Helping a depressed teen

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davemill
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Helping a depressed teen

Post by davemill » Sat May 03, 2014 2:42 am

My 16-year-old daughter is seriously depressed, and also suffering from an eating disorder. Her mother, my wife, passed away two years ago after an extended battle with cancer and 9 months of Hospice care at home. She spends a lot of time intensely angry, although at what is unclear.

My daughter has started now to miss out on activities she loves, curled up in bed. Sometimes I am able to draw her into presence with questions about her horse or her drums or her favorite music, but less and less. A year ago, unbeknownst to me, she started using marijuana. 5 months ago, after finding out about this and fighting for a while, I obtained a California medical Marijuana card for her because it seemed to help and her doctor agreed. There is overuse at times, unfortunately. Parties with friends seem to be her primary recreation now.

We are seeking help from a therapist and I am investigating other treatment options. Being 16, she rejects many things including the Power of Now. She calls it my cult.

I have been Practicing the Power of Now for some time, and am finally able to achieve presence briefly by becoming the Watcher or focusing on my breathing, but I count myself as very much a beginning student. The egoic mind creeps back in quickly. And I practice more.

My question: Does anyone have suggestions about how I can help my daughter?
I'm a Dad.

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smiileyjen101
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Re: Helping a depressed teen

Post by smiileyjen101 » Sat May 03, 2014 4:57 am

((hugs)) Dave.
My question: Does anyone have suggestions about how I can help my daughter?
By caring for and loving your self in example.

Children tend to learn by example more than any other thing.

16 year olds are of an age where they find their own way anyway, they see the hypocrisy in many things that older people subscribe to or prescribe for others. do as I say, not as I do screams at them to find their own way, their own path. Even had your wife not died there would have been this experience of her growing into her own ideas and choices that may not have been consistent with yours.
Her mother, my wife, passed away two years ago after an extended battle with cancer and 9 months of Hospice care at home. She spends a lot of time intensely angry, although at what is unclear.
Life has let her down, life has proven itself unreliable, unsafe, unsure and that's enough to create anger in anyone - natural anger says "No thank you!!" to what is on offer. Beyond the 15 seconds it takes to register that we don't want it and say No thank you we are expressing resistance, rage, revenge on the life that has let us down, possibly creating more harm and suffering just to prove that life is not fair.

If she's been raised as we all are to have 'expectations', and a false sense of security, (as we all delude ourselves) and most of the time our expectations do unfold as we expect so having them is not totally irrelevant, just sometimes inaccurate, unreliable.

She will be travelling a journey of reconciliation - her many, many, many expectations both known and unknown that will surface in stark contrast to her reality. And no doubt in yours too.

Each one a journey of reconciliation, a grief journey of themselves really. It's not just one 'grief', as you yourself will have noticed, it's many, all affecting in different ways, at different times, sometimes overlapping, sometimes overwhelming.
Natural expectations for her might be
- my mum 'should' be here
- my mum 'should not' have suffered
- I should not be suffering,
- my dad should not be suffering

- I should have my mum
- this should not have happened to me, to my dad, to my mum - this should not happen to anyone
- who will I talk to about .....
- who will understand me when....
... what will I feel on her next birthday?
...on my birthday? On my 21st, at my wedding, when my own babies are born?
... how will my dad feel on his birthday? How can I take his pain away?
... what if he gets sick?
.... what if I do?
... what if he 'replaces' my mum?

... what's the point of all this? (overwhelmed).
...
Depression in its pure form is just worldschmirtz - world weary, weary and overwhelmed.

The stories and confusions we build around that create the experiences of it.

To talk or not to talk, to share or not to share, to hope or not to hope, all become confusingly shaky ground to walk on. There are many pebbles that will trip us up and many boulders we find on our path.

These questions / journeys of reconciliation are difficult enough for grown adults - many of whom don't face them to reconcile them, brush them away, or bury them deep in the recesses of their hearts and minds in the pretence of 'coping'.

