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DS 12 talking about killing himself

(47 Posts)
schroeder Mon 18-Jul-11 20:07:41

DS is not a confident boy, he says he has no friends at school and everyone hates him.

It seems to me he doesn't even try, but it's hard to tell what really goes on at secondary school.

I am going to have to have a word with his form teacher before the end of term, but when I've talked to him before he hasn't had any concerns.

I don't know what to think really is it just hormonal attention seeking or should I be taking it more seriously?

thisisyesterday Mon 18-Jul-11 20:09:26

i would take it seriously. even if he doesn't really want to kill himself and is just saying it to get attention that's bad enough... he's trying to tell you something is wrong, so i would take it very seriously.

so, what would he like to do about the school/friend situation? move schools? is he being bullied? maybe he has some solutions to the problem?

NanaNina Mon 18-Jul-11 20:12:05

I certainly think you should take this seriously, especially if he is talking of killing himself. Have you thought that he might be being bullied, as this sounds quite likely from what you say. It doesn't sound like attention seeking to me, quite the opposite. What do you mean when you say "he doesn't even try" - how did he get on at primary school - have these problems only emerged since secondary school? Have there been problems in his childhood or is this all completely new.

schroeder Mon 18-Jul-11 20:23:41

No it's not new, it's been getting worse since he was about 7-8, but he's never been brimming with confidence. He used to have boys round for tea and he would go to them, but the invites dwindled over the years.

I have tried to get him to join clubs/learn an instrument/join a football team all to no avail.

He gives up very easily at every thing he does right down to making his sandwiches; he will make a half hearted effort, then throw things down and shout and say he's useless and so on.

The reason I have my doubts as to whether he's trying with people at school is because sometimes we see someone he knows and they say hello, he just ignores them; puts his head down and mumbles.

He's a lovely funny intelligent boy who can do things when he tries, he does the most amazing sleight of hand magic tricks, but he only shows them in the family and has banned me from telling anyone he even does them.

He can be melodramatic and always has been, which is why my first reaction is to play things down I suppose.

thisisyesterday Mon 18-Jul-11 21:13:41

i would take him to the doctor.

do you think he has any kind of special needs and maybe that's why he struggles socially (ds1 finds it very hard making/keeping friends, he has asperger's)
ds1 also won't talk to people outside of school because he compartmentalises his life to such a great extent. it totally throws him if he sees someone where they aren't "meant" to be ((school friends in the supermarket for example) and he just cannot deal with that so he puts his head down and ignores them.

it sounds like he must be pretty unhappy sad

cestlavielife Tue 19-Jul-11 14:01:06

call youngminds
www.youngminds.org.uk/ for advice

Maryz Tue 19-Jul-11 14:04:56

You need to take it seriously. ds was like this at 6/7/8, he was eventually diagnosed as having Aspergers. He has suffereed from depression all his life sad. He was refused medication (they don't like giving a/d's to children), and then started self-medicating with both legal and illegal drugs at 12.

His best actually did commit suicide when they were 15 sad.

Go and talk to the gp, talk to the school as well - they should be listening to you and he should be referred to the appropriate psych systems (CAHMS I think).

I wish I had pushed for treatment for ds earlier.

Please take it seriously. My SOL's DS, also twelve, tried to hang himself a few weeks ago. Only the timely appearance of his mother as he jumped off the bed with a rope around his neck saved him. He is now receiving treament from CAMHS.
Young people with suicidal ideation are often found in clusters and it is truly scary how many young people are so desperately unhappy they consider suicide preferable to thir lives.

schroeder Tue 19-Jul-11 14:37:06

I rang youngminds this morning. They are arranging a call back.

DS's problems seem to centre on school, so it's a good thing term is coming to an end. This will give us some breathing space.

I am trying to get through to his form teacher, without any luck so far.

I really am loathe to go through the GP as he already thinks he is 'weird' and has 'mental health problems' we try to tell him this isn't true (and I don't believe it is). If we took him to the GP to try and get a referral, this would just, in his mind, prove that he was right or at least that we (his parents) thought he was weird too IYKWIM.

I really don't think he is on the autistic spectrum, I have read up on it a bit and his personality just does not seem to fit.

