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A 37-year-old female asked:

My daughter 13 y.o. seem to be depressed and became very enclosed. how can i help her, if she's not willing to talk about it?

9 doctor answers20 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Alianswered
Psychiatry 33 years experience
Depressed?: Start with the school guidance counselor who can refer u to a mental health professional.
Dr. Robert Kassoff
Clinical Psychology 38 years experience
Enlist Someone Else: You need to find someone else who is trusted and has credibility with her. Be very wary as the current public celebrity teen suicide attempts may empower her to act on her depression. She will talk to someone other than her parent that she trusts.
Dr. Ana Adelstein
Clinical Psychology 28 years experience
Child Psychologist: ... Someone outside of school would be my recommendation. School counselors sometimes have only taken one or two courses in related to counseling. On the other hand, clinical child psychologists have at least 9 years of college education - and then they do internships and practice under supervision before getting licensed. Expert assessment and treatment can spare great suffering.
Dr. Barbara Toohill
Clinical Psychology 13 years experience
Take notice: If you know her friends well, you can attempt to ask them if something has been upsetting her. Counseling is also an option. Even if she is against going, quality child therapists can often slowly build rapport, encouraging kids to open up. One of the best things you can do though is what you are already doing - not ignoring it.
Dr. Marianne Finerman
Pediatrics 43 years experience
Time To Get Help: Depression during the teen years should be addressed by a therapist if she is having difficulty coping with life events. However, if there is not a clear precipitating event, she should be evaluated by a child psychiatrist for biological causes and treatment.
Dr. Elizabeth Finley-Belgrad
Child Psychiatry 35 years experience
Seek prof help: You might begin by scheduling an apt with her to see her pediatrician who should be able to help you decide what the next step should be after your visit.
Dr. Emma Rishton
Clinical Psychology 14 years experience
No pressure: It is so great that you notice her feelings and are sensitive to her inability to talk about it. Really. This already means so much to her (even though she can't tell you now). Try to make plans to do things you know she likes to do. Don't pressure her, but keep at it, even if she refuses the first few times. Offer her therapy, and again don't push it. You sound like a great mom. Support yourself.
Dr. Dheeraj Raina
Psychiatry 30 years experience
No pressure: It's tough to realize that your teenage child is having depression. Teenagers can be very difficult to engage in therapy. If you aren't already doing things with her that interest her (or used to interest her before she became depressed), start doing such activities with her during which you can try to understand what might be triggering her mood change and help urge her to get evaluated.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Teen years are when : It's a child's developmental task to pull away from parents. So your child may not want to discuss her problems with you. Suggest that you consider having her see her pediatrician, a child psychiatrist or a child psychologist. Even if she isn't keen on the idea, a parent needs to provide her child with what she needs even if it isn't what she wants. Take care.

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Last updated Sep 27, 2017

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