12-12-2017 12:58 AM - last edited on 12-12-2017 10:18 AM by Nick-RO
Hello. I'm new here. My 16yo son is a quiet boy. Was always a good kid...still is. This year was a tough one with my health and at the time my son appeared to cope. Anyhow in March of this year it became apparent he wasnt coping. Diagnosed mild depression. He's had urinary incontinence, headaches, body aches, anxiety, panic attacks. Now on medication for the incontinence and side effects cause improvement of mood. The school gave alot of support, we as a family have supported him. My concern is he just seems to have no motivation or desire...or at least he seems meloncholic alot. Being a quieter and shy child as well. And lately its like walking on egg shells all the time. We had an issue today with a driving lesson and I said to him he was capable of doing anything but he needed to understand some things dont come easy. Anyhow he just starting crying then wouldnt talk. When he's cried before he's at least talked, now he's just shut me out. Nothing I say or do seems right.
12-12-2017 10:16 AM - edited 12-12-2017 10:17 AM
Hi @Goldsparrow and welcome to the ReachOut Parent forum. Thank you so much for sharing your story in here. It sounds like things are tough for you and your family right now – the feeling of ‘walking on eggshells’ must really be taking its toll on you.
First up, I hope you don’t mind but I made a small edit to your post to bring it in line with our community guidelines about discussing specific medications.
I was happy to read that your son is being supported by both your family and the school. Your love and support of him really shone through in your message and while it might not seem like it some times, I’m sure that this is providing him with a lot of comfort.
The experience you had with the driving lesson must have been confronting but I was happy to read that you had the perspective to remember times when you and he communicated and I hope that this helps you during the times that you feel that nothing you say or do seems right.
There are so many reasons that teenagers find it hard to open up – especially when there are heightened emotions at play like the stress of the driving lesson - and it is important to keep letting him know that you are ready to listen whenever he is ready to talk. Sometimes this type of gentle more generic support can be really useful.
I was wondering, have you seen the information that Headspace has on supporting teenagers? There is some amazing stuff in there that might help you out – I thought that this link might be of interest?
Lastly – I am so glad that you jumped into this forum – there are lots of people here who have gone through similar stuff and have some inspiring stories! I know that @taokat and @motherbear have talked about this in the past.
12-13-2017 10:34 PM
@Goldsparrow Thinking of you, such a challenging time when adolescent's put these incredible walls up with us. Can feel so helpless when they won't open up and communicate their experience.
How is his energy at the moment? Any improvements since you last touched in?
12-13-2017 11:08 PM
Hey @Goldsparrow, it's great to have you with us on the forum.
I'm so sorry to hear about your son's struggles and it can be such a difficult time for parents as well. It's so distressing seeing our kids unhappy, especially when it feels like we can't do anything to help them. You also mention that you've had some health issues as well, and I really hope you're on the mend now - that must've been a really hard time for you and I'm sorry you've been through that. It sounds like you've managed everything amazingly well, so hats off to you.
My 15 yo daughter has bipolar, anxiety and PTSD and I understand how it can feel like nothing we do or say is right or helpful. My daughter had similar problems but with soiling, hyper-sensitivity to pain of any kind. If she knocked her hand she wouldn't move it, swearing it was broken - many trips to ER for x-rays, then lots of love and care as so much of it was psychosomatic.
It's awesome the school has been so supportive and I love that he has the family behind him as well. Similar to what @Nick-RO said, you just being there for him is actually huge. Encouraging him while supporting him through his disappointments and fears, you are actually being his rock, even if he's not opening up and sharing with you. If he doesn't want to talk, let him know that's okay and that you're always there if he needs to talk. I found those things really helped my daughter. I think they need to learn that they can trust in us that we won't judge them or expect more from them than they're able to manage at that time.
He sounds like a lovely, sensitive young man and sadly these souls are often susceptible to feeling things very deeply which at times can be tough for them to manage. There's a great resource here from ReachOut that you might find helpful to have a read through. It provides some awesome tips on how to build coping skills and resilience in our teens. Another great resource is this one on Depression and Teenagers and gives some tips on things you can try.
Do you do things just for you, to take care of you? We often put ourselves last as parents, and I found myself completely wiped out not giving myself any care. I was then less able to cope with my daughter's issues, which only compounded an already stressful situation. If you're struggling with self care, here is a great thread in the forum to have a look at.
Please know you're not alone AND that you're doing an awesome job in a difficult situation. Please keep in touch.
02-28-2019 04:59 PM
Welcome to ReachOut and thank you for taking the very brave step to make your first post.
I can imagine this is a really difficult time for you and your family right now.
So that you have some space to chat and tell us more about what is happening for you, would you be interested in making a new topic here. We would really love to learn more and see what we can do to support you
In the meantime, I would really encourage you to have a look at some of our parents resources on Anxiety and Depression here and take care of yourself too We look forward to speaking to you more- we are here for you
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