Toxic 15 year old


New Member
8 months ago my son tried to kill himself. He spent a few days in the ICU then a few weeks in inpatient treatment followed by weeks of out patient treatment. He sees a Psychiatrist once a month for medications and a psychologist weekly for therapy. He has been diagnosed with ADHD, depression and anxiety. I struggle daily with the pain I feel of the realization he would rather be dead.

He has always been a awkward kid and often the target of bullies. He struggles socially not out of shyness but rather because he is so rude and mean that no one wants to be anywhere near him. He's an ardent pessimist, out spoken atheist, and incredibly disrespectful. His teachers say he is fine in class with he exception that he's a loner. He gets good grades and behaves but rarely interacts. He stays in his room most of the time. If he graces us with his presence he is cranky, has a hair-trigger temper, and can't muster anything more than monosyllabic responses. That's his norm. And the Theres the moments when his only goal in life is to ensure I am made to feel like the dumbest person ever to walk the planet. It's to a point that I'm reduced to tears within five minutes of being around him. The power this child has to hurt me is insurmountable.

My heart breaks for him everyday. My mind races with what I have done so wrong that my son has turned out this way. I wonder what I'm supposed to do now to ensure he will make it in an adult world. I want my precious sweet cuddly baby back. This 15 year old walking train wreck has worn me so thin I can't be around him without crying. It's to a point that I'm reduced to tears within five minutes of being around him. The power this child has to hurt me is insurmountable.


Well-Known Member
He is no longer a cute cuddly baby. You cannot parent him like he is. You have to parent from where he is at this moment. I am happy you found us and wish none of has ever had to. 1. Stop the guilt track running through your head. parenting from guilt never works. 2. He has power over you only if you allow it. 3. He needs to have a thorough neuropsychiatric evaluation. These are sometimes covered by insurance. They are extensive and can take several sessions. 4. TAKE CARE OF YOU. That should actually be # 1. 5. Get into counseling for yourself.


Well-Known Member
I dont think you made him that way at all. I think he is just wired differently. What was he like as an infant and toddler? Did he speak late, do poorly with change, obsess over certain things?
psychiatric hospitals, which ive been in myself, dont keep you in long enough to fo intensive testing for everything. Has he ever seen a neuropsychologist?

I am wondering if he has been misdianosed. It happens a lot due to lack of any way to verify a diagnosis. One person could get three different diagnosis, from three different psychiatriists, which is why I prefer the intensive hours of testing a neuropsychologist does.
I wonder if your son is somewhere on the autism spectrum. A big feature of this is poor social skills and preferring to be alone. Many obsess on computers or videogames. They dont like change, loud noise or sometimes are bothered by certain fabrics etc.
Some autistics have poor impulse control and need help with anger.
Just my own thoughts...hugs!

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I'm sorry things are so rough. Is he compliant with his medications? It's so hard to see our kids this way because they are so different than they were when they were younger.

While I never had to deal with suicide attempts my daughter became a stranger during her teen years. She was depressed and dealing with anxiety. She was angry at us all of the time. She basically retreated to her room most of the time. It was painful to watch. It hasn't been an easy road but she is on medications and seeing a therapist and psychiatrist on her own accord. She is in college and wants to be a therapist. She still deals with anxiety and depression but now reaches out to us instead of shutting us out.

There were many times (countless really) when I wanted to cry-she was so hurtful. Most of the time though I was able to wear my rhino skin and not let her see that she could hurt me. Coming here really helped. I learned not to let her have the power. Trust me it wasn't easy. Sometimes I would cry later in my room.

I'm glad you found us-stick around-you will receive much support.

(On a side note-you may want to change your username to something other than your real name.)

Welcome! Glad you found us!


Well-Known Member
I'm on the same page as SWOT. As I read your post, the first reaction I had was... he has to be on the (autism) Spectrum somewhere. They can be very high functioning, which makes diagnosis less likely (due to attitudes of testers, not due to thresholds). They can also mask a number of different problems behind anger. Because anger is "normal" and other things are not, they become more "normal" by coping this way. Anger can also be a manifestation of depression in young men.

