What is the best way to avoid depression, or nip it in the bud?

Wynn

Wynn

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Hi - a question that has been on my mind a lot lately. I am keeping a concerned eye on my teenage daughter - both her Dad and me have had depression in the past, and I reckon it runs in my family genes at least. She is 15 and gets majorly stressed about huge amounts of school work, homework and exams looming. Perceives her friends as being much better than her, She is also rather a perfectionist. I know teenage angst is a mostly universal thing, but she seems to me to have major bouts of low self esteem.

What I'm wondering is - if you knew one thing at 15 about depression that would've helped you avoid / lessen its effects, what would it be? Do you think there is any way of 'inoculating' someone against it? ideas for boosting self esteem? Anything really.
 
bupanishad2012

bupanishad2012

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Depression

I take 30 mg of Prozac a day (recently upped from 20 mg), and keep my mind busy: reading, computing, etc. Actually hard work (I am retired) is best for defeating it, but that takes "hard work." LOL
 
N

northern

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My Advise is: to allow her time to unwind and do something that pleases her, such as going to a Spa for a treatment, giving her music she likes to listen too. Not nagging her about her school work, after all she is old enough to make that judgement herself.

And if she is having a time issue and you find her doing other things instead of maybe giving herself time to her work, then give her a diary with time allotments, where she can do her DO TODAY LIST and then she might realise just how much time she is wasting and then having too stress cos she is trying to do it all at once..

My daughter did muck around and I simply said, Your Life! You Deal! with the fall out. I was no longer going to ride her back. Gave her the diary suggested she look at blocks of time for herself, her work and what time she was willing to give her friends, so long as she wasn't spending every waking moment with them.

She found time to have a nap, watch her favorite TV programs (without me nagging her) some time with her friends on the weekend and time to do her school work and even time to go to the Movies etc. And if she was up after sleeping in the wee hours, I never said anything. It was her choice after all. I wasn't the one studing & stressing.

And if she thought any of her friends where better than her, I'd tell her maybe it was time to move on. If I didn't like them I'd say so, same with the boyfriends then I'd tell her it was after all her choice and until she woke up then there was nothing I could do. They would still be able to visit and I would be civil.

And as too a family history of depression, well I'd say she could very well get it too but pushing her endlessly and riding her all the time will just make it harder for her cope.

Go! Do something special as a family before she's no longer your baby. Before you know it she will be bring her kids by for a visit:eek:
 
intelgal

intelgal

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You could try and point her in the direction of some of the online CBT sites


http://www.moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome

Goin through things with her might help.... finding ways she can look after herself without using negatives thoughts and behaviours
 
ms_P

ms_P

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Hi - a question that has been on my mind a lot lately. I am keeping a concerned eye on my teenage daughter - both her Dad and me have had depression in the past, and I reckon it runs in my family genes at least. She is 15 and gets majorly stressed about huge amounts of school work, homework and exams looming. Perceives her friends as being much better than her, She is also rather a perfectionist. I know teenage angst is a mostly universal thing, but she seems to me to have major bouts of low self esteem.

What I'm wondering is - if you knew one thing at 15 about depression that would've helped you avoid / lessen its effects, what would it be? Do you think there is any way of 'inoculating' someone against it? ideas for boosting self esteem? Anything really.

Hi Wynn.
The teenage years are so rough to begin with. Better not to put her in a box now re: depression or other psychiatric illnesses.
Let it play out, be supportive and see what happens, in my humble opinion.

I know you love your daughter...I've got 2.

Don't stigmatise her please.

School guidence counselors are great. Is that an option? For her to find out her dreams and goals, weaknesses and strengths, etc?
 
nickh

nickh

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Tough questions Wynn and if anyone really had a proper answer then they would have made millions and I suppose we wouldn't need this Forum! :). But if there are no inoculations I think there are suggestions about what you can try to do and there have been some good ones here.

I will add my own advice for what it is worth. Guilt is an absolute killer as far as depression is concerned. Not only can it precipitate depression but it adds to a self-destructive and self-fulfilling spiral - I am ill because I am weak/inadequate/stupid etc. etc. - which makes you worse - which creates more guilt and so on. If you have high personal standards then obviously it becomes much easier to fail your own internalised standards and then to start to feel guilty about it. The low self-esteem can be a part of this - again if your standards are high/perfectionist then it is easy for one to fail (in one's own eyes) and the guilt to set in and for you to place a low value on yourself.

Now dealing with all this is, as always, much, much harder than analysing it. I have been grappling with the problem for many years and still keep failing. But at least you can try to never do anything which would add to any possible feelings of guilt and if possible try to reduce the perfectionism - I am not sure about this latter though as it would be a very delicate operation and might be better left to a psychologist. Indeed I think the best recommendation is to seek professional help and advice.

Nick.
 
D

Dollit

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For me at that age it would have been to have parents who practised what they preached. Outside in front of people they would say how we could go to them with "anything" yet at home it was "too busy". I needed someone to listen.
 
S

saffron

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Hi Wynn
your daughter sounds like she really wants to do well, which is good, but sometimes looking at everything at once seems to be an unreachable goal.
she could try to set out realistic goals for each subject, for instance,
allow herself one hour to research one part of the subject, this will lead on to what she needs to research next in that subject, building on what is needed for the final result. therefore, with each subject she has set herself acheivable goals without frying herself trying to do everything at once, if that makes sense. she can then see progression in each subject, which will make her feel that she is more on top of things, she can see that one subject might need more research that others and so can prioritise.
dont over do it, after about two hours of studying the brain switches off anyway.
hope this helps a little, look on the net for tips on life and psychological coaching, heres one I found: http://ezinearticles.com/?Psychological-Tips-for-Effective-Studying&id=48055

best wishes

S(y)
 
Wynn

Wynn

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Hi, everyone

Thanks for all of your input - but maybe I didn't explain myself well enough.

