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Susan Ivy
Susan Ivy, RN, MSN, CNS
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4058
Experience:  MSN Child/Adolescent Psychiatry, w/ Child, Adult &Family Psychotherapy coursework and experience
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my son turned 15 in dec he is above average in school. he is

Customer Question

my son turned 15 in dec he is above average in school. he is emotional for a boy i believe due to only mom raising him he is going thru a life event im concerened about due to recently his gf broke up with him first relationship 9&1/2 months and unexpected no sex very close like best friends. recently i allowed him to try strattera given to him by GP with some minor symptoms however dont really believe he is add just teenager. he did mention 1 time in a upset moment prior to the gf breaking up he wanted to kill him self quickly taking it back and saying he was just really mad however with the medication side effects warnings and his greif im feeling as if he should be evaluated by a professional not his mom? I did talk to him about seeing the school counselor that was to busy in sept due to my divorce however the GF broke up with him Fri and the 1 time statement made was 2+ weeks ago.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  psychlady replied 5 years ago.

It sounds like he is healing from his first real heartache and so he is saying things that he doesn't mean. We all thought irrational things when that first love left. If you think he could benefit from counseling it is best to find a therapist in your area that is independent. A school counselor is a trained professional but they often are equipped to handle behavior problems and school related matters. Not only they busy but they tend to be focused on those things. You can find a therapist on the site for the American Psychological Association. I would encourage you to find a therapist if you think he can't cope with this breakup, it is interfering with his school work or he is having other problems as a result of this event. Some of his pessimism will change as time goes on and he finds it isn't the end of his world but a therapist can evaluate him to see him he is having feelings above and beyond what is normal. You should consider this if he is entertaining for a minute harming himself. You also have to consider what he wants. Although he is a teen he may be very resistant to this idea. Use your best judgment.


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
do you believe the medications is a risk factor as he just began taking it on dec 15 just before his bday due to he is so smart close to 98% on most any kind of taks and sat etc however just couldnt modivate himself and i dont believe he hasnt been taught as he is 2nd degree black belt in ata and is level 2 certified instructor most kids are 16 before considered for this and he got it at 14. now he is not eating dressing up in mornig like usual and he attends a different school as this girl. is it healthy for him to continue to attempt to be friends with her as her mother and father adore him and were close. I feel bad for her as she is being punished for breaking up as i see it there young and she is just exploring even tho i HATE TO SEE HIM CRY AND HURT LIKE HE DOES. He is hoping she will come around however read her fb and she is talking to other boys and wanted to end it early dec etc etc im sure this is all been said to you. basicly with my divorce of a short marriage 1 year half him moving 4 times since grade k some stints of anger with me and at times others as in rude or attitude etc normal im sure. same school since grade 7 some friends not many mostly was all about her and her friends. The medicene on top of this with the warning etc how to know? If he is open to a visit do you think a psychiatrist due to him taking th strattera 60mg with 25mg if needed in the eve and is rare for him to take the 25. im worried a lil as his father is bipolar un treated and has rejected him in the way of usual visits however calls and he can call him. idk i could be just over reacting as he is my only child and im freaked out by close friends knowledge of a boy attending close hs without notice taking his life and then on the news as well today i hear about another teen.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 5 years ago.
Dear Cjmom, Thank you for sticking in with us here at JustAnswer and waiting patiently for your answer. First of all, I want to tell you that I agree with the prior Expert, so do please keep in mind her information, but I will attempt to address the additional concerns you mention. (For some reason the other Expert has opted out of answering further questions --she may not be available any longer today) As far as your son's medication being a 'risk factor' .... I think you are referring to the box warning to watch for suicidal ideation and/or psychosis, which, when it does occur, typically happens at the initiation of medication therapy or at dose changes. This is indeed something that everyone needs to be aware of. This brings up the fact that you state he is taking a different dose on various days? Usually this medication is prescribed at a steady dose. Taking different doses might create some problems. It might be an inadequate amount to be of any help. It may also create an unstable mood. This medication does not work per dose, in other words, often no effect will be seen until after a month or two of taking it at a constant level. Please be sure he takes it as the physician ordered. If he has side effects or other problems are noted that keep him from taking the dose as prescribed, then the doctor needs to be informed of this immediately, so the dose or medication can be changed. And yes, seeing a Psychiatrist would be recommended. A psychiatric practice that includes in addition to the Psychiatrist, therapist and counselors such as Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialists, PhD or LPC Psychologists, Masters or Clinical Social Workers. One of the therapist in the practice should be trained to work specifically with children or adolescents, as well as their families. This way, proper assessment is provided, medication is managed and individual and group therapy is provided. If you are in a large to medium sized community, there should be several practices of this type. Regarding monitoring of symptoms that could indicate suicide risk: an individual may suddenly seem to do much better or even become hyper, irritable, or even manic before suicide attempt. At the time of improvement, the underlying depression is still in memory, and suddenly they have the energy to carry out a plan to harm themselves. So this is the danger of antidepressant...especially a risk for those with undiagnosed Bipolar illness -- which in the teen years is almost always not yet diagnosed. So yes, it is important that you observe your son, and keep communication open with him. Ask him how he is feeling. Have him contract with you (verbally or on paper) that if he has thoughts of harming himself that he will come to you to talk about it. Make sure he understands, that sometimes we feel bad, but this ALWAYS passes. By the way I would not encourage him to keep in contact with the family of his girlfriend, at least at this time. This might keep him focused on the past and keep him from moving on. You mentioned that he had few friends, and all his friends were mostly through her. This is a sign that he may need to work more on his own individuality. Being dependent on her for his whole 'world' could be part of the problem in the relationship. Every one wants to have a partner that they can bounce ideas off of, not someone that is dependent on them for their happiness. So this is his chance to discover his own interests, pursue them, and make friends. His future relationships will be much more fulfilling if he has more to bring to them. He will be happier, and people will be drawn to him. A hard lesson but one must of us have to learn, but he is young and has plenty of time to grow. We all feel sad at the end of a relationship, and feel like there will never be anything that compares. The truth is if we learn about our part in what went wrong, the next relationship is better. This is a life lesson. Because his father is Bipolar, your son does have a higher risk of developing Bipolar than if there were no person with Bipolar in the family. Bipolar is in large part genetic, although factors like stress are involved as well. Often it initially presents as depression, and many do not get an accurate diagnosis until they are much older. This is not to say your son has Bipolar illness, but it is important that his health care providers know that his father is Bipolar so that he can be monitored. Keep in mind though, that if your son was found to have Bipolar illness it can be treated. There are many successful individuals with Bipolar, more than any other type of mental illness (there are many famous examples, such as Ted Turner) Regarding your son's current sadness: A criteria for distinguishing normal grieving (grief of lost relationship included) from depression is whether the symptoms have resolved in 3 months. If problems are continuing after 3 months, then this is one sign that this is a more serious than simple grieving. The other Expert mentioned other signs of serious depression such as an inability to function in school; additionally, lack of personal hygiene, significant weight loss or gain, are other signs of depression. I hope this additional information is helpful. If you have more questions or need anything clarified, please reply to this post. Also note.. if I do not get back to you right away, it may be because I am in a different time zone, and you can be assure that I will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible.
Susan Ivy, RN, MSN, CNS
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4058
Experience: MSN Child/Adolescent Psychiatry, w/ Child, Adult &Family Psychotherapy coursework and experience
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