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Son (15) diagnosed with depression, prescribed sertraline

(11 Posts)
campingismyjam17 Fri 09-Mar-18 11:26:20

Hi, just looking for advice, similar experiences please.

He has been on 50 mg of sertraline since early Nov 2017. We are meant to go back each month because of his age to have an assessment. It has been very hard to get an appointment with the prescribing Dr, that suits both my work( I am a teacher on zero hours) and my son's study patterns. He is revising for GCSE's now and is doing a lot of tests, revision sessions after school.

Initially, he wasn't taking it properly. I would give it to him but not watch that he was taking it and once in between packets we missed a week because we couldn't get an appointment.

We had an assessment for CAMHS mid February and are waiting to hear if we will be offered anything. At this meeting, son disclosed that he had started self harming but I don't know if he still is as he won't talk about it. I know in the past he has had issues with how he looks. He was chubby but is now 6 foot and I feel on the skinny side. He is keen to join a gym but wants to wait until he is 16 to make full use of the weight lifting equipment. He walks around the house in just his pants and I can't see any marks but he could be cutting in his pants area which I would never see.
The person we saw at CAMHS did say that he needs to take the sertraline regularly. He is now taking it daily. He says he doesn't see a point , that it isn't making a difference but I don't know.I would say we are into our 3rd month of regular taking.

It's hard for me because I didn't even know he was depressed, he confided in his older sister. He has had suicidal thoughts and I was worried when he first started taking them as it did say it could make you feel suicidal. I know my pharmacist really well and had a long discussion with him initially and he said although not ideal because of his age (15) that he did think they would make him feel better.

I'm torn though, how long do you stay on them? How should he be beginning to feel? How do you decide to try something else? Can he have the dose increased once he is 16?

He is currently waiting to see a counsellor at school but he is on a waiting list. He got excluded for a day for defending himself in a fight. It was a proper throwing punches fight. He has a lot of anger and I think he wanted to get into a fight to get hurt because of the depression, he wanted to feel something as the counsellor said he was 'emotionally dead'.

I feel he was worse before, mood wise, as he used to say he felt hopeless, there was no point in doing anything, that he didn't want to be here for his 16th birthday, that he didn't think he would be here to do his GCSE's so hadn't thought about revising, but he has been going to revision sessions, doing homework, and recently got an 8 in a science test!
He also talks about the future, having children etc, getting a dog when he's older that sort of thing.
I think he has been bullied at school but he denies it. He does have friends, he goes out, he's well liked, he's interested in girls.
He is very tired though which from reading this board I now realise could be the sertraline. I think he also puts up a bit of a 'happy' front when at school which he finds draining. The counsellor he did see briefly said he has a dual personality, the school one and the home one and they are too far apart. She also said he was also emotionally weak and needed to work on his resilience.

I realise this is very long(apologies) but I just feel in a bit of a limbo as I want to help him as much as I can. I know there are help lines and I have tried phoning for a bit of support but I can never get through. My son has things he can assess too, is it Kootch? and other things. He does talk to his friends and it just seems like a lot of teenagers today are suffering which is very sad.

Any advice, experiences, gratefully received, thanks.

campingismyjam17 Fri 09-Mar-18 18:20:53

We now have a follow up appointment for CAMHS which I'm relieved about.

Littleguggi Fri 09-Mar-18 22:44:49

Some self-help info

Websites
Moodjuice
Young minds
Nspcc

Helpline numbers
Childline
Samaritans

Smartphone/ipad apps
SAM self help for anxiety
Daylio

Hope the CAMHS appt goes well.

campingismyjam17 Fri 09-Mar-18 23:03:44

Thank you, there's a few there I haven't heard of.

