teenage depression

Sandra - posted on 07/04/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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first of all i want to thank everyone for letting me be part of this wonderful HELP LINE. My son is 16 years old and has depression. ( i also have depression and take meds). He refuses to admit anything is wrong, but just hangs around the house sad all the time. He has few friends and the few he has are pretty busy for the summer. He doesn't want to do anything i suggest and yet he's always saying he's bored. Any ideas on what i could do to cheer him up or get him out of the house would be wonderful. Thanks for any future ideas.

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Lori - posted on 07/13/2009

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Kids with depression take things alot harder than others. If you have any outside sources to help you through this time, please seek them out - trusted friends, church members or pastors (if you attend), counselors.

I have suffered with chemical depression off and on for most of my adult life - teens through late 30's (I am 46 now). Been on all the meds, been to a bunch of counselors (some helped, some not). Fortunately, I have been happily, highly functioning without ANY meds for several years now. But it was a rough road - both for me and anyone who cared for me.

Physical activity is a MUST. Find SOMETHING that your son will enjoy and make sure he participates in it regularly. Something about the endorphins generated by physical activity make BIG differences for people who suffer with depression.

My youngest daughter (now 15) shows alot of my early symptoms, and we sought help for her. Crossing fingers that it helps - but it could be months before it actually 'gets better'. Sometimes the best you can hope for, short term, is for it to not get worse. She went to visit my trusted best friend (my age) in another city, and learned to box - yes, with a bag and gloves - and this has been a good outlet for her. She also ice skates. Emotionally she uses writing to express her feelings. And she has some really great friends who have been where she is, and can help her understand how to navigate through murky waters.

I will say prayers for you and your son. Very sorry for the loss of your beloved pet.........Best of luck to you, and I hope you'll keep in touch to let us know how things are going......

Sandra - posted on 07/12/2009

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I would like to thank everyone for their responses. It makes me feel better to know there are moms out there that know what i am going through. Unfortunately, things are worse now. Not because my son has gotten worse as far as how he is acting, but because one of our cats died this morning. It is very hard on all of us, but my son seems to be taking it particularly hard. It was not expected. He was old and overweight and i think he had a heart attack. He just dropped and that was it. I am now afraid that this will send him into an even deeper depression.

Eliane - posted on 07/09/2009

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Hi there, it is a very difficult situation and delicate. My son know is 14yrs old he had such strong depression that when he was 13yrs he end up in a hospital for more than 10 days. Since an incident he started cutting himself and I did not pay any attention at
the time. Because of the hospital, he had to start medication. It did help. Also a new group of friends and clubs can cheer him up. Lots of patient and love.

Deborah - posted on 07/09/2009

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Stay in touch, let us know how he gets on. Sometimes it helps just to vent to people that understand what you're going through.

Vicki - posted on 07/08/2009

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Tell him it is silly to feel bad when there are meds and therapy that do work. It takes a professional to help come up with the combination that works. He might have a situational depression that is linked to his current life but with a parent with depression he is much more likely to have a brain based depression that is genetic. Tell him that now is the time to get a handle on it. I have been on and off medication for 20+ years and cannot imagine trying to live happily without. Get him good help there is lots out there. And get yourself some good support too.

Sandra - posted on 07/08/2009

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I would like to say thank you to both Deborah Bond and Marjorie Pacholec for their advice. I will definetly try harder to get my son to go back and talk to the doctor. My husband and i both think he would benefit from meds, but my son refuses to take anything. I was diagnosed 3 years ago and also didn't want to take anything. I also wasn't sure about my son taking meds either because i have heard so much about them messing up young people. Maybe just talking to the doctor will help him to realize that this is not normal and that there are ways to feel better. Thanks again!!!

Marjorie - posted on 07/07/2009

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Hi Sandra, I have three boys and my older 2 have struggled on and off with depression. This past year I was called to the school as my 16 yr old had threatened suicide so I took him to the ER for an evaluation. I wanted him to stay at the hospital but the state we live in says they can so no from the age of 13. Luckily the hospital offered an outpatient day program that he attended for 2 weeks. He refuses to take meds as I have been taking med for depression/bi-polarism for the past 5 years and he doesn't want to be "stuck" like me. He won't listen when I say the meds made get out of bed and be able to hold down a job. I've told you the negative now here's the positive. I let both he and his brother interview different counselors and psychiatrist's till they found one they liked. I stayed out of their decision and only said no if the doctor wasn't on our health plan. I also stopped trying to force him to do stuff everyday. He's allowed to have a couple of quiet days then he either has to do something with a friend or me (he usually picks a friend). Both of my son's tried meds, but my 16 yr old is extremely sensitive to any meds so he chose to stop after 2 months. We also worked out a different schedule for High School as the one where we live is filled with rich, snobby kids. We were able to get a varience so he goes to a normal school and is much happier. My 19 yr old did 6 months of me meds and then went to just seeing his counselor 2x per week. He recently stopped seeing his counselor and is now at the local community college. I hope some of this helps.

Deborah - posted on 07/05/2009

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Hi Sandra, My eldest son suffered depression and has really only managed to get back on track over the last couple of months. He is 18 years old and finished school at the end of 2008 (we live in Australia and I'm assuming you are in the Northern Hemisphere). The week of his exams he was diagnosed with glandular fever which was followed by depression. I tried everything to help him but nothing worked; he really needed professional help. He was turning down invitations to hang out with friends or go to parties. Our doctor prescribed short-term medication and referred him to a psychologist. He had about 6 sessions with the psychologist, is off medication and back to his old self. I guess the difference is he told me I couldn't help him and that it was serious; he had started having suicidal thoughts. I was shocked when he told me as I knew he was down but had no idea things were that bad. I think it would be beneficial if you could get your son to talk with someone.

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