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02/26/2012 12:14 PM

What to do about a young depressed teen?

Linda27
Linda27Posts: 227
Member

She doesn't have BP but I think we can all relate to depression so I figured I would ask here, thank you so much for taking the time to read this and responding.

Besides telling them that you are always there for them if they need you, and telling them that if they are feeling like hurting themselves to call you or tell their parents right away. What else can you do? I feel so bad that there isn't more I can do besides talk to her about my own depression and how I am working on overcoming it. She is going through alot right now, and I do mean more than any 13 year old should and doesn't start counciling until mid next month, and I want to do everything I can to help atleast until then. Her parents are going to call her pdoc on Monday (she has ADHD and has been on meds since she was 6 or so) and see what he wants to do. She posted some pretty scary things on facebook yesterday, like "I can't do it anymore. Everything hurts, and no one notices that I'm not okay anymore. Why can't I just disappear from this earth and let everyone be happy?"

and a couple other less scary but equally as depressed things. I talked to her after I seen them and we talked for a while and I think it helped but I am so worried about her and don't know what to do. I sincerly doubt she would try to harm herself but I know what its like to be in that dark place where anything is possible. Please Help!!

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02/26/2012 12:20 PM
basque
basque  
Posts: 47
Member

As many of us, I dealt with severe depression as a teen - what I wished for most (seldom received) was for my parents to be open and willing when **i'm ready** to talk. They told me hundreds of times that they loved me and were there for me whenever I needed it. However, when I actually reached out - they rarely listened. I didn't need solutions or opinions, just their warmth (sometimes a hug Smile).

Hope there's something useful in there!

(Edit:Typo)

Post edited by: basque, at: 02/26/2012 12:22 PM


02/26/2012 01:01 PM
bfly
bfly  
Posts: 4078
VIP Member

Are there any books for depressed teens- may sound corny- at least it does in my head- but an age appropriate way to explain the chemical aspect of depression and how sometimes an imbalance can actually magnify all of the pain we are experiencing... And that things will get better in time- to hold on, reach out, journal, cry... Take care of themselves... I don't know- knowing I wasn't crazy and that he world wasn't actually ending in my teen depressions would have been helpful- I put on the mask that others needed to see- make sure she has no need for that stinky mask! Best wishes.

02/26/2012 02:36 PM
hypnagogic
hypnagogic  
Posts: 2238
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

Well, I have a teen with Major Depressive Disorder. It is hard to sometimes just sit by and just watch and not physically be able to do anything. And my teen is 13 as well. It is a lot for them to go through. One of the hardest things that I have found is that they don't always have the vocabulary as we as adults do. It can be harder to explain and express their emotions, thoughts, and feelings verbally. Oftentimes we may just see it in behavior.

Just the other day, my teen said to me "Dad, it's not fair that I am unable to go to school because I have an illness that I didn't ask for." I told her that I agreed with her...it's not fair.

What I have found helpful is to just be there for them, listen to them, and go on with life. They want to be treated regularly just as we do.

And yes, my teen goes to therapy twice a week and has regular pdoc appointments. My teen is like an onion who is being peeled very slowly.


02/26/2012 07:09 PM
Linda27
Linda27Posts: 227
Member

Thank you all for your advice.

basque - thank you, that is useful. I think alot of times we forget that some times people don't want advice they just want someone who will be there to listen.

bfly- A book is a great idea!! She does like to read so I think it would be useful. Thanks!!

hypnagogic - Thank you, I will have to remember not to treat her differently than I normally do. Not to be all fake nice like we tend to do with people who are going through a bad time.


02/26/2012 07:43 PM
jennywren
jennywrenPosts: 3163
Senior Member

Linda, sometimes it is not a good idea to "help others" ie It can lead to a situation whereby this girl's parents blame you - people do like to have something or someone to blame. Not sure telling her about your depression would help her. It would make me feel more depressed. But that is me.

By the sounds of things she may need re diagnosising. ADHD meds might be hiding other possible mental problems. Six is young to start ADHD meds.

It is quite common to be diagnosised with ADHD before the Bipolar Disorder diagnosis. I am not saying that she could have bipolar disorder, I would not have a clue.

Good that her parents appear to be sensible people and contacting her pdoc.

There is, from where I am looking nothing that you can do for this girl. She needs professional help.

Speaking here from a long life of finding out the hard way that helping people does not work out very often. But in the case of severe depression I would be very hestitant to "try and help". It is a professionals' job.

Jennywren


02/27/2012 07:52 AM
Linda27
Linda27Posts: 227
Member

Jenny thanks so much for the advice. Actually her parents asked me to talk to her because they know I have struggled with depression and they have no clue. Its a close family member or I really wouldn't get involved besides giving the parents some advice. With her being a close family member bipolar is a big possibility, her biological mom (she doesn't live with) is also getting help for possible bipolar. And I do agree that its a professional that needs to help but was just wondering what I could do until the professional steps in. I guess I just worry because it was around that age that I started self harming (cutting) and had my only suicide attempt, not saying she is doing these things but just worry more because I did.

I wasn't actually giving her details about my depression but did tell her that I have and continue to struggle with it so she didn't feel so alone. I remember being that age and thinking I was the only one going through this, but also told her that since starting medication and talking to my tdoc about everything that was going on that things got alot better (so she knows that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and things can get alot better).


02/27/2012 02:27 PM
jennywren
jennywrenPosts: 3163
Senior Member

Linda, good to read what you have to say. You sound a lot more sensible than I do Smile.

I can well understand where you are comming from when you say " I guess I just worry because it was around that age that I started self harming (cutting) and had my only suicide attempt, not saying she is doing these things but just worry more because I did"

Most of us, do not want to see another and particularly a child going through, close to what we went through. It is very hard and very natural that we would want to try and ease or help the other.

Think it would be very painful to me to see the girl like this, if I were in your situation.

I hope that it all works out for her.

Jennywren

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