My daughter's depression

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/7/2010 11:17 AM (GMT -6)   
For the past three years my daughter has had depression. She was a law teacher
in her first year and they put too much pressure on her. I had just had an
operation for kidney cancer and was recovering when she came home with
this awful illness. She struggled on for two years doing temp jobs then became
a massage therapist. This year has been terrible though because she hasn't
had much work so now she ruminates for most of the day. Life has become a
battle. I feel like I get no help from mental health authorities or anybody, it
just goes round in a circle being passed from one doctor to the next, she pulls
her hair out and has started to pick at her body. At the moment she is taking
reboxatene. Has anyone any advice to give to me?

getting by
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42499
   Posted 10/7/2010 2:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Babs,

Welcome to the HealingWell Depression forum. I am sorry to hear about your daughter. It sounds like she really needs some serious help at this time and is not getting it. Have you tried another psychiatrist, or a different mental health facility? I can't believe that she isn't getting the help that she needs at this time. I am not familiar with reboxatene, but will try to look it up. I am sure if you got a different doctor that she would get the attention that she is in need of. Keep trying. Don't give up.

Best wishes to you.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 790
   Posted 10/7/2010 3:12 PM (GMT -6)   
When I am really low, I need from my loved ones, to just be with me. Not have deep conversations, just drop by and we go for coffee, or watch a movie at home. I have learn't that I need to have things to look forward to, this kept me alive for a very long time. I would buy theatre tickets months in advance, or book a big overseas trip, or arrange a dinner with friends, or arrange a time to call my best friend that lives 12hrs travel from me. I want to be with my cat more.

I still use this tactic, and have arranged a day with a lovely couple next week. It helps me to keep going as I have something to look forward to.

I can not imagine what you are going through watching your daughter in such a state.

The hair pulling and scratching is an addictive behaviour, and once her emotions are more under control, she will slowly stop this with support.

I agree with Karen, fire the support team around her, and get her some real help, she is in agony, and needs some real help.

Babs, for you, I wish you the strength you need to get through this, this isn't fair, and is so painful for you. Good luck. Please let us know if you are able to get her some other support.

My heart really goes out to you, and it took guts to come here and ask.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 10/7/2010 3:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Babs,
I truly empathize with your daughter and you.  I don't know if I can give you any advice other than to tell you there are some people who DO understand what she (and you) are going through.  My experience with depression is that stress is definitely a trigger.  I am in a similar situation as your daughter.  Was dumped by my co. after 15 years service.  Haven't been able to find full time work since then, despite having an advanced education - like your daughter.  My depression has been the worst it has ever been.
I'm not surprised she is not getting the help she needs - getting help for depression - well, it's "depressing" in itself.  Regular docs are all too quick to pass out the latest anti-depression meds with little concern for the consequences.  I have been on Paxil and Cymbalta.  Both seemed to work initially, then after a number of months, the positive effects of the meds diminished while side-affects bloomed.  When I finally got off Cymbalta, I had constant insomnia, felt numb to just about everything, couldn''t focus, couldn't remember things . . . it was a huge, ugly list.  The worst were the suicidal thoughts - oh, not supposed to get those if you're an older adult - but I had them - interesting.  My cold-turkey escape from Cymbalta is another topic in itself.
I'm not a doctor, obviously, but I wonder if your daughter's behavior now is based on her depression or her meds - or both? 
Ruminating for most of the day - I can associate with that.  I can tell you she is struggling in pain inside right now.  When I'm at my worst, I can't even do the simplest of things - nor do I want to no matter how much I know I need to do them. 
You sound like a loving and caring parent.  I know you realize your daughter's pain.  Just remember she would do anything in the world to not be the way she is and to not feel the way she does.  But depression is a brain game, and  because of that, there just don't seem to be any broad-brush easy fixes, despite the claims there are.
If anything at all, come back just to talk.  Maybe something in my experiences will be able to help your daughter.  Most people who have not had true depression do not understand those who do.  The worst part of depression is the feeling of isolation and watching everything and everyone close to you slowly fade away . . .

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/9/2010 5:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Babs,

As both a person with and a mother of someone with depression, I would encourage anyone living with a child (especially an adult child) who is depressed to get some support (some knowledgable and empathic counsel) for themselves. It can be very depressing when a loved one (especially one that is living with you and so close to you) is depressed. If you subsequently become overwhelmed and depressed yourself, not only are there now two people suffering - but you will not be able to be of any assistance to your daughter in that condition. My point is: While it might seem selfish or wrong to take care of your own needs at this time, it is absolutely essential for both of you that you make yourself a priority. Are you able to do that?

I know for me, it has been very difficult to do that. It would feel wrong like how can I be thinking about my own burnout (frustration, exhaustion, anger, aches, pains, excitement, longing, ______________ ) when my precious baby is suffering and in so much pain? But what I discovered is that it was not necessary OR HELPFUL to her for me to abandon myself as well. That did not help my daughter one iota.

