me in my request for any help or advice.🌻
I think I will ring the CAMHS crisis team today actually. She has an appointment tomorrow but she is in a very dark place last few days. I am going to ring for advice as to what I can do as she is refusing to see the Dr today or anyone . Thank you
Is she on antidepressants? If not, it would be worth talking to the GP - my DD was put on Fluoxetine at age 15 (she saw a very experienced psychiatrist who specialised in child MH and this was the only one he recommended). I definitely think it is worth talking to local colleges about next steps - it may take some pressure off her to know there are other options rather than worrying about GCSEs this Summer. Best of luck.
OP this post could have been written about me 15 years ago. My school were awful at understanding what was going on and tbh they were a big factor of my mental state. I did do some GCSEs - enough to get into 6th form. When I got to 6th form and it was as if a switch had been flicked and everything changed for the better. I'm now a teacher with a mortgage and 35 weeks pregnant. Is there anyone at school you and your daughter can work with?
If you think she could manage a few GCSEs you could ask school about a reduced timetable and work sent home to make this possible. Like I said though, my son's school has been useless at dealing with this, (it took 8 months to get a bit of a support), so depends on your school how easy this will be. You could arrange a meeting with CAMHs and the school SENCO and also contact your local SENDIAS (Google this) to have someone to support you to talk about what's best for your daughter. Mental health is a special need and your school should accommodate this (in reality they often don't . ). Another option would be for CAMHs to sign her off from school as medically unfit and then your LA could provide her with home tutoring - but from what I've heard, this is not always an easy process either - but it really depends on where you are. As others have said though, if the pressure is too much GCSEs can always be done later and colleges are often much nicer settings than school. Good luck
Thanks all for your responses. Had a meeting at CAHMS yesterday & they are going to arrange a meeting with school in the coming week. She is on medication but is going to have an assesment and it doesnt seem to be working for her x
Has she actually been seen by a CAMHS psychiatrist? IME the nursing staff weren't really up to the job in the context of thinking about the bigger picture and possible underlying causes.
Our MP was helpful actually at getting support in place when the MH trust said threshold not met. DD was escalating drastically at that point.
She had to redo YR 12 (at another school for a fresh start) after dropping out after one term. She is recovering well now, not too wobbly in the run up to A'Levels and has good uni offers.
Focus on her, quals can come later.
Hi OP what things does she enjoy doing? What does she like doing with you? Get her out of her room and play games family time, get her doing some exercise, head space is great,
all else fails if really desperate go private. I would ask the dr for AD it may well help her.
has she got good friends? can you organise for her friends to come round more?
Apologies if you have done all this. All the best for her and you. xx
We are awaiting a CAMHS assement as the medication our GP prescribed even tho the strength has been increased a few times does not seem to be helping.Wecare back at CAMHS on Wednesday where I have been told they will have spoken to school and he will have more info on when the CAMHS Dr will assess and possibly change her meds.It cant come quick enough!!
What sort of things does she like OP? Is there anything she likes doing? Has she said whats wrong, is it more school? Have you tried Bach flower remedy? Meant to calm down anxiety? Must be so worrying for you all x
My ds2 also suffers from depression and anxiety and started refusing school in yr 8, he is now yr 10. It took a long time to get him proper help but he eventually got refered to hospital school where he has been for the past 18 months. Its not in a hospital its just called that but his teachers are amazing with him and if he is going through a low period and doesnt go in for a few days, they will visit him at home. Sometimes just to chat or play a game (uno or banagrams) or do proper work for half an hour with him just to try and keep him engaged.
He sees a camhs lady but isnt keen so not sure how well that is going really.
He will only be doing 5 gcses but that should be enough to get into college as he will have to stay in education until 18 now.
I hope your dd gets the help she needs and you have the support you need
I left school at 15 due to similar circumstances, my parents were supportive and non- pushy about me returning to school which helped me on my route to recovery. I'm 26 now and I still haven't taken my GCSE's as I decided to take another path. If I'm honest, I don't feel not having them has hindered me too much. I managed to work my way up to a senior position in my job and am very happy with my life now. Education is open to everybody, she will have plenty of opportunities to take courses and gain qualifications in her own time. School can be tough, kids can be mean and it's not always the best place to be for teens with mental health issues. You have the right attitude by putting her well being first, having understanding parents that she can be open with and not be pushed into anything she doesn't want to do will go a long way in a situation like this. X
Great post Baby. Wow you did really well against the odds. My DD is experiencing mental health problems. I am going to show her your post.
I never heard of hospital school but it sounds fantastic.
Apologies for derailing your post OP and I hope your DD gets the support she needs.
I am hoping he will cope once he leaves hospital school and goes to college or apprenticeship but i try not to worry about it as such because until it happens we wont know. He only has between 3 and 7 pupils at hospital school so being in the real world will be tough on him.
I dont know how my ds will get a job etc as his mood is so changeable and he doesnt believe in himself or think he has self worth.
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