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MN Psychiatrist
MN Psychiatrist, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 792
Experience:  Physician for 17 years, adult psychiatrist for 13 years working with a wide variety of patients.
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My 15 yr old daughter is depressed. She doesnt know what is

Customer Question

My 15 yr old daughter is depressed. She doesn't know what is causing it as we live in a nice neighborhood, she goes to a great school, she can talk to me (her mom) about anything, she's just sad and cries for no reason. It's breaking my heart. Yesterday I took her to a non denominational church to join the youth group to get out and involved in something. She would prefer to stay in her room and listen to music and not meet or interact with friends. I started her on Vit B3 supplement and we're going to start a walking regimen in the neighborhood. What do you recommend?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  MN Psychiatrist replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I am a psychiatrist

It sounds like she is struggling with depression. Have you had her evaluated for depression?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes she is. I have not taken her to our GP for evaluation. I thought a therapist would help more. Are there lab tests that should be done to see if the cause is physical?

She started taking Vit B3 (Niacin) do you think this will help? What else do you reccomend?

Expert:  MN Psychiatrist replied 2 years ago.
Niacin likely won't do much. There is some evidence that fish oil might help - I'd suggest 1,000mg daily.

It would be worth it to have her vitamin D level checked, as well as her TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), vitamin B12, folate, and CBC (complete blood count). That said, the lab most likely to evidence her depression is having her serum cortisol levels checked; cortisol is a stress-related hormone that is elevated with depression. That said, cortisol levels are practically never checked because they are always high in depressed people - it's pointless for psychiatrists or other doctors to check to see if it's elevated when a patient is already saying they are depressed, because we already know it's going to be elevated; patients dislike giving blood for a lab result we already know is going to be abnormal. Checking her cortisol level might be worthwhile if your daughter were unable to communicate for whatever reason (autism, retardation, etc.) and you were unsure if she was depressed, but you didn't report that as being the case.

It's also well worth your while to see if her depression is related to the timing of her menstrual cycle.

Studies show that psychotherapy or medication can help depression, and that both are more effective than either option alone. Exercise can also help.

One last thought: While it sounds as though your daughter can speak freely to you, it might be worth it to specifically ask her if anything has happened to her - such as a rape - about which she may be fearful of speaking. I have seen an awful lot of teenagers and young women who have told me that their depression started after a rape (or something else traumatic) that they felt they couldn't talk about.

I hope this helps, and that she gets some relief soon.
MN Psychiatrist, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 792
Experience: Physician for 17 years, adult psychiatrist for 13 years working with a wide variety of patients.
MN Psychiatrist and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the advice on what labs to have drawn. She has an appointment for tomorrow am to see our GP.

I feel that she has depression that is not related to anything that has happened to her. I do not feel rape or any form of abuse has happened as she is never out of my sight except at school. The school is a small charter school with no crime or drugs and the teachers are strict and kind and the kids well supervised they don't have any alone time. She doesn't have a boyfriend and hasn't been around any boys except my neighbors kids when we all go to visit and eat dinner together.

She leads a very sheltered life although I try to encourage her to join clubs etc she is reluctant. Anywhere she goes I have to drive her so I'm always hanging around. She doesn't go to parties or dances but neither do her friends. I think she would tell me if anything traumatic had happened to her.

She started her period when she was almost 11 and she would get pre-menstrual depression, it has gotten worse and just doesn't go away. I went to visit her at school today for lunch to boost her up and let her know I care and I only made it worse as she cried when I gave her a hug and had to leave. I want to do the right thing and help her but I'm not sure of how to handle this.

I tried talking to my husband about this but he does not understand he thinks she is depressed because she likes to sleep late on the weekends and watch music videos on her computer and not get out and enjoy the great weather. So I invited her friend over and they seemed to have a good time but afterwards she said she would have been happier if her friend hadn't spent the day. Tonight I'm taking her to a church youth group for the first time, do you think I am doing the right thing forcing her to socialize?

Expert:  MN Psychiatrist replied 2 years ago.
I think it's fine to encourage her to do things with friends; often times depressed people don't want to initiate socializing, but will then have a good time if they go ahead and do so. That doesn't mean that she shouldn't ever be alone, but there's no harm in encouraging her to do things so she's not isolating herself.
Expert:  MN Psychiatrist replied 2 years ago.
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