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To Think Stepson needs therapy and a possible sectioning

(78 Posts)
Daviddaddy Mon 05-Jan-15 17:15:14

Im new here i know I'm a dad but i think thats okay. I have seen threads on here but have never been a member. I would like to thank you for taking your time to read this I'm very grateful for all advice.

I will give you are background i have too sons aged 16 and (14 almost 15) from a previous relationship with my wife, they live with us full time and spend 1 night away every three weeks with their mum. I have 1 stepson who lives with us full time as his father sadly passed away 5 years ago due to a car accident. I have two little twins aged 1.

Stepson has a number of what i suspect as mental health issue. I believe stepson has a drinking problem, liquor and wine have gone missing in recent months and i have disposed of all alcohol to prevent stepson getting any drink. My son has caught stepson drinking in the park and told me. I believe stepson suffers from anorexia his weight is just over 8st and he is 6ft we went on holiday over christmas and you can see his ribcage and hip bones and he looks really thin compared to my son who is the same age (roughly). I want to help him through this and he needs support we have tried the gp but he refuses to go.

Any advice please David

GlitzAndGigglesx Mon 05-Jan-15 17:18:32

Sectioning won't help a drinking problem for a start. He probably feels lack of support and needs help from you as his family. Sit him down and have a chat without flying off the handle and go from there

Nancy66 Mon 05-Jan-15 17:19:54

why on earth would he need sectioning? please don't let him hear you say anything like that.

Does he eat? Some teens can eat like a horse and still be super skinny

ilovesooty Mon 05-Jan-15 17:20:17

Is he 16 or 14?

Some intervention is probably necessary but I doubt if you are at all qualified to assess whether someone needs to be sectioned which is drastic. Your wife is his mother. What does she think?

Snowboarder777 Mon 05-Jan-15 17:24:03

I don't know. At that age I was also drinking in the park and view that as pretty normal teenage experimentation. It depends if he's drinking with friends or just sneaking off to find somewhere to drink alone.

Regarding his weight - I know lots of very 'ribby' beanpole type boys of that age. It wouldn't neccessarily point to a problem - even in comparison to your son. My two sons are built completely differently.

You don't say what you're doing to help him. They may be something but it's not really clear from the OP.

I'm not sure sectioning is a compassionate first course of action either. Imagine if this was your son... Would you want him sectioned? Or would you want to do everything you could to help him first?

Snowboarder777 Mon 05-Jan-15 17:24:49

There not they. Gah

Bean89 Mon 05-Jan-15 17:25:25

Sectioning?! Because a bit of booze has gone missing and he's thin?! Teenagers drink, often in parks, it's not like they can go to the pub. That doesn't mean it's right, it's just the way of the world.
As for his weight, you've not mentioned whether he eats or not, just that he's thinner than other boys his age. From what you've said you are massively overreacting, is there more to the story?

munchkinmaster Mon 05-Jan-15 17:26:39

Go easy on the op. I think he is trying to say his stepson may be dangerously underweight and he wonders if he needs inpatient care to keep him safe.

Op, chances are unless he is really dangerously underweight treatment at home is the norm. Don't scare him with sectioning.

I have no idea what 8 stones at 6 ft means

I am wondering:
What does he eat/exercise.
Does he restrict food?
Is he happy with his body?
Is he happy in general?
What do he and his mum think?
Is he drinking more than the average 15 year old? I'm serious drinking in park pretty normal at this age

notagainffffffffs Mon 05-Jan-15 17:28:51

He sounds like a normal 16 yr old to me. You sound like you want him out of the picture?

psyandsoc Mon 05-Jan-15 17:30:25

You sound desperate. I think the idea of trying to sit him down in a non confrontational way would be a good idea to start. 8stone is light but how old is he? would he be willing to engage with the gp if he agrees there are any problems. Mind will be able to offer further suggestions if there are problems not just for him but for you as a family. It sounds nice that you care but gently and patiently although I can that is difficult.

Vycount Mon 05-Jan-15 17:31:36

A normal 16 year old? Are you fucking serious?

Nancy66 Mon 05-Jan-15 17:32:29

How long have you and your wife been together?

Just reread your thread and see that your two sons live with you plus the baby twins - that's a lot of new people for him to share his mum with.

nocoolnamesleft Mon 05-Jan-15 17:33:26

Sorry, but how old is your stepson? Hard to tell if he's just underweight or extremely underweight without knowing that.

