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Really worried about DS (15)

(42 Posts)
campingismyjam17 Fri 03-Nov-17 17:48:17

He has told his sister (18) he doesn't want to live anymore and wanted to die before his 16 birthday but won't do it because he is too much of a coward.

He is, or was a high achiever at school but this is slipping drastically. He has lost all motivation and doesn't see the point(or so he says to his sister). My daughter was so concerned she told me but I couldn't say anything to him directly as I didn't want daughter to feel she had broken his confidence. I have tried to talk to him in a round about way and he has told me about friends and their problems and I used this as an opportunity to tell him he could always talk to me etc. He has always kept things to himself and does not talk about his feelings. I am really surprised by this as I just wouldn't have guessed, I thought it was his sense of humour. He always used to joke and say things like "kill yourself" or "I just want to kill myself". I know he wasn't happy about his appearance as he was quite chubby but at almost 6ft he has really slimmed down. I am also worried he may have issues around his weight, as he frequently skips lunch as I find it in his backpack. I did ask him if he felt he might be depressed and he said possibly. He didn't want to talk. I asked him if he wanted me to try and get him some help (his sister had/has social anxiety and was under CAMHS) she went through the school counsellor and our G.P to get the referral. He said he would speak to a Dr but not with me there.

Can he speak to a Dr without me? Should I approach his school and speak to the HOY? Daughter thinks I need to intervene. She talks to him and will explain about the counsellor/encourage him to go.

He has friends but is not happy with some of them. There is a lot of 'banter' and he is sometimes the butt of it. He does speak up. He never used to go out but has recently been going out and had a girlfriend, his first, for a little bit.

Outwardly he seems fine if not a bit morose and non-communicative but I just put this down to being a teen. He doesn't get angry, he is lazy. He is a model pupil in school and always has been.

I'm sorry this is so long but I could do with some advice about how to proceed with this. Daughter has stressed that he really needs to tell me how he feels but he hasn't, not really.

I don't think he will do anything but I also didn't notice he was feeling so bad.

I work 3 days a week, long hours and I feel like I've dropped the ball somehow.

Caulk Fri 03-Nov-17 21:22:29

He can speak to a GP alone, or you can go. He can also speak to childline.

I would contact his school too and ask for support from the pastoral team.

Sundance2741 Fri 03-Nov-17 21:59:12

Childline are good. They'll contact police too if they think the child is at risk of harming themselves (if they can work our who the child is which they do try to do - my dd contact them once and have her school name so they approached school ) This could lead to referrals onwards.

Could pastoral care at school have a chat with him f you asked?

Caulk Fri 03-Nov-17 22:00:29

I used to work for childline and there there are times when they’ll breach the child’s confindentity, but also they will work with them to access help, like going through what they can say to a doctor and practicing it with them

InternetHoopJumper Fri 03-Nov-17 22:46:27

The depression could be caused, at least in part, by poor eating habits.

I definitely think he needs help. Definitely sit him down and discuss your concerns. Tell him you think he's not doing well and need to see a counselor. Then get him an appointment and let him decide if he wants anyone to come with him. The not talking is what is making the situation worse.

campingismyjam17 Sat 04-Nov-17 12:23:17

Thank you everyone. I have spoken to him this morning. It was an extremely difficult, won't say conversation, as he didn't want to engage, but it's a start.I'm even more worried now, not that he will do anything but the depths of his depression. He was just shrugging, I just hadn't noticed.

He's a gamer and he plays online with his friends from junior school. The computer is in our back room so I can monitor what he is doing. He always seemed to be enjoying himself and was always laughing and was a bit sweary .He has now said that he has been bored with playing games for months but he didn't know what else to do. He has a good relationship with his dad who lives with us. They share silly you tube videos and laugh and joke a lot. He has a tiny box room which he just tends to sleep in , the rest of the time he is downstairs or out. I know he isn't happy with his room and we have talked about doing it up but because of its size we can't do much.

