My daughter is depressed now - Anxiety and Depre...

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My daughter is depressed now

23 Replies

She is 12 and has had a hard life with me and dad fighting in the past, bad. Also losing her grandfather in our house recently and dad not being employed for two years and living with his mother. I guess I had it coming but it hurts. I have tried to give her everything regardless but you can't hide the truth. It could be heredity since dad has been on meds since he was ten. Either way it breaks my heart. Any advice for raising a teen when the parents are a mess?

23 Replies

My heart has been aching all evening as I’m essentially going through the same thing with my 17 year old daughter. I feel your pain, literally.

I’ve no advice, unfortunately, because I’m not in a place to give any in this situation. I guess we just need to keep letting our girls know that we love them so much and that we will try our best to make things work.

My daughter is having a lot of anxiety, and as you know I’ve been struggling for a while without the much needed love and support that one needs in order to heal from painful experiences.

I have been having a really rough time with trying to be a nurturing mom because of not feeling any sort of comfort or feeling of warmth for such a long time. I feel like a complete loser mom because I’ve run out of steam not getting what I need in order to give what she needs 😢

Maybe we can get through this together with our daughters?

in reply to

Thank you. I'm sorry for you and your daughter. Pm me if you ever want.

NeuronerdDoaty profile image

It’s been my experience that children can always make a situation their own fault and about themselves. With my children who seem to parallel your child’s situation except for the arguing because I’m too lazy I always made sure that they knew that there is blame to be had when people are upset and I verbalized where that went so that they knew it was never them. That leads to depression. Maybe mommy feels sick today or daddy feels sick today or daddy’s worked too many hours. It could be because mommy has a brain tumor or daddy’s back is broken. We named the problem so they were sure it wasn’t them. Only my son ended up taking on any depression but that’s because his father was harder on him.

They bury this deep too. Be sure she’s not carrying this burden. It’s the perfect age and it’s a child’s natural response. They don’t even realize they do it or as a good parent you’d fix it quickly.

Let her go to her own therapist so she can put the weight of the family down off her shoulders and be a kid again; as much as they’re allowed to be these days.

Big hugs for a young lady survivor


in reply to NeuronerdDoaty

Thank you.

Sabio77 profile image

tell the daughter that you are human, that you have made mistakes and since you are human, could make more in the future. that you love her no matter what and that she is your life.. she is important to you. that you understand those events you mentioned have been hard on her too and its ok to feel sad, or any kind of way. that you are their for her and hope she will feel comfortable enough to come to you for anything at anytime. hugs

in reply to Sabio77

Thank you

Sabio77 profile image
Sabio77 in reply to

your welcome my dear friend.

BrainFog-Ninja profile image

Hi Melhall,

Sorry you are feeling the sting of all of that....I can hear your pained mum heart typing the words. I’ve been there. It is worth the fight to hang on, and do whatever necessary to get you both through the coming years as unscathed as possible.

Seems like you raise them the same way as parents that aren’t fighting really badly day at a time, with one eyeball on your own behavior, and the example you are setting as a wife, mother, and person. Then make adjustments as necessary the next day, without too much looking back.

I think LIFE is a mess, and although kids should have some real exposure, I also think they should just be kids for as long as possible. It’s the parent’s job to provide that “magical bubble” that allows some hardships inside the bubble, to talk about, and most importantly be an example on how to deal with things like unemployment, and death of a loved one, etc.

Those are life skills to the families that thrive, and merely a string of tragic events to those who choose not to use the opportunities to build their life “skills” together with their kids.

Don’t feel sorry for her, or she will pickup on that, and feel sorry for herself, and/or for you. And if you feel guilty, then she will likely blame herself, and/or you...maybe for the rest of her life, and then may become a guilty mother herself one day. I think those unwanted traits are often mirrored into adulthood. Even if you don’t realize it, she is looking at your behavior, and your words, to either amplify or calm—and later.

Kids are more resilient than we think, especially when they have to be. Love is most important. Kids can deal with a lot of family life *BS (they shouldn’t have to, of course) if they feel loved, and protected, and connected. It isn’t uncommon for teenage girls to have ups and downs, and even bouts of depression. This isn’t necessarily a depression “life sentence” for her either.

