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18 YO with MH problems has utterly ground me down.(33 Posts)
Been off MN for a while because of pressures of work. But in a bad way and needing the loving embrace of the MN massive.
Some people on here may remember DS2 (now 18) who has had MH problems for six years, culminating most recently with a year spent in a CAMHS unit. DS2 was discharged from there in September 2018. He started sixth form college, was doing fine for a term, and has now relapsed. We have a meeting on Friday where they might well give him an ultimatum as he hasn't been in college for a month. I am dreading that. I don't know what the hell he could do next if he got kicked out, and indeed there is absolutely nothing he wants to do, apparently.
The strain is just awful. It's like having a dementor living in the bedroom across the hall, with all positivity sucked out of us all. I hate coming home and I hate evenings and weekends. He's frequently verbally and occasionally physically abusive. We're stranded between Child and Adult services, and while the GP has been nice and tried to tweak his medication, the reality is DS2 hasn't agreed to engage with other outside support, and just feels sorry for himself the whole time, taking it out on us and his siblings. He's also started binge drinking.
I have compassion fatigue and would quite like to go to bed and not wake up myself. Brexit stress isn't exactly helping matters.
Sorry no experience (mines only 11) - that sounds so hard . Just wanted to send unmumsnetty ((((hugs))) and xxx
Someone with great advice will be here in a min Have you seen the 'Is parenting a teenager affecting your mental health' thread?
Lots going through similar or same
I did see that thread but it made me feel even worse ...
The lack of provision for children & teenagers is so utterly poor -it makes me so angry. We went through similar with my brother (all be it he was younger). He did turn it around, went to Uni, has a great profession (Civil Engineer) is married and a great father.
My brother was a heroin addict at 15 (shock) fucking 15! It took a long time, nearly killed my mother. We sent him to a stern Uncle in a different country (N.Ireland). Even now (he's 35) he finds it hard to forgive himself for the unhappiness /devastation he put us through - and we know we're lucky he got out whole and alive.
I suppose what I'm trying to say - things can turn around. Similarly I've been to a wedding this month of a friends brother who is bipolar and they had an awful time - but he's working , been to Uni and very stable.
My heart goes out to you - it's so monumentally hard, watching someone you love fuck it all up, whilst living through it.
Thank you Crone. I wonder if the stern uncle has a vacancy? I think DS2 would benefit from a dose of that It's the unreasonableness of it all, and the underpinning expectation we all drop everything and fuss over him when he does so little to help himself.
Not sure I can say much that helps but as that sounds utterly shit for you. Would he be able to return to the CAHMS unit?
No, he is too old apparently. They finish at 17.
Teenagers being prone to meglamania anyway - then problems, no risk behaviour management on top - it's like a special place in hell you're living in. Have you got a decent GP? Ours was great -but ultimately all the programmes /talking didn't work for my brother. He went to N.Ireland when he was 17 -( as a catholic with a British accent but a truly Irish first name, he had no friends for years ) had a horrible time cold turkey - resat he GCSE's then A levels. My Uncle died last year & my brother was at his bedside.My brother married an Irish woman and lives there now - we were lucky.
I still lived at home, one night I woke, walked out in the dark onto the landing and found my mum with a pillow in her hand at his door watching him sleep 😮 - I knew what she was going to do! She told me she couldn't watch him destroy himself any more...
Is there anything vocational your son is interested in - gaming? anything? Try to keep him away from the booze and hash if he smokes it - awful depressants.
He does like gaming and got himself to an event yesterday.
Well that's good - so he can get his arse into gear: I know game design is a thing ( I'm sure there is a game designer on here) I wonder if he'd be interested in something like thst?
It's so easy to say you - 'you look after yourself, be kind to yourself ' but please try. Is there on conselling open to him? (presuming he'd take part) or has he just fallen through the MH age gap?
Call the police if he is physically abusive. You need to keep yourself safe, for his sake as well as your own.
Your situation is worse than mine I think. DS1 is 20 now and has never been an inpatient. And he has never been abusive. But I know what you mean about the constant struggle to keep things going and the dread in the pit of the stomach.
