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Need some urgent help -son with anxiety

(26 Posts)
SangtheSun Mon 10-Oct-16 21:56:15

Dropped my 21 year old son off at uni a couple of weeks ago.

Within a few days he has had such severe anxiety he is scarcely able to function. (He has had depression on and off since he was about 14.)

He is hardly sleeping or eating or even leaving his room. He has agreed to me driving up to take him for medical help tomorrow but doesn't want to go to the uni medical centre.

I don't want to try to force him to go there, in case he then refuses to see any dr.

So where can I take him. A & E? It's not an accident but I'm beginning to worry it may turn into an emergency. I'm not too sure how to access an OOH dr in his city, his medical records are probably in transit. Not that he's had any medical help for years, he's refused to

He worked so hard to get into this uni, achieving high scores and obtaining a scholarship, all under his own steam. He is usually very independent.

I'm so afraid of what will happen to him if he doesn't get help urgently. What can I do?

IminaPickle Mon 10-Oct-16 22:12:40

I hope tomorrow goes well. Is this his first year? I don't know how you can proceed if he won't go to the university services. What city is it? You're welcome to PM me if you don't want to reveal- I have some experience of MH provision professionally and via DC at University.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Mon 10-Oct-16 22:13:54

A&E can't do anything for him.

The Uni medical centre would be the most convenient- short and long term. Is he still registered with a family GP somewhere?

Really he should speak to his course convenor and they can point him in the right direction/lessen the load for him slightly. Unfortunately his inactivity will only be making his problem worse.

I think that you'd be right to intervene, you don't want him to 'lose' all of his hard work. Does he get the Oct week off? Can you drag him home to the family GP?

NightNightBadger19962 Mon 10-Oct-16 22:21:13

A and E or minor injuries are only really suitable if he is at risk of harming himself or others and you can't keep him safe. You can go anyway, but just not sure it will be helpful (unless this is the case). You could look up if they have a local mental health crisis team number who could advise, but your first port of call should really be a GP. Will he want to stay there, or come home with you for a bit, because that might guide what you do.

SealSong Mon 10-Oct-16 22:25:28

Ring one of the local GP surgeries and explain the situation, say he would like to be seen as a temporary patient, or to register there if he would prefer.

SangtheSun Mon 10-Oct-16 22:26:29

I'm going to try to persuade him to attend the uni medical centre.

He is aware that missing classes etc is all going to make his anxiety worse but as he said to me tonight, he knows what he needs to do and why, but he cant do it.

It is his first year. He chose his own access course, did all his UCAS application unassisted, achieved all distinctions and is now struggling to function.

SangtheSun Mon 10-Oct-16 22:27:57

I've found a walk in centre, but I don't know if they deal with mh issues. Seems more like minor injuries, routine testing kind of thing from their website.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Mon 10-Oct-16 22:46:38

I think it would be a waste of time as he would only get referred on and meanwhile time is ticking on.

Put your foot down. Take some pressure off him. He's making no decisions, you arrange/deposit him at the uni medical centre if need be.

Lancelottie Mon 10-Oct-16 22:52:09

Poor lad - and you. It's very hard trying to help with these things from a distance.
Does it help at all to know that he will be far from the only one going through this? DS's tutor made it sound almost the norm rather than the exception.
Hope you persuade him to accept some help.

SangtheSun Mon 10-Oct-16 22:57:56

I've told him that there will be many other students struggling with the whole experience and it's very common.

IminaPickle Mon 10-Oct-16 23:14:50

Also can you arm yourself with some facts? If he doesn't attend will he definitely fail? Is it too late to defer it has he already paid this terms fees? It sounds cruel but if he's putting his head in the sand thinking it'll be all right, knowing it won't be might motivate him.

AnxiousCarer Mon 10-Oct-16 23:54:44

A lot of people struggle with MH whilst at uni, I was one. Unis are set up for this. Does your son know who his personal tutor is. He needs to discuss this with them and they can signpost to student services. They may well have councellors employed by the uni. Mine did in the students union. It's also a good idea to speak to his GP either one at the university health centre or to register at another local GPs which ever he sees its confidential and won't be passed on to anyone unless he requires a sick note, or Drs letter forvhis course.

