Is this normal 17 year old hasn't slept in 4 days after bad break up with his girlfriend....?

Tammy - posted on 04/29/2011 ( 42 moms have responded )

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My oldest son is 17 and was with his girlfriend 4 years well they had a bad break up she cheated and got pregnant but decided not to tell him and well the baby isn't his after it came out black and he is white and his gf is white soooooo he is devastated. Well he hasn't slept in 4 days has eaten about a cracker in the past 4 days drinks very little like an ounce if that of water and he is just devastated and i am unsure what to do because i am worried about him and i think he is depressed and i do not know how to help him! What should i do? Advice?

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Beth - posted on 05/01/2011

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Oh, and anyone who tells you that cutting is not a serious matter is evidently not very well-trained in the mental health profession, and if he required stitches it is serious. Cutting is becoming more prevalent in young people, due to more media coverage and less shame in the act. Kids this age hear about it, then when they have incidents that produce high stress and anxiety they decide to give it a try. The endorphins and 'rush' they get from the physical pain is a momentary relief from their mental pain, it works as a type of distraction if that helps you understand, but they don't stop after the first time it works. Now that your son has begun, and received attention from it, he likely will use this as a coping mechanism when he has stress in the future. He has to learn POSITIVE methods of dealing with emotional problems, and the faster you get him GOOD help, the better off he will be. You've let this go on long enough, and it's escalated to the point that your child is harming himself. Get him put into an inpatient facility until he is in better condition. It is the only thing you can do at this point.
Good luck and God bless!

Beth - posted on 05/01/2011

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I would advise you to seek some help for him ASAP! A lot of parents want to brush these things off simply because they happen to our children during the 'teen years' but please listen to me when I tell you that your son is suffering just as much or more than YOU would if this happened to YOU!!! Plus he is not emotionally mature enough to have the tools to handle it as well as an adult would, so he needs not only help from you, but from a trained therapist so this does not have lasting damage that will harm him in his ability to trust and form stable bonds in the future. He needs to be able to go through the stages of grief and hurt with a safe outlet that is non-judgmental (which may be easier to do with a therapist than a parent) rather than turning his pain inward like he is doing now. His not sleeping and eating is his way of punishing himself and anxiety, as well as grief (he literally lost a child).

Please get him help, before this goes any further.

Dr. Virginia - posted on 06/01/2011

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Melissa has some good advice. You need some family sessions, you son has his own individual therapist and you should see someone as well. This stuff is exhausting emotionally and physically and you need someone to help you through this. These situations are long term and there needs to be a structured plan for everyone in the family. Finally, you don't want his father to undermine a solid treatment plan.

Dr. Virginia - posted on 05/08/2011

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How unfortunate that he is using your son as a vehicle to battle with you. Speak with the hospital staff regarding how important it is for your son to go on meds. If it is medically necessary to prevent him from harming himself, perhaps with the hospital's help, you could get a Court order giving you the custodial right for medical treatment, otherwise, you ex could be charged for medical neglect by the State.

Dr. Virginia - posted on 05/05/2011

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This sounds like much more than a reaction to the girlfriend situation. He is definitely needs to be where he is. He needs constant monitoring by staff and individual therapy to help determine what his diagnosis is. He may have Bipolar Disorder. Family meetings are necessary for family history, pre-natal and developmental history, substance abuse history, etc. Depending on the diagnosis, he may need meds long-term, which is always a challenge for a young adult. No one likes to have to take medication, most of all, young adults, but if it is necessary, he needs to think of it like any medical illness: if a person is diabetic, they need meds for it every day and learn how to change their lifestyle to accommodate that disease. Likewise for some mental illnesses, they have a biological cause and require meds and lifestyle change to manage them. Keep me informed and Good Luck. Follow the advice of the staff: it's painful for you but they've seen this stuff hundreds of times before.

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Constance - posted on 06/02/2011

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Tammy, I am glad to here he is doing better. He still has a long way to go but he should get through this over time. Just continue to be vigilant and being that he has been a cutter a quick check of his body everyday will be a good idea for a while. I know he is 17 but it is a way that you can know that he is moving forward. Mainly a quick check of his thighs should do it because that is the favorite hiding spot. When I notice my daughter is really agitated that is where she will cut, so i check once in while just to be sure.

