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Child feeling sick, lethargic and unmotivated about life. Has had glandular fever. What should be done?

Jul 2012
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Practicing since : 1993
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my son feels sick almost every morning. He's also quite lethargic and unmotivated about life in general. He has had glandular fever this year but doesn't have any symptoms from that anymore. Just says he feels sick. Every morning, which lasts until around mid afternoon.
Posted Mon, 8 Oct 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Praveen Rodrigues 1 hour later
Hi there.
What exactly do you mean he feels 'sick' every morning? Do you mean he experiences nausea? The glandular fever 6 mths ago has probably no role to play in the current scenario. I have teenage boys of my own & his symptoms are suggestive of a depressive state probably associated with the pressures of school/study/peer-group/girlfriend-hassle. Forgive me if am presumptious & would love to stand corrected.
To be practical though, please do a routine blood/urine analysis..a CBC (complete blood count including hemoglobin, total & differential count & platelets & ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) )& a routine urine analysis. Possibly, in addition a SGOT, SGPT & Serum Creatinine will complete the picture. Please do revert with the blood & urine tests & will be happy to interpret.
If & Only IF they all turn out normal, then perhaps with gentle persuasion, a qualified child counsellor or a child psychologist may be better placed to help him out.
Cheers & here's hopin he is soon back to his perky best!
Dr Praveen Rodrigues MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child feeling sick, lethargic and unmotivated about life. Has had glandular fever. What should be done? 23 hours later
He has had difficulty with school, but has left and is now working, which he seems happy enough with. He is working with his father on our family farm but will continue studies in mechanics next year which he is quite looking forward to. XXXXXXX is actually pretty bright, but just not suited for sitting still in a classroom, bored him senseless. He wasn't misbehaving at school, just wasn't engaging. I honestly thought that he was "faking sick' to get out of school but he hasn't been to school in several weeks now and still he is complaining about feeling unwell and fatigued.

He has a good group of friends and a girlfriend (which is a bit up and down). The difficulty with him (in comparison to his older sister) is that I never know what he's thinking. He's such a closed book. Which I realise is a bit of a boy thing.

I had also thought of depression, and so has our doctor, but XXXXXXX is extremely resistant to seeking any help for that. He had full blood work done 6 months ago which is when the glandular fever was discovered.

He feels nauseous but doesn't actually throw up. This happens on mornings when he doesn't have work, as well as on week mornings. He seems better once he gets up and gets going but can't face food first thing in the morning. And he's an absolute nightmare to get going in the morning.

Thanks for your input XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Praveen Rodrigues 2 hours later
You are most welcome. I stand by my earlier assessment in the light of the extra info recd. I understand the hesitancy to XXXXXXX a shrink. I would too if i was told that. The trick is to get him to 'investigate' or go in for a 'general check' at a large hospital. Do the basic hematological investigations & a physician's check & quietly slip him across to a psycologist/counsellor who is preferably 'young' & will get along with him. This is the best case scenario. I dont envisage a major issue but always better to get the bull by its horns...'gently' though!! :)
Dont worry it will all sort out..wiah your family good health always. Please do close this query & send in your feedback & think positive (not the feedback;-) ) It will help give your mind some peace & closure too. Understand a parent's anxiety & need to vent..chill..all will be well. Cheers!
Dr Praveen Rodrigues MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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