Suicidal 15 yr of son(15 Posts)
I've never posted on this board before so this is the first time. I've never even been on Mumsnet before .........I'm just a bit despearate for a bit of help I have a son who has just turned 15, in October he spent 8 weeks in an adolescent CAMHS unit as he attempted to hang himself several times. He came out and tried again but really didn't want to go back into hospital so he stayed at home and they upped his medication. I suppose I just need to some support from other parents as I have no idea how to handle him. He is receiving help from CAMHS who are great but with the best will in the world you can not make a boy engage with CBT if he doesn't want to. He's so angry all the time. It is like he has this big aura of rage encircling his whole being and it is impossible to talk to him. He now says he want to stop taking his medication (30mg of fluoxetine) as it is increasing his suicidal thoughts which he is plagued with. We are going to see the psychiastrist on Tuesday which is good but he never tells them what he tells me or he feels ok when he sees them and he only reaches out to me when he feels really bad. Furthermore, he started smoking 'weed' as he calls it which is a real worry as he has been warned that it could tip him into a space of even greater mental illness.
Oh I don't know , it is so hard and this weekend I ended up ill in bed with the most terrible cough and cold which I am sure has been brought on by the stress of all this. I just don't know how to help him. He was my lovely boy and now is this person who I hardly recognise, I feel I've lost him to this terrible thing, depression which has so much stigma attached to it. It is life threatening yet, to say my son has tried to hang himself numerous times feels shameful like I have been a bad mother and that he is somehow bad also. Sorry to rant just feel physically really rotten and emotionally very low right now.
I'm so sorry about your situation.
It sounds like he may need hospitalisation for s short while?
I don't suppose you have medical insurance? He would be seen and assessed v quickly.
I don't know how to help but would recommend the charity Papyrus
How awful for you to be going through all that. First of all, it's really really not your fault, but that of a chemical imbalance in the brain which is doing all sorts of horrible things to your son. You aren't a bad mother, the fact that he will talk to you sometimes means that he has some trust in you so you must have got something right. It is stressful having a son with depression and does take it's toll so do look after yourself if only so you can be there for your son who really needs you so much right now. More than he can really know.
My son is 16 and is starting to come through depression. he's on 20mg fluoxetine and it did make him more suicidal to start with but as he has improved thankfully that tendency has reduced. Again thankfully, the worse he got was planning how to harm himself and cutting himself when it all got too much. Poor thing has so little energy at times that all he could do was lie on the floor. Sitting was too much effort. We still have meltdowns where he has horrible thoughts and lies on the floor totally out of it, usually triggered by pressure of exams.
He's been having mostly weekly sessions at Camhs since being diagnose in January and he has wanted me in every session he goes to. It means that I hear some pretty upsetting stuff, but it also means I can (gently) guide the discussion and mention things that have happened. If it helps I send an e-mail before the meeting saying what has happened since the last time as there is no ways my son will talk about any of it unless asked - is that an option for you? The e-mails have really helped because he mentioned that he thought he was depressed last autumn but nothing was done - he was being seen for anxiety and coming to terms with an Aspergers diagnosis - it was only when I wrote about what happened over Christmas did they step up the counselling and get him assessed as an urgent case for depression. CBT didn't work for him. it's too much effort, and when they are that ill there isn't the energy or the will to undertake work of that nature. Time, medication and talking is what has helped most.
When they are in such a dark place the world does seem to them such a bad place to be, it can be hard helping them to see positives in life. Helping them to find something that helps block out the negative thoughts is a start - my son uses on line TV shows and e-comics if he's too low in energy to cope with computer gaming. Is there anything like that which helps your son?
It might be the only way forward is another spell in hospital, although I can see why he doesn't want to do that.
You might find it helpful to book a session with a counsellor at Young Minds - the phone line has basic information but you can ask for a 50 minute session with someone who has training, talking to someone may help a lot.
Lots of and hugs.
It is horrible, horrible, horrible. But you have to think of it as just another illness: if he was delirious with pneumonia or a kidney infection, you would not have lost him; it would be the illness. This is the illness. It is a bastard, but it's not something either of you has done. And the vast majority of sufferers recover. You have to hang on to that.
And re the stigma, I have found that among young people there is far less stigma and more openness. Came as quite a surprise to me as my generation were very awkward around any type of MH issues. But I don't think the present generation is going to go back to that. It's beginning to seem a bit Victorian.
We had family therapy. Not because anyone suggested there was an unhealthy dynamic in our family or that we were to blame, but simply to support us through a difficult time. It was very helpful, just to have a safe place to talk in.
