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Homesick

Question:

My daughter is depressed, so she says, and crying for no reason. I think she is homesick as we are really close. I do not want her to be treated with drugs of any kind, but what else can be done?

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Answer:

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p>It is going to be very difficult to answer your question as there is very little information that has been provided about your daughter. Therefore, I will have to make several assumptions. For example, I will assume that she is a teenager and that she is either attending a college away from home for the first time or she is in the army and away from home for the first time or she is working far away from home for the first time.

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p>One of the things that can make the teenage years difficult for many young people is coping with separation anxiety. While younsters want to go away to college many find it a jarring experience to be at at school and far away for the first time. This is why so many of them do so poorly during the first and second semesters.

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p>There are a number of strategies that can help in making the adjustment to being away for the first time:

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p>1. They need to know that they can visit home whenever they want or need to.

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p>2. They need to bring familiar things with them from home such as their favorite pictures, music and even stuffed animals.

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p>3. They need to know that they an call as frequently as is needed until they make the adjustment.

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p>4. They need to know from their parents that their sadness is normal and should diminish as they make friends at school. They need to be encouraged to make friends by becoming involved in college activities.

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p>5. Most college campuses have a counselling department staffed by social workers and psychologists. They provide brief psychotherapy for students in order to help them adjust and succeed in college. Frequently, there are psychiatrists who can and sometimes do prescribe medications depending on the severety of the depression.

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p>However, it is important to emphasize that, if they cannot make the adjustment, they should return home. There are those youngsters who become so very depressed that they think about suicide. This is not a minor issue. Every year there are a disturbing number of teenage suicides on the High School and College levels. That is why I would not dismiss the idea of medication and therapy for you daughter. When you consider the fact that many youngsters turn to anorexia and bulimia as ways to dull the emotional pain they experience it brings home the fact that student emotional problems are very real and to be taken very seriously.

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