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how to help my gay child’s depression?

Posted in Child Care on 1st January 2012

how to help my gay child’s depression?
my daughter told my she was gay when she was 14. but now she is 16 and is suffering from depression. I try to make her feel comfortable about being gay by asking her things i would if she wasn’t gay like asking if she has a gf or likes someone. but she tells me things like “i don’t think you would care” and she always assumes im disappointed and ashamed of her… well that’s what she says and its not true and i tell her its not true.

she lost a lot of weight and she barley is happy anymore. she use to love going shopping at the mall and to the movies with friends but now she wont even hang out with them. i work at her school (i worked there long before she entered high school and no one knows im her mom except a few friends) and i saw that she isn’t what she use to be. she use to love soccer, now she doesn’t even go outside.

she’s always sad. she refuses to go to counseling (im a counselor and she says “we’re all the same”) she wont let me or anyone help her, did any other parents have this situation, and how do I help her?

Best answer(s):

Answer by Joe
Just treat her as a human being, ask her things you’ll ask anyone that looks drepessed, don’t focus in her sex preference, try to support her without hustling her, try to find something you could do in family, so she can see she’s loved by her close ones.

Answer by Spunky Lexi
i would tell her that even though shes feeling this way, i wouldnt ask her about anything related to her love life, just try tonact the same way, or, ifvshe doesnt want to go to a councelor, call one and talk to them, explain your situation

Answer by sadie g
i am a gay woman and although this isn’t exactly what you’ll want to hear it is very typical of gay teens. Coming out so young is so hard because if she doesn’t have many or any gay friends you feel like your the only person in the world and getting to grips with your sexuality is one of the hardest things to go through at that age. Lesbian’s talking generally of course are known to be on the dramatic side locally known as “lesbian drama” in and out of relationships, getting a cat and moving in with a girl after a week, it’s a well known running joke.
She needs to meet other gay people so it sounds like it. I live in Brighton and there is a huge gay community here a very close one actually and for her to feel like she belongs somewhere is really important.

Having just read other’s comments i’d say definitely don’t steer away from talking about her sexuality it will make her think you are uncomfortable or ashamed. be as open as you can and as least patronizing as possible without the “lets sit down and talk about how you feel” method try and adopt the “hey lets go to gay pride together” – fyi it’s not a drug fueled rave pit, it’s actually a parade and celebration of the fight for equal rights so it would be good for you to both experience it and it will help educate you both…..
teenagers are a nightmare at the best of times, hormones, mood swings you know what i’m talking about but when you add who am i and why am i not like all my friends in to the equation it seems like the end of the world. i would say just try and be supportive and research websites that support young gay people also local LGBT groups could help… i hope this helps. – have faith she will come out the other end of this. we all do.

Answer by Karen Griffin
let her know you do care and make sure she knows you’re there for her,tell her you are not ashamed of her in any way and try and encourage her to to do the things she loves.

Answer by Gideon Jones
Unless she’s told you all this is because she is gay why would you think that has any bearing? Het kids act the same way.

Maybe she just needs a friend, someone who will take an interest, talk, things that she did before and for whatever reason cannot do right now.

Try to be there for her as best she will let you but don’t push to hard. It could be the kids at school are giving her jip or her friends from before are. It’s not easy being different.

Answer by Groundskeeper Willy
1st thing of note, sexual orientation like moral development does not solidify until a person is in their twenties.

I can relate to being a parent (as a counselor, asking your child to see a counselor).. It is hard. The depression may require medication, you know that. teen angst left unchecked can become depression. Having a teen ourselves with depression/ADD getting them to take medication is like pulling teeth, but eventually they notice a difference and change and learn when they take as directed their life is better.

On the sex thing, don’t push it one way or another at the age of 16, her concept of sexual orientation is not written in stone, (Read Kohlberg on Moral development) Although sexual orientation is not a moral issue, often children have concrete reasoning and tend toward self condemnation as peers may see it as averent.

Answer by Couplescoach
This must be incredibly scary and frustrating for you. Losing a lot of weight-not seeing friends, projecting negativity on you, lack of interest in normally interesting activities-these are big red flags when put together and you are right to be concerned and to take action. Don’t give up on showing caring just because she is filtering it through negative lens right now. I would make a doctor’s appointment-finding a woman, adolescent sexuality, lesbian recommended doc…and check for things that mimic or trigger depression (not to put her on meds-heavens NO-read Anatomy of an Epidemic by Whitaker if you need any further caution about psych medicating kids-but in case her thyroid is off kilter etc). Not eating enough or bulimia-this will limit clear thinking and mood stability.
Secondly, are there support groups at school for girls? These often totally rock having run some myself, I know from experience. You HAVE to prescreen people-
make sure they are not homophobic or heterosexist-whichever way you want to classify it. Is there a gay and lesbian center or queer center near enough you could go to and find out what there is-something fun or supportive?
Thirdly, google PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and get thee to a meeting. I imagine they can hook you up with positive support of your daughter’s life.

I remember the meanest girls in school-they can totally ruin your life. Even a best friend can turn against you. Or a teacher can make your life hell. What if you asked her how if she would ever recommend her school to other teens? Would she rather be homeschooled? Even if you can’t homeschool you could find out if her school sucks for her. Would she recommend that school as a place gay kids can feel safe? Sometimes if you ask about a third person-like what would you tell a kid transfering in who is lesbian-is this hell or what here?
She needs allies at school…people who she can confide in and get support from and who will stand up for her. Can you ask her teachers what they have noticed about her-if other teens have done anything or said anything that would give them clues about her. There is usually quite a gossip mill among teens that if you tapped into might tell you what happened in case something was added to her coming out struggle.
If she is not too depressed-she could answer for you-what she thinks she is here for-what is her dream so far? If she has a no future answer -consider her a suicidal risk-might be already. Get her in something she loves-horses, photography, something outside of school that will give her a life worth living…working at a soup kitchen-something meaningful. But for teens-the social thing is nearly everything-if that is haywire-the whole thing gets crashed.
Keep on keeping on!
Shannon
www.relationshipgardening.com