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Sicog
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28 Jun 2022, 5:05 am

My 15 yr ols son,has developed depression ,apart from adolescence and autism as contributing factors school was an issue.We have taken him out of school the last 3 wks which has lessened his anxiety but his depression is prety bad.
We are dealing with Camhs but they have yet to offer us any practical help.We are currently waiting for his first seesion with a "youth worker" that his case worker is arranging .He has talked of suicide and we have been to hospital twice with this.He hates talking therapy with anyone but particularly health professionals, I think he has little chance of engaging with cbt or aba.He also has some traits of PDA.His ONLY interest in life is computer games and some days now he wont even play them .He wont leave the house to walk or do anything we suggest.I think that if he make no progress over the next 6 weeks they may consider antidepressants but I am aware they may not be the answer.I am also aware that depression is best caught early and the snails pace help is arriving at isnt easing my anxiety,and my wife is finding watching him deteriorate in front of us very demoralising.
I would be grateful for any constructive suggestions or to here of anyone who has been through this !
Thanks



timf
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28 Jun 2022, 6:05 am

When my son was that age, I took him on an Amtrak trip to Seattle and then a ferry trip out of Bellingham to Alaska for fishing. We took a couple of laptops so we could watch movies and play video games.

My thought was to do something so radically different than what he was used to that it might expand his horizons and open opportunities for considering expanding areas of interest. A "discovery" flight introduction to flying or scuba diving might also be things to consider.

Aspergers (now called ASD) might be considered a neurological variant that presents with more complex, sensitive, or faster neurology and thus amplify common adolescent difficulties. If you are dealing with actual depression, you might consider if it is bipolar, bipolar 2, classic clinical depression, or some other form. There is a guy from the UK on Youtube with some videos on bipolar 2 that speak to the efficacy of supplements like lithium orotate over prescriptive medications.

A more sensitive nature often results in a withdrawal into a comfort zone for those with Aspergers. This can contribute to developmental delays. you son may come to see that his intentional undertaking of uncomfortable things can help him develop the management skills and coping strategies to navigate life more successfully.

Your role in this can be critical if he can trust that you will help him as he learns the skills he will need in life.



Pteranomom
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28 Jun 2022, 1:34 pm

Why wait six weeks for antidepressants? This situation sounds like it's been pretty bad for a while.



DanielW
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28 Jun 2022, 1:56 pm

Pteranomom wrote:
Why wait six weeks for antidepressants? This situation sounds like it's been pretty bad for a while.


I was thinking the same thing. Most anti-depressants take 4-6 weeks to start working, and thats 12 weeks. I"d do something now, especially since there has been talk of suicide.

Talk therapy is less effective in folks on the spectrum and ABA actually makes depression and anxiety WORSE.



Sicog
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28 Jun 2022, 3:00 pm

The official guidelines for mental health services for adolescents state to do some sort of therapy before going for the pills .



DanielW
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28 Jun 2022, 4:58 pm

You may want to speak with your son's doctor - yes, there are guidelines but there are instances where antidepressants or anti anxiety meds can be prescribed for short-term use while waiting for other services. You also mention his dislike of therapy, so I assume he has had some already? that may count as "therapy first, before we try antidepressants"



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28 Jun 2022, 8:27 pm

My daughter had severe anxiety / depression starting at 16. We tried all sorts of things and nothing seemed to make a significant difference. What DID make a difference was allowing her to test out of school AND hang out at home with zero responsibilities of any kind, where all she did was focus on her own needs. We gave her no time table, and assured her our home was a safe space. Within 6 months of having zero expectations placed on her, she decided to get a part time job. After being successful in the part time job, she decided to ease into classes at the local junior college. Slowly she basically pieced herself together, following her own unique pace. She is now doing really well at university, but still taking everything at a slightly slower pace. She needed to learn her own limits and needs on her own; that's just who she is. What will work for your child, I can't say, but don't rule out a very simple, "do nothing" besides loving your child unconditionally.

I will note that while she did have suicidal thoughts, she was pretty consistent about never actually wanting to go through with them. She was engaging in some self-harm, but again, there was this sense that danger to her life wasn't really an issue. Because of that, we had options that not all parents will feel they have. Still, for some kids, what they really need is to be allowed to "be."


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Aspie1
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09 Jul 2022, 10:43 am

DanielW wrote:
You may want to speak with your son's doctor - yes, there are guidelines but there are instances where antidepressants or anti anxiety meds can be prescribed for short-term use while waiting for other services. You also mention his dislike of therapy, so I assume he has had some already? that may count as "therapy first, before we try antidepressants"
Therapy is generally HORRIBLE for aspie teens, and ESPECIALLY for teen boys, as most family therapists are snooty women who don't properly understand boy's lives and mindsets.

