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DS wants anti D's but DH very against

(38 Posts)
itwillbebetter Mon 08-Jun-15 20:13:15

DS15 has been suffering for the last year with anxiety and now depression. He has self harmed and had suicidal thoughts, although these were fleeting. He has been seen by an adolescent psychiatrist (we went privately through the priory) and referred for CBT. He has had 3 sessions and feels he is getting nowhere. I know that we are in this for the long haul but he is sure that this is not the thing for him.

He is very intelligent and researches everything. When he is able to speak about his feelings he is very eloquent and able to objectively describe how he is feeling and acting. When he is low or anxious though he cannot communicate at all. Most of his anxiety is social and academic. He is a real high flyer and puts immense pressure on himself. He explains that he feels like his brain is in hyper mode, he over thinks every situation and over analyses everything. He is constantly worried about friendships and finds it exhausting because he monitors everything he and his friends say or do. He says all he wants to do is switch his brain off for a while because he cannot deal with it whirling so fast.
He has lost all passion for any of his previous hobbies. He looks tired and has lost his appetite. I can see that his eyes look 'flat'. I have suffered from anxiety and depression for most of my life and I recognise that he is teetering on the big black hole of despair.

He wants to take anti d's. He knows of the side effects but maintains the possible side effects would be better than living the half life that he has at the moment. He is starting to miss a lot of school, jeopardizing all the hard work that he has previously done. He used to have plans, he so wanted to do a degree and was really driven, now he can't be bothered.

I would agree to him trying anti d's, albeit we have to first get them prescribed. DH, who has never suffered with MH problems though, is adamant that they are the slippery slope to addiction, that he will turn to them if ever his life gets tough and need them as a crutch. He maintains we should explore every other option first.

Ds admits that he now wants the quick fix. And selfishly so do I. I am exhausted with worry. It is always me that is called into school to pick him up, or talk him out of the toilets when he is having a melt down. He has very publically had meltdowns in the school playground and everyone is aware of his self harming. I am ashamed to admit that I am both humiliated and feel guilty.
We have another younger DS who struggles with a life long condition and it means that I have very little sleep, I am up every couple of hours through the night and often in hospital with him. As a family we are under so much stress I think we are all at breaking point. I also suffer from fibromyalgia, my pain is constant and not under control. I am scared that my selfishness in wanting DS's problems fixed by him taking a pill is clouding my judgement. I am exhausted with mental worry and want it all to go away.
Sorry for the essay, I guess I am just asking for any views on teenagers taking anti d's or any other solutions that we could consider. flowers

catlovingdoctor Mon 08-Jun-15 20:15:44

I think if there's medical need then he certainly should if he feels okay with taking them. Who is your husband to dictate how bad your son's depression is and whether medication is the right answer or not? If a doctor will prescribe them and it gives your son some respite then in my opinion they should be a valid option.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SoldierBear Tue 09-Jun-15 18:30:40

What is wrong with needing a crutch if you have a broken leg?
It is the same with anti depressants. They can provide the support that helps you cope a little better with life .
There is no shame in having depression: It is an illness.

If your DS needs help, he should be able to get it. And many anti depressants are not addictive.

Tbh your DH seems very unsympathetic and this cannot help your DS.

imjustahead Tue 09-Jun-15 18:34:55

trouble is getting them might not be easy for you as only psychiatrists can prescribe to children. ok if you can find a private one though.

I do know of some under 18s having propranolol for anxiety.

Has the therapist suggested seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist?

KnitFastDieWarm Tue 09-Jun-15 18:37:10

Your Dh clearly has zero understanding of a) what depression is or b) how modern antidepressants actually work angry please, for the love of God, let your child have the medication they need. At 15 I'd feel they are old enough to decide for themselves anyway.

And send your Dh over to the mind website to educate himself.
Sorry to be harsh, but as someone who who has had depression since puberty and would be dead without proper medication, my heart aches reading your description of the poor kid's symptoms sad

KnitFastDieWarm Tue 09-Jun-15 18:40:11

Oh, and SSRIs aren't addictive. They are prescribed very sparingly to under 18s anyway but your son sounds like a likely candidate as he sound like he's currently in the middle of a major depressive episode. Please, please impress on your Dh that this is not the same as 'feeling a bit blue' and the meds are not a cure all - rather, they should help lift his mood enough to engage with cbt properly.

