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Thread: Anyone dealing with childhood depression?

  1. #1
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    Default Anyone dealing with childhood depression?

    Poor 9 yo dd is apparently struggling with this. She was in therapy last year, but it was not a good theraputic match, so we quit. School this year seemed better-she has made friends, etc. But when she started complaining of being tired all the time, of not being hungry, etc. I took her to her Dr. for a checkup. The Dr. said (after some private 1 on 1 time with her) that she is depressed, and needs therapy.

    And so, the search was on. I am having a dreadful time trying to find someone to treat her (her gender preference is part of the problem--she definitely wants a woman after our experience last year). We have no child physciatrists on our insurance plan, and all the other practitioners I've called on our plan (that have been recommended, at least) are full-up. I'm worried that she may need medication, which she won't be able to get from a non-MD.

    The biggest problem has been the time lapse. Poor girl doesn't understand what is taking me so long to find her someone to talk to (of course, I only discovered a couble of days ago that she didn't even realize we had to pay for this, and of course then I had to try to explain insurance to her) And we have had a couple of emotional episodes that suggests she really needs the help.

    Guess I know what I need to do, just am having a really hard time making it happen.

    Sigh.

    Lorraine

  2. #2
    sugarsue is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default Oh I'm so sorry

    We are not dealing with it but I worry about the future as my 5 yr old does struggle with some low self esteem and various other issues. I hope we can get a handle on it and that she learns some coping skills.

    I hope you find the perfect therapist for her and that she gets the help she needs and that you figure out the perfect plan for paying for it. I know that is a stressor for you too.

    BIG HUGS!

    Susan

  3. #3
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    mickey2 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndtime
    Poor 9 yo dd is apparently struggling with this. She was in therapy last year, but it was not a good theraputic match, so we quit. School this year seemed better-she has made friends, etc. But when she started complaining of being tired all the time, of not being hungry, etc. I took her to her Dr. for a checkup. The Dr. said (after some private 1 on 1 time with her) that she is depressed, and needs therapy.

    And so, the search was on. I am having a dreadful time trying to find someone to treat her (her gender preference is part of the problem--she definitely wants a woman after our experience last year). We have no child physciatrists on our insurance plan, and all the other practitioners I've called on our plan (that have been recommended, at least) are full-up. I'm worried that she may need medication, which she won't be able to get from a non-MD.

    The biggest problem has been the time lapse. Poor girl doesn't understand what is taking me so long to find her someone to talk to (of course, I only discovered a couble of days ago that she didn't even realize we had to pay for this, and of course then I had to try to explain insurance to her) And we have had a couple of emotional episodes that suggests she really needs the help.

    Guess I know what I need to do, just am having a really hard time making it happen.

    Sigh.

    Lorraine
    we have dealt with it and massive anxiety with my dss (now 16). his anxiety always makes his depression worse. my suggestion would be to find a counselor (even if just the school counselor), a social worker, etc to actually talk to while you continue to look for a psychiatrist.

    i will also warn you that very few drugs are safe for kids in this field. in fact some were yanked lastyear b/c they were linked to suicide. if you can find a couselor or the like that she will respond to and confide in, it may help to lessen her anxiety (if she has any) and thus decreasing her depression.

    if you do go the drug route, you really need a psychiatrist who specializes in children and knows the drug benefits/risks. i dont want to scare you at all...however, you did mention meds for a 5yo for depression...so i wanted to make sure you investigate them throughly and have an expert rx'ing them. hugs and keep us posted!!!

  4. #4
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    Default Glad to have your experience on meds...

    I am always reluctant to medicate my kids because most drugs are so poorly studied in kids. I figure I will try the counseling route first--if, at 9, she really needs medication, a good counselor should be able to tell me that, and refer us to someone who can rx (who will still be checked out even with a referral!)

    Thanks for your response--

    Lorraine

  5. #5
    ybab is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default Oh Lorraine...

