Isolated teen

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Isolated teen

Ok where do I start ......My 14yr old has always been a home body and I thought that was a good thing that she wasn't into too many social events. Looking back now I can see how things have changed in the last 3 years from quiting piano (5yrs) in grade 6 and dancing few mths back (which she has been doing since she was 3) and then breaking up with her first love. This all has led to this point, where she would rather be on her devices then go out to the movies with her friends. I am constantly offering her money to go out shopping, lunch anything just to get her out of the house and into the real world. Her grades have dropped and so I have had to take her phone from her until she finishes her assignment. We have a pretty open relationship but I feel like she is slipping into a deep depression, yesterday she told me that she feels she has bi polar as she feels she can not regulate her emotions. We are heading overseas tomorrow and really concerned about her.
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Community Manager

Re: Isolated teen

Hi @Concernedmum, sounds like you're already in the right head space with trying to help your daughter and noticing changes in her behaviour which is great!

 

Early teens go through so many emotional changes it can be so hard to tell where they are at emotionally. Luckily it seems like you have a very open relationship with your daughter and she is happy to talk to you about her emotions, perhaps you could continue the conversation from her mentioning bipolar? She might be open to you taking her to get proffesional guidance?

 

Is she coming with you overseas? That could be a nice break away from all the home pressures and social hang ups - this would be a great time to spend qualitiy time together relaxing and also talking about her emotions and setting you both up for some positive change and professional help upon return

Contributor

Re: Isolated teen

@Concernedmum it is hard for teens to make friends especially when someone is quite and introvert. May be you can have a look at this:

http://au.reachout.com/making-friends

I think it is good for teens to have a some co-curriculum activities where they can meet peers with the same interests. Why did your daughter quit dancing? Can she pick it up or is there any other activities she can do?

It's good that you are on good terms with her. You can be her friend at least. Is she interested in going out with you? My daughter has a period when she loves to go out with me and meet my friends and listen to adults talking. She is still very keen on checking my social media accounts.


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Frequent scribe

Re: Isolated teen

Hi @Concernedmum
Welcome and thank you for sharing. I can only imagine how frustrating this may be for you. The great thing is you've been able to recognise some important warning signs.

I'm so happy you have a open relationship with her. It's the best place to start. Have you had a chance to read the article above as mentioned by @readthemanual?
I am interested to know more about her self diagnosis of Bi Polar? How did she come to this conclusion? What has she been reading? Who has she spoken too? Don't mean to bombard you with questions, however 14 year olds don't normally self diagnose. Does she suffer from anxiety, or panic? Is she having violent outbursts or unexplainable crying episodes? Is there any family history?
What was the break up like from her boyfriend? Speaking from experience devices are addictive. Their brains become so consumed. Well done for removing it. I still find this difficult with my own. How did she react when u took the device?
What about you? Who Do you have to support you during all of this?
How long are you going away for?

Hope to hear from you soon. Stay safe during your travels.
Community Manager

Re: Isolated teen

Hi @Concernedmum, how are things going overseas? Would love to ask you some questions about your travel experiences, but might save that for another thread!

 

It's interesting that your daughter thinks she might have bipolar. It sounds like she recognises that something doesn't feel right and has been doing a bit of online research. I'd chalk that up as a positive, because it indicates she doesn't want to continue feeling these emotions and is more likely to seek help. Really the only way to know for sure if she has bipolar or another mood disorder is to take her to a GP. Do you think she would be open to that? The likely outcome is that a GP will provide a referral to a psychologist for a diagnosis. It's important that note that if she does have bipolar, it is manageable. There are lots of treatment and support options, some of them are outlined here.

 

If your not at the GP stage just yet, perhaps we could talk about some things to try to help her manage her emotions better?

Active scribe

Re: Isolated teen

Thank you all for your helpful suggestions and concerns. We really enjoyed our time away and she seemed slightly happier but we have laterally just come back and I am finding that she was quick to get back into her old routine and ways, isolating herself. I thought that being around family in an isolated village will help her connect with herself and us but she was still withdrawn and disrespectful to me and her father. I am going to give her a week or so to get her head around being back home and school etc, then I will have a chat to her about seeing someone for some help. I'm not sure why she believes she has bi polar but I will investigate. She doesn't really have mood swings she is just in a constant defensive state and doesn't show consideration or empathy for anything or one. Eg; we had 3 guinea pigs and she was extremely pationate about looking after them and taking them to shows where they would win prizes but last spring she was at home (curriculum day) while the rest of us were at work and school, anyway she always moves them out of the sun in the middle of the day but she forgot this time and they all died. My younger children were devasted as they were theirs too but she didn't show any remorse or sadness. She makes it very hard for us as parents to relate to her as she doesn't like anything but her phone and YouTube and the only time she wants to go anywhere with us is if she is getting something. I'm just struggling to understand her thought process eg; our dog had an accident late last night and I had told her to keep an eye on him if he wants to go outside but ofcourse she didn't care and I found his mess in a plastic bag open on our dining table!!!!! I can't understand how she could get that distracted and then go to bed forgetting the dog poo. I'm trying to hold it together the best that I can as my other two children have there own issues and my husband is not much help.
Community Manager

Re: Isolated teen

@Concernedmum that sounds like such a difficult sittuation. 

 

It's interesting that you state she seems to have lost interest in things and isn't showing empathy like you're used to from her. As you said it's definetely worth talking to her once she is settled back. Sounds like you're very switched on to her emotionally though which is great.

 

So sorry to hear about your dogs accident too! Hope the pup is on the mend!

Super contributor

Re: Isolated teen

Hey @Concernedmum

 

How have things been going with your daughter? Any improvements?

Did you get any further with the bi-polar issue?

Prolific scribe

Re: Isolated teen

I am so pleased that you had a great break together, that your daughters way of being was lighter, it's a challenge being a teen at the best of times.  You sound like you have a good plan with a Gp visit! And have you spoken to the school , you said grades had dropped, maybe you have - contact there would support you and your dUghter whilst you investigate further, - good news is your daughter goes to school, that's awesome.  I do hope you get some answers soon and in the meantime the communication and relationship with your daughter is so important.  Do your have support with that or need help? 

 

Prolific scribe

Re: Isolated teen