I would ask gently, do you show your emotions as they arise, authentically to your daughter?
I say this because one of the most therapeutic and healing things I could do for and with my surviving daughter -- and that's what you and your daughter are experiencing --- surviving - learning to live with the loss of your wife and her mother ---- when her younger sister was killed suddenly, was to leave room for these questions to arise and be expressed - mine and/or hers equally, not believing that I had the answers, I didn't, we had to find them, each on our own but with the support of each other that getting it wrong was okay, revisiting them again and again as they arose was okay and that no answer was universally 'right' or 'wrong'. What was right today might be totally different tomorrow. What was okay today might be the undoing of our peace tomorrow.

Letting a question be unanswered until it is takes quite a bit of grace, it becomes okay to not know, and equally okay when we do know.

And, if anger erupted so be it, we learned to be each other's 'safe place' where no offence would be taken and held against the other; if frustration at the distance between our reality and expectations exploded, so be it, we cleaned up the mess afterwards; and if tears fell - this was really sweet, really beautiful... we acknowledged them, honoured them, we would say either 'Don't mind me, I'm just 'leaking, it happens' (sh... it happens, often when we would least desire it), or recognise that the dam wall of sorrow was at its breaking point and letting the river of tears flow freely. In time we learn that it won't really drown us, it just feels that way.
We are seeking help from a therapist and I am investigating other treatment options.
If she feels safe with her therapist it will unfold as it will.

How are you doing?
I can recommend any of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' books - she was the psychiatrist who looked extensively into grief and grieving, death and dying, and our cultural ways of experiencing it. My particular favourite is Death is of Vital Importance, and I'm not sure really why, she explains the natural emotions, and the distortions of them, she advocates honesty - even stark and scary honesty, fears arising, authenticity, and explains many of our fears and resistances to what is.

You can only walk in your shoes Dave, and only you can walk in them;
accepting that can be scary as hell with teenagers at the best of times.

I'm glad you signed up here, here you can share your experiences and perspectives on ET & 'life' freely, we know that your views are not a 'cult' thing, any more than your daughter's resistance to is anything other than her perspective of it at this time, within her awareness, capacity and willingness to explore it.

Welcome Dave.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com

Phil2
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Re: Helping a depressed teen

Post by Phil2 » Sat May 03, 2014 9:31 am

davemill wrote: My question: Does anyone have suggestions about how I can help my daughter?
Can you really 'do' something ? Because anything you 'do' would come from your own conditioning, your own mental schemes, your own fears and desires ...

You might understand her, she has so many reasons to rebel against life: the loss of her mother, a competitive society and schools, injustice in the world, difficulty to find the right relationships etc ...

Seems to me that the only 'thing' we can 'do' is love ... not trying to make her do what you would like her to do (your own 'projections') ... and help her whenever it is possible, in very concrete situations ... with such a loving and caring attitude, you won't 'lose' her, she will not get away from you, you will create no conflict, no division, which would only generate another 'problem' to her already 'complicated' life ...

The best way to bring peace is to be peaceful yourself ...
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)

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Re: Helping a depressed teen

Post by KathleenBrugger » Sat May 03, 2014 4:47 pm

Hi Dave, I'm sorry for your loss. Welcome to the forum. Smileyjen shared so much wisdom from her own experience. When I first read your post I thought, "I don't have any relevant experience to share." But as I read smileyjen's post I realized I did. My parent divorced when I was 15. My father basically disappeared from our lives (I have 4 siblings). For the first year after the divorce I saw him very infrequently for a quick dinner before he moved to a distant city. My mother was completely shut down emotionally. What happened in a nutshell is my whole family acted as if nothing had happened. We didn't talk about it with each other. My mother never helped us deal with our emotions. We were all just lost and floundering.

Fifteen years later when all my brothers and sisters and my mom were together, my husband (who is awesome at creating space for communication) helped us all share about the divorce. We had an incredible evening of crying and laughing ending in a circle dance. One of the things that was stunning was that every single one of us five kids claimed that we didn't cry the night our dad told us he was leaving. My mom told us that we all cried. But that's how shut down we were.

As I've gotten older I've thought a lot about how my mom acted. She was dealing with her pain, of course, but I think she thought she needed to be strong for the kids and not show how she was hurting. But that stoicism really hurt us. I started smoking marijuana in high school, partly because I was so angry. Adults were hypocrites; as smileyjen said, teen-agers are very alert to "do what I say not what I do." So from my experience, I echo smileyjen's gentle question about sharing your pain with your daughter.
We are ALL Innocent by Reason of Insanity
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smiileyjen101
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Re: Helping a depressed teen

Post by smiileyjen101 » Sun May 04, 2014 2:57 am

Beautiful posts Phil & Katie.