Loveleopardprint Mon 05-Jan-15 17:36:23

Bit of harsh posting on here. I read this as OP is concerned about his stepson and wants advice not shooting down.
What does his mum think?
Have you spoken to school tutors?
Is he actually eating?
Does he exercise too much?
He may be drinking to fit in with peers. I think we all did this at some point.
We need more information to help you productively.

ghostyslovesheep Mon 05-Jan-15 17:36:47

he probably needs some support and space to talk - his dad died 5 years ago and suddenly he has a new dad, twin baby siblings and 2 brothers! That is a lot

also you don't say how old he is

what does his mum say when you talk to her about it?

what is your relationship like with him - can you talk privately and gently to him about your worries

more info needed - but I doubt he needs sectioning hmm

monkeytroubles Mon 05-Jan-15 17:37:54

OP I work in children's mental health. There seem to be two separate issues here, your stepsons drinking and the fact that you feel he is underweight. Based on the (admittedly limited) information in your post it does not sound as though he needs to be in hospital. It is normal for teenagers to want to experiment with alcohol but if his drinking is having a negative impact on his day to day functioning (his ability to attend school for example) and his relationships then it might be a problem. In terms of his weight, does he seem to be overly preoccupied with weight or body image? Does he miss meals or significantly restrict his food intake? Has he lost a lot of weight or has he always been very slim? Some people are naturally very slim despite eating a normal amount. If you are concerned you or his Mother can go and see the GP for advice even if he won't attend with you. The charity Young Minds also has a website with some excellent advice for parents and a parents helpline you can call to speak to someone about your concerns in confidence.

Hatespiders Mon 05-Jan-15 17:45:37

I'm not suggesting you're not a very good stepdad. and you're obviously concerned about your stepson. But you have little twins and two teenagers who are brothers. This lad is on his own. His dad died when he was about 11 or so. I wonder if he feels sad and a bit on the outside of things? In my experience of children, the most important things they need are affection, communication, love, time and understanding. You need to get emotionally close with this unhappy lad and not go round policing his drinking/eating, no matter how worried they make you. I imagine you're as busy as anything with your household and it's hard to find time/space, but love and affection especially for him will help enormously.
No health professional would even entertain for one minute the idea of sectioning the boy. That's positively Draconian.
Love and more love is the answer.

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Mon 05-Jan-15 17:51:56

It's very harsh to assume that he wants his stepson out of the way, what has the op posted to make you jump come to this conclusion? confused

Hi David. You must really care to take the time to post on here. Moneytroubles has some very good advice. It's normal for teenagers to experiment with alcohol, but if it's causing a negative effect on his life and you think he's becoming dependent, it's wise to seek advice. The charity that moneytroubles has mentioned is very good. Sectioning him is extreme. He's still technically a child and this would do more harm then good, but I get that you want to help him. Please do give the charity a call.

CatCushion Mon 05-Jan-15 17:56:24

Putting the approximate numbers into a rough n ready online BMI calculator comes up with a BMI of around 15. Yes, that's a low enough weight to be of concern. Now, this should be adjusted for the lad's age and practitioners like to see patients regularly to see a 'trend' of weight loss/gain/maintenence.

As someone else has said, it is likely that treatment will be needed at home.

As someone else said too, with you, your two sons and now twin babies in the house, he has had a lot of changes to accept. A lot of new people to share his life, and his mum with. This all on top of his father dying. How much time a week does he get to spend alone with his mum?

hackmum Mon 05-Jan-15 17:56:51

That is very significantly underweight - I've just done the calculation and his BMI is 15.2.

I don't know what to suggest, sorry. Try and see his GP without him? Don't know if that would achieve anything. I don't think you'd be able to section him and not at all sure it would be a good idea.

HelloItsStillMeFell Mon 05-Jan-15 17:57:58

What does his mother think?

he does sound extremely, worrying underweight, but as he is still young he may fill out later. Kids can be very skinny.

why do you think he needs sectioning? Drinking in the park is not a sign of mental illness in teenagers, but it may be that he is a deeply unhappy and rudderless las who is struggling with who knows what problems (the loss of his dad, his possible eating disorder, feeling outnumbered in his own home, who knows?) and he drinks in the park to cope, or to fit in.

How is his relationship with you, his mother, and both your boys?

HelloItsStillMeFell Mon 05-Jan-15 17:58:24

lad not las!

Haffdonga Mon 05-Jan-15 17:59:30

I'd be worried if I were you too. I know a lad who at the same age with very similar sounding problems extremely serious anorexia, drug and alcohol problems. He has since recovered greatly after being treated for depression and managing to stick at a college course.

What his mum did was this- could you persuade DSS to visit the GP for any other issue (anything he might be worried about - acne or headaches or whatever)? Phone the GP before he attends to express your concern about his weight and hopefully the GP will be able to weigh and assess his mental health with a chat about his diet and health as part of his overall examination for the other issue.

Of course you wont be party to any conversation DSS has with his GP, but it could allow DSS an opportunity to open up.

Is your dss showing signs of depression? What else does he do?

stargirl1701 Mon 05-Jan-15 18:00:57

Are you in the UK or US, OP? Attitudes to alcohol are very, very different.

MissYamabuki Mon 05-Jan-15 18:01:20

That gives a bmi of 15 for a young adult. So yes, your son is underweight, and it's probably v noticeable.

I know anorexics can be admitted to special units, under medical care and with intensive psychological therapy, for months at a time. Is that what you mean by sectioning? Has your DSS been to see his GP regarding his weight and general health? Does he restrict his food intake?

These are serious issues and you're right to be concerned. No idea why you're getting a hard time here, sorry

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