To feel completely lost now over my teen son(238 Posts)
DS(14) is under CAMHS for depression and entirety. We've had a really rough year with him drinking, running away once, constant moodiness and attitude, missing school because he is refusing to go, swearing at us, breaking his phone in a temper.... lots more.
I'm at home today as I've had a meeting with school about his absences where we have been threatened with a fine and prosecution if he doesn't start going every day.
When I got home I checked my Instagram and noticed he was active about 3am.
I did something bad. I signed into his Instagram account and checked his messages. I know some will think this is wrong but I did it and am not about to get into a debate over whether I should be reading his messages.
He was messaging friends in the early hours of this morning saying he was drinking alcohol (no alcohol missing in the house so I don't know if this is true), taking my prescription drugs (I know this is true as I've checked my packs), sending pictures of our big kitchen knife saying he would hurt himself and talking about how it would feel to stab someone with it. There's also messages from the past few days about meeting up with friends and asking them to sneak vodka out of their houses in water bottles. There's explicit messages and images between him and some Instagram "star" who must be about 18?!?!
I feel like this is the last straw. I've fought and fought for the CAMHS referral but he won't engage with them so they keep telling me there isn't much they can do. I've talked to him, I've shouted, I've punished, I've cried, I've sat on the floor and sobbed. I don't know what to do. I don't know how to make this right, I don't know how to talk to him, I don't know how to fix him. I want to scoop him up and kiss him better whilst slapping him for being so.... I don't even know what the right word is.
Please please can someone help us??
Oh dear that sounds dreadful for both of you. Do you have support?
My friend had very good advice from Young Minds- someone called her back and talked for a good hour, if you haven’t tried them I do recommend that.
The stealing of prescription drugs and talking about using a knife is deeply disturbing. I would actually call CAMHs today to ask for urgent advice.
I do wish you strength and hope things improve.
I've tried the young minds parent helpline a few times today but haven't got through yet.
I'm scared that if I tell CAMHS he has stolen medication that social services will start to get involved.
Maybe social services need to be involved. You have done everything you can, you need support and they may just be able to provide it
CAMHS will take an urgent referral if you badger them
Nothing wrong with telling the truth to get your son the help he needs
Does he say why he doesn’t want to go to school etc? Bad crowd?
Would it be a bad thing if Social Services did get involved? It sounds like you genuinely need all the help you can get.
My DD has been under CAMHS for some years and they have generally been amazing, but sometimes you need to kick and cry and stamp your feet to get the right help.
I am so sorry you're going through this. You must be terrified. For a number of reasons that i really can't go into publically, i completely understand how you feel - please feel free to PM me if you like.
As hard as this is to read if you have read and have proof he wants to harm himself and others maybe it is worth looking into having him sectioned. It's not a nice thing to do but it means he is safe and he will getting the right care.
Because of his age I'm you can consent to him being taken in.
You seem to have done everything you truly can.
So I sat down with him and tried to talk through some of the stuff I had seen on his Instagram last night. He completely lost his temper, I have a bruised arm, a hole in my kitchen wall and then he ran away and we had to get the police out.
He ended up at a friends so went out and got him and the police came back to speak to him. He wouldn't engage with them at all which really annoyed the older policeman. They ended up physically removing from the house and speaking to him in the car. When they brought him back in they both said it's anxiety, I could see that myself from how much he was shaking to be honest. I had been sobbing in the kitchen after seeing them physically manhandle him out of the house.
We had planned to take him over to GP to give him some space but he wouldn't go. Our 9yo daughter then wouldn't sleep Cos she was scared of him after how physical he was when I tried to talk to him. DH took her down to his parents to spend the night there as she is on a training day today.
Let's see if he gets up for school. I need to ring CAMHS when I get a break from school today and see if we can bring his next appt forward as soon as possible.
Just go to a&e - better still call 999 and say it's a mental health crisis as most areas have a specific team and they can bypass a&e. It sounds like he needs to be sectioned for his own safety. My friend went through the process before Christmas and it's horrible but it's for their own good (my own dd has got as far as a&e but wasn't sectioned)
I agree that you need to take more urgent action.
I wish you all the best and to your son.
My 14 year old has OCD and possible ASD, and has so far refused to engage with CAMHS so I know a little of how hard it is when you can’t help someone. Not the same as your situation I know - I am not comparing it, but it is very very hard to watch someone damaging themselves. In my case my daughter spends hours and hours cocooned in her bedroom.
I am thinking of you and your son.
I would also ring 999 and tell them he is at risk of committing suicide.
poor you and poor him.
the fact hes behaving like an utter sod can sometimes obscure the fact that inside he is probably feeling like a very frightened child.
hard as it is - i know!- try to keep that in mind. forget school for now, he needs urgent mental health help. cahms should see you as an emergency - he can always be taken to a and e too.
make sure medicines, alcohol etc are hidden away.
if its possible, could you afford a private counsellor who specialises in teens?
take care of yourself- its horrendous for you.
you need a crisis team to intervene. here's link to what to do in a mental health crisis.