I was thinking about how supportive an online community is, this, and other topic specific ones and in searching for one for teens whose parent has died I found this article, although I didn't find an online community like ones I've been lucky to find.
http://barrharris.org/documents/Tyson-R ... Parent.pdf

For the most part I like it and it may offer some helpful insight, particularly in the quotes from teens sharing their perspectives. Like most things standing outside of a thing one can make assumptions that may not be accurate. At least in this study they listened to the participants and questioned their own 'clinical' assumptions.

The one area I might disagree with is where grief counsellors or 'professionals' discuss 'depression' as sadness and struggling that continues sometime after a loss. There is no end point - if the loss is, then the response is - whatever it is, whenever it is. There is no end time or point for sadness to arise or be expressed, or for a loss to have an impact on our perspectives.

If we promote that and expect that, we're just creating another expectation - that this is going to somehow disappear, and we'll go back to being how we were before the event, and if it doesn't something is wrong with us, and we need to be treated as such. Pffft!!

A thing I coined in a grief forum said "at times, even many years later, we are only able to put one foot in front of the other and remember to breathe, and that's okay too." and an another member said 'sometimes I'd love to be able to put one foot in front of the other, I can't even throw a foot out of bed :wink:' so we came to reminding those overwhelmed to breathe, because sometimes we really would just hold our breath and not realise we had to let it out, in order for a new one to come in.
Katie said: As I've gotten older I've thought a lot about how my mom acted. She was dealing with her pain, of course, but I think she thought she needed to be strong for the kids and not show how she was hurting. But that stoicism really hurt us.
It's a minefield. A huge sense of responsibility arises to not 'upset' others who are also grieving, and those who are concerned about those who are grieving, and some will bury their own pain or emotions in order to not add to the suffering of others. Leaving space for emotions is such a gift, but the absence of it can also be well intentioned.

I was 16 when a friend of mine was randomly shot and killed, and my whole world - my whole sense of the world, collapsed. I didn't handle it well, and neither did anyone around me make feel that I could. I see now I just didn't have the awareness or the capacity to make sense of it. The reinforcing notions that it 'shouldn't' have happened were so strong, there was nowhere to accommodate that it DID happen and make any sense of it or reach acceptance of it.

So when this event happened, I was aware of my daughter's friends capacity to comprehend - tiny and equally reactive. I opened my home for them to come and 'vent' all the things other people would think they were crazy, or mean, or bent for saying, thinking, laughing about, crying about, confused about. I guess, looking back I left room to accommodate that it did happen, and whatever arose within that space, was okay. The kids were scared that if something made them laugh it would mean others would think they didn't still feel sad sometimes, that they were 'over it', or that they didn't love her as much as someone who wasn't laughing. You only had to ask them what they thought she would have said to that (irreverence in spades) and they would smile, laugh and remember the inconsistent contrast of expressions that she was, and that she knew and accepted whatever this moment brought, she could be laughing while crying, and crying while laughing, and that's okay too. There are no conformities that need to be upheld.

And at the same time my surviving daughter was struggling (she was 18), because she was the 'big sister' in relationship that now had disappeared. It cut to the core when she went to make a phone call and her sister was not there to yell out the number - it was just 'their thing' the older one had all the intellect and theories on the world and her sister took care of the practical. The roles are uniquely personal, and so what will explode in the space left empty in a relationship is totally personal to each individual. She melted crying "I never wanted to be an only child!!! - How can I be? Who will be an aunty for my children? I'll never be an aunty to hers!! Who will be there with me and know what I mean when you die? Who will laugh at me at my wedding?

All the embracing irreverence and love totally unique to that one relationship - gone.
... it's devastating - the truth, is devastating. And step by step, breath by breath, we learn to live with the realisations arising, the unknown expectations surfacing to not be realised, and we grow with it - not apart from it, not in any limited or recommended time frame, but always.

