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Supporting depressed teenagers - any advice?

(5 Posts)
plantlady Wed 17-Feb-16 15:32:02

DS is 16 and just started on medication for depression. He's in lower 6th doing A levels. Well I say 'doing'. he's often there in body rather than in mind but at least he's going to school. He says he needs the structure nad gives him something to do. However he rarely does any study outside lessons, often doesn't feel like it. At home he just plays on his computer or goes and sits in bed watching TV shows on his Ipod. He has even stopped reading books as that requires brain power which he doesn't have - in the past he has been a voracious reader. He's also given up any activity he used to do such as scouting or reading or climbing) and isn't interested in doing anything. Oh and I get told off about my parenting style, eg not taking him to the Doctors sooner to get assessed (he didn't want to go).

I get that there are times he doesn't feel like doing anything but on his good days (which are few) I try and encourage him (without success) to try and do some course work - if only to keep his teachers on side with his illness. What I don't get is that on his good days he still won't try and do anything. He seems to take delight in NOT exercising, not eating anything healthy and not engaging with the world (he also has Aspergers and has been diagnosed with anxiety). he basically doesn't care about very much at all.

How can I support and encourage him to do something other than his gaming, a bit of study etc? I'm sure we have an element of teenage rebellion meets mental health issues just to complicate matters. Any experience, suggestions of tactics that have worked would be greatly appreciated

Room101isWhereIUsedToLive Wed 17-Feb-16 15:41:08

Are there any support groups in the local area that he could attend?
On his good days, he probably has a 'fuck it' mindset going on. As in he might feel good that day but he knows the following day or the day after the he will be back to feeling bad So why bother just because he is having a good day?
A support group could help with this, as they will be able to encourage him, without coming across as nagging.
Most importantly be kind to him, depression sucks and my lack of support from my parents made it one hundred times worse.
Is he receiving counselling at all?

plantlady Wed 17-Feb-16 15:46:51

Yes forgot to mention he's having counselling. We see the CAMHS doctor for medication and clinical psychologist for counselling fortnightly - we seem to be up there most weeks at the moment.

Room101isWhereIUsedToLive Wed 17-Feb-16 16:51:03

If he has just started medication, then you need to give it about four to six weeks before it really kicks in. If it is effective for him, then that should help as soon as it does kick in properly.

twirlypen Wed 17-Feb-16 21:24:11

Have you tried young minds website and parent helpline? http://www.youngminds.org.uk/for_parents

Might have something that helps.

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