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Mother of young adult suicidal son with social anxiety

Hello - I am new here and here is a little about why I am here:

I have a 19 year old son who has inattentive ADHD, social anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. He now says he realises he has had anxiety around people since he was 8 or so. His serious issues began in year 7 when fitting in socially became a real problem but he struggled on at school until the end of year 11 with some great support from some teachers. This year he he tried TAFE but only went for 2.5 days and then could not go back. He has been helping on the family farm for much of the year but struggles even with that now. He has very few friends and is really sad about that but avoids every social situation. He has very low self esteem and thinks he is worthless and thinks about suicide a lot. He has seen a psychiatrist and tried some medications without much improvement (and side effects) so has given up on them. He does not want to try therapy as talking is really hard for him and he does not see how it can help. I have had some great people teach me to speak to him calmly about suicidal thoughts to assess where he is at, but there have been some really tough days with him in crisis when I have been considering contacting emergency services. The ongoing problems are tough on the family, including my marriage, as we have very different approaches but we are talking and working together as best we can. I am looking for others who can relate and perhaps share success stories. Ideas about ways to help him find some confidence and to decide to seek help would also be great. 


Re: Mother of young adult suicidal son with social anxiety

Hi there @Minna thank you so much for posting and sharing your story Heart Please also know you are not alone, and the community is here to listen as well as support you.


Your son sounds like he has been up against a lot, can I ask has he only seen the one Psychiatrist? There are now approximately 100 modalities of therapy, sometimes it's about finding the right practitioner for the client. It must be very painful for you to see this unfolding, and no doubt the helplessness is very difficult at times.


The important thing is that you have supports in place for yourself. It's hard to help someone else when we're not fully equipped with access to resource. When he escalates with suicidal thoughts, you can contact Suicide Callback Service on 1300 659 467 (they work with carers too) for strategies and advice on what to do. As well as this, what are your own forms of self care? Do you see a therapist at all to debrief yourself?


This is a safe space and the community is here to listen.


Re: Mother of young adult suicidal son with social anxiety

Thanks for reply.

Yes, he has really only seen one psychiatrist plus another very briefly when he was in contact with community mental health services. Partly because youth psychiatrists are rare and the one we saw cand highly recommended but also because it was a real struggle to get him to one at all.


I am not seeing anyone now but have for a short time a few years ago. I have considered therapy but am doing ok with supportive friends and access to good advice. Also making sure I do relaxing things.


i hadn’t considered the suicide call back service myself actually as I thought that was for the person with suicidal thoughts so thanks for that tip.


trying to be hopeful about his (our family’s) future but hard when things appear to gradually get harder for him



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