Posted by: Unhappy Mom | 2008/08/13

Post 1738 - Very unhappy little Girl!!!!

Hi Doc,

Had my little girl at the psychiatrist today and here is the verdict:

She is suffering from a mild depression, has anxiety, they are testing her on next tuesday for ADHD (she is not hyperactive but has a lack in concentration) they are doing an IQ test.....she is putting her onto a mild anti depressant. I feel like such a BIG failure!!!!!! My child is unhappy and I cant help her with...she feels anxiety towards the school work trying to perform at her best but not coping.

Do I still discipline her or go easier on her I dont want to make things more difficult for her than it already is. Hoping that the help I am getting her will help her in a way that even I as mother cannot.

Thanks for your advise doc,

Enjoy the evening

Take care

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Our expert says:
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Good progress, UM ! And you have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of --- you're a good and caring mom struggling under difficult circumstances, and you have moved ahead in taking her to see a specialist more clearly working towards recognizing and dealing properly with her problems. Depression, ADHD, etc., happens, even to kids with saintly moms. Conversely, you couldn't make your child develop these conditions if you tried deliberately.
Treatment for whatever conditions are now being recognized will help in ways that NO mom acting on her own could --- but be sure to ask the psychiatrist and whoever does the testing on her ( because they will know you and her far better than I could possibly know ) just how to handle her and especially how to deal with disciplinary problems. COnsistency is important in terms of rules and rewards / penalties, and not giving a child a discipline framework is unfair and unhelpful. I agree with Maria

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Our users say:
Posted by: Us | 2008/08/15

Hi Mom

My husband is totally against Ritalin or any of the other medication used for ADD, because of the stigma and concerns about the long term effects they might have. I insisted that he go with me to her appointments so that he could ask all the questions that he wanted to. He is still not convinced but I told him if he comes home with a better option that is proven to work well I will consider it (but I think he has seen the results for himself in her school books). As for the stigma, no-one needs to know. She gets her medication before school. The teacher is not involved so unless she tells the other children herself they won' t know. I explained to her that the medication is there to help her concentrate at school and do her work better. I also told her that other children might not understand and so it would probably be best if she not tell them as children can be very ugly. So far she has not come home once and told me that the children have teased her. The other day when I took her for a checkup she was very concerned that the doctor would say that she must stop taking the medication. She has noticed the difference herself and does not want to go back to where she was.

Ritalin has been used and studied for over 60 years. The good that it does far outweighs the negative effects. The main negative effects are stomach ache, headache and loss of appetite. The stomach aches and headaches stop after about the first week of use but the loss of appetite often remains so this is the biggest concern. The doctor prescribing the medication will want to see her at least every 6 months to make sure that she is growing. There are concerns that taking a " drug"  from such a early age will increase the likelyhood that they will later be more prone to using other drugs. But it is more likely that she will use drugs later in life if she is not helped now as her depression and anxiety will make her want to do something to make herself feel better.

There are 3 main medications used for ADD, Ritalin, Concerta and Stratera. If she is diagnosed ADD and the first medication prescribed does not work effectively another one might work better as they are different.

Sorry for the long read but I don' t see why my child must suffer with emotional problems and being unhappy because her father has a problem with a medication that has been proven to work for many many years.

Reply to Us
Posted by: Unhappy Mom | 2008/08/14

Hi Us,

Thanks you so much for your comforting response. Your story sound so much like mine....the psychiatrist also told me that she is not hyperactive but they are doing tests to confirm her ADD. When I read all of the posts and articles on ADD I can kick myself for never realizing that this might be her problem....I have a difficult time with hubby coming to terms with what is happening with his little girl and he said to me that there is NO way he is putting her on ritalin because of the stigma involved with the medication

It is going to be a rough road ahead I think and hope that I we will get through this and that she will just be another happy 9 year old kid

Reply to Unhappy Mom
Posted by: Us | 2008/08/14

Hi Mom

I have a daughter of 8 and I was worried about her depression levels. After various other doctors I took her to a Peadiatric Neurologist who has a special interest in ADHD. She struggled to concentrate at school and because of this did not finish her work which caused the anxiety. She is not hyperactive but does suffer from attention deficit disorder (ADD). She has been put on Ritalin and what a different child. For the first time since starting big school last year she has made some friends, she wants to go to school, her books look good and her work is complete. Because things are going so well in her life the depression is also gone. She doesn' t hate the world anymore. She doesn' t tell me she hates me anymore. She even likes her brother better.

The important thing is to get her the correct help and you are well on your way to doing that. Your home life also needs to be very structured (I struggle with this because I am also ADD and was never treated). She needs to know when what is going to happen on a daily basis (set up time table charts so that it is visual as they struggle to remember). She needs to know how long she has to complete tasks. Only give her one instruction at a time if you expect things to get done. Keep reminding her what she needs to do and encourage all the time. Discipline is also important as it sets boundries and will help her feel secure and less anxious. The more structured her life is, the more in control she will feel which is very important to her.

Reply to Us
Posted by: Maria | 2008/08/13

Hey Mom, you are so NOT a failure. You took your child to the right doctor who is going to help her, and you. That was the right thing to do so don' t beat yourself up. If she had cancer you wouldn' t feel bad because you couldn' t help her yourself and this is no different.

Children need boundaries in order to feel safe. Don' t now suddenly go overboard and let her get away with everything, that won' t help her. Perhaps you can ask the psychiatrist to refer you to a child psychologist who can help you come up with discipline strategies that will be appropriate for your daughter.

Reply to Maria

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