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Topic: What do we do when our son has given up trying??

25 posts, 0 answered
  1. Soulmumma
    Soulmumma avatar
    20 posts
    13 May 2018

    Desperate and heartbroken......

    What are we supposed to do when our son has given up trying to help us help him. He will not talk to anyone now, our pysch has discharged us from her care and referred on to a pyschiatrist but the waitlist is ridiculous. He has hit rock bottom and I can honestly say I feel I have as well. We've tried everything that has been suggested. He is unable to go to school and i don't know how to get him back there. His anxiety about everything is awful and there's nothing I can say or do to make him feel better. I feel we are out of options and GP has suggested hospitalisation but without private cover this is well beyond our reach. I dont want to lose my boy...........I've never been so scared in my life 😢😞😖

    1 person found this helpful
  2. geoff
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    13 May 2018 in reply to Soulmumma
    Hello Soulmumma, I'm so sorry that it has come to this, where your son has hit rock bottom, it must be a real concern for you.

    There has to be a reason why he won't go to school, whether it's being bullied or not being able to concentrate is unknown, but what I would be doing is contacting as many psychiatrist's to see whether you can make an appointment much earlier, if this can be done then all the files can be sent to them once you sign the release forms.

    I would also contact Reachout 1300 659 467, these people are trained, wear casual clothes and can relate to kids on a one to one basis, they talk their language.

    Another place to contact is Headspace 1800 650 890 or Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800.

    I hope one of these can break through so he will talk with them, please let us know.

    Geoff.
    1 person found this helpful
  3. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
    6322 posts
    13 May 2018 in reply to Soulmumma

    Dear Soulmumma

    I am so sorry to learn your son is in so much distress. Geoff has given you the phone numbers I would offer. You can contact these organisations via phone 24/7. They also have sections for parents of children who have a mental illness.

    I am curious why your psychologist has discharged you before you are settled with a psychiatrist. As you say the waiting list is often very long which of course reflects the enormous need out there. Private hospital care is hugely expensive but public hospitals cost nothing. Does your son's school have counsellors? Perhaps you can take your son there while you are waiting for an appointment.

    May I ask if the psychiatrist you have been referred to is a specialist with children. I agree with Geoff about looking round for a psychiatrist who is available now.

    I do not want to be intrusive but I wonder if you could take out private insurance with hospital cover. There is a waiting period but you may be able to send your son to hospital after the waiting time has expired. I know private insurance is seen as expensive, but not as much as you would pay using a private hospital. Public hospitals are often unable to take new patients which is sad for those needing treatment.

    Has your GP suggested medication? I know many people do not like to take medication but it can help in many instances.

    If you contact one of the organisations Geoff has mentioned you can get help for yourself and your husband. I don't know about Reach Out but I do know Kids Helpline help parents as well as their children. Look them up online. www.kidshelpline.com.au

    Do you have other family members nearby who can support you? I am presuming you do not leave your son alone and perhaps someone you trust can care for him in your home while you and your husband go out for a few hours. Physical activity helps when you are feeling stressed and a walk round your local park or simply a walk around your local area is good. Possibly a visit to the cinema or any of the activities you have been used to in the past. I expect you know the importance of self care in your situation. I have found that when I get stressed I tend to forget about self care and be caught up in what is happening at the moment.

    I hope you will continue to post in here. Feel free to ask us anything. We may be able to give an answer in some cases but we can also point you in the right direction.

    Mary

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Soulmumma
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    20 posts
    13 May 2018 in reply to geoff

    Thank you for your reply Geoff we know it is largely due to bullying and are trying to work this with him. I will try to contact the reach out crew and seek their help.

    Thankyou

  5. Soulmumma
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    20 posts
    13 May 2018 in reply to White Rose
    Thank you Mary we are trying to look after ourselves and do have support from family and friends which i am so grateful for. He is on meds and we have another psych but he does not gel with him and refuses to speak to him. The school counselor is no use to us either unfortunately. I just need a way to get through to him to let us help......we will continue to fight for him every minute until someone can get through to him. Thank you for your advice
    1 person found this helpful
  6. Summer Rose
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    13 May 2018 in reply to Soulmumma

    Hi Soulmamma

    When my daughter required treatment in hospital at age 13 I was terrified. My husband and I visited the hospitals available to us, both private and public. We asked a lot of questions.

    We had private health insurance but chose a public hospital. Better nurse training, better nurse to patient ratio and better age range of patients (13 to 18 in public, 13 to 21 in private).

