or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Preteens and Teens › Depression/anxiety? Teen missing a lot of school, crying uncontrollably...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Depression/anxiety? Teen missing a lot of school, crying uncontrollably...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone, I am new here and remember I had come here to the forums many many years ago when my daughter was just 3 or 4 yo and the support was really helpful. 

So, I am back in the hopes of maybe finding some direction. I will try to keep this fairly short if I can!

My daughter is 14yo and I am at my wits end. She lives with me most of the time, she sees her dad on the weekend and her dad and I get along well now. Been divorced 10 years.

Just over the last several months in particular, in her 8th grade year, she has hit bottom, so-to-speak. 

 

Last Monday it was time to get up for school and she just started crying uncontrollably. To the point of near hyperventilation. She couldn't stop and didn't for hours. I had to get to work so I called her dad to come stay with her until I could get back. She was going on about feeling like she was 'dying inside' and was 'so tired of it all'. She was 'tired of trying'. She basically just hit a wall and couldn't do it anymore. 

The thing is, she is not at risk for self harm or anything like that--she has a friend going through it and she thinks its really wrong and 'stupid'.....but never the less she is still having these dark heavy feelings. She has been a really good student, has a few very close, good friends, she and I are very close and she is pretty close with her dad.

 

This has been building for years I think, my daughter has always been uber-sensitive and when meeting new people was not the super friendly outgoing type. 

Anyway, I digress. 

This happened last week and when I got home she and her dad hadn't moved and the tears and lack of vitality continued. The next day---same thing, she couldn't stop crying and I had to get to work. This continued for days! I was feeling both frustrated, and very concerned. She has missed school, I've missed some work but mostly I am worried about her. 

 

I have communicated with the school, they are understanding--very much so. I found an amazing therapist who my daughter actually connected with (she has been against therapy for years but I demanded it)--

 

But last night she was at her dads and texting me saying she was having a lot of anxiety about going back to school and still feels awful inside and said "what if I can't stop crying again?". And "I'm too tired to do anything', and "I just want everything to go away."

Basically, I think she has depression and anxiety......

I refuse to put her on medication, but I am trying to figure this out!! I can't keep doing this. And school seems to be a huge trigger, she does well but does not like school. 

She is expressing herself right now in the all black, black eyeliner, heavy metal-core music and I know its her refuge and I am open minded but I can't help but feel totally at a loss what to do. 

 

Sorry this is so long! Have any of you had this experience?? Any thoughts?

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this :)

post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakshmi3 View Post
 I found an amazing therapist who my daughter actually connected with (she has been against therapy for years but I demanded it)--

Have you spoken with her therapist?  Most therapists would be open to scheduling a collateral session with parents when requested.  Some therapist actually require collateral session on a regular monthly basis.  The therapist will be able to help you process what you're experiencing with your dd, in addition to supporting you in ways to help your dd. 

 

Quote:
 I refuse to put her on medication

 

How does your dd feel about medication?  This is also something you can speak with her therapist about.  Antidepressants, when used in conjunction with therapy, can be an amazing (short-term) tool and used for symptom relief, so your dd can become more functional AND allow her to explore - in therapy - more deeply the possible roots of her depression/anxiety, in addition to helping her to learn some healthy coping strategies to deal with her depression/anxiety.         

post #3 of 11

when did she start her periods?

 

i have seen (not sure if its a coincidence or not) that many girls react to puberty with depression. 

 

i have seen a few of dd's friends.

 

they start mood swings about a year before they start or a year later. 

 

dd suffered through a year before she started her periods. 

 

she is doing much better now, but we changed a lot of things instead of therapy. reduced the stressors and that had a huge effect. 

 

dd still has a few issues once in a while but not enough to seek therapy or medication.

 

when i spoke to a few child psychologists and therapists they told me that what is unspoken is how many middle and high schoolers need therapy. it all hush hush but its done.

 

our school psych. said many times therapy is not what it looks like. therapy is not the key, but the idea that the parent is doing something IS key. that the parent sees a problem and acts on it - makes them feel loved. 

 

since school is suddenly an issue have you ruled out bullying or teasing, low self esteem....

 

also while i dont like medication i WOULD give my child medication if that was required. i see medication as a way to help dd cope. maybe after a while she may not need the medication. but having a super sensitive child and also one who can read people very well - i would not hesitate to medicate my child if it came to that. of course i wouldnt take medications lightly - but seeing what dd went thru (crying in school, suicidal) i would have given her medication if she was worse. 

post #4 of 11

Since school appears to be the trigger, can you figure out why?  I would think that something must be going on for it to cause such a reaction.  Is it possible to change schools or do a virtual school?  How about bloodwork; I am curious if checking her vitamin/mineral levels would tell you anything.  I know that I feel better when I take my vitamin D.  My dd (also 14) was having a hard time with her periods--odd lengths and mood swings at the tale end and/or after AF vs before.  I read that sometimes vitamin deficiency can contribute so I got her a decent brand "women's daily" style vitamin.  This past month was better, but that could be coincidence.  Good luck.  

 

Amy

post #5 of 11

I agree with the other posters about many things. I thinking that talking about what is getting to her at school makes a lot of sense, as does checking into other options for education. I also agree that meds can be very, very helpful. I've had trouble with depression off and on since I was a child, and taking an anti-depressant was part of really turning it around for me. I'm not on meds now, but taking them for several months helped me readjust my brain chemistry so that I'm better able to handle life without just immediately sinking back into the black hole.

