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13year old girl Depressed?
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jlmlhc posted:
My 13 year daughter has had a difficult time adjusting to school this year. The first week she was very nervous and needed me to come to school with her to get her schedule straight - they made some odd changes and she kinda "freaked out" the first 2 days. The last few days she complains that she's not smart enough for 8th grade even though she was a straight A student last year. She hasn't been sleeping well and says she can't concentrate in class. We meet with her teacher and the school counselor and they recommended we give her a couple weeks to adjust and go from there but it breaks my heart to see her suffer. The counselor said that if we rush to a therapist she might not learn to cope on her own. She is normally a little shy but this year she claims she has no friends. We did go to her Ped. Dr. but she seemed a bit better that day and the doctor gave her tips on getting to sleep and said to contact her in a couple weeks if things didn't improve. Does it make sense to wait awhile ( this started last Tuesday) longer or get her to a therapist?
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momuv4girls responded:
Hi,

I think you are right to be concerned, and good for you for being such an attentive mom!

Between the ages of 10 and 14, it is not unusual for depressive symptoms to begin to show in those pre-disposed to depression/mental health issues.
This happened to my daughter at age 11.
I was not as wise as I am today - because I should have sought out help sooner rather than later.

The Counselor's comment didn't sit well with me, because IMHO, a good Child Psychologist teaches a child how to implement coping tools when they become overwhelmed and stressed. Obviously your daughter is needing some tools now because of how you describe her acting.

Sleep is huge - for everyone, but especially teens. Is your daughter going to bed at a decent hour, but just can't sleep?
Does she have a fairly "typical" bedtime routine?
If she truly just-can't-sleep, then I would bring this up to the Psychologist.
And yes, I think it would be a really good idea to find a smart, qualified Child Psychologist (preferably female) to see your daughter.
I would talk to her pedi, and do some research and find a Dr. you like and feel comfortable with.

I always found it helpful to first go in myself "interview" to prospective Dr. and tell them about the changes / difficulties your daughter is having...........then, if all goes well, bring in your daughter for a visit.

I hope this helps some? I know how painful it is to watch your child suffer.
Take care!!!
-Kathleen


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