    Don't panic until you do the research. My daughter, by the way, got excellent treatment in the public hospital and it was a turning point in her battle. Hang in there.

    Kind thoughts to you

    2 people found this helpful
  7. geoff
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    14 May 2018 in reply to Soulmumma

    Hi Soulmumma, thanks for replying, can you please let us know how you get on.

    Another site to contact is 'Child Protection Crisis Line 13 12 78' this is a Victorian phone number, but other States have their own phone number.

    Concerned.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Soulmumma
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    20 posts
    14 May 2018 in reply to Summer Rose
    Thank you for the info Summer Rose I might contact the hospital today and see what they can offer through public service we do not have private cover. Can i ask what reaction your daughter had to you when you took her there to stay and how long she was there for? I'm so scared I'll lose the last shred of any kind of relationship i have with him, i don't know how he would cope with us sending him away so to speak. I've never been so scared in my whole life!
  9. Soulmumma
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    20 posts
    14 May 2018 in reply to geoff
    Thanks again for caring Geoff. Loads of calls to make again today, and I will let you know. Thanks
  10. Shelll
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    6360 posts
    14 May 2018 in reply to Soulmumma

    Hi Soul mumma.... My heart goes out to you and your son. And of course your heart would be breaking.

    I was wondering if you have looked into homeschooling at all? We did that for a while. It’s another legal option here in Australia besides sending your child to school. In our area there was even weekly meet ups with other homeschoolers that the children and other family members are free to go to. They meet up to play sports, go on excursions to say museums, craft days, exchange ideas or whatever. Generally these are family orientated and you may come across other families that have decided this option is far better than sending there child to school where they are bullied. Your son may feel safer. If you think you are interested just do a search for homeschooling groups in your area and they would be able to advise you further. Or just do a general search in your state, you will most likely come across suppliers of education materials, legal stuff or other homeschooling families.

    I do not even know your son, but my heart hurts for him anyway.

    In kindness

    Shell

    2 people found this helpful
  11. Summer Rose
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    14 May 2018 in reply to Soulmumma

    Hi Soulmumma

    My daughter was in the hospital for three weeks for treatment of OCD and anxiety. I was allowed to visit daily in the evening and she was allowed to call me twice a day. I needed permission to take her off hospital grounds when I visited and I did this during her second and third weeks. I was too afraid if I took her offsite during the first week that I would not be able to get her back. Sometimes we would go to a local McDonald's or for a walk on the beach or the local park. She was permitted home on weekends to practice the new CBT skills she had learned and she would then go back on Monday. The hospital also offered a support worker to her integrate back into school upon discharge, but I didn't take them up on the offer--I was able to do that myself.

    This was an exceedingly difficult time for her, for me and for our entire family.

    She did not want to seek treatment in the hospital. She was terrified. But she also knew that the way she was living was unsustainable (unable to attend school or leave the house being so consumed by illness). By posing the question, What's the alternative? and lots of discussion I was able to persuade her that this was going to be a good thing.

    The first weekend she came home she was furious with me and I could barely get her back on Monday. She was miserable. The second weekend was much better. By then, even though it was very hard for her, she was beginning to see the benefits of treatment. For the first time in a long time, there were limits on her OCD and she could function much better.

    Like you, I was terrified. I looked at it like this: if my daughter had diabetes, or chronic eczema, or Chrohn's Disease and none of the standard treatments were working, and our GP advised me that she needed to be hospitalised, I wouldn't have blinked. In our case, there was no alternative and I simply could not let her continue to suffer in such pain.

    She is in recovery now. Attending university, lots of friends, part-time job, etc. I'm not sure she would be where she is today without the treatment that she received in hospital. Life gets better.

    Post any time. Ask anything you want. I will continue to be here to help you through it x

    2 people found this helpful
  12. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
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    14 May 2018 in reply to Summer Rose

    Hello Soulmumma

    What a great suggestion from Shelley about home schooling. If you are able to take on this work it may be good for your son, at least until he starts to get well. My daughter's friend home schooled her three sons and I believe it was successful. Perhaps something to talk with the psychologist about.

    I am sad for you that the school counsellor and the psychologist did not work out. Hopefully the new one will have more specific skills with children. It is so important for the child to be comfortable. It was good to read about the success of Summer Rose's daughter in hospital. It's good to know public hospitals have good resources.

    Every time I remind someone about managing their own care I feel I being a grandma, which I am. So if I nag a bit just think of me as a grandma who wants the best outcome for your son and you. I know you are busy chasing up various options so I hesitate to say please keep us up to date. We are here to answer questions and give support.

