Saturday, January 28, 2012

Like Mother Like Daughter

I can't stop thinking about the phone call that I got Thursday morning and then listening to my 10 year-olds therapist tell me that she is depressed. But, I guess I shouldn't be so surprised.

My 10 year old daughter was diagnosed at 8 1/2 years old with ADHD. She has struggled all of her life socially. (She has been to 5 different daycare centers and 4 different schools, but has never managed to make meaningful friends.) In 2008, she had an anger outburst at school where she threatened to axe another child. Around Thanksgiving 2010, she started breaking out in hives that were induced by stress/anxiety. When I put it that way, I should be thankful she isn't being committed.

But, seriously, after her first outburst in 2008, I sought help for my child and started her in counseling. After she was diagnosed with ADHD, we tried medication, but it didn't work, there were too many side effects and not enough benefits. After her anxiety issues at Thanksgiving 2010, I put her in counseling again. About 6 months ago, her counselor released her from care and then, out of the blue, she starts asking classmates to bring her a knife or a gun so that she can kill herself.

Then, I discovered that as much as I have tried to protect my daughter from the bad things of this world, there is no way to protect her from me. Depression and anxiety disorders carries down through the generations. It seems to be not only environmental, but even biological.

Children of parents diagnosed with an anxiety disorder are up to seven times more likely to develop an anxiety disorder themselves.  Children of depressed parents, meanwhile, are two to three times as likely to develop depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

So, where does that leave my children? I suffer depression and anxiety. I am clinically diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Then, I go back and look at family history. I have a mother with "issues." She has never been clinically diagnosed, but my therapist once told me that she is likely bipolar. When I look at my daughter's family history, she has me and my mother, but then on her father's side, that grandmother is bipolar as well. Poor girl never stood a chance.

These sorts of things should be taught in home economics class long before kids even start thinking about kids. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE my daughter, but this kind of information would be very important in anyone's decision to have children.

No comments:

Post a Comment