Our ten year old daughter who has always been very intelligent, funny and happy, has begun in the past year to suffer from bouts of depression. She becomes quite sad and sometimes a little tearful and tells me, "mom I feel so sad but I don't know what is bothering me." We adopted her at birth and I believe she is beginning to process some grief/frustration at not getting responses from her birth mother when we write each year. We are very close and have a great communication pattern. There was one mention of considering suicide once when she was quite sad. This little girl is the life of the party everywhere she goes and she makes friends easily. She's extremely bright and tests in the 95-99th percentile in reading and language (I know we all think our children are brilliant.)
I don't feel she is trying to manipulate us. Could she be experiencing the early onset of puberty and fluctuating hormones? She is slightly heavy for her age and that does bother her, but we work with her on this and try to keep her active in soccer or volleyball and skiing. She is really beautiful though. Our home life is stable, a little hectic with a type A surgeon for dad, and strongly religious. I am a very involved stay at home mom. I'm terrified about these mood swings and am leaning toward seeing a child psychiatrist or psychologist. I know you hate hearing that but I have to feel like we have tried everything to help her overcome these feelings. She even prays that she will figure out what is bothering her. What can we do to help her?