worried mum

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Hi all

I am new to this site and any advice would be much appreciated. My 15 year old son is suffering from very low self esteem and has sever social anxiety. I have taken him to his gp and he prescribed him propranolol 10mg and refered him to see a councillor. To cut a long story short he attended 5 sessions with the councillor and I had to sit through each one as his anxiety was so bad. He then refused to go back because he said it was making him even worse. This has resulted in my health deterioration having to watch him go through this and feeling so helpless that I can't seem to help him feel any better. He says he thinks there is something mentally wrong with him because he can't mix socially with others and cannot start or hold a conversation with anyone. I have tried to reassure him that it has a lot to do with his age and this will come in time. Any advice would be appreciated. Sorry for the rambling on .

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, I suffered from anxiety and depression from the age of 14. I wanted help but was scared of it too, because I was a child. But I was a child who knew something wasn't right.

    It wasn't teenage angst or identity issues; it was medical.

    Luckily your son has a GP that's recognised this in him, believe me they are few and far between.

    Please, don't tell your son this is a phase related to his age, this only makes his feelings seem less heard, in my experience.

    Encourage him to go to his appointments, I know they are painful, but trust me, it's better to nip this in the bud now.

    Tell him how much you love him, remind him of all his talents and strengths, and tell him from someone who was like him at his age, how lucky he is to be getting treatment.

    Please never, ever dismiss his pain as teenage angst.

    He needs your support and strength.

    You will get through this together; and the sooner the better.

    All my love and best wishes xxx

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  • Posted

    Hello. I think some people are just naturally more introverted and learn to socialize/communicate better with increasing age and life experiences. Sometimes it's just a matter of being patient with the process. Extroverts do not make it easy, but everyone is unique as a snowflake (for unique reasons only the universe truly knows!) so he must stay true to himself. I knew a friend who only really started to come out of herself when she started a job that involved a lot of one-to-one conversations with people. It took several years for the confidence to come, but now in her early thirties she is one of the best thoughtful communicators I know. A lady called Susan Cain has done a lot of work on this and you may want to read some of her quotes and books. My friend also tried to replace the feeling of fear with motivation on a consistent basis. I myself have done this when I am outside my comfort zone in something, and it really works! By all means try other avenues suggested by professionals, but please bear the above in mind. My best wishes.
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    • Posted

      Thanku so much for your reply. I am praying that this will pass in time and that this is just a part of going through adolescence as he very quiet in nature and very conscious. He hates change and being outside his comfort zone. I will Def have a read up on Susan cain books to see if it helps. Thanks again xx
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  • Posted

    Hi, I also suffer from anxiety, and have done for many years. I'm also on the same medication as ur son. I find it helps me a lot, I take three a day. He's young, hopefully he will move on, I hope so. Have u taken him to see a therapist??
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    • Posted

      Hi Simon I have taken him to the gp on numerous occasions as this all started with exam anxiety. He is in his gcse year and was taking panic attacks at school. Gp prescribed Propranolol 10mg one a day and refered him to CAHMS. Who declined his referal. He was refered to youth councilling service and did attend 5 sessions in which I had to sit in with him in every session as he was to anxious . He has since stopped attending councilling. Gp has said that councilling is the only way through this for him as they won't prescribe him anything else as he is only 15 years old.

      Xx

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  • Posted

    Hi katrina

    I remember my boys at 15yrs. It's a tricky age at the best of times. One of boys was very much like how you describe your son. I thought it was an age thing and thought he was just one of the boys who preferred to play computer games in his room rather than mixing with people.

    I knew he didn't like conflict and with that age group boys always seem to be trying to prove themselves and be macho with there peers. So I was selfishly grateful as I knew he was indoors and safe. Only to find out he was not safe as for months he had been self harming without me having a clue. It's so painful to see your child in pain, I agree with the responses you have received here. That's why it's tricky all three posts I have read from contributors here..All make perfect sense. I wish I had taken more notice of my son's behavior as I would love to think I could have stopped him from hurting himself. On a positive note, he is now a very happy and charming 30year old who works with the public and is married with a beautiful home. Most importantly a beautiful daughter and another on the way.

    Your son will get through this, be vigilant and keep reminding him that he is loved and can share anything with you. Remind him Whatever he is experiencing will pass, and, one way or the other you are going to be with him all the way..shoulder to shoulder.

    Also remember to look after yourself! Worrying can play havoc on your wellbeing too.

    wish you and your son the very best. He will come out of this and remember it was a difficult period in his life, he will also remember you were there with him all the way.

    god bless you both ♥

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    • Posted

      Thanku all for your replies and advice. Originally his gp refered him to CAHMS but they declined his referal and suggested he be refered to youth councilling service. He attended 5 sessions but refused to sit with councillor on his own. This meant that I had to sit with him in the sessions in order for him to attend. He has since stopped attending as he felt it wasn't helping him and only esculating his anxiety. He would sit on his computer and play games and interact online all day and when told to come off it would do it grudgingly. Unfortunately this has already had an effect on my health as I am currently off work as the worry has taken its tole on me. It all started with exam stress and he was having panic attacks in school and I was having to leave work to lift him. Don't seem to be getting any further help from gp other than its a teenage stage and he will come through this.

      😦

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    • Posted

      Thanku so much for taking the time to reply. I am finding it so hard to watch him going through and I feel responsible. Maybe I should have pushed him to socialise more when he was younger which would have avoided this situation. He has stopped councilling as it was too stressful and he wouldn't sit the sessions on his own. I had to go every time to get him to attend. His gp has said that there is nothing else that he can prescribe him only propranolol 10mg once a day as he is only 15 years old. It has taken its tole on me and I am currently of work and I have been put on antidepressants as I am struggling watching him go through this. I know i need to try and get my health sorted to be able to get him through this period.

      Xx

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    • Posted

      Bless you katrina ♥

      It's so difficult as you want so badly to take their pain away. This then puts incredible strain on your health. It's almost like when your child's better. ..you are then better. Matters of the heart are the hardest thing us humans go through. He will be fine, but he will work through it in his way. Counselling can be great but not everyone finds it helpful. He sounds like he is not comfortable with attending, therefore he won't get much out of it. CAHMS would be great for him. The label probably put him off going. My eldest granddaughter (14) has an undiagnosed illness (falls into a coma like state) the hospital sent her there as part of a comprehensive multidisciplinary assessment. They are great with adolescents! He probably thinks he will be labelled with MH but it's cconfidential and they assess many conditions. It's impossible to force a 15 year old, so gentle persuasion and, encouragement approach.

      Please take care of your own health katrina ♥ god bless x

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    • Posted

      Hi Lorraine. Thanku for your kind words they mean so much. I just wish I was stronger but am trying my hardest. Would be easier if I could take it off him. CAHMS turned him down as they have very limited resources and felt that as he wasn't selfharming or taking drugs that he wasn't a serious enough case. In one way I am blessed that he is not doing either and pray to god it stays that way and he gets through this soon. 💜
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  • Posted

    You are most welcome. Just one random thought that came to mind and something you may think worth considering: why not slowly try getting him involved in a setting where there will be less chances of hostility and indifference from people eg. befriending at an elders' care home or volunteering at a visually impaired charity? The people there are out of this world in their kindness. It would give your son a chance to improve social skills. This could be just even an hour or two a month, but these small steps will gradually build up to make a big difference. You may want to sit in with him at first, and will find it very fulfilling. Inspirational quotes around the house, on post-it notes, may also help eg. More than 90% of winning in life is getting excited! 
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