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Monday, September 22, 2008 melisa, Community Member, asks

Q: how can i help my 18 year old daughter deal with deppresion?

She is only 18, she try to commit suicice 2, she is dyslexic, her boyfriend  hit her twice,

that i know of, but she does not wan't to break up with him, she's been with him since she was 14 years old, she is very beautiful, inteligent and creative likes Art, i try to talk to her to tell her she do not need him, she sleeps every night with his picture, because we live on an Island called Saba and he lives on another island St. Maarten in the Nethelands Antilles.

The second time she commited suicide she almost killed herself and it was because she and her boyfriend almost broke up, to me it seems that she tinks she cannot live without him, she does not talk to much, she keeps a lot indside, i think that is why she is deppressed to, i just want her to be better and live a normal  and happy life, i love her so much but i don't think she realize it, I also have a 4 1/2 year old daughter that the big one is jealous off, she says that me and her father gives her all the attention, but we don't. whenever she want soemthing if i can, i always give her.We have some fianancial problems also but with God's help anything is possible. God Bless 

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Answers (8)
Merely Me, Health Guide
9/24/08 3:16pm

Hey there Melisa

 

This is such a difficult thing to deal with as a parent.  We all want to help our kids and have them be happy and then when our children experience turbulent times, it is so hard to watch.  I want to just say that...you are a terrific mom...your compassion and love for your daughter is evident in your question.

 

I am going to first give you the link for information you can find about teen depression right here on Health Central.

 

The one thing in your letter which does concern me the most is that your daughter has tried to commit suicide.  I cannot even imagine what a frightening time that had to be for both of you.

 

I am sure you have probably heard this advice before but would your daughter be at all agreeable to see a counselor or therapist?  Teens can be especially resistant to the idea, I know.  Sometimes with the help of other family members and even your daughter's friends...you can persuade her that this might be a good idea at this point.  I remember when I was a teen (decades ago) that my best friend was having a lot of difficulties emotionally and it helped that I accompanied her to her first therapy appointment.  She needed that re-assurance that it was going to be okay. 

 

There is a book out called, What to Do When Someone You Love is Depressed, by Mitch and Susan Golant.  They have a special section where they talk about how to help your teen who is depressed.  The problem is when your teen doesn't think that you get it about how much pain they are experiencing and the authors offer this advice:

 

"If your teen complains, "You just don't understand," your reply could be "Honey, maybe you are right,  Let's get some help!"  Ninety-five percent of the adolescents I've worked with experience relief at the suggestion of getting help.  They are in pain."

 

You are doing some really good things as a parent...you are reaching out to try to help her the best way you can and you readily see your daughter's beauty and strengths.  Keep an open dialogue going with her so you can assess where she is at emotionally. 

 

I do hope others chime in with their personal experiences.  I wish you the best of luck and please do keep us updated as to how things are going for the both of you.

 

 

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trebenaid, Community Member
9/25/08 10:13am

Depression is a terrible beast.  Unlike most illnesses the things that will make it better are the things that the person suffering from it want to do the very least.   In my experience, what will pull me out of depression quicker than anything else is not necessarily how I FEEL, but WHAT I DO.  It is important for me to get up and get moving....excersize and activity are key.  And NO, at the time I DO NOT want to do ANYTHING.  But once I get moving and have something going on in my life I realize just how important those key elements are.  If you could get her involved in activities that DO NOT have to do with her boyfriend....although I do not know that her boyfriend is making the situation worse or not, I just assume this because you don't mention any friends.  Does she have a job?  Help her prepare and apply for a job, even part time, will help show her that she has worth outside of her boyfriend's opinion of her. 

Depression can be a lifelong struggle.  She is very lucky to have you in her life to help her at such a young age.  Best of luck to both of you.

