Where do l go from here

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Active scribe

Where do l go from here

My 17 year old son was beaten up in grade six and suffered extreme bull from then on we changed schools didn't work only went for certain subjects didn't work got to the point his psychiatrist admitted him to hospital they couldn't help an assessment order was put on him and he ended up at an acute hospital for teens for three months last year slow progress was made with him returning to school for one subject for the remainder of last year this year he started with one subject then started a second was doing well then out of the blue come get me from school hasn't gone back for a month won't talk locked away in his room things are spiralling out of control again it's exhausting I'm so worried about his future I don't know what to do or where to turn too now

Mod

Re: Where do l go from here

@Trapet well done on reaching out here, this forum will act as a great online support for you I hope you find value in chatting with other parents going through similar issues.

 

It really sounds like it's  been a tough time for both your son and yourself, and I am sorry to hear about his time in hospital that must have been very emotionally exhausting. I am just wondering what your relationship is like with the current school, and if your Son has been able to utilise the school counsellor?

Active scribe

Re: Where do l go from here

His school were hopeless in the early days but after being admitted to hospital realised the extent and have since bent over backwards for him
Prior to hospital he started to see the school psychologist but Matt was out of his expertise so that's when we went to psychiatrist biggest issue is he just won't speak
Community Manager

Re: Where do l go from here

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Prolific scribe

Re: Where do l go from here

Hi @Trapet . I am so sorry to hear that your precious son is having such a terrible time . I cannot imagine how hard it must be for you , knowing there is so much going on in his smart introspective head but you can't access it ! It must be so frustrating for you and so difficult for him . Mental illness can often leave up feeling that it takes too much cognitive energy to talk , it takes enough emotional energy just to function , or we don't want to feel vulnerable , weak, or exposed , or a burden . 

The key here maybe to find his language to make this process easier .

What does he enjoy ? Writing ? Drawing ? Basketball ?  AFL , Cooking , Music ? These are are potential facilitators to access his thoughts . Straight talk therapy can often be a pain for a teenage boy when they are what I call in the " grunt" stage . This happens even when they are not sick ! Face to face  " agenda " discussions can be too confronting . 

Soooooo find his vehicle :

If it's basketball , shot hoops with him , half an hour or even 15 minutes  early evening . At first, talk nothing in particular keep it to safe topics , sport , techniques, basketball players he admires , whatever . This may go on for a few weeks , slowly introduce talk of how he is faring in life in general . Opening up dialogue with safe topics can often be a  foundation and catalyst for deeper topics further down the track . Make sure he does this activity with someone he respects , trusts and admires in the family ( dad ,grandpa,  uncle , cousin etc ) Better if it's you or your partner but other family members or close friends can be a great resource . 

 

Ask him if he could write down his thoughts if he loves to write . He may not want to share this with you initially but it's a start to a potential communication avenue in the future . A journal of his experiences would be a great way for him to articulate his feelings

 

. Tell him that many people go through what he is going through and will in the future, so you never know when his content could be become a resource for a self  helpful book . His take on things and his experiences are  unique ,worthwhile and important . It may help others in the future .

 

Tell him his insights are like poetry there is always something worthwhile to share . You can ask about them from time to time, if you show enough gentle interest  from time to time without pushing him , he may open up when he's in a good mood . 

If he likes writing lyrics for songs or raps - even better ! He will be more inclined to let your hear this as any potential artist would !  Praise the work before you start asking probing questions . 

I wonder why he won't talk to the psychiatrist or the psychologist ? Sometimes we just don't click with one counsellor but can another .  It's trial and error like any relationship . Maybe try a few more until he gels with someone who is on his level ? A good counsellor should have tools up their sleeve for a non- communicative client. 

Hope this springboards some ideas . 😊

Active scribe

Re: Where do l go from here

Thanks for your reply

Whilst in the hospital they tried to work on the suggestion you gave as he is very artistic and enjoys writing they after quite some time gained his trust and he did find he could express some things to them..
We have even gone on the path of a website where you write under an assumed name to try and help him write story's that relate to what's going on but we seem to have hit a brick wall with all of that..
We try to engage him in things around the home like play with your dog can u mow lawns come watch your brother play footy he does it or comes but just appears to be staring into space in his own world
Yesterday I convinced him to get back to his Dr he finally agreed when I called this morning for an appointment he no longer works at that clinic and they have no idea where he went.. if I google Dr it says he is still at last place he worked at.

Do we give up on his schooling and try to just focus on his mental health I feel the schooling it's important as he is getting out of his room and having to engage socially being in year 11 missing classes puts him way behind and it concerns me how he will take failing school
Prolific scribe

Re: Where do l go from here

Can I ask what his general health is like? Eating, fluids, showering etc?

 

Do you have any idea of what he is doing in his room? IT, sleeping, reading, contact with anyone else, drawing? Staring into no man's land?

 

I am guessing he is also on meds?

Active scribe

Re: Where do l go from here

Yes he is on 2 different meds one for depression/anxiety and another for paranoia

His personal habits have improved from last time he was sick showering teeth cleaning hair washing
His sleeping patterns are a bit all over the place he does sleep but has bags under his eyes
In his room he seems to be either on the computer or reading
Prolific scribe

Re: Where do l go from here

Hi @Trape if he still has the energy to go to school keep him going . Some social contact is better than none . Let his teachers know he is unwell and they may cut him some slack with deadlines and marks . 

How long has he been on his medication?  , sometimes it takes 6 weeks to start to have a positive effect on his thinking . What is he doing on his computer , talking to his peers or games ? 

 You say he likes writing but has stopped . Finding out why he has stopped could be  an important road to a solution to his blocks . What would need to happen for him to start writing again ? Get him to join a peer forum like the one we have  here at Reach Out @Sophi-RO Or @TOM-RO  can give you the link  that encourages him to share and support his peers . Getting out of the way of yourself and stopping focusing on yourself , and into helping others is very therapeutic for  mental health problems . He may find he has valuable insights and much to offer , and giving back to the community may be cathartic and supportive for him .  Small wins are important . Setting himself simple achievable goals for the day is productive and important to his mental health progression . Each progressive achievement sets up  solid mental preparation and foundation for the next step . It give him encouragement ,  and makes him feel proud and motivated for the next step . 

Mod

Re: Where do l go from here

Hi there @Trapet yes @motherbear is right we do have a youth forum that could be beneficial.

 

The ReachOut.com forums are an anonymous safe space, open 24/7, for young people (14-25yo) to hang out and chat with other young people about life and everyday issues in a positive and helpful way. The link to the forums can be found here Smiley Happy

 

Please do keep us updated.