Reading through the list and all the signs are there:
Continuous low mood or sadness
Feeling hopeless and helpless
Having low self-esteem
Feeling irritable and intolerant of others
Having no motivation or interest in things
Finding it difficult to make decisions
Not getting any enjoyment out of life
Having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself, feeling anxious or worried
Not doing well at work
Taking part in fewer social activities and avoiding contact with friends
Neglecting your hobbies and interests
Having difficulties in your home and family life
Moving or speaking more slowly than usual
Change in appetite or weight
Unexplained aches and pains
For some of you this list is quite obviously pointing out that they are all symptoms of depression, but for me these are the signs that my son is back at school and it has only been a month since he started year 8. As you may know I am currently in the process of getting him assessed by CAMHS after 7 years of deterioration within the school system. The fighting is continuing with the school but it is getting harder, they are doing what they can I guess with what is on hand but until he gets that label he is being treated like any other ‘normal’ child and is now facing something called managed movement. The nice ofsted friendly way of saying permanently excluded. The reason “his behaviour and inability to adhere to the schools behaviour policy” He is constantly removed from class as they cannot control him, he cannot control his reactions meaning things just escalate between the teachers frustration and anger with his frustration and anger. Last Monday we a true example of this, he had a bad day at school and came home in what can only be described as ‘possessed’ throwing himself all over the place, shouting, screaming, throwing things, hitting himself, head butting the wall while telling his head to shut up and screaming how he wants to jump out of the window and die. He had a melt down over dinner, over having to get changed, over the thought of doing home work, and even going to calm down. Everything I tried was met with anger and frustration. He was that bad that by half past seven he completely flaked out and slept for a solid 13 hours. He was in no state to go to school so of course I called to let them know. The phone call didn’t go down to well because they do not recognise stress and depression as a reason to be off school and I have been met with many comments, to which I have given you the my answer to
Oh he’s just playing you up because he doesn’t want to go to school
No he isn’t actually, he loves school but if this was the case what does it say about the school if he puts himself through this just not to go?
It is all part of growing up and school
why is it? Why the hell should it be? if he was an adult and work was making them feel like this there would be an up raw, people would tell him to leave, he would get help with the GP and most of all he would get support off people not be told to ‘change the way he is’
So what can you do when you have a child going through this? Well from my experience you keep doing what you feel right for the wellbeing of your son or daughter. You have to remember that all the school are worried about are their scores with the government for league tables. You have to keep looking out for your child because in life there is more than just education.
He is going to see the GP but not until this Thursday, which is well over a week to what I can only describe as him having a break down.
The school are starting to listen and implement things they think will help, to my joy they have put him into a different form with his art teacher who also believes that with the education system creativity isn’t recognised enough even though everything gets designed at some point and fills the world with amazing architecture amongst other things. Also after talking to him and telling him things about our life, he understands the subculture quite well and is going to reinforce his talents so he can use similar skills with other subjects. This is what we do at home, if he struggles in doing something we point out how he couldn’t draw at one point, how he couldn’t climb as well etc so he can understand that sometimes things may take a little longer to grasp but not give in.
All in all it is a fight I am not willing to stop fighting, I can’t because no one listens to the voice of a child, they are just expected to get on with be treated in ways we would never expect an adult to accept. They are told it is all part of growing up, well perhaps if we didn’t do this to our children one day a generation will be around who accept the world has different people in it, who see things differently and it doesn’t mean they are wrong, yes it’s a dream, yes some will say far too much of my hippie side coming through but as a parent don’t we all want our children to live in a better world? It isn’t a case of one thing works for all, because we know as adults this isn’t true. How can it be ok for something to reduce a 12 year old boy into wanting to die?