Could My 9 year old daughter have depression?? HELP!!!
Hi, I really need help with my 9 year old stepdaughter! She has really bad emotional problems! She has bad mood swings. She lives with her mother but we get her every weekend. We cannot tell her no about anything even if she is not getting into trouble and we are just explaining to her something that she can not do she immediately starts crying! Or if she asks for something and can't get it she gets bad upset! I do no that it is normal for a child to be upset because they cannot get what they want but she goes to the extreme! We have a 7 year old daughter also! An example of some things that she does; yesterday we went to the store and the girls pick out a toy. On they way home they start argue in. I tell them they will not play with the toy if they keep it up. We get home and I tell them to help me get the groceries she gets upset and throws her toy so I pick it up and take it inside tellin her that is not acceptable! She is angry at this point and slams the car door as hard as she can her father tells her to go to her room until she calms down by this time she is crying pretty bad! Another example; when her and her sister argue and she says or does something she should not or even something that her sis doesn't like her sister will run to tell on her and immediately she starts crying even though she did not get into trouble! She never gets discipline when she is with us on the weekends because we are not sure how to disciine her! On the rare occasions that we have she gets histerical she will sit in the floor crying and rocking and will not say a word just crys! It is like her mood switches like a light switch! When she gets into that mood she seems depressed! When she gets into these moods we can not figure out what has made her change most the time. We try to talk to her and she completely ignores her father and I! Her father try's to handle her when she is in these moods and I try to stay out of the way! He will sit there calling her name over and over and she just sits there and will not say a word! This happens a lot! Her parents seem to think that she is just sensitive but I am positive it is more than that! She gets away with alot because my husband does not want her to go into that sad mode! Which is not fair to the other children. Another example her and her father were playing and she jumps on his back which hurt him and he very politely told her not to do that again she immediately runs to her room and sits there crying! She is VERY spoiled by her father because he feels bad that he is not there everyday for her like he is our children! When she does wrong he looks over it a lot because he says he never gets to see her and when he does he doesn't want her to think he is mean or make her to where she does not want to come over! She has her own iPhone and when she gets upset with her father she will hang up on him and will not answer when he calls back! Again she gets into no trouble for that! Her mother has a hard time with her also if she doesn't wanna do something and pitches a fit not to then she usually does not have to! I am very very worried about her! She seems depressed and she seems to have bad anxiety! But again it's not constant she goes in and out of these moods most the day! I believe her mother and father just make it worse by giving her what she wants! I am worried that this is just going to get worse and I hate for her to have to live with a mental illness with no help and no one understanding what she is dealing with! I have had depression ever since I can remember! I was just recently diagnosed with bipolar 11 disorder so I completely understand what she is going through! I know this is going to get worse with age! I met her when she was 4 and it really has gotten worse since then! Her parents had her in counseling for about 10 months and we saw no difference! I never went with her but I truly believe that her parents do not really see it in the way that I do!! I can relate! Please help! I have found a good child psychologist in our area but counseling never helped before! What can we do? I have no idea how to get her help! Could she just have depression?? Any advice would be helpful!! Thanks
I have some ideas and a book or two to recommend. But I would really like to know how she does at school. Do her teachers complain about the same issues? Because if this does happen at school, then it could indicate a much more serious problem. If this is only happening at home or with you, then it is another matter - still serious, but easier in a way to deal with. Essentially, depression and anxiety are very difficult to turn off and on.
Sandman2, thank you for reading my question and trying to help! what are the books that you recommend? Regarding your question about school she does have issues at school however she does not seem so sensitive at school. Her teacher has not mentioned anything about her having problems emotionally but she has a really hard time learning! She is really struggling at learning mainly with reading. She failed kindergarten because of it. She almost failed 1st grade also! She was tested to see if she was dislecsic ( sorry I no I spelled that wrong hopefully you know what I am referring to anyway ) test came back that she was not! She struggles a lot with her homework also. So she does have trouble at school. She also does have issues with me. It has taken a lot on my part for her to like me. She wants her mom and dad together more than anything and even 5 years after they split she will still mention things! She acts the same way as I described earlier with her mother. Her mother is just as lost as we are when it comes to what is wrong. Her mother also suffers from depression and I also believe that she tells her about her issues that she has going on in her life. My stepdaughter worries about adult things. For instance she was with us one weekend when her mother calls to tell my husband that her car tore up. When she hears that she starts crying saying she worried about her mommy. All of us are lost at what to do. They are scared to get onto her about anything! They both try really hard to give her what she wants to keep her from going into one of those moods. I can understand my husbands side of things. He loves her so much and does not want her to not want to come stay with him so he does his best to keep her happy. The only time he will say something to her is when he absolutely has to. However she is growing up and I do believe that she knows that her father feels this way so she uses that to her advantage. She also lies a lot but only to keep herself out of trouble. What can we do to help her? We are all worried about her. I am a little more worried because I no how bad depression is for me I couldn't imagine what she is goin through!! Please tell me what to do next I do not want this to get any worse! We can all see that she is getting worse :( we are lost!! What do you think it could be depression?? Anxiety?? When she gets really upset and we ask her what's wrong most the time she says she doesn't know and most the time we can't figure out what got her so upset either! Anyway when she gets really upset it seems like she is almost hyperventilating. She will sit there crying really hard rocking back and forth rubbing her hands together profusely! It does not get to that extent to often but when she does we can't calm her down at all! She will not talk to her father or her mother when she is like that. I try to stay out of the way when she gets upset although I have tried a few times to talk calmly and very nice to her! What can her parents do when she gets to that point? How can we stop her from getting so upset? When she does something wrong and needs to be disciplined how do her parents go about disciplining her? She has never been spanked it has always been time out or being grounded from something she likes. When she lies her father does not want to say anything to her because he just wants his lil girl happy! We all do!! Any help would be greatly appreciated!! We are lost at what to do! Thanks
Oh, this could take some time. The school info is really important. I am kind of now suspecting something like ADHD (with anxiety/depression as co disorders - which is fairly common) since you mentioned the scholastic problems. And, of course, there is all of the parenting issues. I need to pull some resources together and I will get back to you hopefully tomorrow. In the meantime, check out this site on ADHD and tell me what you think -
Typically, kids who fail K and almost fail 1st get some kind of special help from the schools. Does she have a 504 plan? Also with her failing K, what grade is she in now at age 9 and when is her birthday?
