My 17 year old son is just driving me nuts.

Burnadette - posted on 06/20/2012 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I really need some help here. So I have a 17 year old son at home, and before he turned 15 I've been able to handle him quite well. I want to know what on earth has happened to my son! When he was little he was bright and full of life, and now he suffers from severe depression and anxiety disorder. There has been countless meltdowns in the home, including one a couple days ago in an episode involving him breaking a couple of my windows. I try so hard just to get a good hold on him but he thinks that I am against him, and he does not tell me he loves me anymore. I don't like seeing him in this state, and we even have him in counseling, and he was put on prescription for Zoloft and Xanax. Nothing is helping. I'm very surprised he even passed his junior year, but he is a smart boy. It's just he hasn't been attending school in the past year due to bullying. Another issue of mine is that he is extremely suicidal, he cuts himself and tries harming himself and every time I try taking him to the hospital he freaks out! It's just so much for me. I mean, he has so many issues. Its so hard to cope with lately, and even when he went out behind my back to have sex with countless numbers of boys and girls (which I didn't find this out until 2 months ago) it was never as big a challenge as this. He's just very bright and handsome, I don't want his mental disorders getting the best of him. I just need some serious help here. Believe me, there's even more than what I'm describing here. Feel free to send me a message. Thank you.
-Burnadette

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Gail - posted on 06/26/2012

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Burnadette - I would be more concerned about the cutting than darned near anything else right now. My son went through this, we had no idea he kept it all so well hidden. The cutting, the anger, the suicide attempts. If he kicks and screams when you try and take him to a hospital, then call 911. The police and an ambulance will take him to a mental health care facility. I was told "I'm giving you a chance to sign him in for treatment, but if you don't he is staying anyway". I signed him in. It was the worst 5 days of my life...and the best possible thing that could have happened to him. He got the help he needed, found out he wasn't all alone, and actually is seeing a future for himself. He now wants to be a Mental Health Nurse when he grows up. If you can get this under control, much of the other stuff will fall into place.

Stephanie - posted on 06/26/2012

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I totally understand, I'm enduring some serious disrespect &I know I taught my son better. Praying for them & loving them anyhow is all we can do, I suppose.

Tanya - posted on 06/22/2012

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First of all he is not driving you crazy. He is having a really hard time right now, and apparently has been dealing with people dumping on him for along time and has now internalized the trauma and is tormenting himself.He is desperately trying to get help, and let you know that he is hurting. Don't push him. Find a good friend that you can carry on to. Cry, rage, shake, beat some pillows, get physical. Just don't hurt yourself, anyone else or break anything, because that builds guilt. You're not trying to build guilt. You are trying to get the hurt and frustration out of your system, so that you can think and feel a bit clearer. A best friend is like a good counselor, you can get your feelings out, say crazy irrational things and at the end of the session they still love and respect you and they never bring it up again, unless you want to talk about it.Otherwise find a re-evaluation counseling group in your area, or a great counselor.
As for your son he is fighting all the fights he didn't get to fight and win in the past. He is fighting for his goodness and his life. When he is raging and hurting himself, he is trying to get the hurt out of his system. He too would benefit from some sessions of good raging, which leads to crying (anger is just I've been hurt so much that I can't take it anymore). This needs to be done with someone experienced in this work, who can see and hold the concept of the total goodness of your son as they work with him and work with him in a compassionate way. There are people who are good at this work. Otherwise you will have to get into better shape so that you can do it with him. I personally don't support drug therapy. I think it just pushes down the troubling emotions and makes it harder to access them to do the work to clearing them.
The very least that you can do is just smile at him. Be a positive face and force in his life. Listen to him and don't get caught in a downward spiral. Just being heard without judgement is a powerful healing tool. There are other methods, hoping this is helpful.

Kelly - posted on 07/28/2012

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im so sorry to here your trouble speaking as a child who went throught the same things i had many issues when i was younger my best advise to u would be to tell him u love him everyday as much as possaible speak with him when hes not upset about what hes thinking before he cuts and always keep tring meds untill you find a combo that works i know its hard to hear that theres not so much u can do its scary and lonely and i promas hes scared too just be his rock i hope this helps in any way

Kristi - posted on 06/24/2012

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Burnadette--

I have now tried, unsuccessfully, 3 times on 3 different days to leave you a private message and/or post on your wall so I could talk with you in private about your situation. I am not ready to discuss this on here but I can't sit here and not offer you, at least some support, after suffering from much of the same afflictions as your son. I have been through just about everything the mental health field has to offer. I am a cutter, I have been since I was 15. I have a severe panic disorder that started when I was in grade school, nobody had any idea what was happening to me, it was later misdiagnosed as an eating disorder because I was skinny and I vomitted to the point of dehydration everytime I had an attack. Nobody would listen to me. I was diagnosed with severe depression and finally someone listened to me about what I was really going through and diagnosed the panic disorder. I attached myself to my boyfriend like glue. I lived, breathed and died for him. But just to make sure I would never be alone, I kept a couple of "sure things" on the side, ensuring my own demise. Because when he found out, as they always do, he left and I went insane. Cutting, panicking, huge, emotional outburts, no sleeping, no eating, hours of crying and apologizing and begging forgiveness. The last thing on my mind was how is this affecting my family. If I had considered that then, I don't think I would have survived the guilt and shame I felt once I later realized what they had been going through. But I was not in a healthy place when I finally figured that out, either. I lived to see 19, by the tiniest hair ever, said the nurse. And like you said about your son, there's even more than I'm describing here. LOTS more. I hope that was enough for you to see that I might be able to maybe shed a little light, offer a little hope, at the very least, an ear of someone who understands what is like to suffer from mental illness and the road to a better place. If you would like to talk some more please feel free to email at kcisneros1@me.com, if not no worries. I don't even know if we're supposed to that, but your story just hit me too close to home not try.

