A.C. asks from Sebring, FL on November 10, 2008
How Do You Deal with Kids w/Depression?
My 9 yo old son has been recently tested for everything under the sun, and has been tentively diagnosed with depression. I am baffled and for the first time in my 9 years of "motherhood", I feel soooooo helpless! He has a picture perfect life! Two extremely involved parents, nice house, handsome boy, all the toys and electronics gadgets you can think of, tons & tons of friends. He plays Football & Baseball (dad coaches). Lives in a very structured house full of love and support. My husband and I have a good solid marriage. Where we live; offers them a 50's style up-bringing. They play outside all day and come in for lunch, type of thing! Were strict but cool and our entire universe reloves around them. That being said, what could he possibly be depressed about?!?!?!?!?! After I cried to the pediatrician he explained to me that nothing has to trigger it because it is a chemical inbalance in the brain. Although I appreciate the insight and the comfort of knowing that I've done nothing wrong and that it's not my fault I would much rather know how to deal with this! He has ALL the classic signs, and will be seing a Clinical Pyshcologist next Monday. If anyone has any helpfull information, I would so appreciate it!!!
I have recieved so many great responses and I thought I should add that the psychologist he will see happends to be an aunt of mine which is well known and very well respected in Miami where we are originally from. She technically is not related to me anymore since she and my uncle divorced. Andrew has not met her before but I really feel like he will feel good with her, and I in turn feel really good about the fact the he will not be just antoher patient on her list. As a matter of fact I let her know that he has private PPO insurance and she won't have any of that! When I reached out to her even though we had not had contact in years she was delighted & excited to help. So, him & I will make the 3 hour drive as many times as needed to see her. In response to Rosemary W, of course I have talked to him. We have a good connection with all 4 boys & he does open up very well but it is obviously something beyond my comprehension or ability. My husband too is very emotionally connected them, specially after reading "There When He Needs You" by Neil I. Bernstein. It is an incredible book that every father should read! Yes, there are problems in school that have arisen due to the "Depression" such as beating up another kid on the bus (soooo soooo out of character for him), not doing work as instructed, inability to consentrate etc..... I know that it may seem like I'm covering all my basis and that it all sounds too good to be true but we have covered every aspect, that I can promise! We (my husband & I) did not have the best upbringing and since we have been married (12 years now) all we have done is stived be the best parents we could possibly be. Due to lost of appetite we have begun to give him Nutri-Max beside the everyday vitams. Which has worked well in the last couple of weeks. His appetite is much better and he has even put some of weight he had lost in the last couple of months. I should probably let everyone know that my father committed suicide when I was just 11 and although I always attributed it to being in a drug induced state of mine I guess it's probably safe to assume it all boils down to depression. Anyway I will continue to post and look forward to the responses that I continue to recieve! All of them have helped me in one way or another, and I will be looking into changing his diet. Thank you to all!
K.C. answers from Tampa on November 12, 2008
I have a 7 year old son who we thought was dealing with ADHD and have been trying to find a med or diet that works and is not to harmfull. I hear everyone say that depression is a chemical balance well if that is the case do they do any special lab work or anything to determine this? I only ask for myself because my son was diagn. with ADHD just by the observation of myself and his teachers and I tend to wonder because when he is on the meds he is better but when he comes down he is at a very low or acts out. We have an appointment with his doctor in the morning so Iwas just wondering
M.O. answers from Tampa on November 10, 2008
I would listen to what the Pyshcologist has to say. See if there is a co-relation with anxiety. Some simple things you can do to start are to limit the amount of sugar and caffeine in his diet. I know you said that he plays sports and try to have him exercise regularly. Have him relax or read before bed to help him unwind. I don't care for medication myself so try diet and exercise before med. unless necessary. Just know that it is not your fault! If it is diagnosed as depression it is just a chemical imbalance which just happens to some people. Talk to him and see if there is something bothering him that he has been holding back to talk about.
I wish you and your son well,
B.A. answers from Tampa on November 10, 2008
First off, this has nothing to do with your parenting skills or the kind of person you are. Depression isn't situational, it's chemical. There is nothing that you could have done differently. I have suffered from depression since I was a kid. I did not receive treatment until well into adulthood because my mother wouldn't acknowledge the problem. You are definitely ahead of the game. The psychologist will be able to explain it to you when you see him. Just know that this is not a reflection on you. It's a chemical imbalance in your son's brain that is totally treatable.
