My Teenager May Have Depression

Updated on January 13, 2010
D.C. asks from El Monte, CA
36 answers

Well I dont know where to start, last night my son who's 16years old just brought to my attention that he is depressed he says he dont know why, but he cries at night. He has a hard time going to sleep and his stomach is always hurting him. no matter if he eats or doesnt eat, is always seems to be hurting him. he said he even has suicidal thoughts..which is really scaring. He says he can not fall asleep at night, all he does is just think, think about after HS what he will be doing, what if he cant finish hs he said he dont even want to go to HS anymore. my son is in 10th grade and plays hs football and is really good at it when he focus on it. I know that he does have a problem with falling asleep he has always even when he was younger the only person to stay up late at night and then dont' want to get up in the morning because he is so tired. But I dont know what more I can do to guide him. Is there just too much peer pressure?I dont recall ever feeling like this when I was a teenager. I have a dr.appt. today to find out if there is something wrong with his stomach and maybe prescrible something so he can sleep or if someone can recommend something natural?? advise if we can look into therapy? I just dont' know where to turn to. I am Married but not to his father we are a mix family his,mine and ours. My son seems to have no problems getting along with his step father, but maybe he could have issues when his real dad comes around. Which is only once in a while.

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So What Happened?

First and foremost wanted to Thank you all wonderful MAMA's, Great advise, alot of things to take into consideration and alot of helpful information on where to turn to. We went to the Dr. and Dr. advised that he's definitely going through some anxity/depression just based on his symptoms he told the dr. ie;headache,stomach ache, can't sleep. I dont know if I mention it before but he has told the DR. that he is hearing voice's: Just callin him,(to come here)scarry.... nothing more. DR.asked alot of question, but advise not much he can do and recommended seeing a Theraphist.
We are a christian family and have alot christian related answer's on that, but want to be down to earth as possible. Could he possible have a brain tumor? He did get a concussion back in October09 and was really out of it, the hospital did an MRI but thank god did not find anything wrong. Just trying to make sure I cover all angles.

I got a referal from our Health care insurance to go and see a Theraphist we have an appt on Friday morning. But since then he's being going to school, however today I had my sister stay home with him so he can try to sleep, he has admited he didnt' want to be alone he was scared?? IDK of what,or why maybe I just cant understand what he is going through. Every morning I wake up and wish I was just dreaming all of this and realize no dreaming here this is reality.I haven't really left his side I do make him go to school although I'm not quite sure if that is a good Idea? All of the kids in the house with the expection of the little one's know what's going on and are helping us through it too. someone is always with him, we dont let him spend too much time in the room by himself. I will try to keep everyone updated on his progress. Thank you all very much and god bless you and your family.

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V.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I would just like to caution a blanket rejection of medication. As a sufferer of Depression, I had a serious episode that required hospitalization and probably could have been avoided had I taken the suggestion of medication more seriously instead of rejecting it outright. Sometimes a serious depression can be substantially improved with medication, but I'm a big believer in talk therapy also. Perhaps you could look at the book UNSTUCK, which discusses fighting depression without medication, although in a crisis, I would definitely do both and right away. Good for you for taking this seriously!

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C.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

By all means if he as suicidal thoughts get him help right away. Look for a child psychologist that specializes w/ teens.

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B.S.

answers from Honolulu on

In HS I developed chemical depression and it ruined my grades, and made my life a lot harder because my parents refused to believe what the Doctors were telling them. Once I was 18 and I was able to get a mild anti-depressant it made a world of difference because I felt normal again. Sometimes because the body is still growing and changing in the teenage years different hormones get out of balance. At least he's telling you that he's having problems. Try Welbutrin, it's mild and worked great for me. Good luck and whatever you do, DON"T ignore the problem, it's probably chemical and needs some meds to help.

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C.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Anti-depressants seems to bring out the evangelist in some people. My mother was adamantly opposed to them, so my teenage depression went untreated. I'm amazed I survived those years - it was a very close thing.

After many years of therapy, I knew myself very well, but my depression hadn't budged. I finally took anti-depressants for a year when I was 30, and have never had even the slightest trouble since. I only wish I had taken them almost 20 years earlier and been saved almost 2 decades of pain and suffering.

There are lots of other things that MAY help - like fish oil supplements, regular exercise, and therapy. And by all means, try them! But please don't draw a line in the sand about drugs. Depression kills.

