Antidepressants for 14 year old

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Antidepressants for 14 year old

My 14 year old daughter has been seeing a counsellor, who I really like & trust and so does my daughter, and she has said that my daughter is very depressed and advised that we see the GP to get her onto antidepressants. The GP at the medical centre wouldn't prescribe them and just said she needed more sleep & to eat better. This really upset my daughter as she thinks now body understands how she feels, that she is making it up & wasting their time (a classic symptom of being depressed). Her counsellor wants to refer her to an adolescent psychiatrist to obtain medication.

 

I want to do anything I can to help my daughter but I'm just worried about her taking antidepressants at such a young age.

 

Any thoughts or experiences others teens have had on antidepressants? Thanks

Super frequent scribe

Re: Antidepressants for 14 year old

So sorry your daughter had such a terrible experience at the GP @Mbfwt! Some GPs really do miss the mark when it comes to mental health and I definitely think it's worth getting a second opinion. Your counsellor knows your daughters mental health in much more detail than the GP...

If you are worried, I'd really suggest you try a GP or psychiartrist at your local Headspace Centre. They are specialists in young people's mental health and can talk you through all the pros and cons to help you make a decision.

They way I like to think of it is if they had a broken arm, I wouldn't hesitate to give them all the medication they need to get better, and so I shouldn't think of mental health any differently..

Here's a link to find a Headspace in your area:

Contributor

Re: Antidepressants for 14 year old

@Mbfwt

gp again! When my daughter had eating disorder and lost her period, we went to see a gp who is four times our size and could not sympathize with us at all! the specialist she refered us to was twice our size but luckily, she understood the problem and had a nice discussion with my daughter even though at very high cost! 

I really think the australian medical system has huge problems. But the good thing is that there are non-profit organizations who really care about people. so see if  @HalleysComet's suggestion works out for you.


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Active scribe

Re: Antidepressants for 14 year old

Thank you for your response & support. She had been messaging me all day telling me how bad she feels & has come home from school & wont talk to me about it. Hopefully she can see her councelor again on Thursday and she will put us in touch with a psychiatrist. It's all such a waiting game. It's so annoying as her councellor, after talking to her, understands her needs. i have been in touch with Headspace in the past and they have been very helpful but she won't speak to them. I'm at my wits end & very worried but must stay strong for her.

Community Manager

Re: Antidepressants for 14 year old

So sorry to hear how worried you are - and how much your daughter is struggling.
That's a shame about Headspace, but it's a great thing that she has the counselor and is open to the psychiatrist.

Great that you have an appointment for Thursday and she will refer you on to a psychiatrist. In between appointments, I've found these 21 tips helpful in the past with other young people her age:
http://au.reachout.com/21-tips - you could show it to her?
Founding member

Re: Antidepressants for 14 year old

Finding a child psyciatrist I found very, very difficult. S/he has to be able to have a raport with the child and get along with the parents. Then comes the difficulty of getting an appointment. Persevere!!

My son was diagnosed with ADHD and clinical depression at age 7. Extremely confronting for his parents. The good news is that my GP, an old friend, got us into a local child psychiatrist pronto. After the first interview and diagnosis he prescribed appropriate meds and it made a dramatic difference - Mr7 lost his depressive moods and his general "liveability" with the family improved within 2 days. We were sent to the Brain & Behaviour centre at Westmead for brain scans - the "electric hat" - to confirm the ADHD was in fact a correct diagnosis. It was and Mr-now-20 still takes meds and manages himself quite well. His depression faded after less than a year and he weaned off the SSRI pills successfully with no lapses over about 11 years. He is studying Law at uni quite successfully.

I guess the point is that depression in young kids happens. I saw it as like a broken arm, give appropriate support and treatment and it should heal. While it is resolving, unconditional love is the answer I believe.

Good luck!!

Waldo P

Active scribe

Re: Antidepressants for 14 year old

Thank you Waldo-P

it is really reassuring to hear that your son responded so well on the meds & is doing so well.

i know my normal gp will prescribe them for my daughter and we are going to go ahead. It's so heartbreaking when I pick her up from school and she's close to breaking down and saying she can't go on like this. Seeing her wonderful counsellor tomorrow - yes it is all about rapore & trust) so hopefully she will be feeling a bit better after seeing her and then we will go to the GP

Thanks again

Community Manager

Re: Antidepressants for 14 year old

Good luck tomorrow @Mbfwt
Contributor

Re: Antidepressants for 14 year old

You (and me and everyone) have the right to be a 50% partner in your health management. If your GP doesn't agree, change your GP. I "shopped around" when I moved to a new area many years ago and settled with the one who said he'd like to take some baseline measurements (BP, weight etc) with any new patient.

 

Occasionally I've had to resort to a medical centre GP and it's very hit and miss.

 

Yes, it's confronting to consider putting a 14-y-o on antidepressants. But healthy living and plenty of sleep as a cure?

 

My son has made so much progress in the past two years. We chose a combination of of medication and psychology sessions. He was 14 when we started. I'm glad that I had a GP who was quick to act (knowing my own history of anxiety and depression) and who recommended a local pychologist who specialised in younger people. I found her a little on the "spiritual" side for my skeptical leanings but it didn't matter -- my son thought she was great and they built a wonderful rapport. He made the decision at the start of this year to taper off then stop the sessions but he still takes Zoloft, and knows if he ever wants to go back to his psychologist he can.

 

Be hopeful. Things can get better and you keep on doing what you are doing: which is being a great parent and an advocate for your child. Hope to hear from you again.

Active scribe

Re: Antidepressants for 14 year old

Thanks so much. Vast improvements this week. Our GP subscribed her with the required medication and I've noticed a considerable change. I think it's someone other than me & her pyscologisy taking her seriously that has helped more than anything. Onwards & upwards Smiley Happy