One thing you need to know and maybe you already do, but the fact that you have accepted that your son has mental health issues and you're facing them head on is a tremendous step in the right direction. You have no idea how many families sweep this kind of thing under the rug, they all have their reasons, but it is tragic and the cycle never ends. The individual with the illness is eventually ostricized or just fades away on his/her own. They lose vital contact with people who should be loving and supporting them and feel lost and alone, etc. So at least give yourself credit for not backing down. It is a war and most of the time it will feel like it is you vs your son. But it's not. Most of the stuff he is doing is not what he wants to be doing, but the mental disorder and chemical imbalances are making it very difficult for him to exercise self control and his ability to make effective decisions. He can't express his emotions appropriately because he isn't sure what they are. Something I might suggest for you is to get some individual counseling so you have an outlet for your feelings and someone who can help you better understand your son and help you cope through this. Maybe even find a support group for parents in your situation. My mom said she often wishes she would have searched out a support group because by happenstance, she met another woman who went through similar things with her daughter that my mom did with me but it was after the worst was over and she felt such a relief after they talked because someone finally understood. Idk, just something to think about. In any event, my thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family. I hope things take a turn for the better soon.

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14 Comments

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Jessica - posted on 04/09/2014

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My kid is so disrespectful mean, punched holes in my walls (about 6) I am getting to the point of being afraid of him.

Mellissa - posted on 06/26/2012

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I have a 14 year old daughter who has cut herself. My first reaction was to scream & ground her as she is a good bright kid. This was her 1st year of high school. I went to my mom who has had training for issues like this. She told me that cutting is a sign of reaching out for help. After talking to my daughter she opened up to me & I got to the bottom of the problem. I took her to the Dr. And mentioned counseling. But she didn't want counceling & you can't force them as it will be a waste of their time & your money. Schools have special programs for this & teachers that are trained that they can talk to if they won't talk to you or a councilor.
I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. I hope this might help a bit. It's just what I've learned in my situation.
Mellissa

Carol - posted on 06/23/2012

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Rather than focusing on the negatives try putting some effort into the positives. Don't nag. I always hated that. You may need to stand back some and really listen to him. When he throws his meds tell him your sorry he feels bad and then back off. Quit telling him what he needs to do, he already knows. Teen age boys don't tell you they love you at this stage. He will when he's older, trust me.

Kristin - posted on 06/21/2012

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If I were you i would seriously consider counselling for yourself and look into online schooling, It is not right to be bullied in school and could be part of his anger. Also you mentyioned he has had both girlfriends and boyfriends so maybe he is completely confused about his sexuality which in itself can lead to anger and frustration. Society has come a long way but still people tend to frown upon gay men and women, and that takes a lot of stength and support to deal with. His depression and anxiety may stem from the fact that he is unsure of who and what he is, and the bullying probably makes his self esteem go down. So because he can not vent on the kids at school and because he is angry at himself he takes this out on you and your family. If it were my son I would be very supportive and try to communicate as much as possible and let him know that whatever he decides in life (straight or gay) that is fine with you and you still love him. He needs to love himself and gain some sense of self worth again. I truly hope he continues with counselling and that he gets better and realizes that he is worth a lot no matter what and that he is loved bt many. I wish you all the best. I will say a prayer for you and your son.

Burnadette - posted on 06/21/2012

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Kristi, thank you for your advice. I think that he is a target of bullying due to the fact that he is different and expresses himself differently than some kids might. Also, he does have a boyfriend, so that is part of it too. We take him to counseling and everything, I'm just not very sure why nothing is helping! I also do monitor him taking his medication daily. However this morning I said he needed to take them and he threw the pill bottle at the wall and we had to pick them all up before any of the animals got them. I'm just not sure how to help but I'm going to keep trying. Also, another issue with the school, I've been trying to get them to put him into a comfortable atmosphere for him to work, but they say because he doesn't have a learning disability they cannot provide that. It's hard putting him in the school because I don't want those kids to continue bullying him like that, and now that he's a senior, we can't really switch schools, especially because we just moved in the area last year. Thank you though, I like knowing that other people have him on their minds. I just want him to get the best possible environment to succeed. :)
-Burnadette

Kristi - posted on 06/20/2012

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You need to deal with the bullying in order to make school a place he wants to be. Can he attend school somewhere else or be in an alternative program until he gets a grip on these troubles? Is he taking his medication? I know that when I feel the weight of depression hitting me, I stop taking my medication. I know this is bad for me and makes it all worse, but I just can't seem to do it. I know this can be a common occurrence for people suffering depression. If someone monitored it and bugged me, I'd do better, but it would have to be every single day. I think it's a control issue or something (not taking my medication). Finding someone that he can talk to and relate to will be a key part of helping him out of this cloud, too. Why is he the target of bullying? Do you know? Find out and help him find others who share similarities so he can experience the strength of solidarity. Counseling is a good start, but maybe it's not the right counselor or group. Ask for his input as to what might help. And listen to what he says. Don't stop trying or give up on him. I'm sorry you're going through this, and that your son is in so much pain. I hope you find the answers that can help. Hugs to you both.

Courtney - posted on 06/20/2012

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I think it's time for family counseling and therapy for him alone as well as counseling,

Burnadette - posted on 06/20/2012

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You know Misty I have thought of counseling, but due to other medical bills and household needs I have putting that off for awhile. Thank you so much, I am doing everything I can to help him :)

Misty - posted on 06/20/2012

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Burnadette, I'm truly sorry for all you are going through and I understand how hard it is to see your child suffer so. It sounds like you are doing all you can for your son. Have you thought of counseling for your self?

I feel all I can do for you is pray and I will.

God Bless you!

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