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normal behaviour for teenage girl? or add/depression?(14 Posts)
I have a 14 year old daughter who I'm worried about. She's never been easy but things are getting a lot worse lately.
She's in Year 10 and on a netball scholarship to a private school. Academically she's always been above average (with limited effort) so she's quite bright. But this week she's refused to go to school the last couple of days. She has no interest in any school work (they have exams atm that were missed last year) or netball and gets cross at me whenever I try to talk to her.
Our relationship is at pretty much rock bottom but she does speak to my OH and last night was very tearful saying things like she can't concentrate, feels disconnected, trapped. These are worrying words and together with her current disinterest in school/sport this makes me really worried about her mental health.
I spoke to the school this morning and they suggested she meet the school counsellor, which she is refusing to do. She won't even speak to her house tutor who phoned me this morning. I told the teacher she was having anxiety about going back to school and my daughter blew up at me for saying the wrong thing/not understanding etc. Well, she's right, I don't understand, because when I try and talk to her she doesn't open up at all etc. She just came downstairs as I was typing this and told me she won't be going to school tomorrow either. She was ok this morning and decided she'd have a pamper day!! Her dad got cross at her when we discussing her seeing a counsellor and now she blames him for putting her in a bad mood for the day and subsequently her not doing the relaxing things she wanted to do...hence telling me she won't go to school tomorrow!
I'm really split between giving her a rocket up her arse and dragging her into school, and being sympathetic in case she does have mental health issues.
Is this normal behaviour or is she showing signs of ADHD or depression?. She seems to still be ok with her friendship groups although in the Summer she got very down for a period because her best 2 friends went to France without her (they are a group of 3 and her friend was only allowed to take one of them with her). She lay in bed for a couple of days crying. She seemed to bounce back and is still friends with the other 2 but she is definitely more miserable since this.
If anybody has any advice I'd be grateful as I really don't know what to do .
Awww huni, I feel for you, you are not alone. My 13year old daughter is exact same. Refuses to go school. And when she does, doesn't do no work gives the teachers bad attitude I am at my wits end with her! I am emotional exhausted. She has spoken to school councillor herself and with my daughter it's all about her low confidence and low self esteem. It's very bad. I have also spoken to cahms and they told me they didn't think it was anything to do with mental health. They advised me to get her on a app called "koof" it's a counselling site to help young kids way they feel. They will book a app to see your child to get to the bottom of her issues. Hope it all gets better for you. Pls do not think you are on your own. Xx
Ring your gp up they will refer her to cahms and if it is adha or some other mental illness they will know. Sorry couldn't be more of help x the koof site tell her she doesn't have to talk she can set up an account and text people who are in the same boat as your daughter. Good luck
I've got similar with my 13y old DD (and worse) so I sympathise. It's complex and confusing. I would treat it seriously because ultimately you have no other option. If she's staying at home, she needs professional help, especially because you don't understand what's going on (but don't blame her too much for not being able to explain because it's possible that she isn't able to, and that's ok). If you were 100% sure that a couple of days off school will make her well again, like it would be in case of a cold or flu, then yes you can just let her stay at home and get better, but this is just the opposite - you don't know what is going on, how to deal with it or what treatment she needs, so you need to seek professional advice, either through school nurse (easiest option) or through GP, although if GP were to refer to CAMHS they will contact school nurse anyway for background info.
I think likely causes might be 1) bullying or relationship drama (like being excluded from this trip to France), which she can recover from with help and support, or 2) deeper underlying issues affecting relationships and communication like ASD / ADHD. Either way staying at home will do nothing to resolve it.
My daughter later said that she approached school nurses before and they 'did nothing'. She finds her counsellor through CAMHS more helpful. It's also useful to keep things a bit separate, because whilst school nurses try to keep everything confidential there's always a worry that someone might see your daughter going there etc.
Why did her dad get cross by the way? I didn't understand that bit. What happened there? You both need to be super supportive at the moment, and avoid conflict.
It is so difficult for anyone to tell if it is depression, as the combination of teenage hormones, friendship issues, general tiredness related to school, academic pressure etc can manifest differently in everyone.
My own dd is the same age and goes through periods of being 'down' . My brother has very poor mental health and has struggled since he was a teenager, so I am very much on the alert for it in my own child. However, we have talked about it A LOT and I have tried to explain that while she may well be depressed, in which case we can figure out how to help, sometimes life is just shit and things are shit and it's ok to feel shit about these things. Now we have had those chats, she is beginning to be able to tell me if something feels too much, or if it is all "a bit shit at the moment". I think she kind of sees life as being very black or white, happy or depressed, but is starting to recognise there are shades in between.
I am having the same issue with Dd1 nearly 16. The problem is that she will not talk to me, says everything is OK and I have always been open in my relationship with the kids, so I am not sure what is going on.
I do have an issue with the fact that she has become pretty hostile towards me and is only nice to me when she wants something. I think I need to step up and not tolerate that behaviour so I am starting to think of consequences now.
It's difficult but not sure what else to do...
It's a tough one of knowing what to.do in the meantime. CAHMS can be 9f use once you get to the top.of the waiting list. WE waiting 12 months plus for an appointment so although it would be good to referred, you won't get a solution any time soon.
I am having the same issues. My nearly 16 year old daughter does not speak and is starting to hang around with some girls who are smoking, drinking, doing drugs etc. She lied to my face and said she was meeting one friend but went to hang with them and get up to things that are not acceptable. Social media exposed her and now she is giving me silent treatment. Her dad who is very strict would go mad if he knows. I feel like I am having a breakdown as trying to deal with it and have a younger child to look after as well. I am really struggling and have tried the patient game but feel like she is treating me like a fool. I am not prepared to overlook the lying and allow her to end up in situations that are not good for her
@Npqw the lying is the worst as it is very hard to trust again everytime I try to trust my dd she lies again
It breaks my heart
I just don’t know what to do anymore. I cannot accept lies and she is starting to have issues at school. We had a heart to heart only last week and she lied again 4 days later
It's so difficult watching your child spiral, such a feeling of helplessness when they won't speak to you! And hard to know if it's just teen angst or more.
I honestly wouldn't bother with CAMHS at the moment, they don't diagnose until waayyy down the line and the chances are you wouldn't get an appt for months. One of my DC had an 'urgent' referral in the summer and it was two weeks before we even had a phone call basically saying wait and see if it gets worse. Then a letter with a list of helpful websites. Hopeless.
If you can afford a private counsellor who specialises I'd go down that route although it doesn't sound as if she's ready to engage.
Is there possibly a friend issue she isn't talking to you about?
My DD is 12, is an anxious child anyway, but refused to go to school last week, had been shouting at us that we didn't understand. Managed to get her to the pastoral support for her year after lots of tears (hers and mine), she's on the waiting list for the school counsellor (3 months but shorter than camhs) and also referred to the school nurse.
I would sit down with her, ideally when she is calm, and explain you can see something is wrong but you don't know how to help. The school counsellors DO know how to help, and you think it would be a good step if DD spoke with them. Try to see if she will open up about why she won't talk to them. With my DD she was worried about being pulled out of class, and that the other kids would think she had a problem. So when we spoke to pastoral support we explained her reluctance so they could be aware of this.
It's such a tough time for young people. Many will breeze through but others struggle. I hope you can persuade her to take the help on offer - it's not a quick fix but just opening up to someone will feel like a weight is lifted and hopefully will persuade her back into school.