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

KEY thing to pay attention to right NOW: He has SUICIDAL thoughts.
Do not get sidetracked by other things now by natural remedies etc..... as it may just delay what needs to be done NOW. Which are his suicidal thoughts... which can occur, at anytime and get acted out on at any time.
Do not leave him unattended... check on him, especially when he thinks he is "alone."

Then in tandem with that, sure, you can research other PROFESSIONAL treatment. But again, NOW you must take his suicidal thoughts seriously.

Depression is expressed in many ways... bodily pain, stomach aches, headaches, insomnia, etc. But the OVERALL thing, is to address the OVERALL problem... his suicidal thoughts, and linked depression.

Keep communication open with him, keep tabs on his thoughts... suicidally. And act on it, now.

If need be, perhaps let him stay home for now... he is unwell. And then maybe he wont' get so tormented by going to HS now, when he cannot take care of himself. He cannot take care of himself. He CANNOT take care of himself and his mental/emotional well being. Take heed.

Your son's problem is MORE than just peer pressure or social problems. He has Depression. Take him to a professional....
and remember... he is SUICIDAL. AND, giving a Suicidal person sleeping-pills is NOT something you should do.
Sleeping pills, is NOT GOING TO CURE him or his Depression NOR his Suicidal thoughts. Sleeping Pills has killed many depressed people. Remember Heath Ledger, the actor? That is just one example.

Taking him to the Doctor to see if something is wrong with his stomach... is, not going to cure his Depression. Which is THE problem. You NEED TO TELL THE DOCTOR about his DEPRESSION... AND SUICIDAL THOUGHTS. Have you done that? Does the Doctor know? You NEED to tell the Doctor.
Take him to the ER or Hospital... and seek a Therapist right away. Ask the Pediatrician for a referral and recommendation.

Just CONTINUE to be there for him no matter what & so he does NOT feel 'alone'... and keep tabs on him.... just in case he tries to attempt suicide. There is only so much guiding you can do... since he has a serious mental health condition, and beyond that, A professional therapist must be prescribed.
He is reaching out & crying out for HELP... and desperately. Which is good, he told you, instead of hiding it from you, which would be detrimental for him.

All the best,
Susan

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J.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

We've been through all of this and it is one of the most terrifying and heart wrenching things to experience. We started off with going to a Doctor of Osteopathy because a Pediatrician will be lost. We found a Family Counselor and started weekly sessions for him. Medical tests were run, checking everything from the typical blood tests to hormones. We had a SPECT scan from Amen Clinic that tied everything together. He was put on Lexapro because that is what worked for me. You have to be very careful with anti-depressants with teenagers because it is in the unknown territory, can cause the opposite of what you want it to do. Talk with him and let him know what he is taking and what it is suppose to do, the signs to look for if it is not working well.

Now for supplements and other things that are very important. Exercise, strong, make them sweat for at least 1/2 hour a day exercise.

Omega 3 - find a good one! Carlson is readily available. At least 2,000 mg. All of the doctors that we have seen like it to be double that a day. Vitamin Bs. With the tests that we did, we found that he needed amino acids and we've been using the NeuroLink from Amen Clinic.

Sleep - don't do sleeping pills yet if you can help it. We found with our son, melatonin Slow Release 2.5 or 3 mg is great.

Stomach - is he constipated? Regular bowel movements? Prescriptions will add to it then so make sure you stay on top of this with natural stool softeners.

Change the Diet! Remove all dyes, preservatives, sodas. Go as organic as possible, especially with meats. Find out what foods cause inflammation inside of him. This was part of our tests with the DO. You may need to remove gluten and /or dairy as those are the biggest offenders.

The brain goes through changes, major ones every several years, and becomes pretty much final by the age of 27. It is hard getting the teenagers through these years, especially boys and especially this age, as that part of reasoning and being invincible is not even developed. Hang in there and let me know if you want any referrals to who we see.

My son getting a Tetanus shot is what sent him over the edge just before he turned 13. The SPECT scan showed the mercury damage from all of the vaccines he had had over his lifetime. It also showed that he is dealing with what it called the Ring of Fire, where all of the centers in the brain are active, all of the time. Computers, video games just feed the centers of impulsivity, ocd, inattention, depression/anxiety. This one of the reasons is why strong exercise is very good. It also helps to release the feel good endorphines. Let him know you love him and want to help him, that this isn't his fault and it can be fixed.

Hang in there mom.