inchoccyheaven Mon 12-Mar-18 00:30:27

I too have a 15 yr old ds that has recently been prescribed sertaline too and im really hoping it will help balance his moods enough for him to attend his alternative curriculum he is on.
He has also been given sleeping tablets as his sleep is totally wrong way round which doesn't help at all. My son wont talk to me about how he feels and says he doesn't want anyone's help which i find very frustrating.
Did they say to keep knives etc locked away in case of self harm ? I am finding it difficult on a practical level to know how to do this as there are so 4 more people in the house that need access to them for cooking etc.

campingismyjam17 Mon 12-Mar-18 09:26:22

Yes, they did which I found really alarming. She also said to not leave him alone for too long and if he is in the shower for a long time go up there and hurry him along. He has his computer downstairs and has done for years so I have a rough idea of what he is doing and who he is talking to. What he does when in his bedroom is another thing.
I've googled the person he is meant to be seeing for his appointment. I found him on Linkedin, he's a mental health nurse specialising in eating disorders.Not sure why we are seeing him. I was worried about his weight as I now think he is super skinny but he has grown a lot. He is very concerned about his appearance but he is eating from what I can see and always appears to be hungry.
He will talk about general stuff but if I try to talk about other stuff he just closes down so I have no idea.

inchoccyheaven Mon 12-Mar-18 14:13:19

Tried to talk to my son last night as i told him to be in bed by 11.30 and about 12.30 i could hear him talking to someone. Went in his room and he was in bed but was chatting with headphones on to an online friend.
He was very hostile towards me and said not for the first time he doesnt love or particularly like me and that its only due to his online friends he is still alive. I try not to take it personally.
He says he doesn't want to live or cooperate with anything that might help as he doesnt care about a better life.
I am at a loss as to how i help him and am trying to take time off work to be home more in the hope its the tablets talking and he will slightly better in a few weeks.

How are you coping ?

campingismyjam17 Tue 13-Mar-18 19:08:58

I feel awful today, all I want to do is sleep. I am in the process of losing my job because of school cutbacks, I'm PPA cover in a lovely school I have been at for almost 2 years.
Son doesn't seem too bad but I just feel I'm on high alert all of the time, waiting for something to happen. That is probably why I am so tired. He is going to school which is good and doing some revision but I am not pressing him to do more than he feels he can.
Its hard and I feel really alone most of the time.
You sound like you are having a tough time of it.

inchoccyheaven Tue 13-Mar-18 21:23:19

The worry over your job definitely can't be helping you at all. Do you sleep properly ? It is tiring worrying about them all the time. It is good your son is still going to school and doing some revision. Does he know what he wants to do next?
My son did go to school today but only because I was there to get him up and he didn't have to leave until 11.
He also saw his camhs lady today for about hour and half and she did tell me she felt it was safe for me to go to work as she didn't think he would harm himself which is good.
I'm never sure what my son says is really how he feels or if he says stuff to push me as far as he can. He is incredibly secretive and seems fine if he is doing what he wants but otherwise either gets upset or angry which i sometimes think is just part of being a teenager...

Nippy45 Sat 09-Jun-18 15:02:56

Hi, I am new to this & looking for some more understanding to my 12 yr old daughters depression. I understand totally how you are feeling, & I too are waiting for the antidepressants to kick in. My daughter is on sertraline but they don't seem to be making much difference, so the psychiatrist from CAMHS will prob up the dose soon. My daughter hasn't been to school since end Feb this yr. She's just started getting home tutored. She seems ok with the teacher & her friends when they come over on a Friday. But then she goes back to her depressed self when there gone & won't speak to me! Is she just putting on an act with everyone else? Its so frustrating! confused

Emetaphobicteen Sat 09-Jun-18 21:55:22

My son is 15 and has a chronic fear of vomiting, anxiety and depression. He doesn’t attend school and doesn’t come out of his room, he says he just wants to die. Wants me sat with him literally all the time so have been signed off work 😞 I am so emotionally drained and not coping. Can anyone relate or give me some hope! Camhs are reluctant to give him any anti anxiety medications which is what we wanted for him, any experiences of this too??

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