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teenage suicide

(24 Posts)
sharongately999 Tue 04-Feb-14 21:01:22

Over the last 6 weeks or so I have had to endure the heartbreak of watching my son continually try to commit suicide. I am utterly exhausted and we seem nowhere nearer a solution. I have to been on alert 24 hours a day and check his mood and what he's likely to do. Does anyone else know anything about this? I knew nothing about how to deal with this until recently, and there is absolutely no help available for me. I'm a single parent who has him most of the time. He has a little brother who is 8.
He has been seen weekly by camhs but just for 'chats' which have been on one level helpful but there has been nothing that will actually 'cure' him. I just want him to live.
Please help!

Kittymalinky Tue 04-Feb-14 21:10:36

Is he under the care of a psychiatrist? If so, as horrid as it sounds, is it time to talk to them about an inpatients stay in a young peoples mental health unit?

None of you can go on this way and it sounds like he needs intensive professional help and therapy.

I have no immediate experience but I imagine numerous suicide attempts in that short space of time to qualify your DS for a place in a unit.

cory Tue 04-Feb-14 21:12:25

Haven't got anything helpful to say- just wanted to say how sorry I am and that I know how exhausting it is. Big hug and thanks

(my dd only made a couple of attempts and I found that bad enough;
she is on AD's now and it's made all the difference; she's got her life back and her younger brother can get on with his life)

I really really hope CAHMS can come up with something that helps.

cory Tue 04-Feb-14 21:12:55

and would second what Kitty said about inpatient stay

MrsBright Tue 04-Feb-14 21:22:35

If he is a danger to himself then hospital is the only safe place and you need to do this now. The next time he tries something - call an ambulance. No messing about, just do it.

I speak as someone whose brother sadly succeeded.

You won't get a second chance. He'll just make sure he does it in circumstances where you wont find him in time.

cory Tue 04-Feb-14 21:26:54

MrsBright is right: don't wait until he is seriously injured.

(In a way I realise we were lucky here because the first time it was the 11yo who found dd and he had no means of judging how badly hurt she was so called the ambulance straightaway, which meant the hospital suicide team had to deal with it.)

SKYTVADDICT Tue 04-Feb-14 21:26:57

Definitely A&e next time, will be seen by crisis team and hopefully found a space on an inpatient unit. That's what happened to my DD1. Now on ads and getting through the other side. Good luck - it's a god awful time x

Selks Tue 04-Feb-14 21:27:37

The 'chats' may be more meaningful than you realise - they may include monitoring of his mood and level of risk, helping him open up about his feelings, look at triggers, develop coping strategies, find ways to deal with stress or difficult feelings etc etc....all things that eventually build emotional resilience, reduce risk and lead to a 'cure'. Problems often take time to come about, and accordingly take time to be addressed.
I understand that for you as a parent you just want your son to stop feeling like this and for it all to go away, of course you do, but unfortunately it's never as simple as that.

However, it sounds like it would be good for you to speak to someone in CAMHS yourself for support about how to cope and to manage it all. CAMHS should be able to help with that.

This is the important bit though - if your son is actively suicidal then speak to someone in CAMHS urgently about your concerns. They may have a duty worker available tomorrow. If you don't feel that you can keep your son safe at home then you must discuss this with them and as suggested above, maybe inpatient care needs to be considered.

if you feel that your son is likely to make a serious attempt on his life then take him straight to A&E, tonight if you need to

I'm a CAMHS clinician, by the way.

Best wishes with all of it. I do understand how worrying and stressful this must be for you..

Selks Tue 04-Feb-14 21:30:40

Need to add Also if he DOES make an attempt on his life take him to A&E

anthropology Wed 05-Feb-14 02:16:07

I have been through this. selks is correct, if you feel you cannot keep your son safe and have to watch 24/7 push an urgent meeting with Camhs to discuss inpatient care or go to A and E . My DD was admitted first to an adolescent unit via A and E and I was nearly too late. If he sees camhs once a week, does he have both a therapist and a psychiatrist ? has he been offered medication ? do they have a plan for him ? do they offer you family therapy ?
If an adolescent unit is available in your area and they will offer him a bed, ,it will be best in the short term for all of you, . I found being amongst other young people struggling, really helped my DD understand it was not just her although at the time it felt terrifying. I suggest you access urgent CBT support for yourself via your gp to cope and to give you some tools to help keep your son safe and cope with siblings . I didnt find other parents or family could understand our situation and getting my own therapy really helped. Although there was no quick fix and I had to stop working for some time, nearly 4 years on, my DD is about to go to Uni and is an amazing young woman. I think I appreciate every moment more, after what we went through. I now know most young people do pull through with the right support and treatment even if it feels impossible for months at a time .Hang in there. you will need your strength, . He is very unwell at the moment and you seem like a really caring mum who should be getting more support from Camhs. Having a supportive family will really help his recovery, once he and you have more professional support. I found Papyrus a helpful website especially on language to use around suicidal teens, and Young Minds have a parents helpline, and you can request a call back if you need more camhs/treatment info. hope this helps a little.

