01-04-2018 07:22 PM
Hi all, I have a 16 year old son & for the past year with have been dealing with his mental issues including anxiety, depression, self harm etc. Over the years he has seen many counsellors & none have managed to help him. We were told yesterday by his current counselor that she couldn't see him anymore as she felt she wasn't qualified to help him & the previous sessions they had didn't seem to have made any difference. My husband and I are feeling quite helpless at the moment as we have been to so many counselors as well as Head Space & Cahms & nothing is helping. We can't seem to get a proper diagnosis and a lot of them seem to down play the severity as to what is going on with him & either focus on just depression or anxiety when there are many other things going on.
We feel our only other avenue is to seek the opinion of a private psychiatrist, so I am hoping some other parents out there might have some recommendations or some other avenues we can explore.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
01-04-2018 07:42 PM
@TiredMum You do sound completely exhausted. First, I hope you are managing to look after yourself in the midst of trying to work out the best support for your son.
Being 16 is not easy, let alone having to overcome all the obstacles of mental health. It's a tricky area of health to tackle at any age when trying to find the "best fit" with practitioners etc. It maybe your son finding the right person to connect with and feel supported by - sometimes it's likened to test driving cars before you choose which one it is going to be.
Teenage boys can be difficult to get much out of I realise, but how are your conversations with him about how he is managing?
Some places to start to get thinking of referrals specific to your area maybe Kids Helpline or Parenting Line WA (1800654432). Hope this is a helpful start to answering your forum post =)
01-05-2018 10:15 AM
Hi @TiredMum it sounds like you and your husband are doing everything you can to help your son, and I can only imagine how exhausted you both feel not to have found the help you need for your son. Unfortunately it can take a few tries to find the right professional when we seek help.
I'm not sure if you've discussed it with them yet, but your own GP may be able to recommend someone suitable in your area.
beyondblue also have a find a professional page on their website, which includes tools to access the National Health Directory, the Australian Psychological Society’s (APS) Find a Psychologist service, and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists' Find a Psychiatrist directory. Hopefully these tools can help. You can find the page here: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/find-a-professional
01-05-2018 09:56 PM
Hi @TiredMum, it can be so disheartening and draining when we can't seem to find the right help for our kid. It's so understandable that you're feeling helpless. I remember feeling the same way each time we were turned away or hit a brick wall in getting the help we so badly needed.
Part of our problem was that my daughter wouldn't engage with anyone, let alone listen or take on anything they said. After a few years though, she did choose to go back to the first one she saw - that could've been because this counsellor kept in touch over that time. So one thing I'd say is if there is one that does call to check in even though they aren't seeing your son, tell him each time they do. This built trust in my daughter with this counsellor which I'm sure made her the final choice once my daughter decided for herself that she needed help.
One other person that earnt my daughter's trust was a case worker we had from the Benevolent Society who used to visit us at home for family counselling. I've googled them but they don't seem to be in Perth, but I'm wondering if there may be other organisations near you that do a similar thing?
I'd also suggest talking to your GP about a mental health care plan for your son. That would get him 6 inital appointments with a participating private psychologist which could be another option worth checking out.
You're persistence is admirable and I hope you and your husband acknowledge yourselves for that. It can take time to find the right person your son trusts and feels comfortable with, but I hope the resources given help that process along for you. It's not easy, and I hope you take some time out to look after yourselves so you don't burn out.
Let us know how you get on.
01-28-2019 11:10 PM
01-29-2019 10:36 AM
Hey there @BrokenSystem and welcome to the forums
I'm sorry to hear that you've been struggling in finding professional support for your son. Finding a professional can be a challenge, have you been able to see if any other GPs can recommend you to anyone?
While face-to-face support and a diagnosis can be really helpful, there are also online or over the phone services that may be helpful to you and your son during this time. Places such as Headspace and KidsHelpline are great services for young people while Parentline can be great for parents. What do you think?
02-16-2019 06:48 PM
Hello having the same problem with our son.He is up every night playing games on the internet.hasnot been to school for more than a year. We turned off the internet about a month ago but no improvement.He is watching the TV all night.He is abusive breaking things in the house .I don't know what to do...Is it a good idea to switch back on the internet but for a shorter time ?We tried it before and it didn't work but he is not interested in anything else...he is 16 years old..Any tips ?
02-16-2019 08:00 PM - edited 02-16-2019 08:06 PM
02-22-2019 04:15 PM
It sounds like your son has had quite the journey, and is now finding his way forward with recovery. Your post really sends a message of hope that is so important for parents just starting their recovery journey with their teens It is really lovely to read your reflections, it sounds like you are very proud of the steps forward he has taken