Mood Disorders in Pre-Teen Girls

Updated on January 04, 2010
H.G. asks from Lonsdale, MN
6 answers

Happy New Year! I was urged by my 12 year old to ask advice here about what she's been going through....a little family background first. I come from a long line of alcoholics and we have 2 diagnosed manic depressive and 2 diagnosed bi-polar disorder -- with several other undiagnosed but probably a little of both on my mom's side. I grew up thinking it was normal to be moody and snappy (especially during PMS)and I've been treated for situational depression. My daughter had confided that kids in school told her she's bi-polar and a teacher suggested she see a Dr. and get checked out....
She's going through puberty now but seems to lack control of her moods (gets frusterated really easily - can hear it in her voice), very disorganized, stressed, tired but has trouble falling asleep, when something's funny she giggles out of control. She also started getting migraines at 9. Things I don't see much are what happens @ school (more people and stress) where she says she bounces off the walls or is very low and has issues (drama) with friends almost daily.
We saw the Dr. and he's trying her on Abilify (2mg) for two weeks and see how it goes & we're doing a diary and having nightly "safe, no judgement talks".
My question is anyone else dealing with this and do you have any pointers to make this easier for her and the rest of the family??
She's a great kid and it breaks my heart that she's got to deal with this type of issue!
I also don't know who to tell about it and who not to---family/friend wise....she babysits and I've put that on hold until we get her meds straight and more you tell people that she would sit for?? I'm overwhelmed by this - any advice is greatly appreciated!!!!
BTW my mom (who is a functioning alcoholic and probably depressive or bi-polar but undiagnosed) FREAKED when I told her and said she should not be on meds and there's nothing wrong with her!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you so much for the words of have no idea how much that meant to me. I did try her on meds, but had to pull her off the next day as it caused her to sleep alot and gave her a migraine. We're lining up counseling this week and I hope to get a better idea of what's going on through that type of doctor. I'm also trying to find non medicinal treatments for her as now there is no doubt in my mind that something's not quite right.
Thank you again.

More Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

My son, now 18, is also going through this experience. I know how you feel, because it's heartbreaking to see him suffer. He was on abilify, and it caused him to be more anxious, and have outbursts. They switched his medication, and now he is much more content. I hope the medication helps for her, but let the doc know right away if it makes it worse for her.
I've tried not to let people know, but it's difficult to to do. I'm thinking of moving. My son is very sensitive, and needs encouragement, nothing negative - even from well meaning people.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

Huge kudos to your daughter for talking to you about this!! Mental issues are so "taboo" these days that many people try to hide it. I think it was incredibly mature of her to bring this up, and it is FANTASTIC that the two of you can openly communicate like this!

That being said, I have dealt with depression since I was 15. I've been on different medications as the years (and myself) have changed. Do it. It will make her life much smoother! I think the nightly talks will do more than just help keep track of her moods; it will be a wonderful bonding experience that she's going to cherish the rest of her life. (I didn't have that kind of relationship with my parents, and my teen years were very difficult).

As far as babysitting, I think you've made the right choice to put it on hold until things smooth out, not just for the kids she's watching, but for her too. Why add extra stress? I have a good friend who suffers bi-polar disorder and massive migraines. She's on medication (I'm not sure the brand though) and you could NEVER tell she has bi-polar if she didn't tell you. She's one of the most wonderful, honest, down-to-earth women I know. I hope your daughter finds a prescription that works for her soon! Good luck to the both of you, and keep those lines of communication open! It will benefit you both! :D

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Cloud on

Hi H.! I don't have any advice for you. I just wanted to say that you are doing a great job and you have made a safe place for your daughter.

It breaks my heart that kids at school have called her bi-polar. Even if she is, it's a cruel thing coming from peers. I would encourage you to tell your daughter to only share what she is going through to people who she can trust.

I am so sorry that your mom isn't supporting you. Please know that you are giving your daughter a great gift in helping her.
Blessings on you and your family!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

You may get responses to your request that are criticizing, but I would like to say - Congratulations to you and your daughter for the open communication that you have! It's wonderful that she can talk with you openly and that she can ask for help.

My ex-husband, who I've known for 25 years has suffered his whole life with chronic depression and more recently is being treated for bi-polor disorder. He also has addiction problems; these commonly go hand-in-hand with depression/pi-polar. There are interesting articles being published now about how depression is "inherited". Not genetic, but learned from your family members.

I don't see treatment of these conditions to be only a drugs/no drugs debate (that some will turn this into). Help for your daughter could involve counseling for behavior modification and to learn techniques to help her manage her emotions, and a regular exercise program (read "Spark: the effects of exercise on the brain" for the amazing help that exercise can bring), along with the possibility of drug treatment. Medications can be helpful, when carefully monitored until the ones that work best for the individual are discovered.

I would not tell family, friends, or school anything that they do not need to know until you discover what works best for your daughter. There may not be any need to disclose anything, or only to select people.

Good luck to you both in working through this, and again, you are so far ahead in that you can talk openly about this.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on




answers from St. Cloud on

I think you should find a natural path (NOT homeopath) doctor and try a natural approach before putting her on medication. She is only 12! And definitely start her with chiropractic care if she isn't getting it already!

And I would not be telling anyone at this point. It will just turn into a big rumor and who knows what people will make up...... No need to put her through that. But I do agree that she should NOT be babysitting right now. It is unfair to the parents and the children she would sit with all that is going on.....

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions