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Aspergers .....teenager with depression

(13 Posts)
Butternutnut Sun 24-Mar-13 18:46:50

My 18 year old ds has recently told us he is depressed which he is now having treatment for. (Gp gave prozac , he has had counselling at college which he felt did not help at all) He has always been a bit 'different' and 'aspergersy' but as he appeared to be happy we didn't see any need to delve further as he is bright enough to have learnt to interact and has been taught to make eye contact etc.

He has a girlfriend and a small circle of friends (most of whom also are probably on the spectrum !). It isn't something we have ever discussed with him as is he does have AS he is on the lower end of the spectrum and I didn't see any benefit to him having a label, and didnt appear to have any problems....

However now it has emerged that he has been suffering with mild depression for 2 years at least (which he has hidden from us - how do you tell the difference between a normal teenage boy and a mildly depressed one? he didnt ahow any obv outward sign that rang alarm bells - i feel really crap for not noticing) but I now wonder if this is part of the cause and should we explore further? Would it help him?

Any advice gratefully received....he is about to sit A levels, is not getting good grades, it all seems to be falling apart just a few months before he is due to leave home........

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 24-Mar-13 21:21:44

Really haven't got any advice but didnt want your post to be unanswered.

Firstly you ae not crap for not noticing. I've had depression and had to tell everyone, including DH and my family, they were all incredulous.

If the counselling at college didnt help could you talk to the GP about CBT? That combined with the ads really turned me around.

Butternutnut Tue 26-Mar-13 23:09:50

Thx. J j j ....he is due to go back to docs next week will get him to ask about cbt .....feel better knowing you hid your depression & your nearest n dearest didn't notice either . Glad u r feeling better fingers crossed for my Ds before the exams start .....

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 27-Mar-13 06:38:49

Oh I do feel for him...and you. I am and always was Aspie like....and at your DS age, I also sank into a bad depression. I also had friends etc.

The only think that I remember making me better was lots of physical exercise and fresh air. For a year, I walked the dog daily.....long walks and it really helped me a lot.

I had to go back to do my A levels at college again but I did...and I was fine in the end.

Does DS have any exercise at all?

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 27-Mar-13 13:08:42

Agree, exercise is so important. Would he be willing to do something with you like swimming or walking?

Ineedmorepatience Wed 27-Mar-13 13:53:47

Would it be worth talking to him about the possibility of him having aspergers? some people who are undiagnosed worry about why they are different and putting a name to their differences can actually help.

There is a book called "Freaks, geeks and asperger syndrome" [terrible title] it was written by a 14yr old with Aspergers [Luke Jackson].

He talks about how he felt when he didnt know about his aspergers.

Good lucksmile

Butternutnut Thu 28-Mar-13 08:08:29

Nzmd and jjj - the night he told us I went into panic mode, started him on St. John's wort (which I take) , fish oils (still in cupboard from when he was a handful in earlier years - bit out of date but figured they wouldn't hurt) and asked him if he would consider going to the gym with a friend of his ( who I knew had asked him to go with him about a year ago) and he said he would . Gym induction done next day, direct debit form done, and he has been 6 times now (over 2 1/2 weeks) which is a miracle . The only exercise he was getting before that was walking his girlfriends dog a couple of times a week (massive beast of a dog so quite hard work !) not very sociable as not walking it with girlfriend so gym better....

Inp I will get that book thanks.

My dh is very reluctant to explore the possibility of AS as he thinks it could affect career prospects - not being aspie-like in itself as obv science world and IBM full of hugely successful aspie types- but actually being diagnosed with AS as if it had to be divulged on a job application it could count against you ?

Have found him a chemistry tutor to help him answer the questions n the manner required to get the marks (rather than answering in his own way which whilst always correct somehow manages not to meet the stringent mark schemes used by the robots/non chemistry people who mark the papers) which he seems to be pleased with, he likes the tutor and the tutor seems to have sussed out the exam issues. I can see it must be rather soul destroying to know you are a brain box (always high achiever with sod all work until this point - even reading fluently when he was 2 1/2 - not taught just spontaneous) but then getting relatively crap marks, fingers crossed all this will turn things around. I know the world won't end if he doesn't get into uni this year but I think it would knock him down even further. Mainly I want him happy and stable - I will be climbing the walls if he leaves home still depressed sad

Ok off to amazon now to order the book which I will read then leave lying around......

Butternutnut Thu 28-Mar-13 08:18:33

Went to order freaks geeks but spotted a book called 'all cats have aspergers syndrome' - my ds loves our 3 cats and he has loads of cat books amongst his book mountain (his bedroom is more of a walk in library) and so this one might be a bit more subtle. Looking at the guff I was interested to see that aspie kids can have over sensitive hearing - this has been an issue his whole life from hysterics due to fireworks/balloons as a toddler right up to regular WW3 in our house as he can't tolerate DD singing even if I can barely hear her because she is behind 2 closed doors ! (And she has a lovely voice)

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 28-Mar-13 12:21:33

Have no idea on the job front sorry. The only experience I have of Aspergers is my teenage godson. I know that he and his parents have had a great deal of support from a local Aspergers charity and they have been able to answer many questions that have cropped up over the years. Perhaps a charity like Autism.org.uk might be a good place to start?

So glad he is exercising with a friend too.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 28-Mar-13 13:52:20

Butternut the gym attendance sounds very positive as does the tutor. I've seen the Cats' book mentioned on MN before and it's meant to be very heart warming...he'll love it as it's a nice book for Aspies to read when they need to self affirm.

I understand the sound sensitivity only too well...a passing ambulance has me clutching my ears in pain and my DH regularly claps his hands once in a sharp fashion...which hurts like hell...not in a traditional "hurt" but in a AAAAAAHHHHHGGGG my head's going to pop fashion!

I can only tell you my own experiences and hope to give you some comfort re your DS in that way.

I was gifted and talented as a child...very advanced in certain subjects and FAR behind in others, now my obsession work is based around those things which I excelled at.

I, like your DS had very supportive parents who constantly confirmed to me that I was talented and that my quirks were due to those talents...as a result I grew much more confident in my early 20s and have gone on to do well in most aspects of life.

I have a lovely DH, 2 DC and a great (if poorly paid) career. Your DS has it ALL going for him and he'll shine...it sounds like he's on the right tracks.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 28-Mar-13 13:52:50

How many "I's" can one person fit into a post? hmm grin

24yearsandcounting Thu 11-Apr-13 15:13:47

stumbled across this thread whilst looking for something else. I have some experience of Aspergers in the workplace but couldn't pretend to be an expert. Maybe have a look at the NAS website http://www.autism.org.uk/ to see if there is anything there that can help. We've engaged their Prospects services for employees with Aspergers in the past and they've been very helpful

MadameSin Thu 11-Apr-13 18:25:12

Try reposting in Special Needs Teens section ... hopefully load more with experience on there. Good luck

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