Online Parent Support Chat

Diagnosed with ADD and depression...

My daughter is 13. She's been diagnosed with ADD and depression, and I suffer from both "disorders" as well. Her father, my ex-husband, has never been diagnosed, but he has all of the symptoms of adhd and is verbally abusive.

Anyway, we rec'd a second opinion on my daughter's conditions, and the new psychiatrist is changing her antidepressant from effexor to zoloft.

I'm not being biased--My daughter is very beautiful and has a superior iq (120). I love both my daughters very, very much. However, her impulsiveness, which hasn't lessened very much and for which we are increasing the concerta, is getting her into a lot of trouble. I feel helpless, because I cannot watch her 24 hours a day and don't believe that's the answer to the problem anyway. However, I cannot trust her. She is remorseful when she gets caught (i.e., having friends over when I'm at work, smoking cigarettes, promiscuity, etc.), but she does not seem to learn from the consequences (3 day groundings--per your book, no computer, etc.) or the fact that she got a urinary tract infection and had a pregnancy scare--that's right, at 13 years old! She tells me she hates the feeling she gets by disappointing me (and her dad). When she gets caught, she's honest about what she did wrong. She just keeps making bad decisions, over and over again. Decisions that are bad for her.

I keep reading about how behavior like hers is a cry for attention. I don't know how much "attention" I need to give her. Or what kind of attention, perhaps. I take her to therapy every week, and I have signed her up for volunteer work three days a week. I'm petrified on the days when she's not chaperoned.

I don't even know what to ask for in this blog.

Lost and scared to death.



Anonymous said...

Here are some things you can try at home which may help her. All the best to you both.


One of the most important things you can do is get up at about the same time every morning (even week-ends). Preferably, that means about 7 a.m. or earlier. You might not feel like it but Get Up. Such regularity helps your body function more normally so you're more likely to feel normal.


Light helps your body function better. So turn on a lot of lights as soon as you arise. Open curtains to get more sunlight. Better yet, go outdoors into the sunshine as soon as you can. Remove any eyewear so light will enter more readily (glass cuts out some of the sun's rays). But don't stare at the sun, of course.


Be active right away -- oxygenate! That means getting up and walking around your dwelling for five or 10 minutes, or perhaps riding an exercycle. Mild exercise gets the blood flowing and transports more oxygen throughout your body (especially to your brain), helping you feel mentally alert and alive.


Select and play some energetic, happy music as you dress and have your breakfast. The audiovisual department of most libraries has albums and tapes you can check out.


Begin your breakfast with protein (i.e., meat, eggs, peanut butter, nuts, cheese). When you get up, your body chemistry is ready to convert food, especially protein,into longlasting energy. To balance your most important meal of the day, add an orange or other fresh fruit and whole grain cereal or whole grain bread.


One of the quickest ways to beat the blues is to interact with others. You might not feel like doing that - you'd rather avoid people when blue. So make lt easier on yourself. Talk with someone you enjoy about a subject you enjoy so there is definite give and take.

And, force yourself to say "hello" to the persons next to you in class, those where you live, anyone around.


The long-term (four hours or so) effects of caffeine are depression. Try to limit coffee to no more than one cup in the morning. Coffee can make you more alert for an hour or so, but later you get an opposite reaction. Caffeine tends to increase the release of insulin in the blood, and insulin lowers the blood sugar level. When you have low blood sugar levels, you begin to feel less sure of yourself, and have low energy levels, which can lead to the blues or depression.


Sugar might give you an initial rush of energy, but within an hour or so the blood sugar level can become low, and when it's low you may feel low, too.

The caffeine/sugar cycle. It's easy to get caught in the caffeine and sugar cycle -- having coffee, caffeinated soft drinks, or something with sugar every two hours or so to "stay up." For example, cola contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar plus caffeine equal to about half a cup of coffee. In addition to bringing on the blues, this cycle can result in dependence, poor nutrition. and obesity -- reasons to get down on yourself even more and feel blue.


