A concerned mom

My 15 year old son was diagnosed with anxiety and depression after he told a teacher he was suicidal. He spent 8 days in the hospital and has been seeing a therapist 1x a week and a psychiatrist every other week. It has been a struggle. He doesn't want to take medication although he does daily. His meds have changed 3 x in 2 months. He had 4 good days in a row and then yesterday crashed and was deeply depressed. Is this normal? Will he have good days and bad? Does his medicine need to be adjusted again? I have a call into his Dr. and waiting for a return call. In the meantime he didn't go to school and he is already behind. Just so worried. My husband and I want to do the right thing we just don't know what to do.

8 Replies

  • Yes, this can be normal. He has teenage hormones fluctuating along with his anxiety and depression chemicals imbalanced. I can't say specifically about your son because I'm not a Dr. and I can't see him in person. There are no guarantees that recovery will be in a nice even upward trend every day. It will be more of an up and down wobbly trend but hopefully an upward trend in general. There will be med changes sometimes. That also can result in changes. That's why they are made.

    I wouldn't be too concerned about your son being behind in schoolwork. Your primary concern right now is his mental health. Catching up on schoolwork can be done when he's much more stabilized in the mental health department. At that point he might want to consider some homeschool classes online or just at home with or without your help to catch up. Even if he doesn't catch up but takes longer than desired, his mental health is first and foremost.

    Take heart. I was a mess when I 1st became depressed and anxious. I couldn't care for my young children and took months to recover. But since then I've become highly functional for most of 29 years. I know plenty of people who have done the same. We have to monitor ourselves and take care of ourselves but we do just fine.


  • Thank you for your support. We had another 5 days of good and on a downward spiral starting last night. Major panic attack at school today and had to come home. I think I get so hopeful after a few days of good that the downward spiral is harder. He has a lot of support at school as well as at home. I need to stay positive but finding it difficult.

  • Yes, the downward times are harder, that's understandable. But focus on the good days and you will see that progress IS being made. It's wonderful that you can say that he's got good support at school. That's not always the case. He may need some of the resources I mention later on in a comment. It's best to ask is therapist.

  • First of all, you are doing the right thing just by being there to support him :) Yes having good days then a bad or several bad days are normal and there may not always be a clear cut reason for a depressed day. antidepressants and anti anxiety medications often take several weeks to take effect. Many people need to try different doses and combinations to find what works. You are on the right track sending him to therapy and getting medication. A suppprt group may also be beneficial if there is one in your area. He also needs to learn coping strategies. The therapist should be able to help him with this. There are many great books out there as well if he is willing to read them.

  • Thank you, I am going to talk to his therapist about coping strategies for his anxiety tomorrow.

  • That's a smart move. If you want a list of additional resources, I have one with about 18 different resources that people on this site have found useful for depression and anxiety. Books, videos, phone apps and other informative resources. Just let me know and I'll post it here.

  • My daughter was diagnosed depressive after a breakdown at school. It has been the hardest thing. I feel like I did somethings wrong, no, I KNOW I did somethings wrong. We have had to look at modifying the future we saw for her. It really reveals what is important -- you think life is about a solid education and securing a good job but in reality it's about mental and emotional well being. At the same time I am working on understanding and accepting that this is her life and her journey and my role now (as she's approaching 18) is to love her and support her with all my might. If she can manage her depression as an adult I know she will contribute positively to this world and in the grand scheme of things that's all that matters.

  • How do you know you did something wrong? I doubt you could have stopped her becoming this depressed. I believe she already had a depression problem that was going to emerge sometime in her young life and you couldn't stop it. You may have affected it in some ways, but I doubt you affected it in major ways.

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