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Suicide attempt last night

(23 Posts)
LittleMissWobbleBelly Wed 17-Apr-13 14:38:38

My son tried to kill himself yesterday. He is only 16.
Having taken an enormous number of nurofen during the day, he calmly came home and "decided to have an early night" and took himself upstairs to bed. It was only because a friend of his called us during the evening that we found out what had happened, and thankfully got him into hospital.
He has been suffering from depression for a few years now and cutting himself with increasing regularity, and now seems to have hit rock bottom. We were very careful never to have too much medication in the house for fear something like this may happen, but he is now of an age where he simply made a few visits to a few pharmacies, and collected what he wanted.
He had seen a psychiatrist in recent weeks, and had been referred for a course of CBT, for which we were still waiting for an appointment.
He is now seeing someone in a day or so.

I wondered whether anyone has any experience of something similar with teenage boys? Does CBT really make a difference, or is this the way that he will be now for the rest of his life?

lmgeorge92 Wed 17-Apr-13 14:47:33

I'm so sorry to hear this, you must be in a really tough place right now.
I'm a youth work student, but thankfully, my suicide training has only be in theory.
First of all, Yes, in my experience CBT does work but I also think there's a lot to be said for a cross-agencies approach: counselling, CBT, talking therapy, medication?
Does the school have anything which might be useful? a counselling service or a school nurse?
as for will he be like this for the rest of his life? yes and no. Mental health isn't black and white... there is rarely a healthy and unhealthy as there might be with other illnesses. But certainly, there is hope that he might develop healthier coping mechanisms, and learn to deal with his depression a lot better. Try not to feel like he will never be free of this... that's self fulfilling prophesy. Have faith that things will get better.
I hope this helps and my thoughts are with you and your family.
I'd also recommend: self harm UK as a great site to ask questions and get help.

sleeton Wed 17-Apr-13 14:52:53

LittleMissWobbleBelly I am so sorry. Thank heavens his friend called, I am so glad you got to him to hospital.

I have no special advice to give .... I so wish I had .... I just wanted you to know your post had been read. That people are listening and understand what you (yes you, as well as your darling son) are going through.
I do know what it is to care for and be the carer of someone suffering from depression.
Unfortunately, I don't yet know if there is light at the end of the tunnel sad but we can't stop trying, can we?

I am thinking of you all.

LittleMissWobbleBelly Wed 17-Apr-13 14:57:32

He was seeing a college counsellor for a while on an 'as and when' basis, but on good days he felt he didn't need to go, and on low days he didn't feel like there was any point to going. Despite telling us he was going every week.

At the moment it feels like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, which is wrecking our family. Hopefully it will start to get better.

sleeton Wed 17-Apr-13 15:15:43

Oh LittleMissWobbleBelly it does feel like it wrecks you all, doesn't it? Having read your next post, I find I do have a little snippet of advice after all .... I'm just not sure if it is the correct thing to do (in terms of promoting recovery) maybe lmgeorge92 would know.

Anyway, my advice is re such things as him telling you he was seeing the college counsellor every week, when he wasn't, and anything like that.

I think, with your son's permission (and you might have to pick your moment for that), it is beneficial to say to the counsellor, psychiatrist, college, etc., that your son has agreed that you all may communicate as appropriate in order to help him.
I am not suggesting for a minute that they break confidentiality, but if you all agree on certain shared information (for example to keep track of appointments, medication, college attendance, etc) it might provide an extra arm of support for your son. In an unconventional sort of way.

As I say, I don't know if it's the right thing, but when life is okay the depressed person can feel they don't need counselling, medication etc and when things take a dip they may be feeling too low to reinstate things.

Hope you are okay.

TheYoniKeeper Wed 17-Apr-13 15:23:46

Hello, didn't want to read and run.

Firstly, sorry for you & your family, it's a horrible thing to go through thanks

I just wanted to add that I spent the best part of my teens in this kind of state and after some very good CBT, growing up in general & leaving school (where I was being bullied etc) I'm now a very happy twenty something. It does get better, as long as the right help is being sought after smile

My mum said she spent the worst year of it in shreds herself, (which I feel awful about now) so I know you must be feeling god awful. Just try to hold in there.

Do you know what the catalyst was? Are there any obvios issues affecting him?

LittleMissWobbleBelly Wed 17-Apr-13 16:20:04

I don't know what the catalyst was, it started when he was about 12 with general negative behaviour, which we thought was the onset of teenage behaviour. He was always so angry. He comes from a very stable home, with no issues which might have caused it.
The worst thing about all of it is the lying. Even things which should have straight forward answers - what did you have for lunch? - are not answered truthfully.
How on earth do we help and support him at home when we can't trust anything we are told.
It's a sad time at the moment. It is really helpful to hear that you came through it and are happy now.