I wasn't asking for ideas to help my daughter organise her work - she does that very well on her own, and I don't interfere. I also never push - quite the opposite in fact. i would much rather she left school with no qualifications and her health ok, than a bag full of A's, but a physical and emotional wreck. Also Mrs P - I don't 'label' her with anything - she is her own, individual, beautiful person; but also no-one in our house sees depression as a stigma - just a sign that your nerve transmitters have got themselves in a muddle again or whatever - no more of a stigma than a sprained muscle.

What I was really after was your combined wisdom of what you have found REALLY helps, so that maybe I can pass some of it on as suggestions, ideas etc, when she is still awake at 2am and crying.

Thanks Dollit - I think I would put someone to really listen, non-judgementally, top of my list too. Also I would add someone telling me it was ok to feel down sometimes, so I didn't beat myself up about having negative emotions.

Any other wish lists anyone?
 
invise

invise

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Hi Wynn,

Im 22 and at uni with loadsa pressure from exams, homework, friends, parents and so on, so I guess I can relate to what your saying. I also suffer from depression, at the moment im taking fluoxetine and seeing a pdoc, not convinced either are doing me any good though.

You asked what things could help lessen the effects of depression, well I guess everyone is different, but here's a few things that trigger stress and depression in me, and how I guess they could be better. I've been keeping a mood chart that my doc told me to, so Im getting to recognise these things a bit better, although that doesnt necessarily make anything better. anyway...

1) Too much pressure. I know, its obvious. But sometimes people have no idea how much its the small things that are the worst. Say ive got a huge essay to write for uni, I can cope with that. I get anxious and worries, but then everyone does. The kinda thing that tips me over the edge is when I'm told to tidy my room, or told to do the dishes, or told to do anything. It's the way that people say it that makes the difference. Being TOLD to do something when your busy adds stress. If I was asked along the lines of "fancy taking a break and helping me with the dishes?" then Id probably do it, and wouldnt feel under pressure. Id still moan, but the pressure element isnt there. I like it when people ask me things, I hate it when they tell me things, so maybe that might help.

2) Noone listening. I'm a pretty reclusive person, and really struggle to talk to people in the real world. Only my docs and a mate know I am depressed. Sometimes though it's nice just to talk to someone about total rubbish, nothing to do with depression. Sometimes I go downstairs just for a chat, but people might be busy with something as small as reading a paper. If they dont put it down to talk to me then I just recluse again and get worse. I know we cant expect people to always stop what there doin and talk, but making yourself available can help.

3) Take a break. We get told this all the time, but how many of us actually do it? Im a keen classically trained musician, but lately ive not been playing much at all. When I was younger I used to spent 3 or 4 hours a day playing, and was always happy, or as much as I can remember anyway. I know Im not doing enough things like this anymore, but its hard to get out of a rut. Try to make sure she doesnt end up like me and drop things she enjoys. Anything, reading, tv, music, talking on the phone, whatever. Its so easy to let the time you spend doing these things slip, then so hard to get it back again. I really wish I could spent more time playing music again.

4) Well dones. You said she has low self esteem, I know exactly how that feels. It's always nice when people say well done for things you do, but you gotta be careful with this one. Too many well dones gets patronising, and doesnt mean much. The best thing you can do is to show an interest in what she is doing, even if you dont say well done a lot. When I feel like someone is genuinly interested in me it gives me a huge boost.

I could probably keep rambling for ages, but ill stop here. I'd love to hear what anyone thinks. If you wanna chat more Wynn feel free to send me a PM or post in this thread.

bfn
 
N

Nutter_09

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I think you seem to be a great, loving Mum and it's great that you are looking out for your daughter and want to help her so much,
I wont go into details about my life but I am 23 and live at home. My parents don't understand why I am depressed and don;t help the situation.

I think you should continue as you are - offer your support, give her a big cuddle and a shoulder to cry on and just "be there for her"

I don't think there is a way to stop something that may happen in the future - just concentrate on being a happy, close family.

I recomment having a look on "Net doctor" www.netdoctor.co.uk. Go to dperession and their is a helpfull section on "caring for someone with depression" I showed this to my family and it has helped a great deal.

One thing i have learned is that this illness seems worse sometimes for thoes around us.

I hope my babbling has helped!

Take care
 
nickh

nickh

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Sorry for mis-understanding the question Wynn.

But this one is even harder! The reason for this is that everyone's coping strategy is going to be different - for instance for me someone to listen is not what I want as I don't communicate, but for many people it will be very important. In the 2AM low situation I would either a) re-read a favourite book (for the 100th plus time!) b) go and play a video game c) watch utterly undemanding video/dvd. Now these are probably not especially relevant for a 15 year old I fear. But they are all what I would call 'low-level distractions' which are what enable me to get by. You have to somehow get away from the imprisoning and destructive thought-cycles which are going on and these are my own methods. But everyone's are different. And I make it sound too easy as I have taken years to evolve these and don't always follow my own advice now :rolleyes:. I do have to hark back a little as well because it is vital that you can practise your distractions (and others might be meditation or even some kind of exercise or a million different things - I have given my specific examples because they are what work for me but do not tend to be mentioned by the 'experts') without any guilt.

Nick.
 
S

saffron

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well wynn I think you have answered your own question, you know that you do not interfere or bully her into her studies she is strong person, but at the same time you feel that she needs someone to listen, that is you, that is encouraging in that you have faith in her and that you are interested in how she is doing and always ask if she is ok or needs some help, or ask her to read some of her stuff out as you want to take an interest, just be there as a mum, not a teacher or mentor. if that makes sense.
just going on how I interpret your post,
S:hug:
 
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