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DS 13 Mental Health issues:What to say
Old 01-09-2019, 04:46 PM
  #1

Hello everyone! Sorry that I have been away for awhile. I really missed being on PT and I hope that you don’t mind that I am asking for advice.

My DS (13) Dubba (who made me a Dubbamom) is definitely having some mental health issues. He is depressed far beyond what an 8th grader should be. He sleeps a lot, has no appetite, and has lost interest in things he loves, like playing soccer.

His guidance counselor has been excellent and has contacted us and met with us in person. We are in the process of getting an outside counseling and get a physical with his pediatrician. We are also meeting with his teachers as his grades have dropped.

In the meantime, DH and I are at a loss of what to do/say on a daily basis. Some days he talks to us but mostly he lays in his bed or takes multiple showers. His response to everything is “I don’t care”. “Leave me alone” is another favorite response. He already knows that home is a safe place for him to express his emotions with no judgement, and we have acknowledged that his feelings are real and this is not just a phase.

I’d love to get some advice on what to say and do for him during this time. Thanks for any advice you can give!


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mental health
Old 01-09-2019, 05:14 PM
  #2

My adult sons both needed to go on anti depressants when they were young teens. One was in the hospital for suicidal ideation. The meds works great for both of them. Neither one is on meds as adults. Anti depressants take a while to kick in. I know medication is not a first choice for anyone, but they can be a lifesaver when prescribed as needed.
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Old 01-09-2019, 05:34 PM
  #3

I'm sorry you're dealing with this. My daughter is the same age and it is rough. I can't imagine trying to be a teen in today's world. It was bad enough for us without everything they have now. She went through major anxiety attacks last year. She's still battling it to some extent bit it's better. I have anxiety as well so not really shocking. I took her to counseling for a while then she didn't want to go anymore and seemed to be coping better. She got on melatonin for sleep because she was having major sleep disturbances. She gets tons of exercise from playing volleyball and soccer but was still unable to sleep or stay asleep.

It's hard to know what to say or not say. I just tried to tell her about my battles with anxiety and coping strategies. I also talked a lot with her about the difficulties of that age and my own experiences at that age so she wouldn't feel alone. That helped her open up and share some thimgs with me, but it might not work for all kids.

Medication is always an option but in her case our doctor thought other methods would be better. I would push if I felt they really needed it though. There's no reason to be miserable with anxiety or depression when there are treatments. Hugs!!

Last edited by Claire; 01-09-2019 at 05:59 PM..
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Hugs to you
Old 01-09-2019, 05:48 PM
  #4

DS was 19 when he had to be hospitalized for suicidal thoughts. The things we were told to do is
- not to keep asking him how he was feeling, just let him know that we would listen if he needed to talk.
-keep inviting him to do things with us, but not go over the top annoying him
-there were many, many things we had to do around the house to keep him safe until the bed opened up in the facility (PM me if you want those if you think he is having suicidal thoughts)

NAMI is an excellent website and resource. Hugs to your whole family- This really does affect everyone in the family and I'd recommend seeing a counselor yourself or with him to get ideas of how to address his depression.
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Old 01-09-2019, 05:55 PM
  #5

Listening when he wants to talk is very good advice. I would not make any conversation a conversation about myself when talking to him.Sending you best wishes for a return to good health for your son. Has any professional suggested tips for online use for your son?


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Keep Asking
Old 01-09-2019, 06:17 PM
  #6

I think a big part of showing him you are there for him is to keep asking. Keep acknowledging him, asking how he is, asking what he is up to, etc. it’s a sign of not giving up...even when you feel at a loss for what to do!

Other posters have great advice and it seems as though you are taking all the right steps to help your son get back on the right path.
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:50 PM
  #7

We have a daughter, now 19, who started showing symptoms at 11 and was diagnosed with bipolar at 14 after incorrectly being diagnosed with anxiety and depression and a little later major depressive disorder. With her bipolar she seemed to spend most of her time in depressive episodes.

I think Momteachsis gave you excellent advice on all counts! I second contacting your local NAMI chapter. You can also go to their board online. Psych Central is another excellent resource.

Please know that you can PM me anytime! I will be happy to empathize and help in any way that I can.

Nancy
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Been there, too.
Old 01-10-2019, 12:43 PM
  #8

First of all (((Dubbamom)))! None of this is your fault! You didn't mention that you think it is, but we moms tend to "go there".

You have been given some excellent advice. I agree that you should consider a call to your local NAMI chapter. They were invaluable to my family - just to let us know we were not alone, and to help us learn survival skills.

Also, just continue to "be there". Let him know you are open to communicate, but don't force the issue to the point of aggravation.

We dealt with severe depression, and a psychotic episode with our DS at age 17. He actually spent 2 weeks in a mental health hospital while his meds were balancing. Admitting him into that hospital was one of the hardest things I have ever done as a mom.

Just some encouragement, he is now 29, and doing well. I still worry if I see any "signs", and we did have a few bumps in the road getting to this point, but all is well. Know you are in my thoughts and prayers!!
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