Teenage mental health

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Teenage mental health

Postby Ratatouille » March 7th, 2019, 8:05 pm

Sorry if this is a ramble but it has suddenly become an "issue" for us.

I think I have mentioned that No 1 GS hwas diagnosed with ADHD when he and family were in the USA for just over 2 years. he was 7/8
I have always been suspicious of this diagnosis. However he was prescribed drugs for the "condition"
He is at a very good boarding school where his sister is very high flying, headgirl and heading for great things. Because their father is in the army, they just had to settle down somewhere.

Since he was a very little boy I have said he was autistic. I have had training and to me it was always blinking obvious,

Anyway recently he has really struggled with life, he is 16 and about to do GCSEs. School has been brilliant but today it has been decided. mostly by GS that he really needs help. Its perhaps ADHD but, as i have always suspected, he is very high functioning Aspergers. His IQ is almost off the scale but he just can't cope,

As chance would have it one of the best adolescent mental helth units(NHS) is only a few miles from his school. He has asked to be admittted,

I am just so thankful that he is now in a very good place he can continue to do his GCSEs but no pressure any more. His parents are in bits and blaming themselevs because they had a very, as they thought amicable, separation a couple of years ago. The army beat the marriage.

I am desperatly trying not to say that the American doctors were far too quick to prescribe drugs that may well have contributed and then, one back here were not questioned.S-I-L apparently said today he wished he had accepted my fears but he just didn't want to. Perfectly understandably. but he did message to say thank you, he now understands. I feel terrible . the real bossy M-I-l

Most of all I love our dear H and i just wish him well and I wish we could be nearer to support.
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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby Grasshopper » March 7th, 2019, 8:10 pm

Drug prescription can be all too quick, esp. for those with mental disabilities. (is one allowed to use such a term these days?) People with Aspergers can go on and live fulfilling lives - just look at Susan Boyle.

Younger Sis has Autism, but her meds are for epillepsy, which she also has.

:hug:
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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby Chinchilla_lady » March 7th, 2019, 8:31 pm

Rats :hug: :hug: :hug: We know a little of what you are going through. Our eldest GD has MH issues too, from a very young age she has been seriously anorexic, mostly untreated until this time last year when she too was admitted voluntarily to a MH unit. She is out now but sadly not really any better. Like you we wish we were nearer to offer more support. :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug:
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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby Grasshopper » March 7th, 2019, 8:36 pm

Chinch - :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug:

:hug:
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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby liketocook » March 7th, 2019, 8:37 pm

It's great news that your GS has been able to recognise he needs help, always the first step in recovery.
My nephew suffers from depression which got hidden within his dyslexia/dyspraxia and it was only when it reached crisis point (in his GCSE year) that it became apparent how much he was struggling with the "black dog" after a very serious sucide attempt. My personal opinion is that 15/16 is when boys go through the worst throes of puberty which escalates everything else.
Five years on he still has periods where he is very low and meds do help lift him though he only needs them for short periods, but in the main he is a well balanced young adult who enjoys life and is studying a subject he adores.
Could medication at an earlier point have helped, maybe, but what did help was lots of support in other ways and it sounds as though your GS has taken the first steps to achieving what is best for him. It won't be an easy path but hopefully the unit will work with him to work out what works for best him. :hug: :hug:
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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby Busybee » March 7th, 2019, 9:12 pm

Rats, firstly , :hug: :hug:

It sounds as if your GS is in exactly the right place for him at this point in time. The important thing to remember is that regardless of past diagnosis the treatment he gets now is what matters. He is very fortunate to have a good adolescent unit nearby and the support from family and school.

It’s understandable that your daughter and SIL blame themselves, they are parents and guilt goes with the job. But would they be blaming themselves if he had broken his arm? Why should a mental health issue be treated any differently from a physical health issue?

:hug: :hug: to all those and their loved ones going through difficult times.

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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby StokeySue » March 7th, 2019, 9:34 pm

In patient should help I trust :hug:

They have an opportunity to look at him, all day and so understand his problems and suggest strategies to help him and he will escape whatever cycle he is in day to day that is not suiting him

I have one friend who is diagnosed Asperger’s, he is now in his forties. he has said that having a diagnosis helps (I’m not odd, I’m ASD) and having coping strategies for awkward situations; those closest to him have ways of gently suggesting that now is a good time to bring a strategy into play. I was intrigued to hear Gary Numan (electro pop star) on the radio talk in remarkably similar terms about why he thought it was great that he’d finally got a late diagnosis, and how much easier was for him, his family, and his work team now they knew what the problems were and how to deal with them.

