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Teen school refusal, depression, won't seek help

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Teen school refusal, depression, won't seek help

Casual scribe

Teen school refusal, depression, won't seek help


I'm seeking advice on how to support my 16 yo son with school refusal and depression.

The challenges we face include:

Inability to get him out of bed on school days.
Grumpy and moody whenever you try to talk to him about his mood, school, friendships, etc
Shuts down immediately when these topics are raised.
Becomes angry and aggressive if I do try to persist with conversations.
His lack of willingness to get support from his regular doctor, psychologist, medications, etc
Unwilling to work with the school. We've already tried a slow return to school on adjusted hours.
Attended about 10 days last term. Averaging 50% this term but declining again because assessments are due.

This has been going on for about 18 months with the worst attendance over the last 4-5 months. The school are not overly supportive. I am a single mum with little support. I have fulltime custody, except for occasional visits to dad interstate on school holidays.

My son refuses to change school, look at online learning, consider TAFE, or any other options than stay home.

I fear increased aggression if I try to set stronger boundaries, have deeper conversations.

There are other complicating factors over the last few years that are also contributing to all of this.

I am on the verge of collapse as the constant stress from this and other issues has worn me out. At a loss on where to go next. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

Re: Teen school refusal, depression, won't seek help

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Hi @HelpPls, welcome to the forums and thank you so much for sharing what is going on for you and your son at the moment. I am sorry to hear that things have been quite difficult for you and your son lately. It sounds like it has been really stressful and tiring for you at times, especially having to deal with this almost all on your own. 

Although it sounds like you have tried everything you can think of, I thought I'd suggest some articles that might help you find some things you might not have thought of yet. You can have a read of one about school refusal here, and another one about problems at school here

I thought it might also be worth mentioning that ReachOut offers free one-on-one support with an experienced professional for parents looking to support their child through a tough time. You can find more information on this service here.

It can be really tough supporting someone else through a tough time. I just wanted to check with everything that’s going on, do you have support for yourself? 

Thanks again for reaching out to the forums today. You're not alone, we are here.

Casual scribe

Re: Teen school refusal, depression, won't seek help

Thanks Hannah
I'll look into the information you suggested.
I am seeing a psychologist myself as I'm aware of how much I am struggling and that I can't help my son if I'm not coping myself.
I contacted my son's school by email today but have not had a reply yet.