LittleMissWobbleBelly Wed 17-Apr-13 16:22:16

He is very reluctant to communicate with us at all. Even when the paramedic came he insisted that we left the room. I have no idea where this lack of trust has come from as we have worked so hard to build trust up over previous years. It's so hurtful that he feels he can't talk to us about it.

happystory Wed 17-Apr-13 18:02:23

I am so sorry to hear you are going through this, it is terrifying for the whole family. Have you discussed medication? (anti-depressants?) I was adamant I didn't want them for dd (then also 16) but after a bit of tweaking of the dosage they are helping her cope a lot better. I was categorically told by the GP and the pharmacist that I should dispense them, i.e., I give her them every day and keep them hidden from her - not that she seemed a suicide risk but you just never know. CBT is slowly helping her too...
Hope that helps.

lmgeorge92 Wed 17-Apr-13 18:58:24

I'm inclined to agree with sleeton I think key to recovery is consistency, i.e ensuring he's seeing a counsellor regularly, taking medication daily
I also think it's important not to blame yourself... he might come from a stable home but that's not always what contributes to these things. Try and keep trusting him or at the very least supporting him and trying to figure out where to trust him, I am confident he will come through it.

mindfulmum Wed 17-Apr-13 19:38:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LittleMissWobbleBelly Wed 17-Apr-13 22:33:56

Thanks for all your advice, it is important to hear that we are not the only ones going through this, even though it feels like it at the moment.

happystory - When we initially saw the GP he was reluctant to give antidepressants as he thought they often caused more problems than DS was experiencing. In the light of yesterday I think it is definitely worth reassessing that and seeing if that could be a way forward.

Imgeorge92 - at the moment I completely blame myself, even though I know depression is an illness and happens to anyone at anytime. I still feel though I must have done something at some point to make him feel that bad in the first place. And it's so hard to trust him when I feel that I need to go and check on him every few minutes to make sure he is ok, which of course isn't compatible with working full time, being a mum to my other children and generally living. I'm seriously toying with setting the alarm clock throughout the night so I can check every hour or so.

mindfulmum - I would completely support him going to an adolescent unit where he could get the support he needs and be reassured that he is not alone in the way he feels. I will see what the psychiatrist says when we meet. It would certainly be helpful for us to have some support from GP or CAMHS although nothing has been offered. I only found out about the self harming last summer, even though it had been going on for much longer than that, and it was only early this year that he was referred to CAMHS. I really hope that the emergency appointment which has been arranged for us sets the ball rolling to start the recovery. Because I'm not sure how much more I can take.

sleeton Wed 17-Apr-13 22:39:17

I am so pleased that things have improved so much for you YoniKeeper and am delighted that you are "now a very happy twenty something".

That can give us all hope that there is a way forward. Thank you for sharing.

mindfulmum Wed 17-Apr-13 23:59:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheYoniKeeper Thu 18-Apr-13 07:27:22

I forgot to add that I did stay in hospital for 6 weeks after my last attempt. It made the world of difference to be in a safe environment, away from some of the causes/stresses with the sole focus on getting better & adjusting to the medication.

I was very secretive too, as I was so low I thought my family were just pretending to care (goes to show how distorted your thinking can become) blush

It also started when I was a teen so it just looked like extreme grumpiness/hormones for the first few years & it is very possible to just become depressed, for no obvious reason. Especially around times of change (like being a teen).

TheYoniKeeper Thu 18-Apr-13 07:31:56

If you are worried he'll attempt again & not able to keep an eye on him 24/7 then it may be worth considering trying to get him to voluntarily go to stay in an adolescent unit. He'll be able to try medication in a safer environment that way too (if you're very depressed, sometimes the intial relief that meds give can actually give you the motivation you need to 'finish the job', though that stage doesn't last long & not everyone experiences it).

Sorry if that sounds a bit OTT. Just worth considering smile

CabbageLeaves Thu 18-Apr-13 07:36:00

LittleMiss. So sorry you are going through this. I had a cutting suicidal teen once. I remember the days walking in the door from work wondering what I might find. sad

She was also extremely secretive and lied. I was in a bad marriage so there was a reason in my case. I constantly blamed myself. Bin that. It's a very destructive emotion.

She is well and happy now. I wish you well. It's the most stressful sad place to be for you all

TheYoniKeeper Thu 18-Apr-13 07:53:51

also meant to say that I went to the GP myself in the end as I was scared I'd suddenly take a turn for the worse & didn't trust myself (the suicidal 'urge' seemed to come and go in waves iyswim). Was instantly referred to the local mental health team, assessed and asked if I'd agree to go into hospital for a little while.

So it is possible to speed up the process if you feel it's the best option.

NeverBeenToMe Thu 18-Apr-13 10:26:41

Another hand-holding, and wearer of the "been there, had a child like that " t shirt sad . First attempt when she was 14 and then 3 or 4 more last autumn, 2 of which while she was voluntarily in a psych unit sad . Finally diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

Please don't take it personally that your son seems to be distant from you at the moment, I would assure you it is just part of the frame of mind he will be in at the moment.

Wishing your family a steady recovery. Please don't forget to look after yourself, and be kind to yourself at this difficult time x

LittleMissWobbleBelly Thu 18-Apr-13 20:19:32

Thank you all for the support.

A couple of days on I feel in a slightly more positive frame of mind today, with an appointment tomorrow to get us started on the road to recovery.


survivingthechildren Fri 19-Apr-13 00:37:03

I haven't got any practical advice, but didn't want to read and run.

Glad to hear you're feeling more positive today, and are looking to get some help.


sashh Fri 19-Apr-13 07:07:50

Have sent a PM, written actually to your son. If you think it will be helpful pass it on, if you don't then just delete.

Even things which should have straight forward answers - what did you have for lunch? - are not answered truthfully.

He may feel you are too controlling, MH issues can make concern seem like control, and the only way you can see to deal with it is to take control away, so you lie. Not because you want to, or it is any good, it's just a more polite way of saying F off.

The most important thing you can do right now is not take anything personally. Don't blame yourself or anyone else.

LittleMissWobbleBelly Sun 21-Apr-13 08:16:47

Thanks for the message sashh. It is very honest.

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