Even if they come up with a different diagnosis, the knowing and so coping scenario can still come into play, and earlier in his life than for many others, good that he has been pro-active

On the plus side remember that Alan Turing was just voted greatest Briton of the 20th century, championed by Chris Packham. Both ASD (autism spectrum disorder)
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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby earthmaiden » March 7th, 2019, 10:31 pm

I think it is a great credit to your GS, his parents and the school that he has recognised and accepted that there may be help to make life easier for him at a time when life is hard for so many teenagers and some are not offered, or do not accept the help and support they need.

DS has some kind of issue, we had an awful time all through his school days trying to get help which we were told was not required and our circumstances were such that we could not afford private education. We know he is dyslexic but by the time it was confirmed he had given up. Life has been a struggle with alcohol drowning the hardest times and every time he is on the brink of finding out exactly what he is dealing with he doesn't quite go through with it. It is so sad and it gives me joy every time I hear of a young man getting the help he needs to support him at the right time. Such a positive step :hug:
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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby Ratatouille » March 8th, 2019, 9:22 am

Morning all and very many thanks for your support,

I suspect that a lot of H's problems were not helped by the fact that he changed schools so frequently as his father was posted often as frequently as even year at one point. We always suspected there was something not quite right bu each time he changed school he changed LAs and the process of assessment started all over again. His speech and language were delayed and he didn't get the help he need there until he was 8 then they went to the USA where he was diagnosed privately paid for by the army, as having ADHD (hyperactivity and attention deficit) and, being the USA was prescribed ritolin he remained on this drug until they moved again 2 and a bit years later but this time to Germany where the British specialist stopped the medication. By this time he been to 7 schools and had seen 4 or 5 so calle specialists.

He has been in his current, boarding, school since he was 12, his sister having been there a year longer. It seems in respects to be the right place for them both. However his sister is very very high achieving and is currently about to do her A levels and is head girl and despite all our efforts, including the schools he seems to feel that he can't possibly ever be as good as her. The thing is he is, like all siblings, completely different, a brilliant musician and a really good actor. He was over 6 feet tall by the time he was 12 and has always been taken by outsiders as far older than he was. In fact he actually has a highr IQ (whatever that actually means) than she does.

I jus thank goodness that he is at the school where he is. Having been in state education all my life I know he would be in a far worse position had he not been to this school. Having been in stste education and a big supporter all my life i never ever thought I would come to this conclusion, but his parents fortunately did so in time.
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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby suffolk » March 8th, 2019, 10:07 am

Having experience of MH difficulties in my own family and of course in other spheres of my life, all I can do is wish your family well. :hug:

We can all look back and say ‘what if’, and ‘if only we’d known’ and all those other phrases which do nothing but press our guilt buttons. The best we can do is to deal with today positively and prepare for the best future we can. xx
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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby liketocook » March 8th, 2019, 10:47 am

Not all bad in state schools when it comes to MH, my nephew attended the local high school and they were hugely supportive to my nephew & sister and very proactive in working with the local CAHMs team and finding solutions to allow him to complete his education.
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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby Seatallan » March 8th, 2019, 12:44 pm

Exactly what Suffs said. :tu:

And Rats- big :hug: :hug: to you all. I'm certain your GS knows he has the Granny and Granddad From Heaven as well as very loving and concerned parents. And as Sue said, he's in good company. :luv:
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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby Prettykiwicrazy » March 8th, 2019, 6:47 pm

I manage a house where adults with autism/anxiety live and have worked with autism and mental health most of my adult life. My brother is also disabled and on the autistic spectrum Sadly, I think ADHD can be used as a blanket diagnosis, for a wide variety of issues.

I think families find it natural to blame themselves and it can almost be a grieving process, once a label has been applied. However , although being on the spectrum clearly has its limitations, there are certain amazing gifts/qualities that come with it too. I find diet can play a big part in reduction of symptoms and fish oil capsules can help too. What are your gr and sons main autistic issues? Is he ok with personal touch, changes to routine etc?
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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby Ratatouille » March 8th, 2019, 7:33 pm

H is nowhere near that. He was disgnosed as having ADHD but that is now in question as is the medication he was on. The current diagnosis is depression with ASD probably Aspergers but extremely high functioning. He is a very touchy feely person as it happens and has a huge amount of empathy for anyone or anything in distress. He is no way limited in fact quite the reverse except at the moment by his troubled mind.

