November 14, 2020 at 2:04 pm #187776TaurusMoonParticipant
Long time no speak. We are at a loss with our young teen (13, to be exact.) This morning he had a meltdown of epic proportions regarding taking part in a event for volunteer service hours for school; something he is normally happy to do. He is taking a nap as we speak, which leads me to my main concern.
Our preteen has hit a wall. He was diagnosed with depression two years ago, on top of his ADHD. I think a lifetime of having trouble connecting with his classmates and our relocation to a new state pushed his already-intense emotions to a new high. As our first year here became more stable, my kiddo improved drastically and was happier than I had ever seen him!
And then 2020 hit. Lol. Our now-happy, becoming well adjusted, inspired and motivated preteen was suddenly thrust into virtual school and our family was hit hard by allll of the effects of COVID-19. We know that he was under significant stress because WE were under significant stress. Through it all, our first home was being built and we moved into it in September. His school year started virtually, and (as the previous spring indicated) it was still not for him, so his motivation and grades tanked.
While we know he is feeling the ripple effect of everything he and we have been through, we are worried. He started therapy this week and hopefully this will be part of an overall approach to supporting him as he processes his emotions. We are fortunate to have a strong academic team who knows his potential and is working on their end to bolster him.
As his parents and family, however, he is “bringing the heat” our way. Again, what timing! Knowing that he is dealing with puberty changes along with the rapid changes of our new world, we are doing our best to stay strong and be emotionally present for him. But man is it hard! Both my husband and I have emotional healing of our own to do and unfortunately do not have a strong support system to talk to about this.
Raising a child with ADHD that has affected his life for most of his young life has been tough and isolating. Being new-ish to a new state, city and now neighborhood during a pandemic, no less, only amplifies how “alone out here” we really feel.
“You’re only as happy as your saddest child.” We have this beautiful new home, but what is it without having a happy family?
Just sharing some thoughts.
November 17, 2020 at 11:28 am #187889Penny WilliamsKeymaster
This pandemic is brutal, and even more so for most kids. As adults, we’ve seen really bad times and experienced that they get better eventually. Our kids don’t have that frame of reference. It feels like the world is crumbling and they don’t have the experience that it will get better. All they know is it’s worse than it’s ever been, because that is true for them.
And remote learning is a challenge for all students. It’s different and unchartered for most. It’s a huge adjustment period. Add that to feeling anxious and sad about the state of the world… double whammy.
And, kids are used to being around others at least 5 days a week. The ability to connect with others in our usual ways have been stripped away. Strike 3.
Connection is one of the most important aspects of good mental health. Your son’s depression makes perfect sense. But that doesn’t make it easier for him or his family to deal with. Your son’s world has been completely thrown off its axis and it will take time to recover and heal. Seeing a therapist is great. If there are any options for safe connection, offer those opportunities.
Above all, remember that he’s having a really hard time and it’s showing up at home, with you, when he just can’t hold it in any longer. Just keep reminding him that you’re there for him and you want to help, but he needs to let you know what he needs from you (and wants, he is a teen).
Hang in there!
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach, Podcaster & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
November 17, 2020 at 11:59 pm #187917GazettechanParticipant
It is always okay to get post like this for awareness
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