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S.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

From all he's told you about how he's feeling, (esp the suicidal thoughts) I don't think there is any question about that he "may" be depressed. The symptoms are there and he feels it, so he is.
Start him up with a therapist or psychologist to talk to and help monitor him.
Call his school counselor, I think the school should be aware of how he is feeling since he spends 7-8 hours of his day there (and since school seems to be part of what's depressing him). Counselor would be a good place to start, it's one more person aware of how he is feeling that can monitor him and check in on him. Sometimes, the only thing that gets these kids through HS is having a caring adult to connect with (maybe there is another teacher or coach he is close to that can step in and be there for him too?)
You are so lucky he opened up to you to tell you how he is feeling.
Last thing I'll add, since he has confessed suicidal thoughts, I would not leave him alone. Including between school and home, I would make sure family members are around him at all times.

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V.V.

answers from Los Angeles on

D.,
I so sympathize with you. My daughter had those same symptoms, even earlier, and we went from doc to doc. It took another 15 years to finally diagnose her with allergy to gluten. Now that she is off of ALL gluten, there are many different ones, she is so very much better. Perhaps you could get him tested, you will really have to push though for the right kind of tests, and keep it up. It usually takes at least 10 years for an accurate diagnosis. She was pretty much told she was crazy, which I knew she was not. It is worth a try I think.
Blessings to you,
V.

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K.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

I agree with Barbilee 100%. Avoid meds at all costs. The fact that he came to you is a blessing. The fact that you have heard him and are paying attention means the odds are slim that he will follow through with the suicide thoughts. It sounds like he is good hands with you. One other thing on top of getting good therapy is taking a look at his diet. Is there too much caffeine? Is he eating too much processed, additive, and dye filled foods? Diet is everything.
I think you are doing a great job. You are not allowing yourself to be in denial and sweeping it under the rug and that is to be commended. Good luck.

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J.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

yes, get him to counseling now. At his age I was hospitalized for a suicide attempt and i"m grateful that it happened. I was super depressed and it was the best thing for me.

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L.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

I'm sorry your son is feeling this way! See what the doctor recommends and maybe also talk to the school guidance counselor to see if there is anything going on at school that is adding to your son's problems.

Good luck!

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A.C.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi D.~

Depression is nothing to leave alone! It sounds like there are some real issues. I think many teens have depression, part of being a teen, but this sounds more intense. When you are at the doctor, ask for his recommendation for mental health care. Just be careful about anything they prescribe, as teens are very sensitive to medications for depression. I have a couple who have been through it, and still are. It is always best to see to it earlier than later.

Best of luck,
A.

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S.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

Living in a blended family can be stressful. School IS stressful. Peer pressure is stressful. Thinking about college/future is stressful. It's a lot to deal with. Some handle it better than others. Some find it overwhelming. I will say that 10th grade was absolutely HORRID for our daughter. It was the time when she realized she didn't have anything in common with the friends she'd grown up with and she struggled to make new friends. She refused to cave to peer pressure (drinking, drugs, etc) and was labeled a "good little church girl" making it even more difficult. Things finally got better in 11th grade and she's now a senior. However, my daughter ate ok (actually gained weight) and slept ok (alot) and never mentioned suicide. I say talk to your doctor and get him to a therapist. Good luck and God bless.

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J.P.

answers from San Diego on

Are you interested in nutrition that could help him? God Bless! J.

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L.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi, D.,

I was a depressed teenager who became a high school teacher and is now a graduate psychology student. Based on my experience, I recommend seeking help immediately and not waiting for this phase to pass. It might not on its own.

Beside seeing a physician and high school counselor, I recommend finding a therapist. You can look on-line. If you have health insurance, your insurance company can refer you to websites that list providers in your plan or read a few names from that list over the phone. If you do not have health insurance and can't pay out of pocket (often $125/session - $175/session, 50-minute session), then I recommend contacting a community mental health center such as Kedren in South L.A. or Didi Hirsch in Culver City. (Didi Hirsch has a 24-hour, 7 days/week suicide hotline.)

Sometimes it takes a while to find a good fit in terms of therapist or medication, so I recommend that you and your son, if he is up to it, identify a few therapists and options that seem like good fits.

Best wishes,
Lynne E.

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J.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

It would not hurt to have him talk with a good therapist - just to help sort through these feelings and thoughts. Your doctor may have a referral or sometimes community centers have very affordable or free counseling. Can also talk with the school psychologist if you feel comfortable doing that.

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K.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

I'm so glad you are seeing your doctor!
If he has a suicide plan and you are supposed to ask, then things are very serious and I would get a referral ASAP and don't leave him alone. Asking him will not put things in his head.
Your doctor can speed up the referral for therapy by calling for the authorization if necessary, and can get you into a therapist who can determine the severity of his depression.
Thank goodness he feels comfortable talking to you. Keep talking!
Good luck!