She wanted to 'save the world' from suffering and tragedy & trauma and now felt that she couldn't even save her own sister, what possible hope did she have of making any difference or contribution in a world so crazy and unfair and cruel - the impotence felt and experienced is real, until it is accepted, absorbed and grown into, and then it loses its edge and we find that we can... we can... and we are.

I also remember, apart from the meltdowns and confusions, that we had to be intensely honest about our fears and renegotiate openly - things like that she could appreciate that I would, with all my heart, want to wrap her in cotton wool, but I would suffocate her if I did, and neither of us would really want that. How could we balance her living her life, and me balance in the role as her mother - and also the mother of two precious children now not here. At the time she had just passed her licence to ride a motorbike and many were telling her that it was irresponsible of her, and unkind to me ... pffftt!! She's a good rider and she can only be responsible for her actions, not the actions of others on the road. (and she was a shocking car driver, far safer and better riding the bike!!!) Others meant well by chiding her, and many children would not have had the relationship with their parents to be able to discuss such things.

Once out in the open we between us could agree that she would do her best not to scare me, and I would do my best not to suffocate her. That we would both fail at times was a given.

So nearly the next big thing she did was announce that she wanted to go to an overseas trouble spot to volunteer!!! We renegotiated that she go and volunteer in a not so 'hot' spot first, so she would have a better sense of the realities of it.

And then I remembered, in my own wild teen years I had gone to work on a cruise ship, and my parents would worry a little about me at times. Then I was offered a job on a 100 ft cruising yacht sailing between my two favourite Pacific nations I was in bliss heaven and rang my parents. My Dad used to balance that fear-freedom thing pretty well. He said, I've never asked you to not do something, but I'm going to this time, your mum doesn't sleep well now with you on a 24,000 tonne ship - if you do this on a tiny yacht, she'll never sleep!' There was no hardship in letting go of my wild and wonderful idea, and neither was there for my daughter swapping one assignment for another.

It's not a matter of sinking into what we can't do, it's negotiating with ourselves and our significant relationships, what we can.

I had advocated for changes in public safety brought about by new awareness in the tragedy and one day she was using the new facility and watching a stream of people also using it and she came home and hugged me and said that as she was using this facility she was thinking 'My mum did this!' and she was so proud of me and it made her realise she could still make a difference. For me the facility was kind of too little too late, but I'm glad it's there for others, the biggest thing for me in her sharing was that was what she was thinking, rather than 'this is where my sister died'. Space was opening up around it.

Then after uni and testing a few jobs she became a paramedic - a first responder with acute awareness that not only is the physical important, but so is addressing the fears and the expectations, not only is the 'patient' important, but those in relationship to the patient as well. When she was unable to revive a patient that a family member had tried to keep alive she praised the family member and assured her that everything that could have been done had been done. She said to the woman, in the darkest of hours when you are doubting it, trust me and remember, you did everything you could.

Such tiny awarenesses make a huge difference in the confusing time ahead. Then she came home one night after a particularly trying day and said that it had dawned on her that it wasn't personal - shit happens and it's not really personal. People die all the time, every day, in many ways. Shit just happens. It wasn't really personal that her sister died as she did, and that she had been thinking that it somehow was.

With that one realisation she didn't feel so responsible and alone and confused any more. Did/does she still hurt and miss her sister? Absolutely!! Keenly at her wedding, although the minute I walked into the room when she was getting ready her sister's 'happy song' randomly came on, while she was in quite a bit of trouble in labour with her daughter, her sister's ring that had been left in another room on another floor of the hospital 'fell' onto the floor (from who knows where) and was picked up by a nurse, placed into her hands with 'is this yours?' (after they'd told her no jewellery was allowed in the labour wards, and definitely aren't in the operating theatre where she was being rushed to....) in the space there's a peace, a chance to feel the love that is not of this world, and is eternal.

She reached her own - it is what it is - (without ET and in her own time and own way)

I guess in that scatter gun sharing I'm hoping that Dave can see light at the end of the tunnel. If you wanted to share it with a teenager, they may see some light at the end of the tunnel too.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com

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Onceler
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Re: Helping a depressed teen

Post by Onceler » Sun May 04, 2014 4:54 am

The marijuana is not going to help and will probably make things worse. It can lower IQ and create amotivational syndrome in teens. It could exacerbate depression and anxiety.....
Be present, be pleasant.

