October 27, 2022 at 10:21 am #409132
I re-read your posts this morning looking for a fresh understanding. You started your thread 11 months ago (Nov 30, 2021), with this sentence: “My daughter developed anxiety and then depression after the pandemic started“. Still in your original post: “She was developing normally until the pandemic“. You closed your original post with: ” I was a pretty happy person until now. I miss it“, and in your 2nd post, you wrote: “I am trying to accept that I can’t go back to how I was“.
Today I am thinking that maybe the trouble in regard to your daughter’s mental health started before the pandemic and therefore, not at all related to the pandemic, but you were not aware of it. What got me thinking this way is re-reading what your therapist told you last year, something that I dismissed earlier. Here are quotes followed by my comments:
“I have.. given her countless hours of attention. Encouragement, lots of supportive listening. …my therapist says she might be manipulating me to get attention… My daughter is still doing terrible. She says I am not validating her enough… She has thoughts of suicide a lot but says she can stay safe for now after we discuss it… She is coming to me for comfort and I don’t know how to respond anymore. It’s been over 2 years. She does go to therapy and she is polite, takes meds, doesn’t do drugs… She says she wants to go to the hospital. ‘To get help’… She does come to me for comfort a lot“-
-what if before the pandemic, for a long time, she felt unattended, and this is why she’s been seeking and receiving lots of your attention in the last couple of years… but it is never enough for her: she needs and wants more and more of your attention and validation… trying to make up for the lack, earlier.
What if she mentions suicide a lot so to alarm you and keep your attention on her? “She… says she can stay safe for now after we discuss it“- sounds threatening, as in saying: I will keep myself safe for now, only for as long as we keep discussing this/ for as long as you keep your attention on me!
“She says she wants to go to the hospital. ‘To get help’“- sounds like she is angrily protesting: I am not getting help here, so I want to go to a place where I can get help!
“She does go to therapy and she is polite, takes meds, doesn’t do drugs“- maybe her anger is hidden underneath her politeness and medical compliance.
In regard to your therapist’s suggestion last year, you wrote in your original post: “my therapist says she might be manipulating me to get attention. I don’t get it- she seems truly miserable“- the two are far from being mutually exclusive: mental illness and manipulation often go hand in hand: she may be manipulative and truly miserable at the same time. If this post rings true to you, please let me know and we can talk about it further.
anitaOctober 27, 2022 at 12:04 pm #409137RobertaParticipant
I am sorry that things appear to be escalating. You are doing your best and it is heartbreaking to watch some one you love suffer.
Last year I read an interesting book called ” In case of spiritual emergency” by Catherine Lucas it was a bit of a hard read but it also gave a slightly different slant on things.
I agree with Anita about the hugging & rocking along with rubbing or gentle rhythmic stroking may help soothe a jagged nervous system both hers & yours.
I wish you & your family a safe & serene weekend
RobertaOctober 27, 2022 at 12:13 pm #409138RobertaParticipant
I am watching Autumnwatch on BBC they mentioned some research that a british University did where by watching & listening to birds even digital lifted there subjects mood for up to 8 hours,
RobertaOctober 27, 2022 at 3:36 pm #409143
Thank you, I will need a few days to process this. I appreciate the ideas and new ways to think about it. Today is a new day.October 27, 2022 at 4:13 pm #409144
You are welcome, Melissa. Today is a New Day– I like your attitude!
