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Awful anxiety

(10 Posts)
BigHairySpider Fri 08-Jan-16 14:42:19

DS (15) suffers from anxiety and it has been getting steadily worse as well as his behaviour escalating. He can be very rude,swears, stays up late etc. He will rarely leave the house and is piling on weight because he won't walk anywhere or do any kind of exercise. He has seen the GP several times but is usually just told to go back in a few months to see how he's getting on.

He is due to complete GCSE'S this year and is incredibly anxious that he won't achieve what he needs to get to college. We have explained that he could take an extra year to catch up but he won't do that as he wants to be the same as everybody else. An EP is due to assess him soon but CAMHS discharged him after diagnosis saying there wasn't anything else they could do as he wasn't engaging and wascrefusingto talk to them about his problems. Has anyone else experienced this or have any ideas what can be done to help? Thanks

Eliza22 Sat 09-Jan-16 10:44:26

Yes, me. My DS is 15. He's in Yr10 so, first year of GCSE's. He has diagnoses of Aspergers and OCD. He struggles at school despite a good deal of assistance and compares himself unfavourably to his peers. He is under CAMHS. He's had several courses of CBT and takes Prozac for OCD. He rarely leaves his bedroom and has no friends. His self esteem is very, very low. It's a lot of fun in our house [sceptical]. We were at CAMHS last week for a check up and I was told by the psychiatrist that DS states he has NO problems currently. He is well and certainly does not need any medication review.

I'm cross because at 15 I feel that he is a minor and I should have some say. Apparently not. DS talks of his life being worthless and death all the time (mine, his, the dog's). His OCD is out of control and he has taken to washing his own clothes BEFORE I put them in the washer because they are "contaminated". He pours water over his bed (a new double with memory foam mattress) for the same germ based reason. I spend huge amounts of time mopping the bathroom, washing bath towels he soaks through to lay on the floor and many, many other equally distressing ritual damage limitation procedures. And yet.... His professional tells me "I have to be guided by DS and he feels he's well". So butt out Mum!

My advice is, go back to your GP and demand some input. Seeing him periodically and offering no help is not good enough for your son. Maybe, some CBT would help or some counselling. Fifteen is such a difficult time. All those hormones and general teen anxieties that affect adolescents ordinarily. Do you yourself have support? That's important.

Sorry, I've not been much help but I know how hard it it and you're not alone. I like this little note...

BigHairySpider Sun 10-Jan-16 13:25:50

Thanks Eliza - its so hard isn't it? sad
DS does have some OCD behaviours such as issues with toileting. He can only use toilets that fit certain requirements so when out in public this can obviously lead to major issues. He will go for hours without using a toilet but will become increasingly frustrated and angry because he can't go. I think CBT may be useful for him.
Since posting I have spoken to his GP who is now seeking further advice and will contact me again soon. She did mention CAMHS but there is a long waiting list and we cannot wait months for them as things are going downhill quickly. If I keep shouting loud enough perhaps someone will help.

Runningtokeepstill Sun 10-Jan-16 16:49:02

CAMHS wouldn't keep my ds, now 16, on their books either. They saw him aged 10 and said he was "unsuitable" for CBT. They saw him again aged 13 at my request but said ds wasn't really interested in talking to them and was only doing it to please me so they thought it wouldn't work. They were also sceptical as ds has an ongoing physical health problem and CAMHS say they are unable to determine how much is due to the physical issues and what is caused by anxiety and therefore they couldn't to treat the anxiety!

My experience has been that if CAMHS won't see them then there is nothing else available for under 18's under the NHS. In some towns there are youth charities that can provide cheap or free counselling but we don't live in one. I asked our GP if she could suggest anywhere ds could go privately but she said she only knew of CAMHS so she'd have to ask them. They said they don't refer dc to anyone else as they provide a service (except in ds's case they don't!!).

The only way I could get help is by going privately and, as an older parent, dipping into my pension pot to fund it. Ds now sees a child/adolescent psychologist but we have to travel into the next town, 15 miles away for this. It was quite an effort to find someone who'd see him as a number of practitioners were put off by CAMHS comment that he was "unsuitable" for CBT. Fortunately the psychologist ds sees is of the view that if CBT isn't working you try something else rather than dismiss the child.

Eliza22 Sun 10-Jan-16 16:57:33

Good grief! WHAT a situation for these young people. We have a dire shortage of appropriate services and it's despicable in our society. Still, at least we have nuclear weapons, hey?

Sorry, but I think mental health is still given short shrift. If our kids had a more "physical" disease they'd get treatment regardless of whether we (as parents) agreed.

Glad to hear OP, that your DS is getting some attention.

BigHairySpider Sun 10-Jan-16 17:01:01

Thanks running. I have considered going private however we do not have any spare funds as dh lost his job recently. It's ridiculous that you can't easily get help for youngsters in real need of help.

Runningtokeepstill Sun 10-Jan-16 17:43:12

By the way Spider, my ds always said he wouldn't do an extra year at college or repeat any GCSEs but when he started taking the exams he didn't think things were going too well and started slipping in bits of conversation about possibly doing resits. I was gobsmacked as he'd been completely anti this before.

As it turned out, he got all 5 (on a reduced timetable due to physical health problems, anxiety and absence) at grade C+ including maths and English, so this was enough to get him on his college course even though the results were less than what he is academically capable of achieving.

Unfortunately, everything then broke down at college and we're now trying to get something going for the rest of this year with a view to starting new courses next September. If anyone had told me this was what would happen I'd have said he would have been devastated and wouldn't have considered studying with the year "below" him next academic year. But he's accepted it now, although he's not happy with it and it hasn't been as bad as I thought.

Eliza22 Sun 10-Jan-16 18:35:20

Wow Running, that sounds good, the GCSE results. It's amazing how these young people will adapt albeit reluctantly. Hope things work out ok at college.

BigHairySpider Sun 10-Jan-16 20:55:53

That's good to hear running,thanks. He always said that he would work hard to get his exams but just seems to have given up right now. He is blaming anyone and anything for this rather than seeing that he needs to put some effort in. It's all a worry as finding a post 16 placement that will accommodate his needs was always going to be a challenge.

rwilkinson84 Fri 15-Apr-16 16:27:08

There is a severe lack of help for under 18s in the NHS - it's shocking really.

My first recommendation would be to go private but you've outlined why that's not going to be ideal.

Next I'd go to charities like The Mental Health Foundation www.mentalhealth.org.uk

They might be able to give you some advice on where to go or have workshops set up. It's a horrible way to feel because you're so frightened of failing but have no desire to put in any effort. You want to try and get it managed now before it develops in something else. Sometimes it's something that kids grow out of but it can develop into severe depression which can introduce another set of issue with treatment etc.

I really hope it gets better for you.

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