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Is DS (14) depressed?

(6 Posts)
ohtowinthelottery Mon 15-Aug-11 13:10:21

DS (HF ASD) has had a busy holiday so far.Lots of organised outdoor activities - chosen by him - also been going to the gym, swimming, indoor climbing and cinema, music course and had a little job for a week to water friends plants - which involved 12 mile bike ride (there and back) 4 times in a week - for which he was paid. He has also had lots of chill out time on PS & computer and spent some time with his friend (has done some of the activities with his friend).
Today he has gone off on his annual camping holiday with his dad which he wants to do. But last night DS was moping around complaining what a crap life he has. Questioned him about what made his life "crap" but he didn't seem to be able to give a reason. Tried all reasons we could think of : tired??no girlfriend? school? too busy? not being allowed 18 games for PS? but he said no to all of them.
He hasn't bothered with any of his school friends over the holidays - but that is not unusual for DS who just hangs around with his local friend who goes to a different school.
Should I be worried (as I know people with ASD can be prone to depression) or is this just normal teenage moping/angst?
PS Have name changed for this post.

IndigoBell Mon 15-Aug-11 13:55:15

I would be worried if he stayed in bed all day, or didn't want to leave the house, or lost his appetite, or spent longer than normal online, playing computer games, or watching tv, or had some other behaviour changes like that.

I wouldn't be at all worried by him just saying his life was crap, without any other signs........

(But then I know nothing in particular about depression - so I might be totally wrong)

ohtowinthelottery Mon 15-Aug-11 14:11:50

He would spend all day on-line (shooting games) and not leaving the house if it wasn't for all the activities that I organised for him. That is exactly why he has has such a packed itinery - although have only arranged things he agreed to. He is just not bothered about arranging things for himself - only meets his friend when his friend texts/rings but then I think that is just part of his ASD - he is often happy with his own company - and that of the VR world but is happy to do things with friend if friend asks. Although on Sat his friend invited him to something and DS said he would see - and then didn't go.
Would love him to stay in bed longer - is up every day by 7.30am which is why we think he must be tired but he says he isn't and that he always wakes up at 7.15.
When he saw Camhs 1 1/2 yrs ago to be assessed for AS the psychiatrist was concerned about him being 'down' because of some of the things he said to her. Nothing came of it though and we have been discharged from Camhs now.
It just bothers me as most kids his age would love to be doing half the activities that he is doing but he seems so unhappy.

flyingmum Mon 15-Aug-11 16:43:53

Just sounds like a normal teenager to me. Hormones are raging and they don't understand what is happening to them poor loves. Also the not doing anything for themselves is soo ASD + teeneager. I have one here. If I don't suggest something he just doesn't do it. At least yours goes out of the house on his own and has a friend. Mine doesn't even have that.
I think I would only be concerned if he didn't want to get out of bed, stopped washing, changed any daily habits and seemed distincltly lack lustre. To be honest cycling all that way and keeping a commitment is really good and commendable - it doesn't sound like depression to me. He might be a 'cup half empty' kind of person. He's not at the age or possibly the type to think 'hello trees, hello flowers, aren't I lucky to have all these activities'. Teenagers don't let alone ASD teenagers!

I should pat yourself on the back - he sounds busy, occupied and is behaving pleasantly and is interracting well socially.

ohtowinthelottery Mon 15-Aug-11 18:44:48

Thanks Flyingmum for pointing out the positive aspects of my DS's behaviour. He was committed to doing the plant wateriing task which surprised me - although the involvement of money was probably key! I went with him the 1st time (yes I cycled 12 miles too!!) to make sure he knew the way (as was using a different/quieter route than one we would use in the car)and that he knew exactly what to do when he got there. When I asked him if he had put enough water on the plants he replied "Of course, I'm hardly going to risk killing the plants, am I?" - It was his music teacher he was doing it for!
Can't imagine who he might get his 'cup half empty' attitude from!!!!!!
I'm sorry that your DS doesn't/can't go out on his own or have a friend to socialise with. We are lucky to live in a reasonable size village where lots of people know DS so he has been able to have a reasonable amount of freedom. His friend is someone he was at primary school with, although they go to different secondary schools. Have tried to encourage him to invite friends from school over but doesn't seem to want to bother.
I'm afraid he doesn't behave 'pleasantly' though - but that would be a whole new thread - very teenage in that regard.
DS hopes to go to Uni when he leaves school, so involving him in lots of activities now is part of my grand master plan to ensure he has lots of interests/outlets to help him have social opportunities eg join a gym, play in a band/orchestra, join a climbing/canoeing club. Anything but spend his life in his room on the computer! I can dream!

flyingmum Tue 16-Aug-11 17:00:39

DS has taken to sailing like a duck to water (no pun intended grin) and lets just say that there are one or two at the club who also, to the initiated, shall we say might have a bit of a 'landscape' as well. It's a solo sport but there is also a bit of social integration but not in a teamy sort of way. Mine also likes climbing but we haven't done much about following that up. I do sometimes feel annoyed about it being me that has to organise everything though - like you - if I didn't he'd just be moofing about. He's very good at helping with housework and stuff but I wish I didn't have to say - well walk up to the shop and BUY yourself some biscuits if you've run out. I'm hoping that now he's going to board for 6th form that he will develop a bit more independence. Your son's remark about the watering is so much like one that DS1 would make it made me smile. He does a good line in sarcasam does flyingboy1...

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