Caring for a depressed teenager
Good Evening ,
I’m reaching out for advice, thoughts and experiences to help me and my family support my 17 year old son. He was diagnosed with anxiety and depression In the middle of of his Freshman year in high school. He was always a straight A/B student from elementary and all through middle school. School avoidance was a big issue freshman through mid junior year of high school. He is and always has been a quite , shy , somewhat anxious kid but when puberty hit his anxiety heightened leading to more depressive symptoms . He has been hospitalized for suicidal thoughts when he was 16. He is currently treated with medication, sees a psychiatrist monthly and a therapist , who he trusts and will talk to , every other week. School was a trigger for so many things that we decided to pull him from public school and complete his high school credits online . Some days are good and many days are not. I don’t hear suicidal thoughts , but his motivation is minimal. He avoids going anywhere. He will hang out at friends houses or out to eat but comes home and says he “got bored” and gets frustrated that he “can’t enjoy anything”. He constantly tells me how ugly he thinks he is . It’s a continuous roller coaster with his emotions. I know the negativity is the depression talking . We have tried many different medications. Currently he takes 300 mg of Effexor and 1 mg if Rexulti per day. He also takes Adderall to help increase his ability to focus on school work when needed . He has taken the Effexor for over a year and the Rexulti since September of 2018. There was a huge difference when he began the Rexulti and he was “back to normal” for the majority of the fall semester . Then the anxiety crept in and we reverted back, as if the medication was no longer working. An increase in dosage did not seem to make a difference .
I’m hitting a wall. I want to help him but feel I have done all the things a mom needs to, but I’m still trying to pull him out of the depressive moods so often.
I’m here to support him but don’t want to enable him to the point where he won’t leave the house . My husband has a hard time understanding anxiety and depression so I am the main problem solver. We have 2 other younger children . This has affected our family tremendously.
Any thoughts or advice are appreciated !