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Depressed teen: I cannot cope with it anymore

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Depressed teen: I cannot cope with it anymore

Active scribe

Depressed teen: I cannot cope with it anymore

I'm in need of support, I desperately need someone to hear me. I feel lost, lonely and completely guideless in a world I have no experience. I need more support than advice, so please be kind.


My 16 yo was diagnosed with anxious depression a year ago. School called me because he told he had suicidal ideations, and he wasn't delivering a single homework or assignment task. Mind you this kid is very academically talented.

I did everything I could. I called dozens of places to find him a psychologist in less than 2 months, a psychiatrist, we contacted school support, I called every single school department, I created all this support network around him.


And since then, he consistently lie. Just lie, every single day that he's doing homework, that everything is fine. There were about a DOZEN TIMES since then we discovered he just refuses to do anything because 'he doesn't see the point'.


He's now saying that he doesn't ever want to work, because it's too much effort and he prefers to be homeless and die. He doesn't try to improve. He doesn't try to do any homework. He doesn't try to do anything that brings joy. He doesn't attempt to do absolutely anything.




A year of lies. A year of emotional labour to micromanage every single school task. A year.


He submitted an EMPTY assignment, just to persist on the lie.


He doesn't seem to care about me, about his brother, about anyone. He says he likes being grounded, but then he just spend the whole school day (remote) on youtube.


He came up with the idea that inside his head there are 16 different 'goblins', each one with a personality, gender, and wants. And every decision and sentence he just blame the **bleep** goblins.

No accountability. No responsibility. He just doesn't do anything. He doesn't cry. He doesn't express a single emotion.


Yes, he's on medication this whole time. But he continues to lie about his symptoms.


 I just cannot cope with such disrespect anymore. I've been just crying myself to sleep so often that I don't know what to do.

He has weekly appointment with the psychologist, but his psychologist mostly ignores me. I asked for resources, I got no answers. I asked to setup a meeting (I've pay for it) between the psychologist and the school counselor, and  he ignored me. Is this normal? Shouldn't they behave like a primary mental health driver and connect all the dots? The school is clueless on what to do, and they are incapable of realising that YET AGAIN he's refusing to do engage on any classes or do any homework.


I'm lost. Should I question the diagnosis? Should I change the psychologist? Is this goblin thing normal? Does anyone have a kid that just want to make real bad decisions until they are punished, and keep on saying they are happy in this miserable state? At what point do I get him to a mental facility?


Can I get support? Can I get guidance? Anything please.


I'm really trying, but no one is helping me. This kid is making my life a nightmare.

Casual scribe

Re: Depressed teen: I cannot cope with it anymore

I also have a depressed teen. It's very emotionally draining, I understand.
All I can say is that they need us to not give up on them. Maybe lower your expectations a bit on his output and focus on connection.? I have 2 teenage daughters whose mental health is struggling. I'm taking them each on walks as often as possible to try to get them to open up to me. Some days they're a closed book, others, they give me a glimpse of their inner world. Their brains aren't particularly rational and I find their ideas are often quite misguided. My struggle is not preaching too much to them as it makes them pull away from me. It's so tempting though.
Not sure if this helps, but I just wanted to say that you're not alone.
Active scribe

Re: Depressed teen: I cannot cope with it anymore

I don't really have high expectations.


I don't really care that he's not doing the homework. It's ok, he can always ask for extensions, I've went all this way to make sure to create this huge support network for him.


What I expect is simply that he try. That he reach out for support. And he didn't constantly lie that everything was fine, week after week, going out of his way to lie even more about all the homework and assignments he isn't doing.


It's not a single homework, he stops going to all classes, doing all homeworks and assignments and continue to lie and not ask for help from _anyone_ in the support network. We ask 3, 4 times a well if he's managing to cope with the classes, with homework, and he just lies and lies and lies that everything is fine.


It has been a year of lies. I cannot force him to get better.


He's a complete closed book, every time I thought he was opening up and telling us something, I discover it was a lie. We even accidentally found a paper (I reckon he wanted it to be found) where he detailed described how he rationalised (I assume) that he cried every so often to us so we'd think he cares. Nothing seems to touch him in any way.


And then he blames these third party persons that lives inside his head.


I've been trying to let him do whatever he wants, offered support on steps on the way. He doesn't want any support. He says he just wants to fail constantly and be a disappointment to us and be grounded forever for lying for so many months.


He doesn't want to do anything. He doesn't want to play video games with us, he doesn't want to go to walks with us. He seems to not exist, and not care about anything other than these voices inside his head, which all seem to have a bunch of wants and needs.


This doesn't look right.


This is not normal, is it?

Casual scribe

Re: Depressed teen: I cannot cope with it anymore

I'm sorry if my comment sounded judgemental. Wasn't my intention. I'm no health professional, just another mum trying to help my troubled teens.

I can hear how hard things are for you and it can feel so isolating being a parent. Especially in lockdown.

I know nothing about your situation, so I'm not suggesting this is the case for you. But I have been close to someone who has voices in their head telling them what to do, before. They had schizophrenia. It was very hard for them and their family, but they found that medication and professional support was very helpful.

I hope the professionals you've got on board are able to give you more information on what they think is making him feel this way. The poor kid is obviously struggling. As are you. There are also carers support services around. Maybe getting in touch with one of them may be helpful? Make space to care for yourself. I hope this stage passes for you both soon. All the best.

Active scribe

Re: Depressed teen: I cannot cope with it anymore

Thanks for your message,


No, I didn't read as you being judgmental, I've asked myself that question dozens of times, dozens of nights. Am I expecting too much?


