Mental Health Support
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Please help me !Needshelp with 17yr old son

Hi everyone,

It’s my first time on this site and it’s all new to me.

I am a 37 old women and have a son that is 17, I have had a awful life and been through some very awful things and my son knows about them and I think it really affected him when he found out about the things that had happened to me, I never told him by the way! ( even though I didn’t realise how bad they were till a year ago and justified the things that happened to me, I just tried to get on with things and just thought I was depressed! And found it easier to pretend the things that happened to me! Wasn’t that bad! )

Anyway my son is 17 and a only child, he has OCD and has severe anxiety has had to see therapists since he was 5 due to things that happened in our life when he was younger , I am a very overprotective mother and would die for my son, would never let anyone hurt him. But feel like I need to protect him from everything and I try to control things in his life that I think could potentially hurt him in anyway.( because he is my life and couldn’t stand him suffering the way I have!

The problem is... I have made him quite anxious about situations that he should just be getting on with and is normal for 17 yr old boys.

He has for the last few years closed his self off from everyone and sits in his bedroom most of the time ( except from when he goes to college. He has only made one friend in 2 yrs of being at college!

He eats in his room and only leave his room to freshen up.

He only really eats one meal a day!

He says” I don’t like food and I never fancy anything to eat” “ I eat because I have to! not that I like it! He also says” I feel better when I don’t eat! He doesn’t like feeling full, he is very small and under weight and he started to go bald at about 15 yrs old

I am really worried he has a eating disorder ( I had one myself before he was born) I have always seen signs very early with him and got help as soon as I spotted them! ( something I have never had) I am the total opposite with him, to how I was with my parents because I know where they went wrong with me!and didn’t want to make the same mistakes with him, I just want to help him in anyway I can but don’t know what to do! I love him more than anything and he is the only reason I am here and as strong as I am! I can’t stand to see him hurting and would do anything to take it away!

3 Replies
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Hello Needs, I'm glad you found us and we'll be happy to help and support you as much as we can. I'm going to give you some of my ideas on your situation they are not meant to be critical . I believe as parents our job is not to protect our children from difficulties in life, but to teach them how to find their own way. If your child doesn't need your help to survive by the end of college then you have probably been an effective parent. That does not mean you don't have a relationship with them, you will have a more equal relationship.

Another thing I noticed is you bring up your own problems and then your sons, and then your own etc. I think you might want to separate these issues and start with your son while he is still with you and you have some control over him.

If he is not seeing a Doctor , he should at least get a physical because of his eating habits.You personally don't want to make an issue of this. Let him see a Doctor on his own. You can call later to get a report. Since he eats so little maybe you could get him to take power drinks(non medicinal) and more appealing to a 17 yr old

Find out about his hair loss. At his age I would guess this was devastating .

Parents make mistakes, all parents. Don't beat yourself up over it. Clearly you love your son , but you're going to have to take a step back.

Lastly, quietly go about getting some help for yourself. See your Doctor and take his advice. Information not to be shared with your son in any detail. You want to keep these things separate unless of course your Doctor tells you differently.

I hope you find this some what helpful. Let me know hoe you both get on. Pam

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Hi, whatever age our children are, they are a worry to us! Firstly, try to get your son to eat a meal with you downstairs and try and chat about anything other than health and worries, unless he brings it up. A small healthy meal may be more appealing to start with. You could make it your time together. If he's going bald, he may be undernourished or it could be hereditary. First thing to do is nutrition and to get him out of his room. Could you invite just one person, the college person if not too far away, or for a sleep over or to watch a film together? Even a neighbour to start with perhaps? What are his interests? Reading? Most lads like computer games and you can't get them off the things! Perhaps there is a school club he could join? Is he into sports? Trains? Cars? Bikes? Anything to stimulate and let him forget his worries. Small steps first and then if things don't improve in a few months, a visit to the GP if you can't get him to eat. Can you afford a multi-vitamin? At least that will help with nutrition if he doesn't feel like eating. A bit of fresh air also will help appetite. A walk with you perhaps? To the shop if you want something, run out of milk? Let him choose something to eat from the supermarket if you go together. Sometimes the smell of our favourite food, like melted cheese, will enhance taste buds. You may have to adapt your eating habits for a bit, small meals are better than a large one he will leave. Good luck, he sounds a lovely lad and not into night clubs, over-drinking and awful stuff like some his age.

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Hello Hidden, and welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear things are so difficult for you. As other members have suggested, it would be helpful for your son to see his GP to discuss these health concerns so that help and support can be provided. The practice nurse at the surgery may also be able to provide support [regarding weight checks and diet etc]Some very helpful suggestions have been made by other members of the forum. Please see your GP about arranging some help for yourself, too and stay on this supportive forum where other members can help you. Remember that you are not alone. Thank you and best wishes.

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