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Social Anxiety Disorder/Depression - How did you keep moving forward?


Replies to: Social Anxiety Disorder/Depression - How did you keep moving forward?

  • LMK5LMK5 Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    @BSL1199, I have some experience with this, and I think you've taken the correct action and will see surprising results in a few weeks. One of the challenges may be to make sure your son keeps up with the medication. Many times when people feel better they start missing doses and they revert back to their previous state and it becomes a cycle. They must be told to be relentless in their regimen.

    One thing I'd suggest is for your son to consider engaging in a sport of some kind. It's amazing what a good physical workout can do for the mind. For boys, I'd especially recommend something that builds strength, like weight training. It's a big confidence builder and that can only help a boy of that age.
  • eb23282eb23282 Registered User Posts: 423 Member
    Another experienced parent here. D was diagnosed with depression, was in therapy and on Prozac. Became manic and attempted suicide. Switched to Zoloft which she didn't feel was helping at all. Switched again to Pristiq and she doesn't like that one either. Not sure where to go next - meeting with Dr. next week. I bring this up to let you know that it's a long process and everyone responds differently to each medication.

    As for school, Dr. told us to meet her where she is. If she can't "do" school one day, then don't make her. I've become her GA's most involved parent probably as I'm always emailing and visiting him just to keep in in the loop as to where's she at. She's in an iop program now and has been to school a total of 2.5 days since January 1st. The school has been VERY accommodating, but they need to know what's going on.
  • TempeMomTempeMom Registered User Posts: 2,975 Senior Member
    I know my daughter was very very resistant to a 504 because it meant sitting down with all her teachers and she couldn't bear it. She is doing pretty well on Zoloft. We did get a chronic illness form filled which is supposed to offset some of the absences.
  • highlyblessedhighlyblessed Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    How do I PM someone, any help will be appreciated.
  • BSL1199BSL1199 Registered User Posts: 89 Junior Member
    Thanks so much for the continued helpful comments. I really do wish you and your kids all the best! I'm still wavering on having a conversation with someone at the school (with or without my son's knowledge). TBH, one of the reasons I would want to tell people at the school is so I can say, "See, this isn't his fault. He can't help it. He DOES care. Please stop making him feel worse." But I'm pretty sure that's not the best way to start advocating for him :). I have a call with his therapist tomorrow and I have a good list of questions to go through with her based on the replies. Thanks again.
  • MassmommMassmomm Registered User Posts: 3,858 Senior Member
    I know you want to honor your son's wish for privacy, but he is 15 and you are his parent. You absolutely do need to tell the school. At the very least, tell the counselor. In our case, we also emailed every teacher. The vast majority were very compassionate. Only a couple did not respond and my sense is that they just didn't know what to say.

