Son is having panic attacks

<p>I’m sorry. I hope he will get the help he needs and be able to manage through this. It sounds like you and his friends at school are providing good support. Best wishes.</p>

<p>If your son is on your insurance, I would recommend using your insurance and helping him find someone to see in the private sector near his school. While I’m sure many good services are available at some schools, overall the quality of mental health services at colleges can vary. If I read your post correctly, he was scheduled for an appointment on a day the center would be closed. A first appointment is a huge deal for most folks, that is not okay. I think you will get faster and better services if you are able to go outside the college, but if he isn’t otherwise insured, then he will have to be proactive. If he isn’t happy with the first person, he should request another. He can also request a referral to a psychiatrist.</p>

I’m wondering if the center was closed unexpectedly due to the snowstorm on the east coast.
But I agree with your idea. I think it might be the best thing to find a therapist near the campus who will see him right away.</p>

<p>Some are seen once and referred out anyway.</p>

<p>In addition to evaluation and counseling, meditation can be very helpful for anxiety and panic attacks.</p>

<p>Yes, the campus was closed due to power outages related to the storm.</p>

<p>Since his appointment is less than a week away, I will talk to him and see if he thinks he can hold out till Thursday. I am concurrently looking into off campus options. </p>

<p>I probably should have started to look into private options before this, but I have had waiting issues myself, when my depression revisited last year. My symptoms were much like son’s, with a strong panic/anxiety component. I was able to get meds from my primary care dr., but I had a history and known treatment options. It was weeks before I could get an appointment with behavioral health.</p>

<p>S had not shared with me everything that has been going on, and ideally, I would like him to get seen and possibly on meds now, and when he comes home for vacation, get seen locally here. Then we can assess whether he should go back to school for the spring, and whether he might need a reduced workload or some kind of temporary accommodations.</p>

<p>I find the situation with the girlfriend kind of worrisome. This is his first serous relationship, and he is crazy about her. They seemed happy together over the summer, but she was ready to embrace college life, while he wants to go see her all the time and is calling her way too much. If she breaks with him, he’s going to have a really bad time of it.</p>

<p>Please be aware that sometimes things get worse before they get better with medication for panic disorder. For those who have not been through that before, it may not be a good idea to begin treatment and then leave the area. I also think it helps a lot to have some tools to handle specific symptoms in case medications contribute to this. People with anxiety disorders can be very sensitive to that.</p>

<p>By vacation, do you meant thanksgIving or Christmas?</p>

<p>Christmas. There are only about 5-6 weeks left to the semester. </p>

<p>I am hopeful he can finish out the semester. I don’t think he can wait to start treatment until he comes home for break. I was hoping he could get evaluated, and start the meds, and whatever therapy is available, and then get more intensive therapy when he is home on break.</p>

<p>I am realizing now, especially with the revelations about the girlfriend, that he needs longer term therapy, to help not only with the panic, but with his self esteem and developing healthy boundaries in relationships.</p>

<p>S didn’t have a very good weekend. It sounds like he feels he’s doing poorly in his classes, and he can’t catch up.</p>

<p>If possible, I don’t want him to drop out - he’d lose his housing slot. </p>

<p>I called about 8 different private psychiatrists. They either are not taking new patients, are 3-5 weeks out on appointments, or just didn’t call back. So it looks like Thurs. at the on campus center is his best bet. One of the private psychiatrists spoke highly of it</p>

<p>I am driving out on Thurs. to accompany him to his appointment, and to try to assess how bad his grades really are and what his options are.</p>

<p>I am hopeful he’ll feel up to the spring semester, taking the minimum courseload. If he withdraws now, he’ll lose his spot with his friends. But if his grades are really bad, maybe it would make sense for him to withdraw so he’ll get W’s on his transcript instead if poor grades.</p>


<p>I’m glad you’re going with him. That will be good for both of you. Try not to let your thinking get too far ahead. Deep breaths. You will both be okay and he will do well once he gets through this rough patch. He’s lucky to have a mom who can empathize with his feelings and that he feels safe in confiding in.</p>

<p>Just a follow up and a thank you to everyone who responded, in both the thread & PM.</p>

<p>After last weekend, it was pretty much apparent to me that S would have to withdraw. I went with him to the counselling center yesterday, and they agreed it was depression and would provide a medical waiver. The dean of his college was very nice, she agreed that this was the best course of action as it would preserve his GPA.</p>

<p>So, he is coming home, and we will get him into treatment locally. If he is feeling up to it, he can take a course or two at our local directional U, and work some hours. He will be automatically readmitted next fall, since he left on good standing.</p>

<p>This will give him a break and plenty of time to get back on his feet. We had a lot of time to talk yesterday, and he seems determined to put the time to good use, as well as healing. He has always had rather narrow interests, and he sees this as a time that he can figure out more about himself and what would make him happy, besides the adolescent activities that seem to have grown stale to him.</p>

<p>Sorry to hear that your instinct was right about the depression but glad that he has a plan in place, with your help, to take care of himself. And it sounds like a good plan. </p>

<p>As I said before, he is very lucky to have a mom who understands his pain and whom he can safely turn to. My thoughts and prayers will stay with him.</p>

<p>anon011, it’s good that this was caught when it was and that he will be able to get treatment. Best of luck to you and your son.</p>

<p>Thanks for the update, I’ve been thinking about you. FWIW, I’m glad to hear your son is leaving the school in good standing (my fear for my son is that he won’t.) It gives him good options. Let’s hope he sees it that way too. Wishing you the best.</p>