Teenager suffering depression

Rachelle - posted on 06/10/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I have an 18 year old who has suffered clinical depression for 2 years. She is finally getting better but all the questions from friends and family have not always been easy to explain. My hardest is: "why doesn't she just go out with her friends and be happy?" Doesn't work that way. Has anyone else been here?
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Tracey - posted on 06/11/2010

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My son is bi-polar and I totally understand where you're coming from. Depression is such a hard disease for the people on the "outside" to understand! So glad she is on the up-swing. Depression is not only hard on the sufferer but really hard on the family too!!

I've always said to friends/family "We're working hard to get the correct meds and doses, please give him and us some time to work this out. We're just as anxious for the meds to start working as you are. We really appreciate your concern"

I've also found some great websites that have worked really well for my family that I have told friends/family about so they can read up and get informed. If they're informed, they ask less questions and everyone's lives are less stressful!

Good luck! Feel free to PM me anytime. My son is turning 18 next month and we have been dealing with this for 5 years.

Lyndsay - posted on 06/11/2010

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Is she on meds? Eating lots of vegetables and proper exercise is really beneficial for people with depression. My mother has bipolar depression and I've been urging her for years to step out of the house and try something different from the hum-drum of every day. Yoga and meditation are excellent exercises.

Rachelle - posted on 06/11/2010

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Thanks for the encouraging words and for sharing some of your personal challenges.

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Lots of people just do not understand clinical depression, and equate it with feeling blue. One of my girls went through this, it was a ghastly time, made even worse by questions like "what have you got to be depressed about?" I don't have any quick answer for you, Rachelle, except to explain to people what clinical depression is. I did think of making up a little card to give to people, but my daughter didn't want to do this.

She's well and happy now!

Good luck!

Iridescent - posted on 06/10/2010

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I was clinically depressed which became bipolar depression from the time I was about 10 until 28 or so. Amazingly, I've been able to come off all my meds finally in the past few years and am holding up quite well. It took a TON of therapy, and work to learn how to cope, and a loving family that I can cry on or yell at or slam doors and not suffer grudges for it. They accept that I am who I am, and if I say I'm having a bad day, give me some time and space and I will come through, sometimes in a few hours, sometimes in a couple days, but no longer months. It has taken friends that come back even when I never call, because I don't know how to be a good friend, it's not natural for me. Don't have coming off meds being the goal - finding the right ones is most important. And therapy. And learning to cope. And once she's stable, perhaps weaning down to the lowest effective dose. I hope that helps.

Kim - posted on 06/10/2010

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Hang in there...I am sure it is very difficult to see your daughter have to go through this. I suffered clinical depression from the time I was 14 to 23. Those years were very difficult for me and every med that the docs put me on seemed only to work very temporarily (each with a different group of side effects). I do think however that psycho therapy is what ultimately brought me out of the funk...
Find a therapist that your daughter feels good about talking to and that is also really good at what they do. This may take years but be gentle with her and supportive. Whatever maybe standing in her way a good therapist can guide her through.
As far as what other people say...I think you should defend her by telling them it isn't any of their business or simply say "we're working on it".

Tracy - posted on 06/10/2010

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Because when one is clinically depressed the chemicals in their brains are off, usually requiring meds. It's taken me years to understand it. It sounds like she's getting the help she needs, which is GOOD. She's most likely never going to be able to "just be happy" without medical/psychological aid. And that is OK!!! If she keeps managing and treating the depression, she'll be able to enjoy life.

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