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  1. #1
    Senior Member Evolved zcat's Avatar
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    Default Homschool kid with mental health issues

    Dd (17) has always been homeschooled. She has been having problems that have been getting more severe so we are starting therapy and testing.

    One person asked multiple times if dd has always been homeschooled and why would we have done that to her. Why didn't we do something 10 years ago when x behavior started. We have been told by a couple of people that dd should just go to Sunday School and church (we are atheists). Another person told me that only children just always have more problems. So if my child was in school, went to church and had siblings she wouldn't need therapy. Dismissing a family history of mental illness, actual traumatic events and the fact that I don't have a time machine.

    This is a difficult process. Not feeling much support.
    Anyone else deal with something similar?
    mom to one awesome teen dd

  2. Global Village Forum Post - Dec2018
  3. #2

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    I'm so sorry that both of you have to deal with this.

    Both of my kids suffer from depression (very strong genetic link). DD also has OCD and anxiety disorder. They were both formally diagnosed either right before college or during college. However, for both, symptoms started around age 13 or 14.

    My son doesn't open up much about it, but my daughter has. Here is an argument for you against those who claim that church/school/siblings are an answer and homeschooling is not. My daughter feels that had she been in public school, she probably would have failed and/or quit. (One of her cousins did just that--very bright girl but had a difficult mental time,) Homeschooling allowed us to adjust courseload as needed. She took one or two dual credit courses per semester, and she stayed on top of those. But we could negotiate deadlines and such for the courses she did at home.

    Since her diagnosis, she goes to therapy and recently found some meds that seem to work. It's a long process. But she has still maintained good grades (deans list twice in 2 years, GPA high enough to keep scholarships). My son is not in therapy or on meds (still wanting to figure it out on his own), but manages to get close a 4.0. They've had some dark days at school, and negotiations with professors when assignments were missed. But they advocated for themselves and pulled themselves out of the "hole." One CAN be homeschooled, deal with mental problems, and STILL be successful.

    As a mom, I know it is frustrating when your child is hurting. Just be supportive and help find solutions with her. Slowly figure out, as she gets older and leaving the nest, how to steer her in the right directions.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward

    Daughter (22), a University of Iowa senior triple majoring in English with Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son (21), a Purdue University junior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  4. #3

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    Honestly, I think homeschooling helps our kids deal with their mental health in a better way then if they were in school. We tried public school and it did not work for our child. I hate to think what it would be like if we were still trying to force school to work.

    Like Carol says, it is hard to watch them suffer.

    I want to mention, if you are looking for a therapist for your child, make sure they are supportive of homeschooling. You don't want someone undermining you and any progress you may have made.
    A mama, who teaches college writing, as well as help her 10-year-old in
    choosing his own life adventure. Using Global Village School to support our desire to develop a sense of social justice and global awareness.
    I also share free and low-cost educational resources at
    http://chooseourownadventures.blogspot.com

  5. #4
    Senior Member Arrived TFZ's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to hear that. It's so easy to pass judgement when you're outside looking in. We're all just doing our best, and it's sad that other people don't see that. Hugs to you (even though I'm not a big hugger). I'm sure you have enough on your plate without others piling on their garbage.
    I'm a work-at-home mom to three, homeschool enthusiast, and avid planner fueled by lattes and Florida sunshine. My oldest is 6 and is a fircond grader (that's somewhere between first and second, naturally), my preschooler just told me she wants to learn how to read, and my toddler is a force of nature.

    I gather all kinds of secular homeschool resources and share them at TheHomeschoolResourceRoom.com.

