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  • #6086
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    Keymaster

    Thank you for starting this discussion! It is essential as a parent to feel
    you’re doing everything you can to help your child, and it’s normal to feel
    helpless when you’re not able to be a part of his therapy. Confidentiality is
    important for the person in therapy so they know they can be 100% honest, but
    can also be really challenging to family members. Depending on his age, he may
    or may not feel comfortable sharing his feelings with you. Regardless it’s
    important to show him that you are a safe person for him to share with. It
    may be helpful to ask whether he feels therapy is helping him. If it’s not,
    ask if he has ideas for what would help. Sometimes therapy takes a long time
    before large changes are seen and that can be frustrating—both for the person
    in therapy and those who love them. In the meantime, try and do fun things
    together, and develop a relationship so he feels like he can open up to you.
    In the future, it may be helpful to see if you can even have a couple sessions
    together with your child and their therapist, or go to a family therapist.

    It is also common for parents of children with mental illness to put all of
    their energy into their child and forget to do nice things for themselves.
    Parents can benefit by focusing on themselves in kind and compassionate
    ways, and engage in some self-care.

    Click here to check out our post on family communication.

    Click here to check out our post on self-care.

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  • #6830
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    Keymaster

    @mercer thank you for sharing (and sorry for the delayed response – this site is a work in progress!). It is very difficult to have to go through so much trial and error with different medications. Some people do have a different genetic make-up and respond to medications differently because of it – although the research to figure out how and why is still in its early stages. What you are referring to is called psychopharmacogenomics or how psychiatric medications have genetic differences between individuals. Here is some more information from Mayo clinic about it: http://mayoresearch.mayo.edu/center-for-individualized-medicine/drug-gene-testing.asp Sometimes when medications are not working, establishing a relationship with an individual trained in therapy that can treat your son’s symptoms can help – there are multiple factors that make therapy work or not work and we encourage you to check out our site’s articles for more info on this! Thanks again for your thoughts.

  • #6172
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    Keymaster

    Wow thank you for posting. We are definitely very concerned
    about your son from what you shared. It sounds like he needs
    immediate crisis attention and will reach out to you in private.
    You are definitely taking the right precautions for his safety.
    If the regional crisis program is not enough, then sometimes
    hospitalization is needed to get things started. Here is
    some information from NAMI about all of the different options
    for getting treatment during a crisis:
    https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Treatment/Getting-Treatment-During-a-Crisis

    Also, the national suicide hotline can connect you to your
    county crisis services whenever needed: 1-800-273-8255

    Please take care of yourself too and use your social support
    network to help you out during this difficult time.
    Let us know how it goes.

  • #6169
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    Keymaster

    Wow, that is SO frustrating…

    It seems that you do recognize how helpful and supportive you have always
    been for him and that in the past, you have been able to get him help.
    You have some evidence that you might be able to get him help again.

    You have already expended so much effort to persuade him to get therapy
    and now it feels like an uphill battle. Has your son looked at our
    adolescent and young adult site, sova.pitt.edu? On that site, we try to
    address through easy to read blogposts, a lot of the common reasons why
    a young person might not want to get help for their depression or anxiety.
    We also offer articles written by peer ambassadors who share their own
    stories on their ups and downs with depression
    and anxiety. Our hope is and what we are studying is that this site will
    help parents like you out who are having trouble getting your child into
    help.

    One thing that we do know is our site is trying to address only a small
    issue in mental health treatment, but there are MULTIPLE other problems
    with the mental health care system. Some recent developments, though,
    show that integrated behavioral health can be of benefit to adolescents.
    This is when a primary care provider and a therapist work as a team to
    track and help out an adolescent with depression. Unfortunately, this
    isn’t available to everyone, but if you haven’t tried the primary care
    provider, it might be a place to start. Another place is the insurance
    company – they can have care managers who might be able to help you
    navigate the system.

    We can’t begin to understand how you might feel about running out of
    time to persuade your son, but we hope some of these suggestions might
    help. Although it feels like this now, in the future even when your son
    is not around you as much, he will carry the lessons you taught him and
    values you shared with him right there in his brain. We have some examples
    of this: a 2010 study by Commendador reviewing scientific articles found
    that when mothers talked to their children about sex, their children
    started having sex at an older age and used more birth control.

    Please take care and keep us updated.

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