First and foremost, therapists like to ask about feelings; it is what it is. But when a patient can't give a "right" answer (read: the one the therapist wants to hear), they get ANGRY. That's when they retaliate, by provoking the patient into crying, or repeatedly accusing the patient of lying until he/she gives the "right" answer. (And it doesn't matter if the "right" answer is a lie.) On top of that, most teenage boys think little, if anything at all, about feelings, especially aspies with alexithymia. So the therapy question "how did that make you feel" always does more harm than good.

Second, what the OP's teenage sons truly needs is MEDICATION, not "feelings". While the good, effective stuff like Effexor and Paxil isn't given to teens, Prozac is officially approved for kids as young as 8. It may be only marginally better than coffee, but it's better than the teen finding his/her own "medications" like I did at age 12: swigging my parents' whiskey and box wine, abusing cold medications, and huffing cleaning products.

Quick note: SSRI's and SNRI's can impair one's sex drive, due to increased serotonin levels drowning out dopamine. But since most aspie guys have absolutely no luck with girls until well into their 20's, that may be a blessing in disguise.



Sicog
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09 Jul 2022, 3:07 pm

Yes talking therapy would be quite traumatic , trying to describe emotions which he possibly doesn’t fully understand.
Following a meeting with his youth worker who we hoped might offer something practical , like art therapy ,they have decided that he will not engage with therapy and until he asks for help there is nothing they can do ( apart from send us - the parents , on some autism awareness courses ).We are thinking of finding a private psychiatrist to discuss trying medication rather sitting and waiting .



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09 Jul 2022, 3:59 pm

Sicog wrote:
Yes talking therapy would be quite traumatic , trying to describe emotions which he possibly doesn’t fully understand.
Absolutely. Therapy is the WORST thing to put an aspie teenage boy through. Especially considering that therapists underwent liberal feminist indoctrination in therapy school. In other words, they were indoctrinated to hate men, especially young men like your son.

Also, an aspie teenage boy, due to a combination of social conditioning and his own aspie mind, WOULDN'T KNOW HOW to answer questions about feelings "correctly" (read: give the psych moron the answer she wants to hear). You're doing the right thing by seeking out a private psychiatrist who can prescribe good, helpful medications. Best of luck to you.



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09 Jul 2022, 10:32 pm

Aspie1 wrote:
Sicog wrote:
Yes talking therapy would be quite traumatic , trying to describe emotions which he possibly doesn’t fully understand.
Absolutely. Therapy is the WORST thing to put an aspie teenage boy through. Especially considering that therapists underwent liberal feminist indoctrination in therapy school. In other words, they were indoctrinated to hate men, especially young men like your son.

Also, an aspie teenage boy, due to a combination of social conditioning and his own aspie mind, WOULDN'T KNOW HOW to answer questions about feelings "correctly" (read: give the psych moron the answer she wants to hear). You're doing the right thing by seeking out a private psychiatrist who can prescribe good, helpful medications. Best of luck to you.


Do you have to hijack every thread with preaching your ideology?

I actually do agree with you that therapy might not be particularly useful but that largely has to with the same (ToM related) issues that impact our ability to appreciate praise and criticism, not because all of the therapists are secretly raging misandrists.

It just comes off like more screaming of some snarl words. GEORGE SOROS! LIBERAL FEMINIST INDOCTRIMATION!! AHH!! COMMIES!! ! EVERYWHERE!! !!


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Aspie1
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09 Jul 2022, 10:47 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
I actually do agree with you that therapy might not be particularly useful but that largely has to with the same (ToM related) issues that impact our ability to appreciate praise and criticism, not because all of the therapists are secretly raging misandrists.
Mine certainly was. Get a load of this. When I told her I asked a girl out and she rejected me, this is what the idiot told me: "That's OK; her saying no today doesn't mean much. Ask her out again tomorrow; she might say yes." (I was 14 at the time.)

Either was dangerously stupid or she was trying to deliberately get me in legal trouble. Fortunately, I knew better than to listen to her. I even made up a lie that I asked out a different girl, had ice cream with her after school, but it didn't pan out further, so that overpaid idiot would stop pushing her dumb ideas on me. I also got good at keeping her busy with fabricated test anxiety, which is super-easy to do when you're a student.



