17 year old teenager diagnosed with depression, also self harms and has attempted suicide twice, can anyone relate?(12 Posts)
I've just joined this site hoping that someone might be in a similar situation and could possibly offer some advice. My 17 year old teenager has been suffering from depression for about 2 years now. Currently taking anti depressants and self harms, has taken 2 overdoses this year. As a parent I'm at a loss as to what to do or how to handle it, any advice?
My huge sympathies. I know something of this though, in our case, we didn't really know what was going on at the time. Take some consolation from the fact that you're all too aware of what's happening to your DS.
Honestly, your love for him, however trying it must be at times, is sustaining him. Hold on in there and get the very, very best support and practical help that you can. Does your DS have good support? Do you? Do you have other DCs? Does your DS work or he is studying? Perhaps he has an interest, or the glimmer of one, that can be slowly explored until something good resonates for him.
Being a teenager is very tricky and parenting one can be damn hard work. You're in a particularly difficult position and I'm really hoping that there are robust support systems for you both.
And a warm welcome to MN. It's been a wonderful support of support and virtual friendship for me over a number of years.
Thank you so much for your message. I have only just noticed your reply. After I posted this I realised there was a section specifically for mental health so I posted there also and have had great support so far.
I'm not sure what a ds or dc is? Apologies, I only joined the site yesterday and I am not familiar with the terminology as yet. It is my daughter that has these issues and she is currently in college, she has also just got a part time job - these are things that I'm hoping are going to keep her distracted. That said, the last time she took tablets as an overdose attempt was just a week ago. She has been taking anti depressants for over a year now and was an in patient at the local mental hospital at the beginning. She has been attending therapy sessions for a year, it was 2-3 times a week at first but this has reduced to once every couple of months and I suspect she is not attending some appointments at all.
Do you mention you have a teen with these issues? How did you handle it once it came to light what was happening?
DS is dear son and DC dear Children.
Sorry you are going through this. No advise to offer, sounds incredibly stressful. Atleast it sounds like she is getting support. I found out a few weeks ago that my DS 13 has been self harming and hearing voices telling him to do bad things to himself, as a parent it is dreadful. they are still out babies after all.
It has been extremely stressful, more so in the beginning I think as it was such a shock that any of it was happening. I'm sorry to hear about your DS 13, my daughter also heard voices at the start, it was incredibly scary as I wasn't sure if she had completely lost her mind. I guess it's been hard to decifer what is part and parcel of normal teenage angst and what is related to the depression. It doesn't help when they psychiatrists deem her not to be a risk to herself after she has taken overdoses - I don't know how they can possiby come to that conclusion.
Does your DS 13 get his wounds checked? My daughter's were checked weekly at her visits to the hospital.
This is very new territory for me. So far DS cuts have been superficial, I hope there will not be scaring. We have had 1 CAHMS appointment and the conclusion was that his dad is to blame and he has not MH issues, As much as his father is a prick ( I have another thread on relationships) I not sure cutting and hearing voices is normal, but I am open to what they think.
You said you DD has taken a overdose, were these a real attempt to take he life or a cry for help do you think.
I hope also that there will be no scarring for your DS, my DD cuts are quite deep and extremely visible, scars for life I fear.
It's really hard to say whether these attempts she has made are cries for help or otherwise. Teenagers are generally quite dramatic and attention seeking however this is extreme and I feel its far from normal. The average person wouldn't reach for the tablets for little or no reason as the potential damage to liver etc can be quite severe. I felt like I was losing motivation to deal with it all which is something that I can't let happen - so came on here and I'm starting to feel re-motivated again.
If it's all new territory for you, it will take a while to get your head round what is actually happening. What is the way forward for you? Do they have suggestions as to what treatment they are recommending?
Yes removing his asshole of a dad seriously it is very sad we can only hope that is a phase that with help and support they will get over. I think any MH is very difficult to understand. Do you have RL support teen ?
RL is real life ie in your day to day life. It took me a while to get used to all the initials. (Click on 'Acronyms' at the bottom of your MN page.)
My story is that one of my DCs did untold harm to himself, under our roof but we didn't realise the full extent - and things got worse. Unfortunately, he was too old for CAHMS and was dealt with by adult MH services which were really ropey. I think he'd have fared much, much better with CAHMS. At some point, we had a carer's assessment - a statutory obligation on the service's part - it could have been a really useful and proactive thing but with this service, it wasn't particularly.
Make sure you find out all that you can about support for you and anyone else your daughter lives with. In the hands of a good service, a carer's assessment, if you're eligible for one, could be beneficial on all sorts of levels.
You must be very worried about your DC's health - and I understand what you mean when you say you were loosing motivation at one point but it certainly helped me to know that I was by no means alone and, incidentally, to read of good outcomes even following a lot of pain, on these threads.
I suffered from depression at 19, a little older than your dd. At the time, when you are in it, it seems like it is impossible to imagine being better, life being normal let alone good, but have confidence that your dd can and will get over it.
You can help by showing her you care (which I'm sure you do anyway); ensuring she gets appropriate medical care (anti-depressants, counselling, whatever - though be aware that some counsellors are crap and not all ADs work for everyone and all take a few weeks to start being effective); ensuring her basic physical needs are being met so her body/brain can help to heal themselves, eg trying to ensure she eats highly nutritious food and vitamins, gets exercise and daylight (even if it's the last thing she feels like) and sleep if possible; and try to remove stresses from her life. Teens' lives are so much more stressful now, I think, than they were in our day - stresses about grades, money, jobs, appearance, cyber-bullying etc. I have no idea what underlying factor/s are behind your dd's depression but there will be some, and it will help her if she can work out what they are and get things in perspective. That's unlikely to happen suddenly, in an 'aha' moment - more of a gradual straightening-out of her head.
Looking back, I don't view my depression negatively or as an aberration - it was a natural result of the stresses I was under and forced me to sort things out and get things in perspective. So try to view even this stage as a 'positive' one in the sense that your dd can move on from this in a stronger and better way.
Oh, and very very important, don't forget to look after yourself, too - enough food, sleep, exercise, talking, relaxing etc as well - as you also need support now too, to be able to support your dd effectively.
My daughter was self harming and I was in bits but as a dad I was last too know! But once I then talked to her is was about insecurity she now lives with me be cause the mum had told her things!!!! Now all my children want to move in,I moved out because I was always centre of the argument I did nothing right! Now she helps harmers.
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