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Old 04-22-2012, 01:52 PM   #1
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Please help - 13 yr old with possible PTSD

I'm posting on here about my 13 yr old son, and wondering whether he has PTSD - however my main problem is he has clammed up and refuses to speak about the traumatic incident or even open up about anything.
When he was 12 yrs old, he was on a bus with a group of children returning from a sporting event, when one of the children fell out the window of the bus - the bus was travelling at 100 kms (or 62 miles). It was a smallish bus, with fairly large windows that were meant to remain closed!
Anyway the boy didn't die, but had some serious life threatening issues at the time, after hitting the road at that speed. Upon returning home to me, my son said he saw the child go out the window, saw him hit the road, and then thought he was dead. He assured me he was ok, the school organised a councillor for him, and I thought he would be ok.
Since that time there have been several children from our town, all known to my son, or at least to his friends, who have tragically died. In 1 year, there has been 5 children die in accidents, plus the incident in question.
Since the bus incident, my son has not been sleeping well, is extremely moody and irritable, won't have real conversations with me, refuses to go out in public unless he has to, and even refused this year to go on the same sporting event, choosing to stay home instead. He is a bright boy, but his school work has slipped dramatically, he is a talented swimmer, and has chosen to drop out (maybe avoiding this child and his family?) He seems very "cold" and has no feelings toward anything, as though he has shut himself off. Another child known to our family drowned late last year, and my son simply told me that it wasn't sad, to get over it, and that it didn't really matter.
I have been to 3 different councillors plus the family doctor on several occasions, and even made an appointment with a sleep clinic to get his sleep sorted out. He has night terrors again now - he had them when younger, however they have returned. However none of the councillors/doctors have suggested PTSD, everyone seems to put it down to his hormones?
I did some research yesterday because a young boy in our town was murdered yesterday and then my son's mood really hit rock bottom. There were tears if I spoke to him (not because of the death, but because he was just teary about everything), and kept arguing with me, didn't sleep, and was just pretty much miserable all day.
So because my son doesn't open up and thinks he needs to appear "tough" he will not tell me if anything is bothering him, and refuses to speak to anyone.
Can anyone please tell me if this sounds like PTSD, and how I help someone who thinks they don't need help?

 
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:25 PM   #2
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Re: Please help - 13 yr old with possible PTSD

Quote:
Originally Posted by confusedperson2 View Post
I'm posting on here about my 13 yr old son, and wondering whether he has PTSD - however my main problem is he has clammed up and refuses to speak about the traumatic incident or even open up about anything.
When he was 12 yrs old, he was on a bus with a group of children returning from a sporting event, when one of the children fell out the window of the bus - the bus was travelling at 100 kms (or 62 miles). It was a smallish bus, with fairly large windows that were meant to remain closed!
Anyway the boy didn't die, but had some serious life threatening issues at the time, after hitting the road at that speed. Upon returning home to me, my son said he saw the child go out the window, saw him hit the road, and then thought he was dead. He assured me he was ok, the school organised a councillor for him, and I thought he would be ok.
Since that time there have been several children from our town, all known to my son, or at least to his friends, who have tragically died. In 1 year, there has been 5 children die in accidents, plus the incident in question.
Since the bus incident, my son has not been sleeping well, is extremely moody and irritable, won't have real conversations with me, refuses to go out in public unless he has to, and even refused this year to go on the same sporting event, choosing to stay home instead. He is a bright boy, but his school work has slipped dramatically, he is a talented swimmer, and has chosen to drop out (maybe avoiding this child and his family?) He seems very "cold" and has no feelings toward anything, as though he has shut himself off. Another child known to our family drowned late last year, and my son simply told me that it wasn't sad, to get over it, and that it didn't really matter.
I have been to 3 different councillors plus the family doctor on several occasions, and even made an appointment with a sleep clinic to get his sleep sorted out. He has night terrors again now - he had them when younger, however they have returned. However none of the councillors/doctors have suggested PTSD, everyone seems to put it down to his hormones?
I did some research yesterday because a young boy in our town was murdered yesterday and then my son's mood really hit rock bottom. There were tears if I spoke to him (not because of the death, but because he was just teary about everything), and kept arguing with me, didn't sleep, and was just pretty much miserable all day.
So because my son doesn't open up and thinks he needs to appear "tough" he will not tell me if anything is bothering him, and refuses to speak to anyone.
Can anyone please tell me if this sounds like PTSD, and how I help someone who thinks they don't need help?
confused person, I understand your confusion. It took many years to diagnose my PTSD, because I would never talk about things. So many sad things have happened in your son's life, but it could be many things as well. It could be PTSD, or depression or just hormones as they say, but one thing I do know, as his parent, try to get to the bottom of it before he gets older. My parents just ignored it all, and I was well into my 40's before it all came crashing down on me. I know you say your son wont talk to anyone, but if you take him to a therapist, usually in time they learn to trust. And I am sure you dont like wondering either. This is just my opinion or thoughts. My prayers are that you find the right road.

 
Old 05-02-2012, 04:40 PM   #3
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Re: Please help - 13 yr old with possible PTSD

Hi confusedperson2,

It takes quite along time to be diagnosed with PTSD because like your son people dont want to talk about it and they just hope it goes away. Which makes it harder to diagnose.

It does sound like your son maybe suffering from PTSD aswell as some form of depression.

Signs and symptoms of teen depression:-
  • Sadness or hopelessness
  • Irritability, anger, or hostility
  • Tearfulness or frequent crying
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • Lack of enthusiasm and motivation
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

he doesnt have to match all of these most doctors go on the lines of match 3 or more and you have depression the more you match the depressed your said to be so to speak.


People who have PTSD will also normally at some stage or another suffer with depression and there are as many misconceptions about teen depression as there are about teenagers in general. Yes, the teen years are tough, but most teens balance the requisite angst with good friendships, success in school or outside activities, and the development of a strong sense of self.

Occasional bad moods or acting out is to be expected, but depression is something different. Depression can destroy the very essence of a teenager’s personality, causing an overwhelming sense of sadness, despair, or anger.

Like Arianna2 has said try to get to the bottom of it sooner than later but dont push him. If you push him he will shut down and shut you out, if he matches things on the list above you should show him and tell him it doesnt change anything you still love him the same and its nothing to be ashamed off. If he sees that he has depression he is alot more likely to seek help and work with the people helping him by talking to them or taking meds than if he doesnt see that he has depression.

Hope this was of some help

Dan
__________________
Sing your heart out, Dance in the rain, Cherish the memories, Ignore the pain, Love and learn, Forget and forgive because remember you only have one life to live.

Last edited by Diverdan8; 05-02-2012 at 04:42 PM. Reason: spelling

 
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