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how can I help my anxious ds?

(7 Posts)
redsky Tue 15-Mar-05 14:26:11

Ds (17) is studying for AS levels and takes his work very seriously. He also plays hockey for the school (3 matches a week) and plays football on Sundays. He has just started driving lessons. As a hobby he studies Russian. He says he loves all his activities and doesn't want to stop any of them. However he says he finds it difficult to sleep at night because he is so anxious about the next day and now has no appetite on days when he has a match or driving lesson. He says he can see light at the end of the tunnel because next term he won't have any matches to play but then he will be facing 10 exam papers.
I know ds has always been prone to anxiety but I really thought he had developed strategies to help him cope so it has come as a bit of a bombshell to find he is so overwhelmed. It must be pretty bad for him to have confided in me. There is a school counsellor I could suggest he consults but I'm not sure he would go to her. How can I help him 'chill out' - especially when I've never learned to do that myself. (Been on anti-depressants and tranqilisers most of my adult life). He doesn't feel that the school or us is putting too much pressure on him - it is just his own high expectations of himself. Any advice anyone?????

jojo38 Tue 12-Apr-05 22:26:35

Hi Redsky Sorry to hear your ds is finding things difficult right now...

You mention that he loves his activities, he enjoys working, he has been prone to anxiety... etc... it seems to me that he is a hard working, hard playing young man going through a tasking time of his young life. I cannot see much that isn't "normal" here.

If you don't mind me saying - you mentioned that you have had difficulties yourself in the past and perhaps your stress for your son is having more of an effect on him than you realise. This is bound to have a nerving effect on you... he is your son and we all want our children to do well.

Are you perhaps unwittingly putting the pressure on by taking on this worry? How have you reacted to your son confiding in you? Do you mind me asking - are you a single parent? Is there a "duty" your ds may have taken on himself to do better for you/himself?

There can be so many factors resulting in stress but the main one is success at this time for any 17yo who gives a damn about his/her future.

Stress of such types can have many outcomes, and a main one is lack of appetite - wieght loss etc.. keep an eye on this if you think he is losing too much too quick.

Try to get him to eat something but don't panic him into doing so if he really doesn't feel like it. This will only cause him something extra to worry about. He will eat when he is hungry. Explain the reasons why he needs to eat in a calm "mumsy" fashion - he may see sense and think again about it.

Have you tried herbal remedies such as Kalms, or camomile teas etc... ? The doc may have some idea of other remedies but try to stay clear of the Barbs ok?

This will soon be over and the next thing will be A2s and they will be a doddle after this... please try not to worry for your son... be there and support him, encourage and soothe. Be a friend but most of all be his mum.

Huge hugs and best of luck to your ds. I am sure he will do just fine.

redsky Sun 17-Apr-05 17:01:50

thanks jojo for great supportive advice. All your suggestions sound right on the button. I'm not a single mum but it feels like it for all the help I get from dh. He is never aware of what the rest of us are up to or how we are feeling etc - doesn't really have a clue about any of us but that doesn't mean he doesn't love us. It just means i tend to overcompensate for his lack of attention to the kids, then he says I'm too involved so backs off even further - vicious circle all round and ds is the one that absorbs the bad vibes! Poor lad. Anyway ds says he is feeling a lot better now that he has had time to wind down over the easter hols - I've not asked to him to do anything more than empty the occasional bin or walk the dog occasionally. He's still progressing with the driving but dh can't understand why ds doesn't love it (just because he did at that age) and keeps insisting on taking ds out for practice! Ds has been eating more regularly and healthily over the hols. Might suggest kalms and herbal teas for when he goes back to school. thanks again for responding.

Chandra Sun 17-Apr-05 17:09:10

I believe it's great that he wants to do so many things, if he enjoys them and doesn't want to stop any of them how about lowering the expectations so he can relax a bit? If he realises that it's not the end of the world if you don't excel in everything you do he may cope better.

sallyenglebertstrawberry Sun 17-Apr-05 17:09:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

24hoursisnotenough Tue 19-Apr-05 20:58:27

Hi redsky, haven't got much advice - jojo38's was brilliant I thought. Just wanted to say that it sounds to me like he will get through anything with a caring, thoughtful mum like you to support him. Best wishes.

Jackal Tue 26-Apr-05 15:09:45

Hi Redsky
I have a DD doing A2 this year and she too takes her work very seriously. It does sound as though your son does have a lot on though - socially. Just wondered how are things on the friend front?Are they like-minded regarding study etc..?
He sounds quite ambitious and self motivated and I'm sure he'll do fine. I understand your worry and have my own in my thread GCSE's - two children with completely different work ethics.
I think we will get over these sticky patches and probably laugh at them a bit down the line!
Good luck and best wishes

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