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How to cope with my son's suicide attempt?


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I have spoken before about how my son's behavioural problems have been a huge stress for us as a family.

I feel at a complete loss at how to help, he has adhd and intellectual problems, his self esteem is rock bottom. He tried to kill himself the other night and needless to say we are all distraught about this.

In this country there is no psychiatric services for 16 to 18 year olds - although he was seen by a psychiatrist in the emergency room. Her opinion was that he is not clinically depressed - however it does not seem that way to us. For the past 10 days he has been speaking about killing himself.

I got an urgent appointment with a charity who counsel people who are suicidal - he did not want to go, but I persuaded him to attend the initial appointment. They said it would only work if he was prepared to engage with them - he says he would prefer to come to me with his troubles.

This is an on going situation with our son and I need to be able to keep myself well in order to support him.

I need to know that how I am feeling is a natural reaction to what happened and not my depression coming back again.

I feel that I am going through some sort of grief. I am tearful, angry and irritable and feeling helpless, among other things.

Does anyone know if this is a natural reaction, how long will this go on for?

I have my own counselling session in the morning, I have emailed him asking for weekly session for a short while.


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Goose, I am so sorry that this happened. :( Is there any way you might get a second opinion on your son's condition? There are no psychiatric services at all for a teenager who is struggling??

I am not an expert, but my guess would be that everything you have been feeling and experiencing with this would be a very natural reaction under these kinds of circumstances. Getting extra support from your therapist is a good idea. I hope your family and friends will also offer you support during this challenging time. My thoughts are with you and your family. Please take gentle care.

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Thank you IrmaJean for your kind words.

Unfortunately my son was discharged from childrens psychiatric services at 16 years and will not be able to access adult services until he is 18.

Having said that he himself is not willing to have any sort of counselling or to take medication.

He says he feels better in himself today, but I am not entirely convinced.


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To answer your question: What are are feeling is very normal. When I was 14, my best friend's mom, who I considered a second mother, attempted suicide. It was a shock, to be sure, and I know I felt the same way you did about your son.

I am so sorry that he can't get any professional help--that is utterly rediculious. It is good, however, that you're seeking help both for him and for you--in a time like this, everyone involved needs that.

My prayers are with you,


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Trying to raise self-esteem is a good idea, but it's also very importiant that he knows, without a doubt, that he is loved. I struggled with suicidal thoughts as a teen, and I know this is something I really needed and didn't always get. It's not the family's fault--it's the depression's. Do all you can, and awknowledge your pain--never push it away.



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