Hang in there.
Thanks for your help! It is greatly appreciated! She is in no plan at school. She is in the 3rd grade! I will check out the site. Please do get back to me with anything that you can figure out!! Thank you so so much!!!
There really are several things possibly going on here and I will be interested to get your feelings about the AD/HD site - I'll explain why a bit later.
First, its not unusual for kids to not know how to express anger or feelings. Thus, if they can be given ways to do so, then that helps eliminate the sitting and crying forever. There is a whole set of books in the Emotional Impact series that are aimed at this age group. Go here to check them out. http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Rant-Rave-Wednesdays-Anger-Control/dp/0933849540/ref=pd_sim_b_1
And, if you scroll down the page you will find 7 or 8 other good titles. These books should be read with the child and the ideas in the books should be practiced. Which leads to what to do when she gets upset. First, let her cry or scream or whatever. Ignore it completely. If possible have her go to her room and tell her that as soon as she is finished - she can rejoin everybody. Do not try and talk or reason with her when she is upset! Once she calms down, then ask if there is any other way she could have handled the situation and then practice a couple of the ways you have read about. And, when she does get upset and does use some of the books ideas - make sure you reward her.
You are trying to change a learned behavior here. It will take time. So its important to be very consistent - which means that all the adults will have to buy into this. In terms of discipline a very good book is called Love and Logic by Fay and Cline. It would be for the adults to read.
Finally, I am worried about her having troubles at school. By the way, the fact that she is not having melt downs at school is a good thing. I am pretty sure the schools discipline her. The fact that she melts down around you guys and not at school is probably because she has learned what works with you and what won't work at school - which means she has a certain degree of control.
Anyway, at her age - which is old for third grade - she should be doing much better. And I think (heck, I know) its important to figure out why. She does show symptoms of ADD. If she has ADD, she would find learning difficult. Furthermore, things like Anxiety and Depression are very common coexisting disorders due to how ADD effects the childs self confidence. In fact, in " "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley on page 53 she says that 60 % of the kids have learning problems. 25 to 30% have Anxiety Disorder and 10 to 30% have Depression. And if she does have ADD, all of those things are just going to get worse.
I would make a formal request in writing for the school to have her evaluated for a 504 plan. Once again, Ashleys book has a lot of good info on what a 504 plan is and what should be in it. Since the book only costs about $10 through Amazon - its probably worth getting. A 504 plan will help her in school, if they can also figure out why she is having the problems she is having.
I think it might be a good idea to ask her doctor for a referral to someone who can do some testing for ADD. As I said you need to figure out what is going on. All the behavioral change things I have mentioned will help, but there is the possibility that what she is doing is not just because she is "spoiled". I just noticed that you have found a good child psychologist in your area. That probably would be a good place to start for some ADD testing.
Lots of stuff to think about. Feel free to ask questions about any of it! I also am the CL on the ADHD forum here - http://www.medhelp.org/forums/ADD---ADHD/show/175 feel free to post to me over there too. Best wishes.
Thank you so much for that info!! I did look at the website that you mentioned and I do believe that it is very likely that that is what is going on! I never thought of that before because when I would think about add or ADHD I would think it ment more hyperactive and she is not really hyper! She has a lot of the symptoms of add! It is such a relief to be able to pinpoint would could be going on with her! I will definetly look into reading the books that you have suggested. We are willing to do anything to help her! But I do believe that it will be hard for her parents to accept the fact that this could be a possibility! I did mentioned this to my husband today. He seemed a bit skeptical but again I do believe he will do anything to help his daughter! How does a child get ADD? Was she born with it? Also what all can we do to fix this? Will she need counseling for a long period of time? What about medication is there a possibility that she could need it? We really want to try to avoid that if possible! Should I go with her to a couple of her visits if her mother would allow that? What about the anxiety and depression will counseling help that? Also, I her father and I have never heard of a 504 plan. I will look into that! Does she need to see psychologist or would a certified counselor be fine? Not sure if they are the same. She has seen a psychologist before and he seemed to think she was ok just had trouble handling her emotions! Why would he not notice this?
Typically, it is something that you have inherited somewhere down the line. Girls usually don't get noticed because as you mentioned they are not hyper.
If she does have ADD. Counseling is very important so that she understands what/why she is having these problems. And since she is having so much trouble in school - and will have an extremely difficult time catching up if she does have ADD - medication will probably be offered. I don't think that she will need medication for her behavior. And, if she does need it for ADD, the only difference you should notice is that her grades get better and she is less impulsive. But that is still a ways off.
I don't know how long ago she saw the psychologist, but if the psyc didn't have much school input, then he may have missed the signs and dealt only with what was in front of him.
The best thing that you can do is to try and find out if she does have something like ADD and you will need a good child psychologist or Psychiatrist for this.
Anyway, lets take this one step at a time. The main thing is to get help for her. Let me know when you need more info!! Good luck
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