I know how it is to put all of your focuse on your children and forget about you. Don't forget you because you need to be able to vent even if you think you are ok right now. I does make a huge difference because even if you go into a therapy session and cry for an hour you will feel better afterwards. It will help him and you as well.
Just another suggestion to help him get out frustration sign him up for kick boxing or boxing something like that. Once he pounds on a bag for an hour he will feel so good. I do that with my 2 oldest and now my 2 nephews. I regained custody of them and my niece just recently. Teenagers are very pissed off people. LOL

I am really glad things are looking up. Hang in there. You are still in my prayers.

Tammy - posted on 06/02/2011

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Update- Son has been doing well for the most part anyways he has found a contructive way to get things out and deal with his feelings through excersising he goes jogging for a few hours and then goes swiming and does laps for another hour but last night he broke down and cried for a few hours i know he is still struggling but he isn't as bad as he was i don't think.

Patty - posted on 06/01/2011

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Tammy, This is all good advice, and you have absolutely done the right thing. We've had some close calls with my older daughter, so I do know what you're going through. I'm glad that he's come home, but don't expect that to mean he's in the clear. Please continue to keep a close eye on him. Those short-stay hospitals dont have enough time to really make a difference and if he's been put on meds, they usually take awhile, usually with adjustments to start working.  
I have a daughter who is bipolar and she's been a cutter, but never cut deep enough to need stitches or leave bad scars. First she'd cut on her arms but after being taken to the hospital a couple times, she started cutting on her upper thighs where she could hide them better, so be aware of this also. She's been in several acute units and has had 1 long term residential stay in the past few yrs. She would frequently say that she wanted to die or wish she'd never been born, usually just to get attention. She did this so often that eventually we didn't take it serious. Then she had a really bad week when some "mean girls" were being really hateful and spreading rumors...typical teenage drama really, but she is much more sensitive than other teens. Then her bf broke up with her the next weekend and she was devastated. The next day my other daughter told me that her sister told her that she had taken some pills. I asked her about it and of course she denied it so I just kept a close eye on her. Well, when we returned from taking some kids home, she threw up in the kitchen. She then said she needed to talk to me. She told me that she had taken 15 of her 300mg Wellbutrin XR and that she was seeing things and she was scared. I immediately took her to the ER and by the time we got there she was completely out of her mind and hallucinating. The dr said that she had taken a potentially lethal dose and that she could go into seizures. She was in a psychotic state for 2 days, talking to people who weren't there and trying to pull her IV out. I was absolutely terrified. I was afraid she'd not come back. She spent 3 days in that medical hospital, then transferred to an acute psych unit which only kept her for 5 days. She can be very manipulative and she's gotten to where she knows what she needs to do and say to get out of there asap. 
I really hope your son gets through this quickly. I know how heartbreaking it is when your child is hurting so much and you can't make it better. I know your main concern is your son, but like the dr said, you really should seek out some professional help for yourself, especially when you don't even have the support of his father. This is such a hard thing to go through. My heart really goes out to you. 

Melissa - posted on 05/25/2011

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your son is very depressed and needs professional help now, I have been thru this, with my sons, tell your son he has two choices you will go with him to a therapist, or he can face the choice he will be commited to a mental health facility, do not be surprised if he says he does not care, tell him you care, keep checking on him constantly, it will be hard, I know, real hard, but you will have to make hard choices, yes next time could be the last time, but good news tell him there is help for his pain his suffering, you understand he is grieving but you cannot let him hurt himself, if he won't go try NAMI call a crisis hot line, my son has gone three days without eating, this type of grieving will pass it is hard, very very hard for a young men,
praying for you, and him, been there, alone and no support no help till it was almost too late

Jamie - posted on 05/21/2011

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Dear Tammy who are you talking to professionally... funny thing about mom's we give give give.
One of my son's friends was a cutter while she was in the hospital getting treatment she was still cutting herself just some place where no one could see it. But I did one day she had 17 cut marks one for every day that she was in the hospital she would use the blade from the pencil sharpener that was left in the common area her and two other kids just unscrewed it used it then left it for each other. None of the staff or Dr. ever saw the cuts they were on her thigh above the line of sight when she wore the hospital gowns. Your son is hurting deeply you have a journey ahead of you, I will keep you in my heart, you are not alone.

