Depression, anxiety or moodiness? - ** updated**

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Sheila, May 30, 2007.

  1. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Last night, out of the blue, difficult child just broke down and started crying. Very atypical behavior for him.

    All I could get out of him is that, "I don't know," and "I don't like myself very much." I consoled him without much success. He went to bed early.

    I strongly suspect he's worried about whether he passed in school. This morning, he asked that I call and find out where his report card is. I did, and they are not going to be mailed until June 6th.

    Depression: I don't see any other signs, but he's very good at hiding his emotions.

    I asked husband whether boys get moody similar to girls when they go through puberty? He's no help! "I don't know," and "maybe" was all I could get out of him. (Thought husband would be a good source of info on this topic -- HE'S NOT!)

    Anyone know of a good book on teenage boys?
  2. kris

    kris New Member

    <span style='font-size: 11pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #663366"> poor kid. it is more than likely worry about his grades. does he still see that fabuloua therapist? maybe she could see him a few times for a kind of tune up.

    </span> </span> </span>
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Sheila, I recall that you recently said your difficult child's ADHD medications weren't working any longer. Have the medications been switched, or is he still taking Adderall?

    The reason I ask is that I notice your difficult child already has a diagnosis of anxiety. I'm wondering whether the ADHD medications are making his anxiety worse, or causing depression. As you probably know, stimulants can exacerbate pre-existing anxiety, and over the long haul, can cause depression.

    I will share my son's experience in the event it sheds light on your own. difficult child 1 was diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety at the end of 4th grade. He was prescribed Concerta and did well for about 1.5 years. At the beginning of 6th grade, it seemed as if Concerta was no longer helping him. We upped the dose, but it didn't seem to make a difference. He couldn't concentrate on his schoolwork/homework, he was unmotivated and he was incredibly disorganized. He also seemed very unhappy with his new school. In March of 6th grade, he begged us to take him off Concerta because he felt flat and inhibited. His mood seemed to brighten a bit, but removing Concerta did not solve the school problems. In retrospect, what we've been able to piece together (with our new psychiatrist's help) is that situationally he was becoming more anxious and depressed in middle school, and the stimulant was making his mood issues worse.

    Unfortunately, when we treated his anxiety and depression with an SSRI in 7th grade, he had a prolonged intense manic reaction. We know now that his mood issues are far greater than any challenges he ever had with ADHD. I'm not saying that's the case for your difficult child, but I do think you need to look at the interplay between ADHD and mood issues and how they're treated.

    To answer your question, I don't know firsthand if boys become as moody as girls at puberty because difficult child 1's big mood issues surfaced right when he started puberty. All I do know is that our psychiatrist said things should improve when difficult child 1 gets to the other side of puberty. We can only hope!

  4. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    My interpretation is that he's beating himself up about his schoolwork and grades. Couple that with puberty, the stress of trying to bring his grades up and if he was the least bit tired then you get what you see.

    In other recent posts you mentioned that he hadn't asked all of his teachers for extra work - I think it was only Science. There could be different reasons for that, but with this post I'm wondering if he became overwhelmed by it. If it just seemed daunting. Then crunch time hits and he has to do something. And now maybe he feels like it's too late. And he's panicking and beating himself up.

    Some people are much harder on themselves than anyone else ever could be. It's a combination of things: low self-esteem, anxiety, perfectionism caused by those two things (even though perfectionism doesn't always look like what we expect it to).

    I think re-visiting the therapist and uncovering the real reason behind this incident is a good idea. He's at that age where it's easy for depression to hit (because of puberty) - especially with his hx and diagnosis. I mentioned this in another post, but when my son was that age the Health Dept surveyed the students at the junior high and found that at any given time 20% of the student body had symptoms of depression.

    I think you had said that you were going to wait until the report cards came to let him know that he wasn't going to repeat the grade. in my opinion, it would be a good idea to go ahead and let him know that you have talked to the school and he will be moving onto the next grade. I worry that otherwise he's going to make himself sick over this.

    by the way, my son doesn't and never has talked about things. I never knew he was worrying about something until we had an episode similar to what you experienced with your son. It had to get to be more than he could handle before he let it out. I guess it's a guy thing.

    I don't have any book suggestions. However, I like Barnes and Noble search engine better than Amazon. I'd search there and then go to Amazon - or the bookstore or library - to buy it.
  5. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Kris: Dr. D moved out of state; I sure miss her. A couple of weeks ago I called and talked to his 1st psychologist, Dr. N. Interestingly, after all these years she remembered us and the details immediately. Dr. N couldn’t recommend anyone that she thought could handle all difficult child’s “complex issues,” but offered to work him. She’s a good psychologist also. (Dr. D was an expert dealing with very young children). difficult child usually pulls out of these episodes a few weeks after school is out. If things don’t improve pdq, I’m going to have to pursue more counseling.

    Smallwood: Thanks for sharing your experiences. difficult child is off all medications presently. They d/c’d the Adderall XR and Tenex last week and I have filled a new Rx for Concerta, but haven’t started it yet. Thought a medication holiday might be prudent.

    Nomad: I’m going to see about that book. Thanks! Except for math, difficult child was making poor grades primarily because of not doing his work or doing it and then not turning it in. Part of it was because of ineffective medication; part of it was wasn’t. We had his IEP meeting last week – besides his regular math class next year, he’ll be in a daily math tutorial class.

    Wyntergrace: In that he came home the very last day of school with work he had forgotten to turn in, I need to make sure he did, indeed, pass. I have to go to school to sign his IEP this morning, so will see if I can find out. But I agree; he needs to know. Two more weeks of sweating it out is too much for him. (Sure hope he remembers this little life experience in the future.)
  6. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    difficult child brought up all the F’s to D’s and one C. (Has one A in 4th Qtr -- PE). He was promoted to 8th Grade.

    I was able to get a printed copy of final grades. I expected little emotion to be shown, but difficult child broken into a big smile upon hearing the news. As expected, he wanted to see “the proof.”

    30 minutes later, he’s sobbing…..wanted to go back to Grandma’s because he feels happier there…. I asked him are you sad or are up lonely? Lightbulb moment for him (identifying feelings) – he thinks he’s lonely. (Could be just a release from the pressure....)

    Don’t know, don’t know…. But I enrolled him in the summer YMCA Teen program at his request. He hasn’t wanted to go yet. Tomorrow he is going -- see if we can’t break this cycle before it gets out of hand….

    Will stay "tuned in" in case I have to get him back into counceling. But this kid’s making me old before my time….
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Poor kid. I always find that while my son is relieved when school is over, there tends to be a bit of an emotional adjustment period before he settles into enjoying the summer. Perhaps that, coupled with the huge relief of passing 7th grade, has him on edge right now. You're doing the right thing keeping an eye on things.
  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    You know, you hold it together, hold it together and hold it together because you have to. But once that stress is removed, it's like someone opened the floodgates and all that pent up frustration, stress, and anxiety just comes pouring out. I think it's a pretty typical response, although maybe a little over the top compared to your typical kid. However, I would keep an eye on it so it doesn't get out of control. I think the teen group is a wonderful idea. You might have to make him go at first, if he's feeling like this, but I bet he'll go willingly soon.

    I'm so glad he managed to bring his grades up - even if just a bit - and that he passed. :bravo: :whew: