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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5220
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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Hi I have a 16 year old boy, who has had difficutly going to

Customer Question

Hi I have a 16 year old boy, who has had difficutly going to school, for 18 months/maybe a bit more.|He is becoming increasingly isolated and spends most of his time in his bedroom. he now wants to drop out of school and do corresspondence study, He never goes out with friends. It all started with an online game called world of warcraft.Htrumsne has done poorly at school as he would only go 2 to 3 days a week. Any attemp to force him to go would end in tantrums, once he punched holes in the walls.He cannot give reasonbut is unable to catch public transport buses in particular.He doesnt do any exercise and barely lives his room only to get food and drink
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

First, let me say I can imagine how confusing and distressing this situation must be for you. On the one hand your son was on a normal life path till he was about 14 years old. But on the other hand that is now almost two years ago and he hasn't stabilized back to a normal life path.

And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. You are clearly a loving and caring parent. And this is very hard on you and you are trying to be encouraging and positive in helping him find that positive life path again. I am impressed with the efforts you have made. And it gives us very important information. What do I mean?

It is possible that your son is manifesting ONLY an internet gaming addiction. This is a new field in psychology and we are taking it seriously.

But my sense is that you need to have your son evaluated more comprehensively. He needs a full psychological evaluation to check for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, for Asperger Syndrome, for depression, as well as for internet gaming addiction.

You are in Australia and so you may want to start with the national health service but you may need to seek an expert in evaluating teens and/or treating teens in the private pay sphere. I don't know your capabilities. But either way, please take action on this to have your son evaluated and treated. Because your efforts are valiant but he needs professional intervention very urgently.

I wish you the very best!

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your responce, I suspect after seeking medical advice that he has some anxiety disorder as he has manifested physical symptoms like migraines with no apparant medical causes. he has become increasingly isolated and has some nervous twitches. He also has low self esteem. His grandmother passed away just before christmas and I think this made the situation worse.What doestn help is that he is a very big 6"4 boy who ways 95kg and looks like a man, but is very emotionaly immature. I have been nursing my mother prior to her death and also gone through a very difficult divorce, although not from his biological father. so there are many stressors in such a young life.


Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.
I think anxiety disorder is the diagnosis of convenience in your son's case. I mean by this that it is easy because an antidepressant/anti-anxiety medication can be prescribed after one visit and that's it. But I don't think your son will be closer to a better life or a better understanding of his problems and adequate treatment.

I'm not sure what the problem is because I haven't spent time with him. But I am pretty sure from my experience it isn't just an anxiety disorder. It is possible that a mood disorder like Bipolar Disorder is starting to form, though it would have started a bit early at 14 to be so prominent in the withdrawal phase. It could be a developmental problem like Asperger Syndrome because of the immaturity. Though AS kids tend to not be physically big and broad but skinny if they're tall. They tend to have lots of mannerisms but not always. The twitches may not be tics but AS symptoms. There was an OCD sense about his gaming that might need examining, though that could be part of AS.

I hope you see my point: he truly does need real diagnostic effort, not the simple type that the medical world tends to do and then call it a day. So you would have to advocate for it.

I wish you the very best! Dr. Mark

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