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Dd severely depressed and don't know what to do(82 Posts)
My dd is 14 and in year 10. She is smart and has always been confident. She's had a few fallings out with friends in the past but she's been part of a solid friendship group for the last 18 months/2 years or so.
This group sent some pretty nasty messages to her and they fell out in October. The girls then isolated her by telling other friendship groups not to speak to her.
Ever since then, my dd has slowly slipped in to depression, she would always make an effort with her appearance and spend a good hour and a half getting ready for school in the mornings before his happened, now she will get up about 5 minutes before we have to leave and just tie her hair back with no make up etc.
She spends every lunch time in the library and she says she has no friendship group to spend lunch with and she is petrified that the library will be closed one day and she won't know what to do. She thinks that everyone is talking about her. She has friends that she speaks to, but not actually part of a group and she had totally withdrawn.
She is due to go back to school tomorrow after the half term and this weekend we have seen a real decline in her behaviour. She was anxious on Friday, barely Spoke yesterday and hasn't got out of bed all day today.
She said she doesn't want to go to school, she doesn't want to speak to anyone at school as she feels like she will cry if she does. She wants to be home schooled, that's definitely not an option. She is just absolutely sobbing about going back. I really, really do not know what to do!! I honestly never thought I would have to deal with this sort of problem with her as she's always been so outgoing and confident, but it's just like these girls have stripped her of any self esteem and she just can't pick herself up!
The school are aware and have given her a hall pass if she needs to leave the classroom for any reason and have said that she can go to the library no matter what, but I feel that this isn't really dealing with the issue. I know what there is very little help with regard to mental health issues with the nhs, but is it worth making an appointment with the doctors? Can they or will they actually do anything? She has said about killing herself, I don't feel that she would go that far, I think she is so sad about having to go back to school that she is expressing her upset.I honestly am lost
This must be heartbreaking. I’m so sorry for you and your DD.
What have the school done to address the bullying and exclusion, it’s not right this should have been allowed to escalate. How big is the year, my DDs school is split into 2 bands, could she be moved to the other band or whatever it might be called if this is the case? It would mean on the whole she would be taught with a whole new batch of pupils?
Going back to school is never easy after Christmas, can you have a chat with head of year about how she’s feeling.
Are there any after school clubs she could join?
It's not the lessons that are the problem really as she doesn't have many lessons with the girls, it's break and lunch time, but also the feeling of isolation and the paranoia that everyone is talking about her and that no one would want to be her friend.
So far my dd has said that she doesn't want the school to talk to the girls as she says they'll turn it all around to make it out to be her fault.
I just don't know how to get her out of this depression that she's now in. I thought at first that the fall out would blow over and throng would sort themselves out and for a few weeks she seemed to be coping ok, but she wasn't, she was isolating herself more and more and getting more and more depressed about it.
It has gone beyond any help that we can give as I just feel that I am always saying the wrong thing. I just don't know where to turn or what options are available for her.
I personally would keep her off and get her an appointment with the doctor's asap, she must be feeling very scared and maybe she's having some depression, I know this family and their daughter was feeling the same as your daughter and unfortunately did take her own life sorry to upset you but I would much rather she See's a professional to talk about her feelings before things escalate, if you send her in you are going to be anxious all day worrying about her. X
Please please please do not force your daughter to go to school tomorrow. She is crying out for help. Those days are gone where nothing else mattered except going to school, your poor daughter must be petrified. Please go to her now and if she is asleep, wake her and tell her she is not going in tomorrow that you and her so sort this and tackle this problem together. Ring school tomorrow and set meeting up re options ASAP but don't ignore your daughters cries, please listen to her. You will get through this, I have been in your shoes
Thanks, that's how the conversation ended this evening. I said she didn't have to go in and it's almost like I could see the weight was lifted from her shoulders. I'll call my gp in the morning and see what, if anything, they can do for her. It's just so hard knowing what to do. I tried to have a look at counselling in my area on the nhs website, but then it just said page not found
I just feel like it's not easy to know where to get help.
Another problem is that dh and I clash on what to do. He is adamant that she doesn't miss tomorrow as it'll make things worse in the week whereas, when I saw how unbelievably upset she was, I said, right you don't have to go in and he said no, that's not going to solve the problem. He thinks he can solve it, but I don't think he can, it's beyond us now and we need someone else to help us to help her as we're in above our heads and I don't know what to say to make it better for her.
You have made the right decision today for your daughter. Ask your gp for name of a good psychogist who deals with anxiety and depression in teens. Can I ask if she is having other issues?? Has she always had anxiety with say joining activities or going to school when smaller or leaving you or any problems around eating or hygiene or anything else?
Your husband is just scared because he doesn't know how to help her, he thinks things can get worse but to your daughter right now things are at its worst and its time to listen to her,. My husband was the same at the beginning but through educating himself and reading up on teen anxiety( my insistence) he came to realise that things couldn't get much worse Nd that we could cause a lot
of damage to our dd if we didnt support her fully when she needed us
Your poor daughter bless her. Sounds like nasty bullying. I would arrange GP appointment and also speak to school tomorrow. Ask for head of year or head if pastoral care. The school has a duty to sort this out as they have a duty of care re physical and mental health. Good luck and I hope things improve.
