10-22-2021 01:37 PM
I have a 16 year old son who seems to be spiraling into depression. He was a model kid pre-pandemic, when he entered Hugh school as a freshman. He played sports, made lots of friends and was an honor roll student.
‘We kept him pretty isolated during the pandemic, and since the return to school, things have gone downhill quickly. His old friends are friendly to him, and from what we can tell they interact at school, but my son is no longer included in their social gatherings. He has tried to reach out and is either lied to or excluded. Neither he nor we know the exact reason, other than the fact that many of his friends continued to socialize during the pandemic while we kept him mostly isolated.
Feeling left out has begun to affect him in other ways. He is sullen. Lacks motivation. Grades are slipping, and in his junior year when he should be preparing for college, he does little but sit around his room. We have tried talking to him, but he has closed himself off to us, and we are very concerned about his mental health. Any advice is appreciated!
10-22-2021 06:47 PM
I'm sorry to hear about what's been happening with your son. It sounds like it is really getting to him. It's unfortunate that his friends are no longer inviting him to social gatherings outside of school.
I'm sure many parents can relate to what your experiencing, so thank you for sharing. It is hard to watch out children be excluded and to suffer emotionally. It's good that you're conscious of his mental health and wanting to support him.
It's unfortunate that he has closed himself off from you, and that he is not open to talking about things. I'm wondering how you tend to broach the topic with him? How many times have you tried thus far?
Without knowing too much about your situation, I'd say it's important to let him know that you are there for him and that you love and care about him no matter what, if you haven't already expressed this already. Remind him that he can always talk to you.
Another thing is that, generally speaking, it is important for people who are feeling sad, lacking motivation, and have stopped doing things to actually start doing things again. Motivation doesn't just appear - it comes from doing things. A good place to start may be by getting him to do things that he once enjoyed. However, I think it is important not to fall into the trap of pestering him too much, or putting too much pressure on him, as this may be unhelpful for him and your relationship. So, it might be useful to give this a try and see how he responds to it.
I'd encourage you to seek professional support on how to best support him. Having the insight of a mental health professional can be extremely useful in these instances. So, even if he's not open to getting the help or getting therapy, you can still get it so that you know how to best support him. It may also be helpful for your own mental health because it is often quite stressful to see someone you love struggling.
We have some articles that you might find useful. I thought I'd link some for you here:
We hope this information helps. Feel free to keep us updated on your situation.