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L.J.

answers from Las Vegas on

Sorry to hear your son is feeling so bad. If you want to try something natural, you could try SAMe or 5-HTP. 5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin and melotonin. Since your son is not sleeping well, he could be deficient in 5-HTP. However, one CAUTION: if your son's doctor gives him an antidepressant, DO NOT let him take 5-HTP or SAMe.

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J.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Please get your son into therapy right away. I suffered from depression as a teenager but was not diagnosed, and didn't know to ask for help, until I was in college. I finally got the help I needed and it made my life 1000 times better in every way. I wish someone had told me or my parents to get me into therapy sooner. I spent too many years miserable when I should have been having the time of my life. Your son doesn't have to live like that. Help for depression is generally easy to find. I wish you both the best of luck.

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K.K.

answers from San Diego on

Hello, WOW! I feel for you and your family. Especially your son. I would get him into counseling right away. When our youngest was your son's age, we moved from the home he had always been in to one in another small town near where we had been. I tried all summer to get him to go out and meet people. He didn't. Two weeks into the new school year, he went to school and told the counselor that he had laid in his bed the night before with a knife to his chest. I was working at a school in our old neighborhood. I told the principal the situation and had to leave my students to be with my son. We got him into counseling immediately and put him into the high school he would have attended had we not moved. He improved greatly. It was important to him to have the old friends at least during the school day. It doesn't sound like that is the problem with your son, but obviously something is bothering him a lot. It is important that each of our children feel special and that we have time for each of them. You have a lot to carry right now. You are listening and it is very important that he knows that.
Good luck with your precious son and your precious family.
K. K.

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C.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I totally understand where you are coming from. My daughter became depressed after a move. (Turned out she has bipolar.)
But she has had trouble in school with other kids, but pulls straight A's. To make a long story short, after much thought and anguish I took her out of High school and did the Virtual Acadimy, I know, I can't spell, lol.
Her attitude toward life and people in general improved. Took her back to High School this fall, and took her out last month. Now I am enrolling her in a Charter School.
If it is peer pressure or something going on at school, maybe try homeschool for a while. He is old enough if your having to go to work during the day.
Good luck, and please let us know what the doc says today!
C..

L.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,
If your son has revealed to you that he is depressed and has suicidal thoughts, you need to help him immediately. He needs professional help by a family counselor/psychologist. He's let you know that he's hurting; time for you to get him the help he needs right now, without a minute to spare. Everything else is tied into the depression and the depression must be dealt with first and foremost. Consider it a blessing that he's confided in you and take action, mom!

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D.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

D.: You are very lucky that your son trusts you enough to tell you how he feels. And you are doing the right thing by taking him to the doctor to discuss everything.

My son went through a similar situation when he was 17 and it was very frightening. His father and I were divorced, but we both were worried and so we found an excellent therapist for him who specialized in teenagers. This therapist was wonderful and helped my son feel better within a few short months. My son even saw him during college whenever he wanted to talk to someone about things that were troubling him.

I definitely recommend you find a therapist for your son--preferably a man. The teenage years can be very hard and most teens are worried about their future, feel desperate and depressed at times, and may feel like life isn't worth it. Since your son is very upset a therapist is the best person to figure out what is troubling him and how to help him see things more clearly.

Good luck and let me know how it goes.

A little about me:

I am a mother of 2 children, now 24 and 30, who are the lights of my life. I was a single mother for almost their entire lives (20 years), and experienced just about everything you can imagine, but never gave up trying to help them find their way in life.

I'm happy to report that they are amazing young adults and we all are very close and loving with each other.
D.

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D.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

D.,
Depression is a very serious thing. You need to discuss with him about seeing a therapist. He goes by himself and meets with the therapist. He can work out issues and they can find out together the things that are bothering him. He can find a better vision of his future as he works these things out. There is also family therapy if that is necessary. Ask the doctor if they can recommend someone or call your medical insurance co. and see if there is someone that is on your plan they can recommend. Find someone who specializes with teens. It's very, very important. I wish my parents could have done this for my sister when she was younger. She really needed if through her teen years. I know that when she had depression as an adult, she finally got the help she needed. It will be the best decision you and your son will make. Good luck and may god bless you.
~~D.

