Hi @taokat I welled up reading your latest post. I haven't posted for a while but we have also had some setbacks so was looking for support and encouragement. I agree with the other posters - you are doing a fabulous job!! And the fact that you are an incurable optimist is a major positive - if you could bottle optimism and sell it it'd be worth more than gold. I am the same. The issue for folks like us, is that it means life is a constant roller coaster... especially when our kids are having such a difficult time. We started the year on a high as my daughter was refreshed after school hols and all gung-**bleep** for year 11. There was a quick decline not long after as she found herself not coping (but also not willing to accept any help in terms of getting organised etc.). I do have question in terms of diagnoses etc. While her psych/counsellor has said she has depression anxiety, and she is now also under the care of a psychiatrist who says her main issue is anxiety with depression secondary (and he is prescribing her both anti-depressant and mood stabilisers for her self-harm), we have no written reports as such, and the school has requested something in writing - presumably so they can get funding for her? Does anyone have any experience with this? Mental health professionals generally seem disinclined to write formal diagnostic reports? In terms of looking after ourselves, I have booked some time off work and am trying to arrange counselling for myself and possibly for my husband too. Has anyone had experience of family counselling and if they have found it helpful?
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Sorry I dropped off, thanks to all @Zoesplace @Breez-RO @taokat @KitKat2306 @Adventure5 for your thoughts and insights! I also missed the Friday night chat as missed it with the time difference. I haven't done the joint 'lets decide on rules and consequences' conversation yet, cos she hit a bit of a rough patch and we just bunkered down for a while. So we have had a few phone 'stand-offs' but overall no discipline issues as yet. To be honest, apart from a bit of cheek and her phone obsession, she hasn't really pushed that many boundaries (ie alcohol, drugs etc.)... which makes me worry that I still have all that to come!! Psychiatrist has just added new med to the mix so hopefully that will help with her mood swings. Because I have replied to this post (@Zoesplace), unfortunately I can't see all of your other specific advice, so I can't respond. Should I have just started a new post??
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Thanks everyone for your responses. taokat, I like how you mentioned discussing consequences together, however lately my daughter has become uncommunicative and seems to have almost regressed to a younger, less mature state. I am wondering (hoping) this is as a result of her current medication and we are seeing a psychiatrist for first time next week. I wrote her a note the other day and left it on her bedroom door, requesting that she hand in her phone until she had removed food/unsanitary items from her bedroom (I have pretty much given up on her bedroom being kept tidy or clean). It kind of worked. She didn't hand in her phone, but she did a half-hearted clear out of gross things from her room - small wins! I know I need to make more time for one-on-one with her, but it is hard with two younger kids and working as well. In some ways I would rather she lash out at me, as at least that way she is communicating with me. But at the moment, because I am being super gentle around her, all I ever get in response is a blank face or monosyllabic responses. I know each day is a new day but it is exhausting... So your daughter at least has something at TAFE she is interested in pursuing? That is a real positive and must give her a focus which is great. At this stage I can't see my daughter showing an interest in anything future-oriented - she thinks there is no point to anything, life is meaningless etc.., so why even try? It is a really dark place and all the more scary because we have all been there at some point right?
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My 16yo daughter has depression and anxiety. She is under the care of a good psych and is on anti-depressants. My question is really about how to discipline/set boundaries for kids with mental health issues. I have stopped using grounding as one of her main issues is social anxiety and I don't want her to miss out on opportunities to be with friends. I occasionally will take her phone from her but again, she does use it to seek support from friends so I limit this as a punishment.
My worry is that by not giving her consequences for behaviours I am actually setting her up to fail in real life situations. I find getting the balance right to be so difficult. School work for example - I have pretty much given up trying to enforce study time, as many people have said focus on her health, education can always wait.
Would love to hear from other parents trying to manage a similar situation.
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