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My 13yo DS suffers from depression - update after his appt - on pg 2

Posted by on Jul. 3, 2012 at 12:09 PM
  • 17 Replies

For several years now he has been treated for ADD and we noticed the meds seemed to bring out depression and anxiety issues.  He has been taking anti depressants for a while now and things seemed to be getting better.  Back in Jan he had a breakdown and said he was going to kill himself.  We had his meds adjusted and had him start seeing a therapist again (he spent most of last summer working with a therapist) and again seemed to be doing pretty well. 

2 weeks ago he was at boy scout camp and we were set to pick him up on Friday.  Well Thursday morning I got a call from the leader that they found him in his tent Wed night with a rope around his neck saying he was going to kill himself.  I immediately got in the car and picked him up at camp.  I had the crisis line talk to him that day and he said he only did that because he wanted attention.  He said he really down not want to kill himself but thought that was the best way to get attention at camp.  We were scheduled to go on vacation the next day and the crisis line said we should go to vacation and just keep an eye on him.  Vacation was wonderful and we got back this weekend.

Tonight we have an appointment with his therapist.  I want them to give us a referral to a partial day hospital program but I am not sure they will.  Have any of you had to deal with this kind of depression in teens?

by on Jul. 3, 2012 at 12:09 PM
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by Trisha on Jul. 3, 2012 at 1:13 PM
You don't say which ADD meds he is on. Did they change the meds to a different type when he started having the issues or just adjust the dosage? My son is ADHD and had depression issues, changing to a different medication helped.
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by on Jul. 3, 2012 at 1:14 PM
I have somewhat. My son is 14 with a history of Behavior and emotional difficulties. I do not know you son, but I would definitely pay attention to his suicide attempt. The hospital seems extreme, but again, I don't know your son. The therapist should be able to decipher the root of the attempt and then make a decision if placement is needed. A look into the anti depressant med may be warranted as they have suicidal thoughts as a side effect. Or, he may have really been seeking some sort of attention. I am not saying that it was right, but it would be better than a serious suicide attempt. The therapist will probably do a suicide risk assessment to see if your son is in any danger of hurting himself.

I know this must be scary for you. We want our children to be happy and not in pain. My son has had an up and down life in relation to his emotions and behavior. Our psychologist seems to think he has a little Aspbergers as well. He is my baby bird with the broken wing always needing some sort of assistance. I would give as much information to the therapist and let him or her make the call. Let me know how it goes. Good luck.
by on Jul. 3, 2012 at 1:59 PM
Um,Ive suffered from depression/anxiety for 24+years and it pretty much started when I was 16. Im not ADD,but my son is ADHD and has generalized anxiety and slight depression,no suicide stuff for him though.Hes 13. About a year ago his dr added prozac 20mgs to his adderall and he said it helped but about 3 months ago I could tell his anxiety was pretty bad and he agreed so dr moved his prozac to 30mgs and he says its helped a lot.Im no dr and things have changed SO much since I was a teen but I dont think a hospital program is a bad idea.I was hospitalized for the 1st time when I was 16 cuz I was suicidal. Even though your son says it was for attn. nexm time he might "accidentally"take it too far. Good luck mama to you and your whole family. Hugs mama!
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by on Jul. 3, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Thanks all for your encouragement.  I too suffer from depression and had a really bad time with post partum to the point I had a psychotic episode and ended up hospitalized.  We tried just about every ADD med available over the years and they all brought out his extreme anxiety and depression. We had worked with him to controld his ADD (he isn't ADHD) and was doing pretty good but he was still struggling in school.  As a last resort we tried Welbutrin and that worked really well.  Last summer we added Zoloft (that is what I take) and it seemed to help.  In Jan the doc increased the Zoloft since he is really growing fast and is gaining weight and again that seemed to help.  It is really frustrating that he uses suicide as his method of gaining attention because I am not sure he understands just how serious it is.

When he had his breakdown at camp, he was speaking to the leaders and a doctor and told them that at home he gets yelled at all the time, that I threatened to kick him out of the house, and that my husband threatened him with a gun.  Needless to say, while we were on vacation I got a call from CPS. :( 

by on Jul. 3, 2012 at 2:31 PM
Well my 14 yo daughter is in a inpatient treatment facility and has been since February... It's more like a boarding school. It has helped a ton... She was having thoughts of hurting herself and others ... She is on a antidepressant and a antipsychotic and she is doing quite well...
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by on Jul. 3, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Glad to hear she is doing well.  Inpatient is our next option with him.  It is so hard to see kids that suffer from these issues.

by on Jul. 3, 2012 at 3:37 PM

I believe without having the time to go and relook things up, that Welbutrin is known to increase depression. So they key really, IMO, appears to be in the Welbutrin. All the Zoloft is doing is covering up the 1st med's side effect.

Honestly, in your position. I would be pulling the med's, give it a trial run and see what happens. It's summer so school won't be a worry. I have one son ADD also and never medicated, it is a challenge, I know where you are coming from. Don't think I am anti-med's, my oldest is bi-polar and has to be medicated. I'm just thinking about what I would do in your position.

by Susie on Jul. 3, 2012 at 4:07 PM
Wow, he has to know threats are not the way go get attention. I would keep up counseling. He needs to know lies will get him nowhere also.
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by on Jul. 3, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Thanks ladies.  His explanation on the rope was that he was making a necklace for me and the leader misunderstood - so he was not taking responsibility for his actions.  When I told him CPS called and what was reported to them he tried to say that the leaders and the doctor twisted his words and lied - again not taking responsibility.  The whole incident at camp started because he didn't want to shower and the older boys were telling him he needed to shower.  It is like everytime he doesn't get his way he calls suicide so he will get attention.  It is very frustrating that he is 13 and I still have to remind him to take a bath, change his clothes and brush his teeth every day.  Even when we were on vacation, if something wasn't going his way he would take off on his bike and try to interact with another family that was doing something.  DH or I ended up going after him to get him to leave the other campers alone.  I am starting to think his current therapist is not the right fit for him.  I am anxious to see how the appointment tonight plays out.

by on Jul. 3, 2012 at 4:19 PM
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 You should always err on the side of caution, particularly when there are mentions of matter if he says it was for attention or not. A partial day treatment program in a hospital might be ok, or have a psychiatrist seee him IN Person rather than over the phone. They will be better able to assess whether or not he is suicidal and how to help.

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