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Sons ongoing depression despite treatment

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Sons ongoing depression despite treatment


Sons ongoing depression despite treatment

Hi- I was sitting here googling about my sons depression as I am at a loss as to what to do when this site popped up. I would love some advise but maybe even a word from someone who can understand how hard and terrifying this journey is. My beautiful just turned 18yr old is smart and talented and was doing wonderfully until the start of yr 11 last year. He had his first panic attack when the school talked to them about how important HSC was and his anxiety just escalated from there. Yr 12 has been a nightmare and he was unable to sit the HSC due to risk of suicide. Our son is extremely bright and finished first in his grade in Yr 11. We put no pressure on him but he puts it on himself and started to feel if he didn’t come first in every exam his life was not worth living! He began self harming and tried to end his life resulting in overnight hospitalisation. He had a number of breakdowns where he said he just couldn’t take his thoughts any more and wanted to die. I have taken a lot of time off work spent nights lying on the floor in his room too scared to sleep. I live in a fog, my brain is a mess, I don’t sleep and the situation has affected the whole family.We got him help early and he regularly sees a psychologist school counsellor and psychiatrist. We thought and were led to believe that the HSC was the trigger and things would get better. He started to improve he now has a part time job an early uni offer and last night performed in his schools music concert . He is an amazing singer and he seemed to have a wonderful night with his friends. Tonight I got a phone call from one of his friends - he has hurt himself again. He is crying and says he doesn’t know why but as soon as he is on his own his mind won’t let him be happy. He doesn’t feel anxious anymore he just feels sad all the time. I am a mess. I don’t know what to do. The psychiatrist has increased his medication as we knew a few weeks ago that it had become more depression than anxiety. He is seeing his psychologist every week despite what it costs because I just want him to be alive. My beautiful baby boy seems unable to enjoy anything he used to. The HSC is over but our battle is not. I really don’t k ow what to do. He has family friends and so much support - the psychiatrist doesn’t even seem to know what to do anymore. Why can’t he see what we see when we look at him - he has so much to live for. I know his self harming is a cry for help but I really don’t know what to do anymore. I get sad I get angry and none of it helps him. I’m sitting here now knowing I can’t go to work tomorrow. I messaged my husband he is at work. I know it will break his heart and make him angry and feel helpless just as I do. What do we do now? Where do we go? Back to the dr for what? I feel so helpless. I don’t know how much longer I can hold on myself. Is there anyone who has experienced anything similar. I have some wonderful people in my life but they can never really get it. Thankyou in advance.

Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: Sons ongoing depression despite treatment

Hello @Bonnie01,


I am so sorry to hear what you and your family are going through. Your son sounds like an amazing young person, and I can hear just how proud you are of him.


His struggles with anxiety, which moved into depression (which doesn't feel like is getting better), must be terribly difficult for you and your whole family to cope with.


Its so great that your son managed to get into Uni and participate in the concert. I know its not everything, but its a win you and your son can hold onto.


My 14 year old son has depression and struggles with suicidal thoughts (not to the extent you are facing). I think the hardest part is the lack of control everyone feels.      


Anyway, I'm really just wanting to let you know that my thoughts are with you and that you are not alone . . . 



Star contributor

Re: Sons ongoing depression despite treatment

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Hi @Bonnie01,


Welcome to ReachOut! I am really sorry to hear what your family is going through- I hope you find this is a safe and supportive space to speak with other parents going through similar experiences Heart


It sounds like your son has had quite a journey these last few years with his mental wellbeing, and I can hear from your post that you are doing everything you can to support him to take steps forward with his recovery. You mentioned that your son has a psychiatrist and has experience with hospitals, does he also have other professionals supporting him in the community?


Depression and anxiety is so hard for families to watch a loved one experience, and I can see the hope that you hold for your son and his future. I cannot emphasise just how important holding that hope is- even when your son may not see that light at the tunnel yet, having someone who believes in him like you do helps young people keep going even in the hardest of times.


You mentioned that your son has been self harming, and this has been something ongoing for him. A lot of young people self harm for different reasons, but a really big reason is when they are experiencing a large amount of emotional pain, and sometimes the self harm can be a coping mechanism to manage big feelings. We have had a few really great discussions on the forums that you might find helpful here on helping a teen if they self harm. 


You are doing such an amazing job supporting your son and I can hear just how much you have done/are doing to maintain his wellbeing and bring him into a space where he can live a fulfilling life Heart We are here to support you and your wellbeing too!


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Prolific scribe

Re: Sons ongoing depression despite treatment

It's heart breaking, @Bonnie01, to see our beautiful kids struggling like that,


My son had (has?) treatment resistant depression. It seemed to take forever to get the right mix of meds to make a dent in it. When we found a mix the side-effects were nearly as bad. We then had another long period of fine tuning the meds to be effective and with acceptable side effects. That process is still going (3 years on) but things are good now. It exhausted me (I mean completely emotionally exhausted), and there were many times when my son lost faith in the medical process, it just took so long. You've got to prepare yourself and your son for a possibly long journey.


My son tried self-harm too, not too bad (bad enough to freak me out). It seemed to be a release with him, it happened at times of intense stress. It was quite different to a suicidal period. 


Getting the right medical team is important. If you really think the psychiatrist is at a loss then it might be time for a second opinion. It's about getting the right team for your son, getting the relationship right. 


I hope you can find the strength to keep going.