View Full Version : Trying not to blame myself


sarahsweets
04-19-15, 07:19 AM
I have three children. Jake is 19, Becca is 15 and Ella is 11. Some of you may remember a few years ago I had issues with Becca and depression. She was very briefly hospitalized and put on meds. She has made a full recovery of sorts. She no longer takes meds ( her choice) and her clinical or situational depression seems to have cleared. And then there is Ella.

The transition to middle school was something she feared. She started 6th grade this year. I knew the adjustment was going to be hard because of hormones, puberty and frankly middle school sucks no matter how you slice it. I was not prepared for the depression she now experiences.

She was always an emotional kid, very reactive but she seemed happy. In fact, due to my bipolar, when Becca had her issues I mistakenly thought she was just like her mom and weighed the possibility of genetics. I don't think that anymore with her.

Ella had some days where she was crying so much going to school that I gave her mental health days to stay at home with me. There is no way I was going to force her to go to school filled with such sadness, she needed mom time and f**k school if they had a problem with it. Her mental health is more important to me. This only happened a few times. She is just so sad and has such low self esteem. She holds herself to such high standards and has always been a people pleaser and had issues when she thought she didn't do well enough. We are very proactive and pro mental health here in this household and I cant figure out if we somehow set unspoken standards that she feels like she cant meet.

All three of my kids have adhd, and at this point the older two have chosen not to take meds(they are old enough to do this and I refuse to force them to take meds they don't want.) Ella has never been a candidate for stimulants due to her anxiety. At first I thought it was her perception that she didn't have friends. She has a couple of girls from the neighborhood that she hangs with but that's it. She hasn't been outright bullied but there have been some nasty things said in her presence that led her to believe it was about her. This came from older as**hole kids. She hates the bus so I drive her. She is short tempered and isolated and emotional. She has always cried easily but now its seems like an everyday thing.

She has engaged in superficial self harm, but is not suicidal. She called a teen helpline called Trevorspace, it is more geared for LBGT kids but all kids are welcome to call for help.

What in Gods name have we failed at? I feel so guilty that I may have passed on my genetics, like bipolar and because my husband and myself are both adhd, I know this played a role in things. I also know that ADHD symptoms can manifest with anxiety and self esteem issues. I feel awful if we somehow set these standards that she feels she cant meet. I feel like I have such a grasp on positive mental health treatment that we are doing our best. I found an excellent therapist who specializes in pre-teen and teen issues and thankfully she really likes her. She saw her psyche doctor yesterday, and she is going to start Zoloft.
I am very informed and cautious with meds and view them as tools. She doesn't really think they will help but the doctor and I got her to agree to try them.

Does Bipolar manifest itself in a child so young? I thought I knew all there is to know about bipolar but I was always under the impression that it began to show up in the early teens, it did for me.
Is this purely an adhd thing? I don't know. I believe she has anxiety issues as well.
Her grades have suffered, going from honor roll to barely passing yet her teachers love her. Shes had an IEP since kindergarten and I have always advocated for my kids. The school district doesn't f**k with me because they have gone up against me in the past and lost.

What am I going to do? I feel so low about this, like I did something wrong. Maybe its because shes the youngest, or it could have been because I was unavailable due to my alcoholism but that was a short lived period of time and thank God I got sober.
I have no idea what the point Is with this post and I am sorry its so long. Long posts are not typical for me, but I am so sad right now. Advice, hugs and support are welcome.

Little Missy
04-19-15, 07:38 AM
I believe that you and your husband are doing a grand job, weighing the pros and cons, and making the decisions that you feel are best for your children while keeping them in the decision making process also since they are getting older.

Never doubt yourself with your children!

Fuzzy12
04-19-15, 09:15 AM
Aww..Sarah. That must be heart breaking. I don't have any advice. If there's one thing that I'm sure of though it's that you haven't failed at anything. I love reading about how you deal with your kids and i try to learn from your posts as much as i can in case I ever have children, your my mom super hero!! I know that doesn't help you much when your kids are hurting and you want to help them but I'm sure that you are doing the best you can...well..the best that anyone could do. Hope things get a bit easier soon for all of you.