    I don't have any personal experience here. Just a friend whose DD had similar issues; finding the right counselor took a while but it has made a big difference (both mom and DD see her, btw). What a hard thing to be dealing with. I'm so sorry. Hang in there. I hope you find someone fantastic who was worth the wait!

  6. #6
    LL2 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    I agree with many of the other posts. I am totally not against medicating if needed, but I do think that the counseling angle is the best place to start - it may be sufficient and, in my experience, even if drugs are needed ultimately, there has often been enough social, cognitive, and behavioral "fall out" that counseling is just as necessary.

    I don't know how true this is in general, but a number of clinicians I know, particularly the PhD and PsyD level people have established relationships with psychiatrists or other professionals able to prescribe.

    Kudos to you for looking into this. As someone who comes from a long line of depressed people (it's a wonder any of us managed to procreate ) who have been treated at increasingly younger ages, I am a firm believer that the earlier intervention, the more tractable to treatment and less severe the depression ultimately is.

  7. #7
    trek is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    No expereince yet. But 7 year old has anxiety/possible OCD stuff going on now. I would not be srurpised abotu depression at some point.

  8. #8
    KaylieS Guest

    Default We have a counseling practice so my advice

    We have a counseling practice in a small town and treat kids and adults...

    I would suggest looking for a counselor who specializes in kids, firstly...hopefully a woman if that's what your dd wants. Look first of all for a Ph.D or a Psy.D. No, they can't medicate, but that's not a big deal. If they feel meds are needed, they can either talk to her ped, or recommend a psychiatrist.

    If you go to a psychiatrist first, you will likely end up with her first on meds, and she may or may not get any counseling...and if they do have counselors on staff, they are likely not as qualified as a counseling only practice. (at least from our experience).

    In our small town, we have no psychiatrists. So we work very closely w/the MD's in town who take care of the meds and it works fine for most ppls needs...if the ppl have more complicated cases, then they go out of town and find a psychiatrist.

    My bias would be a PhD or PsyD level therapist who specializes in kids, but the second best would be a LPC (licensed counselor) or MSW (social worker) who specializes in kids. Yes, look first for a female. But a guy who specializes in kids might be just fine...if he is good with kids she might like him fine. I think the specializing in kids is most important.

    If you can't find that, then follow the same criteria for a female who works mostly w/adults, but ask if she sees some kids and how low of an age.

    I also have the "female dr" bias for myself, but my ob-gyn is a male and my therapist is a male (we are in marriage counseling).

    ANd honestly, I know this is hard for her to understand, but you can, gender in the end does not matter so much as personality and fit. We had a child psych resident last year that was male that was very nice and worked great w/kids. We have both male and female residents this year, both work w/kids and adults, and the female is more no-nonsense than the male, who is more friendly/playful.

    Also around here, due to the mountains and small towns, people travel as much as an hr to come to our practice. So don't be afraid to travel! If that's what it takes, think of it as any other specialist you'd go see!

    Good luck and if you have any Q, let me know!

    Kaylie

  9. #9
    angeleena is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default I am soo sorry that you are going through this

    I am sorry that you and your daughter are going through this.

    I am not sure if she has depression symptoms that they can really be helped with therapy. Most people studying psychology are being taught that brain chemistry is off if someone is depressed or anxious. I am studying psych, and I do believe in medications for adults completely.

    However, for a child meds are risky. Except, it is also risky to have a child who is so depressed that she is tired all of the time, and may not be getting much enjoyment out of life. There is a sucide risk for adolecents who are depressed and not on medications too.

    Some studies have shown that an aerobic exercise program can be as beneficial for depression as any medication. Can you get her into an aerobics class, jogging, PE, swimming, the gym or ?? Or, is she already doing this stuff? If not, maybe you could do it together? Just an idea...

    I want to say that I suffer from anxiety and depression and the fact that you are helping her so young says what a great parent you are. Nobody helped me until I was old enough to ask for help myself, so I applaud you for helping her. You are a great mom!

    -Angi

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