Amy - posted on 05/21/2011

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Tammy, I have a 17 year old son, that has gotten into a very bad crowd lately. He spent a weekend in juvie, and a month on parental house arrest, which I loved, because he couldn't hang out with his friends for that month. My son is a good kid, but I am very scared for him right now. I had to go to me ex, because i just couldn't handle him any more. This is the same ex, that has called me every name in the book and threatened to kill me, and tries to still run my life. I am just glad, that for the sake of our 17 and 19 year old kids, he has chosen to be a father for once, instead of just my EX. (19 year old ran away with someone she met on the internet the week before, around the same time all this was going on with our son). Hang in there, and know you did the right thing. I have found out, if i follow my gut, my ex (their dad), can either like it or not. I have to do what i feel is right for my children, because I have to live with myself. And so must you. Hang in there girl. Praying for you.

Tammy - posted on 05/21/2011

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Sorry that i haven't updated in awhile they have my son stabalized and he is coming home tomorow but he is to go to a threapiest two times a week as well as seeing a phychiatrist once a month i am not sure how he is going to react and i am braceing myself for him going off on me.

Tammy - posted on 05/07/2011

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Sorry haven't been able to update in awhile been battling with my ex and he is picking a piss poor battle to go to battle with me he refuses to allow them to put our son on meds.

Carla - posted on 05/05/2011

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That is the problem with mental illness - just tell your ex that if your son had a medical condition, would he not treat it? This is a illness with his emotions/brain - it is a temporary situation right now - its not long term unless a diagnosis is made and confirmed by more than one doctor.
If your son is so obviously hurting and struggling, then why wouldn't you want to help him whatever way you could?

Depending on the medication being recommended, they may help to "blanket" the full extent of the emotions and allow his brain to work properly in assessing his situation. Have you asked your son whether he understands what is happening and why you are concerned and whether he wants to take the meds? At 17, he is considered an adult in the court system (at least in Canada) why not in relation to his decision to take medicine? I must also say that I suffered a severe mental breakdown and didn't realize it was that at the time and didn't want to take the meds, and so was very resistant to treatment, but I trusted my doctor and at least tried it - there were some reactions to one of them, but for the most part it was okay. The daily group sessions were probably the most helpful though - they allowed me to see others struggling with their problems or similar issues and the suggestions were very helpful.

I agree that your son is not old enough or experienced enough with dealing with his emotions and is trying to find a way to express his pain in a 'manly way'. He needs to know that it is okay to be sad, angry, frustrated and disillusioned and that it may help to cry and let some of it out before those negative emotions 'eat him alive'.
I appreciate the doctor's comments and input, however I don't believe you should jump to any conclusions right away either - he is a teenager with a broken heart and feels that his life is meaningless but doesn't know how he can go on or even how to describe how he is really feeling - emotions get all tangled up and sometimes it is hard to distinguish what a person is feeling. I am glad you got him into treatment though - you did the right thing. You may have to suffer some flack for now - but mother's have always been there for their children through the good and the bad. Remember your love, strength and commitment to him, he needs you now more than ever mom.

Tammy - posted on 05/05/2011

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*Sigh* They want to put my son on meds but my ex won't allow it because he thinks meds do more harm then good.

Tammy - posted on 05/04/2011

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I am doing okish just really worried went and saw my son today and he just blew up and had to be restrained and then he started bawling and i have just never seen him so upset before in his entire life =(

Constance - posted on 05/04/2011

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Dr. Virginia just the update she had him admitted the day after she made the post. So he is safe from hurting himself. But Tammy might benifit from talking to her. Maybe you could send her a message I am woried about how she is doing.

Dr. Virginia - posted on 05/04/2011

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This is definitely not normal. Is he isolated in his room? He sounds quite depressed. Are you sure he does not have anything he could harm himself with (razors, pills, alcohol, other drugs). If he's healthy, he could go for several days without much food, but he can't without water. Make sure he has something to drink with him, even if it's not a healthy beverage (like soda), it's better than nothing. If this persists, you can always call 911 and they could bring him to a hospital for a psych evaluation to see if he needs to be hospitalized. Good Luck. Virginia Rockhill, Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist

Beth - posted on 05/03/2011

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You did the right thing in taking him to the doctor! I am so relieved! Your son will be able to grieve and work through this much better with therapy and in a safe environment where he cannot harm himself any more. Tell your ex he is an idiot, and if he doesn't like the fact that you're being a good mother, he can take a leap!

