Teen sons - anxiety and inertia (long post)(5 Posts)
I am not sure where to post this, so I apologise if it is not in the most appropriate section. I have posted here frequently, and received excellent advice and support, so I will try to keep this as brief and focused as possible.
Basically, I have two sons who have severe anxiety problems. My eldest (17) also has Asperger syndrome. Both the boys have been very isolated for a long time. My youngest stopped attending school about a year ago (he is 15) and receives 5 hours of home tuition a week. He has lost all contact with school friends and has developed a profound health anxiety which leads him to sterilise cutlery; avoid shops or public places and literally melt down if anyone coughs. His brother shakes profusely and has panic attacks which involve screaming if he is faced with any situation or problems that he cannot cope with. The whole situation was made worse with child protection issues over the summer.
Now hosptialisation is being talked about for both boys. My eldest son went to a CAMHS appointment and screamed so much he was sick. The consultant psychiatrist contacted me afterwards and expressed her concern. She suggested an inpatient admission so that my son could be monitored and perhaps blood tests to check his medication could be administered. (At the moment we have had no success getting him to have a blood test at the GP or other outlets). My other son has begun to refuse his home tuition and will not come out of the car for his CAMHS appointment. His psychologist has suggested that perhaps an inpatient admission would be beneficial so that he can break his routines and the cycle of refusal.
So, I am feeling a bit lost. I want desperately to help my sons, but they do not seem to be making progress. I have organised a visit at home from a voluntary group this Friday and I am trying to talk my eldest into just saying 'hello' to the co-ordinator and the mentor who I hoped would support my eldest if/when he feels able to start a little voluntary work. However, I am pretty sure he will simply hide and/or scream. Home tuition starts again on Thursday and although I will prepare my youngest for it, I am not sure he will attend. He spent the sessions before Easter locked in the bathroom.
There is a meeting on 20th to discuss my youngest and one on 21st to discuss my eldest and I know inpatient admission will be mentioned. However, I do not know if hospitalisation is the right option or even if it is possible given the state of CAMHS at the moment. Furthermore, I wonder what good admission would do if the boys just go back to the empty existence they have now. I keep feeling that I should be doing more, but I don't know what else I can do except keep encouraging the boys and providing opportunities for them (even if they refuse them). This just seems to have been going on for so long and it is draining me of strength and resources.
I just wanted to know if anyone has been through anything like this and, if so, how did you get over it? I would also appreciate anyone's honest opinion of the situation.
I'm sorry I have no real advice to give, I have a friend whose DC was hospitalised, but for different reasons, which really helped both the parents and the DC. If they are away from you maybe it will reduce your stress levels. Do you feel you are projecting your anxieties at all? I find if I can keep calm outwardly ( though not necessarily inside) that it helps in difficult situations. Also, your DCs are becoming adults, do you ask them what they want? Can they choose what medical treatment they think would help them? It sounds an incredibly difficult situation and I really feel for you. All the best for tomorrow.
Hi, HarHer, sorry you are all going through such a tough time. It might be worth also posting on the special needs boards (children and chat seem busiest, the teenage one is quiet) to see if anyone there has experienced similar situations.
Just a thought, would either of your dc accept contact from people trying to help them via pc messaging or text on phone? I don't know how CAMHS or the voluntary group would feel about this. It's a more distanced way of communicating that gives the dc some control. You can access education online too rather than have a visiting tutor. I know it doesn't resolve the isolation in the same way as face to face contact but it might be a way to move forward a little.
Thank you for the responses. It is good to hear from someone who is going through this, because sometimes I lose focus of how my children may feel when they are so trapped by their fears and rituals. Thank you as well for the suggestion about electronic communication and resources. My youngest refused all but 15 minutes of Thursday's session, but attended all Friday's session and worked quite well. My eldest son sat next to the visitor for 10 minutes yesterday as well so it does seem like small steps are being made. My eldest was shaking throughout his meeting and could not speak during the encounter, but at least he came down.
I have encouraged the boys to learn online and in embedded activities. However, they refuse if they feel any sort of pressure is put upon them. I take notice of what they are interested in and use that as a vehicle for wider learning, yet their interests are quite circumscribed: my youngest is almost obsessed by Japanese cars and has acquired a phenomenal amount of knowledge about them; my eldest has been fascinated by tornadoes for years.
Thank you again for your support.
Can I just say you sound like you are a wonderful caring mother you are doing the best you can for them .Best of luck to you and your son's from mother of a 17yr old son who has social anxiety .
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