Fiber helps food go through your digestive system at a proper rate, giving a more constant energy supply. Highly processed foods merely provide a quick surge of energy which can be followed by depression. You can maintain fiber in your diet by eating an orange or grapefruit rather than just drinking the juice. Eat fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grain breads and cereals.


Some persons report receiving help by taking a concentrated vitamin B complex. You'll find these called something like "Stress B" or "B 50." This is controversial.
Some nutritionists say, "Yes, this really should be considered," and others say, "No, this is not a good Idea." You can try some and decide whether or not it helps you. If it does help, then perhaps you should consult a nutritionist to see if there are other ways you can augment your diet.


Changing your routines is another way to help shake the blues. Choose a different combination of clothes to wear, walk rather than drive, take a different route, eat at a different place. Do something different to help break the routine.

It's hard. Getting up in the morning, turning on the lights, eating a nutritious breakfast, keeping busy--keeping such a schedule is not always easy.

You might need help for the first few days, someone to help you form good habits, get you out of bed. turn on the lights, make sure you have a good breakfast, someone to help you be more active. One good way is to make a contract with a friend or friends who want to see you change. It might seem embarrassing, but
those friends want to see you healthy and happy rather than depressed and difficult to be around. Note: If you feel that you need the help of someone for more than three or four days, you probably should make an appointment with a counselor or psychotherapist. You don't want to wear out your friends!


Good old-fashioned support works wonders. Most of us have not developed "support systems." We need to think about that idea ahead of time, if we have the tendency to feel blue, so that the supports can be available when needed. Plan ahead by filling out the last section of this publication and keep it handy. In addition to developing your own resources, you might know of some community support groups for persons with the blues. Call the local mental health center to see if there are some groups you might be a part of. Some places to call for leads at K-State will be listed at the end of this brochure.

What do I do when I feel myself coming down with the blues?

Recognize the change in yourself when you are "coming down" with an emotional slump. Don't deny it or feel guilty. Rather, take charge of yourself right away.

Perhaps taking a day off and doing some favorite things will restore you. Get more exercise: walk, garden, cycle, swim. You might not feel like it, but exercise is one of the best depression breakers and preventers.


Put a smile on your face and pretend that you are happy. Stand straight rather than falling into that slouching, depressed posture. Sound hokey? Well, it isn't. Research demonstrates that forming a facial expression actually changes how you feel inside. And pretending to feel an emotion results in actually feeling it. Frowners feel sadder. And the depressing effects last for hours. So smile: at yourself and others, even trees or dogs or cats. Sure, it's tough to smile when you're feeling blue. The extra effort you muster to do it will help you break the blues.

Wear bright, happy clothes and pretend you are happy. You will then find yourself happy. Maybe, even wear a goofy shirt or blouse or cap so you can see others smile with you. Dressing cheerfully and pretending can beat the blues.


See a funny movie, read a humorous book, or listen to a comedy tape/CD. When you see a really funny cartoon, make a copy and save it. Consciously decide to use and employ these things when you find yourself coming down with the blues. Singing can help -- make yourself do it.


It's worth stating again: Exercise is a great way to break depression. Walk, go to the Rec Center and ride an exercycle, swim, or climb stairs if it's too cold or hot outside.

Do not give in to those inner blues that say, "I don't feel like it."
Doing almost anything constructive will be beneficial."

Anonymous said...

You know your child best, you know what they are capable of and when they need help. I know exactly what you are talking about, I have a four year old with that same problem. Since you must have internet, I suggest you use it. Look up ADHD, and ADD in early childhood. You can also look up the meds and find a child physcologist who does what they call PCIT. It's a program that helps teach you how to best deal with your child and it actually works. Another thing you can do is question your Doctor. They actually enjoy it when you pick their brains, and they don't get offended over it at all. Why? Because you actually want to help your child. Ask them about the advantages between stimulants and non- stimulants. Did you know that many adults who have ADHD or ADD and should have been diagnosed when they where children and didn't recieve the meds they needed now cope by using drugs or drinking? There is proof out there, you just need to use the tools you have to your advantage and don't worry about what others think. Talk to you child and to your childs doctor. Good luck hon.