    Mary

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  13. geoff
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    17 May 2018 in reply to Summer Rose

    Hello Summer Rose, I am pleased your daughter is slowly getting the strength she needs, and by going to uni, making friends and working a part-time job.

    I would like to know what ' there were limits on her OCD' actually meant when she was in the hospital.

    You don't have to reply but I was just interested.

    Many thanks.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Summer Rose
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    17 May 2018 in reply to geoff

    Hi Geoff

    Happy to answer.

    When my daughter entered hospital she was sleeping all day and staying up all night to perform her cleaning rituals, so no one would interrupt or challenge her. She showered in excess of 10 times a day, her hands were red raw from an elaborate ritual involving washing and disinfecting. She had condemned certain rooms and objects in our home as contaminated.

    Not all of these issues magically disappeared after discharge. But she could then sleep at night and be around us during the day. The number of showers per day was greatly decreased and the elaborate hand washing routine became less intense. For the first time since falling ill she had hope that she could reclaim her life.

    I saw these changes as limits on her OCD. A five year battle followed. She is the bravest person I know.

    Does that make sense to you?

    1 person found this helpful
  15. geoff
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    18 May 2018 in reply to Summer Rose

    Hi Summer Rose, yes thanks it absolutely explains what you meant, many thanks.

    Geoff.

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  16. Soulmumma
    Soulmumma avatar
    20 posts
    12 June 2018 in reply to Shelll
    Thanks for your suggestions Shelley Anne we are looking into the option of Distance Education at the moment. Looooong process though and stacks of hoops to jump through to have him accepted on special circumstances but may be an option. I'll let you all know. Thanks so much for your kindness xx
  17. Soulmumma
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    20 posts
    12 June 2018 in reply to Summer Rose
    Hi Summer Rose thanks so much for sharing your story, I'm so happy to hear your daughter is successfully moving forward in life. I don't have to tell you this is so hard as you already have lived it. Today i feel as though i just wish some terrible thing would happen to me to shift his focus....what a horrid thing to say/think but my brain is exhausted from trying and getting nowhere! I'm not giving up just having a break from trying to stay positive for a brief minute......😢 your daughter's story offers me hope and for sharing and caring i truly thank you xx
  18. Summer Rose
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    12 June 2018 in reply to Soulmumma

    Hi Soulmumma

    Hope is a powerful thing, maybe the best of things, and I'm glad our story gives you light. Never give up. But do take breaks and take them every day. It is exhausting providing emotional support 24/7.

    I used to get a coffee and drive down to the beach. Sometimes I would just sit in the car and cry, other times I could sort of relax. Most days I couldn't get a break till she'd fallen asleep. I used to have a cup of tea and watch the stars from my deck. That feeling of "awe" is amazing and I could relax, listening to the quiet sounds of the night. It was a reminder, a connection, to the world outside the pain we were living. My family bought me a telescope for Christmas a few years back and I still watch the sky.

    We also considered home schooling but in the end my daughter opted to change schools, repeat a year and then got through with a reduced (but mainstream) program. Something to think about, maybe?

    How is your son now? Did he enter hospital? I hope there's been improvement. You don't have to answer, just want you to know I'm thinking of him.

    You take good of yourself. One step at a time; life will get better it just takes time, patience and a lot of love x

  19. Soulmumma
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    20 posts
    14 June 2018 in reply to Summer Rose
    Thankyou so very much for your reply, you've no idea how much it helps xx he has not been to hospital and I'm hoping we don't have to resort to that. We are still waiting for a pysch appointment for review of meds, takes forever to get in!!! Ridiculous when we need help now! He currently does partial attendance at school and it does help but it seems that nothing can break through to give him any hope. My heart is tired and broken today 😞😟💔😢
  20. Summer Rose
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    14 June 2018 in reply to Soulmumma

    Hi Soulmumma

    I don't know if this helps you but a paediatrician can also manage your son's medication. You might get in faster. With my daughter, we engaged a paediatrician for medicine and a psychologist for treatment.

    I know how much you hurt. And I am so very sorry for your pain. I cannot offer you anything except my kindest thoughts and words via this forum, so I want to share with you some of the most beautiful words ever written by Emily Dickinson, A wounded deer leaps highest.

    Mothers like us, who are fighting for our precious children's lives, can do remarkable things x

  21. Soulmumma
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    20 posts
    30 June 2018 in reply to Summer Rose

    Thank you again Summer Rose, I can't tell you how much it helps knowing I'm not the only one going through this heartache.