Phil2
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Re: Helping a depressed teen

Post by Phil2 » Sun May 04, 2014 9:29 am

Onceler wrote:The marijuana is not going to help and will probably make things worse. It can lower IQ and create amotivational syndrome in teens. It could exacerbate depression and anxiety.....
Totally one with you here ... creating another addiction and dependance is certainly not the right answer ...

We are the 'projector' of our own life, and no pleasant movie can come out of those dependencies, only a nightmare ...
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)

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EnterZenFromThere
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Re: Helping a depressed teen

Post by EnterZenFromThere » Sun May 04, 2014 9:53 am

Hi Dave, I hope these beautifully comments have made you feel welcome and are helping what must be a difficult time.

Jen, your words really moved me. You sound like a fantastic mum! Your story reminds me that even the greatest darkness our in our lives are really love in disguise (though it may take many years to see it).

Like Katie, I too didn't feel I had anything to offer here. But having read these comments I remember myself as a teenager and perhaps my own little story could provide a little help here - I certainly hope it does.

At 16 I was smoking cannabis every day. Going to parties and getting high was the only thing I was really interested in. At the time I didn't know why, or even question it. Looking back it's clear that things were not good at home. My mum and dad divorced ewe hen I was 5 and through all those years no one had ever sat down with me and talked to me about what had happened. My mum was (and still is) an incredibly anxious lady who was too afraid to confront her demons. This resulted in me finding out by accident that my dad left because he was gay when I was 11 (my mum mentioned it causally while me and my sister when we were walking back from the fair. My sister (3 years older than me) said "well, that was gay!" My mum replied "you know your dad's gay". She already knew but this came as a surprise to me). When he was 15, my brother (6 years older than me) left home to move in with my dad's boyfriend (real soap opera stuff!). By the time I was 16 my sister was self harming and taking overdoses and being rushed to hospital. So I guess it wasn't much of a surprise that I ended up looking forward to escaping from the house and getting high round my friend's.

I mention this to you now because it follows what others have said here. The worst thing about the events of my childhood and teenage years was that I had no one to talk to about them. If someone had just taken the time to explain things to a confused child and been the space there for them to ask questions then I doubt I would have got so heavily into drugs or had anxiety problems or depression. I'm by no means trying to say that this is going to happen to your daughter and I don't know what kind of relationship you have with her but I imagine, as others have eluded to, she is confused and upset and this is leading to her engaging in risky behaviours as a way to escape.

Ultimately though, what seemed like the mistakes of my past are now what I look back on with real love. If those things hadn't happened I may not have found the love that illuminates my soul now. Now when I meet my mum I am the space for her. We talk about the things that happened in the past and I have come to understand how difficult things were for her. I no longer feel resentment - only love. It sounds like your daughter is exploring life in her own way, the only way she can. I've never been a father so can't fully relate to the concern that must come as a child feels their own path, but I know from being that child that the path must be theirs and even when it gets bumpy, it's all good! It sounds to me that you're doing a great job of being supportive while still letting her do her thing. Everyone reacts to drugs differently. Maybe cannabis will make things better for her. Maybe it will make things worse. Either way she must find out for herself, with you there as the silent supporting presence that you are.

Pease keep us updated on this or anything else that comes up for you or for her. As I think this post makes it blatantly clear, we're here for you.

With love,

Jack

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Re: Helping a depressed teen

Post by Phil2 » Sun May 04, 2014 10:00 am

EnterZenFromThere wrote: If someone had just taken the time to explain things to a confused child and been the space there for them to ask questions then I doubt I would have got so heavily into drugs or had anxiety problems or depression.
It would be nice if things were so easy ... when you are a teen anything your parents say must be wrong ... so you just don't listen and do your own experience ... and as it is said: we learn from our mistakes, not from what others tell us ...

As Eckhart said: suffering has its place too ... we learn from our suffering ... and only suffering can change us ... most people coming to spirituality have suffered deeply ... and precisely because they want to understand and end their suffering, they look to spiritual teachings (or religions the same) ... understanding suffering was also the starting point of Buddha's quest ... the core Buddhist teaching of the Four Noble Truths are about the origin and the ending of suffering ...
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)

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Re: Helping a depressed teen

Post by smiileyjen101 » Mon May 05, 2014 4:02 am

EnterZenFromThere wrote:
If someone had just taken the time to explain things to a confused child and been the space there for them to ask questions then I doubt I would have got so heavily into drugs or had anxiety problems or depression.