  6. #5

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    Well I have always wished that I had a time machine and had homeschooled DS from the beginning. I find it extremely sad that a health professional would pass such judgement against someone else. Who the heck are they? Hang in there and know you are supported by us.
    Beth
    DS16 with ASD, DD12 and DS10

  7. #6
    Senior Member Evolved zcat's Avatar
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    I tried to write a reply the other day and it got eaten. Thanks for the replies and virtual hugs. It means a lot.
    Because dd's issues have caused her to socially isolate herself and not get involved in activities and she has struggled with some subjects it makes homeschooling look bad. I do think homeschooling is the best choice for her but it has made me unsure of some of my choices.
    I'm a bit concerned about if the therapist/dr's will be down on homeschooling or just unfamiliar. There are not many homeschoolers in our town.
    Comments about stuff like church, family size were from family and neighbor not the professional. I was disappointed and hurt with that response from family. Feel like we are on our own.
    mom to one awesome teen dd

  8. #7

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    It is so hard, either way. My daughter had what appeared to be anxiety and depression, while saying every doctor visit that she never felt rested when she woke in the morning. So, they gave her meds that would "help" her sleep. Well, no. Turns out after a year of not really getting better, that we had her do a sleep study and she has narcolepsy and needed stimulants to stay awake...she was dreaming and having anxiety when she woke up not knowing what was going on.

    And yes, well meaning doctors suggest that she go BACK to homeschooling....in fact we have a "partnership" school here for homeschooling and doctors are routinely suggesting kids go there (when the parents have no clue or desire to homeschool. Can't win. Don't blame us parents, of course we would have done differently if we had known.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Evolved zcat's Avatar
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    Just thought I'd come back and update.
    Dd has been seeing a therapist and I think that has been pretty positive. The therapist is cool about us homeschooling.
    Dd started medication in October. First she took mirtazapine and it was an improvement but she switched to risperidone in January and that has been better for bringing the depression, anxiety and anger to a manageable level. She smiles more and has more energy. Starting to test her comfort zone and get out a bit more.
    Educational progress has been slow during this time. She is almost 18. She doesn't really have career aspirations or a desire to go to college at this time. I guess we'll just encourage her to keep learning and get her GED and see what she wants to do then?
    mom to one awesome teen dd

  10. #9

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    So glad the medication is helping. If itís any consolation, I suffered from depression and anxiety in high school, and looking back, I wish my parents had considered homeschooling me. A lot of the triggers and stressors that made it unbearable at times were at school. I think teenage depression is especially rough, because teens havenít had the experience and time to develop their own coping mechanisms and perspective on life. Plus their brains need another several years of growth to have full executive function. They just donít have the physical equipment they need to deal with it. I remember many times during my high school years crying and feeling like a total mess, but my mom would just sit quietly by me, there to listen if I needed. I got irritated with her sometimes, but now I feel so grateful for her simple message: Iím here. So you are doing the most important thing you can: being there for her and showing you love her by trying to help her cope. Trust yourself and donít worry if learning has to be on a backburner while you and her work on these much more critical mental health issues.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by mwilde View Post
    So glad the medication is helping. If it’s any consolation, I suffered from depression and anxiety in high school, and looking back, I wish my parents had considered homeschooling me. A lot of the triggers and stressors that made it unbearable at times were at school. I think teenage depression is especially rough, because teens haven’t had the experience and time to develop their own coping mechanisms and perspective on life. Plus their brains need another several years of growth to have full executive function. They just don’t have the physical equipment they need to deal with it. I remember many times during my high school years crying and feeling like a total mess, but my mom would just sit quietly by me, there to listen if I needed. I got irritated with her sometimes, but now I feel so grateful for her simple message: I’m here. So you are doing the most important thing you can: being there for her and showing you love her by trying to help her cope. Trust yourself and don’t worry if learning has to be on a backburner while you and her work on these much more critical mental health issues.
    Mwilde, Thanks for posting this. My daughter is in college now, home on break this week. However, she's going through a tough time again with her depression. Last night I did exactly as your mother did--sat next to her and listened when she felt like talking. As a parent you want to fix it, but when it's chemically based, it's out of our control.
    Last edited by inmom; 03-11-2018 at 12:46 PM.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward

    Daughter (22), a University of Iowa senior triple majoring in English with Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son (21), a Purdue University junior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

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Homschool kid with mental health issues