Anxiety and Depression Support

I need support!

I signed on to this site on hopes of learning more about anxiety (PTSD) and depression disorders. I was just granted permanent guardianship of my two youngest grandchildren. A boy, 12 years old and a girl, 14 years old. They both suffer from Anxiety (PTSD) and depression. I feel so unequiped to help and support them. How can I be the most effective? They are both in weekly talk therapy and doing good in school

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Hi There, welcome to the forum! There are some great people on here who, I am sure, will be happy to share their experiences. You are already showing real compassion and love by wanting to find out more, to equip yourself and to understand their situation. There are so many who come here distraught by the fact that they cannot talk to their family members or when they do, they get dismissed or even worse, judged. You are definitely already showing them up. I am not the right person to advise you as I have no experience of children, but I know there are many on here with suffering kids and I am sure they will support you. Take Care!

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Thank you so much for responding! Communication is one off the big dark holes. The 14 year old girl is very closed down. She withdraws into her room. I am kept in the dark unless she needs me to know. Any in put?

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Oh bless her. Well, I can only compare to my own younger self. I often felt I didn't want to talk to my family because I didn't want to worry them, didn't want to risk being ridiculed and also just because I didn't know how to put words to how I was feeling. I felt like the thoughts and feelings were so complex and weird, that I wouldn't even know where to begin explaining them. I just assumed that nobody would understand and I felt I was best off alone. You know her better than anyone, I am guessing and you can read her reactions as you try different approaches. I wouldn't assume to tell you what to do. But letting her know that there is no judgement, that you love her and you want to support her is a very good place to start. Ask her to teach you, have an open mind and maybe even have a routine around speaking. Let her come to you as much as you go to her. Build trust by listening and asking rather than telling. Give her positive feedback when she does approach you. All kids, myself included, need to feel that home is safe and theirs. That no matter what happens, they can find sanctuary there and be loved no matter what they have done or said. I am sure this is a tall order for us adults, but as I understand, the end result is worth it.

I would finish by saying to also make sure to look after yourself in all this. This is very hard on you too and you need breaks too. I hope you have a support network of your own, like this forum, or friend or family. There are support groups for people who live with depressed individuals,children or partners. You have to keep your strength up to help the kids and your battery can run out just as much as theirs. I really hope you start finding tools and ways that work for you and your grand children. You all deserve to be happy and cared for.

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Thank you soooooo much for taking the time to write back. It's there anything I can do for you? Like pray? Anything specifically?

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The only thing I wish is for you to keep being a great gran and do what you are doing! It sounds like you all have been through some tough times and need some happiness and some peace. You are already doing great! that alone gives me strength and hope! Thank you!

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Sometimes children of that age can be rather secretive - just not share a lot with adults. It sounds like you are doing all the right things, but they may have been through some difficult times and it may take them a while to relax and open up and adjust to their new life. It does sound like they are VERY lucky to have such a kind and loving person as you.

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I have a 14yo daughter. She doesn’t have PTSD or depression but she had a tough time during her father and I’s divorce. She shut down completely. It took me a lot of time to get her to open up again. I just kept talking to her about things relevant to her age and eventually she came around. Just keep trying to talk to her. I hope she comes around for you. It’s a tough age.

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Thank you! With the ptsd she wants to be left alone. Now that I understand the disorder better I can leave her alone and not try to force her to talk when that actually makes things worse for her.

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Hello,

Depression is so horrible . I’d like to ask first. Did a doctor say they were depressed and are they on meds?

I’m am going to tell you from my depression. To me the best thing is talk therapy and you said they are doing that. A nice quiet loving home. No argueing in front of a depressed person and most importantly , just listen to what they want to talk about. You do not have to understand depression, just be there for them. Everything I told you I did not have and that is what I needed growing up and that is what I need now.

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I was in a somewhat similar situation with my niece, and I started her in talk therapy. Things did not go so well for us because I downplayed my own involvement in the talk therapy. That therapist told me that I should sit in and participate with a few sessions and given my own past experiences, I thought individual therapy would be enough. I would definitely recommend sitting in once a month, or just trying family therapy for a bit. Also, just let them know that you care. No matter what, let them feel safe, loved, and to know that someone is there for them. It will take time, but they need to know that you won't disappear on them or stop loving them, no matter what. I wish you the best of luck!

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