Phil said:
It would be nice if things were so easy ... when you are a teen anything your parents say must be wrong ... so you just don't listen and do your own experience ... and as it is said: we learn from our mistakes, not from what others tell us ...
I don't agree that anything your parents say must be wrong when you're a teenager, but neither is everything parents say likely to be right either.

But, if parents are waiting for a child to 'grow up' before they treat them in an age appropriate respectfully honest way - acknowledging and promoting self awareness and self responsibility and being honest about their own failings and feelings and unsureness on things, but willingness to allow room for us all to test choices & consequences - by the time a child is a teen it's too late (or not ideal) to start expecting a fully loving and respectful relationship to bloom.

This is scary - being fully loving and respectful with others, it calls us to be the fullest expression of who we really are - love.

We do 'reap what we sow' to a very large extent. For me that absolutely loving respect starts when a child is born, or I guess, in experience, as soon as we know a child is growing, and nothing - no thing negates it. It's a commitment to life, for life, in whatever form of expression it appears.
The difference is ...... beyond measure, in growing us, and them.

I'm torn on the marijuana issue - mostly because I don't know about what goes along with the medical part of it. Is it monitored, does counselling occur, and at least it will (hopefully) be clean of the contaminants that can come from street stuff, does the teenager understand and manage the consequences - getting the munchies might be good if she has no appetite without it. Is there a treatment plan, an 'end point' to the dependency?

I too fell into either partying or blocking out 'life' with drugs in my teen years, and I feel kind of neutral about it. I neither promote nor deny, or believe that I can. I was honest with my children on the issue and they each came to their own ideas about it.

The thing with facing our mortality and the mortality of those we love, in fear we respond to think that life sucks and is an overwhelming burden. In love we realise that life is precious, oh sooooo precious every single moment and opportunity of it. And the resultant flow on from those two differences are huge. After my friend's murder I believed big time that life sucked and my resultant choices reflected that back to me. It was only really during the life and death of my infant son, in absolute love, that I realised truly, truly how precious life, and every moment in it, good, bad, ugly, joyful, painful, tiring, refreshing, trying and failing and succeeding, is.

I don't agree with using anti-depressants to block out the journey of grief, or life, either, but it's a personal thing between a person and a professional advisor. I can only choose for me.
Jen, your words really moved me. You sound like a fantastic mum! Your story reminds me that even the greatest darkness our in our lives are really love in disguise (though it may take many years to see it).
Thank you Jack, yup that old light at the end of a tunnel that might be a train :wink: And in a similar way there are many who think I'm a 'terrible' mum too :lol: it's all good.

It's all love in disguise --- I like that :D
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com

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EnterZenFromThere
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Re: Helping a depressed teen

Post by EnterZenFromThere » Mon May 05, 2014 8:25 am

Jen, as I read your comment about the light, tunnel and train I had the lyrics to Metallica's No Leaf Clover going through my head "and it comes to be that the smoothing light at the end of your tunnel, is just a freight train coming your way" nice synchronicity at play :)

In reply to Phil I agree and I mention this in my last paragraph.

As Jen said this is sounds like minefield. What can we do when walking through a minefield but to try to find the space between the mines..

Much love,

Jack

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Re: Helping a depressed teen

Post by davemill » Thu May 08, 2014 6:18 pm

Thank you to everyone for your replies. I've come back daily to read them all, and each time I'm overwhelmed by what you have written. You've given me a lot to think about.

She spends a lot of time now working at a horse rescue ranch-a wonderful place where they rescue horses from the animal shelter, train them in a loving and peaceful way, and adopt them out to good owners. We have had many conversations about the progress various horses have made, and in particular about the work she is doing with her special horse that she recently adopted. This has been the focus of our best conversations about the real world. One idea I'm toying with is specifically asking her to make analogies between struggles she sees the horses going through, and her own life.

