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Depressed 14 year old(17 Posts)
Please help me!!!!
My DD is 14. For 3 weeks now she has been very sad crying at the drop of a hat, not eating properly etc.
When I ask her what's wrong she just says I'm sad and I don't know why!
I have taken her to the doctors and they are referring her for counselling. She doesn't even want to go to school but we've managed to negotiate to do half days at the minute to just to keep up some normal routine for her.
The second issue I have is that she is a Type 1 diabetic so when she doesn't eat her blood sugars are dropping dangerously low and I'm just so worried that she might pass out with it.
Really would appreciate any advice or if anyone has been in a similar situation.
I am in a similar but not identical situation, in that my dd is depressed but isn't crying. It's so hard to know what to do and also when any help might be coming (given waiting lists). I just wanted you to know you aren't on your own with this.
I feel at a complete loss. Its so out of character as she is a very confident, sociable, head strong, highly intelligent child that normally doesn't let anything bother her.
Could just be hormones I suppose but just sooo worrying.
I suffered from depression since 12 years old.
It's really difficult because anything can trigger a bad reaction. Anything can make you feel like shit about yourself.
Does she have a consultant re: T1? If so., perhaps they could suggest how to keep her levels up. A certain drink or small snack if she's not up to full meals?
All you can do is reassure and be patient with her.
You're doing the best you can. 🌷
Yes she has a consultant who has been fantastic and told us to reduce her insulin at the minute whilst shes not eating that much which we have done.
The thing is I don't know how to help her stay positive. I feel like because I'm so worried I'm constantly asking if shes ok etc etc. Am I doing the right thing or should I just leave her be?
I'm also worried about how much weight shes losing on top of the diabetes.
I just hope we get some help soon.
How did you cope with your depression at that age and how did you feel towards your parents what did you want them to do?
The things we have done are to seek private counselling from someone specializing in teens, because the public system and CAHMS have very long waiting lists and I want help sooner than that. Also- the counsellor suggested doing everyday activities (e.g. going to the supermarket, out together for a coffee, brushing hair and chatting) rather than intense 'how are you feeling' chats. It is incredibly hard though. I read a lot of online resources and that did help me understand a bit too.
Just a thought, has she started her periods? My DD was very emotional on the approach to starting, she didn't want to mix, couldn't say why, just sat there crying.
You'll probably have local organisations who have helpline telephone numbers, you should be able to find them online if not the school probably has a contact. I know she's being referred for counselling but it might be worth giving her the contact numbers of a couple of these organisations as well, that way if she suddenly needs to speak to someone in confidence, there's someone available she can talk to.
Counselling referrals have a huge waiting list in our area for CAHMS and even the local young people's charity that supposedly offers them doesn't in reality, the waiting list is too long. If you have absolutely no choice, then I'd put yourself on every waiting list and also ask the school. I have not found any for my dd though quickly and if you can even at a stretch have some paid for counselling, I would do esp as school is already proving problematic. There are helplines and online counselling if you think that would work for her.
Poor baby, depression is so awful, I've lived with it since a teen. My DD is 11 and for a while she was a little depressed. Teared up easy, found night times hard, didn't really know why either. It's passed thankfully and I do suspect it was hormonal.
Obviously counselling is absolutely the best idea for her but in the meantime, she is going to need you to help her, which I know you must be doing.
Keep her away from anything negative, such as films, YouTube, news, anything that is basically depressing to read or watch. Encourage her to watch appropriate comedies, cute animal videos, cheerful music. May sound silly but it helps.
Routine, as much as possible. As she isn't eating much, that won't be helping. Cereal bars and breakfast biscuits were my saviours at my worst. She needs to nibble on things little and often. Flavoured water, in a sports bottle, to sip at with lots of enocuragement and reminders.
Take her out for a walk every single day. No ifs or buts. If you have a dog, get her to walk it with you. If not, could you consider a dog? I cannot tell you how much having a dog helps with depression. They provide a comfort, friendship, safety and exercise.
Encourage her to journal. To write down everything that's going on in her head. Get it out on paper so it's not stuck whirling in her head.
If she is crying, let her cry. Crying realeases stress hormones and lowers anxiety. Believe it or not, crying was a sign of recovery for me. I was so severely depressed I was incapable of feeling any emotion, let alone tears.
Try to talk to her again. Or ask someone she really trusts to speak to her. Sometimes children just can't talk to a parent no matter how much they love them. Some children try to protect their parents or worry about hurting their feelings. You need to find if there are any truggers, bullying, boyfriend trouble, friend trouble, worrying about death, self esteem problems. There could be anything.
