05-22-2017 10:24 AM - last edited on 05-22-2017 11:07 AM by Ngaio-RO
I hope it's OK to post here. I'm actually in the UK but I've never found somewhere where people might I understand what I'm going through.
I'm currently sat in my living room at 1am scared to go back to bed until I know my son is asleep. He has been suffering with his mental health for a while and we are seeing a DR in 2 weeks. He has always put it down to school pressure. His school has been supportive and we have seen a councillor at our local mental health service. He told me a while ago he had been sitting at his window and wanted to jump but couldn't. When he saw the councillor for the first time a few weeks ago he also confessed to self harming by cutting the tops of his legs. I had no idea. I've found him many times in floods of tears in a really awful place saying he can't do it anymore and I feel helpless. I should be able to help him.
Today he wanted to not come on a family outing with myself, my husband and his sister. We have been trying to compromise on these things as I know teenage boys want to do their own thing but he had opted out of something yesterday and I had said he could see his girlfriend instead. His mood plummeted and I know from past days like this he feels pressured and controlled. Apart from not wanting him to opt out of family life I'm also scared to leave him when we go that far away (about 2.5 hrs drive).
He seemed to settle as the day went on but I never know if that's real and he really feels calmer on the inside. Now he can't sleep and I'm scared to go to bed in case he does something to hurt himself - or worse. My husband thinks im overeacting.
I just keep playing over how my own anxiety and passed depression and overbearing parenting has made him feel this awful and react this way.
Sorry. That was so long. It just helped to get it out!!
05-22-2017 11:05 AM
Hello @JJH17 Please don't apologise for posting from the UK or for the length. You are very welcome here and you write as long as you need to!
Regarding where you are, you are very welcome to be here and share suggestions and feedback. Support is universal and we don't have any restrictions around that. The only reason we suggest non-Australian based parents find something at home is because all the suggestions we offer around services and face to face support won't be relevant to you but it sounds like you have connected with a local mental health service so they will be able to steer you towards local organisations that provide what you need. I'm also very happy to look into UK based services and see what I find.
There are some great resources online here at ReachOut Parents. If you click here you can have a read about young people and depression and then click here for suggestions on things to try. Click here for info and tips on young people and self-harm and here for info on young people and suicide, both pages will guide you to practical solutions and suggestions of things you can try.
I'm sorry to throw so much at you but they're easy to read and I'm hoping that this might help reduce your anxiety and fear a little if you have a better sense of what you're dealing with and some guidance around how to approach it.
There are also many amazing parents here who have experienced very similar things to the ones you're describing. I'm sure they will reply to your post with tips on what worked for them.
How does that sound?
05-22-2017 02:41 PM
i'm so sorry you are going through this,
it is a really good thing that your son is able to talk about what is going on with him, that is a really good thing. i parent a 15 year old whose coping mechanism is not talking so I really am glad that you have that communication with him, keep letting him know how much you love and support him and i am sure you do <3
i'm curious what his diet is like, it can make such a big impact on how we feel, just a thought that you can take or leave, just want to be supportive
blessings to your family, wishing you healing and peace
05-22-2017 06:26 PM - edited 05-22-2017 06:29 PM
Hi @JJH17. Thank you for joining our group we are so happy you reached out to us. I am so sorry to hear what is happening to your son . He must be in such a deep depressive state to contemplate jumping out of a window and has been cutting himself . This is certainly a challenging and painful experience for him and your family to go through . How awful must it feel to know that the child you love and nurture and protect daily , you are now helpless to save from this ? As parents we want to carry it for them don't we ?
It makes me angry that he has to wait 2 weeks to see a DR . I am not sure what that is but I am assuming it is a psychiatric appointment for an evaluation . If he had been run over or had a heart attack he'd be in the hospital yesterday ! grrrrr !
If it was me ? What would I do ? I would be relentlessly looking for action now .
