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David Akiva
David Akiva, BA, MA,
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 167
Experience:  Counselor; Behavioral Consultant
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Childhood Bi Polor or Depression

Resolved Question:

I have been diagnosed with BP II as a result of pregnancy thinking it was the post part depression. It's been 9 years. My daughter is now 9 years old. Just this morning we were talking and she said "I guess I'm just not a happy kid". Horrilble to hear. I've read some things about symptoms for children. Over exaggerating abilities, sudden mood changes, extremely smart, gets bored easily, doesn't have a lot of friends, she is and only child and I think she does have a different type of personality but she does things that are in misplaced locations. Any ideas?? I just hurt for her. She also feel sher Dad doesn't love her because he never does anything with her, according to her. Unfortunately, she is right.  She also love food and is in teh 97th percentile for her weight while being in the 50th for height. Neither my husband nor I have wieght issues  She has 2 step sisters, 30 and 29, but is afraid to talk to them about her dad. THey have a different type of relationship.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  David Akiva replied 5 years ago.

Duddy :

Welcome, I am a professional Counselor, behavioral-consultant and relationship expert. I'd like to ask a few questions to better understand your situation and problem. I have some ideas that I think may be helpful for your daughter and family.

Duddy :

I notice you're offline right now. I'll check back shortly for your response. If we can't chat live, lets just leave a few messages back and forth to ask and answer questions.

Customer:

I am here,

Customer:

I am here,.

Duddy :

Your data on this page is not loading. I can see myself typing but not your historical or current chat response. I've tried reloading a few times now in the last 10 minutes. I'm going to let tech support know and try to get back to you shortly.

Customer:

Are you still there?

Customer:

I am

Customer:

hello

Customer:

I have more than one window open so I can'tsee when you enter. Sorry about that.

Customer:

I'll stay here.

Customer:

Hey there

Customer:

Are u there?

Customer:

Do you want me to send you the questions I had so you can read them?

Duddy :

Ok now I can see the page again - Hi.

Customer:

hi

Duddy :

Let me just go over what you've written so far...

Customer:

ok

Duddy :

Ok, so the first thing I need to do here is clarify your question. What specific question can I best work towards in order to provide you with a strong practical answer?

Customer:

I am trying to see if she may be BP II or depressed

Customer:

or if I should get her back into therapy

Duddy :

For a formal diagnosis you will need to see her family doctor to rule all the standard medical issues. As far as therapy goes, the same basic rules apply as in the best available adult forms of therapy for depression. With kids the environmental intervention component is even more important. let me get you a few information links. Do you know from your own experience what activation therapy is or the what the behavioral part of cognitive behaviaor therapy is?

Customer:

Not exactly. W

Customer:

When she was seeing the lady before, she was playing games with her. My daughter doesn't need someone to play a board game with her to figure out what her emotions are.

Duddy :

Ok. No problem. Take a look at this article on the component analysis of CBT: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behavioral_activation

Customer:

Right now?

Duddy :

It's up to you here's another link as well: http://www.christophermartell.com/ba.php

Duddy :

You can read it later I guess...

Duddy :

What I want you to get out this is that not only is activation the most important part of treatment for adult depression, but it's absolutely critical for kids too.

Duddy :

It's all about increasing positive, healthy age appropriate behavior by teaching it, shaping it and reinforcing it.

Customer:

I try to do that every day.

Customer:

I did read it though

Duddy :

What's up with dad? High parental involvement is really important when childhood depression is "diagnosed" or suspected.

Customer:

Yeah I know.

Duddy :

The father daughter bond is so important.

Customer:

He was previously married and has the 2 older daughter

Customer:

Ironicaly, they both majored in Physcology'

Customer:

I agree it's very important.

Duddy :

Is he too busy to do more fun stuff with her?

Customer:

When I tell him that Gab feels he doesn't love her, he sgrugs it off.

Customer:

Busy isn't really the word I would use.

Customer:

He golfs a great deal in the summe.

Duddy :

What's the best word?

Customer:

His idea of fun isn't hers and he won't budge.

Customer:

The word would be ...She's fine.

Customer:

When I says to him, Your re;lationship wtih the other two has been streeful for 15 years, do you ant this one to be that y=way too?

Customer:

I seriously need instant spell check

Duddy :

Would he not budge if he knew how important to her total health and development his increasing involvement is.

Customer:

He doesn't get it. I feel like even a hammer won't get it through to him.

Customer:

He might. But I'm not sure how to get him to know that

Customer:

I have tried reading books to him. Tellin what my Psychiatrist says.

