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    New Member_Father of 16year old who really struggles with mental health issues

    Hello all.......New to the site. I directly do not feel the effects of mental health, but indirectly It effects me big time. By son struggles.......not really sure if its depression, anxiety, bi polar......or other. Me and my wife have always said after ready all the signs of symtoms of all the disorders is that 'Matthew has a little bit of this, some of that, etc'. We are well connected to doctors...assessments, tests, etc. We are trying to figure out all the different medications available.
    He has come along way since the symptoms started at a very young age. What i am looking for from this site is to gain as much knowledge as i can.....to be able to help him as best i can. Our main concern right now is that he does not want to do anything. He used to love fishing and hunting, hiking and stuff, but now he tells me he wants to do these things but cant bring himself to actually go when the time comes.

    ......thats just the start!

    #2
    Hello, Mike. I also had a 16 yr old who struggled with many things. As time went on things changed so be prepared for possible changes to occur. The best thing you can do is get him involved with mental health services. Early intervention produces the best outcomes. There is a lot of information on this site that I’m finding helpful for myself. Make sure you keep your marriage as healthy as you can by taking care of each other. Sometimes we can lose ourselves in our kids.

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      #3
      Welcome to the forum mike999
      AJ

      Humans punish themselves endlessly
      for not being what they believe they should be.
      -Don Miguel Ruiz-

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        #4
        thanks for the replies......finding it really tough to know how hard to push my son, as he can have a nasty temper when pushed to hard. and I mean Nasty. So its like we are being bullied by him, as he does what he wants when he wants....which is usually doing nothing.....

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          #5
          Mike999, sorry you folks are feeling bullied by your son. Do you have professional help? If not I would get that in place asap. I have not experienced being bullied but have felt helpless and not had a clue what to do. My friends son decided he would be the boss of the house at 17! He was drinking, drugging and having parties....punching holes in her wall and was suicidal.

          She had to get the police involved and they were really helpful to her and that put him in his place and got him to begin getting psychiatric help. The police were really good with the kid so she was lucky that she had a great police dept in her area and they steered him toward mental health and protected him from the justice system although he went to a juvenile detention centre for a few weeks.

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            #6
            Originally posted by Rosey View Post
            Mike999, sorry you folks are feeling bullied by your son. Do you have professional help? If not I would get that in place asap. I have not experienced being bullied but have felt helpless and not had a clue what to do. My friends son decided he would be the boss of the house at 17! He was drinking, drugging and having parties....punching holes in her wall and was suicidal.

            She had to get the police involved and they were really helpful to her and that put him in his place and got him to begin getting psychiatric help. The police were really good with the kid so she was lucky that she had a great police dept in her area and they steered him toward mental health and protected him from the justice system although he went to a juvenile detention centre for a few weeks.
            Thanks Rosey, Yes that is very similar to where we are at. He is experimenting drinking and smoking weed and when we approached him about it and took the weed he freaked out.....and thats when the cops were called. This happened on 3 occasions over the last 3 months. Punching holes in the wall as well as destroying anything in his path.
            And yes, we do have professional help, we had lots assessments done and we are seeing paediatrician regularly. Problem is he doesn't want to go see any of them. We make appointments and when its time wont. Even had people come to us.....most times he wont meet with them. I have no signs or reason to believe he is suicidal.......but i am watching for it.

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              #7
              Mike999, sorry just read your original post again. You have lots of professional help in place for your son. This article talks about how to help with teen behaviour and although you have most likely seen this info before I always found if I can get one morsel of helpful information then it was worth the read.

              My friends son was diagnosed with depression and it was the mental health court that directed him to follow his doctors and therapists treatment or go back to the justice system. He wisely followed the help of his health care providers and was diagnosed with bipolar.

              Unfortunately for my son he developed schizophrenia and has been severely disabled by this since the age of 17 and he is now 40. I know the CMHA in Toronto has an excellent family education course. What was most helpful for me was to seek help from therapists for myself and to connect to support groups. There will be times when all you are doing is the best you can do and at others times you may have to wait for the window of opportunity to present itself before you can take action. Lean on his care providers for help.

              https://www.helpguide.org/articles/p...bled-teens.htm

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                #8
                Thanks Rosey that is a good article for sure. Things still not going well, Dr. is trying to diagnose my son with bipolar by giving him Lithium. We are waiting for the dose to get high enough in his system to make the determination.....does this make sense to everyone??
                A couple of weeks ago Matthew took a bunch of his vyvance medicine. We took him to the hospital to get him looked at and the Dr suggested he stay for the nite to be monitored. He freaked out, ripped the sensor things off of himself and ran out of the hospital. The Dr called the police and had him brought in under the mental health act. He wanted no part of it. Once they brought him back in he had to be restrained to the bed he was so mad........he was released the next am.

                This is not going well.......we feel so helpless right now. Very sorry to be putting this stuff out to others, But I really need help!!

