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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes weight loss and sleeplessness with normal tests?

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad Sareer Khalil

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2012

Answered : 2920 Questions

Posted on Mon, 18 Aug 2014 in Mental Health
Question: Hi there, I am concerned about my 20 year old son, who has been away in Australia for 6 months and has a number of let downs from friends, family and work in this time.He is not a very confidant person and has always relied on his friends. He has returned home having lost a huge amount of weight not sleeping properly and with tight chest so not breathing properly which frightens him. He did not take good care of himself while he was gone (first time leaving home) he ended up basically shutting himself away. We have had him to GP and tests done to find nothing wrong medically. A second opinion suggested anxiety and a CBT. He doesn't think this is the case. I'm not sure how to go forward to help him as if I push he will just shut down. So for now I am just giving him good food, security an ear when he wants to take and suggestions. I don't want to do the wrong thing by allowing this behavior to continue but don't want to go the other way either and push when he's not ready. I just want for him to get his life back on track and be happy again, he hates feeling like he does. Can you offer some suggestions on how to deal with this please.
Answered by Dr. Muhammad Sareer Khalil 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
psychiatric help is a must.

Detailed Answer:
hello and welcome,

I really appreciate your concern.

Firstly, the history of weight loss is significant , I hope the G.P who saw your son had him screened for tuberculosis, HIV, lung diseases and others. Some common causes need to be ruled out.

2ndly, the history indicates a psychiatric issue. If you feel that this phase that your son is going through has gotten prolonged and fear he might do irreversible damage to himself, then you should definitely try to engage with him on this issue.

your main aim should be to convince your son to seek psychiatric help but you need to do that in a very supportive manner. let your son know how important he is to you and that this problem/behavior of his is affecting you badly too.

I know these things are easier said than done but some help is better than no help and psychiatric help and CBT wont do your son any harm but may help him get back on track.


let me know if you have any query
if not kindly close the discussion.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Follow up: Dr. Muhammad Sareer Khalil 55 minutes later
Hi again, yes he was given blood tests, a chest x-ray and sent to a breathing/asthma specialist. I don't fear he will hurt himself but I do feel the issues I mentioned have contributed greatly to his current state. Thanks for your input I will just have to try to persuade him to look at CBT. He has a mate waiting for him to feel well enough to venture back out and join him and his girlfriend in a flat in Auckland.
Answered by Dr. Muhammad Sareer Khalil 14 minutes later
Brief Answer:
its good news that the tests are clear

Detailed Answer:

Its good that the tests are clear and its reassuring that he wont hurt himself.

I can understand how you feel and I really admire your concern for your son.
Feel free to ask me any question any time to discuss your options regarding this problem.

best of luck
take care and have a nice day.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D

The User accepted the expert's answer

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