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??
I wonder whether SS could refer you to family therapy so that you get support to support him, iyswim.
He sounds vulnerable rather than bad. Taking your tablets and drink as self medication.
I would feel very lost in your situation OP, I am in no way meaning to blame you.
I have direct experience of this too op.
Today you need to:
Lock away all medication in a locked robust box or cupboard - keep they key on you and safe
Through out all alcohol - everything
Hide every single knife/scissors/ sharp instruments in a place he def won’t find them. Replace your knives for now with plastic
Walk around the house and make sure it is safe.
Ropes/ string bin them.
Lock up razors and check for nail scissors etc
You need to do a thorough check of his room - under bed/mattress. Every single corner and make sure he has nothing in there to hurt himself.
This may seem extreme, but given his behaviour your house needs to be safe. Whilst you are accessing SS and CAHMS, an urgent app with your GP is also a good idea.
If you have a dp or dh they need to also take time off. He needs all the support he can get, and it sounds like he might be hitting rock bottom if he can’t get out of bed.
If he does manage it, take him out for breakfast, a run, whatever he wants to do - something anything that will take his mind off what is happening.
He has every chance of getting better, he has you, and you are doing a great job, and you are doing all the right thing.
Don’t worry about prosecution, keep all letters and should it come to it, you can show the court what is happened. He is not well enough to go to school, so don’t worry. Call the school and tell them what has happened. Once all the agencies are involved, the school should be much more understanding.
Thinking of you op. Get some support yourself 💐 you are not alone
cricketmum, I'm going through very similar with dd, 14.
She's had anxiety and depression for almost a year, which has developed into hearing voices, cutting and overdosing. The last time she was in hospital a couple of weeks ago there were two other kids on the ward with similar problems which shows how common it is. In fact I'd go so far as to say there's an epidemic of mental health problems among teens at the moment.
We already go to cahms three times a week but she's not really engaging and has asked to be admitted to a psychiatric unit. That's not certain though and there's talk of therapeutic foster care instead.
One thing I have learned from cahms is the need to keep all medication, sharp objects such as razors, scissors and even cleaning products and belts - anthing that could be used as a ligature - locked away and to be extremely vigilant.
I don't let her have her phone at night. I monitor it, and make no apologies for doing so.
I know the aggression is horrible but underneath is probably a terrified little boy.
for you because it's so hard for us parents.
Cross post with springwalk on the safety precautions...
No advice really but loads of sympathy. The only thing I thought of was would you be able to get him drug tested?
We are on it with the safety precautions. All alcohol, medications, sharp objects, pretty much anything he could harm himself with are locked in the garage overnight and I take the key to bed with me. I don't sleep so there's no chance of him sneaking in. We've started taking his phone and tablet away. He had one of those gradual wake up alarms on his phone which was actually helping with the getting up in time on a morning but it's more important that he isn't messaging on the middle of the night!
CAMHS opens at 9. Just off to ring SS now.
Thank you so much for all the support x
Do you have anyone you could turn to for help? Maybe a grandparent, aunt or uncle that he has a good relationship with?
He's ruined his relationship with pretty much everyone. Even my mum (who has always been totally blind to any bad behaviour) has said she won't have him.
Those people can there for you though even if they can’t be there for him directly, they can give you strength and support indirectly supporting all of you. Some people simply don’t understand at all.
You only really know how bad things can be if you have experienced it.
Soon you will lots of support, once you have the right agencies on board. Good luck with the calls 💐💐
How awful for all of you. I also think reparenting sounds like a good tool to use. I’ve read about it but have no direct experience and understand it can be very powerful.
OP my DS attempted suicide at 15 and was admitted to an inpatient unit as the psychs didn't think we could keep him safe at home. You need an emergency assessment for him today. Take him to A&E and tell them he is an immediate risk to himself and you, if CAMHS won't sort this for you. I'm so sorry you are in this position.
I agree with PP that you've reached a crisis point.
I think calling CAHMS and SS is a courageous decision and definitely the right one. You need to consider not only the support and needs of your DS but also of your DD, DH and yourself.
I would also contact the pastoral care team at the school and tell them everything you've told us. Everyone working together is the best way forward.
Have you considered pulling him out of school and homeschooling him? This sounds like a clear case of school is torture for this poor boy. No exams are worth more than his mental health. Have a look at the home ed UK fb site. It's full of people with children who suffered and reacted exactly like this and their kids have changed completely once they leave school. He needs a break and then he can take control of his own learning again. It's not an easy decision because school qualifications are so ingrained in our society but I promise you there can be success without attending school and GCSE can still be taken. His school refusal speaks volumes and you should really listen to him and what he's saying through this. I really hope you get through this and he is ok.
So sorry OP I don’t have any advice other than what PPs have said but for you. It’s shocking the number of MH issues in teens, what sort of world are we creating for ourselves and our kids? 😢
You have had some really good advice on this thread OP.
I agree that getting other agencies involved is good. You can't shoulder all of this alone.
The only thing I would add would be that if there is any chance at all of getting him away, far away, from his current environment, somewhere close to nature and away from social media, that could make a difference.
@jade19 you cant just have people sectioned on a whim, It is a complex process
We are going through this at present with a family member - much loved teenager.
All the same problems of getting help and support hold good for us too.
I have no magic wand, but just wanted to say hang on in there and receive a hug from me. x
Social services were a bit useless. They said that they would just refer me back to CAMHS and that there is no additional support they can offer but "they hope it gets better soon".
CAMHS are getting their duty counsellor to call me back in the next hour, am hoping and pushing for a home visit as I still can't get him out of bed. I've taken him a sandwich and some cake up but he wouldn't speak to me.
Really emotionally well-adjusted mature adults, struggle to express themselves when they are low - so being a hormone-filled bewildered 14 yr old boy must be a zillion times harder.
It does sound like the bad behaviour is him 'acting out' - so try to see it as a symptom for now.
I hope you are getting some support -
People may ask if there was a trigger for his down-turn, there may or may not be. Let him know that he can tell you anything - he might prefer to text or email than speak face to face. Assure him he's not alone, he's loved and he'll get better.
If Cahms aren't satisfactory, look up private counselling if pos.
Whilst it's thoroughly frustrating when your teen won't/can't/doesn't appear to engage with the help and support offered to them I would still take the path of being truthful with any agency involved. The best chance of being offered the right help is by being totally honest with what you're dealing with. It can feel like a betrayal of trust with your son but, ultimately, it's you being the parent and advocate for someone is simply isn't capable at this time.
Keep shouting OP.
At least you can shout on his behalf because he is under 18.
My son was over 18 so nobody would listen or talk to me.
Why are you apologetic for checking your CHILDS phone? Don't be, hows about no phone for a while!
Echoing the poster who said take him to A and E. Whatever the issue is, he’s now a danger to everyone in your house and you need urgent help.
Sorry, x-posted. I feel for you. Take care of yourself, I remember days like these, and it is quite devastating. Lean on your friends too. They will want to support you.
My heart aches for you, and for him. As others have said, inside this raging, aggressive almost-man is a tiny, frightened child.
I can' offer any suggestion to help, but I didn't want to read and run. Is there anyone giving you support? You must be spiritually, mentally and physically exhausted.
Do you have any other children? They will need a lot of live and reassurance if you do, but this may make your son feel even more isolated - I think he may be behaving like this to test the depth of your love for him Perhaps he's trying to force you into a situation where you wash your hands of him and then he can justify his behaviour to himself ("See - I knew you didn't care!")
It's a truly awful situation to be in. Do you know if anything concrete happened to precipitate this? Or has it been gradual and insidious?
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