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TW : 17yr male self harming, angry

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TW : 17yr male self harming, angry


TW : 17yr male self harming, angry

Dear all,

I have come to this forum as I am not sure where else to turn.

We have a 17 year old male that has been diagnosed with chronic sever depression and anxiety over 2.5 years ago. He was our 'happiest kid' growing up, dux primary school, development squad for football club etc.

He has not been at school for over two years, several life threatening attempts. He sees a psychologists weekly, psychiatrists fortnightly, GP weekly, had three stays at the clinic. He has been with this team of medical supports for two years after previously the first psychiatrists retiring and his first psychologist letting us know she was out of her depth.

Mid last year he was diagnosed with ADAH inattentive. He is medicated for his depression and anxiety.

We have taken all expectation off him and have an otherwise calm home.

He is constantly yelling abuse at us, is destroying furniture, mis using his med (like storing them up and then over dosing on them even thought we hand out his meds he pretends to swallows). His specialists keep saying that 'the pre frontal cortex is not engaged in boys till mid 20s'. To be honest I am not sure how long we can keep going.

When we challenge him about his language and behavior he threatens us with killing himself... which sadly he has tried in front of me. 

Why an I here in this forum?...  I guess I am lost as a mother. I think it is getting beyond anything that we can manage. He is not on any other drugs (other than his prescription, as he had a full blood done last time he was admitted in to hospital). 

Has anyone been here / this situation. Any hope gratefully appreciate.

(please be gentle with response - it has been a tough gig lately)



Prolific scribe

Re: TW : 17yr male self harming, angry

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Hey @HelpKT 

We're really glad you've reached out for some support, it sounds like it's been a really tough time for you and your son for the last couple of years. It's really great to see how much you have been there for him but are also aware that you need to look after your own wellbeing in this situation too.

It's very understandable that you would be feeling lost at the moment, that's a lot for any mother to cope with. I'm wondering if you have any supports? Have you been able to chat to friends, family or a medical professional about how you're feeling?

We also have quite a few articles on talking to your teen about suicide, creating a safety plan with them, and how to support them when they are feeling suicidal. You might like to have a read through them for any useful information and tips.

I'm going to send you an email as well, so keep an eye out for that in you inbox soon.

Casual scribe

Re: TW : 17yr male self harming, angry


I am very sorry to hear this. Sending my heartfelt thoughts.
I don’t have any advice on this as such. As I would be at a loss on how do deal with this myself.
Unfortunately I can see the same thing occurring in the future with my stepson.
He is now 12. Has ADHD. And has a few times advised he wanted to end it all.
This unfortunately runs in his family.
As his Father has tried to self harm on a couple of occasions in the past.
This is something I am curious about myself.
I am not the easiest of parents to be dealing with this either. I grew up quite strict. I am quite strict myself. So him and I always clash. And 99% of the time I feel as though it is my fault. I am not sure if I can handle that pressure anymore.
The only thing I can say is that my wife, his mother, is definitely not strict like I am.
And he seems to respond to her much better than to my parenting style.
So tend to try and keep my distance now and let them work it out whilst stepping in when and if I feel I need, there is a need for my strong influence or discipline.
My wife can be exceedingly soft at times.
We are trying to continually search for assistance. Looking at starting counselling this year. He takes his medications when required sometimes requiring a nudge.
And constantly looking for new strategies.
One of the reasons I have personally come onto this forum.
I hope you have the support you need. Or can find the support you need for this moving forward. I wish you all the best and for success with the challenges.
Kind Regards.
Prolific scribe

Re: TW : 17yr male self harming, angry

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Hi @Shmic 

Thank you for reaching out to share your story and provide support. It sounds like your family have been through some rough times. 

Reading through your post, what stands out to me is your willingness to take a proactive approach in supporting your stepson and wife, despite how the situation may challenge you. It takes honesty and strength to reflect on the different parenting approaches – and to decide when to distance yourself or step in. It’s clear to see how much you care for your wife and stepson. 

It’s great to hear that you and your wife are looking at counselling for your stepson this year. How does he feel about it? You mentioned that in the past, your stepson has struggled with thoughts of suicide which I can imagine has been quite distressing. I thought I’d share some resources for you and your wife to take a look at if it interests you. We have a number of articles with advice on how to navigate suicidal thoughts here. A few articles I recommend are what to do when you think your teenager is suicidalhow to talk to your teen about suicide and create a safety plan with your teenager.Another suggestion is to take a look at our free one-on-one parenting support service here.

Feel free to let us know what you think of those ideas, and know that we’re here to continue this conversation.