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                  #9
                  Try to separate the disease from the person. He is experiencing a different reality than you are. I remember running away from the hospital showing up at a former boss's home... That seemed normal and perfectly reasonable to me. That was my reality.
                  At 17 I remember being tricked to get in the car and go to the hospital. My parents had the kiddie locks on so I could not get out. I was rebellious in a different reality making poor choices - a know it all. Another time sectioned. In my late 40s, a police car in my driveway with a crisis team.
                  I was angry as a teen reaching legal age taking lithium. My tongue would swell my words unintelligible. I went off medication wanting to fit in, not understanding.
                  As an adult experienced trauma and the psychiatric drugs were not enough ( the drugs that I had been taking for 20 years...so proud of myself 20 years without any hospitalization) . I experienced the worst psychotic episode in my life. I was in a different reality again believing I was behaving normally. Very damaging to my both my work and personal life. Angry in the aftermath that people who knew I was not behaving normally stood by. That is how my disease presents itself for me.
                  Shouldn't I know better by now? No again went somewhere else in my mind- apprehended by police, put in an ambulance straight to a mental hospital far from home. Now 55 I no longer work and angry about how that all played out.
                  Seek professional help at every opportunity as a family to support and help him cope with his disease. I am in group therapy (for the first time in my life) untangling feelings, anger, experiences that shape who I am. Learning new coping strategies with excellent therapists building self esteem to face the world positively. I am happy to report the anger has dissipated. I have a long way to go but I am hopeful and grateful for all the supports then and now.

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                    #10
                    Thanks for sharing that Amarguer.....that is the type of stuff i need to learn and understand.....this am I just found a large stash of pot in his room this am and some vaping stuff. the thing that is really puzzling is that he does not go anywhere or know anyone that would get him that stuff. We are convinced now that he is sneaking out and meeting up with peeps he chats with online.....i dont know how to bring it up to him cause i dont want him to have another meltdown.....

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                      #11
                      and another question Amargueri.....does the lithium help?

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                        #12
                        Hi mike999
                        Lithium did work to calm me. According to my psychiatrist, new research is showing lithium to still be the best choice. It has to be at a therapeutic level and my understanding is it takes about three weeks in your system to reach that level. With the right dosage and taking it as prescribed for me it brought a calmness & ability to cope without all the craziness, It does have side effects that are unpleasant and unfortunately I had to stop taking it in my late thirties. It wasn't known until my creatinine levels became too high that I inherited my father's kidney disease (kidney transplant survivor) so I had to stop taking it. I would still take it if I could because to me it is a more natural substance.
                        Side effects are unpleasant. Dry mouth, feeling like a thick tongue if I drank and then unable to enunciate. I had noticeable shakiness in my hands. I was afraid that people would find out I was manic depressive (the term used over 30 years ago). There was great stigma then so I never admitted having it to work mates, team members and any new people in my life. If they knew I didn't know they did.
                        Sorry got off track. Very difficult to accept this disease. Don't be bullied because of anger directed towards you and any reckless choices. See past the behaviour. Keep trying to find a way to connect with him. My parents, siblings and others had to deal with unpleasant circumstances when I was manic. I hope sharing my experience is helpful to you.

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                          #13
                          Hello Mike999. That was an excellent article that Rosie gave you another can be found @ https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...u5jBeTCGM2_xHk. It only deals with depression, but it is full of information (MDAO publication). I took Lithium for yrs, but it didn't fully control my bipolar. I always had to add a second mood stabilizer (tegretol) for it to be effective.
                          In order to bring my bipolar under control initially I was prescribed large doses of seroquel.

                          The problem with seroquel in large dosages is that you can turn into a couch potato, however a person may not have to take it for a long, just until the person is stabilized. . Don't get me wrong lithium alone may help him. You might want to have him give you permission to talk directly with his doctor or see if you can have a session together. Part of my problems when I was manic was the stories I told the doctor were just that stories. When my wife started to come along, the doctor was able to dig out the truth easier.

                          You might want to see if he will attend a Cognitive Behavourial Therapy group. They can be expensive if done individually, but in a group the cost is much less. The last time I checked it was about $800 dollars. In cbt they teach you to help treat yourself a DBT course would be better as it was designed for someone with bipolar,

                          Bipolar manic spells in young minds tends to come out in extreme and irrational behaviour. Fit's of temper are common. I would try and get an answer to the question , is Vyvance a good medication to be on. A short clip may answer "Vyvanse may cause new or worsening psychosis (unusual thoughts or behavior), especially if you have a history of depression, mental illness, or bipolar disorder." That came from the website https://www.drugs.com/vyvanse.html Once again I can't guarantee that Vyvanse should or should not be used. That is for a doctor to say. However it is something that should be told to a doctor. It is simple amazing the of times that when I told my doc that I didn't agree with him on medications that the doctor had not read about all possible side effects. Take Care. paul m
                          "Alone we can do so little;
                          Together we can do so much"
                          Helen Keller

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                            #14
                            Thanks....thats more great information for me Amargueri and Paul. I feel that with my son we are at a stage similar to an alcoholic where 'the first stage is to admit it'. I think he has admitted in a quite way, but he is not willing to discuss any treatments. He seems to be content sitting in his room all day long....smoking his weed, and stealing alcohol from us. I did confront him on the weed i found in his room and from his reaction i did not push the issue or take it from him as I could tell he was getting very agitated. He has an appointment with his dr. and I was going to run the situation by him to get his opinion. I want to take it.....but I am sure he will start destroying our home again, and the cops will need to be called.
                            '

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                              #15
                              I guess the other point to mention is that we are not even sure if it is bipolar my son has.......could be depression, severe anxiety, or other. we just hoping the Lithium trial would give us an indication. My son refused to go get blood texted yesterday so we could figure out his lithium levels, but we are not seeing anything from the lithium so far.
                              He so does what he wants cause he cant get it together to get out and do stuff. Part of me feels I should go to his room, take his phone away, take the pot away, and just deal with the out burst....phone police if i have to, and stand my ground until he decides to help us help him. But maybe that is a really bad idea......I just dont know.

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