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Forums / Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers) / Strategies needed in supporting an anxious and possibly depressed teenage son.

Topic: Strategies needed in supporting an anxious and possibly depressed teenage son.

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. Lionheart 001
    Lionheart 001 avatar
    8 posts
    5 May 2018

    Hello,

    Hope someone can help me with some guidance regarding my current situation.

    My 19yo son has been seeing a youth worker/Counsellor at Headspace for a couple of months now and is making slow progress for his issues of anxiety, loneliness and depression.

    However, he has obtained a care plan from our GP and is about to start seeing a psychologist (outside of Headspace). In finding this out, his Headspace Counsellor advised him that once he starts seeing the psychologist, there will be no need to continue at Headspace. She advised him just as she was about to start a process with him called ‘mindfulness’.

    My son has taken this literally and now believes if this is the case, she doesn’t want to work with him anymore and all previous sessions have been a waste of time.

    i would have assumed that he could continue going to both if they were both being of benefit.

    Can anyone please provide some guidance and/or advice regarding this.

    Many thanks in advance.

  2. CJames
    CJames avatar
    80 posts
    5 May 2018 in reply to Lionheart 001

    Hi, Lionheart 001

    Hope you're having a great weekend, welcome to the forums.

    Great to see your son is doing well with a Headspace youth worker, it's a really significant step in the right direction. As you may know, headspace is an early intervention program. In saying this, I'm not aware regarding if you're allowed to continue support with Headspace 'instead' of seeing a psychologist externally.

    I suggest noting his youth worker that he's a bit nervous regarding the sudden change, believing the work he has done is worthless. The counsellor will discuss it with him and hopefully put his mind at ease even continue support. Just remind your son there's only going forward not back, ask him to think where he was 90 days ago, then consider where he will be in 90 days time.

    If he does end up having to see a counseller outside Headspace, make him as comfortable as possible in regards to the age and gender of the psychiatrist even the location.

    You might also be able to contact Headspace directly regarding his option.

    I wish you the best of luck; it's great to see your son has the support of yourself.

    Keep yourself well,

    Talk soon.

    C.

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Jacko777
    Valued Contributor
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    Jacko777 avatar
    781 posts
    6 May 2018 in reply to CJames

    Hi Lionheart001,

    CJames has some sound advice there, I have little to offer but wanted to say, all the best with this. I can understand that presumably Headspace don't want your son receiving treatment by two people at the same time. I wonder, if your son wanted to he could still catch up with Headspace on less frequent visits, or just for the mindfulness aspect? (I can't see anything on the Mindfulness FAQ's about all this.)

    I don't see how previous sessions would be a waste of time? Mindfulness is an important part of recovery, I think that we can presume that your sons' psychologist will work on what is important and useful at the time, no doubt mindfulness will be a part of that.

    All the best, talk anytime,

    Jack.

    2 people found this helpful
  4. StaticRose51
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    StaticRose51 avatar
    63 posts
    7 May 2018 in reply to Lionheart 001

    Wow

    Good on you for spending time to go to these appointments. For the depression I suggest possibly getting a hobby that you both enjoy? Spending time together and with friends is important.

    Why does he feel like work has been a waste of time - Is it because of the depression or something else are there other family members needing support that your son has to care for?

    1 person found this helpful
  5. therising
    Valued Contributor
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    therising avatar
    2331 posts
    8 May 2018 in reply to Lionheart 001

    Hi Lionheart 001

    Have to start by saying how super supportive you sound; what a beautiful person. Being a 'surrogate mind' for someone with depression etc is so incredibly important. Remember back to the days when your child was baby and lacked the ability to feed himself (you helped him) and when you held his hand when crossing the road, when he hadn't established his road sense yet. They are surrogate roles and so is this, if that makes sense. Again, you're acting as that part of the brain that does not have the ability to process things reasonably, given the circumstances. Now you happen to be feeding him guidance as well as holding his hand in the darkness that he must be feeling.

    Whilst you can see some map regarding the direction he needs to take, might be a bit difficult for him to see it. I recall my days of depression (some years ago) and how everything was overwhelming with supposedly no way out. Seeing that human beings are typically visual creatures, was wondering if it would make any difference to your son if you sat down with him and drew up some sort of actual map, regarding the steps or 'towns' he needs to visit in order to reach his destination of good mental health. Leaving Headspace and trekking on to see the psychologist means he is moving forward. Staying in the town of 'Headspace' means he is not going to make the progress needed (no matter how helpful and wonderful the townsfolk are there).

    A little outside the square but perhaps you can take your son away somewhere for a couple of days (long distance). Stop at a few towns/sites along the way and point out the benefits of each town as well as the benefits of not staying there - moving on to the next town. Having a bit of a break from the norm could also be of benefit in this case.

    Wishing you luck, from one loving parent to another.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Lionheart 001
    Lionheart 001 avatar
    8 posts
    13 May 2018

    Thank you all so very much for your advice, support and encouragement. Apologies for not having responded sooner as the last few days have been very crazy. My son is going ok, he sees his psychologist for the first time this week and I am definitely looking forward to the outcome.

    He still attended his appointment at Headspace on Friday but no more mention was made about having to give up going there because of the psychologist. Outside of that, I’ve noticed some encouraging signs within my son. He’s smiling a little more, engaging with others a little more and probably believing in himself a little more.

    Ive mentioned to him to think about things that make him happy and positive, martial arts being one of them. So now, he’s attending the classes more regularly and putting that before a shift at his part-time job.

    As a parent, I still worry of course but every small positive step is a small celebration. So that’s where we stand at the minute.

    Thank you all so very much again for engaging with me and offering me your support. I look forward to continued communication with you on this journey. I am also here for you as an ear and support should you require it.

    With best regards to you all

    1 person found this helpful
  7. CJames
    CJames avatar
    80 posts
    13 May 2018 in reply to Lionheart 001

    Hi Lionheart 001,

    That is soo good to hear, thanks for keeping us updated.

    C.

  8. Jacko777
    Valued Contributor
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    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Jacko777 avatar
    781 posts
    13 May 2018 in reply to CJames

    That is such great news Lionheart001! Really great, keep that up.

    Jack

  9. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    2331 posts
    14 May 2018 in reply to Lionheart 001

    Hi Lionheart 001

    So glad to hear things are going well. Small steps can lead us to great places.

    He is so blessed to have you as his guiding light. With compassion and support being shown to him through your example, you are no doubt his greatest teacher in life.

    Don't forget to celebrate you, for you are worth celebrating! Take care xxxxxx

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