anitaOctober 29, 2022 at 9:10 am #409291LoriParticipant
I just wanted to express to you my deer empathy towards you and your family in this matter. I’m also a mom a single one of a teenager whose life just got off track a bit as the Pandemic hit. So the reason why I’m replying is because now that my child has been back to his high school in his JR year , after the first two weeks he has not been attending. I get out of bed at 6 am ya know the routine and he’s almost 6 feet tall so there’s not much I can do, except for speaking with him openly and encouraging him to keep open communication, although when you’d mentioned in your conversation that you assumed manipulation tactics I am curious sometimes because I know this generation of kids has grown up on an abundance of technology and then during lockdown they were in their rooms getting more experienced on their devices. Just wanted to share that I am a mentally I’ll individual and I do exactly what I’m supposed to do because if my mental space is compromised I can’t be good to me therefore in turn how good can I be as a mom which is my entire world! I treat it like this disease it is. I have had a very difficult week with my own anxiety over this situation as well because in the last week alone his behavior has gotten worse than better it switches from being in school getting home not even snacks and passing out until the next day and is then unable to get up then back to hyper behavior on his PS4. I thank you for having courage to share because you’re not alone in fact I personally feel it’s not discussed enough. This has become an increasingly important topic and as a parent I don’t know what to do regarding my situation besides everything that I am currently doing. Ive had him in therapy so he’s making sure to check in with me too. I just feel so sad because he a very good student who cares about his education and intends to become a teacher and I know that he’s suffering from anxiety but I’m not sure which disorder because I’m no dr . So again , my point is I’d like to personally thank you because I have felt so alone and his dad doesn’t have a relationship with him so he is zeroed out of this and no family it’s tough but I remain hopeful positive and a strong as a parent but kind of a friend as well. The fact is he’s a teenager so he doesn’t exactly know how to cope with everything and he’s trying to be strong. The current things I’m trying to do are like keep my household quiet and calm, I give him plenty of space, I tell him ok I’d like to check in sometime today please let me know when you’d like to talk, I help in whatever way I can. It affects us and our emotions as parents. I just can relate with how much you’re concerned and that is why I replied. Again I want to thank you for your kind words and I think you’re courageous to bring this up and also ask for help. Best of luck with your family.October 29, 2022 at 12:46 pm #409313AnonymousInactive
Dear Melissa –
Your situation is difficult and one many teens, parents, and siblings go through. I say this only to remind you that none of you are alone.
I agree with what Anita and Melissa wrote. The one thing I would add is to celebrate (with your daughter and family) your daughter’s ability to admit she needs help! This is huge when facing such darkness/lethargy. Many people resort to binging on food, booze, drugs, exercise, not talking, etc.
As someone diagnosed with severe depression, being HSP, and who has had PTSD, I share the following… There’s no one-size-fits-all remedy. We must remember this when helping others.
–Do things together (even if just for an hour a few times a week) that do not cause stress or focus on her depression… Focus on what she would like to do (sometimes we need nudging when depressed) and then, focus on what each family member likes to do. For example, go take photos with your cellphones, have game nights, look on Groupon for local events like painting together (bring son & husband along too), and take the focus off the depression and worries for the time you all are together. “No cellphones or depression talk” during this time.
–Maybe go volunteer as a family… Often, helping others helps us. The more we do it–the clearer our perspective becomes.
–Sometimes, boredom is part of the problem too… Not doing anything for too long most often increases the feelings your daughter is experiencing. Our brains do not like to stay static. Just reading, meditating, doing Yoga, going for a walk, doing puzzles, etc., helps.
–Consider having her evaluated for HSP (Highly Sensitive Person)
–Consider having hormone tests done
–Does she have good friends nearby?
Lastly, I learned this quote many years ago and it hit home for me. Maybe it will for your daughter, you, your husband, and your son too. Knowing what Viktor E. Frankl experienced helps us get what he meant…
<span class=”ILfuVd” lang=”en”><span class=”hgKElc”>“<b>Everything can be taken from a (hu)man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way</b>.” “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”</span></span>
I hope this helps in some way.
Thinking of you all and sending loads of positive vibes your way.
DOctober 29, 2022 at 12:59 pm #409316AnonymousInactive
Corrections to my above message & Another Thought
I apologize for the HTML in the message. Not sure what that’s about.
I meant to say, I agree with what Anita and Roberta said (also you)!
Maybe have your daughter join this forum and possibly help others experiencing similar. Especially if at her age. I am not sure of the age requirements to be on this forum but if allowed, I’m certain she could help others and herself at the same time. She may gain more clarity chatting with others going through similar.
DNovember 1, 2022 at 6:09 pm #409445
Thank you for the many thoughts and kind thoughtful ideas. My daughter has seemed a bit better for a few days. She went to a yarn store with me one day and actually went along to my buddhist service I go to sometimes. I felt very happy having her with me there. I took a mental snapshot for my memory banks. It was peaceful just sitting by her in the silence.
I thought about the theory Anita raised that she may be angry at me and seeking to get a lot of attention now… and I think that rings true. I know I am a good enough mother but not perfect…it turns out that she had lots of anxieties growing up that we were not aware of. She was not able to express them so we did not know. She seemed happy on the outside, healthy, had friends. But inside she was anxious…she is not able to explain it all to me but I will keep trying to understand and I told her I’m sorry I wasn’t able to delve into it when there were no clear symptoms. It’s not my fault but I feel guilty. But maybe I can atone for the unawareness now by trying to listen and apologizing in subtle ways when I don’t understand her feelings as they are often confusing and I keep trying to understand. Once at the beginning I even tried to take notes but she hated that very much.
Also, I wish I could hug her or rock her but she does not like anything like that. She will let me hug her for a second occasionally but I try not to because she prefers not to be touched. She does not like a lot of sensory things like certain noises, fabrics, food textures…I have to be careful about all that.