Has anyone any ideas as to helping him make friends? I have tried to get him to join football/karate clubs and so on, but he protests and will not go.

Lancelottie Tue 19-Jul-11 14:50:14

Look, is there any chance you could investigate a change of school? We diddled around for ages over this one with DS2 (also saying he wanted to die), thinking, well, he'd only take the same problems with him to a new place, but the new school has frankly been a godsend. Just enough kids were nosy kind enough to come and 'look after' the new boy for him to feel a lot less alone, and now he seems to be making real friends and to like himself a lot more.

He's happier than we've seen him since (similarly) around 7 or 8, which is when his early, sort-of friends started to drift off into different groups.

Lancelottie Tue 19-Jul-11 14:52:50

I think we need a handbook on 'The Non-Footballing Boy and How to Socialise Him'. It seems to be such a big deal if you don't like football.

Yup, my son also was furious at going to the doctor (who took it seriously enough for immediate referral to CAMHS, if that tells you anything), but anything is surely better than letting things just fester.

thisisyesterday Tue 19-Jul-11 14:53:39

"he already thinks he is 'weird' and has 'mental health problems' we try to tell him this isn't true (and I don't believe it is)"

so maybe you should listen to him?
I know you are just trying to make him feel better and make it all ok, but by dismissing his fears and concerns you are basically telling him that there is nothing wrong and that he is wrong to think there is

that may be partly why he has upped the ante and is saying he wants to kill himself... because up unitl now you have basically been telling him he is wrong, there is nothing wrong with him etc etc

why don't you ask him what he wants to do? he needs you to take this seriously, he needs to see that you are concerned for him and that you want to do something about it.
a trip to the doctor's will show him that yo're listening, that you're worried and that you're trying to help him.

schroeder Tue 19-Jul-11 15:17:15

I've spoken to his form teacher who was taken aback by the sound of it. He says ds has 2 particular friends in form who he talks and shock laughs with.

He is going to speak to the student support officer (or something) and see if he has observed ds at break time.

I feel a bit better, thing is ds always said he had no friends at primary school, but I could see people talking to him and playing football with him ( he does like football, just doesn't want to join a club).

I'm still worried about him of course; He is still very unhappy.sad

Maryz Tue 19-Jul-11 15:57:38

The thing is, that if he is saying this then he does have issues, whether he is perceived as weird, or whether he has convinced himself he has mental health issues or not. You have to deal with what he is telling you.

Which in my opinion means going to the gp, and asking for referral for counselling. I think it is important that he sees you taking him seriously and doing something, whatever that may be.

I wish I had listened to my gut feeling with ds more. Because he had friends, because he played sport, because he seemed fine in school, I put it to the back of my mind a bit. He would say he was unhappy, but seemed ok a lot of the time. What I didn't realise was the inside he was screaming sad, he felt weird, he felt out of place, he was finding the teenage relationships and school harder and harder all the time. He sank slowly into depression and anxiety, and although I suggested to my gp that we should maybe go down the medication route, I was told I was taking it too seriously, and that school thought he was doing well.

Which is why he turned to drugs to hide the pain of his life, and now it's too late. I don't think (particularly after his friend hung himself), he will ever recover.

schroeder Tue 19-Jul-11 16:21:02

I'm really sorry you have had such a horrible experience maryz, but I'm not at all sure that it would be right for me to talk to the GP when ds is so set against it.

I will talk to the young minds mental health professional when they call me back and see what they think. And the Student support officer too.

Maryz Tue 19-Jul-11 16:29:25

Just do keep an eye. I had no idea what was going on in his head (I still don't really), but I do regret not doing enough.

Hopefully him realising that you are listening and sympathetic will help him smile.

schroeder Tue 19-Jul-11 16:44:48

I'm not being judgey (I know! unusual on here), but how was your ds able to get and take drugs and alcohol without you knowing?

I just can't imagine how that can happen <naive country bumpkin>

BerylOfLaughs Tue 19-Jul-11 16:51:00

I see you've had some good advice already but just wanted to add another voice to say please take this very seriously indeed. In 6 years he will likely move out of home and then your opportunity to help him is greatly diminished. Talk talk talk and listen listen listen.

