We are having troubles with what seems to be a negative loop, where
leads to avoidance / procrastination
leads to more anxiety / depression
Example: Anxiety leads to not doing homework (ds started into brick and mortar school and is now a 15yo 9th grader) till last minute or beyond. This creates stress, depression, more anxiety, and less good performance, which leads to more anxiety...
How can I help my 15yo ds break this cycle?
Last year he saw a professional therapist, which only led to some temporary escapism / feel-good ploys, but did not help to address the underlying problem. (Therapist said to me, "if a 15yo refuses to do anything, there is not much that can be done." which seemed dumb to me given that we had gone to her because he himself wanted some help, but not from me, his mom.)
Also, a problem exists with dealing with things once they are have gotten behind. Not going into helplessness and giving up. Ds does not have this problem with athletics (though he prefers to take a lead and keep it in a race, he can also start behind and then start picking up steam for a final sprint), but does with academics and some other areas of life.
I myself have similar problems, and so am not the best to have answers to this. But maybe I could help, if I got some answers for myself, to model better approaches.
This weekend I got ds to do his geometry homework (which I thought was his only homework) on Friday. I tried to get him to put in some more study time over weekend, but he refused.
Last night it turned out, revealed at 10PMish, that he had science homework too. Which he had not mentioned because he didn't know how to do it. He showed it to me, and it turned out the "how to do it" directions were right there with the assignment if only he could relax enough to see that.
By then though everyone was tired. And ds was feeling hopeless and catastrophizing about much beyond the one assignment.
This morning he got up at 5:30AM (his own idea), and, the science homework did get done with some help from me. So he sort of emerged from downcast dejection and hopelessness. But the rapid attack on the homework to get it done before rushing off to school is not a good plan for mastery.
This was only week one. We need a better plan!
In theory, I know, and I think he does too, the idea of setting a time to study/do homework, and doing it. But. It. Is. Not. Happening.
In reality, there seems to be anxiety almost to the point of shut down, like when looking for an important document and being so nervous one goes right past it in the file without seeing it--if you have ever had, as I have, that experience.
His other learning challenges are dyslexia / dysgraphia, and some ADHD (no diagnosis) and sensory seeking type behavior. PTSD and some EF issues.