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P.F.

answers from Las Vegas on

Dealt with depression with my husband for the past 25 years (he was 17 when he first started having problems)...not sleeping and NOT being able to shut off his mind at night, fast forward, our daughter is 17 now but has anxiety, depression and not a good sleeper...(she used to cut herself when she was 12 & 13)...got her into counselling for 2 years but she HATED counselling...tried different counselors...eventually got her to a different doctor who put her on Imipramine...for some reason it was the "right fit" for her...she has been on that for 2 1/2 years and it is SO much better...it's amazing...she sleeps, she doesn't cut herself anymore, she doesn't have the anxiety or depression like she did...she was doing so well that this summer she tried going off the medicine (of course with a doctor's advice)...however, the anxiety and depression came back...so, it's a very small price to have to pay (having to be on medicine) to have your child to feel good about themselves and life in general. Hang in there and don't give up trying whatever you need to try in order for your son to get the help he deserves! Our kids did public school, on-line school and now they are at a SMALL Charter school...in 11th grade...it's a great fit for them.

A LITTLE ABOUT ME;

Happily married 25 1/2 years...4 children, 22, 19, twins that are 17.

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I.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear D. C,

It's great that your son has been able to share with you about what is going on. Many teenagers don't feel they can talk to their parents about how they feel. Now, it seems that the ball is in your court to get him some help. If you don't mind, I would like to share with you my impressions.

It seems to me, as a psychotherapist, the symptoms your son has seem to warrent immediate attention and help. If you are already taking him to the doctor, it would be great if you could mention to him the other symptoms your son has, if your son does not mind you talking to the doctor about it. The doctor would be then able to do an assessment for depression and suggest further help.

All the best,
I. Schweitzer
www.parentingbyirine.com

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L.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

D., I am so happy you came to us MAMAS for advice. So, here's my take: Sugar, dyes, different food combinations and even toxins (in the environment and home) can truly make a difference in a child's behavior. But, please also remember that kids are ALIVE and have feelings and spirit and do not deserve to be labeled or medicated. I definitely know from personal experience that psych medications do more harm than good and that, in fact, there are many natural solutions that can actually help with what your son is going through.

I highly recommend contacting Judy Cutler who is truly an amazing Nutritionist and would definitely be able to help your son naturally.

Here's her data:
Bio Tech Solutions
9736 Hillhaven Ave
Tujunga, CA 91042
Phone (818) 353~7454

She definitely can work with you via phone if you live too far away from her office.

I'd also recommend checking out 5 organizations validating why going the natural route is best for you and your son:
http://ablechild.org/
http://www.cchrint.org/
http://www.fightforkids.org/
http://www.psychsearch.net/teenscreen.html
http://www.labelmesane.com/

And, please watch:

Psych Conflicts:
http://www.psychconflicts.org/

Making A Killing:
http://www.cchr.org/#/videos/making-a-killing-introduction

CCHR: Depression Mental Health Screening Test Puts Kids' Health at Risk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDgBSSSVtrU

CCHR Says Top APA Psychiatrist Needs Lesson in Disease vs. Disorder
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhjdbifuNco

CCHR: The Difference Between Medical Disease & Psychiatric Disorder
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3JQ8OVHVWA

CCHR Antidepressant Drug Spoof: Tripolar disorder
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8eS8BZdC1o

'GENERATION RX' Extended Trailer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xehHwkPpevk

The Psycho Pharmaceutical Industry with Former Pharma Scientist, Shane Ellison
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOT5DSIUTOY&eurl

Dr John Rengen Virapen, Whistleblower of the Psychopathic Pharmaceutical Industry, Speaks Out
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QMYFgC_YSo

Psychiatric Drugs & the Brave New World: featuring Jim Marrs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nGZ1T42lk8&eurl

Whistleblower Allen Jones/Mental health screening of kids
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GhBfDMW2Fo&eurl

Fight For Kids: The Candace Downing Story
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Xjx0gdL83I

CCHR PSA: Psychiatric Drugs and Violence
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRJN_NfyiH4

CCHR PSA Warning on Antidepressants/Child Suicides
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgMovNmtRF0&feature=user

Why we need a Mental Health Declaration of Human Rights: http://3.ly/arJ Read it here: http://3.ly/BFs

AND

Too many kids on psych meds? Parts 1, 2 & 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73SRn1gdAdM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcvCtxaiOGg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58UZqr3fiZI

It's vital you watch: "The Drugging of Our Children"
http://tinyurl.com/nrrpw5

I also truly recommend reading "Doped Up and Duped – nearly impossible to find independent studies of psych drugs with no Pharma ties." http://tinyurl.com/mj9494

Please feel free to contact me at: (323) 906~2784 or via e~mail me at [email protected]____.com.