He's struggling, and I surrounded him with all these so-called-professionals and no one seems to move it to any direction? It just keeps getting worse, I don't have support or advice, his psychologist doesn't seem to see any red flags. Clearly there's something very very wrong, but I'm honestly lost and guideless.


I know he's 16, but I'm still his guardian. I'm his next of kin.


My gut feeling is that this diagnosis is wrong. He doesn't 'hear' voices. He says he has all this monsters inside of him, not like external entities but more like multiple personality traits of sorts. Kinda like the Inside Out movie.


But at this point I lost it and I will be driving the psychiatrist consultation. It doesn't feel normal. It's either a very unhealthy coping mechanism, or it's another mental illness.

A healthy person cares about something. About someone.

I'm sorry, I make no sense anymore, I'm just so angry, and feeling so lonely and lost.


Re: Depressed teen: I cannot cope with it anymore

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Hi @keladeine 


Thank you for deciding to share what you and your son are going through right now.  It must be heart-wrenching and concerning to see your boy struggling in this way. I wanted to ask if you have support at the moment? Be it a friend, community, relative or counsellor? 


You sound like a supportive and proactive parent - getting a psychologist involved was a good idea, but I can understand why you'd be feeling unsure of what to do next given the lack of communication. So here are a few tips/ideas/links to resources that might be helpful for you right now: 


  1. If you find that you cannot get a meeting with the psych + school counsellor, exploring other support options is not a bad idea.
  2. There are so many different kinds of practitioners, therapy styles and approaches. I will send you some of our articles that go into different kinds of mental health professionals and therapies.  For example, It might be that your son clicks better with a social worker/peer worker or youth worker. 
  3. We offer a One on One support service for parents, which you can sign up for here. You'll receive four sessions with a family support service that can help you with tools/strategies/coming up with a plan. 
  4. Family support services are a good option when you want that collaborative relationship with his therapist. Ask Izzy is a great search engine for community services  - if you put in your local area and search family support, you'll be able to see what is available in your area.       


I hope that info is helpful and gives you some options to consider. 


You mentioned your son spoke to you about the goblins in his head, and I can imagine this was alarming for you to hear. But, firstly, I think it's positive that he told you this. It really shows that he trusts you and feels safe with you - which is invaluable for a teenager experiencing depression.           


I'm not sure if you've already thought of this, but encouraging your son to discuss the goblins with his psych is a good first step. This would also be a good thing to discuss with the psych (if you can get a meeting) or a new psychologist/family support service. 


Supporting a loved one with their mental health can be really confronting, but I want to assure you that your son is normal. Depression is a difficult but normal part of the human experience - and there is always hope for recovery.            


Please know that you are very welcome to continue coming here to vent and get support with this situation.  We are here for you!

Active scribe

Re: Depressed teen: I cannot cope with it anymore

Thank you so much for your message. I'm in tears here and I don't even know why.


> I wanted to ask if you have support at the moment?

Honestly, this extended lockdown is making a lot of my support network overwhelmed.

It's not they aren't listening, they are just not doing great themselves. Myself included, lockdown removed most of the activities that recharged me.


It's supposedly getting closer to the end line. Who knows, right?



> If you find that you cannot get a meeting with the psych + school counsellor, exploring other support options is not a bad idea.

At this point I'm not even sure if the psych is actually being helpful or not. I hear nothing about it, and kiddo just seems to be getting worse and worse. And if we ask anything about any consultation, my kid says 'he doesn't remember', so I have no idea if my kid is just consistently lying and withdrawing information from the psych.


> I'm not sure if you've already thought of this, but encouraging your son to discuss the goblins with his psych is a good first step.

That's the only thing he talks, writes, draws about. _Everything_ is blamed on goblins. Every single conversation we have about the weather or what we want to eat, he will find a way to talk about certain goblins. He has avatars in all games about them, and that's the thing he talks with his friends. I know them by name, because my kid refuses to take ownership of any feeling or thought.


This isn't sustainable and doesn't sound healthy. Every small decision (e.g. 'do you want to get your umbrella') takes 3 minutes because in his mind, all the goblins have to agree on a certain decision by consensus.

My kid makes sure to show that he doesn't have a personality, but now he lives in a world that he doesn't have any agency over himself, his actions or his thoughts. Honestly at this point I'm very unsure if talking MORE about this will be helpful or if we are enabling this damaging thought pattern.


> We offer a One on One support service for parents

Thanks for the resources, let me walk through them when I gather the mental energy




Re: Depressed teen: I cannot cope with it anymore

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Hi, there @keladeine thank you for sharing more about what's going on. I think it's very reasonable that you are in tears. Meeting the challenge of your son's mental health whilst navigating lockdowns/a pandemic wouldn't be easy. 


You make a good point about support networks being overwhelmed at the moment. I can imagine it's something a lot of people are finding. Do you think having a counsellor to chat with would be helpful right now? 


This is a great tool to use when looking for a psychologist. You can search with specifications on location, area of concern, bulk-billed etc. 


Knowing how to think, feel and react to the goblins would be tricky. It sounds like the goblins are central to your sons thinking at the moment. I can understand why you'd be hesitant to encourage conversation in case it's enabling a thought pattern. 


A professional could help as they are skilled in understanding those thought patterns and in responding to them. I hope that the current psych builds a relationship with you or that you find one who will work with you in supporting your son. 


Let us know how you go with the parenting service if you use it and please feel free to vent your feelings whenever you need to.