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Old 01-27-2013, 01:51 PM   #1
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Unhappy My daugher has intrusive thoughts... need help

Hi all. I have just posted on the depression board as well...my 14 year old daughter seems to be depressed with anxiety and also has intrusive thoughts. She doesn't want to talk to me specifically about this. She saw a psychologist a few times over last summer but when school started, things seemed better. In september, her bf broke up with her, but she soon found a different boy so I didn't think she was hurting anymore. I just found a bunch of notes she typed and basically it said that when he broke up with her she felt rejected by her only friend...she has started cutting. I saw one cut on her hand and she did this on the day they broke up so I thought it was a one time thing. Of course I had the complete wrong reaction and freaked out. After reading about cutting, I realized that this stems from her severe anxiety. We have since talked about it and I wrote her a long letter (because she shuts down when I begin to talk). I didn't lecture in the letter - I told her some things about my teen years and how it was rough for me too. I was hoping that she would get some peace from that. I asked her if she read my letter and she said yes and that was it. Now I will be contacting her school psychologist to see if she can refer me to someone else (not the lady she was seeing over the summer). I have tried to lay low, just telling her I am here for her if she needs to talk or wants to talk. I try not to lecture but even if I just open my mouth, she thinks I am lecturing.
I have started being consumed by fear now...fear that my daughter will do something to really hurt herself, fear that she will flunk school, fear that she will end up living at home way into her adult life. These are the thoughts racing through my brain when I have insomnia (I am 44 and going though the beginnings of perimenopause too to make matters worse).
I am very reluctant to get her on any kind of medication...we have severe drug abuse that runs in the family as well as alcoholism. So I would rather try talk therapy to see if that helps before trying any kind of meds. Teen brain chemistry is so different from an adults...

Does anyone have any kind of advise for me on how to get through the day without falling apart thinking about this? I feel like I shouldn't be joyful or happy when my daughter is suffering. But I need to be able to function and feel at peace. I have started praying even though I have never been particularly religious. Does anyone know of any herbs for anxiety? She takes melatonin for sleep - I've allowed this because I want her go be able to sleep. I also take it and it does seem to help, but I am wondering if there is any herb specifically for anxiety. Kava is dangerous because of liver damage from what I understand, but is there anything else?
Thanks everyone.

Last edited by Administrator; 01-27-2013 at 04:29 PM.

 
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:38 PM   #2
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Re: My daugher has intrusive thougs...need help

I'm sorry to hear about the difficulties you and your daughter are having. She is lucky in one respect to have a mother who obviously cares about here very much. My parents were a huge help to me when my OCD first hit me in my early teens.

Intrusive unwanted anxiety inducing thoughts are a symptom of OCD, seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist who specializes in anxiety disorders to get a more specific diagnosis. Whether its generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, depression or some combination they will be able to work with your daughter to help her get better.

From a non-drug based approach Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been shown to be effective in treating anxiety disorders.

From a medication standpoint I can't give professional advice as Im not a doctor, but I've used medication since I was first diagnosed (Prozac and then Celexa) as a teenager. It was incredibly helpful in assisting my treatment of OCD. You mention problems with addiction in your family but SSRI's ,used as a primary long term treatment of, aren't really habit forming. your doctor will be able to work with you to address your questions. From my reading on the subject the warning is based on a very small sample size and are there out of an abundance of caution. I wouldn't rule out medication completely, fortunately you can start with CBT and hopefully that will be enough to help your daughter.

The HealthBoards Anxiety Center is linked near the top of the page and might help you in learning about anxiety disorders and what to expect and how to choose a therapist, etc.

Good luck to your family on starting the recovery process. Your daughter is lucky to have you.

Last edited by Administrator; 01-27-2013 at 04:30 PM.

 
Old 01-27-2013, 08:09 PM   #3
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Re: My daugher has intrusive thougs...need help

Thank you for your reply. I realize I posted in the wrong area so thanks to the mods for moving it. I didn't realize this board existed.

I wish I could take all her pain away. We will start with the CBT. Another stresser is that our insurance doesn't cover mental health (only a tiny part). So frustrating.

I am going to call the counselor at school tomorrow. Maybe she has some ideas..I just worry that my daughter won't want to help herself, and really, she has to be willing to try otherwise it's pointless.

I'm trying to stay positive...

 
Old 01-28-2013, 12:00 PM   #4
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Re: My daugher has intrusive thougs...need help

You're welcome. Its actually a good thing you posted where you did otherwise I wouldn't have seen the post, I tend not to visit the friends and family forum since *I* am the sufferer in my situation

You are right that she'll need to want to help herself, but hopefully the possibility of getting better will be enough to ease her over any reluctance she might have. She might also want to consider posting here, or in another OCD forum to connect with people who understand what shes going through, or go to an OCD support group meeting or some such. Knowing you aren't alone in experience what you do because of OCD can be a powerful tool in helping recover.

