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Depressed /Anxious 11 yo


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#1 zogee

Posted 10 October 2019 - 09:28 AM

Hi all
My daughter is 11 and has been seeing a psychologist for about 6-9 months for anxiety/sleep issues. In the last 2-3 months she’s also been very low in mood, and mentioning self harm. Also restricting her food intake and bingeing as well sometimes. She’s on the brink of puberty too poor thing.

There’s nothing we can identify that’s really happened eg: trauma /bullying etc. she’s very academically smart and social on the outside.
We’re in the process of trying to get a psychiatrist referral but I’m interested to hear if anyone else is going through this? I’m really sad for my poor baby I just want her to enjoy life again:(

#2 FuzzyChocolateToes

Posted 10 October 2019 - 11:28 AM

Hi. That must be hard for all of you.

Not quite the same issues for us (anxiety and ADHD). I just wondered if  you have seen a paediatrician? Paediatricians routinely manage these kind of concerns. It is much easier to get a paediatrician appointment than a child and adolescent psychiatrist, because there are more of them.  I know that it's really hard to get an appointment with one here in Melbourne.

We see a paediatrician and he prescribed medication which made a big difference.

Edited by FuzzyChocolateToes, 10 October 2019 - 11:29 AM.


#3 OceanTwentyFour

Posted 10 October 2019 - 12:02 PM

My anxiety is hormone based so it could be that given she is approaching puberty. My 13 year old son’s anxiety really ramped up as he approached puberty.
He started on Lovan a few months ago and it’s made the world of difference. Don’t be afraid to go down the medication path if needed. There is a lot of criticism about children taking anti depressants but having suffered severe anxiety myself I didn’t want my DS suffering the same way and if medication is what he needs then so be it.
I hope things improve soon x

#4 Grrrumbles

Posted 10 October 2019 - 03:05 PM

We have an appointment for a Child Psychiatrist for DS 9 early next year. We have tried a number of psychologists and also had parent sessions but no real improvement. We were originally referred to a Paed but they declined the referral as they had closed their books.

We have no diagnoses so I am concerned that we are missing something. We also have a fairly significant family history that needs to be taken into account with medication decisions so while I would have liked to see a Paed, a psychiatrist is probably warranted in our case. We are also seeing a Paed who specialises in sleep and respiratory issues to rule out any medical causes.

#5 zogee

Posted 10 October 2019 - 04:17 PM

Thanks all for taking the time to reply. We ended up in ED and had a risk assessment (she’s deemed low risk) and referral to public child and adolescent mental health outpatients.

I am a bit concerned that they might decline the referral though as they tend to take the more at risk kids. The hardest bit is getting the right help as everyone has huge waitlists even if you can afford private!

We also have a strong family history of anxiety and depression.
Ocean24 and Grrumbles thanks for the perspective re: medication. I’m definitely not against it where needed but her psychologist was cautious about it. The way I see it is you don’t walk around on a broken ankle and just hope it gets better itself, and she’s been struggling like this for at least 6 months.

Thanks again guys xx

#6 Grrrumbles

Posted 10 October 2019 - 04:31 PM

Zogee I think we are the ‘missing middle’ which some mental health experts have identified. Too severe for the basic counselling services like Headspace (and too young in our case) but not severe enough for inpatient care. My DH has had inpatient care and I am really trying to prevent that for my son but he is already showing signs that concern me.


#7 zogee

Posted 10 October 2019 - 05:44 PM

View PostGrrrumbles, on 10 October 2019 - 04:31 PM, said:

Zogee I think we are the ‘missing middle’ which some mental health experts have identified. Too severe for the basic counselling services like Headspace (and too young in our case) but not severe enough for inpatient care. My DH has had inpatient care and I am really trying to prevent that for my son but he is already showing signs that concern me.
Yes that completely sums it up, the missing middle! The inpatient ward for young people would be pretty confronting I imagine,  and the doctor in ED said it would be a last resort/safety measure if all other safety measures aren’t working.

#8 OceanTwentyFour

Posted 10 October 2019 - 05:59 PM

zogee my DS’s counsellor was also cautious about medication but at the end of the day it’s your child and you will do what you think is best for them.
What you said about the broken ankle not fixing itself is absolutely correct.

#9 Grrrumbles

Posted 10 October 2019 - 07:26 PM

Zogee it is worth looking into what the inpatient services are in your location, just in case you need to make some tough decisions sometime in the future. Hopefully you will never need it. In our city there are currently no private paediatric mental health beds but a service is under construction. We only have one option privately for adults and the waiting lists are huge - we were about to take my DH interstate when a bed became available. It was only offered to us (after weeks in public) I believe after I rang the Senior Nurse and pleaded our case about having very small children and DH being unable to see them if we went to the only places that had offered a bed. There was still a wait for the interstate private hospitals but it was about a week. I spent a lot of time on the phone to these places and my GP did multiple referrals so that we could move quickly.


#10 zogee

Posted 10 October 2019 - 09:32 PM

View PostGrrrumbles, on 10 October 2019 - 07:26 PM, said:

Zogee it is worth looking into what the inpatient services are in your location, just in case you need to make some tough decisions sometime in the future. Hopefully you will never need it. In our city there are currently no private paediatric mental health beds but a service is under construction. We only have one option privately for adults and the waiting lists are huge - we were about to take my DH interstate when a bed became available. It was only offered to us (after weeks in public) I believe after I rang the Senior Nurse and pleaded our case about having very small children and DH being unable to see them if we went to the only places that had offered a bed. There was still a wait for the interstate private hospitals but it was about a week. I spent a lot of time on the phone to these places and my GP did multiple referrals so that we could move quickly.
Thanks Grrumbles I can’t believe you nearly had to go interstate! How awful :( I don’t think there’s any private child inpatient units here in WA but I might be wrong.
The staff today at the children’s hospital were amazing, so caring and professional which made it a bit easier. Still very emotionally draining though!

#11 zogee

Posted 14 November 2019 - 12:51 PM

Just a follow up in case anyone searches this topic- we are seeing the public MH clinic soon and hopefully get accepted for some psychological therapy. I feel the last 9 months of private psych hasn’t helped much at all and we’re out of Medicare sessions now. We saw a private psychiatrist once for a parent only appointment but it was $300 out of pocket so really not affordable. Plus I’ll still be coordinating all the care.




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