Debi - posted on 05/03/2011

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I will keep you in my prayers sorry not much else I can do but pray for you both

Angela - posted on 05/03/2011

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Your son will be able to grieve still, but with supervision!!
I have 2 ex's, I know how difficult it can be.....that's why they are EXs. You did the right thing for your son....sometimes us moms need to pass certain responsibilities to someone else who can help. We are not supermoms as we try to seem, and a you not only helped your son, here, but you also took the burden off of your own shoulders and handed it over, which was a great move. Your ex is probably embarrassed and feels "dumb" cuz "his kid" is getting "brain help". Most guys are judgemental about this, and they would rather admit that they dealt with their pain in their own "tough guy" way. If your son was for some reason just trying to get attention, well, he got it, and he won't do it again for that reason!
Great Move and know that you have our support here.

Constance - posted on 05/02/2011

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Tammy you made the right decision. He will be ok but is will take some time. My Heart and Thoughts are with you.

Tammy - posted on 05/02/2011

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Ex husband says i am being stupid for doing this and that i should of let him grieve =/

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/02/2011

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Keeping you in my prayers, Tammy, you did the absolute correct thing here

Constance - posted on 05/01/2011

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Tammy he needs help now. I am very scared for him and you. If he has cut himself deep enough for stitches then he is very capable of the worst thing that can happen. Please lock up all medicines, household cleaners, anything he can hurt himself with. If he is seriously thinking of ending the pain he won't tell anyone. I don't want you to go through that pain. He needs to be admitted to the hospital it is to protect him from hurting hisself.
You are in my thoughts and prayers. You can help him get through this but you are going to need help until he no longer feels like he needs too hut himself. Good luck and don't let him out of your sight and if you have to ;eave him make sure there is someone with him 24 hours a day.

Tammy - posted on 05/01/2011

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It was deep enough cuts for Stitches. And no and the reason he gave me for cutting was because crying didn't get out all the hurt he was feeling and and that he didn't want to scream and cry cause he felt he wouldn't be a guy if he did that i do not know and no he didn't tell the doctor he cut himself on purpouse if i was thinking straight i should have.

OhJessie - posted on 05/01/2011

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My daughter was a cutter; don't panic TOO much. (Didn't see he needed stitches.) They think that cutting will get the person back,and they sometimes cut deeper than they wanted to. '

Hugs.

OhJessie - posted on 05/01/2011

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Deep cuts or just cuts to see blood? There IS a difference. Itdoesn't mean he wants to die...lemme tell you, VERY few of uswant to TRULY die (thoughwe can screw up and do it anyway.)

I'm sorry, hon; my 14 year old thought she would DIE after her first relationship...here she is at 22. Let's face it, it HURTS. You know what helps? Falling in love with someone else. And he will.

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Tammy- Did he tell the doctor how he cut himself, that he did it on purpose? They should have admitted him to the adolescent phychiatric unit. If they didn't, please look into it. Next time may be worse, instead of watching him get stitches you could be watching his burial. Please don't take it lightly, get help for the boy. Don't 'wait and see'. You've already seen that he's hurting himself. He needs serious help and there's no time to spare. Please do it NOW. It doesn't matter if he doesnt want help, he isn't in his right mind, you have to take charge.

Angela - posted on 05/01/2011

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Im sorry.......he's not gonna want help, but at this point it may have to be up to you as mom to decide his help. Please feel encouraged when i say that you have given him the gift of life this evening, although he likely won't agree.

Angela - posted on 04/30/2011

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If he is cutting himself, he may have more intentions than you thought....if he does it again maybe call first call for help or a local juvenile social worker through your county....they can help guide you and your son in proper directions. Otherwise, give him about a week or so to grieve, which i'd think IS appropriate for his situation and then encourage him to eat a larger meal at his favorite place with you. good luck!

OhJessie - posted on 04/30/2011

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Poor guy. So long as he isn't suicidal (not that anyone could blame him) he'll get hungry and thirsty enough soon. Perhaps put a time limit on his grieving? After which you'll seek help for him - I'd suggest a counselor as opposed to a "therapist" - just someone to vent and talk to.

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