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My 15 year old has been suffering from anxiety and depression for a number of years now

My 15 year old has been suffering from anxiety and depression for a number of years now

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Frequent scribe
Mbfwt

My 15 year old has been suffering from anxiety and depression for a number of years now

The last year has got progressively worse. She now self harms, missed so much school this year, has Tried various medications (I have now taken her off antidepressants as they don't seem to work for her) and she is seeing a psychologist and a psychiatrist. Nothing seems to work. I recently took her away for a week to get her away from everything (and everyone) - she was ok while we were away but of course as soon as we get back everything goes back to the way it is. I know there isn't a magic answer but I just wanted to put it out there and hopefully get some tips from other parents.

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Big_Crab

Re: My 15 year old has been suffering from anxiety and depression for a number of years now

Hi @Mbfwt it sounds like you have quite a lot going on.

 

It is good your daughter is seeing a psychologist and a psychiatrist.  I know it sometimes takes quite a while to find the right medication that works, and I hope they can find one that helps her.

 

I am glad you had at least a week of 'normality' with her when you went away for a week. It is interesting she was ok while you were away. Obviously the stress of home and school life adds to the problem. Don't we all wish we could bottle the 'holiday' effect and not have to deal with reality. 

 

Is there anything she likes doing that lessens the anxiety? I know when my son is having a particularly bad attack he likes to listen to podcasts of his favourite gaming group.  

 

Hopefully some of the others can give you some suggestions. 

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TOM-RO

Re: My 15 year old has been suffering from anxiety and depression for a number of years now

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Hi @Mbfwt, it must be so hard seeing your daughter going through these symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as the self-harm. What did you think of @Big_Crab idea of a couple of engaged tasks to help with the anxiety? Just wanted to ask if your daughter is aware of Kids Helpline? They have amazing staff there and offer web chat if she ever wants to talk to someone about the depression/anxiety (as well as phone chat). 

 

So amazing that you have taken her away for a week, that sounds like a great break for both of you. Sounds like you're very engaged in her recovery, have you got any of your own measures for self care such as walks, yoga, reading etc?

Parent Peer Supporter
taokat

Re: My 15 year old has been suffering from anxiety and depression for a number of years now

Hi @Mbfwt, thank you for sharing. I'm sorry to hear that things are becoming worse instead of getting better despite the things you have in place. Am I right that the psychologist is a newish one? (Not the same one she used to see that she really liked?) How does your daughter relate to them? Sometimes finding the right team can make a huge difference, but I'm sure you've been through all that! 

 

Both @Big_Crab and @TOM-RO offer great tips, and I hope they will be useful for you and your daughter. If only we could bottle that 'holiday' feeling! We do just seem to slip back into old habits once we come home though. Can you think of two things that were different about your daughter when you were away, that you might be able to cultivate at home?

Frequent scribe
Mbfwt

Re: My 15 year old has been suffering from anxiety and depression for a number of years now

Thank you @taokat @TOM-RO and @Big_Crab for your response, it really meant a lot especially in my hour of need.  I normally cope OK but yesterday was a bad day and it escalated and ended up with me taking my daughter to Emergency. I had to break into the bathroom to stop her self harming, she was out of control - screaming at me and my husband, physically attacking me, saying she wanted to kill herself, she was done - she could not go on.  The hospital were fantastic and I would recommend to anyone in that situation to go there.  She went straight into Acute Care where they calmed her down (and me - I was in pieces by then). She saw the mental health nurse who was amazing, really gave her some good coping mechanisms.  She has also been subscribed medication for when she feels things are getting out of control.  I'm a little bit phased as her psyciatrist had perscribed the same one as a sleeping aid not as a calming mechanism.  Anyway she is so much better today.  And with regards to self care for myself - which I know is so important - I find mindfulness such a help and a good walk with my dog.  I really wasn't coping yesterday and I think that may have impacted the situation but we can't all be good all of the time. Thank you everyone.  Will keep you posted xx

Parent Peer Supporter
taokat

Re: My 15 year old has been suffering from anxiety and depression for a number of years now

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I'm so glad to hear that things are more settled today for you @Mbfwt. Having somewhere to turn when you're feeling low can make such a difference. I'm happy you felt heard and supported here.

 

Oh wow, you have all been through an ordeal and a half! It's such a frightening and stressful time when your child is self harming. (I did just change your wording to remain within the guidelines.) It sounds like the hospital looked after you both really well, and really helped with some great information and medication. I can hear the relief you are feeling today, it's fantastic! I'm so relieved for your daughter that she is feeling much better today too. It's so scary for them too, being out of control. I took a video of my daughter once when she was totally out of control, and watching it back I could see the fear in her eyes that I couldn't see at the time because of my own emotions. Heartbreaking!

 

While I can't talk about specific medications, my daughter takes an anti psychotic to help with her moods, sleep and psychosis. We find it works well in combination with learning new coping skills. I hope your daughter's psychiatrist can continue on from where the mental health nurse left off. Is there anyway you can get your daughter in to see the mental health team at the hospital regularly? Mine see the CYMHS team at our local hospital. 

 

It's also fabulous that you have things you do to look after yourself. But also remember to be compassionate towards yourself on the days you are human and aren't coping so well. It's completely normal, and we all have them. I don't think there'd be a parent here who hasn't lost it at one point or another! It provides an opportunity to communicate and repair and teach our kids that valuable lesson, so it's not all bad. 

 

You got help when you needed it, and the outcome has been one that's given you and your daughter some relief. High five mum!

 

Keep us posted Smiley Happy