Our teenager (17) is showing signs of depression. We have tried to talk to him about it but he says everything is fine and will not agree to getting any assessment or help. Our relationship with him has deteriorated over the last year, he doesn't like his parents and communication from him has been reducing and is now pretty minimal. He has started to socialise a lot more; spending most days entirely out with friends (largely a new group which makes us wonder if something happened with the previous friends) and it's doing healthy activities which is hopefully a good sign. We are confident there is no drink or drugs. When he comes home in the evening he tends to go straight to his bedroom and when he gets up in the morning he goes out. He talks to us when he needs something. He is rarely in for evening dinner but when he is he either skips it or if he sits at table with us to eat he has headphones in, pulls out an ear bud if we try and speak to him and promptly puts in straight back in afterwards and leaves table as soon as he has eaten. At other times when he wants to end a conversation he walks away or asks me to go. His responses are increasingly irritable with us. He doesn't open up to us, conversations are very functional, needing transport etc. He has also over the past few months dieted very heavily, he was slightly over weight before but not by much at all. He is now very slim and at the bottom of his healthy weight range but appears to still be dieting and losing weight. He goes out without eating, its hard to know if he is eating while out. How common is all of this, has anyone else experienced similar? I really want to open up good communication channels, build up the relationship again and for him to want to talk to us and to support him. I don't think we really acknowledged he is a young adult and kept restrictions on longer than we should have done as he got older and tried to enforce certain behaviours such as eating dinner with us without headphones on, staying at table until everyone had finished etc which all caused arguments. We have relaxed nearly all the restrictions and are trying to treat him much more as an adult but it doesn't appear to be helping other than there are now no disagreements. It's not yet helping with building up the relationship or building comms. If anyone has experienced similar we would love to know what helped. Thank you in advance for any responses.
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