My advice to you would be to let the doctor know he is suicidal and get him admitted if possible . It is a sign of the lack of beds or true understanding of the gravity of this sometimes fatal illness that leaves people waiting to get immediate help when really this is a crisis . I know you said he feels controlled but he is very sick and If he was my son I would not want him left alone for any period of time . If indeed you have to wait the two weeks make sure someone, is with him AT ALL TIMES . Do it in shifts with his friends, girlfriend , Nanna , Dad , Aunty , whoever can come on board to help . Try to talk to him about the fact that this is an illness and that he may find his cognitive and emotional functioning will at times be irrational and illogical and thus it's best that he is around people who can help him make positive choices, while he is waiting to see a doctor . I know I might sound alarmist to some people but to me this is imperative while you are waiting for help . Too many times I have heard that people in this unstable state of mind make decisions not in their best interests and the results are catastrophic. Being a teen this makes it even more a possibility , they are impulsive and lack a wide frame of reference . Go with your instincts as a Mum , professionals only do as much as you make noise about and I'd be making plenty . I cannot stress how important I feel this is . Best of luck please let us know how you go .
05-23-2017 08:56 AM - last edited on 05-23-2017 10:17 AM by Ben-RO
I was looking at this site to write about my 14 yo son and saw your post which is very similar to our sons' problems, although it has been going on for around 8 months now. He has told us he has contemplated suicide and self-harms too. Although it breaks my heart when he does it, I see that it is a sign to say how much he is hurting and that he needs help. I am always scared that he is going to do something more but he hasn't. He is seeing a psychiatrist on a monthly basis but won't always go. He also doesn't like going out anywhere unless it is somewhere he has chosen to go. He rarely attends school at the moment as he has trouble sleeping and finds it hard to concentrate.
We are doing the Brave program together at the Reachout.com website which I have found helpful so far.
Although I haven't been able to give you answers I hope it's helpful to know other people are going through the same thing and that we are all trying our best to help our children.
05-23-2017 10:46 AM
Hi there @figgy44, first of all thank you for the incredibly supportive post. It's no small feat to share your story in support of others and it means a great deal to those who suddenly discover they're not alone.
I can see how hard you're working with your son through the challenges over the last 8 months and I think you're incredible
I'm wondering if there's anything we could talk through with you?
05-23-2017 03:35 PM
Welcome @figgy44 Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. I'm so sorry things have been so hard for you and your son. I think everyone here can relate to how heartbreaking it is. It's great though that you're able to see it as his way of telling you and the world that he's in pain. That's huge.
I think everyone here can relate to how heartbreaking it is. It's great that you're able to see it as his way of telling you and the world that he's in pain. That's huge.
How would you feel about starting a topic on what you guys have been through and where things are now? Although there is so much similarity in the experiences here and we share our stories with each other when we reply to posts, it's also really important to have your own thread that people can reply to so the suggestions you get are as relevant as possible. Does that make sense?
If you click here it will take you straight to where you can post.
And @momof1teen if diet and how it affects behaviour is an area of interest, I'd love you to start a post on that. If you click here it will take you to the page. Thank you so much for your suggestion.
You guys are great!!
05-24-2017 09:33 AM
I've just had a quick look at these various sites in the UK to make sure they cover both your lad and the family.
If you have already checked them out there are quite a few more. It is hard for teens to express and they are so good at hiding their daily as well as childhood issues. As a mum we feel guilty about all the things we miss but our 6th sense if a wonderful way of catching things when the opportunity arises. Having worked with men for over 20 yrs the one thing that they are unable to express is emotion -psychological, environmental etc. They fight, shake hands and get on with it. We cannot understand why they shut off and no longer listen. Your lad is definitely in a lot of pain no doubt excess anxiety and depression. Generally kids who talk about suicide are letting you know in their way they are hurting and needing help, those who don't we hear about in the news.
My girl (14) is going through similar issues. I have come to the conclusion that she must come out some of the time with us.
She whinges but it's an opportunity to observe her behaviour.
I have also told her she must leave her room once a day and sit outside for at least an hour - what she does is none of my business but fresh air never killed anyone.. It's been 2 months most days I don't have to remind her. A little at a time - when mine were little I'd say ok this is what I have to do but why don't you tell me what you'd like to do. No pressure involved but including them in the equation it still works as long as they can have their say.
Society in my parenting opinion is very insular. We all have issues with our kids, lives. But we can't admit that we too, are in pain. Coming here you have found a village who all understand your emotional trauma our teens cause us. You are an excellent mum, caring and doing your best but make sure you also get down time so that you can continue to parent. We are wise - we just don't know it. You have a lot of strength reaching out for help so many are afraid. Hopefully these sites are useful..
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