itwillbebetter Tue 09-Jun-15 22:09:41

Just to clarify, he has seen a psychiatrist, who at that point about 6 weeks ago, thought it was social anxiety and referred him for cbt. He scored very low on the depression questionnaire and we thought that just cbt would be helpful. The depression now seems to have appeared v quickly in the last week. For all the money we are paying privately we are finding no back up in getting help outside of scheduled appointment times. I am going to jump up and down tomorrow to get the psychiatrist on the phone.
My plan of action is to discuss anti d's alongside cbt. DH would not stop this, he is just fearful. He has said that if we are told there is a medical need then he will go along with it.
We both just want to see the light back on in our boy's eyes.
Please someone tell me their child has got over this, it's heartbreaking sad

imjustahead Tue 09-Jun-15 22:15:09

i expect it will get better op. jump up and down. alot. my dd is just 13 and the light is out too sad

I do understand how awful it is, and how hard it is to get the right help. I have been waiting for 5 months now for help.
I have learnt that it isn't always easy to pick up on the scoring for the depression. It's a vicious circle where one brings on the other, and my dd has both anxiety and depression. If CBT isn't getting you anywhere, then surely a combo of both could be the way forward. xx

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Athenaviolet Tue 09-Jun-15 22:33:49

He needs an assessment for asd before he is given any treatments, cbt or ssris.

Lots in your post point to that so it really needs to be rules out first.

Also if he's only had depressive symptoms for 1 week he doesn't meet the diagnostic criteria for depression anyway.

At 15 he is old enough to make his own medical decisions so neither you nor dh should be pressurising him either way. You and the professionals should be giving him lots of information from different sources about the pros and cons of different treatments and give him space to decide for himself.

Personally I don't like giving any growing DC any not absolutely necessary medications ie I wouldn't consider ssris unless he was suicidal. But that's just me. I can see the other side of the argument too.

ClaraM Tue 09-Jun-15 22:34:54

My dd1 is 16 and takes Sertraline primarily for OCD but also anxiety. Prescribed via CAMHS and a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist told me that brain scans have been taken before and after the use of anti ds, which show the brain pathways before as like a barren tree and after like a tree in full bloom. I certainly feel the change in dd has been dramatic, she is happier, calmer and much more able to concentrate. I feel this is first down to the medication, then the CBT - apparently CBT is often more effective when combined with appropriate medication.

Frenchmustard7 Tue 09-Jun-15 22:36:38

What about getting some 5-htp from Amazon. Read the reviews.

ClaraM Tue 09-Jun-15 22:38:33

Just to add, dd was only prescribed medication as a last resort as her mental health had reached a crisis. She also has an ASD diagnosis, and I did wonder about this in regard to your ds. There are certainly contraindications about these medications in young people.

ashtrayheart Tue 09-Jun-15 22:42:25

My ds (16) takes citalopram for OCD and anxiety, he is also on the autistic spectrum. He also sees a psychologist (through Camhs) weekly, so we are lucky in that respect.
He seems less agitated even after a month on a low dose. Sometimes it's the right course of action to use medication.

itwillbebetter Tue 09-Jun-15 22:48:26

Interesting about ASD as DS himself has just voiced this. I can't see it at all though. He is empathetic, imaginative, gets on well with adults and younger children . Doesn't have obsessions etc. I'm sure that ASD is far more complex than that and I apologise if I offend anyone in my ignorance. Can you tell me what has jumped out from my post that has rung alarm bells?

passthewineplz Tue 09-Jun-15 22:55:23

It might be more anxiety he is suffering from. Beta blockers I think are more commonly prescribed for teens.

It's really good that he's recognised he has an issue, and wants some help. I've suffered with depression and anxiety from about the same age, and only over the last four years have admitted that I've a problem and seeker help.

Anti d's certainly aren't a quick fix, I'm been taking some for 7 weeks and still not on top of things.

This site is really good for explaining things to your dh

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 09-Jun-15 23:10:43

I have no experience of this but is he taking or has he taken Roaccutane for acne by any chance?

Athenaviolet Tue 09-Jun-15 23:18:29

Anxiety (common in asd)

Very intelligent and researches everything (this sounds like an asd obsession)

Eloquent (asd often = excellent language/vocab, just not communications)

Objectively describes (asd person more likely to come across as rational/objective rather than emotional)

Cannot communicate at all (classic asd)

Most of his anxiety is social and academic (asd DCs can be very conscientious about school work and social anxiety is key sign)

Worried about friendships (friendship difficulties are highly likely in asd)

Finds it exhausting (asd people often find social situations, including school, much more draining that NTs, they need chill time at the end of the day/at weekends)

Lost passion for previous hobbies (were these 'special interests'?)

