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Teenage depression? Or just typical teen?

(10 Posts)
Donkdonkgoo Wed 16-Jan-19 20:43:45

Hi please can you let me know your thoughts.

My son has been low and withdrawn since early December, he's 15 and school pressure getting to him and there is just me and him at home.

I'm struggling to try and decide if it's just a phase maybe seasonal dark weather added in to teen and school work pressure or if it's something more? I've tried talking to him and he is just very quiet (although noisy on PS4) and says he's fed up and has no enthusiasm for anything. He has one out of school club and I've tried assorts to try and encourage sport but he's just not interested.
So my question is how to differentiate between regular teen stuff or if it's something more serious? I've not mentioned depression to him as it would put words in his mouth xx

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Blessthekids Wed 16-Jan-19 20:51:06

Tbh it could be either. I would contact his form tutor and have a chat. Have they noticed a change. Have his grades slipped. Has he fallen out with friends etc
In the mean time, make sure he is eating a balanced diet and spends time outdoors as it could be S.A.D.

Donkdonkgoo Wed 16-Jan-19 21:15:33

Yes I'm going to contact his school tomorrow, I think he's at the bottom of the pecking order in his friendship circle which doesn't help. Trying to get him outdoors is really difficult as all his friends want to play against each other on line at weekends, last weekend I told him to go visit his nan (20 mins walk) or he could stay in and help me clean the house 😊.... that got him out last week. I think I need to be firm and tell him he's coming out with me etc walking in the country he's just really against going or doing anything with mum as he's just at that really self conscious age. Thanks for your suggestions x

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PaperPumpkin Thu 17-Jan-19 16:22:35

Oh I feel for you. I have 3 teenage boys and it’s so difficult to understand their emotions. And the Xbox/PS4/computer doesn’t help, especially when it’s their main point of contact with friends...you don’t want to stop that. I suppose it’s about havign some boundaries - limits to time on PS4. But then there’s their phones, instagram etc... it’s endless. My boys are acouple of years older than yours but I wish I’d put more boundaries earlier...it’s more difficult as they’d get older.

I think it would be great if you could start a conversation about his mood, even if you don’t want to mention depression. You could talk about feeling low or down or stressed. Maybe ask how he’s feeling on a scale of 1-10, which gets around him having to find the words. Or red, amber, green. Sorry if these sound really obvious.

It’s difficult when they don’t want to do things with Mum (mine are constantly embarrassed by me), especially publicly. Is there something you can do together, even a tv show, or making dinner together? Just to keep channels of conversation open.

It is tough, but you sound like a great mum and your son will know that, even if he’s doesn’t show it.

Donkdonkgoo Thu 17-Jan-19 20:42:15

@PaperPumpkin
Ahhh thank you for your lovely message, some great pointers there I hadn't thought about so thank you.

This morning Just as I arrived at work I got a call from DS he was really upset and said he wasn't going to school, so I called work and went home and took DS for a long walk and he said he's just really really fed up with school so much so it's getting him really down.
I've spoke to school and we've decided some steps to help him.
I've also chatted to him and agreed he needs to push himself to try things and go places even if he doesn't really want to.
At weekends he's going to come out walking with me (we live near the Lake District) even if just a few hours and it might boost his mood and get him out -offPS4- of the house.
My work have been fantastic which really took the pressure off today.

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PaperPumpkin Thu 17-Jan-19 21:03:19

Oh I’m so glad you’ve had a little breakthrough today, and great that your instinct was spot on. At least once the school knows he’s struggling a little, they can keep an eye on him. I’m so glad you found my words a tiny bit helpful - I’m struggling with one of my boys at the moment and feeling like a rubbish Mum, so it’s nice to maybe offer support to someone’s else.

So I’m not an expert, but one thing that helped a couple of my boys was getting in to going for a run and to the gym. A great way to burn off some tension and get thoughts in order., alone or with a friend. The other thing we did (not for everyone!) was to get a dog. I was very reluctant, but it’s been great. We’re on edge of countryside and the boys love taking her out for walks and just adore her. Gives them a chance to be soft and cuddly when their hormones are telling them to be prickly and distant. But not an expert...!

Good luck with your plan - your son’s lucky to have you!

Blessthekids Thu 17-Jan-19 22:21:05

Good luck. I'm glad he can confide in you and knows you are there for him.

Donkdonkgoo Thu 17-Jan-19 22:43:53

Thanks both you lovelies

@PaperPumpkin your doing a fab job too with the sounds of it, I would LOVE to get my son a dog he's asked a number of times, but I'm allergic but I cant recall when i last had a reaction tbh, also I leave the house at 7.45 and don't get in until 6 or later sometimes, I get up at 6.30, son gets up at 7 (cos he's slow). I think about getting one most days it's such a responsibility and we are both out all day and would have to pay a walker. I will give it more thought.
Thanks again x

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Blessthekids Fri 18-Jan-19 23:00:49

Maybe instead of getting a dog, you can look into volunteering at dog kennels/shelter. I have also heard of an organisation called borrow my dog or something like that. They will give him an idea of the work involved.

Donkdonkgoo Fri 18-Jan-19 23:37:58

@Blessthekids
I've actually looked into borrow my dog, I just never subscribed I will look into it this weekend thanks lovely 😘 xx

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