Maybe a couple specific things to consider:

1. Doesn’t really matter where, how, or why she became depressed, of course heredity plays a role, along with many other things. This isn’t the kind of thing that can be traced back, or “blamed” on something, or someone. Doesn’t matter — there is NO room for you to feel guilty about any of that, not now—not later. You will actually be doing her a huge dis-service, as her mom; and cause her, and you, more problems if you “mother” from a guilty place in your heart. So, if that applies, I would drop that like a hot-cake soon as you can, bc it’s much easier to never let guilt get ahold, than it is to try and oust it once it has hold of you.

2. Life is hard. Period. Think of all of those life lessons that you have the opportunity to coach, and model, and support her through. And to share feelings about the same events, from different perspectives. Whatever her mental state is, I think it’s your job to make her feel loved, protected, and hopeful. Mom’s can do this by dutifully shielding kids from most of what’s bad out there. 100% for what you can control, and by being there, and being her rock for what you can’t control. It’s important that you are THE stable one in her world. No matter who else is too. This is very different from “giving her everything.”

I do understand your heart breaking for your daughter. I hope you take this the way it is meant, with all the prayers and support for your situation.... You have to get over it, or you will be tending to your own needs, rather than your daughter’s. This is very difficult to do, but important.

In my own massive struggle, I finally figured out how to sort all that out, after supporting my own daughter through years of ongoing mental health challenges, and then ultimately resulting in a very traumatic psych ward stay for her, and her year-long recovery. It was devastating, and life changing. It has finally all worked itself out now. Sheeeeewy! All for the better, even. I hope yours does as well.

I am in a kind of transitional phase now, gently evaluating what kind of additional therapy may be needed for me, since the dust has mostly settled from all of that. Surprisingly, things on that front may just have worked themselves out along the way for me somehow. Not sure yet. But seems sharing this info with you has helped me put a bit more closure on my own related experience. Apparently, us mums are also more resilient than we think, especially when we have to be! LOL. So, thanks for helping me too, by sharing your post...

Prayers for you and your daughter, and family. Remember, the nasty thorns our precious roses grow during their teenage years, will be shed (eventually), and the blooms we plant now will come back tri-fold. Hang in there! 🍄 🌸 🌞

in reply to BrainFog-Ninja

Thank you. Such good advice. I needed that.

sweetiepye profile image

Hi Melhall, This is probably not what you want to hear but I'm going to suggest it anyway because I think you know that I'm trying to help. It is so easy to identify with you. I know your situation and I feel that you should either accept it and make it work or take your daughter and leave. Which ever you decide let her know it was a choice you made for everyone's benefit and you are capable of taking care of her. Whatever you do , let her know she is loved. I don't think kids can hear that enough. Let her know what is happening, at 12 she probably knows more that you might expect. Kids don't need perfect parents, they need parents who make them feel they are on the same side. You've been given some good advice by other members. I hope you are feeling the love and support. Pam

in reply to sweetiepye

Thank you. Leaving her dad would make it worse. We don't fight for years now and she says it's school pressure, friends, body image,etc.

sweetiepye profile image
sweetiepye in reply to

It may be a combination of things, she wouldn't necessarily know what it is. You know you are a caring Mom so she has that going for her.

Oh my heart aches for you...the good news is you're a great mom! So follow your gut, it never leads you wrong. I'm here for you...anytime. All 4 of my kids battle some sort of mental issue, I know how bad you want to take it from them..You can be her rock...I'm wishing you all the best.

Here's some sparkles for your day!

Dump trucks of groovy love, peace, light, joy and hugs for you!

in reply to

Thank you for being here for me. 🤗❤️

in reply to

My me if you feel the need.I'm so here for you.

May your day sparkle!

Dump trucks of groovy love, peace, light, joy and hugs for beautiful YOU!

poppies0124 profile image

Having lived (and still living) with troubled parents (it’s an Asian thing, I’m not from the US), and also experiencing depression because of it... my advice is to be truthful with her, as best you can. Sometimes you think you’re protecting her feelings by withholding information or emotions, but in reality it might make her feel like she’s being isolated, or coddled.

