12 Year Old Girl and Depression

Updated on December 29, 2013
N.F. asks from Crown Point, IN
5 answers

Please help! My 12 year old daughter has serious anger issues. She locks herself in her room to get away from the chaos of her 3 younger siblings, and when she is around, she's absolutely miserable. She's always so depressed about everything. The only time she's happy is when my step daughter is here, which is not as often as we'd like. She can't find the good in anything. She's disrespectful to my husband and I and very mean to her siblings. I know she feels like they came along and took her place, but Ive told her over and over again that she is still just as important as the rest of my kids. I feel like the situation will never get better. It breaks my heart to see her and her sibs together because there is so much animosity towards them. I recently found out that she's cutting herself, but not with a knife or razor...she uses her nails instead. I was having a talk with her about her behavior and I noticed the scars on her arms. I was horrified, and so scared and sad for her. I don't know what to do. I honestly believe that we as a family could use and hopefully benefit from some kind of therapy/counseling, but I feel she really needs it. Do they work? I don't want her to think that Im pawning her off on someone else to take care of the situation but I've tried and tried to no avail. I want her to be happy and feel love and loved! Shes so beautiful and smart and talented. I want her to love life and have passion for living. I love her so much and I want to help her! Does anyone know of someone in nwi that deals with this kind of thing? Any advice is appreciated. Thank you and God bless.

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answers from Appleton on

You need to get her into counseling. Cutting is often the outward expression of inner pain.

Has she started her periods yet? You could get a small datebook at Dollar Tree to use as a sort of diary or journal to track her moods. If she seems more down and unruly at certain times of the month a lot of it could be hormonal. But you should still seek counseling for her.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Definitely get her into some kind of counseling. My daughter was cutting herself. She ended up caught at school because she got very emotional about this kid who was a friend and now a bully. The counselor found the cuts. Anyway, she went into a hospital for 5 days (I signed a paper immediately at admission that she would be discharged). They wanted to medicate her but I refused that. However, those few days receiving counseling did help. We still have a few issues and bad moments but it is not as bad as it was. I am trying to get her into counseling but most of the hours they have are earlier and she would miss school. We are still looking into it. The therapy she did receive helped her see that cutting was not resolving anything and helped her see things differently. She still gets very angry but is usually able to get a handle on it. Definitely get her into some therapy.

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answers from Chicago on

Well, regarding the animosity, I'm 34, and the animosity between my siblings and me is still very palpable. Being the oldest, I really don't relate to my brother (the youngest), and there's still so much competition my younger sister instigates plus the "harmless" (to her) backstabbing. Holidays, especially Christmas, usually results in me storming out of a family gathering for some reason, usually because I can't take my siblings.

From a personal standpoint, I also have anger issues and have a long history of self-mutilating since I was a teenager. It is absolutely imperative that the whole family seek counseling, and your daughter should have private sessions with the counselor, as well. Self-mutilation is a way to deal with the inner pain. That's ugly and uncomfortable, so we manifest the emotional pain and turmoil into physical pain that's easier to manage. Your daughter is also in the clutches of a very difficult, scary time ruled by hormones. Going to a professional will help sort out what's normal for her age versus what's a mental disorder (if there's one present). Counseling will also give everyone some coping mechanisms, and your daughter will have someone to talk to about things she may not be comfortable talking about with you. When I was younger, my mom took us to Southlake Mental Health, just north of 93rd Ave. on Main (Taft) in CP. You can ask your pediatrician/family doctor for a referral, as well. If the first one you meet isn't to your taste, don't give up! Good luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I can recommend a place right over the border.

Counseling Services, Inc. ###-###-####.

There used to be a child therapist there named Dyanne B. She is so good with kids. I would also recommend Karen Cox-Pedigo, Judith Themer or Peg Hazenbush. The receptionist there can assist you with insurance questions, and assist if these therapists have a second office in IN.

Some of these therapists have worked in IN and may have recommendations if Matteson is too far.

Therapy does not provide instant results, so please remember to be patient with the process.

If you take her for therapy take her to lunch, Barnes and Noble or something like that afterwards. Do not ask about appointment, if she talks just listen. Do not comment. One of the best things parents can do for a child is listen as a friend for 15-20 minutes. Keep that parent voice quiet and just laugh, giggle, be shocked... Whatever. As long as it is not hurting anyone, just listen and if you can validate what s/he is saying without judgement. Just once a day, and then go back to being a parent :-).



answers from Chicago on

all I can tell you is that it will take a depressed child VERY long to open up and trust someone. You might be better asking a favorite aunt, cousin, etc. to be her sounding board and help her work the feelings out. Obviously that person is not going to be able to give her meds or anything, but a person she knows who loves her will do so much more then a stranger.

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