Abi
04-19-15, 09:19 AM
Sarah :grouphug:

Fuzzy12
04-19-15, 09:20 AM
Regarding your bipolar question, I think it can manifest at that young age. I think I vaguely remember reading that some kids who are bipolar are mistakenly diagnosed with ADHD. Not saying that Ella doesn't have ADHD, but just that it is possible that bipolar can show up in very young kids.

I'm not sure if I am bipolar but I think, I had my first episodes of depression at around 11 at least based on the entries I made in my journal at that time though back then I didn't recognise it as depression. It mainly showed in the form of disordered eating..or rather an unhealthy obsession with weight issues.

ccom5100
04-19-15, 09:05 PM
Every kid should have a mom like you, Sarah. You are so in tune with your children's personalities, strength's, and weaknesses. Yes, you have a lot on your plate, and so do they, but thank goodness they have a mom like you who is smart, caring, and proactive. Middle school does suck!

Lunacie
04-19-15, 09:29 PM
So much changes for kids who are starting middle school.
Their hormones change.
Their bodies change.
Their social skills have greater demands.
And school is definately more demanding.

I am eternally grateful that my granddaughter got a new teacher going into
6th grade ... one that understands and has experience with normal teen
angst and with autistic kiddos.

She's been a great help at parent meetings in telling us which is causing
the current problems, and what she is doing to help my g-daughter handle it.

To further complicate matters, most of these mental disorders share many
of the same symptoms. Our first therapist really thought my g-daughter had
had bipolar instead of autism. Pretty much ignored family history.

In your case, your family history includes both bipolar and ADHD.
I'd say that it's very common for those with ADHD to be perfectionists,
and it sounds like Ella feels bad when she's not perfect.

As someone who was like that myself until a few years ago, it can really
feed the anxiety. Treating my anxiety is probably the best thing I've done
for myself.

I will keep a good thought for the anxiety meds to help Ella, and I know
you'll stay aware of what's going on with her and if she needs any changes.
You're such a great mom, so caring and willing to advocate for you kids. :D

VeryTired
04-19-15, 10:46 PM
Sarah--

I'm sending good thoughts your way, and tons of sympathy. It must be heart-rending to see your precious kids having these problems.

I'm pretty sure you know that you cannot possibly blame yourself for your daughter's difficulties, or take responsibility for them, but it's worth saying anyway. You gave her life, you gave her love, you gave her an excellent upbringing. Genetics and chance gave her some challenging circumstances, sure, but a truly loved child like your daughter is starting life with a huge advantage that nothing can ever diminish. Middle school can be horrible, but it will pass and she'll be fine.

I hope things get better for her soon--and that your worries will ease. You wanted advice--but it sounds to me as though you are already doing, and have long been doing, the right things. You said you think you've failed your daughter, but I read your post and think, once again, what a great example of dedicated parenting.

Be strong--let us know what happens--

mctavish23
04-20-15, 12:07 AM
HUGS

Love,

Robert

sarek
04-20-15, 02:52 AM
Sarah, you are wonderful and you are doing a magnificent job as a parent.

Sometimes things just happen despite all that you do. All you CAN do is your best.

busymomonli
04-20-15, 11:50 AM
Sarah, I don't have much advice as I am going through much of the same thing here. I also have a sixth grader and this year has been an emotional one for both of us. His self esteem is so low that I am in a constant state of worry. He is slightly overweight, which doesn't help things. He's constantly calling himself fat, ugly, worthless. I know puberty is in full swing, so I just do my best to reassure him he is loved no matter what. As a parent, that's all we can do. You are doing all you can for your child and for that, you should not feel guilty.

