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Just Kate

Teenage Depression

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Anyone deal with depression with your teen and have a positive outcome you’re able to share? I am in need of hope right now. 

Edited by Just Kate

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Yes. Nearly done with an associate's degree. Dealing with life's stresses in healthy ways. Continuing on medication. Continuing to realize when they need support and talking to a counselor. A blessed part of our family. It was such a worrying time for a long while, and I wished I could solve everything instantly. It takes time.

Erica in OR

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7 minutes ago, StellaM said:

Sorry, I was rushing and forgot to say that it's really hard, and I'm sending hugs. 

Probably worst time of my life, that time with unwell teen, and I am not the same person this side of it.

But yes, depression in teens is treatable, and young people can recover from quite severe illness, with the right treatment and support.

There is hope. 

Thank you. I need to know there is hope right now. Happy to know you are in the other side of this. 

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My ds 17 had been experiencing some serious depression at about age 15. I thought perhaps it was normal adolescent emotions. We had some extensive bloodwork and allergy testing done because he seemed excessively tired all the time and had out of control eczema. Turns out he had some food allergies (and mold exposure) that were causing irritation to his intestines which in turn caused a host of nutritional deficiencies. Once we eliminated his allergens, started healing his gut and got him on vitamin supplements, the depression disappeared. He is a whole new kid. 
That experience made me wonder how often depression has some underlying health issue that is a simple fix once you determine what has their body so off kilter. 

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Yes.  A very low dose of medicine along with vitamins and therapy, have helped tremendously.  We still have a bad day every once in awhile but nothing like before.  She is able to do more with treatment than she was without. 

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We have that going on too. I don't have outcome yet, but, just wanted to let you know we are going through this too.

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Thank you all so much. This is regarding my 16 year old ds. We have just started therapy, so that is good. But right now it is just so scary and doesn’t feel like things will ever get better. Knowing that others have improved helps a lot. I am also going to get him in to see his pediatrician ASAP to start discussing medicine (which also scares me). Getting him on a good daily vitamin would also be smart I’m sure. Any recommendations? He is already a very healthy eater and he exercises regularly (he is almost obsessive about these things). 
 

I just want to fix this for him and protect him from it, but I can’t. And that is a horrible feeling. ☹️

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10 minutes ago, Janeway said:

We have that going on too. I don't have outcome yet, but, just wanted to let you know we are going through this too.

Thank you for sharing. I will pray for you. 

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9 minutes ago, Just Kate said:

Thank you all so much. This is regarding my 16 year old ds. We have just started therapy, so that is good. But right now it is just so scary and doesn’t feel like things will ever get better. Knowing that others have improved helps a lot. I am also going to get him in to see his pediatrician ASAP to start discussing medicine (which also scares me). Getting him on a good daily vitamin would also be smart I’m sure. Any recommendations? He is already a very healthy eater and he exercises regularly (he is almost obsessive about these things). 
 

I just want to fix this for him and protect him from it, but I can’t. And that is a horrible feeling. ☹️

We went to the ped first. He started medication. Then he overdosed on it. We stopped medication and are just doing therapy now. We are going to revisit medication later. 

Edited by Janeway
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1 hour ago, Just Kate said:

Thank you all so much. This is regarding my 16 year old ds. We have just started therapy, so that is good. But right now it is just so scary and doesn’t feel like things will ever get better. Knowing that others have improved helps a lot. I am also going to get him in to see his pediatrician ASAP to start discussing medicine (which also scares me). Getting him on a good daily vitamin would also be smart I’m sure. Any recommendations? He is already a very healthy eater and he exercises regularly (he is almost obsessive about these things). 
 

I just want to fix this for him and protect him from it, but I can’t. And that is a horrible feeling. ☹️

We also use B-healthy by thorne along with the multivitamin.  It helps a lot.  We also do vitamin D by now liquid form.  

They have a wonderful genetic test that you can have order by your doctor.  It gives a breakdown of what meds can work and what not to take.  I didn’t really want meds at the beginning but I knew we needed help with it.  She even admits how the medicine has helped her.

Edited by itsheresomewhere
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Medication, therapy, and his psych found that he is deficient in B and D.  We take Thorne supplements to address the deficiencies.  Exercise every day (sounds like you have that covered), sunshine when possible.  Oh, and sleep.  He was Rx’d something for sleep.  Big help.

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I agree with others to also look at other medical causes......thyroid (a big one our doc says gets missed) and full battery of blood work to look for vitamin deficiency, blood sugars, etc.

Our doctor did that before starting meds and we identifies several medical things that needed attention.  Meds were still needed....but together it was much better.

Look esp at D and B along with thyroid.   Omega 3s....country life omega 3 mood...also helps.

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Thank you all so much. I will definitely request bloodwork before we do anything. From reading here, I know that all bloodwork panels aren’t the same. Are there any specific things I should ask to have included?

ETA: ds started taking melatonin recently and that has helped him to regulate his sleep. I also have a cbd oil cream and he uses it twice a day and says it helps. 

Edited by Just Kate

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33 minutes ago, Just Kate said:

Thank you all so much. I will definitely request bloodwork before we do anything. From reading here, I know that all bloodwork panels aren’t the same. Are there any specific things I should ask to have included?

