Worried mum

Hi

I'm new here. I'm not even sure I should be doing this here, but I'm running out of ideas and don't know what else to do. I have concerns about my teenager

She's 16, just started her A levels, and has her whole life before her. However, these last few years have been hell on earth. She has such extreme mood wings that I am really concerned. One day she's fine. Next, she's arguing over everything, throwing things around. After a few days of this behaviour, it's like nothing even happened. You try to speak to her about her behaviour at this time, she thinks you're making it up.

She started bunking off school when she was about 15, and didn't do as well as she could have done a her GCSEs. The times she bunked off, she would lie all the time. Even when faced with evidence, she would lie to our faces and get so angry, like it was our fault. Then, again, she would calm down and be unable to see the problem or 'own' her behaviour.

I worry about her all the time. I do shift work, and worry about the arguments her and her dad have while I'm not there. We have two younger children as well and, sometimes, it's impossible for one person to be what she needs at that moment (be that shoulder to cry on, emotional punchbag, moving target) and deal with the little ones needs. On a late shifts, I'll regularly check my phone to find numerous missed calls (I can't answer the phone while on shift, so have to wait until my break). She runs out of the house at all hours, refusing to come home, telling us that this is our punishment for treating her in some way that she won't explain at the time, and can't remember afterards.

She has started seeing a counselor at her college, and it is helping. But I still have concerns (I'm her mum, it comes with the job!) I worry that I don't know what she needs. I worry that I let things get so bad.

Any advice on what I do would be greatly appreciated. Is there anything that I should avoid doing? Anything that will help, or might be worth trying?

13 Replies

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  • Hi, i dont have any advice and maybe wont be much use but here we go. Im 19 years old and when i was 15 ish i started having major behaviour problems very similar to what you describe your daughters. I started struggling with depression when i was around 16 and with gcses and friendships and all that came with life i found it so difficult to cope and deal with everything.

    I am the eldest out of all my cousins, so first to go through any sort of 'big' exams and have two younger siblings who are 11 and 4 (present time), and the amount of pressure i felt i was under to succeed was tremendous. If i did badly in a test i was terrified to go home and tell my mum in case it wasnt good enough etc. i also did terribly at GCSEs and had to go to college. I never went in, they were constantly threatening to kick me out, not doing assignments on time. But then in my second year of college, Upper Sixth or final year of school, something clicked in my head that i had to do something with my life and i started doing my assignments and handing them in on time etc, now in at university studying psychology.

    My moods didnt help matters either. Due to the stress and the depression and soon to come anxiety, i was lashing out and having screaming matches with my mum and dad every day with nearly no logical reason behind any arguments.

    When i was around 16 i had a permanent headache and i got prescribed meds that also worked as antidepressents (i was too scared to tell the doctor that i was extremely sad and suicidal at the time) and those meds really mellowed out my mood.

    I suggest you take your daughter to the doctor and dont take no for an answer when you ask for help, sorry for rambling, but just know its not uncommon how your daughter is acting and it will pass, my mum and i have a wonderful relationship now! and i hope someone useful comes along!

  • Thank you. What you describe sounds similar to what we're going through. It helps to look at things from another perspective - there must have been an enormous amount of pressure around exams, and maybe that was her catalyst.

    I know her counsellor has suggested antidepressants, but she has declined. Maybe I should wait for a good day and try to talk to her about it a bit.

  • There are concerns about the use of antidepressants in teenagers and thus reluctance to prescribe with the main management being with problem solving, cbt, talking treatments. Exercise and good diet, organised regular days.

    The website moodgym is useful also mind

    mind.org.uk/information-sup...

  • Thank you for this. I've had a look at the link, and spoken to my daughter about the information on there. She said she will take a look.

