My daughter is 17 years old but she has been dealing with depression for 5 years. She has a past history of cutting, smoking marijuana, and reckless behavior. But you would never guess it. She's beautiful, always has a smile on her face, she's friendly, she's respectful to adults, she loves sports and she is on the honor roll at school....until recently. About a month a go she got arrested for possession. Her and a friend smoked weed on the way to school and because she stunk, the school security searched her purse and found marijuana. She was then suspended from school for 180 days and arrested. We are dealing with the aftermath. She is now enrolled in an alternative school - she's in 11th grade - and she is not allowed back to her regular high school until January '14.
Shortly after all this has happened she got angry-had an emotional meltdown and punched a wall which resulted in a broken hand, she still has the cast on.
She really is good kid despite all this. She is hurting because she feels she let everyone down and she is being really hard on herself. Shes a perfectionist - which was not instilled in her by us, shes always been an over achiever. Me and her father are trying to be there for her without judgement. And this is killing me inside! She's had counseling in the past and right now she is in the care of a psychologist who specializes in children and teens.
I have a call in to her psychologist right now because she had another emotional break down last night and I'm worried about her. We are trying to be patient with her, letting her know that we are always here for her. But what else can I do???? She feels like her life is over and I have tried reassuring her that no, it's not. She feels like her friends have abandoned her.
If your own life allows it, try to find her a new world. She's 17? That's old enough for something like Habitat for Humanity or other heavy volunteer efforts, or for learning something entirely new. She should be on anti-depression drugs for a while to help her catch her breath, and she should have good counseling, but really I think high-schoolers aren't exposed to enough where there is a lot of need and anyone ready to commit a lot of time is useful.
Thanks for you're reply. I've been in the process of trying to redirect her attention elsewhere. Trying to get her away from these "bad" kids that she started hanging out with. But it seems the more I push, the more she pushes back. She also has a boyfriend who is a bad influence on her. They fight all the time and he smokes weed on a regular basis but I can't say anything about it or she digs in her heels. Ah the joy of teens!
I am encouraging her to take on a summer league for soccer, which she loves and she's open to the idea. And perhaps I can find her some volunteer work in my home town, I'm willing to be there with her for it - but I can't do it right away as I just had foot surgery.
I had a friend who, at 17, went to Bangladesh and worked in a clinic, and another who went as a volunteer to a farm in South Africa. I was thinking about something that radical. It's not like she's welcome at her school right now, she might be able to go somewhere else, and if she were hooked up by computer she could even do high school classes online.
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