Be honest about the mistakes you’ve made, apologize if need be. Be honest about how you’re doing your best to make things better for her now. Be honest about how you’re feeling. Only when you are honest with her, can you request that she be honest with you about how she’s feeling as well.

If you, and her, are open to medication, that can be an option as well. Depression is something that’s best tackled early — rather than left to fester and worsen. Being on medication, whether at 12 or 21, is nothing to be ashamed about.

Perhaps you can talk to her about visiting a counselor or psychiatrist, whichever she would prefer. However, be aware that a counselor is vastly different from a psychiatrist and may not be able to provide complete medical advice or diagnosis. They are usually just there to listen and offer some emotional support.

It sounds like you want the best for her — that means she’s a lucky girl already. I’ve had to fight my condition on my own. All the best to you and her. Don’t give up — I believe things will get better.

Thank you. Great advice. 😊👍

froggie_boi profile image

Hey. Im a teen. I hope you don't mind me giving you some advice. But i speak from experience. First of all dont be to hard on yourself. you are doing fine mum. you are trying your best and thats what counts. keep your head up. now for the advice. first of all please try to get it together for the sake of your child. i dont know your circumstrances but try please. however i'm not saying to pretend like every thing is ok. thiat was a big mistake my family made. Make sure you allow her access to a therapist if she wanbts or if you think she needs to. secondly, dont leave her in the dark. inform her on important matters. however pls dont overshare...sometimes ignorance is bliss. for example i was exposed to anything and everything at a young age and i had to grow up way faster than you could imagine. my brother however is as ignorant as a lamb to our situation and is living a happy life but i know he will be crushed and devastated when he gets older and i tell him whats really going on. its important to find that balance on what you should and shouldnt tell kids. if you need any more advice im here xxfroggie

in reply to froggie_boi

Thank you. That's wonderful advice. I do tell her way too much and I see it can be harmful. I will work on that. 😊

I was dx when I was young as well (Freshman in High School). My parents blamed themselves and it broke me to see that. I think that they still do. The best thing you can do as a mother (or friend or really anyone) of someone who is suffering is to check in with them whenever it’s right and show that you care. Happiness does not come from things or achievements, so whatever you give your daughter will never be enough. This is something she will deal with and/or overcome it on her own. That being said, just being on here and asking for helps/tips shows you care a ton and brings me to tears. Reminds me of when I was first dx and I found all these books about how to help someone with depression in my parent’s office—it crushed me, but also moved me. I couldn’t believe they cared so much to invest and spend the time to learn how to better help me. Almost 10 years later and I still think about that.

That's sweet. As parents we feel responsible for your happiness and we feel your pain so much it hurts. I often check on her with questions and I know it annoys her. I care but probably won't get the answers and I might be creating more pressure for her to appear happy for us. Thank you so much for sharing.

iamso profile image

When I was a teen I feel like I've had some similar experience to your daughter's. When I was 13 I showed a lot of early signs of depression. I lost a few loved ones to cancer when I was 11-13. As I kid, I didn't really understand how to cope with that or process it. My parents also had a lot of fights with figuring out what to do with me or how to 'deal' with me.

The one thing I wish I did have was a family member that reassured me that they'd be there for me. Whether it'd be to talk or to lean on. Someone who was patient, understanding and open minded to the emotions I was feeling at the time and to just remind me that no matter what happens that they'd be there with me through the way. Maybe it would've taken a lot of anxiety away and it's often easy to forget about the people around you when you're so down and focusing on the worst things that are going on. So the reassurance would've been a nice reminder and I wouldn't have felt really lonely as if I had no emotional support. My parents always gave me everything I needed when it came to food, necessities and entertainment but they didn't provide me the emotional support that I needed. Emotional support, to me, feels like it's worth much more than anything you can buy.

Even though my mother wasn't the best at dealing with what I was going through I had noticed that she kept trying her best. Even if you may not feel like you're the perfect parent, I feel like your daughter should be able to tell that you're doing what you can. Maybe not now but when time heals.

I hope my experience will help you somehow or give you any insight to what you could do.

in reply to iamso

Thank you for sharing. I think she will appreciate my prying later and she does know I'm here for here always. We go out every weekend for girls day of shopping, ice cream, whatever and we just talk. She tells me concerning things but I'd rather her tell me than not.

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