He told me he hates himself, he hates everything about himself.He can't say how long he has felt like this but he thinks it is getting worse. I asked him why he didn't say anything and he said its because its sad and I didn't want to make you sad. What can I do? What can I do this weekend?

The earliest I can phone our Drs is Monday. I couldn't get through yesterday, it was just ringing or engaged. I could go in there but there is no privacy. I don't want to talk to a full waiting room about my sons MH problems. I don't know which of the Drs around at my surgery would be best placed to help him. There is one who is very old and shakes and doesn't even look at you. He would be no good.

I know he doesn't want school involved but I think I need to involve them to get quicker help potentially and to possibly help with a referral to CAMHS.

I'm just a bit of a mess right now. I won't let him see me like this as he will feel bad, he's a sensitive soul. Thanks again for your support, it's helping.

MoodyMumOfOne Sat 04-Nov-17 16:13:58

So sorry to hear about this, your poor son. Young Minds has a parent help line, perhaps you could look at the website and call them today, they may help you talk through options and where to get help in your local area. Unfortunately there is always a wait for counselling so if you are in a position to, a private but ideally recommended therapist might be best. Definitely make a gp appointment on Monday, and yes the right one is important. In my experience gp receptionists are not dragons, tell them very briefly and ask who they think would a suitable one for a teenage boy. Thinking of you and do keep us updated flowers

bengalcat Sat 04-Nov-17 16:26:44

He's said he'll see a doctor so go right ahead and make an appointment . If he doesn't want the school involved then that's ok at this point in time . You said his grades were slipping so whilst I'm generalising here on the information available it begs the question why the school haven't asked to see you when a previous high achiever seems to be slipping - so I'm with him on that one .

Oblomov17 Sat 04-Nov-17 16:30:26

Ask for an urgent GP appointment on Monday. That seems a good place to start.

Usuallytootiredbuthappyanyway Sat 04-Nov-17 16:47:10

Well done for getting him to talk to you so far, that is brilliant progress. If he says he will speak to a doctor that is also positive and a clear next step. I think it is entirely reasonable for him to talk to them alone. Feelings are very personal and he obviously worries about upsetting you. Hang on in there xx

RaindropsAndSparkles Sat 04-Nov-17 16:57:42

Urgent GP apt. Can you phone explain to reception ask to speak to Dr before apt. He needs clinical help. CAMHS may take a while and not be great. Can you sort him out some counselling while waiting? Don't tell them though or they'll push him down the list.

If you've got the money I'd pay for a full psychiatric assessment and take it from there. This was dd three years ago. Bloody awful, I feel for you. Keep yourself well and be there. (Lock up your medicines btw).

Workingmamma Sat 04-Nov-17 16:57:56

If he's 16 he can probably access your local IAPT service (Google your nearest big town plus IAPT). It's very worth going to GP too for a referral to your local CAMHS duty worker for a triage assessment, but the wait to see a mental health professional may be quite long. IAPT will typically be a few weeks wait, and they can escalate your son quicker internally. Samaritans and ChildLine will also be helpful in the interim. If you have serious immediate concerns at any point in the future, GP and A&E are options. Hope this helps.

campingismyjam17 Sat 04-Nov-17 17:30:20

Can I ask what an assessment might cost? I feel awful for thinking about the money side of it when it's my sons mental health but I have never paid for anything privately before. I have looked at some websites, I live in greater London on the outskirts so can easily get into London. If anyone has any recommendations that would be great too. The more I think about it and especially in light of what I have since read about changes in behaviour etc, the symptoms were there. I just feel awful.

RaindropsAndSparkles Sat 04-Nov-17 19:26:02

Don't feel awful. You are a mother not a MH professional. I sympathise.

Over 18 1months, including an ASD/ADHD assessment and about 20 sessions of therapy about £4500, covering also about 7-8 psychiatric reviews. That doesn't include day care and therapies for the anorexia which we managed to nip in the bud early.

Advice: get on the waiting list for CAMHS. Do not tell CAMHS you are doing anything privately while waiting or they will close your case. Confirm everything they tell you back to them in writing.