I still communicate my unwavering concern to my daughter but I take the small breaks I need so as not to fall into the pit as well. After some reflection, I realized that how I communicated with my daughter was key in keeping both her and I afloat. I know from my own childhood just how essential it is to one's emotional health to know that someone really cares about and loves you. To know that you are the most important thing in the world to somebody is a powerful remedy for whatever's ailing ya. So I learned to be sensitive to and considerate of my daughter's ability to process information accurately when she's having "one of her breakdowns."

For example (although NOT the best one I could come up with), when I used to pick my daughter up from high school and she vented about how bad her day was (and how bad her night is going to be due to two big tests, a paper that is due, etc.) I might keep the details of what I needed to do/where I was going later on that evening to myself because my daughter does not yet have the maturity to not feel offended by/not take personally some of my actions. That is to say that I wouldn't listen to her talking about how painful her life is and then say, "Ok. Well, I've got a haircut appt --- talk to ya later?"

Sorry if this was long or rambling. If I've been able to offer anything helpful, I'm glad. At the very least, I DO FEEL FOR YOU :-)

Please take good care of yourself.


New Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/9/2010 5:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone, thanks very much for your replies. The reasons (I think) my daughter got depressed were, when she left
uni she was training to be a solicitor in a large company in an office with qualified male solicitors. The training seemed to
consist of giving her more and more work and she was afraid to ask for help. She had moved to a new town, quite a distance
from home and moved in with her boyfriend who she met at uni and was doing the same work. I think this was just too much
for her all at once, new job, new home, new town. She had a breakdown and came home. After a few months she began
to feel better and got a job in a local department store selling perfume and cosmetics and really liked it, but she felt that
with all her qualifications she should be doing something 'professional'.

The year after she started teacher training and got her qualifications. She applied for a post as a law lecturer in a sixth form
college and unfortunately was given a problematic gcse class, stayed there for nine months and then just quit.

The worst of all this is seeing herself comparing herself with everyone, especially friends, and going over the past, saying
'I should have done this' or 'I should have done that' because no one can change the past.

She's got an appointment this week, hopefully they are going to change her meds and she has started to see a new CBT who
seems to be helping. Let's just wait and see....

Thanks again everyone


New Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/9/2010 7:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Wow - she reminds me of my daughter but even more demanding of herself. I dated this guy who grew up in a "priviledged" family living in an uppercrust area of CT. He and his sisters were all not only well-endowed physically (they all looked like models or movie stars) but also in the genius or near-genius level intelligence-wise. One sister was in MENSA for a brief time (wasn't her thing) and they all earned advanced degrees from ivy league schools. Unfortunately, they've all lived tragically unhappy lives. None of them has been able to sustain an intimate relationship of any kind (not even casual friendships). At first it boggled my mind - then I learned about their childhood growing up with a severely abusive father.

I know this doesn't really have much to do with your daughter. It just reminds me that things are not always what they appear. And your daughter may believe that her friends are all more "successful" than she is - but she will never know. That's what I tell my daughter. She feels like your daughter a lot, and - actually - I have felt that way recently myself. Maybe that is why my daughter seems to be moving past comparing herself because she has seen me finally give it up too. She knows that when I was working at my "impressive job" - I was suprised to find that nobody that I was trying to impress (MY family) ever noticed. After a short while I wasn't even impressed, and the stress of the job and of being a single parent was costing me my health, my sanity, my spirit and my relationship with my family. Now we struggle financially, but my kids and I have a close relationship now which no amount of money could ever replace.

You seem like a very in-touch mother. And your daughter feeling able to STOP what she was doing when she was so unhappy and come home says a lot for you and the two of your's relationship!

Hey - lots of people struggle with what your daughter is going through when they are a lot older. It's nice that she's able to get this kind of crisis out of the way at such a young age. (That's one way to look at it, anyway ;-)


Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 10/10/2010 2:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Babs,
Thanks for sharing that information about your daughter.  Makes perfect sense to me why she has been unable to hold up.  Hope that a change in meds and the new CBT help.  Will be keeping you and your daughter in my thoughts.
The comparing to others and looking back at past decisions - I know that all too well because it is one of my biggest problems, and I have yet to overcome it.  It's so bad for me at times, I don't even want to talk with people I know who have jobs, are being successful - I just don't have anything to tell them positive about my situation, so I'd rather not talk at all.  I worked hard to get where I was.  I despise the fact I am starting over again, and I don't place much value on what I am doing now because I keep comparing it to where I once was.  I'd have to say those are probably my most painful thoughts, and they are the ones that just kill my self-esteem.
Best to you.  Keep us posted.
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