What you have described is an emergency. You need outside help
Poor you and poor him, it sounds awful. Agree that a&e is a good place to start (if you can get him there) as you can often access services much more quickly than through the usual channels.
I'm not sure I'd be sending him to school, or leaving him alone today, are you expected at work?
I have no experience but definitely let social services get involved, take all the help you can get because this isn't parenting, this is specialised help.
I do have teen boys and I tell them constantly that I love them and "stop" their fun because they are the most important people to me along with Dh and I will protect them from themselves.
He won't get out of bed this morning at all. I'm going to ring CAMHS and social services as soon as things start opening.
I'm expected at work but going to have to ring in and take holiday.
I asked him last night if he wanted to live somewhere else and he said yes. He's been telling friends that we aren't feeding him (?!?!?!) the kid eats more than a grown man!! This has got back to another parent who had informed school that he is sending extra lunches in with his kid for the poor underfed friend.
thats ok, dont worry about school.
try to keep your temper- keep with the same phrases: we love you and we're going to get you some support to feel better... try to ignore minor provocations.
hopefully cahms will help (i found them overwhelmed) - this might be a long process but he can get better.
If you would like one have a big hug from me. It’s so hard to have an unhappy teenager, it turns you inside out and affects your whole world.
Dd is 16 and very similar. I broke down on the phone to the school about a year ago and they sent an Early Help practioner, she saved me, dd, of course, refused to engage, but the support she gave me was invsluable,she made me feel safe and the safer I was made it easier to cope with dd.
I hope you find the support you need. This is not your fault and you will come through this.
I a so so sorry you are going though this hard time. You need to get as much help as possible. Do not be scared of getting SS involved. You need help as does your son. You cannot be the subject of violence. It has to stop. He needs help. And needs it quick. Call gp. Do not accept an appointment in a week tell them this is urgent. It is urgent. Your son is crying out for help and well not just change back to the boy you knew.
Good luck today.
Op it would be prudent tovhave copies photos of the messages that he is sending.
Social services are not to be feared, they will help your son and you however they can. They are not evil child snatchers, they will work hard to keep him and you safe and together.
You have probably tried everything, but have you tried re-parenting? So supporting him as if he were much younger, not babying him, but keeping him physically close, every now and again making gentle physical communication, a kiss on his head, a soft pat on his back. Using calm and loving tone saying things like 'i am here for you', 'i love you little one' nothing long, just create lots of little moments of sharing his space, supporting his space and putting love for him in his space. He will start to internalise those moments, adding them to how he feels about himself.
I hope that he gets good mental health support with medication, counselling and i would add to this and recommend art therapy.
Are you getting any support? Friends? Counselling for yourself?
I hope that things will get easier for your son and you.
Ps does he do any sport? Play the guitar? Watch comedy? These type of hobbies help to keep all of the happy chemicals and hormones topped up.
First of all I know how hard this can be the late teens can be awful and you seem to have hit it so early and you need to have all the hugs you can can get. It broke me and I can only imagine how you are feeling now.
I know he's not thinking straight right now, but where does he want to live? does he want you all to up sticks and move away? he's too young to move out if thats what he has in mind.
How are things at school? Its a bit extreme but would a change of school environment help?
I agree don't be afraid of SS they could be your saviour here and give you access to the help you need.
Very similar to my son (22 now and fine) at that age - I would try to check if he is smoking cannabis or using any other substances which could be exacerbating his mental health issues.
Oh cricket, sounds like you're doing the best you can but please contact social services. They will help you!
I'm in a similar situation with my 13yo DS minus the drink and drugs. He has Autism. Depression and Anxiety and threatens suicide regularly also refusing school and displays challenging behaviours. Having social services on our side has helped as they have fast tracked referrals to education services and mental health services plus giving me support and information for people in similar situations here so I know I'm not alone. They really do help!
If he's taken medication I'd take him to A&E or call 999, it could cause him serious harm (depending on what/how much he's taken obviously). You're not alone.
OP, this sounds awful for both of you.
You are working hard to get support for him, I think you need support you YOU too.
Is it possible that your own reactions are part of the cycle? Shouting, punishing, sobbing.... If he has anxiety his fear about your own reactions could fuel the next round. ( even though he had fuelled your reactions, of course)
Be totally calm. Tell him this is his home and you are there for him whatever.
Take his phone away over night. That means he can't message then, and will mean he should get more sleep and will be more reasonable.
Apart from that, keep trying the Young Minds helpline. I'd also tell your GP.
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