Teen depression & self harm/ mutilation in boys Any advice would be greatfully received

Susan - posted on 01/26/2010 ( 1 mom has responded )

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My 16yo son Andrew was diagnosed with ADHD at 3yo & put on Dex amphetamine & catapres. It didnt help much, he bounced around the house for aprox 18 to 20 hours a day. He was also diagnosed with long-sightedness & given glasses, I was told to make him wear the glasses at all times when awake & his eyes might improve by the start of primary school at age 6. They didnt, they got worse. Also when he was 5 we discovered he had very loose joints & spent the next few years going to occupational therapy, only to be told by grade 3, there was no name for his condition, but that they couldnt help with it, so get him an electric typewriter as his handwriting is un-readable. When he was 8 we were told he had Asperghers, but to get the formal diagnosis, so he could get treatment for it & assistance at school there was a 3 year delay for public assessment & just as long if we went private. As we were told it would just be another tag, we decided not to put him on the waiting list. At 10 he started getting knives & slashing his arms, so he was diagnosed with depression & put on Lovan for 2 years with weekly appointments at the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Unit (CAMHS) for short. When Puberty kicked in at 12 they decided he no longer needed any meds, so took him off everything. He had trouble concentrating, couldnt stand or sit still, but they said it would affect his development if he stayed on meds during puberty. At 13 he had another breakdown after loosing the only friend he had had in his life & I had to move him in with his grandparents as they could watch him more closely as I have 2 younger children. He stayed with his grandparents for a month while we put things in motion to sell our house & move closer to family for extra support. As for the last 3 years, he was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism & his joint problem was given a name- Benign-Joint-Hyper-Mobility & we have watched him become a recluse, he avoids all physical & verbal contact with his peers, he stays locked away in his room on his laptop computer when not at school listening to what I would call morbid depressing music. When he is really down he goudged his upper arms, back & thighs with his long fingernails until they bleed he is covered in infected sores in these areas, which he hides by always wearing long sleeved tops & long pants. He only wears black clothes & a long trench coat if he has to leave his room. he was wearing Black eyeliner, dyed his hair black & grew his nails very long which he also painted black. we thought this was a phase & would pass if we ignored it, but after 2.5 years & lots of complaints from family I threw out the eyeliner & nail polish & cant have either in the house as he will wear it regardless of the colour I buy now. I took him to the casualty ward 6 months ago when he slit his wrists saying we would all be better off without him as I caught him wearing his younger sisters knickers & training bras & told him I would not tollerate it. He told he I should accept he is a girl & wants to have gender re-assignment surgery as soon as he is 18years old. The psyc department told me he was fine that I should allow him to experiment with things to help him find himself. They told me it was me with the problem. Now we are back to where we were when Andrew was 12, he is cutting or goudging himself with his fingernails or razorblades anything he can get, he got hold of medication that was prescribed for his brother & took the box, but luckily I caught him & took them off him before he could swallow them, & all because he kissed a girl that has now got a friend to threaten to beat him up if he contacts this girl again. He had been friends with this girl for about 9 months when he kissed her for New Year which her friend says made her feel uncomfortable as she thought they were just friends & she told her strict parents that my son was gay to get them to give her freedom to sleep at our house & go where she wanted, while they thought she was with Andrew. Andrew was admitted to the teens ward at Princess Margaret Hospital 2 days ago for a psych assessment as he wants to die, & cut off everyone who cares about him. If anyone has advice on treatments or meds or both I would love to hear from you, right now I'm at my whits end, my blood pressure has gone sky high & my doctor says reduce my stress or have a stroke, if that happens I won't be any use to Andrew or the rest of my family. I have a 10yo daughter who has become very emotional & keeps crying all the time & I have an 11 yo son who has Autism, I also have a husband who has a blood clotting disorder, high colesterol, high blood pressure & diabetes. I just need advice & have run out of ideas as to where to get the advice from.

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Vicki - posted on 03/31/2010

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My daughter was a cutter (I guess is in recovery is a better word) She was very depressed. We all thought she'd 'get through it' but she just didn't. We started taking her to a counselor to see if that would help, and then she tried to choke someone to death at school.

The counselor suggested anti-depressants. On April 1, she'll have been on them for a year, and is much better - she has had some anxiety problem - and we are working on those also.

Your children need help. This is a medical issue that is affecting him emotionally. It could be depression - it could be bipolar - it could be a lot of things.

Also - talk to the doctor about your own emotional difficulties - this not only affects them, but you also.

There is hope. My daughter is 18 and wears bright colors now, she has brightness in her eyes.

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