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parenting teen with depression, anxiety

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parenting teen with depression, anxiety

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Re: parenting teen with depression, anxiety

Hi @Manly123 It was a real struggle to get the phone out of the room at night....It took a lot of tears and tantrums, but we persevered and it has had a real positive impact.  We implemented a 9:30pm phone curfew on school nights for our 17 year old about 10 months. My daughters case manager had spoken to my daughter about having a break from social media when things got stressful or she was distressed for the sake of her health. This made the curfew easier to implement, as it wasn't just mum or dad's rule. 


What we found helpful was replacing the phone with other distractions we could do together, like reading, puzzle books, chatting or brain games. The phone also comes with me at night to eliminate any distractions.  After a while, she realised she can survive the night without her phone, and now hands the phone over most of the time with few problems.  Perhaps other parents have some suggestions that may help too?  


Make sure you stick with whatever decision you make.. it will get easier over time - Good luck!


Re: parenting teen with depression, anxiety

Hi coco821, I found this forum while googling how to discipline an anxious/depressed teenager. I would love to hear how you and some of the others have delt with situations since these posts last year. I have a 14yr old with depression and anxiety & maybe bipolar. Her phone is everything to her and if I take it away (if possible) she becomes more anxious as she can’t talk to her friends. She is a very social person but has social anxiety?? I’m sure she lies to me about things but is very good at covering it up, I’m not sure how to deal with it? She also struggles at school but can go from wanting to do her assignments 1 week to refusing to do homework the next and using her anxiety as an excuse and won’t even try??
Star contributor

Re: parenting teen with depression, anxiety

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Hey there @2busy_mother, wow this sounds like a very conflicting situation. I am definitely hearing that you care for your girl, and have taken into serious consideration how removing the phone may instigate higher levels of anxiety. But also that you really want to implement boundaries with her phone and start to figure out what's been going on with her, is that right? Has anything happened with your Daughter that you are aware of? Any peer bullying or major incidents? We have a great free service called ReachOut parents coaching I would recommend looking into, it provides great strategies around these sorts of challenges. Hope to hear from you soon.


Re: parenting teen with depression, anxiety

Teenage is one of the most fun, carefree, excited, and yet complicated part of life. It’s the chapter of our life book which holds the best and awkward memories. Yet teens tend to fall into major teenage health problems while growing up. We grow and experience the most in our life in our teens but might get into some serious problems as well.


Is your teen acting out?

Do they look tense and stressed?

There are various teenage health problems that can cause your teen different physical, cognitive and behavioral changes. 


Star contributor

Re: parenting teen with depression, anxiety

Hi @alicerrazi,


Thank you for making this post- I agree that teenage years are a time of dynamic change and growth. I am sure many of our members would also agree and see these changes in their teens as they grow!


Health issues, particularly mental health, can be a real challenge for a growing teen (and for the family too!). I really like that you have posed some questions to self reflect on how your teen is going. Looking to them for cues that maybe something is happening in their world is really important and can help parents know when their teen may need some more support. 


One thing I have seen in our community is the incredible growing experience of teens and parents who work together through these tough and sometimes turbulent changes of adolescence. It has been really beautiful to hear from the parents whose teens are further into the journey who share with us their hope for a bright future- I hope that you will be able to see this shine through in this community too Heart


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Re: parenting teen with depression, anxiety

Hello, this is my first time in Reachout and our emotions are very raw at the moment. Our teen daughter is year 11 and devastatingly has attempted to end her life twice since late last year. We have gone down the path of distance education given she can't face going back to high school but the last week or so, she's completely refusing to engage with that also and expresses that she wants us to let her die.
Outside of CYMHS, we have engaged a psychiatrist and a psychologist but being in a regional town, getting regular appointments is very difficult as demand far exceeds supply.
My question is around the residential care you mentioned your teen had. Is it possible to share where that facility is, any other details you can share and was it a positive experience? We are devastated our beautiful girl feels her life is not worth continuing.
Thank you.

Re: parenting teen with depression, anxiety

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Hi there @Leo-mum5 I just wanted to jump on here and let you know that we are really feeling for you and your family. I can only imagine how heartbreaking this is for you to watch your daughter struggle so much. I hope the user who used residential mental health can provide you with some suggestions, in the meantime here is a search/information on Residential mental health support. 


It's great that you have support for your daughter (even though it's a long wait for appointment, which is so hard) Just wondering if you are receiving support too? We are here to chat through anything you need. 


Re: parenting teen with depression, anxiety

This is a tough one. Miss 14 started doing the same thing last year and I didn’t realise how bad her depression and illness was.
She was so rude to me all the time and in public that family members were calling out her behaviour.
The defiance was definitely part of her cry for help.
On reflection I see she was angry with me that she was in so much pain and suffering and felt like she had to protect me from the knowledge she was suicidal. Once that all came out, her anger started to subside. I began listening more, being in tune with her moods and I got better at responding appropriately.
Ps my daughter also started self harming at 12 and is also very strong willed.
I think they act destructively because deep down they are so angry. Perhaps get to the root of why she is so angry. And if she says, I hate you and you suck and more blame words, then say, ‘okay what else?’ Don’t react or get mad with whatever she says. Eventually she might tell you what the real anger is about. And she will be angry that you’re not getting upset at her. But she will eventually see that you can take whatever she says and stand strong, and that you have her back. And she might tell you that she doesn’t know why she’s messed up.
But the point is she sees you are not judging and providing a safe space for her to be her.
Super contributor

Re: parenting teen with depression, anxiety

Thank you so much for sharing your experience @Thetismum. It sounds like you have been through a lot with your daughter and have seen progress that has given you some valuable insight. I imagine what you have learnt must have been challenging and hurtful at the time. I really like what you have written about providing a safe space and not judging - that is very important for teens. Did you have any supports throughout your journey? Any self-care strategies you'd like to share that made an important difference?
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Re: parenting teen with depression, anxiety

Don't Loose Hope, she will recover soon!

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