SangtheSun Tue 11-Oct-16 12:35:04

I'm now about to drive up to see him. I'm hoping to persuade him that the Uni medical centre will be best suited to his needs. I have no idea how that will go.

He does realise how serious this is, so I'm hoping he will be motivated to get help.

Lots of hope ^^.

LuckyBitches Tue 11-Oct-16 15:31:25

I work in a top-rated uni. Your son is in the same boat as lots of students, believe me. It's mostly based around the amount of pressure they put themselves under, to achieve. We have to provide mental health support for these students, which is accessed throught the disability advisory service, not the health centre. Perhaps that's less intimidating? Maybe his uni is the same? You could let him know that about 10 percent of the students I look after have declared mental health problems - he's not alone. Support is usually in the form of seperate exams (if he wants) or even explaining the potential manifestations of his anxiety to his lecturers, on his behalf. Best of luck!

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Tue 11-Oct-16 17:37:56

How did you get on Op? I'm on my way home from Uni now

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Tue 11-Oct-16 17:39:33

Posted too quickly! I'm on my way home from Uni and thought of you.

Themanfrommanc Tue 11-Oct-16 18:10:55

Book recommendation

Brilliant CBT by Dr stephen briars..
Explains well whats going on..

SangtheSun Tue 11-Oct-16 20:09:09

Hi everyone, thank you so much for all your support, kindness and suggestions.

It went well. I was astonished when I got there to discover that the medical centre is in the next building to his accommodation!

Initially he was really reluctant to go there, so we went into the city to pick up something he needed. But I made it clear he was going when we got back.

I took on board what troll said and made the decision for him. Sure enough when we returned to campus he went off to the medical centre while I waited in the car.

He saw a really good dr who told him what you all said, that this is so common for students. She talked to him for ages about "lots of things" and made him an appointment for next Tuesday. He has some meds to take too.

He is planning to talk to his tutor tomorrow after a lecture and also tell the "senior resident" ? In his accommodation that he has a mh problem. This was suggested by the dr. DS says he'll just let her know he has a problem but he's not expecting her to become his unofficial counsellor. I'm sure it will be good for him to have a supportive person nearby - he says she's a lovely woman.

So, once he actually got in there and talked to a dr he is already feeling more positive. As he said, it wasn't the distance to walk there that was the problem, it was actually going in and seeing someone.

I'm knackered, bad night's sleep, early morning as I went into work early. But I feel so much better, this has been such a worry.

Basically I drove over 70 miles to help him take a 4 minute walk! But thank god I could.

Thanks so much to all of you, I felt so alone and frightened last night.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Tue 11-Oct-16 20:46:37

These are the lengths that we go to for our kids!

So glad that he seems to be on the right path now, they all just need somebody to hold the wheel for them sometimes.

And well done OP. It's too easy to go into panic/denial mode with these things. You really came through. flowers

SangtheSun Tue 11-Oct-16 21:06:24

I did feel panicky, I just squished it down!

My parents practically had a formal policy of not being there for me, even when I was being attacked.

Glad I haven't repeated that particular cycle.

IminaPickle Tue 11-Oct-16 23:34:16

You're a star Sang
Sleep well.

AnxiousCarer Wed 12-Oct-16 10:08:25

Glad things went well and he has the support from Dr. Its so easy to think we are the only ones and all alone, but the more we talk the more we realise how many people are going through the same. Thats why its so important to talk about MH issues so it reduces the stigma and no one has to feel alone.

JustSpeakSense Wed 12-Oct-16 10:19:27

So glad things went well, I think it is really good that he has a support structure for himself where he is. This will help in the future.

He sounds very brave.

Do keep us updated on his progress.

lazymum99 Wed 12-Oct-16 12:26:30

If possible he should also access universities Disability Services. They can organise counselling and also extra time if he is late with course work deadlines etc. They also give exam anxiety sufferers time out during exams if they need to compose themselves and then go back in.
Most universities are set up to deal with these sort of problems. I have been very impressed with my DS's experience of it.

SealSong Wed 12-Oct-16 19:08:10

Very well done OP, and well done to OP's son as well. He's made a huge positive step. I hope he feels better soon.

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