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Teen Depression

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From the U.S.: My daughter is 18 and has been battling depression and anxiety for 4 years. The first meds worked but made her gain a great deal of weight. The second helps but she says she is unhappy all the time. She has always been awkward and had a hard time making friends. She started college in the fall with hopes of new friends and a new environment. At first there were a few but she says they no longer show interest in her. She saw a psychologist briefly last summer but after 4 visits said she did not think it would be useful.

A car accident has put her back in a depressed state. She says she wants to disappear and talking to her just makes her more upset or withdrawn. I have asked her to seek help from the college counselling staff and told her that change won’t come until she takes steps to seek help. She is in a habit of very negative thinking and sounds very hopeless. I fear that with her lack of social interaction she has nothing to focus on but her misery. Can you offer any suggestions that might help me to encourage her in the direction of seeking help? She is a bright, talented girl and her school work has been excellent. She is currently taking bupropion 150mg. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Teen Depression

Answered by on -

A.

I share your concern. Your daughter didn’t give therapy a fair chance. A depression that has been building for 4 years needs more than 4 visits of attention from a therapist. It may be that she didn’t connect well with the therapist. It may be that she is so discouraged that any therapist will have a tough time engaging her.

For that reason, I suggest you go to therapy with her — not because I think you have a mental illness (I don’t) but because sometimes people need the support of people who love them to jump start treatment. If she won’t go, please go anyway. There is little I can recommend on the basis of a letter. But a therapist will be able to hear your whole story and may be able to give you some concrete suggestions about how to help the daughter you love.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Teen Depression

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Teen Depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 16, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/04/05/teen-depression-2/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.