 
Old 01-28-2013, 05:15 PM   #5
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Re: I am a mother of a depressed teen daughter....

Hi-- I wanted to say the last thing you want to do is panic.

I am in your shoes, and want to tell you what I know. My daughter is now almost 18 and started about where your daughter is in age experiencing the same thing.

1) Do not be afraid to tell your daughter NO. Sometimes-- they really want to hear it. So if you don't want her to self pierce you can use it as a reward system. You can get your nose pierced when.........
2) Make Counseling your priority. The counselor does not have to tell you unless it is dangerous what is going on.
3) I totally understand the medication thing, I agree. I am on the internet searching information about sam-e for teens. My husband takes it and it makes a huge difference. Just want to make sure that a teen can use it.
4) Take depression serious, but also know that it is normal for teen girls to be moody. Encourage her to write in a journal. Tell her to write letters to herself, and write them as if she is trying to help the girl that she is.

My daughter Really came out of her shell when she got involved in youth group. (Not saying this is what your daughter needs to do) but she was very withdrawn too. I MADE her go the first 6 months or so-- and it changed her view . She became the person we knew she was before being so withdrawn and depressed.
She still gets depressed and we just conversed about it today. Thus, my reason for deciding to research . If I absolutely have to I will give in to medication, I've finally decided-- it has taken me years. But-- I finally get it-- she told me "mom-- this going up and down, it's so hard."

I wish you luck -- remember don't panic, I promise it makes it worse.
By the way-- she also goes to counseling. Wanted to quit after a few weeks. Again-- I made her stick it out. Now-- she looks forward to her sessions.

I will check in with you ..

 
Old 01-29-2013, 07:51 AM   #6
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Re: I am a mother of a depressed teen daughter....

Hey, I am not the parent of a suffering teen. Hell, as a 24 year old I'm barely not a teenager. I'm also not currently depressed. However, I suffered from severe depression as a teenager, was diagnosed and put on medication at the age of 16. I continued medication until I was 19. I was on Effexor XR? Something like that. Regardless, it helped, a lot. What helped the most though was undoubtedly the councilling. Now, I want you to know that it is VERY difficult to find a good councillor. I spoke with 6 different ones until I found someone I really "clicked" with and for your child to get any real help at all she'll need someone she enjoys seeing. When I found that someone I actually enjoyed going and I started making real gains until eventually (years later) I didn't need councilling or medication. I'm proud to say I've been depression free for years now. Now, group activities are honestly really important. They build self-esteem and help boost your ego. Before and while I had depression I didn't do too much physical activity. I mean, I played sports at school (not during) but I didn't push myself. My therapist recommended I go to the gym. Honestly, the gym works wonders although when I'm at peak physical condition I can be pretty full of myself, but it beats that old down on myself feeling. I'm currently suffering a broken heel so I haven't worked out in 10 weeks. *sad face* Finally, be weary of your daughter constantly having boyfriends as girlfriends were a crutch of mine during my depressed years. I felt like I needed someone else to make me happy.

 
Old 02-17-2013, 08:35 PM   #7
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Re: I am a mother of a depressed teen daughter....

I used to be that kind of teenager myself. Medications were not so "popular" as they are now when I was a teen. Valerian Root is an herb that they make "Valium" from, so it's for anxiety, but the problem is we are not professionals, so we don't know the wholle picture. Is it safe for under 18 years old??? Not worth a chance. Maybe her anxiety is just a symptom of a certain kind of depression, and then adding something to calm depression/anxiety would be like 2 downers kind of. I trust that you do research when your child is concerned, but I'd still hesitate to have her take anything that can affect her moods or hormone levels or anything like that. She's still growing and there's still a chance that this is all just plain normal for her chemistry during growth.. Without being bossy,, I just wanted to say please be careful with even herbs for anyone under 18. I don't want to sound like I know best for your daughter, 'cuz I sure don't. I used to cut on my arms with that severe anxiety. I've been on Prozac, Paxil, and Effexor XR over the years. Once that horrible way of dealing with emotional pain has begun, it's very hard to completely stop it, I've found. I haven't cut on my arms for 6 years now. I deal with my stress and pain in different ways now. This all started for me when I was 21 and my baby died from SIDS. I didn't deal with this well at all. I turned to alcohol very soon afterwards, and my problems just intensified (of course). Anyways, it's great that you are reaching out here like you are. The school counselor is another great idea you mentioned. She really is lucky to have you for a mom. And, I'm glad, because I'm sure that she deserves to have a wonderful mom like you. I bet she's a beautiful daughter inside and out.

