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Please help wot do I do next?(7 Posts)
My ds who's almost 18 has been diagnosed with depression. He's been self harming, lost approx 5-6 stones in weight and still thinks he's fat, he's nearly 6 ft and now a 26-28in waist! He's not eating or sleeping properly, he's spending most of his time in his bedroom on his computer playing games or on twitter with his friends.
He's having counselling at school once a week and been seen by CAMHS who we are still waiting for counselling with. He's on anti depressants which they have now doubled in dose from 50mg -100mg but they aren't helping and the doctor has now given him anti anxiety tablets too which has made him 100 times worse. He's not eating at all or sleeping or interacting in any way with me. I only just about managed to get him to get out of his bed this morning to go to school. I even rang the school to check he'd actually got there & keep a close eye on him. He has come straight in from school tonight and got straight in his bed, he hasn't eaten any dinner & has said he's eaten out.
I'm at the end of my tether what do I do now someone please help me.
I would suggest maybe taking him off the med's, they tend to mask problems rather than solve them, and it doesn't sound like they're having positive effects either. Though consulting doctor first is probably best if you do. Its probably best not to try and get into deep conversations yet (unless he begins the topic) as this could make him feel more distant if he feels you're interfering, maybe try having conversations about his computer if possible as that seems his main interest, and try to build up a more relaxed relationship to make him more open to you, it will undoubtably take a long time, but just try to keep everything calm and don't highlight any problems just treat him like a 'normal' teenager where possible
also avoid any comments like 'don't you know how your making me feel' etc, just try to focus on positives when talking to him, and subtly mention positive things about his future/talents/looks/personality, as it sounds like self esteem could be an issue. As for the weight loss, if theres any food he likes (even unhealthy) try to make it available for now
could you persuade him to go on a holiday with you (if viable money and time wise), maybe a change of scenery could be positive to break some of the routine of life for him
also, depending on his personality, would encouraging him to get a part time job be practical? Maybe the focus and independance would be good for his self esteem, and make him feel he's doing more productive things in life
do you know if anything has triggered it all?
Also remember its not in any way your fault, a suprising amount of teenagers self harm for a bit, and will normally just grow out of it without any help etc, remember this is just a bad phase, the hormones will be making any situation worse. Remember you're an amazing mum and by that age he is almost an adult, its no reflection on what you have/haven't done, its just how he's dealing with life at this certain point. Just try not to make him feel you're treating him like a child or interfering, as that would make him more distant most likely. Is there any younger family member who could try speaking with him? Eg a cousin in their 20's ish who could get through to him who he might take advice from?
you could have a look at http://www.stem4.org.uk/self_harm This is a charity targeting early identification of self-harm (also depression and ). You are obviously well beyond the early stages, but there is some good practical advice - you may find some help there.
Also look at Young Minds I hope you can find some help.
WOAH! Please don't take Lia87's advice to just take him off his meds - some antidepressants have severe withdrawal effects and can make you very very poorly if you suddenly stop taking them without weaning off carefully. (Sorry Lia!) By all means go back to the GP and ask for different meds (there are hundreds of types and some will work differently for different people) and alternative therapies alongside - if what he's already trying isn't working, then keep pushing for different approaches until you can find something that works for him.
Hi there CEDAR 1969.I am also having similar problems with my son.He is 17 and has been self harming for 2 years. He has been on antidepressants but came off them as he did not want to take them anymore. It is only since he came off them that I realised they were doing some good if not solving the problem.He would shower and was easier to get up out of bed when he was on them.He is also seeing CAMHS and receiving some CBT.We have tried this before and had limited success.I too am at my wits end.I am trying to take the just be around and stop asking him questions approach but it is difficult.We are also having trouble getting him to college,he does no homework,which is a shame because he is a bright boy and I am sure the fact he does not engage fully with college makes him feel worse. Good Luck CEDAR 1969-you are not alone!
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