C.F. answers from Tampa on November 11, 2008
I totally agree. Doctors today do not give our nutrition enough thought. An absolute MUST READ for every woman is the new Suzanne Somers book called Breakthrough. Of particular importance is the chapter on all the additives and preservatives that are put in our foods. Glutamates are in almost every single piece of processed food that we put in our mouths (MSG is one of them) and they are known excitotoxins that severely affect our brain function (hence chemical imbalances) It's no coincidence that the increase in autism in our children has coincided with the increased amount of processed foods that we eat. Jenny McCarthy has done EXTENSIVE research on the affects of these items and the use of natural supplements to combat the effects of our toxic diets and lifestyles. She has almost completely reversed the autism in her son and has invited the APA (american Pediatric Association) to evaluate her son and they have declined to do so. I know that your son is suffering from depression and not autism but these toxins could be affecting him in a different way. this would be a way for him to combat what MAY be a nutritional imbalance or an excess of toxins in his system. This may work in conjunction with the therapy that you are already giving him- I implore you to try this first, then therapy and drugs should be an absolute last resort if all of this does not work. Good luck and God Bless!
K.H. answers from Tampa on November 12, 2008
I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. Sometimes it just is not our fault. Chemical imbalances can sometimes be temporary, his body will be going through changes....better or worse. It sounds like you are all on the right page but this challenge has been given to you for a reason. Seek a support group for family members dealing with depression because it affects everyone and perhaps you will find some light in the situation through the experiences of others. Ask your doctor or on this site if anyone knows of a group. And I ask you to beware of losing yourself caring for him. Sometimes we blindly do too much and forget about ourselves. At this point, both of you are his shelter, his rock, his support.
R.W. answers from Tampa on November 11, 2008
I have friends that are Pyshcologist and both of my daughters are attending college studying pyshcology. You may think you have a picture perfect life and give that to your children but what you may consider perfect might not be perfect in his eyes. How much one on one time do you spend with him? Do you still offer to read to him or let him read to you? Do you take him shopping just the two of you? Does he eat right, take vitamins? Also if he is used to having you at work and now you are at home things might be different. Maybe he doesn't like school. Before getting him treatment from a specialist I would look at things more closely at home and change things that need to be changed. Then if it continues, get help. Doctors love to make money. The longer they can keep you coming the more money they make. Very few are into the practice because they care about the people. Used to be that a doctor would see you even if you didn't have money to pay them. There are still a few of them out there. I would not let them put him on pills. It will only make things worse.
T.A. answers from Tampa on November 12, 2008
A., i personally dont know much about that.i only have a toddler son,but i would think that it could either be a chemical imbalance or maybe he is having a problem with something(some asspect in his life) maybe school/a friend/? But i do think a phychologist is a good idea! They would be able to figure out what the source is.
A.D. answers from Fort Myers on November 11, 2008
I am a mother of a 9 year old and 6 year old. Again solid marriage although some rocky times in the past. Involved in church, great school, lots of family time. We were racking our brains regarding some problems with our daughter last year. We finally saw Tara Moser at Delta Family Counselling in Cape Coral. Money well spent (insurance covered most of it). She specializes in play therapy and worked wonders with my daughter. I believe a consultation is free. Her number is ###-###-####.
K.M. answers from Tampa on November 11, 2008
I know this is scary, and after taking care of children for over 30 years I want to share with you what I have found.
Food effects different children in different ways, and there are work ups that can identify what is causing the problem. I don't want to give you a generalization about what it could be- because, as a second generation chiropractor, and having worked with and studied nutrition at naturopathic college we know that what Hippocrates said 2000 yrs ago is still true- it starts in the gut he said. And can be different for each of us.
A great website I have found is ChildrenBehaviorhelp.com, it has alot of data and sources to help with exactly what you are asking about. You are so correct in wondering why this would be called "depression", and no one wants to have their child treated for a label, when it is a nutritional or mineral problem.
Even your doctor said it was an imbalance-- so let's find out what the imbalance is and handle the underlying problem, not the symptom.You are also welcome to go to my website docmccullen.com. In health naturally,doc