I have a friend who's son is now in college. She often tells me stories when I worry about her son at this age. Her son is now is law school and thriving. It gives me hope. Hang on to hope. This phase shall pass and, God willing, they will become well adjusted adults. Just hang on to hope.

neewsmonth
04-21-15, 08:02 PM
instructive chapter perhaps (https://books.google.pl/books?id=DG3eAgAAQBAJ&lpg=PA164&ots=ISnmj7Muk6&dq=Children%20and%20young%20adolescents%20with%20b ipolar%20disorder%20often%20do%20not%20have%20the% 20discrete%20periods%20of%20elevated%2C%20usually% 20euphoric%20mood%20seen%20in%20older%20adolescent s%20and%20adults.%20Rather%2C%20extreme%20irritabi lity%20and%20prolonged%20aggressive%20temper%20tan trums&hl=pl&pg=PA164#v=onepage&q&f=false)

sarahsweets
04-22-15, 05:08 AM
I clicked on the link but nothing came up.

instructive chapter perhaps (https://books.google.pl/books?id=DG3eAgAAQBAJ&lpg=PA164&ots=ISnmj7Muk6&dq=Children%20and%20young%20adolescents%20with%20b ipolar%20disorder%20often%20do%20not%20have%20the% 20discrete%20periods%20of%20elevated%2C%20usually% 20euphoric%20mood%20seen%20in%20older%20adolescent s%20and%20adults.%20Rather%2C%20extreme%20irritabi lity%20and%20prolonged%20aggressive%20temper%20tan trums&hl=pl&pg=PA164#v=onepage&q&f=false)

sarahsweets
04-22-15, 05:42 AM
So Ella had a rough night last night. She partook of the Kylie Jenner challenge (google it) without talking to us and had swollen bruised lips so I let her stay home from school yesterday. She started X=Zoloft on Sunday. Last night she had scratches on her arm and was crying that she knew she needed help. We have her in therapy and with a psyche so we are doing all we can but I cant help feeling like I should be doing more.

Lunacie
04-22-15, 10:11 AM
So Ella had a rough night last night. She partook of the Kylie Jenner challenge (google it) without talking to us and had swollen bruised lips so I let her stay home from school yesterday. She started X=Zoloft on Sunday. Last night she had scratches on her arm and was crying that she knew she needed help. We have her in therapy and with a psyche so we are doing all we can but I cant help feeling like I should be doing more.

If you knew what else to be doing, you'd already be doing it.
Keep looking for more ways to help, but stop beating yourself up
because you haven't found any yet. :grouphug:

We just went through a rough patch with my 13 year old granddaughter.
We saw our dentist three times, another dentist once, called all over the
county for another dentist, saw our doctor twice, and took her to the ER
three times over a 6-7 week period. Finally our dentist pulled the tooth
because no one could do a root canal under sedation. We could not save
the tooth, but we could not stand to see a child who is usually oblivious
to pain in such horrible pain. It still feels like we should have done more,
but there really wasn't anything else to do, and now the pain is gone. :)

Luvmybully
04-22-15, 12:12 PM
Sarah you can't blame yourself, because you haven't done anything to cause this!

You ARE getting her help, you are so understanding. You are a fantastic Mom!

{{hugs}}

VeryTired
04-22-15, 01:11 PM
Sarah--

It's awful to feel like you want to do more and not know what to do when your child is suffering. But think rationally: if there WERE more you could do, you'd be already doing it, and also your daughter's therapist/psychiatrist would be telling you what to do. So you ARE doing what you can, and now you just have to have faith.

big sympathy--

neewsmonth
04-22-15, 07:03 PM
I clicked on the link but nothing came up.

how about now ? (https://books.google.pl/books?id=DG3eAgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&hl=pl&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=false)

It's a google preview of

"Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families"
by Francis Mark Mondimore

