difficult child is depressed

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by flutterbee, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Since my illness, difficult child has been doing very well. We have only had a couple of meltdowns/rages, and only one has been significant. I really think that my improved health is making a big impact on my ability to parent her, thus seeing less meltdowns.

    I took difficult child to the pediatrician over a week ago for a sinus infection and ear infection. She was given antibiotics. She has been sleeping upwards of 16 hours a day since. We went back to the doctor yesterday and they did bloodwork to check for mono (dr said they have been seeing that lately...just to keep that in mind, ladies), anemia and they checked her thyroid. Everything came back normal and negative on the mono.

    The last couple of nights have been somewhat rough. difficult child more angry, feeling more helpless and worthless. That coupled with the hypersomnia, I'd say she's depressed and her pediatrician agrees. difficult child refuses to take her medications and refuses to participate in therapy. I'm still dealing with this stupid allergic reaction and benadryl makes me sleep for hours and hours. I'm trying not to take it, but when the hives start I don't have a choice. That certainly doesn't help difficult child any as she feeds off me so much.

    When difficult child gets this way, she just becomes very helpless and has this "there is nothing I or anyone can do" attitude. Certainly nothing mom can do, cause mom doesn't know anything. It's hard to help someone who refuses to help herself. I can't seem to engage her no matter how I try. She seems to be either angry or asleep. She has never been a kid that one can reason with. Especially not in this state.

    She refuses the medications because she says they don't work. They do, but she doesn't see it or doesn't want to see it. I suggested she keep a daily feelings journal. Start it before the medications and continue after so that she could look back and see if there was any difference. Of course, that might prove her wrong so that's not a good idea in her book. :rolleyes: She's not open to anything that involves taking the medications.

    She says therapy just makes her feel worse, although she enjoys it when she's there, she likes her therapist and I have noticed an increase in her coping skills. She just doesn't like to do these things because she doesn't like what they imply. She's always saying (usually sobbing) that there is nothing wrong with her. I've explained that these things certainly don't mean that there is anything wrong with her, but that some of us need a little extra help in dealing with things. Just like I explained her pull out to a small math class was because everyone learns differently and this class teaches it the way she learns.

    With her depression, her anxiety is also off the charts and she's feeling sick all the time. Her doctor gave me a rx for her for nausea. I think a placebo would be just as effective, honestly. She's very open to suggestion. If you tell her something will do something, it will for her.

    Any ideas on what I can try?
  2. oceans

    oceans New Member

    Is there something she could earn in exchange for taking care of herself (taking medications and going to therapy). She will not be getting any better unless she continues to do those two things. I don't really think a placebo is going to help in the long run. Is she getting any cognitive therapy, where she learns about her disorder, how it is affecting her, and why she needs the medication? Is there someone she looks up to that could talk to her about the importance of the medications and therapy?
  3. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    She hasn't been doing cognitive therapy yet as she doesn't have the core resources necessary for that to be effective. Her therapist has been working with her, when difficult child will allow it, on resource building. difficult child has almost zero insight. We are still working to help her make the correlation between her physical symptoms, i.e., upset stomach, shortness of breath, with her anxiety/panic. Because of how antagnostic difficult child is with therapy, her therapist really takes it slow and carefully weighs her words with difficult child. Otherwise, it's major rage/meltdown/shutdown.

    As far as earning something in exchange for therapy/medications, difficult child takes that to an entirely different level. She sees it only as a means to an end.

    There is a good friend of mine that difficult child really likes and who has a very calming influence on difficult child. She also used to babysit difficult child from the ages of 4-7 so they have a very good relationship. I'll see if she'll talk to difficult child and see if she can get anywhere.
  4. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    I'm sorry that your difficult child is refusing medications. Has the psychiatrist explained the neurochemical imbalance that goes on in the brain - that it's a "physical" problem? Would it help difficult child to process that this medication is needed just like a diabetic would need insulin or a cancer patient chemo?

    Just thinking out loud for you. I know you've not been feeling well so it would be hard - however, the world shuts down until medications are taken here. Literally. kt has learned & knows that if medications aren't taken nothing else will happen. It takes a great deal of energy to enforce - yet we need to do it less & less.

    I'm glad that your difficult child has a therapist that knows her so well & how to handle her.
  5. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    We, psychiatrist, todc and I, have used the insulin analogy. difficult child also knows that I take the same medication, lexapro, and has watched me take it. When she sees psychiatrist, she says she understands and she will take the medication. As soon as we leave the office, she's anti-medication.

    How do you do it...making the world shut down? When it comes to the medications issue with difficult child it is literally hours of intense raging...screaming, hitting, kicking, slamming, stomping, sobbing.

    I really think it has to do with difficult child feeling like she has no control over anything and this is something she can control...something that goes into her body. Yes, she's essentially shooting herself in the foot, but she is a stubborn little thing. No idea where she gets that from. :wink:

    It doesn't help that she sees me taking all these new medications and the reaction I'm having to them.
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    First off hugs-it is so hard when kids don't want to take medications.

    At our house we also do the no medications nothing happening thing. At one point it brought on a lot of raging. It is better now I think because he knows we won't budge until he takes it and consequences will start to pile up if he doesn't take it.
  7. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    The world stops here by television, radio, games, outside play - you name it, ceases immediately until medications are taken.

    And it's not easy - at one point, it was the only battle I would take on in full force. I've called in crisis team over the medication issue. I know the medications help; I also know that my difficult children de-escalate quickly with-o them. Therefore, it's medications or nothing.

    If you go this route be prepared for the worst. After a week or two of medication battles it begins to sink in....kt now knows I mean business. I can wait out her tantrum, rage, kicking & screaming.
  8. renaeb

    renaeb New Member

    My son has ODD, I am desperate for some support, never talked to anyone else who's child has it. Anyhone else out there? First time online so forgive me if I dont know what I'm doing. I am at my wits end with my kid. Thx Renae
  9. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I understand what you are saying. difficult child has such a delicate grasp on her self...worth, image, value...and is absolutely terrified by the lack of control she has over her life - or her perception of it. She has had meltdowns - curled up in the corner and body-wracking sobs - over that very topic. Because of this, I think it is extremely important for the medications to be her decision. I am searching for a way to help her understand and to help her help herself and to have it be her idea, her decision. I really feel that if I force this on her, she is going to break - she is going to lose the progress she has made and that very important, but so delicate grasp she has. It's very difficult to accurately describe.

    The medications prescribed for difficult child were only prescribed with the intention that they be an aid to therapy. The intention is not there that these medications be lifelong. If that is determined at a later time, that she needs medications for a long period of time or the rest of her life, as I do, then that is that.

    Sigh.... I'm trying to build her up and if I force this issue I'm so afraid I'm just going to be breaking her down.
  10. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Hi Renae and welcome to the board. I'm glad you found us. Come out and introduce yourself whenever you're comfortable.
  11. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    kt has a tenuous grasp on her sense of self or permanency as well. I hated to take the route that I took for her to take her medications however in her skewed perception of reality, she needed to feel in control. Felt (still does to a lesser degree) the need to "parent" herself with dismal results.

    And it can be traumatizing to shut down the world - however, it's worked. And I had the treatment team behind me - supporting this stance & this strategy (as a last resort). Now there is no argument.

    I hope difficult child can find a way to feel a sense of worth again... She's at such a tough age then adding in difficult child issues - well ahhhhhh!