    Thank you

  • Hi loopsmum , sorry to hear your have a bit of a tough time with your daughter I am replying to your message as my daughter has A son who is 17 and staring university next September he will be 18 then . He has exactly the same attitude as Your daughter , my grandson is fine in front of me and otter family , but when it comes to his mum , and two younger brothers and a fewi kids at his school he is a different person , he can go off on one in an instant if anyone does not agree with him , or if he is asked to do something he never does , the amount of time he has bad mouthed my daughter is unreal , he has been suspended from school once , and has had a warning . He's a hard studying lad too , who is exceptional at football that's why he is going to college to do sports coaching . My daughter has been in touch to see a therapist with him , he too has a councilor at school and he has opened up to them ( not sure what about ) but he us calmlng down slightly now . All I can say is this will pass , Taking antidepressants so young I don't agree on , she needs to talk to someone other than family . I hope you get things sorted , I am sure you will do . Keep smiling .. Regards Linda

  • Thank you Linda. Your grandson sounds very similar to my daughter. In public and in front of the rest of the family, she's fine. She's calm. It's like home is the place it's OK to get all of her frustration out. And it's awful for us - my dad and brother don't believe she's "all that bad" and I'm overreacting. But at least she has a safe environment to let go.

    Things have started to get better since she is seeing her counsellor. But there's such a long way to go. I worry that I'll say the wrong thing and ruin things.

  • This is just my opinion and I'm not trying to place blame. I see a child who is out of control and begging for someone to take charge. Would never admit to that though. At her age the pressure is over whelming , from parents, friends, school, teachers, herself. I wouldn't go through that part of my life again for anything. She needs to know you and Dad are on her side, She should recognize she is an example to her siblings who are certainly affected by her behavior and by less attention from their parents because of her. I would not let this go and hope for the best. I would make family times a priority and Mother/daughter times too. Not to fix her, but to develop a better relationship with her. I would make sure she sees a GP, I would go with her and start with his advice and follow through. You might try saying less to her and doing more with her. I know you love her or you wouldn't be looking for answers. Let her know that too. Pam

  • Thank you Pam. Saying less and doing more - that could work. We've got a shopping trip planned. I just need to keep the lines of communication open and try to SHOW her that I care. My job doesn't make regular time with the family easy, but I need to make more effort.

    And you're right - I wouldn't be a teenager now for anything. So much pressure!

  • I'm a mum of a 12 year old son and i can really relate to your worries. The world is such a different place now and our children face so many more demands . Your love shines through for your daughter . Sometimes I honestly think that too many children are put on anti depressants see a counsellor and this is itself creates problems as they feel lost alone, we've tried to get help for my son but meet brick walls everywhere we turn. All I can say is keep talking to her let her know how much you love her . CAHMs were no use I suffer from mental health issues and I speak openly about my son with my specialist team but no help is available for him it's heartbreaking. Please if you wish to chat pm me I can offer a pair of eyes to read and sometimes talking to other parents helps

  • Thank you. I'm glad I'm not alone in having reservations about her being on medication. I do just worry about her so. I'm glad she decided to find some help as, if I'd suggested it, she would have gone against it. I worry that I'll say or do something wrong and ruin it all. I just want to help.

  • I have no words of wisdom. But know you can be felled to your knees worrying over you children.

    Sending you a virtual hug.

    Hang in there all things pass the good and the bad.

    The sun is there it has just gone behind a cloud for a bit.

  • Thank you. Sometimes, some one finds just the right way to put things. Hug received

  • Thank you Mandy. The thing is, at the moment, she really has driven a wedge between herself and her dad. She has been very hurtful towards both of us. I cannot give up - it isn't in my nature. But, right now, it feels like he has.

    It's difficult to try to agree on rules together when a) they're ignoring each other and b) they only seem to be interested in taking pot shots at each other.

    I'm sure he'll come round. Eventually. And I want to try to have these rules in place for when he does. But it seems like such a mammoth task.

    And I get what you're saying - I was no angel. But it was never physical. I never crossed that boundary. And her moods are just off the charts at times. Days and weeks of not being able to say anything without starting a tantrum. Followed by a short time of acting like nothing happened. Weeks and weeks of bursting into tears at the slightest thing. Days where everything is lovely. We laugh and joke, and I feel like maybe it's all in my head. Then we go full circle and start over...

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