Tips on dealing with- a depressed kid?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by slsh, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Diva's got a therapist appointment in 2 weeks. I'm calling today to get a psychiatrist appointment. She's a mess and I just don't know how to deal with- and/or help her. Heaven help me, I'm missing thank you's rages at this point. At least then there was something practical I could do (protect sibs, contain thank you, etc.)

    She is definitely severely depressed. Typical symptoms - mopey, flat affect, cries easily. She's blowing off band homework (practice), but so far no other school problems that I've seen. Increasing friend problems and it's impossible to ferret out what are real issues and what is just her depressed take on things. She simply cannot solve even the simplest problems - her social studies book is on CD and she couldn't get it to work last night - didn't ask for help, didn't clean disk, didn't do anything, just quit and blamed it on her "stupid" computer. I totally get it, really. Depression is a bear - but.... UGH! I was able to get the CD working in about 30 seconds. Didn't say anything to her, just said "Okay, now you can do your work, it's all good." She was squeaking in band yesterday and said her teacher got "mad" at her, but while Diva had a chipped reed, the real problem is that her clarinet is "stupid". She's perseverating on getting a facebook account, which I am adamantly against. She's bringing it up daily and I'm to the point where I'm not discussing it anymore. It's not happening. Enter more quiet tears and retreat into her room.

    She's gone to absolutes - I "always" yell at her, I "never" do anything with her, Weeburt is "always" mean to her. I told her to point out to me when I'm yelling at her. Last 3 weeks since our talk? Not once. Probably because I haven't yelled since the infamous candle incident with- thank you over 6 years ago. I've tried to gently point out the faulty thinking going on here with her absolutes (being a victim of the same thought process), but I'm also apparently the dumbest person on the earth and don't have a clue of what I'm talking about. I'm not taking it personally, LOL.

    husband is being unusually unhelpful. He keeps wanting to know why she's depressed. Holy crud - he's been married to me for 23 years and he *still* doesn't get that with severe depression there is no "why"??? So he's trying to fix things by giving her advice she doesn't want, won't hear, and it just sets her off on another crying jag. I'm ready to throttle the man.

    I've made a special point to spend extra time with- her. I've tried to draw her out but all I get is shrugged shoulders and weepy tears. She cried all the way to school this morning.... honestly, I just don't know what to do.

    Her b-day is Mon and I'm just dreading this weekend. Going to mall tomorrow with- her and 2 friends of hers, then a sleep over. I just pray she is going to be able to keep it together, but ... I have my doubts.

    Any practical tips on dealing with- this until psychiatrist/therapist appointment? I'm keeping my mouth shut, trying to give her lots of attention, trying to keep her busy, trying to help her problem solve, but.... I'm just running on empty here.
  2. ML

    ML Guest

    I think you're doing everything you can. I would just add the ever-present "take care of yourself" too! It's too easy to get so sucked into their negative energy if we're not practicing extreme self care. I know you already know this because you're a veteran difficult child survior :)
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    slsh... first... HUGS!!!!! For you, too.

    Why is it that husband's think they can "fix" everything? My Dad says it's a guy thing, but I am a fixer, too. Drives me bonkers. I want to talk, yes - and come up with a solution - and then implement said solution. However...

    I remember (ok, it's fuzzy, but it's there) using the absolutes on my parents. And I have to keep myself from doing it to husband - I think it's possibly a frustration thing. And I don't think there's much you can do about that part except remind her gently to point out when said "always" and "never" happen.

    The whole facebook thing? I've got a mixed thought on this. If all of her friends have an account, AND she's at least 12, AND she friends you so you can monitor her page? AND you have approval on "friends"? Well... IF she can do all this, maybe. on the other hand, there's so much garbage on facebook. AND, as you said you're not discussing it. Since it seems to be a daily thing? I'm going to suggest the same logic husband is using on Onyxx: Bring it up one more time and the answer will be WHEN YOU MOVE OUT. (Regarding Onyxx's temps - long story, but she threw another fit because we need to get her a state ID.)

    Does she respond at all to husband, or does this just bring more tears? You may have to sit him down and say, look, I know you want to fix things, and give her advice, but it's backfiring... Let's back off on that stuff for a bit.

    More hugs... Almost as bad, in a way, as a full-on difficult child...
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I remember very vividly my first bout with severe depression. I was a little older than Diva (I was 15 & a sophomore.). The things that helped the most were my mom just spending time with me -- not talking about anything, just watching tv, baking cookies, etc. Just letting me cry without asking me to explain 'why?' -- as you said there isn't a 'why'. My dad blamed it on getting cut from basketball that year but it was the other way around, I was cut because I was too depressed to put any effort into tryouts. My mom said that knowing what she knows now, she would have got me a therapist but back then she didn't know anyone who had a therapist or even what medical depression really was.

    The cleanliness of my room was always a huge clue to how bad my depression was (in fact, it still is). Having someone step in and help keep things clean and organized always helps, if my outside world can be more controlled and organized, it leaves me more energy to deal with the chaos inside of me. You'd need to be careful as teenagers don't like their stuff touched (I remember trashing my room once when my grandma cleaned it completely thinking she was helping -- I was a total easy child so that was way out of character for me.)

    On the Facebook thing, husband really wanted the kids to have Facebook (mainly so they could be his 'neighbors' in Farmville :smile: )

    Neither Eeyore nor Tigger actually know their password. Piglet just earned hers this year but she still has to use the Internet in my room or the living room. She knows that I can log into her account at will and that I can see everything she posts. I log into her account daily, even if she hasn't so I can 'see' what is happening. I've learned alot about the social lives of jr high students -- and I have been know to call parents if their teens are posting things I think they should know. Maybe you can compromise in that she can have a page but you will be the only one with the password so she can only access it with you?
  5. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I have learned from my daughter, and from my own depression, that when you're depressed you are hyper-sensitive and any *perceived* tone is interpreted as yelling. What she is really saying is that it's something she can't handle right now.

    I agree with JJJ - just spend time with her and let her talk if she wants to, but don't prod. My guess is that without prodding, she will start to open up to you. She needs extra support right now. I describe my darker depressive episodes as struggling to keep my head above water and any extra little thing threatens to bring me under.
  6. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Does she has any computer access? I thought MySpace was way worse than Facebook. In fact, the kids I have on my facebook account (including difficult child) have toned it down because they have so many adults on to see what they write.

    Does she have aunts & uncles that would friend her?

    I know there is still the PM issue, but if you have her password....

    There are other sites like IMVU that are extremely concerning. So, I wonder if she is on any sites at all as FB seems the best to me.

    Does she take vitamins daily? Get any caffeine? Wondering if for the party you can try a boost of caffeine to help her enjoy it.