For the last few months I have noticed my eldest PJ has become depressed. He would come home from school looking all down and say how he's feeling really depressed. When asked why, he would say he doesn't know. PJ does have a tendency to over exaggerate things, such as if he was to knock his ankle he would tell everyone that he's twisted it. Because of this, I palmed it off as teenage angst and attention seeking until a few weeks ago when things got worse.
About a year ago he deleted his dad and me from his facebook friends list and therefore, although I will log into his account every so often to check all is as it should be; most of what he puts up is between him and his friends. About 3 weeks ago while I was at work my husband got a call from his sister asking him what PJ's status was about as she was worried. I logged into PJ's account and he had put up a status about how he was hearing voices in his head telling him he wasn't worth it and how down he was feeling. I read through some of the comments and the majority of people who commented were worried about him, but he did have one 'friend' tell him how he looks like he's attention seeking and if it's all a load of crap then PJ will get a beating.
After seeing this status I decided to deactivate his Facebook account. I wasn't sure if he was just attention seeking, but even so, how far would he go to get the attention he was craving. I explained to him that although it is best to talk to someone, putting a status up on Facebook was not the way to go.
I made an appointment to see the doctor, which PJ agreed to. When PJ first started coming home saying he was depressed, I offered to take him to the doctors, but he always said he wasn't that bad, so the fact that he agreed to it this time was quite a big step.
We went to the doctors and PJ told him how he was feeling. From what he told the doctor, the 'voices' that he's hearing seems to be his thoughts. I don't know about you, but when I think, it's in my own voice, which is what PJ was hearing. The doctor decided the best course of action would be to refer him to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services).
We went to the CAMHS appointment on Tuesday and saw a lovely lady, who is a Family Psychotherapist She carried out the assessment for PJ to find out the best way forward. She spoke to us both together to build a bit of background information and then spoke with PJ alone. We were there for about an hour. At the end of the session she told us what she thought was the cause and how she would like to treat him. Her diagnoses shocked me and I was so annoyed with myself for not realising it. She has put PJ's behaviour and his current mental state down to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Back in May PJ had been mugged for his mobile phone, which had knocked his confidence for a while. As it was so long ago, and PJ appeared to have regained his confidence, it didn't even occur to me that this could be a factor. How wrong was I?!
Going forward, PJ is now being referred to the Anxiety and Depression Care team and they will start him off with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. I think being able to just get it out of his system has been a huge relief for PJ and already he seems happier. It's going to be a tough few months for all of us I think, but hopefully, at the end of it, I will have the old PJ back.