She presented with depression and anxiety. She was high performing and well loved in a stable family. Anxiety attacks which we put down to GCSE's, cutting, small od's, no suicidal ideation. Yr 11 caused the escalation and she dropped out of and retook Y12.

She had CBT, didn't engage, fluoxetine, day care, more therapy, she knew something was wrong. She pushed for the ASD assessment which I didn't see at all. She actually had ADHD. And as soon as it was diagnosed it was a lightbulb moment

A hard, tough journey and the diagnosis was the turning point.

She is well, happy and fulfilled her potential at A'Level.

You are a fantastic mum and if you weren't you wouldn't be asking for support. You need support too btw. flowers

PM me if you think it might help. Happy to help.

campingismyjam17 Wed 08-Nov-17 20:18:52

He saw a Dr this afternoon. Dr wouldn't see him alone as he's under 16 but son said it was okay for me to stay. It was tough, for both of us, mostly for son as he was saying stuff he probably didn't want me to hear but now I have heard I am better prepared. He has been prescribed sertraline but a low dose to be reviewed in a months time. He also needs to get a fasting blood test done to rule out anything physical.
From reading the blurb I know that under 18's shouldn't have it as it can make them have suicidal thoughts. Son is having dark thoughts so I am worried. I have a fantastic pharmacist so I went round to see him. We are on first name terms as he has been my chemist for over 20 years and he is normally my go to guy, he is incredible. I was in there for about half an hour. I could tell he was conflicted and I appreciate his help, it's complex indeed but he does feel with close monitoring it could /should help son start to feel better.
I just feel really tearful that it has come to this , that my son has been coping with these feelings alone.
I pressed for counselling. He also needs to talk. I was surprised as our surgery has a counsellor. I am hoping for a phone call from her tomorrow , to do a phone assessment.
So that's pretty much it so far. it must have taken so much for son to talk about his feelings like that. The Dr was good, what killed me was when son said he didn't want to live to be an adult.

knittingwithnettles Sun 19-Nov-17 23:09:55

17 year was very depressed last year and blood test showed he was suffering vitamin d deficiency. His level was 30. 3 weeks later he was much much cheerier and more energetic, after lots of supplements prescribed by doctor (I think 20,000 iu at week supplement) He had spent summer under grey skies, very little sport and was indoors a lot, getting up late and winter made things even worse. Doctor did not even notice until I pressed for result, his result got put on "normal" pile by mistake.. And people were suggesting counselling and fluoxetine, pyschotherapy. It was a DEFICIENCY, so I hope you have found out now whether there is any physical cause, perhaps B12, iron or folates deficiency if it was not vitamin D. Son now takes 1000iu supplement a day. Levels should be at least 70mg - deficiencies are chronically underdiagnosed in teens, because people assume it is a MH issue.

user1469953227 Sun 19-Nov-17 23:26:31

campingismyjam17 I am in a similar situation so early days for us.

I have everyone on board School,Counsellor and now Cahms.

I am confused as to why your GP would not see your son alone that is not correct. I am also surprised that he was precsibed medication after 1 assessment. I am absolutely no expert on any of this & I don’t think there is an easy answer. If you think I can help by telling you my circumstances & what we have done up to date then please PM me.

It is devastating & I totally understand what you are going through.

knittingwithnettles Mon 20-Nov-17 14:25:27

NB further to Vit D deficiency, just checked and when ds1 was at his worst point aged 16, first year of A levels Dec to Feb, his Vitamin D levels were 25 mol, (not 30 as I first said) 25 is the point at which insufficiency becomes DEFICIENCY..

do hope the fluxoetine is also helping thanks

campingismyjam17 Fri 24-Nov-17 10:45:41

Hi, we haven't had the results of his blood test yet but thank you, I will be asking about his levels.
He has had 2 sessions with the counsellor at the surgery which he really isn't finding helpful. She thinks he is "super stressed" (her words) because of school. She also said yesterday that he is "very weak emotionally" and recommended that he joins a gym.She said that if he got stronger physically it would help him with his emotional strength.
I am trying to keep as close an eye on him as I can without him noticing.He seems okay but I thought he was okay before.He doesn't think the tablets are having an effect but likes the idea that they might. He surprised me by wanting to go to his 6th form open evening and was interested in some subjects.
He is still doing what he was doing before, gaming, going out for a bit after school. He has started to listen to music more and it is quite morose(I've been trying to listen to the lyrics lol) He says he's sleeping okay. He is looking after his appearance but his appetite has dropped and I saw him topless this morning and thought he was looking skinny.

