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Normal teenage behavior or is he depressed?

(16 Posts)
wonderingwendy Sun 16-Dec-12 10:02:44

my son is 14 and in the last few months he has been very moody ,he says he hates living here with us,that his siblings are awful and he cant stand them ,he has nothing in his life thats good ,he feels he doesn't have any skills (school wise) that his life is boring .
all this i think can be normal teenage stuff but as both me and dh have a history of anxiety and depression it really weighs heavy on my mind.
he has lots of friends (mostly female) and he has a girlfriend that he has been with for over a year but she is very busy with clubs and social life so he doesn't see her much.
He never tells me anything so i have had a look at his messages on facebook (to rule out bullying as much as anything else)
one message to his best friend said something like having to stay in a house with people you hate is like torture!
its very hurtfull i really try to be a good mum but he makes me feel like im failing all the time
another big thing is that we have been struggling financially and he cant have the things he wants ,like i cant always get him credit and he makes us feel so bad its like his life depends on it .
he is still eating and sleeping normally and he goes to school and seems to enjoy it so im sure if he were depressed those things would be affected.
im just looking for some prespective

wonderingwendy Sun 16-Dec-12 13:53:39


cornycarrotshack Sun 16-Dec-12 13:55:05

Sounds 'normal' to me.
Young minds is a good website to look at if you're worried though.

TBH what you have written sounds like standard teenager behaviour. I wouldn't take too much notice of his messages to his friends - I once saw what my DS had written about me on MSN and was shock but we have a really good relationship. It's all bravado.

Keep an eye on his sleeping & eating if you are concerned - these would usually be affected by depression or anxiety.

wonderingwendy Sun 16-Dec-12 14:00:46

thankyou for answering my post im such a worry wart - i do think its normal teenage moodiness as like i said sleeping and eating are fine - i gave him a cuddle earlier and told him he can talk to me about anything but he is such a closed book he always says dont worry and walks away.

From what I can remember, 14 was a really difficult age. I think DS1 (he is 20 now) and I nearly came to blows a few times due to his attitude around that age.

You are doing the right thing. Just keep reminding him that you are there for him should he need you.

It will pass. smile

wonderingwendy Sun 16-Dec-12 14:11:19

i wasn't a typical teenager i found my teenage years pretty uneventfull so its hard to relate to him.

Tau Sun 16-Dec-12 19:16:00

I don't know. My son is not a typical teenager I suppose, but I would be concerned if he started acting in the way you describe.
Can't you just get a quiet moment for the two of you and explain what you just typed here: That you were not a typical teenager and therefor are not sure how to interpret his behaviour?

thewhistler Sun 16-Dec-12 19:48:27

It's teenage behaviour but imv keep an eye on it.

Find something you can do together where there is no eye contact. You driving him alone somewhere, going the washing up together, or something like that. Have a purpose that is not "having s chat" , cleaning shoes is quite good.

Then use a current affairs hook, eg the recent awful Connecticut shooting. "Want to take your view as a young person, was he depressed, what would drive him to that." Keep the questions open, not about him, and be interested in his views. He may well open up after a bit if not this time then in due course. Very occasionally ask if everything is going ok, maybe as a result of some of the conversation refer to some time when you found things difficult.

Hormones make them nasty as well as depressed. But hang on in there.


thewhistler Sun 16-Dec-12 19:51:14

Ps, don't worry it I'm fine can mean u am going to cry if I talk about it. So go into " dc, I really need your help cleaning the shoes". By the time the shoes are clean you will have done something positive together at any rate.

MaryChristmaZEverybody Sun 16-Dec-12 22:30:34

Ignore what you see him write on Facebook. If I believed half of what my kids write on Facebook I would leave home.

dd can sit here happily watching tv and chatting with us, and at the same time write things like "my mum has spent the whole evening yelling at me, it's not fair, I hate my family" confused.

If he is happily going to school, has friends, and has interests outside school that he attends with enthusiasm, then he is probably a fairly normal teenager. Many teenagers seem to almost enjoy being negative about everything.

yazoooo Mon 17-Dec-12 16:32:06

My 14 yr old son has become so moody and often seems angry. He says he hates being at home. It hurt me so much when I first heard him say that, but then I thought back to my adolescence, and I remember feeling the same.
At other times, he's very cuddly. Like at bed times, i make a point of spending at least 10 to 15 mins with him. We talk, or if he's really tired, he lies in bed and i sit with him, or lie with him and just hug him. The other evening, he asked me not to leave, he wanted me to hug him for longer. My heart melted. So even though he's been moody and fighting for independence, he still needs my love and approval. I guess it's just a phase that most kids go through - unpleasant but necessary.

TheSecondComing Mon 17-Dec-12 16:37:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wonderingwendy Mon 17-Dec-12 18:06:17

but see thats the thing he doesnt have any interests and it means he is bored alot - his gf is very busy with sports singing and dancing clubs ,his mates all do football or so something fun like cinema or bowling where as we cant afford for him to do things like that and it makes him feel left out ,most of his mates have a paper round so earn their own money but he is too lazy and very critical of his own abilities to be able to find his way round our town to even do a paper round.i was working in a shop at 14 so i cant relate to his attitude.
when i try to talk to him he either says dont worry of walks away .

gardeningmama Tue 18-Dec-12 16:38:52

Is there something at home you could try and get him interested in: cooking/baking, a bike to fix up, a room to decorate (ok, maybe aiming a bit high!) something you perhaps need doing yourself and could start off with him ... ? My ds 15 can be very independent but then reverts to being very needy. He too asks for long hugs at bedtime sometimes, needs help or 'moral support' when sitting down to some piece of homework or revision. He's very up and down. His extra-curricular interests are outdoor based so with short daylight hours he's not doing much out of school at present, and being GCSE year school itself is quite full-on, so he's down and needy at present.

I am sure a lot of what your ds is going through is an age thing, it is difficult for them to know where they fit in, what their interests are and hard for them to maintain confidence and momentum. Again, my ds at present looks to his future and cannot get excited or feel inspired or motivated. He 'hates' school at the moment and that is clouding everything. He talks to me though, so at least that leaves a window for me to try and help him and to monitor how his mood is. Good luck. smile

gardeningmama Tue 18-Dec-12 16:41:24

ooohh another idea, my ds and his friends get together most w/ends, taking it in turns to host, for a dvd and pizza. We have disadvantage of living in middle of nowhere so it involves some ferrying but the rest is up to the group. Low cost, and at least sometimes you get to see them interacting in your home!

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