I am fairly confident he is getting the help he now needs and will be supported to do his GSEs in which he should do well, What happens next will depend. He wants to stay at the school where he is, even though his sister will be leaving this year, In fact that might , in a strange way be good for him because then he can be himself and enjoy the things he really excels in.

Thanks for the thoughts though. Very kind.
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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby Ratatouille » May 8th, 2019, 12:32 pm

DD rang with very very good news this morning. GS ha s been successfully re-intergrated into school. The MH team are delighted with his progress and he is quite comfortable about taking his GCSEs.
It would appear that a great deal of the problem was the medication he was taking for his ADHD. Apparently he has been over-prescribed with inevitable results. He will have continued counselling until the end of term and, if he needs there is a number he can ring at any time.
Oddly enough the only exam he is reluctant to take is the German oral. He is bt far and away the best in the school at German having been to school there for so long.

Any way everyone's fongers are crossed and we are all very grateful to the school for their prompt action and to the NHS unit where he is being treated.
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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby Prettykiwicrazy » May 8th, 2019, 12:38 pm

That’s great news , always good to celebrate the success stories when quite often all we hear are the stories with awful outcomes
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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby StokeySue » May 8th, 2019, 12:53 pm

That’s great news Ratatouille! Hope all continues to go well

Not really surprised about the German - there’s something about the ethos of academic schools, if are assumed to be the best you actually have to be the best on the day, coming outside the first three is simply not an option, it can be a terrible pressure. And oral exams, being one to one a can feel very awkward to some people
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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby scullion » May 8th, 2019, 1:20 pm

Tell him to take command of the viva - the fewer question the examiner has time to ask the better, and if he can steer it onto a subject he likes - even more so.
I blagged a bilingual mark in my French o level by doing that. When my teacher asked, after the oral, if I'd seen the examiner write a number down, his jaw dropped. I was definitely not bilingual in any other aspect!
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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby StokeySue » May 8th, 2019, 1:50 pm

I did rather well in my German oral, I was asked about food on me Spanish holiday and said it was fine but a bit heavy on the fried eggs. He made a note and I realised that he thought I’d said fried eggs only because I knew it in German. So I hurriedly explained that we’d driven right across Spain, and as soon as we left the coast, the fried eggs started appearing in place of either the starter or the fish course Apparently this was new to him and quite entertaining, so a near perfect score. Phew!
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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby WWordsworth » May 8th, 2019, 3:27 pm

I remember telling my French O level examiner that my Dad was a postman.
Because I didn't know how to say stonemason.
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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby Seatallan » May 8th, 2019, 4:10 pm

WWordsworth wrote:I remember telling my French O level examiner that my Dad was a postman.
Because I didn't know how to say stonemason.


:lol:

Good news Rats! :wave: :luv:
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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby Ratatouille » May 8th, 2019, 6:38 pm

Thing is it really is not a high pressure school . Thats why He's there. He spoke to Gardad aka Mr R via what's app later and . as he was head of modern languages and totally used to doing oral exams, he made him laugh by telling GS that it is far more stressful for the examiner because everything they do is recorded. He said he wished it was Grandad who was doing the testing then DS pitched in and made him laugh again because he was the examiner when he did the French oral and he asked stupid questions like how many borthers and sisters he had and they were both trying not to get the giggles. He says he will do it but we have all told him if he doesn't feel able that's fine!

I also told GS that the first time i ever spoke French was in my O level oral exam - of course i didn;t pass but then I had never ever heard French spoken by anyone let alone a French person!.

The odd hoops we make our kids jump through !
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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby earthmaiden » May 8th, 2019, 7:44 pm

So pleased to hear the news Rats. Very sad that such anguish was caused by medication but thank goodness he is surrounded by people who care.
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Re: Teenage mental health

Postby suffolk » May 9th, 2019, 6:31 am

Rats :hug:

Wish I knew as much about the subject when my children were at school as I do now (which isn’t a lot ... but even a little bit of knowledge could’ve helped :cry: ).
Last edited by suffolk on May 9th, 2019, 6:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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