I'd love to help you and your son however I can.

With love,
L. (MAMA to 2 year old Dylan Orion.......29 September 2007) : )

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J.L.

answers from San Diego on

PLEASE!!! If he has admitted to you that he has suicidal ideation 1. Good for you for having such an open and honest line of communication with your son 2. DO NOT take this lightly 3. Teenagers have a higher incidences of attempting suicide because their brain is not yet fully formed and they are more impulsive (less time of contemplation, more actual attempts) 4. Seek therapy for him NOW!!! A good children's psychologist will see him today and give you options of what to do.

Yes, he may very well be depressed. Right now diagnosis and etiology (where it came from) is much less important than just seeking help, NOW. NOW! Can't emphasize this enough.

Sending strong, peaceful thoughts your way!

Jen

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M.J.

answers from San Diego on

It's really important that you have him see someone he is comfortable with, especially after expressing that he has suicidal thoughts. This is a cry for help!

I think this is more of an emotional problem than a physical one, even though it is causing stomach aches and insomnia. You need to find a psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker that you son feels comfortable talking to. If he doesn't like them, find someone else. This is important, because talking through issues and finding any behavioral problems is just as important as taking medication, if it is warranted. Some family therapy may be needed, but for sure get your son in right away. The sooner he starts sorting through issues, the sooner he and the whole family will be better.

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W.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

"He says he can not fall asleep at night, all he does is just think, think about after HS what he will be doing, what if he cant finish hs he said he dont even want to go to HS anymore."

Thoughts about the future are stress and anxiety. Obviously he has pressure about his future and he doesn't feel he has skills to take him successfully into adulthood. Examine this angle with therapy for your son and you. What lessons are you teaching about getting good grades, going to college, achieving academically? This problem is a family dynamic, not just his. You are listening to him, listen more.
Good luck,
Wendy

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S.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

It is wonderful that your son felt comfortable enough to say something to you, that means you have a great relationship. You are doing the right thing by taking him to the doctor to make sure that it is not medical. Teenagers have a lot more to deal with today than we did as kids. It sounds like he is simply going through a lot right now, some stuff you may not know about. I would let your husband try to talk to him. If your ex only comes around some time he will not be much help. Allowing your husband to be "that" person will help the bond they are creating. If that doesn't work take him to a counselor. You might even suggest the school counselor as the first step to see what might be going on at school.

You have a lot on your plate. Make sure you taken time to take care of you during this stressful time, so you can there for you son feeling relaxed and focused.

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A.V.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,

I can tell how concerned you are. I definitely encourage you to get some counseling for your son. Whether it comes from school or a private source it is crucial for him to speak with someone. You may have to look around for a good match but don't give him a choice about going. A proffessional is the best person to help him sort out what he is going through. They will aslo help you both decide if meds are the best or no. It is a very personal decision. Let your mother's instict guide you on that one, I say. A support group would be helpful so he can realize he is not the only teen going through this. You may want to contact The Maple Center in Beverly Hills. They are a wonderful group. Don't let their location intimidate you, they work on a very generous sliding scale.

Your support, and that of the rest of the family, means a lot even if he can't express it just yet. Especially so he does not feel shame, it would make his depression worse. The sooner you can get him help, the sooner he can find a reason to smile again.

My heart goes out to you and your son. Good luck!

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C.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hey D.,
From my understanding, lack of sleep alone can cause depression and can also cause digestive issues. I know that if I don't get enough sleep I am a LOT more emotional, and my appetite really wanes. When you talk to the doctor, please be sure to mention your son's sleep issue. Your son may be required to do a sleep study, but this will enable them to see if the chemicals his brain is producing is insufficient to allow him to sleep.

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A.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dont play games get your son to a m.d. Dont ask strangers who probamlems they know nothing about good luck for him ad no hills

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V.C.

answers from San Diego on

I think you have gotten a lot of great advice & I'd just say, RUN--don't walk-- to a mental health dr...& deal, immediately with the Suicidal thoughts...you can tinker with his diet & exerise regime after he starts to feel better. Check to see if depression runs in either side of your family, sign up for therapy & don't let him flounder, alone & overwhelmed..obviously, you are there for him & kuddos that you have an open relationship & he came to you, instead of self medicating with street drugs & alcohol. My heart feels for you, I've been there & it's hard, but there is help available. Good Luck!

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