Duddy :

Usually internal commitment is key to increased parenting. People need to actually know that they have a critical role and what it is before they can do it.

Customer:

My psychiatrist thinks he's a loon and I believe ass would come out if he could say it.

Customer:

So how do I get him to believe that?

Duddy :

Maybe if you went to a behaviorally trained child therapist who gives the clear facts about optimal depression-behavioral support he would by in.

Customer:

I haven't been able to find one here. And getting him to go is extrememly hard.

Duddy :

Sorry buy-in. I need a supercomputer spell checker too.

Customer:

He truly thinks there is nothing wrong with him yet his entire family is messed up.

Duddy :

Ok I have clearer sense of your situation than before. So now, what is the best single question I can answer for you today?

Customer:

How can I get thru to him how important this all is? That when she says "daddy doesn't love me" he see the significance of it? I am concerned she is depressed.

Duddy :

I'm not sure what your husband's resistance source is. It may be, form what you've implied something that requires a more than a question and answer service like this to provide you a seriously helpful answer. In most cases, if a parent is provided with a clear objective understanding of the problem and his needed role as a parent he or she will respond.

Customer:

My daughter is extremely smart and overly confident as people mention to me all the time. She was seeing a dr at Pine Rest, the wone who played the board games. I need some one who can handle her intelligence without treating her like she is 4

Customer:

SO how do I get passed his denial? Any pointers?

Duddy :

To give you any kind of reliable answer to that question I would need to have an equally clear understanding of the cause of his denial. Does he read? What kind of work does he do? What's his educational background?

Duddy :

Also what did the therapist say regarding Dad's role?

Customer:

He is HS educated. Owns his own business. he doesn't read except Golf Digest. His parents worked in factories. His dad never finished HS and his mom went until the fourth grade.

Customer:

By therapist are you referring to the one she saw or my psychaitrist?

Duddy :

Both I guess if there's input from them on this issue.

Customer:

I, on the other hand. have my BA in finance and french. My father was an attrney who died when I was 26 and my mom died when I was 14. He lost his father just last yar at 83.

Duddy :

Sorry to hear about your early losses. Thank you for the clarification re background.

Customer:

Mine believes he truly needs help. He is hte one who diagnosed me nad who I see for med checks. We have gotten quite close so to speak over the years. We laugh a lot together. Just my sense of humor i guess. He agrees with me that he doesn't do what he needs to do as a parent to either of his three daughters.

Duddy :

And the therapist?

Customer:

ones

Customer:

He is afraid to take a stand with his oldest one for fear they will stop having a relationship with him. Which has a foundatoin but let's grow up.l

Customer:

She didn't say anything.

Duddy :

Have you considered family counseling?

Customer:

FYI he has only 1 employee.

Duddy :

Ok.

Customer:

hahaha. Yes. He thinks we dont need it.

Customer:

My therapist retired 2 years ago, darn her. Best one in the world nad understood all the dynamics. Most therpists are poo pooers. He needs someone that will really hammer it home to him I think. and tell him to wake up! He doesn't get it from me.

Customer:

I have tried is quietly, loudly, etc. nothing works.

Duddy :

Sounds to me like you've tried everything you can. I'd suggest that you tell your husband that you talked to a professional Counselor today (me) who has worked for years as a residential treatment program developer and psychotherapist. That I strongly suggest he increase his parental involvement by reading and learning everything he can about childhood depression. I'd also get to your family doctor to seriously rule out a biological basis for your daughter's potential depression. If one exists not only will she get the right kind of treatment recommendations but you'll have even more to bring to your husband as evidence for his increased involvement......

Duddy :

Otherwise I can't provide you with "the" answer to your question regarding how to change your husband's parenting behavior.

Customer:

She was just in for a physical last week. How would the doctor know?

Duddy :

The doctor can usually do some basic screening as with adults by asking you and her questions. For example any appetite or sleep changes etc...The GP can also do blood work and medical testing to control for medical factors that can cause depression like symptoms. The GP can also refer to a specialist if there are suspected issues.

Customer:

Got it. So I guess I should go back to her pediatrian or at least talk to her on the phone, huh?

Duddy :

I think that's a good idea.

Customer:

OK. Thanks!

Customer:

BTW How did you get hte name Duddy?

Duddy :

And if dad doesn't get involved you can still work with a behaviorally or social learning based child therapist to get pro-health behaviors and reinforcement up for your daughter.

Customer:

Will do.

Duddy :

I chose my name - lol

Customer:

I wish I would have had that option! thanks much!

Duddy :

You're very welcome. I wish you and your family the very best.

Customer:

Thanks again!

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