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09 Jul 2022, 11:21 pm

Aspie1 wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
I actually do agree with you that therapy might not be particularly useful but that largely has to with the same (ToM related) issues that impact our ability to appreciate praise and criticism, not because all of the therapists are secretly raging misandrists.
Mine certainly was. Get a load of this. When I told her I asked a girl out and she rejected me, this is what the idiot told me: "That's OK; her saying no today doesn't mean much. Ask her out again tomorrow; she might say yes." (I was 14 at the time.)

Either was dangerously stupid or she was trying to deliberately get me in legal trouble. Fortunately, I knew better than to listen to her. I even made up a lie that I asked out a different girl, had ice cream with her after school, but it didn't pan out further, so that overpaid idiot would stop pushing her dumb ideas on me. I also got good at keeping her busy with fabricated test anxiety, which is super-easy to do when you're a student.


That's terrible advice that seems like it's cribbed from cheesy movies of the era. It pretty consistently sounds like you had one of the worst therapists imaginable based on different aspects of their behaviour (raging at you, negligent advice, basically abuse of a child when you add it all up).

That said, they sound like an extreme example of a bad one, so they're not representative of average, so it's not reasonable to extrapolate that your failapist experience would be what the average person should expect when seeing the average therapist.

Some people really do benefit, some who don't just need to find a more suitable one.

A good parent with a good relationship with their kid would listen if the feedback from the kid is all negative, but I feel like that's another failing that was inflicted upon you. If you didn't feel comfortable giving that feedback they can't possibly consider trying another one and if they don't care about your best interests they might not care about the feedback, even if it was given.

People failed you and it's tragic and worse, it's not the norm but it seems very hard to actually internalize that. I don't blame you for being harmed by the stuff you've gone through, anyone would be. Learning to accept it as not normal might be a good step towards starting to put it in perspective, allowing some stuff to be reexamined.

Your views might not shift radically but you'll probably have less anger to deal with and be less committed to the idea that relationships must be transactional and follow certain patterns even though many appear to deviate from those patterns.

Your folks seem to have left a very bad first impression of romantic relationships, just as your failapist did of therapists, neither of that was fair to you and being pissed over the harm that was done is fair. It just shouldn't be allowed to get too broad or they're just harming you all over in another way. Relearning some of what they taught you helps reduce how that harm continues.


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DW_a_mom
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10 Jul 2022, 12:35 am

Sicog wrote:
We are thinking of finding a private psychiatrist to discuss trying medication rather sitting and waiting .


Finding psychiatrists who are available to work with children and teens is extremely difficult. There is quite the shortage. We ended up finding someone outside of insurance; you do what you have to do, if you can possibly handle the cash flow. Ultimately my daughter didn't feel the prescription was helpful and didn't stick with the psychiatrist. You have to be careful with teenagers; medication affects them differently than it does adults.

Going back to Aspie1's points, I don't think therapy is always contraindicated for ASD teens. But it has to be relationship you child wants and feels good about. You have to really listen to your child while making decisions like enrolling in therapy, and I found it was important for my daughter that I made an agreement with the therapist to honor my daughter's confidentiality completely (as parents, you have a legal right to know, but that also erodes the trust between the child and the therapist, which can rather defeat the point). More than anything, being there for your child with UNCONDITIONAL support, open and non-judgemental ears, gives the best chance of them letting go of a few clues. Aspie1s parents didn't know how to do any of the above.


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10 Jul 2022, 4:08 am

A nice adventure somewhere may work, or maybe something different like going to see a model railway somewhere? Does he have a bicycle? A cycling adventure maybe, though when depressed ones energy levels maybe low.
Something different...



Aspie1
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10 Jul 2022, 7:45 am

DW_a_mom wrote:
Going back to Aspie1's points, I don't think therapy is always contraindicated for ASD teens. But it has to be relationship you child wants and feels good about. You have to really listen to your child while making decisions like enrolling in therapy, and I found it was important for my daughter that I made an agreement with the therapist to honor my daughter's confidentiality completely (as parents, you have a legal right to know, but that also erodes the trust between the child and the therapist, which can rather defeat the point).
This is a good point. You literally CAN'T have a trusting relationships between a therapist and a teenage patient, because the customer and the patient are different people. No matter now "nice" or "helpful" a therapist acts to the teenage patient, their true loyalty is still to the parents. In any field other than mental health, it'd be conflict of interest, if not flat-out illegal. But because it's "just" :roll: emotions, teenage therapy is allowed to exist unfettered, due to the money involved.

Therefore, any teenager who trusts their therapist is very naive. I'd say school therapists are a better option. Their paying customer is the school, not the parents. Not to mention, they're even dumber than private therapists, so they're easier for the patient to outsmart if need be.