Works for me in both chrome and Fx, I am not sure why you can't open :eyebrow:

sarahsweets
04-23-15, 04:38 AM
Well we decided to try lexapro instead because after 3 days on zoloft she was practically suicidal and I have to say that yesterday she did seem better mood wise. I know its too soon to tell right away but it did seem rather quick and not at all like when she took her first zoloft. I hate the med trial and error process but she cant live with such depression and self hatred. I cant watch her be that way and she cant function.

sarahsweets
05-01-15, 05:20 AM
Well, I think the lexapro is helping. The newer issue is school. She is having such a hard time of it. She had an essay due tomorrow and when she went to type it last night she didnt want me to read it because she said "she had it under control" I told her I needed to see it and it was actually a letter to her teacher about the stressed she is and why she didnt do it. She told me all week she was prepared for it but the poor girl was just freaking out all week on the inside. I told her I didnt want her to turn that in. She does not need the school officials see her write about feeling like shes no good and such. I told her I would call the teacher and tell her to talk to me and maybe she could get an extension. She has an IEP so I am going to press that issue. She had a melt down and told me this was a huge grade and that she blew it. I told her she didnt blow anything and she shouldnt feel like some sort of defective merchandise just because she was going through some hard times. SHe says the teacher told the class no exceptions would be made for late work, well we will see about that! I am not trying to make excuses for her, or be her get out of jail free card but seriously when I am dealing with a girl who thinks shes a piece of crap and would be better off dead, am I really going to be the kind of mom to rail her on her lack of preparedness? No thats not how I roll. Ive already left a message on the teacher's voicemail and told her that not only do i want to talk to her, but Ella did not want to talk to her in front of the class. God knows she would want to be swallowed up by the floor if she had to do that. I have dealt with this teacher since my oldest was in middle school and she has always been good to me, so hopefully thats still the case.

sarahsweets
05-18-15, 04:57 AM
Guess Ill update this thread, not that anyone reads it or cares, and thats fine. Its more about me getting this out anyhow.
My dear Ella has been hospitalized for 10 days. That friday she talked with her teacher and guidance counselor about wanting to die and feelings of self harm , which we were dealing with with her private therapist. They asked her if she could verbalize what she was feeling and she said she would rather write it down. She wrote that she wanted to kill herself and planned to do it by overdosing on pills. My Girl! I didnt know she had a plan. Well the school got in touch with me, and had to call her county's crisis team for an eval which they did over the phone and luckily my the guidance counselor knows her therapist and they were able to conference call with Ella to determine her risk. She indicated that she couldnt guarantee her safety. The school was pushing me to take her to the Er for my county but past my experience with them soured me on using those services. They released her into my custody and her therapist agreed with us to keep her under 24/7 watch for the weekend and try and get her into a partial hospitalization program.

Boy do I regret that. We had an ok weekend and discussed what an impatient experience be like because she didnt really understand how restrictive it would be. She begged me not to take her and agreed to wait for outpatient.
The nice weekend lulled me into a false sense of security. I took her sister to school tuesday and I thought her brother was home with her, and he wasnt and when I came home she said
"Mom, Im sorry, I think I need to go into the hospital". Like needs to apologize, f**k no!
WTF was wrong with me???How could I have left her alone and not realized her brother wasnt home!!!! She could have acted on her plan.

Anyway, we took her to a preferred hospital which was good and got on a waiting list for a very good youth program. THANK GOD a spot opened up and after an all night wait she was taken via ambulance to the facility and we met her there. She was so fragile and upset. But I realized my own weakness: I couldnt guarantee her safety. i was doing all I could and still coudnt do enough. I was trying to be her treatment team, and I fired myself and consulted professionals.

Thank God. I miss her so. She is doing so well! Her meds are stabilized, she got over being homesick, and has learned some coping skills. She says she no longer wants to kill herself and is ready to transition to the partial program. Shes on their waiting list so the hope and plan is that she will be dischagred tuesday and transition the next day to the partial program. The inpatient facility was an hour away each way and thank god the partial program is local. The only hitch would be if she had to wait at home a day or two before starting but I hope thats not the case.