I don’t understand how to get her to do anything. People suggest ideas but I’ve quite given up on telling her ideas. I invite her places I’m going or suggest fun things she might like for example yarn shopping… but I cannot compel her to exercise, get a job, go on walks, volunteer. She is so tired. I did get an appointment for her doctor to recheck all her labs in a couple weeks and ask about a sleep study in case she has sleep apnea. She will take a nap and wake up tired. I will tell her doctor my concerns about that.
I know there are a lot more parents having a very hard time as well. I went to a support group and was staggered by the long term suffering of parents over 20-30 years. Humans are amazing in our care for others. Thank you for caring to read this!November 1, 2022 at 6:14 pm #409446
<p style=”text-align: center;”>Also, Roberta, they have “in case of spiritual emergency” at my library so I will try to read that, thank you. -Melissa</p>November 1, 2022 at 8:37 pm #409448
I would like to read and reply to you in about 10 hours from now.
anitaNovember 2, 2022 at 11:00 am #409472
You are welcome. First, about mothering and guilt: “I know I am a good enough mother but not perfect… It’s not my fault but I feel guilty. But maybe I can atone for the unawareness now by trying to listen..“- being a mother in today’s world is a very, very… very difficult job. First, what mother can possibly be as calm as it takes- and consistently calm- in today’s world (climate change, political extremism, increasing crime, etc., etc.). Even if you were a perfect human specimen, Melissa, you wouldn’t be able to insulate and protect your children from all the perils that they face and will face outside your home. There has been too much trauma and trouble in humanity for too long and no parent has come out of his/ her own childhood unscathed. (I am not explaining away or excusing abuse, not at all, but I don’t think abuse is the case when it comes to you and your daughter). So, please be easy on yourself, Melissa because you are a good mother!
“I will keep trying to understand and I told her I’m sorry I wasn’t able to delve into it when there were no clear symptoms“- sincerely trying to understand her and expressing remorse about not having understood her before… makes you a good mother.
“I wish I could hug her or rock her but she does not like anything like that. She will let me hug her for a second occasionally but I try not to because she prefers not to be touched. She does not like a lot of sensory things like certain noises, fabrics, food textures“-
– Tactile sensitivity or tactile defensiveness are terms used to describe the overreaction that occurs when someone is too sensitive to touch: the skin is too sensitive to the textures and tightness of clothes, to hair brushing, to the feel of sweat on the skin (when physically exerting oneself and/ or when it’s hot), etc…. it all feels uncomfortable. Autistic children and adults frequently report tactile defensiveness.
Hyperesthesia refers to increased sensitivity of any of one’s senses: sight (lights feel too intense), sound (sounds feel too loud), touch, and smell. It can affect just one or all of one’s senses. “Children with autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to develop hyperesthesia… Hyperesthesia can be unsettling and may cause pain, fear, and anxiety in those who live with it. Hyperesthesia can exist on its own or as a symptom of another related health condition…. your doctors will try to diagnose the root cause so it can be treated effectively” (healthline. com).
“if she socializes she feels fake and worse after… It turns out that she had lots of anxieties growing up that we were not aware of. She was not able to express them so we did not know. She seemed happy on the outside, healthy, had friends. But inside she was anxious“- seems like she faked it for a long time so to appear happy and healthy and please you this way. I wonder if she feels guilty for no longer being able (or willing) to fake it anymore…?
anitaDecember 24, 2022 at 12:26 pm #412583
I hope that you and your daughter are doing better, Melissa, Merry Christmas!
anitaDecember 26, 2022 at 7:26 pm #412681
Merry Christmas. Thank you for the good thoughts. I am still pretty confused by my daughter. She had magnetic stimulation for depresson and ever since it seems like she is more cheerful and relaxed but she sleeps 12-14 hours a day and doesn’t seem to have energy to face the future. She is hiding out from life is how it feels. Today she felt very low almost paralyzed it seemed and I had to cook for her. I don’t mind cooking but first I have to think of something acceptable as nothing sounds good to her. It’s exhausting like a small fussy child. But she has stopped mentioning suicide so I feel hopeful. I am reading books like “failure to launch” and “stuck in the sick role” to try to figure out what to do to avoid enabling her. Seems so simple but it really is not for me because I am scared she cannot handle the simplest things. That is the vibe in this house. But it is a better vibe than constant crisis mode. So I keep going. – MelissaDecember 26, 2022 at 8:03 pm #412682
Good to read back from you! I will reply further in about 11 hours from now.