    I feel so stuck at the moment and it's exhausting constantly trying to get him motivated. Not to mention trying to keep myself positive when he looks at me like he hates me 😭

    We've been to the psychiatrist this week, waste of time and money! She basically made me feel like i am the main problem and i should let him make decisions. He is not capable of making cognitive decisions right now ffs!!! Then she proceeded to tell me he needs to eat betterand exercise! Cause i haven't been told that by anyone else...omg! We're now booked in to have thyroid check and a brain scan.......running out of options. I'm so so tired!

  22. Summer Rose
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    1 July 2018 in reply to Soulmumma

    Hi Soulmumma

    Sorry to hear it's not going so well at the moment. If it's any consolation, we also got nowhere working with a psychiatrist. I really struggled, as I knew he wasn't helping my daughter but doubted myself. I felt like I was "just a mum" and he was such a qualified, educated person that I must be wrong about him and his abilities.

    I got over it fast as my girl went downhill. I did a lot of research and finished up interviewing three psychologists that I thought could help. When I'd made my selection I introduced the psych to my daughter. I needed to find someone who I could work with and who would respect the information I could share and the role I could play in helping my daughter to heal. The three of us set the ground rules for managing patient confidentiality together and this ensured that I was respected and kept in the loop. The best advice I can offer you is to trust your instincts about this psych and keep going.

    On the positive side, it won't hurt to do the medical tests. At the very least they will potentially rule out any other causes for your son's ill health. This will provide evidence for your concern (I know you don't need it but others in the medical professional will appreciate the information).

    I'm sure your son doesn't hate you. He is unwell and likely unhappy. It sounds like you are getting pretty frazzled yourself, too. After you read this, how about you make time to do something nice for yourself. What do you enjoy that would help you take your mind off things?

    1 person found this helpful
  23. Soulmumma
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    20 posts
    16 July 2018 in reply to Summer Rose

    Hello again Summer Rose, your kindness is so appreciated.

    Been another tough couple of weeks. We're at rock bottom...really unclear on the right path forward, but I won't give up.

    We're going to Dr this week for all test results. He's so angry this week, with me, with every single thing in his life. He won't go anywhere or do anything, hes not talking to us either. Nothing has changed and nothing is working. We're all at our wits end!

  24. Summer Rose
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    16 July 2018 in reply to Soulmumma

    Hi Soulmumma

    You hang in there.

    First, just breathe. You are doing the best you can in a very difficult situation. So is your son. Continue to be kind, loving and patient.

    Second, keep a watchful eye on him. Stay close and if you think he's in danger don't hesitate to call 000. (I have had to do this, not pleasant, but you do what you have to do to keep him safe.)

    Third, remember that you have something going for you that many don't: a strong sense of family.

    When my daughter was critically ill in hospital, I desperately asked a nurse is she thought my daughter would ever get better. It was more of a rhetorical question but the nurse answetef. She told me that if we kept the family support strong she would get through it.

    It was like an enormous weight was lifted from my shoulders. There is always hope. What you are doing now for your son matters. Loving your son matters. Ploughing on against the odds matters.

    You are in my heart and I send both kindness and hope x

  25. Ashlyn
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    1 posts
    16 July 2018 in reply to Soulmumma

    Hi Soulmumma

    I totally empathise with you all, as a mum you just want to get your child well as quickly as possible or at least into treatment with a phycoligist he gets along with who can help him in his journey to recovery. I read that your son was bullied at school. A friends daughter homeschools she has improved in all areas of her life , mainly because she is out of reach of the bullies.

    Any form of bullying at school can have a really detrimental effect on kids and continue to adversely affect them for many years . With your son I don’t know how, with out being pushy or seeming like your intruding on his privacy try to find out the extent of the bullying. If there was anything that was horrid or even slightly of a sexual nature , it can totally change the approach that may need to be taken to get him through the tough time he is having. Hearing this is really hard for a parent but please keep in mind it could be the case. Hopefully it’s not and you will be able to get your son to agree to accepting help and treatment. I speak from experience as my son suffered that secret for ten years on his own. I just thought he was depressed and I couldn’t work out why the Councellors, phycoligists , rehab he went to by choice wasn’t helping . I jwould not like another child to miss out on getting well because nobody knew. As parents we beat ourselves up because we have missed something we thought we would always pick up on but sometimes we just can’t know everything. If your son feels in control of his life and that any treatment he gets is his choice you may have more luck helping him. One thing bullies usually make their victims feel is powerless, so if you as his mum can help him feel in control now that may help.

    Just try to take care of yourself also.

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