I am still trying not to beat myself up to much for that irresponsible close call with her life. I was lulled into a false sense of security because the weekend was good but it could have ended so badly and I would have been in the ground after her if she died. Sorry thats dramatic but thats how I felt.
We all love our kids, but the ache in my heart over the mental anguish she experiences is so great that I didnt think I could stand it. It totally trumps any pain Ive felt phyiscally. TThis affirms my belief in genetics and mental illness. I know she isnt me, but boy is her anguish familiar!

This is super long and I know I will get alot of TLDR's and thats fine. I just had to write this for myself and anyone else that might care.

Love you guys, seriously, you have all always dangled that rope for me to grab onto during tough times.

Lunacie
05-18-15, 10:11 AM
Sarah, it's all a learning experience. If you'd had this last month's experience a
month ago, you'd have been more aware and done something sooner. But as
you didn't know all this back then, you did the best you could. Your daughter
is getting specialized care and is showing improvement. In the end, that's what
really matters.

I think we could have ended up like you and your daughter if we hadn't let my
oldest granddaughter switch to online school. She still struggles, but she gets
more support now and less bullying. Since she continues to do two choirs at the
local school, there is still some bullying. Wish I could post a video of her last
performance at the Razzle Dazzle concert ... she was amazing.

And if the district autism coordinator hadn't stepped in and created a new
program for middle and high school kids with autism, my youngest grand-
daughter might have killed us all by now. Just before that change, she picked
up a kitchen knife and threatened her mom with it. I called 911 then because
it was scaring her sister so bad. She and mom rode in the cop car to the ER
to be evaluated. Not sure why they didn't admit her to the psych unit, except
mom didn't think she would have actually used the knife. But I made what I
thought was the best choice at the time.

So please don't beat yourself up or blame yourself. You were also making the
best choices you could with the information you had. Now you know even
more and things can get better for you and your daughter. Bless you both!

VeryTired
05-18-15, 11:21 AM
Keep us posted on what happens, Sarah. We are here, we are reading and we care.

Sending strength and good thoughts to Ella, to you, to all of you--

willow129
05-18-15, 07:51 PM
Wow Sarah I can't imagine how painful this is. I think you're doing a great job. Please don't beat yourself up!
I'm glad things are looking up now, I hope Ella continues to feel better

sarahsweets
05-24-15, 06:23 AM
So I feel a little bit like I am walking on egg shells. Ella is on a waiting list for the partial hospitalization program and I call in everyday. It really is a matter of days until she gets in. SHe is considered high priority, we just have to wait until another kid is discharged. She has been doing better however last night she got really upset that I wouldnt let her sleep over her friends house. I told her that we were following the recommendations of professionals- to keep her under our watch until she starts this new program. She is not in school because that would be a trigger for her. She did not like my answer and got really upset. I told her that she just got out of the hospital and I couldnt let someone else be responsible for her. I know she doesnt completely get it, but I wish I didnt feel so damn guilty. I want her to be happy and I know that the guilt trip over me not letting her sleep over is part of the normal child thing and not related to her mental health issues but I still feel like I am a big meanie. I just dont see how I can send my daughter who spent 2 weeks in the hospital for suicide over to someone elses house and expect them to monitor her and stuff like that. In my heart I know I am doing right, but of course when I hear " Dont you know my friends make me happy?" I still feel a little pang in my heart.

Lunacie
05-24-15, 10:04 AM
So I feel a little bit like I am walking on egg shells. Ella is on a waiting list for the partial hospitalization program and I call in everyday. It really is a matter of days until she gets in. SHe is considered high priority, we just have to wait until another kid is discharged. She has been doing better however last night she got really upset that I wouldnt let her sleep over her friends house. I told her that we were following the recommendations of professionals- to keep her under our watch until she starts this new program. She is not in school because that would be a trigger for her. She did not like my answer and got really upset. I told her that she just got out of the hospital and I couldnt let someone else be responsible for her. I know she doesnt completely get it, but I wish I didnt feel so damn guilty. I want her to be happy and I know that the guilt trip over me not letting her sleep over is part of the normal child thing and not related to her mental health issues but I still feel like I am a big meanie. I just dont see how I can send my daughter who spent 2 weeks in the hospital for suicide over to someone elses house and expect them to monitor her and stuff like that. In my heart I know I am doing right, but of course when I hear " Dont you know my friends make me happy?" I still feel a little pang in my heart.