DS is currently changing meds. I am thankful that I have been able to afford private psychiatric and psychological care. Is that an option? About £300 for consultant psychiatrist initial appointment, less for later ones, and £100 per session for the psychologist. Say £3k total?
We've got a private psychiatrist but that doesn't give access to support services. We need the NHS referral for that, which hopefully will happen on Friday.
We have rung the police in the past after a knife brandishing incident, but again, they are limited in what they can do as putting an ill teen in a cell is less than ideal.
He has been saying to his brother that he feels abandoned by the people on the unit as they are no longer in touch with him. But he won't ring the local youth counselling helpline for fresh help.
Oh that sounds tough. Has he been prescribed meds? Sometimes I wonder if they just cause a whole new set of problems but DS says he feels better on them ...
He is on fifth line medication (i.e. the fifth one we tried) and he's just had his dose doubled. He's been on them for most of the last five years.
DS has just had his switched. Last time his dose was put up he went to bed every afternoon for a few days - and took the dose back down again. Now he is taking the lower dose combined with something else. I don't know how it will settle down. I find it hard to keep being the voice of positivity, especially having been on my own for the last few years, but what else is there to do.
Do you ever have nice times with him or are those gone for now? DS is cheerful some of the time which makes it just about manageable. Most of the time.
Good question. He is occasionally civil but always very wrapped up in himself. His mood can change very quickly to taciturn and gloomy, even when we think it's going well. In social groups it's as though he deliberately alienated himself by being withdrawn and looking glum, even though he wants friends and says he is terribly lonely.
I'm afraid he has to do something to help himself. You can't do it all. It looks as though he thinks it's everyone else's fault, people who won't contact him, people who don't make the effort to be friends with him. I think if he gets too abusive you'll have to tell him to leave. You've got other children to think about.
There's some truth in that. There is a very good agricultural/factory employment agency near us that takes people of different skill levels, including students, and I am thinking that if he drops out of school, I will take him across there with the instruction to find himself fruit picking work or the like. There's a shortage of workers at the moment because of Brexit. A summer working 10 hour days in polytunnels etc with motivated adults, learning to work at the right speed to a high standard with no room for excuses might open his eyes a bit.
The flip side to this is that he's a big, strong lad, used to the outdoors through scouting etc, so there's a chance he might actually be OK at it if he decides to make an effort. if he takes to it, he can even train doing tractor work, fork lift, etc. and raise his hourly wage.
If he hates it and decides he should have done A Levels after all, he could always do an Access to HE course in the September. By then he would hopefully have rediscovered the work ethic side of things.
I think 50% of his problem is a major depressive disorder, and 50% is bad attitude, tbh
Your posting could be mine! Nice to know I’m not alone in this!
My ds2 is also 18 been on meds for depression since late last year. Finally dropped out of 6th form a month ago. Now says he’s seeking work/ apprentice but only when I encourage him to do so...
Massive and violent row this morning as he rolled in from binge drinking and was abusive when I tried to get him up for a doctors appointment. I’m working from home and he’s still in bed.
I’m exhausted and would like to run away. I don’t know know how to handle this. It’s ruining my marriage and his dad is even more lost than me so just disengages.
I’m worried sick how this will pan out.
I totally agree with you - 50% depression and the rest is laziness/apathy/ me me me
Boffin I’d actually set him up in his own flat. Seriously. There is only so much we can do to help some one with depression. They really have to want to do it themselves. He is an adult now - let him be one.
Sometimes I’m not sure if depression changes the person or the person was already like that and the depression just maginified certain traits.
Depression fall out is a great book, it’s about how to deal with your own emotions and thoughts when some one in the family has depression.
My mother had it my entire childhood and I’ve said she was like a dementor too.
I think the work in the summer sounds like a great idea! - It might be just what he's needing - and give him resolve to give his education an honest go.
I couldn't read and run when I read your post Boffinmum. You have my sympathy. DS17 is currently on meds for depression and anxiety and hanging on to a college place by the skin of his teeth. The impact on our family is huge and it really does take its toll on our relationships and our health. Ours dabbles in alcohol and weed, no matter what we say or do to try and prevent it. CBT was refused because of the drug/alcohol use so his only support is an occasional GP appointment or the college counsellor. It's utterly heartbreaking...