Mood Disorders Expert Forum
Adolescent Mental Disorders
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Welcome to the Mood Disorders Forum. Questions in this forum are being answered by Peter Forster, MD and topics covered are anxiety, bipolar, depression, panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and stress.

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Adolescent Mental Disorders

Hello.  My boyfriend is separated and going through a divorce, and he and I just bought a house together and moved in on Saturday.  His son is 17 years old and has a slight learning disability.  He told his son three weeks ago that we were moving in together, and last week, his son had what was diagnosed as a panic attack at school.  They gave him a prescription for xanax but he seemed to still be very anxious.  Saturday was our move in day.  My boyfriend's soon to be ex-wife was on the phone and my boyfriend could hear his son screaming disoriented gibberash in the background.  He then wet him self twice thereafter.  Though it pains us both beyond what I personally can bare right now, my boyfriend has moved back in to his old home to ito be with his son. He doesn't think he could ever come back to me and go through this with his son or kids again.  Dou know what disorder his son  might have?
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Of course I understand your shock about what happened. I can think of a number of possible explanations for what happened, but my guess is that figuring out what happened would be pretty difficult even if I could meet with the son. That is a pretty complicated time in anyone's life, and especially given the divorce.
More to the point, perhaps, since diagnosing the son remotely is not going to be possible, I wonder what I might advise the two of you. I don't know what the situation is with regard to your boyfriend's relationship, I do know that sometimes families stay together until the kids graduate from high school... but I don't have any sense of whether that is a good idea or a bad one.
I have a hunch that moving back was not necessarily the right response to this crisis. After all, if your boyfriend was planning on getting a divorce it doesn't seem likely that he and his wife are likely to suddenly develop a good relationship. It might make sense to think instead about ways that they can be more effective co-parents.
Just a thought.
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I personally think that the moving back in was a very bad idea for all concerned.
The anxiety may be a coincidence but seems likely related to relationships and ?loss.
You could suggest taking the son to see a psychiatrist and/ or psychotherapist.
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