Most of all, don't show your concern. I mean that in the nicest way. The best thing you can be for her, is her strong mum. She WILL be okay.
Sorry posted too soon.
OP, you are her mum. The person she trusts most in the world. If you are acting concerned for her, she will become concerned about herself. You need to be strong for her and act confident that this is something she can beat. Because she can. This will pass. I know how helpless you must feel but you will help her just by being strong for her and calming any worries or fears she is having.
She started her period rather early at 9 years old and yes her hormones have occasionally been a bit wild.
About 6 months ago the diabetic team thought it would be a good idea to put her on the contraceptive pill as she was having trouble with heavy bleeding, severe cramps, mood swings but it was also interfering with her blood sugars.
Fast forward to today and I'm actually wondering if this pill could be the cause so I have stopped it a couple of days ago and obviously she has now got a period which is not making her feel that much better!
I suspect it is all hormonal but in the interim that diagnosis doesn't help when she's feeling so rubbish and I feel so helpless.
I'm managing to keep her at school albeit half days at the moment as I feel this is the best thing for her.
The school she attends have their own counsellor but she's adamant that she doesn't want to talk to her and would rather wait for CAHMS not sure why this is but hey ho.
I just hope she comes out of it soon.
I'm trying to stay positive and upbeat but its bloody difficult.
Contact her Diabetes specialist nurse and get a referral for a psychologist through the hospital as they will specialise in both the Diabetes and the depression. There can be a link between the two, also read up on diabulimia and consider joining DUK support forum, as others on there have been through similar and can give you more specific advice.
OP I have nothing to add to CollyWombles post but just wanted to say thank you to CollyWombles for the advice. I wouldn't say my DD (13) is depressed but she does have periods where she worries about death (started a couple of years ago and comes and goes) and at those times I worry that she's going to slip into depression iykwim. Sorry to hijack the thread but thank you for the advice you've given there CollyWombles and to you and your DD OP
No problem, luckyme. It's sadly very common for children to get upset at the idea of death around the age of 12.
My youngest is 8 and we sometimes walk through a cemetery to go to the leisure centre. He said to me he was scared of dying. I said there was absolutely nothing to be scared of. I pointed out the nothing really dies. Tree leaves die in the winter and come back in the spring. Day turns to night and back to day again. Seasons come and go and come back again. I told him we are not any different from the world around us and we come and go and come back again. He is ASD and it made sense to him so he was quite accepting of my explanation.
OP, how are your daughter's friendships? Oddly enough, my DD11 was teary tonight. I noticed her low mood and asked what was up. Although I still think hormones is playing a part with her, she ended up telling me she was struggling with her friend. They became friends about 6 months ago and are joined at the hip. Turns out this friend has become very controlling over my DD, insisting on walking the same way home, refusing to play with other friends and if DD upsets her, she turns on DD and calls her things like teacher's pet and puts DD down about how well behaved my DD is. My DD is headgirl at her school and she tries her best to keep good behaviour.
Eventually DD said she feels her low mood and crying started not long after this friendship began but that she is too scared to stand up for herself as she is worried their mutual friends will take her friends side.
Whilst this may not be the same for your DD, it certainly reminded me of how things we think as adults, aren't that big a deal, can be incredibly stressful for a child.
I do hope your DD is on the mend soon. 9 is so young for periods. I have PMDD which is a severe form of PMS and that causes depression in itself. Any combined hormone contraceptive makes it worse. A single hormone like the mini pill was much better. It's relatively rare though. My mum has it so a genetic link for me.
Just wanted to add to the good advice posted already. Childline's website is a really great resource - you DD can chat to other kids on the message boards (moderated by CL staff) as well as chatting to CL volunteers and searching topics. I used to volunteer for them and the boards in particular are lovely because the young people really support and encourage each other and it's easier for them to talk to a peer about some things. Just something you might like to encourage her to use.
Lots of good advice here. However after going through this ourselves and after many years of trying different things the one answer we found to work was medication. It literally changed things overnight. I would not go back to what it was for my teen. I just wish had been given meds sooner. I don’t care what the doctors and professionals might try and say, it’s a bloody life saver. Push for it if you can go get it. I wish we had done this sooner, but you always think some other “help” will do it but it didn’t. Meds. It’s a biochemical reaction and your ten need help with that. Sort it out and help your teen through the teen years. Teens have enough things to juggle, hurdles to jump. And yes I know lots of posters will disagree with me, but after being in your position and trying everything else. I know what works. Best of luck.
could it be a secret gf/bf that's broken her heart? stress from School Exams maybe ?