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BJ, Community Member
9/25/08 11:10am

The number one way to help your daughter is to educate yourself. Call the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) to find a local chapter. There are all kinds of information out there regarding depression (short term, situational, and chronic). There are a wonderful set of classes called Family to Family education. They are a series of 12 weekly classes held 1 day/week for 2 to 2.5 hours. These classes were actually able to save my marriage.

 

What is NAMI?

 

NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation's largest grassroots organization for people with mental illness and their families. Founded in 1979, NAMI has affiliates in every state and in more than 1,100 local communities across the country.

 

What is the NAMI mission?

NAMI is dedicated to the eradication of mental illnesses and to the improvement of the quality of life for persons of all ages who are affected by mental illnesses.

 

What does NAMI do?

NAMI members and friends work to fulfill our mission by providing support, education, and advocacy.  Our many activities include:

Public Education and Information Activities

NAMI's Web Site (www.nami.org) receives over 5.4 million visitors a year who turn to NAMI for information, referral, and education;

NAMI's Helpline (1-800-950-6264) is staffed by a dedicated team and serves over 4,000 callers per month.

Peer Education and Support

NAMI Educational Programs (Family-to-Family, Peer-to-Peer, NAMI Connection, Hearts and Minds, and more) provide critical education to help consumers and family members gain knowledge and skills for living successfully with mental illness.

Support Groups are provided through many of NAMI's state and local affiliates and offer invaluable connections with peers who understand the challenges and joys of living with mental illness.

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janet, Community Member
9/25/08 11:37am

at least you talk & listen to her.that is very important.please tell me she is in therapy & takes meds.when i was growing up people didn't think teens could be depressed & i was nearly dead before i'd gotten any help.Cry

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jjbgeneva, Community Member
9/25/08 12:53pm

Melisa; Has your daughter had a diagnosis of depression from a doctor? Does she accept that she has a problem? Does she know there is help to deal with depression. Seek professional help.  Regards: jjbgeneva

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annie, Community Member
9/25/08 10:48pm

She needs someone to talk to, maybe a dr. or therepist. My son had the same symptoms and talking to a dr. about his problems helped him alot. He didn't want to disclose it to me or his dad. We with depression always go with the wrong type of person until we feel good about ourselves.( I did)

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gogirl, Community Member
9/27/08 4:02pm

i suffered from depression as a teen and it might help her to know that what she feels isn't normal and she doesn't have to feel this way. Rather than buying her things to show her she is important try setting aside sone time just for her where you do something special. Dad can watch the baby and you and she can have some girl time and you can watch the baby so she can have father daughter time. It is super important that she get on anti deppressants and start seeing a therapists. That is what helped me and until she gets on meds she may not be able to feel like she is worth anything. It is part of the illness to feel worthless. She probably feels like she doesn't deserve her boyfriend so even ifhe mistreats her she doesn't hink she deservesany better. If you feel like she is a danger to herself and she refuses to get help you could see about having her commited to a psychiatric facility. A pissed off teen is better  than having her succeed in killing herself. Above all continue to tell her how much you love her unconditionally. My thoughts and prayers are with you

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Debra, Community Member
10/24/08 3:13am

I too have a daughter that was susiciale at 16.  I took her hand and told her along with showing her how much she meant to me.  I went to every appt. Talked with her and the drs. Encouraged her to try the meds til she found the right one.  And of cours it would be the last pill. We read every book the library had.  I basically kept her with me all the time, while learned all about her disorders.   She has since been diganosed with several other  illness.  She hase severe anxiety, bipolar, oc and a few more little ones.  I have stood by her side trough all this and she is now 28.  We are not just mother and daughter, but best frineds.  We have learned to take small steps and thank God for every day that she is here.  She is now living on her own in a apartment complex for mental ill but I kept in touch with her several times a day.  She has a pet to keep her company, she is trying to go to college I try to keep a postive attitiude with her.  I help her to help herself.  IT was several years of hell but I never gave up on her and showing her how much I loved her.    Deb

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By melisa, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/19/12, First Published: 09/22/08