ETA: ds started taking melatonin recently and that has helped him to regulate his sleep. I also have a cbd oil cream and he uses it twice a day and says it helps. 

I would say cbc, thyroid panel, comprehensive chem, vit D&B levels....

Regulating sleep and a a huge help.  As is at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise a day....outside if possible.   Nature therapy help...just being outside.  Natural vitamin D. Meals higher in protein and less refined (processed) carbs.

 

For some people the above is enough along with CBT therapy, for others, meds are needed but healthy lifestyle is never a bad thing to work for.

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One final thoughts:  the psych here offers a genetic panel to determine which psych meds will be effective.  We didn’t use it, but we got lucky and the first med we tried was a winner.  If you opt for meds, the genetic test seems like a great option.

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1 hour ago, Spryte said:

One final thoughts:  the psych here offers a genetic panel to determine which psych meds will be effective.  We didn’t use it, but we got lucky and the first med we tried was a winner.  If you opt for meds, the genetic test seems like a great option.

Yes. This. Meds often have side effects for the first few weeks and if you have to switch sometimes tapering off of them is terrible too. So you can spend a month taking a med that doesn’t work or you don’t tolerate well, and all that guess work takes its toll. 

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7 hours ago, Just Kate said:

Thank you all so much. I will definitely request bloodwork before we do anything. From reading here, I know that all bloodwork panels aren’t the same. Are there any specific things I should ask to have included?

Vitamin D is really important — and don't let the doctor brush it off if levels are low but "within normal range." The low end of "normal" is set at the level needed to prevent rickets, it is definitely not the level needed for good mental health. At one point DS's D level was single digits (close to the level associated with psychosis!) and the doctor's attitude was "meh, it's not that low, he can take 400 iu/day if he wants." That is not remotely adequate. He does much better on 5,000-10,000 iu/day to keep his levels up. In fact, high doses of D3 plus Omegas (krill oil) have been more effective than Zoloft, which he stopped taking after a year or so, because it seemed to have stopped working.

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2 hours ago, StellaM said:

My ds (different kid) was tested for coeliac disease before being prescribed meds. 

We’ve tested him before - several years ago when he was having all kinds of food and stomach issues. Test was negative. Thanks for the suggestion though. 

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33 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

Vitamin D is really important — and don't let the doctor brush it off if levels are low but "within normal range." The low end of "normal" is set at the level needed to prevent rickets, it is definitely not the level needed for good mental health. At one point DS's D level was single digits (close to the level associated with psychosis!) and the doctor's attitude was "meh, it's not that low, he can take 400 iu/day if he wants." That is not remotely adequate. He does much better on 5,000-10,000 iu/day to keep his levels up. In fact, high doses of D3 plus Omegas (krill oil) have been more effective than Zoloft, which he stopped taking after a year or so, because it seemed to have stopped working.

Wow...thank you for sharing this!

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1 hour ago, Corraleno said:

don't let the doctor brush it off if levels are low but "within normal range."

And "normal" is based in statistics, which is NEVER the way to look at an individual...your offspring might need more.

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6 hours ago, StellaM said:

Hope you're feeling more hopeful today, @Just Kate.

 

I am...thank you for checking in. This whole thing has just been so surprising. We thought it was just normal teen hormones, but things became MUCH worse with the quarantine. Then we finally learned just how bad things were. Thankfully, he is open to help. I think I assumed that once he talked to us and we started him in therapy, things would get better. But I now see that it will be a long road, likely consisting of many ups and downs. I am so glad to have the info about bloodwork and even the genetic tests - I had no idea that existed! I am calling the pediatrician tomorrow. I think I’d like a referral to a psychiatrist to manage medication. What do you all think?

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On 5/23/2020 at 10:34 PM, Just Kate said:

Anyone deal with depression with your teen and have a positive outcome you’re able to share? I am in need of hope right now. 

 Yes, two of mine, so far. Pretty significant familial history of depression/anxiety, though I have been spared.

My oldest had a serious suicide attempt, 6 years ago, at age 19 (ended up on ventilator.) She is doing great! After the attempt, she spent about 2 1/2 months in a couple of facilities, and then there was a partial hospitalization program. It took about 6 months after that to find the right therapy program, but once we did, she stuck with that for a couple years. She graduated college, got married to her high school sweetheart, and is now in a new location (where she has been on a waiting list for a therapist for over a year, unfortunately.) She is working and starts grad school in the fall, with a graduate assistant position. She was on antidepressants for quite a while, but now is just on ADHD meds (which she was not on at the time of the attempt, but probably could have used.)

My second daughter got hit hard with depression during freshman year of college, and started meds the next summer. Made a huge difference for her. Then halfway through junior year, she went off meds on her own. It did not work out well. She developed a functional movement disorder (essentially stress converts to movements; for her, this was primarily in the arms and legs, though there has been some respiratory involvement.) She got back on meds and went to a specialized therapy program directed at the movement disorder. The movement  problem is well controlled now. I would not say her depression is perfectly managed, though she is stable enough. She had to go to a new state when college closed, and it has been no small thing finding a doc to help her. Very limited mental health services due to the closures.

Edited by GoodGrief1
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