    SSRIs do not work overnight. If Prozac works, it will take time, so you need to let the school know that you're on top of this.
  • cakeisgreatcakeisgreat Registered User Posts: 783 Member
    At age 15 we told the guidance counselor but did not do a 504 plan. This was because when she had panic attacks and needed to go to the nurse, they were accommodating. She did tell the teachers so that if she was "spaced out" in class or seemed nervous, they were not alarmed. Sometimes they made accommodations just by being nice - for example, D was worried about presenting in front of the class and the teacher gave her the option of standing at her desk which she did. It was not asked for, but it was helpful at that particular time. Almost started a 504 plan this year because of the up/down struggle, but this was the year where she took control of the tools she needed to get her through, and did very well - all "up" this semester. Sometimes it's a 3 step forward/2 step back process, but as long as she doesnt give up, she keeps growing and understanding that this is just how she is made, and she can work with it and still be happy and successful. Had medication in the beginning in 8th-9th grade, but none needed the last 2 years. Evaluating when she transitions into college as that can be a tough event we all know.
  • cakeisgreatcakeisgreat Registered User Posts: 783 Member
    One thing to note is that unfortunately, some teachers are not very discreet about saying stuff in the class and once or twice they blurted out something so that other students heard, and that mortified D. They didn't mean it and were just trying to be helpful but there it is. On the other hand, students know when something is up, and one student who was low-key bullying her actually stopped when they realized that it was anxiety that made her react the way she did (RBF face, etc.). They actually had compassion and moved on to another poor soul.
  • jenericjeneric Registered User Posts: 199 Junior Member
    I can completely understand why you want to say something- I would too. I just really hate going behind his back. If the teachers have written him off, what's a few more weeks of that. Teachers have over 100 kids- many who have depression and anxiety @cakeisgreat is right, they sometimes don't remember that they shouldn't say anything. He's willing to take the meds and go to therapy- baby steps. Only you know how he would react if he found out you said something. Maybe in a few weeks he will agree to share what is going on.
  • cakeisgreatcakeisgreat Registered User Posts: 783 Member
    I agree...everything we did was in agreement with where our D was at in her journey. We gave her options and listened a looooooootttttt. We wanted her to feel empowered as best as she could while we all figured it out. We were still the bosses, of course, as parents, but we understood that she needed us to walk with her through this (and it's still not over) with encouragement and gentle prodding to keep her walking and never give up. I've said it here on CC from time to time how lonely I felt through the process because I had never heard of it before my kid had it and knew no one that was dealing with it (until my best friends son got diagnosed with it after freshman year of college...another story). CC actually helped me a lot through the years as I learned how other parents dealt with similar issues. Funny where our encouragement comes from!
  • MWolfMWolf Registered User Posts: 1,011 Senior Member
    edited February 6
    We did not tell the teachers in our case, only my kid's counselor and social worker/therapist. The teachers only needed to know that, if my kid missed class, it was an excused absence.
  • CuriosaCuriosa Registered User Posts: 114 Junior Member
    @BSL1199 I don't know what the right decision is for you, but I wanted to validate your instinct that it can be easier to advocate for your kid when everybody in the conversation understands what the real issues are. I've had teachers/ administrators express impatience and exasperation with my DS, and I've been able to remind them of his challenges and ask for their continued support. You may decide that particular benefit doesn't outweigh your privacy concerns, but you're not wrong to recognize the value of having everyone on the same page.
  • tkoparenttkoparent Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    My high-school age D has had issues with depression and anxiety, although she does not have social anxiety issues. She is on Prozac and sees her psychiatrist monthly and her therapist weekly. We are about five months post-diagnosis and she is doing very well, but one of the things we (especially me) have had to learn is to let the ball stop rolling sometimes. As others have said, his health has to be paramount. If he genuinely wants to keep pushing forward on the "normal" path to college, maybe that's the way to go, but there are lots of alternative paths and in our case we have learned we need to make adjustments. Our daughter is currently attending an on-line school, fully-accredited, that works very well for her and provides a lot of helpful flexibility. We can't really guess where she'll be a year from now. If it turns out she wants to apply to college on a regular track, she'll be able to do that, but I can also envision a scenario where she takes a gap year or starts with a community college and moves a bit more slowly to stay within her comfort zone. The other thing I would say is that your son's school has probably encountered situations like this many times before. Depression and anxiety are very common among teens, although people are reluctant to talk about it. Pick a counselor or teacher whom you trust and start the discussion. Even in our case, where our D is no longer attending her school, she maintains her relationships and the school has been very helpful and supportive.
  • mom23travelersmom23travelers Registered User Posts: 487 Member
    I"m coming late to this conversation but I'm going to throw out a couple things that would have been extremely helpful for me to have heard in a somewhat similar situation.

    Not only does medication take time but it sometimes also takes a lot of messing around with dosages and different drugs and each of these changes have to be eased into and out of and take time to see if they are helping. If you like me do a lot of research on the internet it can be frustrating to read story after story where someone says things like, "with medication I finally got my kid back. It was like magic." When you aren't seeing the magic that can be hard to hear. Recognize that it feels like magic to the parent because things were so bad for so long and finally things are improving. I could be one of those parents talking about magic but it wasn't waving a wand, it was a year of hell.

    Regarding academics, someone up thread said that all you need to do is keep the ball in play. That's a helpful metaphor. Now is not the time for scoring. This is so much easier said than done especially with a bright kid. Recognize that there is a typical path that bright kids take to college and life success but that is far from the only path. And sometimes keeping the ball in play just means keeping the kid alive.

    I'd strongly advise not talking to anyone against your son's wishes. Broken trust is very very hard to recover from and this journey is going to be a lot harder if he doesn't trust you. Instead tell him who you want to take to and why. And in extreme circumstances tell him ahead of time if you are going to go against his wishes.
  • eb23282eb23282 Registered User Posts: 423 Member
    To follow-up on my earlier comment upthread from 2/5....

    Medication - We're sticking with Pristiq for now, just upping the dosage. I'm not optimistic it will work, but I really hate the idea of starting from scratch yet again.

    School - D is trying to go back to school. She was there yesterday and met with her GA and GC. They decided to drop an elective class that would have been a lot of work for her. This gives her a free period and is making her less anxious about the idea of spending 7 hours in school each day. They're off today (storm) so we'll see how it goes tomorrow. But at least she's feeling better about the idea of being in school. Yesterday we received her orientation materials from her college. I didn't show it to her as we're still thinking GAP year to give her time to figure out her health.

    But to repeat my earlier comment - we are finding a lot of help from all teachers and staff, so long as they know what is going on. Her math teacher actually cried happy tears when she saw D in class. We've been lucky to get the school support she needs to graduate, which is our only goal at this time.
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