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Lively, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 260
Experience:  Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, 10 years experience working with individuals, couples, & families
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My 19 year old son while at school has stopped taking his lexapro

Resolved Question:

My 19 year old son while at school has stopped taking his lexapro and buspar medications for anxiety and depression because he says they are not helping him. This is after 3 years of 3 different medications). Now he is depressed and sometimes angry. He will not see or talk to his doctor because he says nothing is ever going to help him. School is not easy for him and he says he is worried about his classes yet he is too anxious about asking for help. This has always been difficult for him even when on medication. Sometimes when I talk to him he seems ok other times he cries and says he wants me to help him get better but he refuses to go talk to anybody. On top of this my dad in Florida just passed away and my son will be coming with me on Thursday for the funeral. I know going off these medications cold turkey is not good. I don't know what to do for him and I am worried. Can you give me some advice? He also takes adderall on school days and diazepam when needed. (Too many meds)
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Lively replied 7 years ago.


I'm glad to hear that you've called the mental health center near you for help. You are right that going off of these medications abruptly can have adverse consequences- namely, increased anxiety and depression (temporarily), among other things (such as dizziness, light-headedness, sleep disturbance, etc.).


I wonder if you could use the recent death in your family as an opportunity to seek family counseling, with the understanding that your son's struggles will come out during this therapy. Sometimes people are more willing to go for help if it is not solely targeted towards them. Where I'm sure that your whole family is being affected by your son's depression and anxiety (and, from the meds, I'm guessing ADD as well), it is true that it would be a family intervention.


If you feel that things are escalating quickly and that you cannot wait to schedule such an appointment or that your son is in need of emergency care, I would suggest that you take him to your local emergency room or crisis center. They can evaluate and provide immediate assistance and can also help you arrange for longer-term follow-up care.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
how long is temporary (depression)? I want to know if he should be in the hospital detoxing or if 2 weeks without meds is long enough to be out of his system. He will not go to any kind of counceling. He will not even go to his psychiatrist of over 3 years. Anxiety is the key word here. Does not like to talk to anyone he does not know even if we are there with him.
Expert:  Lively replied 7 years ago.
By temporary, I meant only a few days- a week at most. If his symptoms are persisting at more than two weeks out I would seek further care as soon as possible.
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