Firstly you must be so worried but please remember you are doing a great job. Mental illness is awful and very frightening for those affected. There have been some really great answers so far so I don't want to duplicate. I'd try and seek medial advise about the weed .... It's bad stuff and can cause no ends of problems. I'd also (after seeking professional help) try animal therapy, horses and dogs both have calming effects for depression abd offer a sense of responsibility and most of all comfort and distraction. Take a look at dogsfordepression.org.uk/how-dogs-help-us.html
Really hope all is well soon for you and your son and please do post again if you ever feel you need support or just to talk
So sorry Nancy. :-(
I am in tears and exhausted with sadness tonight because my 16 yr old dd is also suicidal. She has told me she will be dead before she is 18 and I feel as though our whole family is staring down the barrel of a gun. I know I shouldn't be angry with her but I am. :-(
So so sorry.
Yes, email, I used to do this.
Think about diff medication. You sometimes need to try three or so sorts at diff strengths.
Obv tell school. Lay off stress if at all possible.
If nit CBT, see if any other therapy, to help him/ them work the anger it through. Art therapy, family therapy, is there stuff going on at home or school?
Try to lay if weed, because it can cause psychosis.
Hospitalise, take out of school even if not in hospital ( get Drs. Letter).
Look after ŷourself.
Just checking in to lend some support. I have a teenage son who has been unwell on and off for three years now. He has been taking fluoxetine for 14 months. He has regular CBT and school have been v.supportive. When he is ill it's so worrying and emotionally exhausting. When he's well, part of me is still worrying, as I'm not sure how long the period of stability will last.
So sorry to hear this. We havent had to the extreme of the depression what your son is going through but we have had depression and despair.
I would look around his computer, social media, and also check if any of his friends are going through anything. As much as we thought our dd would feel she could tell us anything she had a friend who was going through a tough time and we didnt know this, we have found out a few things from friends of hers going through stuff affected her.
also its a slow process as its been for us but tune into what his interests are hobbies and get him to do more of it, for our daughter it was baking and its made her confidence a lot better and she is good at it and of course enjoys eating it
This is the sort of thing the councillor got her to talk about - what dog will she have when shes older, will she live near us, what type of house, for you it could be what car would he want..more future talk.. the problem is they get stuck in the here and now and with the pressure of exams school work they think its the be all and end all and its not, our daughter put so much pressure on herself.
positive affirmations around the house, you can get cushions /canvases this we believe has helped our daughter, she even has a place in her room where everything is that brings happy memories and thoughts. If he has good friends maybe you put a pic in a frame and put it on his desk or something, just so he can see it and remind him he has great friendships.
Also i second young minds they are fantastic and maybe look to get him into deep breathing/meditation, there's a good app called calm.
i would trawl your house for anything he can remotely do any danger to himself and keep a very close eye on him which im sure you do already.
Keep us posted how he goes, wishing you the very best big hugs to you, really feel for you x
Thank you for all the kind messages. I was so lovely to get support. As I didn't hear anything back, being new to Mumsnet I thought that I must have sounded like some mad, winging mother! I got an email today saying there were replies to my post and then read all this love and support.
We went for a team meeting on Tuesday with everybody there, from the family therapist, to the team leader and the psychiatrist. It was decided to move him from 30mg fluoxetine to sertraline but to have 4 weeks off the medication as a way of accessing what is going on as fluoxetine seemed to increase his suicidal thoughts to at times that is all he could think about. He's currently in therapy twice a week which is new and seems to contain his anxiety and rage which is such a relief.
I have still got a terrible cough and cold which I am sure is a result of all the stress that we have been going through. It was good to hear that other children when depressed get very tired as sometimes my son goes to bed at 8pm as he is so exhausted. Thank you all letting me know that I am not alone.xxx
Keep us posted Nancy. All the very best for what's coming up. Hopefully the break from the meds will help him and all the therapy I'm sure with your great support too he will hopefully start to feel better x
Thanks for the update, OP. Glad to hear that the therapy seems to be helping him.
Tiredness is absolutely par for the course- for the two of you. Anxiety/depression always seems to have the effect of making my dd sleep round the clock. And it makes me more tired too.
The weed is a worry as you know as it can make mental health problems even worse but it's understandable that you son wants to 'self medicate' if he feels the pills aren't working. The sertraline is a good step. My DD was on fluoxetine for 9 months and I should have made them review it earlier as it really did nothing where as the sertraline made a big difference in about four weeks - didn't cure her but I think the suicidal thoughts went. Can you talk to your son about the weed issue? Tell him you understand why he's tempted but see if he'll hold off until the sertraline has had a fair trial. I really feel for you having been through similar. Don't add guilt or shame to the mix. When I saw the difference the sertraline made to DD I finally accepted that this illness has a biochemical base which all the therapy and family support in the world can't necessarily cure alone. That's not to say therapy and family don't matter - they are hugely important in recovering, but without the kick start of medication some people simply can't function enough to use the other support. Mumsnet was a god send to me and no doubt will be again although at present things seem to be better for us.
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