Adolescent Boys

Big sigh.

This is a venting post. I’m a bit rattled and I feel the lack of an involved other parent very acutely at the moment. The weight of decision making and ‘what to do for the best’ feels very heavy. Having said that, at least I don’t have to deal with conflict over what to do for the best – so I guess that’s one thing.

Son#2 has been a worry for a while as I have posted before. Really since he started secondary school aged 11 (he is now 16) things have been getting steadily worse in respect to his underlying anxiety and low mood, poor motivation and lack of focus. In the last year it has been much worse; he has been waking early in the morning, vomiting every day with anxiety, has poor appetite (or at least eats only junk food) and is plagued with insomnia and intermittent suicidal thoughts. Last October we went to see the GP for a referral and yesterday we finally got to see a child psychiatrist.

As an aside, I have no idea who people less assertive or educated than I, actually get through the system – this is the third referral to CAMHS we have had – the other two resulted in a suggestion to see Relate (a charitable organisation with a waiting list of months and a cap of 12 sessions) and a ‘lets wait and see – discharged’ … this appointment took 10 months, a report from his private psychotherapist and pretty relentless insistence from me, to actually procure.

It was a hard 90 minutes and I was only in there for 1/2 of it. She was very good, and didn’t get him to rehash everything but it was hard to hear him repeating that he has no future, expects to be dead by 30 and can see no value in himself whatsoever. This is despite having had a reasonably positive holiday experience and being more vocal with son#1 about his frustrations there.

She agreed he was ill, meets all the criteria for prescription of medication and issued it yesterday. She and the psychotherapist are obviously worried about the risk of self harm – and despite son2 not wanting me to ‘know’ this, I DO KNOW it. I didn’t have the opportunity to meet with the psychotherapist before the Summer break, as we both felt it might not help son#2 to feel safe in discussing his worries if he thought they were being communicated to me, but I am very aware of his suicidal thoughts, his substance misuse, his concern to protect me and not cause me additional concerns and his hopelessness about the future. I know he is angry about a lot of things, and I know how very very anxious he is. I’m trying to explain to son#2 that I’m worried about these things anyway ( I know them because he is my son, I live with him and I love him and am very concerned for him), and keeping them to himself doesn’t make me worry less.

Back to earth with a big bump

Tomorrow is GCSE (public exam) results in the UK. I’m dreading it. In his own words he ‘didn’t even try’ …. and yet I know that a clutch of dreadful grades will make him feel worse than ever…

And what the hell is he going to do in September?



  1. Not sure what I can advise really as mine are still small so no experience of this. Didn’t want to just pass on by though. I really hope you are all doing ok today with the GCSE results. He is fortunate to have a Mum that is intelligent enough and determined enough to fight for what he needs. Anxiety can be crippling and I really hope his therapy will give him some peace from it soon. Thinking of you both x

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    • Thank you. I think my sobriety has really opened up my feelings and I find being a lone parent to three adolescents much more draining than I did when I drank to numb the feelings. BUT, I think addressing the issues is slowly slowly reaping benefits for us all, as evidenced by a very positive family holiday where I think we all genuinely enjoyed one another’s company, and felt closer as a family than for a long long time. 🌷Lily xx

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