 

Another thought --- do you live where it is currently dark with little sunlight? I'm very affected by seasons, and I now choose to live in a part of the  country where it is sunny most of the year, partly because it is much easier to me to maintain my emotional balance this way. There are ways to address this in different climates, including special lights and working at getting as much natural light as possible.

post #6 of 11

My child went through something pretty much just like this. I ended up pulling her out of public school and homeschooled her. She was in 9th grade at the time. She is now happy and confident. She also has a very positive self esteem! She hasn't had a crying spell like that in 2 years. Homeschooling has it's challenges, but I am very grateful I did it. My daughter didn't become a statistic. If left in the public school system...I don't even want to think about it....

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by DBZ View Post
 

My child went through something pretty much just like this. I ended up pulling her out of public school and homeschooled her. She was in 9th grade at the time. She is now happy and confident. She also has a very positive self esteem! She hasn't had a crying spell like that in 2 years. Homeschooling has it's challenges, but I am very grateful I did it. My daughter didn't become a statistic. If left in the public school system...I don't even want to think about it....

ditto this in our situation too. pulled dd out in 6th grade and i cant tell you what a changed girl she is in just 3 months. not only in emotions but also in academics. she has surged ahead.

post #8 of 11

I went through a serious depression in 9th grade.  It was extremely helpful when my dad sometimes saw that I needed a "mental health day" and let me stay home.  He was not able to stay with me for long because he needed to go to work, but he would generally stay a few minutes and then try to come home for lunch, and he would listen when I felt like talking about it.  He told me some things that happened to him as a teen that were similarly rough, and although he didn't have any foolproof strategies for making things better, just knowing that he had survived it and feeling that he understood and was not criticizing my feelings was helpful to me.

 

Two of my grandparents were terminally ill that year, but all of my other problems were at school: I was being bullied and teachers were doing nothing about it (in fact, one of my teachers was himself being bullied by the class), I was in a new school where the culture was very suspicious and jail-like, most of my teachers were dumb and would get irritated with me if I acted too smart, the girls who had been my closest friends each had developed a special interest and was too busy with that to pay much attention to me, some girl I didn't know somehow found out which boy I had a crush on and walked up to inform me loudly that he wouldn't be caught dead with me, and then everybody seemed to know about that and laugh at me for liking him....  I would have liked to homeschool for the rest of the year or go live with my uncle (who invited me) and go to school there, but my parents wouldn't let me.  My dad did talk with the teacher who was being bullied, who had the class where I was suffering most, and worked out an arrangement where I could get a pass to go to the library during his class, as long as I turned in all my work, and that helped.  Still, it was a rough time, and I wish I'd been able to step out of it just for the rest of that year--the next year, my other year at that school, I had better teachers and made some new friends and everything was good enough that I could cope.

 

I'm glad nobody put me on medication.  Because the source of the problem was not biochemical, I don't see how a prescription drug that made me feel better about my sucky life would have been any healthier for me than drinking to cope with my sucky life; it just would have been an escape that didn't solve anything.

 

Lakshmi, I think it's crucial to find out what is wrong in your daughter's school experience.  You said the school was "very understanding" but is that just that they accept her missing school because she's upset, or are they aware of a specific problem and doing something to address it?  There must be a reason she is so anxious about going to school.  Until you know what it is, it's impossible to say whether it can be resolved at that school or she needs to make a fresh start at another school or needs some time off from school altogether.

post #9 of 11

Hello Lakshmi3,

I don't want to underestimate the particulars of your daughter's condition, but nevertheless, will add my two cents. I have two daughters, the younger of which is 17 years old. Unfortunately, mood disorders run in my family. My older daughter, so far, has been fairly symptom-free. However, my younger has been through a few tragic situations, and the familial mental issues have raised their ugly heads. Dear younger daughter has dealt with many things, including suicides of two friends. She was of course put in therapy immediately after the first tragedy and after a second tragedy I reluctantly had her seek the help of an MD who could prescribe meds for depression/anxiety. I was brought up in a very suck-it-up environment, and didn't accept any help until I had children and was 38 years old. Anyway, I have realized the validity and necessity of multi-pronged help for my daughter. I don't know if this is right for you / your daughter, but from my experience, would recommend calling in the "big guns"... Good luck!  There is nothing worse than watching your child suffer.

post #10 of 11
God bless and be with you and yours. When my son went through this I too homeschool ...He needed friends and followed in the scary crowd evil music.....it got bad...scary. Then once homeschooled helped with social skills and prayer the good days started out numbering the bad. Short use of meds made things way worse. Started seeing orthmolcule doctor for vitamins and probotic therpy finally balance. We usually count 100 happy or content days to 1 bad. I reduce most stress in our home if it really don't matter I do not make a deal over it. My son is finally happy again like before the teens hit.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakshmi3 View Post
 

 

I refuse to put her on medication, 

 

Sorry this is so long! Have any of you had this experience?? Any thoughts?

 

 

Keep talking and being there for her.  Homeschool if necessary.  Explore dietary modifications, chiropractic, flower essences.  But give yourself a definite time frame to see improvement and if it doesn't come, please reconsider your stance against medication.

 

My ds1 was offered medication but we worked through his issues with alternative strategies.  As for ds2, right now I do believe that Abilify may be saving his life.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Preteens and Teens
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Preteens and Teens › Depression/anxiety? Teen missing a lot of school, crying uncontrollably...