I need advice about teen that thinks of suicide

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Casual scribe

I need advice about teen that thinks of suicide

My 17 year old teenage son just told me on Thursday that he thinks about suicide.  Here's a little background on him. He's always been a little advanced for his age, so he's never really had any friends. He read books during recess instead of playing. He could tear apart and rebuild any small engine since age 12, but he's never been able to hold a conversation with a kid his age.  We've tried for years to get him to the movies or ball games with others, but he said he just doesn't know how to communicate with them.  He does have a couple friends online that he's had for almost two years now but he's never met them in person. He's very smart and gets mostly A's, but sometimes he just doesn't feel like doing his work and gets behind. Well last week he got behind again.  I didn't get on his case really, because he was working hard to get everything in before the end of the quarter. While he was doing his work though, he just blurted out to me, "what's the point?"  After asking him what he meant he said, "what's the point in living in this world when we're just going to die anyway." After a calm discussion with him, he finally admitted that he's been thinking of suicide.  He said he thinks about it often and that he thinks it stems from never having friends but is not really sure.  He asked that I not tell his father and does not want to see a therapist. I talked to him more Friday and today about things, not wanting to push it so he doesn't shut down on me.  I told him today I'd really like to tell his father and get him help, but he's adamant about either.  Then he said he never should have told me anything.  He said he wants to work things out on his own.

So here's my predicament.  Do I tell his father and potentially turn him off from ever confiding in me again?  I know my husband needs to know, but I want to have my son's trust.  I also called a therapist today and she thinks it's crucial he sees someone.  But we can't force him can we? He'll be 18 on Saturday.

Please help.  I feel so alone.

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Re: I need advice about teen that thinks of suicide

Hey there @natscrafts. I am so sorry to hear about what your son is experiencing, this must be incredibly painful for you to hear no doubt. It sounds like your son is beyond his years, and I do not doubt that once he is out exploring the world, immersing himself in his interests, he will find other kindred spirits. The therapist is spot on, he definitely needs professional support.

 

What are the odds of you and your Husband sitting down together to speak with him? Is this possible? There's a couple of options, of course he definitely will benefit from a therapist, but there's also the possibility of family therapy if he feels more comfortable. I would recommend chatting to Kids Helpline too (they work with up to 25 year olds), you can speak to them as a parent who is in need of strategies and support. I will tag some of our community for their input as they have definitely walked in your shoes Heart

 

@sunflowermom @taokat @Orbit64 

Contributor

Re: I need advice about teen that thinks of suicide

Dear @natscrafts

This must be really scary for you.  I am sorry your family is going through this.  I wonder if he is just having fear about turning 18 and what that might represent to him.  Its wonderful that your son trusts you enough to tell you about his thoughts about suicide.  I have been in your shoes where my daughter did not want me to tell my husband.  I held it in for a bit but ultimately I told him and said- " my daughter is not ready for you to know, but I am".  You need your husbands support and the extra set of eyes on your son right now.  IT will bring a wedge between you and your spouse if you keep secrets.  At least it built resentment in my household.

Ask your son what is his plan to work it out on his own.  Keep suggesting therapy to him.  Remind him they just don't have to talk about the suicide but anything troubling him.

I know what a difficult spot you are in as a parent.  You are not alone.  Hugs.

Casual scribe

Re: I need advice about teen that thinks of suicide

Thank you both for your help.  Yesterday I told my husband.  I couldn't stand him not knowing anymore and I needed the support.  He agreed that our son needs professional help, so I called a therapist and got in right away at 4pm yesterday. We picked our son up from school early and he knew I told once he saw my husband in the truck.  We drove straight to the appointment. Our son was very upset that we took him to a therapist and was very quiet during the session, but he was honest and respectful.  The therapist asked if he would come back and he said he didn't want to.  Afterwards, we ate dinner and he was quiet, but didn't seem mad. At home, while doing homework in his room, my husband went in to see if he needed help with anything and my son hugged him and said he wasn't mad at either of us.  This morning he seemed fine as well.  I know he's got a long way to go and I know he needs more therapy, but we didn't push it yet right away.  We'll bring it up in a day or so. I'm feeling loads better, but now my husband's a wreck.  He's going through everything I did over the last week I suppose.  Blaming himself, wondering where he went wrong as a parent, feeling guilty, scared, etc.  

Thanks again and I'll keep you posted with any developments.

Contributor

Re: I need advice about teen that thinks of suicide

Hi @natscrafts

I am so glad to hear you talked to your husband and you took some positive steps as a family to seek help for your son.  Its wonderful that the lines of communication are open for all 3 of you.  All great steps towards healing.  I totally understand you and your husbands reaction of guilt and blame and wondering what you did wrong.  It takes a little while to pick up the pieces and have the shock wear off.  Be gentle with each other.