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Smiling depression

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Casual scribe
RJ54321

Smiling depression

Hi, I'm new to this forum. My 15 year old son is battling depression and body dismorphic disorder. He hid it from us for weeks. I found out he has been threatening self harm to friends. He is seeing a great psychologist now but it's like a roller coaster. I think he's coping better and then down we go again. Some people don't understand that even though he can be smiling and laughing one moment, he is still battling it all internally. They think he's faking it or attention seeking. How do I explain that he's not faking and that sometimes he can feel a whole range of emotions in one day? I'm scared that if he feels their skepticism, he'll revert to hiding away from us again. And terrified that he will self harm rather than just thinking about it.  Any advice gratefully received. 

 

Parent Peer Supporter
Chalke5

Re: Smiling depression

Hi @RJ54321, welcome to the forums.  I can sympathize with you at this moment I also have a son who tried to self harm when he was 16.  Psychological help is really important and you are clearly doing everything you can for your son right now.  I too struggled with how to explain the circumstances to friends and family.  However the most important thing at the time was to make sure my son was safe and effort spent defending the situation  became exhausting.  I had to avoid situations where I was uncomfortable and where I knew my son would be uncomfortable.  I admit it was a life changing experience and I have lost some connections with close friends and even family members.  However, three years on am happy that my son is healthy and feels loved.  Is your son still attending school?

Casual scribe
RJ54321

Re: Smiling depression

Thanks for your reply. It helps to know others have got through this hard time. Yes, he is still at school but only just. He's struggling and not interested. You're right about ensuring he is safe. That is my greatest fear really. At the moment self harm is just thoughts in his head but I can't watch him all the time and I worry he may act on these thoughts. Trying hard to keep communication channels open and make sure he can talk to me if he wants. 

Parent Peer Supporter
Zoesplace

Re: Smiling depression

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Hi @RJ54321 welcome to the Reach Out Parents forum.  It is extremely hard seeing your kids suffer from depression.  To the outside world everything may seem fine, but you know they are suffering on the inside. 

I agree with @Chalke5 - your sons well-being and safety is the most important thing.  What you chose to share or disclose to the people around you, is something that you and your son need to be comfortable in sharing.  Most people don't generally share all their health issues, so dont feel pressured to tell people if you don't want to, and only share if you think it will be helpful to your son (with your sons permission).  Continue to make sure your son can come to you at anytime about anything to keep the communication open

 

If you need some more information about self harm Click Here and here 

 

Parent Peer Supporter
Chalke5

Re: Smiling depression

Hi @RJ54321, I just wanted to let you know that my son too was struggling with school and in the end he couldn't continue.  My husband and I felt it best that he not go and I had a few months off work.  I just hung out at home with with him not doing much or speaking much to each other either.  We tried psychologist and psychiatrist etc.. but he wouldn't engage.  On reflection I think was relieved to be allowed to just stay at home and I would only be guessing about what, possibly pressure at school who knows because he still doesn't talk about it.  I understand that you will be focusing on this 24/7 and can't stress enough how important it is for you to well rested.  Please keep us posted on what's happening and if there are any other questions or advice you need please reach out.