This is going to sound harsh, but I say it because I've been in your shoes: Assume he is on the spectrum, and start figuring out how to parent a spectrum kid (which is totally different than a neurotypical kid). Part of that means that as the parent, we have to learn to NOT take things personally. Don't let him ramp up your emotions. He may be acting this way because it's the only effective method he has learned of accomplishing anything. It's not effective for you, and is not anywhere near as effective as other skills for him, so how can you help him learn better ways to deal with stuff.

And then... you may be dealing with a lot more than just a spectrum kid. Age 14/15/16. I remember. Worst possible years. That's when mental illness reared its ugly head. Not the standard stuff like "anxiety" and "depression", but more complex issues like bi-polar or schizophrenia can start to show up after puberty.

I wish I had solid "this works" kind of advice for you. I don't. We're still working through this, with very mixed success. But chances are good that you are dealing with more complexities than the so-called experts have flagged, and you will have to pull every connection and contact and approach you can think of, to get real answers.

pigless in VA

Well-Known Member
:group-hug:Welcome, Chazmom. We understand your pain, we can help you survive, and hopefully get you onto a different path.

It is my opinion that boys and men hide their other "softer" feelings like hurt underneath a guise of anger. I think pasajes is right. #1 for you is for you to take care of YOU. Your son is bullying you. He desperately needs you to stop this anger/misery spin cycle that the two of you are on. The more sad and depressed you feel, the more out of control in his life he feels.

You absolutely have to stand up to him. You have to dig deep, find that inner angry mom, get mad at his depression, and take control. It will be difficult, but it can be done. It's not insurmountable. You can change how YOU interact with him. He will still be saying ugly and hurtful things, but you have to allow those nasty comments to bounce off you. You can feel all the hurt later when he isn't able to see the effects. By showing him strength you will light a small fire of hope inside him.

Children, especially teenagers, need to have strong parents. They are interacting more and more with the world and sometimes finding it to be a scary place. I think that's how your son feels. He's been targeted by bullies for being different, so he's now relishing his role. Then he comes home and attacks you in order to feel more powerful himself.

Does he have any outside interests? Are there any positive relationships that he can build on?

Keep talking to us. We understand.


New Member
We are going to take him for a consult with a neuropsyc. I've also contacted my cousin whose son is autistic to get some insight from her. I really appreciate all of your input, it's a lot of stuff I never even thought of.

My son loves music. He plays drums, guitar, and keyboard. He started High School at a performing arts school. He made some bad choices, thanks in part to some bullies, and lost his seat in the school. He went from his expulsion into a two week long inpatient psyc treatment by his own choice. Four hours after being released he made the decision to die. He spent some time in the hospital and went from there to a different inpatient psyc center where he still gets monthly treatment. The second place was incredible and he responded quite well. After a few weeks he moved to a full day out patient experience at the same place for the remainder of his summer break.

He's back in band at his new school but it's not quite at his,level so we also have him take lessons. He hates school band but looks forward to his lessons. He has his,own music room in the house too so he can jam out anytime he wants.

He wants to be an actuary (sp?) and his current school has a business program. So he's taking that group of classes and seems to enjoy's hard to tell given I can't seem to engage him in conversation. I try really hard to talk to him about anything but it generally ends up with him huffing and puffing and me just shutting up.


Well-Known Member
If he has always had trouble expressing himself, poor communication skills can also be a red flag for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). They often can not hold a give and take conversation, but rather give one word answers or, worse, tend to monologue about their special interests. They tend to have few but obsessive interests and know lots of detsils about th ose interests. I have an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) adult son doing very wrll.
My brother is an actuary. Perfect job with high earning for a less social person. Good coice.

pigless in VA

Well-Known Member
Wow, Chazmum. No wonder he's depressed and angry. Even so, that does not give him the right to bully you. He's trying to dump his emotional pain onto you. Keep reminding him that sometimes our greatest failures lead us to a different path with larger rewards.

Is there any chance of him joining a band outside of school? He's probably highly frustrated by the poor performance of some of the kids in the school band. My daughter told me that there's a kid in her school orchestra who only knows how to play one note on the violin - for the past 3 years. She says that that kid throws everyone else in the orchestra off.