Eyes look flat (lack of facial expression is a sign of asd)

Starting to miss a lot of school (it is common for high functioning asd/aspies to be academically very able but drop out of school/end up with a string of unfinished Uni courses/degrees)

Self harming (you aren't specific but is this a type of stimming?)

Meltdown (this is the term used to describe asd 'tantrum' type outbursts that can be similar to panic attacks)

In such a short OP I wouldn't expect so many asd traits to be described by someone who thought their DC was on the spectrum. The fact that there are so many in a post where you weren't even thinking about it rings huge 'alarm' bells for me.

Tbh if you have a long history of depression/anxiety and fibro I'd look into you doing some self tests too as asd runs in families.

ashtrayheart Tue 09-Jun-15 23:19:03

Ds's dr wouldn't prescribe beta blockers. I take them for anxiety though and find them very helpful.
Op, I wouldn't like to say whether your ds shows autistic traits but I can say my ds is able to show empathy and relates better to adults and children than to peers of his own age. His social difficulties were part of his diagnosis as he struggles with social interaction, but mainly with his own age group.

Athenaviolet Tue 09-Jun-15 23:23:44

Also from your other post

He is empathetic, imaginative, gets on well with adults and younger children . Doesn't have obsessions etc

It's a myth aspies aren't empathetic, they just often can't communicate it well. 'Imaginative'- you'd have to look more into detail with this, lots of creative types are aspies. Getting on with adults and younger kids as opposed to peers is another sign of asd. 'Obsessions' can be 'normal' hobbies/interests, they aren't always 'geeky' things like bus timetables etc.

itwillbebetter Tue 09-Jun-15 23:24:36

Thanks for all the replies, I'm so exhausted I can't seem to reply to them all!
I've tried 5htp and it made me feel crap so I don't want to try it with .him.
He hasn't taken roaccutane.
We haven't been referred to Camhs, we are funding privately through the priory.
Thank you for the links/ advice etc. I'm sorry for those going through the same, feels like I haven't taken a deep breath in a year. I'm holding my breath lurching from one crisis to the other flowers

Canyouforgiveher Tue 09-Jun-15 23:29:40

My dd age 15 is on anti-Ds - after a few years of therapy did absolutely nothing to help. Her prescribing psychiatrist had the aim of pushing her depression (and anxiety) into remission. Now that her depression has lifted because of the antiDs, she is finally able to open up in therapy and get some use out of it. It was impossible beforehand. Also self-harming gone. Basically we medicated to get her to functionality. She wasn't functioning. We let her go off them last summer because she wanted to and because we didn't want her on meds anyway. Let's just say the result wasn't pretty and I bitterly regret what it did to the start of her school year - it affected the whole year. She felt they were doing nothing for her - as it turns out she was right because she wasn't on a high enough dose. On a higher dose, she is fine with them because they are working.

I say this as someone who before this happened would have been theoretically completely against medicating for MH in adolescents.

that he will turn to them if ever his life gets tough and need them as a crutch

THis struck me because this is exactly what I hope my dd will do - turn to medication and therapy when her life becomes "tough" - as in unbearable.

I will also say that while all those symptoms listed by Athenaviolet could well be evidence of ASD/spectrum and this is definitely worth considering, they were also almost all symptoms experienced by my dd and she is definitely not on the spectrum - they were indicative of adolescent depression which often presents differently to that in adults.

itwillbebetter Tue 09-Jun-15 23:40:36


Yes when you list them like that I see what you mean! However these are all descriptions that only fit him at the moment, in the midst of depression. These are not typical behaviours of him pre-depression. His eyes look flat now because the light has temporarily gone out, he has facial expressions . No 'special interests' just photography. No stimming. No behavioural issues at all that have been flagged up. The psychiatrist dismissed asd when we had our first assessment I think, but I'll certainly double check - thank you

itwillbebetter Tue 09-Jun-15 23:49:09


So sorry you and you're dd are going through this too. Are you able to say what medication she takes?

I'm wondering if anyone knows whether adolescent depression is likely to reoccur through life as other forms of depression? I'm just hoping I suppose that this is caused by the 'perfect storm' of hormones, exam pressure and general teenage angst and is not indicative of a general life long problem?

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