Ttbb Fri 24-Nov-17 10:52:05

I would definitely intervene. My first instinct would be try a change in circumstances. You say he's not happy with his friends and his grades are suffering-could his school be the problem, at that age it can be hard if you are forced into the company of people who are drastically different from you. Has this been a long standing issue or is it just recent? Maybe he needs a break? Any chance of going abroad/into the wilderness for a few months with him? You've mentioned body image issues-does he govti the gym? If not why not get him a membership and a personal trainer? Weight lifting could really help his self esteem, the endorphins will also help with mental health problems (and he will learn good habits for life). Definitely suggest seeing a counsellor but I would advise against letting on that you daughter told you. He has at least one person that he feels he can talk to, don't take that away from him.

campingismyjam17 Fri 24-Nov-17 10:57:54

We are looking into joining a gym, I think that would really help him.

He wants to go to 6th form at his current school. He trusts the teachers there.

He is trying to reach out to new people on social media. He is talking to some new girls who go to neighbouring schools and is meeting up with one of them tomorrow which I see as a positive.

He has a couple of really nice mates but some awful boys in his main friendship group but my son and another boy have been trying to get away from them and are trying to do things away from them.

Movablefeast Sat 25-Nov-17 17:26:40

OP I know this is complex and it's great that you are attacking his depression from multiple angles. Exercise helps me so much with my mood and has been shown to be the best antidote to depression and anxiety. I particularly like weight training as the tensing and releasing of muscles is a real stress reliever. Why don"t you all join the gym and make it an activity you do as much as possible together? I workout with my teens ages 17 and 14 and we all enjoy it. Sometimes we are in the building together but doing different activities as they are much more flexible etc than me, naturally. Exercise will also help you cope with the stress and worry.

Movablefeast Sat 25-Nov-17 17:31:26

You may also want to see if there is a personal trainer that has experience with teens and their common issues. I have a trainer who is actually 65 (!) and does triathlons. She is fantastic and such a great role model for me and my kids. She coached my 17 yr during the summer and prepared her for cross-country season. My kids love her too. The more positive adults on your team the better.

zazasabore Sat 25-Nov-17 17:42:41

Dr Paul Bain (Consultant Psychiatrist) is very experienced with teenagers who have suicidal tendencies and I can personally recommend him. Based in London, Private. My son was not suicidal but he had a certain amount of post A level stress - only needed two sessions. Also experienced with eating disorders and depression.

campingismyjam17 Wed 24-Jan-18 22:43:59

Quick update. He is still taking the Sertraline (50mg) but is not feeling an affect. Dr's counsellor has now said he should see school counsellor. I have been into school (this week) and have spoken to HOY. She seemed very understanding but from what son has since said, has not done anything.Last Thursday, at 8.25, he said to me " you know I want to die. . . right" This obviously left me in pieces with frantic phone calls to Drs surgery to try and speak to counsellor. When I did finally speak to her and talked to her about my concerns(I have had no support or anything) I think she realised and that day she phoned me 3 times and mentioned safeguarding!!!
Had parents evening tonight. He is seriously bombing and I mean failing seriously. Nearly every teacher was saying "what is happening? " " What is going on?" I couldn't talk about his mental health issues in such a public place.I don't know what to do, really, seriously. He is telling me he didn't think he would have to think about his exams because he didn't think he would be here.I don't know what to do. I don't know how to talk to him, I don't know how to respond,I am so, so scared. I don't recognise my son at all.

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