07-07-2017 09:45 PM
Hi @Mumof1 Welcome to the Reach Out Parents forum. It sounds like you are doing a great job in getting your daughter the professional care that she needs, and I can sense your love, care and concern for her.. My 17 year old daughter is also an only child, and was diagnosed with depression some years ago. About 9 months ago, she hit rock-bottom and started self-harming and has spent time in hospital. She has been seeing a case worker every week for the past 9 months….but is doing much better now and hopefully the worst is behind us.
This period has been the most stressful and hardest of my life, and there have been many times where I thought I could not physically, mentally or emotionally cope anymore. As I reflect back on the past 9 months, I wish I had of looked after myself better. My daughter was getting lots of professional help, but no one was helping her mum or dad. We both really struggled watching our daughter go through this. Take time for yourself like many other Reach Out parents have suggested. Take advantage of the Reach Out Parents Coaching – It is really important that you have someone to talk to. I did not seek help for myself, besides off-loading to my daughters case manager when she rang each week for an update, and I feel I would have been a better parent and person if did take care of myself. Remember that depression does not define who your daughter is - her moods and anger are part of the illness and not who she is as a person. In regards to her boyfriend, my daughter has had 2 boyfriends that have both had depression and mental health issues. I believe it made them more compassionate and understanding towards each other. It is more important that they respect and care for each other.
Please stay in touch and let us know how things go...
07-10-2017 08:47 PM
Hi @Mumof1 how are things going with you and your daughter? I can appreciate first-hand how stressful and worrisome this time can be. It sounds like you are doing all the right things in getting your daughter the professional help that she needs - Remember to look after yourself throughout this time.
You mentioned that your daughter hates school - does she appear to feel better during school holidays?
Please keep in touch, and let us know how things are?
02-27-2018 07:08 AM
Hi Mumof1, my daughter (youngest of 3 children by 12 years) just turned 17 and says she has been struggling with depression since she was about 13, but I didn't realize what was going on until almost 2 years ago when I took her to our family doctor and she was formally diagnosed. It has been so difficult, and I have tried counselors, medications, working with her school. She has also been diagnosed with ADHD. Medications for depression only made things worse (self harming), but the ADHD meds really helped... if she took them. She is extremely bright, can get A's with little effort, very artistic and musical, excels at everything she puts effort into. But she hates school and most days will not go. I have had to take her driving privileges away from her, which in a way makes things worse, but I feel I have to set some finite lines in the sand. I have tried all sorts of incentives, paying her to go to school, for grades, for chores around the house so she has some direction. She would rather sleep in and draw all day. She has big goals, but doesn't seem to connect how her destructive behavior now will prohibit her from reaching these goals. I have tried hugs, loving encouragement, etc., but it's so hard when I feel so scared, frustrated and angry. Too often the interactions end in screaming and tears, sometimes her, sometimes me. I am afraid of loosing her, and of course I worry that I am not doing enough. She has abandonment issues from her biological father, who hasn't been in her life at all for nearly 4 years now. He was very abusive, so for me I am grateful that he is absent, and she understand that and says she agrees. We continue to see her doctor, and we are going to meet with a new counselor next week. I will keep trying, but I don't know the magic combination of what needs to happen. I am told we are not alone in this struggle, and although that statement alone doesn't help, reading of other's experiences somehow does. My sister guided me to this forum, and I see your post was from last year so not sure if you check in here anymore. I am hopeful that in visiting here I will find some hope in successes that someone else may have found.
07-22-2018 11:21 PM - last edited on 07-23-2018 12:03 PM by Jess1-RO
Hi I'm new to this forum and new to depression and parenting a teen. I just wanted you to know you aren't alone and this is sooo hard but I'm glad I took a step to find people who understand. My daughter (15) has been diagnosed with major depression and been prescribed medication which we haven't started yet. Ive been so worried about the side effects on a teen and the increased possible thoughts, but the doctor said at the end of our meeting some treatment is better than no treatment, so am looking into starting this week.
07-23-2018 12:17 PM
Hi @tryingtohelp18 and welcome to ReachOut Parents! I'm glad that you have been able to link in with other parents who understand what you are going through right now; we are all behind you in this journey
I'm sorry to hear that your daughter has been struggling with her mental wellbeing- it sounds like you are doing everything you can to get her the support she needs I'm hearing your concerns with your daughter taking medications (I have just edited out the name of the medication as per our community guidelines). Medication is a really common concern raised by families and it's good that you have looked into side effects and what to expect so that you can make an informed decision with your doctor and your daughter. It sounds like you know what to look for when the medication is started.
With all of this happening, it's important to look after you too. Do you have any support people you can turn to in the coming weeks (eg:family/friends/professionals)?
07-23-2018 11:47 PM
Hey @tryingtohelp18, I'm sorry to hear about your daughter's diagnosis, but I'm also glad you reached out as well, it's a great outlet and way of getting support from other mum's and dad's.
My daughter has been diagnosed with depression as well, and recently started a new medication. Side effects are certainly something I've considered, and I do worry what long term effects there may be. However medication has helped her in the past, so it's like 'what is the lesser of the two evils?' for me.
We've been told the medication will take 4-6 weeks to show any benefit, and we've had some really tough days in the interim and I've had to monitor her, but fingers crossed they'll make a difference soon. It can be a matter of trialling to see what meds work best too, so try not to be disheartened if they need to change what she's on.
My daughter also sees a counsellor so she is also learning practical ways of managing her illness. Did your doctor suggest your daughter see a counsellor as well?
I thought I'd share the link here for some reading on ReachOut about depression and things to try. I hope it can be of some help
08-27-2018 03:50 PM
08-27-2018 03:56 PM
08-27-2018 05:44 PM
Hi @Mumof1, I’m sorry to hear your daughter’s stopped counselling and is so reactive towards you. I also have depression so understand how hard it can be dealing with our daughter’s abuse. It can be very hard to separate but I do try to remember what I’ve been told - that our teens don’t think the way we do, their brains are going through massive changes throughout these years.
In saying that I think our girls are old enough to hear how their words make us feel, and be given the opportunity to look at their behaviour and make some choices around that. I know these conversations can feel quite confronting for my daughter and if I come across like I’m laying blame or judging her, she reacts abusively. They act tough but it’s usually covering a hurt, fear or anxiety that needs some understanding and care. So it can also provide the opportunity to ask what’s going for your daughter, what is she thinking and feeling to react like that?
You really sound like you’re doing your best to crack that communication barrier, and it’s not easy when you’re feeling hurt as well. I’m glad you’re getting some help for yourself to manage your depression. I don’t underestimate the added difficulty it adds to parenting a teen with their own mental health issues, so looking after ourselves is super important. Hang in there
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