How about letting the friend sleep over at your house?

rickymooston
05-27-15, 09:27 PM
What am I going to do? I feel so low about this, like I did something wrong. Maybe its because shes the youngest, or it could have been because I was unavailable due to my alcoholism but that was a short lived period of time and thank God I got sober.


Hugs

Assuming you aren't the cause of course of what sounds like genetic conditions but it's sad that you did lose some key parentlng opportunities when you weren't sober. It is fantastic to hear you are sober now and based on your posts here, I do believe you are very knowledgible about these issues based on your own experience. You will win, hang in there.

Sorry, can't cure your sadness but I do believe if anybody can pull through this, that you are well equiped to do so. Your posts here are always knowledgible.

I apologize for only reading the OP and not the entire thread. :grouphug:

rickymooston
05-27-15, 09:31 PM
Dont you know my friends make me happy?" I still feel a little pang in my heart.

How about a compromise?

Do you trust any of her friends to visit or facetime/skype/msn her?

I mean of course, friends who are supportive.

Is there any way to "bring some of school to her" rather than bring her there, while she is waiting for treatment

She may have friends very happy to help but obviously, said friends would need to be chosen carefully with full consulation with her first?

Tmoney
05-28-15, 08:21 AM
Guess Ill update this thread, not that anyone reads it or cares, and thats fine. Its more about me getting this out anyhow.
My dear Ella has been hospitalized for 10 days. That friday she talked with her teacher and guidance counselor about wanting to die and feelings of self harm , which we were dealing with with her private therapist. They asked her if she could verbalize what she was feeling and she said she would rather write it down. She wrote that she wanted to kill herself and planned to do it by overdosing on pills. My Girl! I didnt know she had a plan. Well the school got in touch with me, and had to call her county's crisis team for an eval which they did over the phone and luckily my the guidance counselor knows her therapist and they were able to conference call with Ella to determine her risk. She indicated that she couldnt guarantee her safety. The school was pushing me to take her to the Er for my county but past my experience with them soured me on using those services. They released her into my custody and her therapist agreed with us to keep her under 24/7 watch for the weekend and try and get her into a partial hospitalization program.

Boy do I regret that. We had an ok weekend and discussed what an impatient experience be like because she didnt really understand how restrictive it would be. She begged me not to take her and agreed to wait for outpatient.
The nice weekend lulled me into a false sense of security. I took her sister to school tuesday and I thought her brother was home with her, and he wasnt and when I came home she said
"Mom, Im sorry, I think I need to go into the hospital". Like needs to apologize, f**k no!
WTF was wrong with me???How could I have left her alone and not realized her brother wasnt home!!!! She could have acted on her plan.

Anyway, we took her to a preferred hospital which was good and got on a waiting list for a very good youth program. THANK GOD a spot opened up and after an all night wait she was taken via ambulance to the facility and we met her there. She was so fragile and upset. But I realized my own weakness: I couldnt guarantee her safety. i was doing all I could and still coudnt do enough. I was trying to be her treatment team, and I fired myself and consulted professionals.

Thank God. I miss her so. She is doing so well! Her meds are stabilized, she got over being homesick, and has learned some coping skills. She says she no longer wants to kill herself and is ready to transition to the partial program. Shes on their waiting list so the hope and plan is that she will be dischagred tuesday and transition the next day to the partial program. The inpatient facility was an hour away each way and thank god the partial program is local. The only hitch would be if she had to wait at home a day or two before starting but I hope thats not the case.

