Tuesday 17 September 2019

'I was a disgrace' - Boy (15) bravely reveals chronic anger issues and how he overcame them

A 15-year-old teenager spoke bravely on Liveline today about his battle with anger and mental health issues

Photo posed by model
Photo posed by model

Sean Nolan

A teenager has spoken powerfully about his battles with anger issues that led him to leave school after a number of disruptive incidents.

'Jordan' appeared on Liveline today after he felt he could relate to the story told on Friday's show about a Dublin dad whose son, aged 16, tried to kill him and wanted to speak about his experience.

Jordan began by telling Joe Duffy that he began to feel angry as young as six or seven but it really escalated when he hit secondary school.

He said he had two moods; "really depressed and upset or 'up the roof' angry as could be" and that "other students at the school thought I was a disgrace, to put it lightly".

Jordan detailed how his school life consisted of fights, detentions, suspensions and "physical fights and verbal altercations with other students and teachers" which left him with a "bad name".

"It was quite difficult for my parents for the first year or so. They would come down hard on me," he said.

"After about a year or 18 months they began to understand the issues I was facing and they understood that school wasn't the best place for me.

"They took me out of school and it calmed me down a lot.

"First I had to understand what the issues were," he said. "In school the teachers didn't know how to calm me down so they got angry with me and then it was just a fight to get the angriest."

After yet another suspension, caused by an incident with the vice principal of the school he was attending, he left the school and "everything immediately quietened down" when he began attending a Youthreach programme.

Jordan told the show how their approach to students with anger issues was "vastly different" and he became a "model student" with them.

Jordan's mother 'Marie' also came on the show and spoke about his history of self harm and the 'Jordan Show' as she called the drama he would cause.

Marie also revealed his threats to take his own life and long nights in A and E waiting for a child psychiatrist to see her son.

"Around 4am or 5am an adult psych would rock up and look at us with very sad eyes and say 'we're adult psych, we cannot help'"

"Eventually we had him admitted as an in patient to an adolescent hospital where he stayed for three months. This calmed him down a bit and got him talking a bit but we still had all the old behaviours.

"I begged CAHMS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) for an appointment as he was getting worse and worse and worse. I rang them of a Thursday saying 'please, you have to do something he is going to hurt himself'. I was told if he was that distressed he could ring Teenline. On the Tuesday he tried to kill himself."

Jordan now says he has matured and realised that "the world wasn't always against me and I just needed to work my own way in the world. If I didn't want the help no one was going to help me so I put my foot down and got my life back on track."

And he had advice for schools and the education system saying: "Teachers, before they begin teaching, need to have up-to-date classes on how to deal with it and manage students with mental health issues."


  • If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article you can contact Pieta House on 1800 247 247 or the Samaritans on 116 123 (ROI).
  • Teenline is available for teens aged between 13-19-years-old and is open between 8-11pm 7 days a week1800833634


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