Maryz Tue 19-Jul-11 17:29:57

Oh, we knew, but couldn't stop him. At the age of 13 he could just walk out of the house, hit anyone who stood in his way, smash windows and doors to escape and basically do as he liked. Social services wouldn't intervene (because we were caring parents shock), his behaviour at the time wasn't bad enough hmm to get the police involved, it was just awful. By the time he was 15 he was out of school and running wild.

Even police won't bring kids of that age home, if they go missing, not after the first time, they are classed as habitual runaways sad. He used to sleep in the woods, crash at friends houses, tell parents all sorts of lies.

He had a few friends who he managed to hook up with who were similar to him, and they sort of fed off each other. One had an older brother who provided some of the gear (he is now dead). One of the girls had a card and ordered stuff of the internet (she is now in a secure mental health unit). At the time head shops were a real problem in Dublin, and they used God knows what from them.

And of course, once they get into that scene there is a never-ending number of dodgy characters who will give them money or drugs for a bit of running, if not more.

Ultiimately when things go wrong for teenagers, they can go very wrong very quickly.

I'm of course not saying this will happen to you. But in the end most of ds's problems began with anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts at a very young age. I suspect if we could get him to a doctor now they might diagnose bipolar or schitzophrenia, though with the drug mix he uses they wouldn't want to diagnose anything.

madmouse Tue 19-Jul-11 19:24:11

He is really just a child and although it is good to listen to him, 12 is really too young to let him decide not to go to the doctor as he is too young to understand all implications. He really needs you to make decisions for him. There is no need to take him, you can go talk to the GP without him. A friend of mine did this, she even arranged with her dh to do something distracting so her dd never knew she went.

Also, you can't say that his personality does not fit autism/Aspergers. There is no stereotypical profile of someone on the AS. Few people would guess my DH has it as he does not tick all the boxed. Aspergers and depression are frustratingly often linked. Not at all saying your ds is on the spectrum, just to say keep an open mind.

schroeder Tue 19-Jul-11 20:22:59

Yes he is just a child.

He is a child who likes a bit drama, he has people caring for him, he has people to talk to at school and on the bus. He says today he was playing football at break.hmm This does not add up with the boy who has no friends and everyone hates.

He lacks self confidence and is not very happy, but I don't want to overreact and take him to GP for what it seems to have been a bad day. I am keeping an eye on him and have taken the matter up with school.

is it just hormonal attention seeking or should I be taking it more seriously?

My parents decided it was the former with me. Over twenty years later I am finally getting treatment for a condition which has blighted a lot of my life, at one point it involved an admission to a psychiatric unit.

You sound like you really, really do not want to think your son has mental health problems. I understand that, (who would want that?) but he is talking to you about killing himself. Is that the conversation of a mentally well child?

I'm too tired to type anymore but I am getting increasingly frustrated that in your OP you seem to be genuinely looking for viewpoints butin your latest posts you seem convinced you know best.

I hope for your DS's sake you are right.

PS, you called yourself naive. You don't have to be.

schroeder Tue 19-Jul-11 21:16:39

The thing is, I have changed my point of view since yesterday- I have sought professional advice, I have spoken to his teacher, I have done some internet searching and I have checked his internet history.

I have also most importantly had a good talk with him about things we can do to help him be a bit happier, like doing a soccer school in the hols and starting football club at school in the autumn.

I am not going to forget about this, dh and I are obviously concerned, but yes I do feel for today at any rate, we've done the best we can for him.

NanaNina Tue 19-Jul-11 23:00:22

I think you are in denial schroeder and I imagine you think the good advice you are getting from posters is all a bit OTT. You say he is a child who "likes a bit of drama" - I think you are unable or unwilling to accept that there is a problem. It won't be solved by football clubs. Your last post sounded like you were signing off and of course that is your choice. I only hope for your son's sake that the problems that you say he has had since he was 7 or 8 and now worse at 12 are not going to escalate in his teenage years, which I suspect will be the case.

TheSnickeringFox Tue 19-Jul-11 23:06:52

Hi, I became depressed and felt suicidal at a similar age. No one listened to me or took any notice of how unhappy I was. I had insomnia and talked about killing myself.

I took an overdose when I was 15.

Please listen to what your son is telling you. One of the ways I make myself feel better is by telling myself that there is no way a child would be ignored like I was in 2011. Please don't prove me wrong.

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