04-14-2021 07:01 PM - last edited on 04-14-2021 10:29 PM by Taylor-RO
I am new to the forum; my first language is not English, so I excuse in advance if sometimes my words don’t make much sense grammatically. I have a 15yrs old daughter who is dealing with anxiety since 2020, and with depression early this year, she engages in self-harm too. Before 2020, She had always been a happy and friendly girl. Good at school, at sports and with a good group of friends, very sociable, with a bit of a challenging personality at home, but nothing serious or uncommon of teenage years. Sometimes a bit anxious, but nothing until she started y7, and during y9, her anxiety started to show up, with a couple of sort of panic attacks and two episodes of self-harm. We tried to find help, but she was constantly dropping therapy for any kind of reason; because school or she felt that therapy was not working. We even tried hypnosis therapy, and I think it is the only thing that helped at the moment, on october last year. However, between Dec 2020 and January 2021 she started to go down in moods and going into isolation in her room, at the beginning talking chatting with friends, but later just by herself. And because today teens engage a lot in online relationships more than face to face, we thought it was a stage in her life, and because it was school holidays too, we didn’t want to make a big deal about her being for a long time in bed. But for moments, she was having a lot of anger with her sister and us. And I started to feel something wasn’t right. Finally, one night she told us she was feeling terrible, and most of the times, could not stand up from bed. 2 weeks before classes started, we started therapy again because she asked to be helped. When school finally started, she refused to go the first week, we manage to make her go after with the help of the school psychologist, but after that, she was all the time dropping and telling me that she didn't want to be at there anymore, that she didint not have friends anymore and that she hated the school. With the School (it’s a private one) we develop a plan so she can go back, but nothing worked. I don’t think there is bullying involved, but I suspect there are boys involved and friendships broken, and poor self-esteem that doesn't allow her to get over deception, and hers anxiety about what people thinks about her. The last day we tried to make her attend school, she self-harmed.
Well, long short story, this Y10 she has not been at school much, almost hasn’t done any tests. However, school accepted to give some test outside school hours, and preparing for tests was something she enjoyed because was keeping her busy. It’s sad because she talks about having a carrier and doing ATAR next year.
At the beginning of this year (that feels like 10 years because we are emotionally exhausted as parents), we were honestly worried about her future and school. We do not anymore; we want her to find the inner strength to come from where she is. We support her with all the challenges that come with that, and we accepted them as her parents with hope.
Now I know she is not going back to school. However, schoolwork keeps her moving and entertaining, with a sense of purpose, and I know that's important for her. We tried to enrol her in a special school for kids disengaged from the system. Unfortunately, she is on a long waiting list. And the public school in our catchment area is out of the discussion because her therapist told us she guaranteed it would be too much for her. So now I’m looking to get advice from anyone who knows about how to do online high school in WA and how its works. I hope someone can help.
That was a long introduction. Thanks for reading and share all your knowledge.
04-14-2021 10:25 PM
Hi @Carlamar, welcome to our forum and thank you so much for sharing. Firstly, I am deeply sorry to hear about the difficulties your daughter has faced in her mental health journey. It is upsetting to hear that your daughter is struggling a lot with school, self-harm and her mental health. You sound like a really kind and caring parent - I can hear that you have tried to explore as many options as possible for your daughter. It must have been hard for you as a parent to watch your daughter's interests and mental health change so much.
I have found some threads on our forum which include a similar experience (not based in WA) so I thought I would link it here and here in case you find comfort in reading the journey of other parents. In addition to that, I have found some websites for distance education schools in WA. Some of these you may have already tried but you can read them here, here and here. Have you been able to talk to your daughter's previous school about other options that are available in WA?
Just so you know, we don't allow specific details about self-harm so I have edited those out of your post. We also try to remain anonymous, so I have edited out your specific location and name to respect your privacy.
Please feel welcome to keep us updated, we are more than happy to help
04-29-2021 05:32 PM
Thank you very much for your answer. Finally my daughter doesn't want to engage in online school and we are seeking a change of school. She wants to go to a "normal" school and we think is the best, she needs to connect with people. As her mum I can be the friend who is always going to be there for her, but she needs real friends of her own age. We know she needs to keep doing therapy and probably had medication for treating her depression, but her willingness to start fresh in a new school is giving us a lot of hope.
04-29-2021 10:17 PM
Hello @Carlamar , thanks for keeping us updated. It is good to hear that you have been able to discuss this with your daughter and that you have been able to decide on your daughter potentially moving schools. It is great to hear that you are feeling hopeful that your daughter is willing to start at a new school. Hopefully your daughter has a great experience at her new school!