I am still trying not to beat myself up to much for that irresponsible close call with her life. I was lulled into a false sense of security because the weekend was good but it could have ended so badly and I would have been in the ground after her if she died. Sorry thats dramatic but thats how I felt.
We all love our kids, but the ache in my heart over the mental anguish she experiences is so great that I didnt think I could stand it. It totally trumps any pain Ive felt phyiscally. TThis affirms my belief in genetics and mental illness. I know she isnt me, but boy is her anguish familiar!

This is super long and I know I will get alot of TLDR's and thats fine. I just had to write this for myself and anyone else that might care.

Love you guys, seriously, you have all always dangled that rope for me to grab onto during tough times.

We do care and thank you for sharing! This post could help others so don't hesitate to share.
I cried after reading this post!
My heart goes out to you and your family.
Thank goodness she has a mother who understands as well as you do!

javamonster
05-29-15, 01:45 AM
Hey, you're doing the best you can.

Our 18 yo daughter had to be admitted after impulsively taking some pills about a month ago now. Interestingly, the doctor there discounted her previous diagnosis of BPSd and bipolar and declared she was/is ADHD! Took off her current mess and put her on Welbutrin instead.

You are doing fine. You are a lioness.

sarahsweets
06-05-15, 11:42 AM
Thanks to everyone, I wouldnt know what to do without you guys. Well we finally got her into PHP and it looks like its going to be an amazing experience for her. SHe's excited about going and is really being set up for success. We were getting concerned about the lag between inpatient and this PHP but I am glad we stuck it out and waited for an opeing here.

midnightstar
06-05-15, 03:11 PM
Sarah it sounds like you are doing your absolute best for her :grouphug:

willow129
06-05-15, 06:43 PM
Oh yay! Great news! That's great she's excited about going. Thank goodness you are her parent, and know to get her the help she needs.

sarahsweets
06-22-15, 04:46 AM
UPDATE:
Ella has moved from the partial program to IOP- intensive outpatient program. SHe will be going three days a week from 930-1230. She has been doing amazing. I encourage all parents and caregivers to listen to your kids, and take their depression seriously. I think all the stress with this has really saved her life. Not only is she learning coping skills and stress management, but she will know that her parents loved her enough to get her some professional help instead of invalidating her emotions.

Lunacie
06-22-15, 12:35 PM
UPDATE:
Ella has moved from the partial program to IOP- intensive outpatient program. SHe will be going three days a week from 930-1230. She has been doing amazing. I encourage all parents and caregivers to listen to your kids, and take their depression seriously. I think all the stress with this has really saved her life. Not only is she learning coping skills and stress management, but she will know that her parents loved her enough to get her some professional help instead of invalidating her emotions.

That is very big. All my life my family has invalidated my emotions.

My dad said was "too sensitive." My hubby claimed I was using my emotions
to be "manipulative." Doctors treated me as if I was being too emotional, too
sensitive.

Bravo to you for listening to your daughter and getting her the help she
needs to face life with over-the-top emotions 'cause it ain't easy. :yes:

Lizzie80
06-22-15, 01:23 PM
I have three children. Jake is 19, Becca is 15 and Ella is 11. Some of you may remember a few years ago I had issues with Becca and depression. She was very briefly hospitalized and put on meds. She has made a full recovery of sorts. She no longer takes meds ( her choice) and her clinical or situational depression seems to have cleared. And then there is Ella.

The transition to middle school was something she feared. She started 6th grade this year. I knew the adjustment was going to be hard because of hormones, puberty and frankly middle school sucks no matter how you slice it. I was not prepared for the depression she now experiences.

She was always an emotional kid, very reactive but she seemed happy. In fact, due to my bipolar, when Becca had her issues I mistakenly thought she was just like her mom and weighed the possibility of genetics. I don't think that anymore with her.

