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Share Your Solutions: Recognizing Depression in Tweens

Posted by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 3:42 PM
  • 9 Replies

For some kids, the tween years could also be called the moody years. But how can you tell if it’s more than just a mood or a funk? When should you worry that your tween might be depressed? 

Please share your suggestions here!

To see some of the most helpful answers from CafeMom members on this topic, visit this Advice page: What do I know if my tween is depressed?


by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 3:42 PM
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Replies (1-9):
psych_mom
by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 4:25 PM
If they become withdrawn, disinterested in activities. Start speaking of themselves in an ongoing negative way. Stop talking to orhranging out with their friends. Also watch their friends closely. This is getting close to the age of where kids will make suicide pacts with each other.
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pattya925
by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 10:05 AM
1 mom liked this

PERSONAL::This is a toughie because many kids don't show the signs/symptoms.  My depression probably started around age 8-9.  I was a model kid - straight A's, no obvious change in behavior (I was determined that no one would know that I was "different", student council, etc).. My family had no clue I was depressed until I attempted suicide at age 16.  My teachers/friends just kept saying "we had no idea".. I mean I was voted friendliest in class and was class VP, student council treasurer, etc.  

I guess keeping the lines of communication open is what is most important.  Letting your kids know from the start that its ok to express any feelings they have.  That it is safe to do so.  My son struggled with some feelings of hopelessness/worthlessness and developed nigth terrors/decreased attention in school after the death of my fiance (not his dad) and we got him in w. a great therapist within a week.  Just be diligent and open and do your best. 

Also, don't try to be a diagnostician.  Depression must meet certain criteria (ex, lasting 2+ wks etc) but as a parent, don't worry about fitting them into some label or box... Even a child in a "funk" or "mood" could benefit from talking with someone.  I also push healthy mood boosters, like good nutrition, lots of sleep, sunshine, and exercise.

Sorry to type so much, this just hits home since I was "that kid". :)

Patty


catngabsmom
by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 11:22 AM

i have been battling it with my daughter, it has been horrible to watch. she is 11, and according to her last depression evaluation she said she hasn't been happy since first grade and can't remember the last time she enjoyed something. she is socially withdrawn and it is heartbreaking to watch. this past summer was when her depression peaked, she wouldn't get out of bed for days. i have her on depression meds now and she has been in therapy for over a year, things are starting to get better, but i know it is something she will battle forever.

pattya925
by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Sending you love and hugs... For me, cognitive behavioral therapy worked wonders (had 6 years worth) and now am off meds.  Everyone has different needs for management; I hope you find what works best for her.

Quoting catngabsmom:

i have been battling it with my daughter, it has been horrible to watch. she is 11, and according to her last depression evaluation she said she hasn't been happy since first grade and can't remember the last time she enjoyed something. she is socially withdrawn and it is heartbreaking to watch. this past summer was when her depression peaked, she wouldn't get out of bed for days. i have her on depression meds now and she has been in therapy for over a year, things are starting to get better, but i know it is something she will battle forever.


catngabsmom
by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 1:05 PM
1 mom liked this

we have the added bonus of ADD/ADHD and her being on the autism spectrum (high functioning), so some of the meds she is on have depression as a side effect, but she also has situational depression. there was one event/relationship in her life that played a significant role in her depression and we are working hard with a team of professionals both in school and out of school to help change things for her.

Quoting pattya925:

Sending you love and hugs... For me, cognitive behavioral therapy worked wonders (had 6 years worth) and now am off meds.  Everyone has different needs for management; I hope you find what works best for her.

Quoting catngabsmom:

i have been battling it with my daughter, it has been horrible to watch. she is 11, and according to her last depression evaluation she said she hasn't been happy since first grade and can't remember the last time she enjoyed something. she is socially withdrawn and it is heartbreaking to watch. this past summer was when her depression peaked, she wouldn't get out of bed for days. i have her on depression meds now and she has been in therapy for over a year, things are starting to get better, but i know it is something she will battle forever.



Erica


Mom to
Caterina-11
Gabriella-9.5
pattya925
by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 4:10 PM

I have a lot of respect for you dealing with this headon instead of trying to sweep it under the rug, pray it gets better... Best wishes to you all.

Quoting catngabsmom:

we have the added bonus of ADD/ADHD and her being on the autism spectrum (high functioning), so some of the meds she is on have depression as a side effect, but she also has situational depression. there was one event/relationship in her life that played a significant role in her depression and we are working hard with a team of professionals both in school and out of school to help change things for her.

Quoting pattya925:

Sending you love and hugs... For me, cognitive behavioral therapy worked wonders (had 6 years worth) and now am off meds.  Everyone has different needs for management; I hope you find what works best for her.

Quoting catngabsmom:

i have been battling it with my daughter, it has been horrible to watch. she is 11, and according to her last depression evaluation she said she hasn't been happy since first grade and can't remember the last time she enjoyed something. she is socially withdrawn and it is heartbreaking to watch. this past summer was when her depression peaked, she wouldn't get out of bed for days. i have her on depression meds now and she has been in therapy for over a year, things are starting to get better, but i know it is something she will battle forever.




bafamily
by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 4:29 PM

 Way to go Erica.  You're an awesome parent.  My son they said has impulse control problems, but I also know that he just swallows his feelings a lot.  We are starting therapy again and I will not let him stop this time.  The last two times he stopped was me not him. He was doing so much better and he didn't want to go anymore so I let him.  Somtimes I could kick myself.

catngabsmom
by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 5:22 PM
1 mom liked this

you just have to keep at it! and you also soetimes learn to recognize that they need a break from therapy temporarily to give them selves time for a mental breath before jumping back in again.

Quoting bafamily:

 Way to go Erica.  You're an awesome parent.  My son they said has impulse control problems, but I also know that he just swallows his feelings a lot.  We are starting therapy again and I will not let him stop this time.  The last two times he stopped was me not him. He was doing so much better and he didn't want to go anymore so I let him.  Somtimes I could kick myself.


Erica


Mom to
Caterina-11
Gabriella-9.5
kmrtigger
by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 5:35 PM

So far we haven't had this to deal with. And I hope we never have to deal with it. But I know the signs are becoming withdrawn, not wanting to leave the house. Becoming quiet. Not hanging with friends is another sign.

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