What can I do for difficult child??

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
I really am a loss. difficult child is in a very depressed state of mind. She's like a recluse - cut off from everyone, makes almost no effort to connect with friends and make plans. She gets herself all dressed up and hangs around the house, or on line and just is mezmorized by the constant stream of crap on facebook. She looks miserable.

Last night her ONE friend slept over after a night of fishing and when she came in it was apparent that she'd ben crying.

I was so excited to see her going out. After fishing they were supposed to go to a pool party by one of her friends from school, but I guess that was cancelled and so they came home. This morning I called the friend to see why difficult child had been crying (she wouldn't tell me last night) and her friend said that she wasn't too sure, but difficult child had been crying for about 2 hours last night. Friend said that difficult child kept saying, "Its not like I want to kill myself, I just don't feel like there is any point in being here...I have nothing to look forward to."

This past week, difficult child went to see her counselor and since I was busy paying the bill, they went into the room and closed the door. Then when they came out, after only 30 minutes!) the counselor said that difficult child wants to do individual counseling and not family, as the counselor had suggested the week before. Part of me believes that difficult child prefers this because then I won't be in the room to call her out in front of the counselor and she can behave as a normal person and the counselor will buy into her act. on the other hand, maybe difficult child really needs to have that time alone to vent about her stuff. Should I call the counselor today and tell her what's going on with difficult child re: the crying, listlessness, etc?

Also, while I was in ME, almost immediately difficult child pulled stuff on H and they wound up having a tizzy on Sunday morning when difficult child was caught lying about where she slept out. She told H she was at her g-fiend's but when H called in the morning, the friend's little sister told H that difficult child had never been there. difficult child confessed to H that she had slept over her new pukey boyfriend's house, ew. When I spoke with difficult child from ME, because she called me hysterical because H took away her car for the day (not enough in my opinion), she told me that her boyfriend did coke and had threatened to knock her teeth out - she claims she broke up with him. Later she told me that he broke up with her because he had sex with one of the other girls in the house that night!! WTH??

I know part of the reason she's feeling like crap is because she feels like she messed up again. She always goes into remorse stage when she feels like she messed up again and this is how it comes out. Since the last time she did this she wound up in the hospital suicidal.

So what do I do?


Well-Known Member
Seems like she needs help processing her mistakes. I would call counselor and have her seen ASAP. They can begin working on a plan to help her understand why she makes the mistakes and how to learn from them instead of just getting down on herself.


Active Member
Man, I am not looking forward to when mine are teens! I'm sorry to hear all of this that she and you are going through. I agree: she needs to see her counselor right away. I'd also look into the depression end. Considering the fact that "normal" teens can do something stupid when they break up with people, she could be really having a tough time. While he's gross to you, there was something that made him important to her.

Let her know that you think she's incredibly creative and funny. Reassure her that these are the years that she's supposed to be trying out decision-making and that when she's NOT sure of the right choices, that she can come to you for guidence WITHOUT judgement. Find a safe-word that she can use to confide in you without you getting mad or overly emotional. She could tell you that she wants a "friends talk" or "time-out chat" (this was the one my sister used with her teenager). When she does this, you have to be calm and open and let her know you love her and are there to be a sounding board. You can offer suggestions, and spell out potential hazards and roadblocks, but you can't overpower her with your opinion - clinical yet loving is key.

Keeping you in my prayers!



Jo, when was the last time she saw her psychiatrist? It sounds as if her medications need to be checked into. I would call both the therapist and the psychiatrist about the depression, crying, listlessness, etc.

In terms of counseling, I personally think a 17-year-old should be in individual therapy. Even if it's not your reality, it's hers, and she needs to know how to deal with it. All three of my kids are in individual therapy, and we have little say about what goes on in the doctor's office. We go separately from time to time to give our adult perspective, but the work done in the doctor's office is to address their issues, not ours as parents.


Active Member
My son has recently gone through something quite similar. He was in phosph in May for severe depression and rage, and walked out of there with no positive results. He was still just lying around the house, doing really absolutely nothing. He rarely cries, so that was not a major symptom, but he would rage, more his style if he is down. He would not shower, or go out, or do anything productive - and he developed a series of physical maladies and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) tendencies as well. I was VERY worried, obviously, and felt so helpless because nothing motivated him. (I could see him fused to my couch cushion in the year 2010 - and I was panicking :cry: )

Anyway, his psychiatrist prescribed Paxil, and suddenly his world is a different place. He has energy, is motivated, cares about his appearance, etc. I am wondering if the same scenario applies to your daughter? Does she need a tweek in her medication possibly? I would definitely call her psychiatrist, and tell them that she is experiencing some pretty severe signs of depression, and get their opinion.

As far as therapy.....we also just finally found a really good therapist.....and the therapist feels, as I do, that it is important for him and difficult child to form a bond one on one. therapist and I are going to stay in touch via email, and meet once a month just to keep in touch - but I think autonomy is crucial for kids at this age. Your difficult child needs to be able to tell therapist everything, without worrying about you interjecting, or bringing up other topics. My son, maybe like your daughter, will talk about nothing if he has a choice.....but I am trying to stay in touch with therapist so that the therapist holds him accountable for talking about things, rather than me being the one that holds his feet to the fire.

Good luck, and keep us posted on how it goes.


Active Member
I'd tell the psychiatrist and therapist and keep an eye on her. difficult child 1 won't talk to the therapist if I'm in the room. The only way we got him to open up at all is to assure him that therapist wasn't going to tell anyone what he says. Not me or biodad. I keep therapist informed of what goes on here by e-mail. I also tell therapist (in front of difficult child 1) some of what I put in the e-mail. I know that if I didn't difficult child 1 wouldn't talk to therapist. But if Mama spills the beans already then its out in the open to be talked about. Do what ever works for your difficult child. We've had to get rid of tdocs before because difficult child 1 would pull the wool over their eyes. We even had one tell us nothing was wrong with him! But this one can see through him.

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
I asked difficult child if she wanted to see her counselor and she said yes. The counselor wasn't in today and is booked tomorrow but will call difficult child and at least speak with her in the AM.

difficult child told me why she was crying - same story as usual; she messed up and got a ticket for possession of alcohol and was afraid to tell us and also was upset with herself for 'messing up again'. I also found out the the pukey exbf didn't just threaten to hit her, he did hit her. Apparently, when she saw the counselor earlier this week, that is what was discussed and that's why it was determined that she would get individual counseling as opposed to family. Obviously, the individual counseling will focus more on difficult child learning how to make better choices in the future, learn from any mistakes and also how to handle herself when life doesn't go as planned. I would much rather her counseling be about helping her get to adulthood healthier than about dredging up old crap anyway, so I'm glad about this. I think this counselor may actually be pretty sharp, sharper than I expected. difficult child and I were talking about her today and difficult child said she thinks the counselor may have been a "little wild when she was younger, but look at her now!" lol - she passed muster with difficult child and that's a big deal. First in a very long time.

I also called the local community college today to get more info on the art classes difficult child was interested in and difficult child agreed to meet them at 1, after she got herself out of bed. We met with them, she chose 2 classes and she filed her application. I is good - she seemed both a little nervous and relieved and hopeful. Later, we went to a movie and she helped me make dinner. It turned out to be a good day. Tomorrow we're going to the beach I think, if it's nice out.

Thanks everyone, for your thoughts.