20 answers

15 Year Old Is Showing Depression

I have a 15 year old son. His friends seemed to have abandoned him. I think they are going in a direction he chooses not to , which I am greatful for (bad choices). But now he has stuck himself in his room and has become withdrawn. When I talk with him he gets very defensive. He is a good kid and fun loving, but has changed as of lately. Please don't respond and say that he may be on drugs , because I know this is not the case. I want to help him. I know he feels abandoned by his friends which were not a group of many but they were all friends since 5 yrs old. Does anyone have any ideas how to help him or help me help him. I want my happy son back. Any places out there hiring where other teens he can get to know work at. Any ideas I am up for all. All of our friends have grown children and his older sibling is much older than him. My heart is aching for him and I don't know how to help him...

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What can I do next?

Featured Answers

If you can't find him a job, what about a volunteer position such as a library or food bank for the summer? He would still get to meet with other teens, but hopefully better influences. (plus it looks good on resumes and college applications)

3 moms found this helpful

Is he in a position to be able to get his first job? It sounds like he needs to be in a place where he would meet new friends - at this age it is tough to do that. However, getting a job would open up a new circle of friends of different ages, backgrounds and abilities, plus foster a sense of independence by having a little of his own money.

Just a thought :)

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More Answers

Being sad is not the same thing as "depression." Sadness at the loss of his friends is a normal and healthy response. That doesn't mean there is something wrong with him. Also, a 15 year old boy not wanting to talk to mom about his sad feelings is normal as well, and doesn't mean he is "withdrawn."

Can you send him to camp? He'll be sure to meet some kids there. Find out what other activities are offered locally, where he can meet some new kids.

It is heartbreaking to watch your kids' emotional pain, but it's something we all have to endure from time to time. This too shall pass.

3 moms found this helpful

If you can't find him a job, what about a volunteer position such as a library or food bank for the summer? He would still get to meet with other teens, but hopefully better influences. (plus it looks good on resumes and college applications)

3 moms found this helpful

It was around this age that I changed my group of friends. Since I hold back more and my parents were more strict than others, I got left behind. It really seems to be around the time that everyone is starting to get their license that everything changes. My brother just turned 16 and he's had a change in some friends also. Luckily he still has a couple close friends to come over and go swimming. He also likes to ride his dirt bike and they go paintballing. For me though it helped a lot when I started working. I enjoyed my co workers more than the people at school. It's summer time, I would take advantage of that time for a job. Otherwise joining some kind of activity, but I would've been too shy for that.

2 moms found this helpful

this is difficult as teens are so emotionally fragile. you do want to give him his privacy, so that you can try to keep communication open, but we lose so many teens each year to depression and other mood disorders. it is important to suggest ways for him to meet new friends who have the same interests and focus that he does. it's a time to help him find the things that he is passionate about, so that he'll get thru the next couple years of hs and on to college or trade school as a happy teen. build his self esteem by asking his opinion and letting him know his thoughts and choices are important to you. talk to a counselor for tips on how to help him get through this. hug him daily. summer is in full swing, but a lot of park dists have summer programs, or even golf courses, with snack bars and such that can use teenagers help. you may have to get work permit, but if you can't get that done, volunteering for local events are a great way to get him involved and out of the bedroom. do it with him, so that he sees that you really want him to succeed in live. i wish you well in this challenge you have ahead of you. (in fact if you want, I have a volunteer opportunity for you both on 9/25...let me know if you want to hear more! I could use some good teens for an event I'm organizing at the Botanic Gardens)

Happy Fourth! L.

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Cud he be a box boy at a grocery store?

Could you encourage him to get out and about. Go to the swimming pool. Call up some kids that he knows even tho they didn't hang around together and go bowling, to a movie.

Do you know some parents of kids his age that you could invite over. Perhaps have a barbecue with their families.

He'd meet new friends hanging out at a Community Center. Our city has several centers that provide a work out room, gym, and pool with organized and drop in activities. They have classes to learn how to do different things. And in the summer they have a teen club that meets regularly.

Perhaps it would be good to get him started with counseling.

Also keep in mind that some kids have difficulty at the beginning of summer making the transition from a regular routine managed by others and making a new routine for themselves. He may not be as depressed as he seems. He may just need some down time to change directions. It will help him for you to encourage him to participate in some activities. Be his source of info on what to do.

2 moms found this helpful

I think it's probably just a phase, my son did the same thing about that age, it's when they really start thinking about what they want to do in their lives and the fun loving group doesn't always have the same goals. My son got really moody and withdrawn, he was the last one I thought would try any type of drugs, we found the remainder of a joint in our yard and really I attributed it to a neighbor. Later that evening he came in and confessed it was him, he felt his life was going no where, really it was the best thing that could have happened. I told him that because he came and told me he wouldn't be punished (hardest thing I ever did) and we got rid of any paraphernalia that he had, after that day he became more open and talks to us all the time now about anything, he'll be 18 soon and has a girlfriend he's dated for about 3 years, he's a different child. Also those childhood friends are still in his life, he's become really close with one and the others he's still in contact with.
My advice is to open yourself up to any kind of discussion with him and then take him to a councilor. Yes I know it's hard to do, but sometimes it's needed, we took my granddaughter to one and they played games, Monopoly, while they were playing they talked, she loved it and eventually got over her little panicky times we were worried about, sometimes they just need a neutral person to talk with, don't stress so much over it, if he gets defensive with you, it probably means he's not ready to talk with you about it yet, he needs to work through this himself.

2 moms found this helpful

Look at ur local parks some have teen programs.

2 moms found this helpful

Does he have hobbies?
There are even Lego clubs... which are a lot of fun and like minded kids.
Real positive.
Just do a Google search for your area.
Or if he does not have hobbies, then maybe nurture something that IS in his interests or talents. It will also enable him to meet other like minded kids.
Or just teach him, that "choosing" friends, is where it is at... not just being a "sheep" and blending in due to peer pressure. GOOD for him... he is not like the others. Focus on that and how great he is that he has his OWN mind... not just a "follower."

Joining clubs, sports, hobby groups, are real good for kids this age and fun. Just see what floats his boat... maybe even martial arts. My daughter LOVES her Karate classes. It is really great and for confidence too.

Instead of approaching him like something is "wrong" with him, just let him vent, and express his feelings... and concentrate on the POSITIVE aspects about him and how it is so great he is not just a mindless "follower" like his friends that abandoned him. Because, that IS a GREAT trait.... and real mature.
And if that were my kid, I would tell him/her how PROUD I am of him... give him a boost emotionally... and focus on how HE is great... and can think on his own. That these things happens sometimes, because something better is there for him.
Having his "bad" friends leave him, is actually a good thing.
I am sure he doesn't want to be a "loser" like them. That is not cool.

all the best,
Susan

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