No she hasn't had anxiety before, it all started with the fallout in October. She does a few afterschool activities, which have been her lifeline to be honest and the only positive thing for her to look forward to. No issues with food or hygiene either.
I hate to say this, but her depression is being caused by bullying. As well as any medication and counselling, you are going to have to fix the hostile environment that is that school. There are options other than home school or that school.
It may not be too late to switch schools. My brother lives in the U.K. had to move due to work and successfully moved his DD in year 10 to another school. She started after Easter break in year 10. She got excellent scores and is succeeding at A levels now (she is also a SEN student). She did have to do catch up work all summer. So this is not an easy route to take.
Even if it is too late because of GCSE exam boards not matching up well enough, you could seriously give her the rest of the year off to recover from the depression and trauma of being bullied and enroll her in Year 10 next school year at another school. That might be better if the bullying has also impacted her grades and academic progress to get a fresh start on GCSEs
It is not uncommon for kids who get seriously sick, have a learning disability, or trauma like bullying to take a break and start a year again in a new school. The most important thing is her health and right to be educated in a safe space.
I'd keep her off and getting an immediate appointment with a governor and senior member of staff.
Express your concerns. Name and shame and take it from there.
The thing is, I'm not sure she is actually being bullied now. Whilst at the time I think she probably was, it's the aftermath of the incident. Is that still bullying, even if it's not still happening? Can the school still deal with it if she was effectively ousted from a friendship group? Would they see that as petty? I really don't know!
It does sound like she has been severely affected by this bullying, your poor dd but she will get through this, you need to contact this school. Tomorrow as well as your gp. Inform the school how bad things have become for your dd because of the bullying, insist on a meeting being set up with you and your husband and the principle and the year head and any other relevant person. Inform them that your dd is coming to school to be in a safe and nurturing place to learn and these need are not being met. Your dd should not have to spend her lunch time alone in a library, that is enough to knock anyone's self esteem over time and induce a depression. Tell them tomorrow this is not good enough and you expect this to stop immediately, your dd does not deserve this. Tell them that you expect this matter to be dealth with and suggestions to be made on how to solve this. Can they come up with a system where they require some students in year 10 to volunteer with the younger kids on lunch times?? There is plenty they could think of, if you are not happy then go further to the board and tell them your dd will not be returning to school to be miserable again until she has other options at break time. Also a talk to all year 10.s about bullying and isolation needs to be had with emphasis on the fact that it is occurring and will not be tolerated any more!! Best of luck, you are her only advocate so don't be scared if you feel you are on your own against the world, she needs you right now and you are doing great for her!
Managed to get an appointment at the doctors this morning at 11 and asked for the head of year to call me so feeling a little bit better. I half expected the doctors to say they couldn't do anything for her and that it wasn't an emergency, but they were really lovely and sympathetic about it.
Good job OP. You are doing great standing up for your DD.
Hope goes well at drs. You need to be firm with school they need to sort this out. Isolating someone and telling others to avoid is bullying behaviour and should be stamped out by the school. Hope you get sorted out.
Make sure you record anytime she has off from school as "mental health" not any other excuse.
My DD had a lot of time off school due to anxiety during her GCSEs, and still got excellent results. The statistics which they wheel out don't account for the fact that students who are motivated and work hard can still get great results despite absences. But most students who miss school either: have unconcerned parents or are sliding into criminal or serious mental/physical health problems.
Do talk to school and GP, and from both expect something (even if it is a CAMHS referral which could be pretty useless). And contact Young Minds for more advice/help.
In my area the waiting list fir CAMHS is horrendous. Although my DS had very helpful counselling via CAMHS previously, when his anxiety was very bad I paid for private counselling which helped loads. It was a financial strain but better than waiting months.( I did ensure I got a reliable recommendation for a counsellor )
Don’t know what area you’re in. In Leeds we have something called Market place, it’s literally a drop in centre for teenagers, no appointment needed. There’s all kinds of help attached to it and doesn’t need a GP referred. Wonder if there
might be something similar in your area.
The reason I mentioned her changing bands is although it’s not about the lessons it would be a kind of fresh start without changing school and she would have the opportunity to make new friends.
@Luzina can you tell me how much private counselling cost you? I know it'll vary depending on area (we are East Mids) and I will ask for CAMHS referral from my gp but I imagine the waiting list will be way too long, so will definitely look in to private counselling.
Take her to the drs and move schools x
Just spoken with the head of year, she was pretty useless really. I had previously asked if my dd could see the school counsellor but she said that due to funding cuts, they no longer had one. I told her that the hall pass, being separated during exams and going to the library every lunch time made her feel even more isolated. I told her that I was angry that the girls who did this were living their lives like normal, whilst my daughters life was now completely different. She didn't really say anything. She said she could do a camhs referal if I needed one. I think I'll ask her to get the anti bullying coordinator to contact me and see if they can offer any more solutions. Just waiting to see the gp.
I would highly recommend keeping her off but give her a return date so that she knows she only has a weeks reprieve for example. If she is isolated dont make her go back on a monday as this is when she'll hear everyone talking about their weekend
Do get counselling our even some cbt or mindfulness books for her, you will get then at your local The Works.if you have one.