Things are very intense right now. My biggest challenge is how to respond during those rare windows when she is open to input. My egoic mind wants to scream out brilliant observations and conclusions and recommendations and therapies...all of which is more mental noise. I try to sit "in presence," and often experience beautiful joy just sitting with her, recognizing that this is the exact place I would most like to be at this moment. But when she is open to an idea, or sometimes even desperately begging for help, what do I suggest? What do I ask? Where do I point her? It is at these moments she wants something from me and is open to it.
I'm a Dad.

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EnterZenFromThere
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Re: Helping a depressed teen

Post by EnterZenFromThere » Thu May 08, 2014 8:55 pm

This all sounds great Dave - so happy to hear this!

If events arise in the future that make me a parent I look forward to the joys of all these problems!

Sitting with her and just enjoying doing that and being the space for her expression sounds like a beautiful way of you silently expressing your love for her. She doesn't even need to know you are doing it or have any pressure to respond to you in any way. If asked something directly I'd be as honest, open and loving in my reply as the moment will allow - as direct as I sense she is willing to accept, as gentle as I sense she is not.

I'm looking forward to the replies of the others here who have a wealth of wonderful knowledge to draw from.

And I look forward to hearing more about you and your daughter. I truly wish you all the happiness my heart can send to you.

With love,

Jack

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smiileyjen101
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Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:44 am

Re: Helping a depressed teen

Post by smiileyjen101 » Fri May 09, 2014 3:44 am

She spends a lot of time now working at a horse rescue ranch-a wonderful place where they rescue horses from the animal shelter, train them in a loving and peaceful way, and adopt them out to good owners. We have had many conversations about the progress various horses have made, and in particular about the work she is doing with her special horse that she recently adopted. This has been the focus of our best conversations about the real world.
Lovely to hear back from you Dave - with your expression of the above --- :D she'll be fine.
I try to sit "in presence," and often experience beautiful joy just sitting with her, recognizing that this is the exact place I would most like to be at this moment. But when she is open to an idea, or sometimes even desperately begging for help, what do I suggest? What do I ask? Where do I point her? It is at these moments she wants something from me and is open to it.
Whatever love says, or does, is just fine Dave.

If she has the capacity to work with and care for rescued horses... she already 'knows' this.

Do you? Do you know this?
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com

davemill
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri May 02, 2014 12:19 am

Re: Helping a depressed teen

Post by davemill » Fri May 09, 2014 10:25 am

Phil2 wrote:Can you really 'do' something ? Because anything you 'do' would come from your own conditioning, your own mental schemes, your own fears and desires ... Seems to me that the only 'thing' we can 'do' is love ... not trying to make her do what you would like her to do (your own 'projections') ... and help her whenever it is possible, in very concrete situations ... with such a loving and caring attitude, you won't 'lose' her, she will not get away from you, you will create no conflict, no division, which would only generate another 'problem' to her already 'complicated' life ...

The best way to bring peace is to be peaceful yourself ...
EnterZenFromThere wrote:Sitting with her and just enjoying doing that and being the space for her expression sounds like a beautiful way of you silently expressing your love for her. She doesn't even need to know you are doing it or have any pressure to respond to you in any way. If asked something directly I'd be as honest, open and loving in my reply as the moment will allow - as direct as I sense she is willing to accept, as gentle as I sense she is not.
I just sat in her room with her for two hours. She calmly told me that she never wants to leave the room again, because the room is safe. "There is no food here (eating disorder), and no people here, and if I turn off my phone, there is no external pain here." Then she looked expectantly at me to say something brilliant. I didn't have anything. I was alternating between wanting to respond and knowing that I should probably just be present and keep listening. Finally she just asked me to turn off the light and leave.

In A New Earth, pg. 164, Tolle talks about helping a woman with a dense pain body. He says, "There is nothing you can do about the fact that at this moment this is what you feel. Now, instead of wanting the moment to be different from the way it is, which adds more pain to the pain that is already there, is it possible for you to completely accept that this is how you feel right now?" He goes on to say, "If you don't mind being unhappy, what happens to the unhappiness?"

I know that I am not a therapist, and that I don't have Tolle's experience. I'm wondering if there is some series of questions like that that I can ask her, to help her deal with her depression? Or is this too risky for an amateur to attempt?
I'm a Dad.

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