 
Old 02-18-2013, 01:29 AM   #8
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Re: My daugher has intrusive thougs...need help

My heart goes out to you. Pardon me if I make typing mistakes here. I'm typing through my tears.
I want to thank you for posting.
I was where you are now. I have no advice other than the advice you got already. See, my daughter was diagnosed with OCD and depression at the age of 14 and nothing we did, nothing we said, non of the help and advice we had at that time could save her. She was too far gone. we had to watch her slip futher and futher away, and there was nothing that helped because she didn't wnt to talk. She died 11 days after her 15th birthday. I DO NOT want to scare you any more than you are already. Please, please don't panic but don't delay either. There is help out there. There is. Honey, I'm so sorry if I did, I'll pray for you. That you don't walk the same path path as we did. Please don't give up. please don't panic. you are doing a fine job. hang in there. hold on tight to your faith and DON"T give up. you search you do EVERYTHING in your power. you be strong
Thank you for posting. I haven't cried since she did did what she did 2 years now that she's gone. hang in there. don't give up.

Last edited by grey745; 02-18-2013 at 01:42 AM. Reason: left out words

 
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:43 PM   #9
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Re: My daugher has intrusive thoughts... need help

Thank you all for your replies and I am sorry I have not been back in a while. I have read everything you have said and have taken it to heart.

Grey, I am so terribly sorry for your loss. Thank you for posting. I am scared, as you said. There is nothing more terrifying than losing a child. I am praying for you and your daughter right now...through my tears. I can't imagine what you must be going through....no words will suffice on my part.

My daughter has agreed to counseling....we've been 4 times (just me the first time). My daughter is reluctant to say much about it, but at least she said that she is better than the other counselor (over last summer - only 3 times). Last night after her session, in the car she actually talked to me. WE have about a 30 minute drive home so I went very slowly and tried to listen the best I could. She said she doesn't like people. She doesn't like the girls at school because they are so dramatic. She said she doesn't care if she has friends, she likes to be by herself. She said that she doesn't really feel human...then told me that I wouldn't understand. It's a disconnectedness from people she said. I asked her if she feels that way about her boyfriend and she said no...she said she does feel connected to her little brother, her grandpa, and another guy friend at school because he thinks like her. I didn't ask about myself or her father because I didn't need to hear her answer. She got very emotional and started to cry a little bit right when we got home. She went in and straight up to her room. She let me fix her some soup and toast and vitamins...and give her a hug (rare the last couple years) then she watched her favorite show - Faceoff. Today she missed school....she said her head hurt and she felt a cold coming on. So today I've been worried sick again...ruminating and worrying about the future, but I guess I should be very thankful that she is willing to go to counseling. There are good days and bad days. Our next appt. is 6 days away.

I try to keep a positive voice...continue with chores, continue making dinner, etc. But I can't seem to find peace until I am sleeping. My son and husband need me too...and I have a lot of hope but some days I feel overwhelmed by sadness that my daughter is not healthy. I guess this is normal. It's so hard to be strong...

 
Old 04-16-2013, 03:49 AM   #10
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Re: My daugher has intrusive thoughts... need help

You hang in there. you keep going. keep praying. stay positive. keep breathing. keep hope and faith alive. listen when she talks - even if supper is burning. just hold on tight to anything that is stable. through the ditches, over the hills, through your fears and tears. you are doing a fine job. you hold on, you hang in there. you just keep going.
that's how i managed to survive without going nuts, same as now - i manage.
thinking of you and praying for you.

 
Old 04-16-2013, 04:34 AM   #11
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Re: My daugher has intrusive thoughts... need help

I just had an idea.
it might help a little bit. See, while seperating belongings (divorce), I found the little tea set I inherited from my mother the year before my daughter died. It is rather small cups and it has a very large tea pot with it. I remembered a special morning.
My daughter wrote me a formal invitation to a "Private, No Talk, Silly Tea Party" at promptly 11 am in the back yard, with these instructions: "Don't be late. Don't bring friends, pets or family. Dress up in a silly way." So I tied my hair in little pony tails all over my head with lots of ribbons. I painted my nails all the colors I could find and dressed as rediculously as I could.
Arriving at the tea party I found her also dressed up silly. We giggled a lot, but for that hour it took us to empty that huge tea pot, drinking out of those very small cups - pinky and nose in the air as if we were very smart - we were happy even if neither of us said a single word. Her eyes were shining brightly for the first time in many months.
After her death I found her diary. She wrote:
"The tea party worked. Grandma was right. I'm feeling better today."
and she drew a little heart after it. I think it was the idea that I would do something just for her, and that she was in control of herself and the situation for that hour at least, that made her feel better. Maybe it was just the sillyness of it ...
So I was thinking, maybe you could invite your daughter to a private, no talk, silly tea party.

 
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