Ella had some days where she was crying so much going to school that I gave her mental health days to stay at home with me. There is no way I was going to force her to go to school filled with such sadness, she needed mom time and f**k school if they had a problem with it. Her mental health is more important to me. This only happened a few times. She is just so sad and has such low self esteem. She holds herself to such high standards and has always been a people pleaser and had issues when she thought she didn't do well enough. We are very proactive and pro mental health here in this household and I cant figure out if we somehow set unspoken standards that she feels like she cant meet.

All three of my kids have adhd, and at this point the older two have chosen not to take meds(they are old enough to do this and I refuse to force them to take meds they don't want.) Ella has never been a candidate for stimulants due to her anxiety. At first I thought it was her perception that she didn't have friends. She has a couple of girls from the neighborhood that she hangs with but that's it. She hasn't been outright bullied but there have been some nasty things said in her presence that led her to believe it was about her. This came from older as**hole kids. She hates the bus so I drive her. She is short tempered and isolated and emotional. She has always cried easily but now its seems like an everyday thing.

She has engaged in superficial self harm, but is not suicidal. She called a teen helpline called Trevorspace, it is more geared for LBGT kids but all kids are welcome to call for help.

What in Gods name have we failed at? I feel so guilty that I may have passed on my genetics, like bipolar and because my husband and myself are both adhd, I know this played a role in things. I also know that ADHD symptoms can manifest with anxiety and self esteem issues. I feel awful if we somehow set these standards that she feels she cant meet. I feel like I have such a grasp on positive mental health treatment that we are doing our best. I found an excellent therapist who specializes in pre-teen and teen issues and thankfully she really likes her. She saw her psyche doctor yesterday, and she is going to start Zoloft.
I am very informed and cautious with meds and view them as tools. She doesn't really think they will help but the doctor and I got her to agree to try them.

Does Bipolar manifest itself in a child so young? I thought I knew all there is to know about bipolar but I was always under the impression that it began to show up in the early teens, it did for me.
Is this purely an adhd thing? I don't know. I believe she has anxiety issues as well.
Her grades have suffered, going from honor roll to barely passing yet her teachers love her. Shes had an IEP since kindergarten and I have always advocated for my kids. The school district doesn't f**k with me because they have gone up against me in the past and lost.

What am I going to do? I feel so low about this, like I did something wrong. Maybe its because shes the youngest, or it could have been because I was unavailable due to my alcoholism but that was a short lived period of time and thank God I got sober.
I have no idea what the point Is with this post and I am sorry its so long. Long posts are not typical for me, but I am so sad right now. Advice, hugs and support are welcome.

Sarah, you haven't failed! The only way you could truly "fail" as a parent is if you abandoned your child, or didn't care about them, ignoring their needs while only interested in fulfilling your own. I don't have children, but I can relate to where your daughter is coming from. I wasn't especially reactive to things externally, because this was an absolute no-no in my household. But internally, I was a brewing storm, so I feel for your daughter so much. The age of 10 was when I started no longer being able to pull off high grades at school on intellect alone. I think that the toughening curriculum of middle along with the changing hormones of puberty really caught up with me then. So I see what you're saying about your little girl.

Sarah, as a kid who's been there, I can say you're doing the very best thing for her simply by being AWARE of her needs, trying to meet them, doing everything possible to help Ella become happy, confident, and independent. Your children's problems are not an indication of whether you're a good parent or not; your reaction to them is that indication. From everything I've read, you and your husband are being proactive in monitoring your daughter, honoring her feelings and thoughts, seeking out positive ways to improve her life (not control it, but make it better). You're not controlling her or ignoring her or blaming her. Blaming yourself is natural, but you didn't know what you did about life or yourself or mental health when you had your kids. They've been dealt a challenging hand in life, no doubt. But they have you for a mother, a caring and bold woman determined to give her kids a healthy, happy, rewarding life without trying to run their lives excessively, without punishing them unnecessarily if they don't meet your standards. That is the very definition of a successful mom. I'd be thrilled to have someone like you for a parent! :)