sharonstrawberry999 Wed 05-Feb-14 07:45:42

Thank you all so much for the lovely messages. I would like to bring up a couple of points.
I have been offered no support myself with how to cope, camhs suggested looking online.
He has seen a psychiatrist who said he had a slightly low mood.
He is at home I'll with sickness today and I have to leave him as I don't get paid if I'm looking after him and he assures me he's fine. Incredibly difficult decision to make. But I'm a low paid job and can't keep taking time off.
Camhs have told me they don't think inpatient care would be good for him.
They have also told me they don't think antidepressants would be good for him.
We took him to a and e one evening which was a relief because I thought he'd be safe. They sent him back home at 2am because there was no one available to help him.
My ex husband has private health and we could get him assessed and therapy at a branch of the priory. Do we stick with this or try both?
I totally understand that camhs 'talking' has been therapeutic but the bottom line is it hasn't stopped him feeling the way he does

sharonstrawberry999 Wed 05-Feb-14 07:46:05

Thank you all so much for the lovely messages. I would like to bring up a couple of points.
I have been offered no support myself with how to cope, camhs suggested looking online.
He has seen a psychiatrist who said he had a slightly low mood.
He is at home I'll with sickness today and I have to leave him as I don't get paid if I'm looking after him and he assures me he's fine. Incredibly difficult decision to make. But I'm a low paid job and can't keep taking time off.
Camhs have told me they don't think inpatient care would be good for him.
They have also told me they don't think antidepressants would be good for him.
We took him to a and e one evening which was a relief because I thought he'd be safe. They sent him back home at 2am because there was no one available to help him.
My ex husband has private health and we could get him assessed and therapy at a branch of the priory. Do we stick with this or try both?
I totally understand that camhs 'talking' has been therapeutic but the bottom line is it hasn't stopped him feeling the way he does

TheApprentice Wed 05-Feb-14 07:50:59

My suicidal and long-term depressed brother had a lot of help (and an in patient stay) at the Priory. They were brilliant with him. He is not "cured" but copes a lot better - and he was in his thirties at the time of that treatment having been depressed for many years. I wish you all the best.

Madamecastafiore Wed 05-Feb-14 08:06:04

Get the referral. If your local CAMHS doesn't have any inpatient care it is where he will end up anyway. Be prepared to hear that the Priory won't admit him either (although more chance than the nhs as profit making).

cory Wed 05-Feb-14 09:25:27

It may also be that CAHMS don't quite understand the gravity of the situation.

Have they explained why they don't think antidepressants would be good for him?

Now obviously, there are risks connected with AD's, including, in very care cases, an increased risk of suicide. But you are already on 24 hour suicide watch by the sounds of it; it's hard to see what could be made that much worse.

Have they explained why they think an inpatient stay would not be good for him?

Do they understand that you are alone with no back-up?

anthropology Wed 05-Feb-14 09:43:22

absolutely get Priory assessment/therapy asap alongside limited NHS resources. at one stage we changed Camhs within the borough for another opinion. I found bringing written assessments back to camhs helped . note adolescents go to most Priory adolescent units on the NHS although there are limited beds I got no help from camhs and similar reaction, just do it separately via gp. they should offer you 6 weeks CBT if you push. He is older than my DD was but I also got an assessment with an educational psychologist, which gave helpful information. He may not need inpatient, but I think if he doesnt feel safe, tell him you might not understand what is going on, but you love him whatever, will support him, and will help him find the right help. Hopefully he will be open to further assessments as its also stressful for them. At 16 they are considered adults in the NHS, which makes it harder for parents.

MrsBright Wed 05-Feb-14 09:54:04

Get more help. Priory, whatever.

Sensible doctor once said to me 'If the mother's worried, then I'm worried' ie. we don't make stuff up for fun and we know our own kids.

CAMHS are trying make out its 'low mood'? He's suicidal fgs. Serious MH moments like this need big help not patronising words. Go over their heads. Now.

ashtrayheart Wed 05-Feb-14 10:02:59

Getting inpatient care sometimes makes them worse- one reason they often try to avoid it. My dd never used to cut or tie ligatures until she was admitted to hospital! But sometimes it's necessary. My dd is now in a res unit for teens with severe mh problems and receives 1:1 care day and night- but she has gone through a lot to get there.
You're right there is a lack of support for parents. I would love to be able to go to some kind of support group and chat with parents having the same issues.
A private assessment sounds like a good idea - get all the help you can. Young minds are good too (google them if you haven't heard of them).

Honeysweet Wed 05-Feb-14 11:13:03

Going back to your op, do you know why he feels as he does?

Selks Tue 11-Feb-14 22:51:42

Any update, OP?

IloveJudgeJudy Tue 18-Feb-14 13:34:04

Any update, OP?

Your situation sounds very like my situation, except we took DD straight to A & E which means CAMHS has to be involved. We had to wait 13 days for a bed in an adolescent unit. This was after many weeks of weekly visits adn another attempt. We were lucky, I know. DD has been there for about 3 weeks, I think. We visit her every evening and she was home last weekend. It is by no means a completely upwards trajectory, unfortunately and also DD has met some other very, very disturbed adolescents. It is a very difficult situation for all concerned, but where DD is at present is the best place for her.

I do hope you have managed to find something for your DS.

squeak10 Mon 15-Jun-15 23:03:03

Going through the same as you at the moment, having the crisis team visit at home every week a visit to cams and the gp. My son has been seen by a psychiatrics and been recommended medication. This was over 2 weeks ago but nobody will take the decision to write a prescription. He is fed up with talking and just wants to feel better. The support he has had has been fantastic especially from our gp. Finding it all very draining on both of us and there seems to be no support for parents. Hope you and your son get the help and support you need x

EE123 Tue 16-Jun-15 10:03:48

Make sure your husbands insurance will cover in patient treatment At the priory. Although getting a private diagnosis is helpful Camhs doesn't have to recognize it. We were offered in patient after my dc swallowed a bottle of pills. We took her to a hospital with a pediatric wing during the day and she was assessed and immediately admitted. She was then referred to an
in patient u it for four months. You can message me if you think it's helpful.

SecretSquirrels Tue 16-Jun-15 18:47:39

squeak10 This is a zombie thread and most people will not look. I suggest you start a fresh thread either here or in mental health.
Please also look at this organisation Papyrus

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